California Landscape Professionals: 5 Hot Landscape Marketing Ideas

September 28th, 2011  |  Published in Business Resources

The difficult economy has been a fact of life for some time, and it is likely to remain that way well into the future. In response, California Landscape Professionals must think of new, creative ways to market their service.

 

When the customer’s right buttons are pushed, landscape renovation moves further up on their list of items gaining monetary attention. Here are five ideas California Landscape Professionals can use to energize their marketing efforts and grow their business.

1.  Embrace Sustainable Garden Design 

In every project you encounter, there are countless opportunities for you to promote sustainable garden design.  In most cases, it can be done with little or no money and, if implemented, leaves your customer more satisfied with the end product and makes theme feel better about spending the money.  Make yourself an advocate for sustainable features; your client will respect your desire to integrate sustainable garden design while staying within budget.  In short order, you may begin to rebrand your company as an environmental leader in the industry with plenty of customer testimonials to back up your claims.

Tip:  Create a “Sustainability in the Landscape” pamphlet with each project to describe the sustainable elements in the client’s garden. If you think of it as something your client will show their friends when visiting the garden it can be a powerful “leave behind”.

2.  Landscape Photo Sharing

Landscaping photos can create a wonderful, silent sales force. And by finding online venues to upload selections of your portfolio, you are exponentially increasing your sales team and widening your potential client base. It is a difficult, convoluted, full time job to optimize your business’s website to attract the new clients you need to thrive.  So rather than waiting for customers to visit your website to in order to discover you, take advantage of the enormous draw photo sharing sites have to do the optimization work for you.  Thousands of people are making hundreds of thousands of searches daily for California landscape ideas and mediterranean landscaping ideas on photo sharing sites.  You cannot afford to miss out on this exposure.

Tip:  Hire a professional landscape photographer to document your past and current work.  Although it may seem expensive at the time, professional photos will highlight your work in a way that is likely impossible for you to obtain with your own point-and-shoot camera.

3.  Landscape Design Guide 

When meeting potential clients, you have a very limited time frame to sell your services.  And let’s face it, most contractors and designers have little experience with landscape marketing and less time in sales.  So why not increase your chances of landing the job by handing out a professional landscape design guide to all of your potential customers?  The guide can be an annotated pamphlet of a project you have completed that clearly describes (with both text and imagery) the steps of the landscape process for your clients.  Utilize this tool to demonstrate your creativity, attention to detail, horticultural knowledge, and craftsmanship.

Tip:  Once the landscape design guide is created, re-package this asset and upload it to your website for more exposure as a downloadable document.  And to create even more leads from this attractive download, require the name, email, and phone number of the user so you can follow up in a couple of days. 

4.  Landscape Design Tool for Cost Estimating

More often than not, customers reaching out to contractors or designers have very little understanding of what they want or what it costs.  To save time and have a more successful relationship with a customer, create a cost guideline worksheet for a variety of common landscape elements.  There is no need to be exact; rather, give a range from high to low. The purpose will be to allow customers quickly create a cost estimate of their dream garden. If handed to your client early enough, it just may save you from investing your limited time and energy with someone who is unable or unwilling to afford their dream landscape.

Tip:  Pay a web developer a small chunk of change to have this posted in an interactive format on your website.  To use this landscape design tool, require the user enters their name, email, and phone number.  Once they have selected all the elements they are interested in and they click “submit”, send the result to them in an email attached to your best sales pitch.

5.  Tune into your local Design Review Board

Many municipalities require design board approval of proposed projects.  By tuning into these meeting minutes, you can actively engage the designers or owners of projects requiring landscape work at an early stage.  If you see a project that would be a score for your business, contact the necessary party and offer a complimentary cost estimate, value engineering assistance, or mention that you have been designing California native gardens for years and would like to see if you could offer any insight.

Tip:  Many design review boards have California landscape professionals sitting as members to review landscape related items.  Volunteer for these positions when available.  Although it can be time consuming, the return will undoubtedly be a drastic increase in new contacts and new work.

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