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jklawncare
11-30-2010, 09:37 PM
hey guys

so i plan on marketing in february targeting spring cleanups and the beginning of the mowing season (april)

i went to vistaprint for there black friday deal to order 250 business cards and got some freebies too

which include
lawn sign
car magnet
keychain
brochures
flyers
postcards
notecards
return address labels
and last but not least a fancy engraved business card holder. haha

i was very impressed with all there printing (this is my first professionally designed stuff) even though everything was there little selection i realized how unapealing my flyers were to these

so i decided to save my christmas money up and aside
for some marketing

i want to know what you think could get me the best return rate?

i know flyers are 1-2 percent but around here its around 3-4% which is good

but here are some ideas i had and let me know what you think

making agreements with local businesses for me to hang posters in there window (i live in a town where theres alot of local shops kinda like youd see in an old town movie so that may get some appeal)

get my business cards on business desks and bulletin boards allover

Facebook..i have a page but no one knows of it yet..do you think advertising it on the side would be good? you can target specific demographics and areas which i like.

windshield wipers..i honestly dont mind when one is on my window but others might..how do you feel..

and lawn signs..are they worth the money? i know alot of you have them but have you ever tracked how much business they bring in?

Steve
12-01-2010, 11:19 AM
All of those ideas are great. If you have time to go out and meet people that is so very important. Contacts are what it's all about.

In the past, we haven't seen flyers in stores be that effective but, by going in there and meeting business owners, you are networking and are meeting more people you can potentially sell too which is a great thing.

Lawn signs seem to have been effective too. If you are able to put them on your customers lawns and put one of those business card holders on them, they may even be more effective.

Are there any goodwill projects you could do over the winter to help members of your community? Could you do anything that you could contact the press about?

Could you collect food for your local food pantry? Help collect gifts for needy children? Could you do things that you could tie in with the holidays?

What's your view on that? I'd also love to see some of the material you got printed!

xpertlawnman
12-01-2010, 12:22 PM
I have used Vistaprint for various items. Their prices and ease of use are second to none. Flyers do not generate much business around here. Networking and referals are my main source of new business now. I rarely advertise anymore, unless I am targeting a specific development. At the begining you have to get your name out there by any means possible. It sounds like you have a gameplan. Just remember it takes time to build a profitable customer base.

jklawncare
12-01-2010, 03:40 PM
thanks for the advice
and steve
i love that idea

this is a small town and word travels fast about things like that
if i can get my name out on a positive aspect like that then i think it will help alot.

i love the ideas
could anyone else give some feedback or ideas?

what about posters on shop or gas station doors or windows..what effect do you think that would have
as well as facebook ads

alot of people in out area have a facebook so i think if they see that they could be drawn to both that and my website

jklawncare
12-01-2010, 08:02 PM
im developing my new website
heres the home page
be brutally honest
what you like
dont like
let me know

ill show my progress as it goes

if anyones interested in me doing something for yours just let me know
i have time on my hands now and then and id be happy to do it for free

jklawncare
12-02-2010, 07:11 AM
so i worked a little more and came up with 3 possible home pages and some base site pages..i think i need to change the background...its getting used too much and looks bland

otherwise let me know what you think

jymie
12-02-2010, 10:44 AM
They look ok, I would just suggest that you spell check it, serving is spelled wrong, shrub is spelled wrong, and on the one page change other to others may work better?

jklawncare
12-02-2010, 02:45 PM
these were just rough drafts nothing is finalized and ready for web yet.. ill make sure to do all that before though

do you think the backgrounds need to change for all the other pages?
also

what do you think about postcards on windows
and facebook ads

Steve
12-02-2010, 05:18 PM
The website graphics look absolutely fantastic! I can't even choose which one I like better because they are all good.

what about posters on shop or gas station doors or windows..what effect do you think that would have
as well as facebook ads

alot of people in out area have a facebook so i think if they see that they could be drawn to both that and my website

Having a facebook page couldn't hurt!

When you are thinking about posters you have to ask yourself, who is going to be reading them? What % of them will be home owners looking for lawn care? How many of them are going to be living in an apartment? Or simply there to get gas and have no decision making powers as to who cuts their lawn?

Also, what is going to be the call to action? What about seeing a poster on a gas station window will get the reader to want to pick up the phone and call?

jklawncare
12-02-2010, 09:26 PM
steve the posters wont be for just gas stations
they will be in all the small town shop windows that will allow me too use them

for all the barber shops i saw a neat one that said you wish you could do to your hair what we can do for your grass so i was gonna see about using that as well as maybe a couple others..but if i could i wanted to get a general poster that would attract someone no matter what store or gas station..any ideas?

also
i do have a facebook page
but they offer the option to advertise on the side bar
its pay per click so i was wondering if anyone has dealth with this idea?

below is a picture of one of the roads in my town so you get an idea as too what i mean when i say all the small shops

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Downtown_Chesterton,_Indiana.JPG/300px-Downtown_Chesterton,_Indiana.JPG

http://www.northwestindiana.com/photos/albums/userpics/10001/TownSquare.jpg


There is quite a few streets just like that all around

TheGoat
12-02-2010, 10:07 PM
these were just rough drafts nothing is finalized and ready for web yet.. ill make sure to do all that before though

do you think the backgrounds need to change for all the other pages?
also

what do you think about postcards on windows
and facebook ads

Keep the same background on each page. if you change it for each page you slow down the load time on each page, and attention spans on the internet are really short. More importantly though, a familiar background feels more mellow. The viewer will be more comfortable with the same background throughout the site.

you should definitely advertise in facebook and google.

with the current adwords promo, $10 gets you $85
on facebook you get more impressions, but you don't get a promo credit.

jklawncare
12-02-2010, 10:22 PM
Keep the same background on each page. if you change it for each page you slow down the load time on each page, and attention spans on the internet are really short. More importantly though, a familiar background feels more mellow. The viewer will be more comfortable with the same background throughout the site.

you should definitely advertise in facebook and google.

with the current adwords promo, $10 gets you $85
on facebook you get more impressions, but you don't get a promo credit.

thanks for the advice!

i have 75$ in adwords right now
FB only allows you too redeem a coupon with a Credit Card backing it up
so if i do it ill wait till spring to see my results..

i wanted to try it out before actually putting out my card number..

jymie
12-02-2010, 11:40 PM
I have a google adwords campaign that is so targeted that the $100 I put on the account I still have not used up in 9 months. Avoid yahoo they will rip you off. They pay people to do nothing but click on your ads so you have to spend more money. They took $90 from me in one week, auto deduct from my credit card, before I realized it they had $90, so I stopped it after a week. I have not tried facebook ads, but I am interested if it can be as targeted as google is. Google you can target right down to the zipcode you want to target. There is no sence having ads appear in areas you do not cover. I would also suggest that you do a blog on blogspot.com. You can then link it to your facebook page so all your friends can read it and maybe share it with others. I have a link in my signature to my blog, check it out for some ideas, it's new to me so I need practice on what to write about.

Steve
12-03-2010, 03:42 PM
I have a google adwords campaign that is so targeted that the $100 I put on the account I still have not used up in 9 months.

Can you give us a little insight as to what you are doing that makes it so targeted? Also, is it possible it's counterproductive if no one is clicking on it?

MrLank
12-04-2010, 05:02 AM
I also have a facebook page but hesitant on paying per click. Anytime someone has the power to click on my ad anytime they want or repeatedly doesn't sound to appealing to me. My spare time I've been visiting business's and dropping business cards off. I don't just give them my card and run. I tell them a little about me and try building some chemistry with them. I was also going to offer for any final clean ups or first snow removal, that any customer willing to donate a toy for Toys for Tots, I'd give them $10 off first service. If they wanted to donate 2, $5 off 2nd clearing. Not only will it be good for business, but the feeling of helping someone in need is good enough.

jklawncare
12-04-2010, 08:26 AM
i like the toys for tots idea
when steve brought it up a tft drive JUST ended in my town and it was a pretty big one..so i was upset cause id love doing that
so now im waiting for the next one to see if i can get in on it

im also going to be putting my cards out around town but i will wait until the spring..and wait till i get card holders..

Steve
12-04-2010, 12:14 PM
With an area that looks like this, I would figure you are going to get a lot of foot traffic between stores.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2f/Downtown_Chesterton,_Indiana.JPG/300px-Downtown_Chesterton,_Indiana.JPG

What about putting out potted plants along the sidewalk with your name on them some how?

That could generate a lot of buzz.

Maybe something like this. And maintain them all year long.

http://www.saskatoon.ca/DEPARTMENTS/Community%20Services/Land/UrbanDesign/PublishingImages/bess%20at%202nd%20Ave_web.jpg

jklawncare
12-04-2010, 05:26 PM
i think that would be something id have to talk to the town about..there very stubborn when it comes to stuff like that exspecially if im not liscenced i dont want to get my name out there too much with the governmental side of things..do you think that would become an issue?

jymie
12-04-2010, 07:29 PM
Your not licensed? You really should do that. What if something happens while your working? You need to be insured, plus not being licensed you limit your ability to get into commercial work. Also you may be opening yourself up to a fine in the town you work in. All it takes is one cop to wake up in a bad mood one day decide to check you for your business license and then your screwed.

jklawncare
12-05-2010, 01:23 AM
im only 16, 17 in march so i cant be licensed or insured..

jymie
12-05-2010, 08:26 AM
I see. Well hopefully nothing will go wrong this year. Make it a priority when you turn 18, that will open so many more doors for you as well.

TheGoat
12-05-2010, 09:53 AM
Can you give us a little insight as to what you are doing that makes it so targeted? Also, is it possible it's counterproductive if no one is clicking on it?

I have had adwords up for about a month now, so my knowledge here may not be as extensive as other, but here it is.

I have my ads set up to only display if the searcher is in the city I service.

that keeps it narrow.

Keywords are the other aspect to things. I have every keyword listed that remotely relates to a service I offer.

I have found that people don't click links for things they are not looking for.

If I'm trying to find out the greens fees at a local golf course, I might see an ad for an LCO, but i'm not going to click it because I know that's not what I want.

jklawncare
12-05-2010, 01:54 PM
I see. Well hopefully nothing will go wrong this year. Make it a priority when you turn 18, that will open so many more doors for you as well.

It is my top priority i can hardly wait until im of age and by that time ill have a big enough customer base under me. Being licenesed will also allow me to be insured etc. and will allow me to do other things like gutter cleanups and commercial accounts.

racerdude711
12-05-2010, 10:29 PM
jklawncare- Im 17, will be 18 in March. Im from Nebraska, and here you can get licensed and insured even if your not 18. Even if you can't get licensed, im sure you'll be able to get insured. I don't think there's an insurance company out there that will turn it down. Your parents will most likely have to co-sign the insurance policy, but it gives you a HUGE sense of security.

jklawncare
12-06-2010, 12:21 AM
thanks racer
i was under the impression that i couldnt from what people have told me..
how much do you pay for your insurance?
ill look into everything tomorrow..