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  • #16
    It's never to late. Be smart with the seasonality of the business and think ahead. Plan out your marketing strategies 6-18 months in advance so you don't run into this situation again. The best customers come from your existing customers ask them for referrals! Good Luck!
    DLC

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    • #17
      I had a ton of success (most of my clients) writing a letter with an estimate to people who had the big dog lawn care company in town. with a lawn company that big, their level of service is usually below what an owner/operator can provide. I wrote 23 letters, had 10 customers within a week. I made sure the say, I'm a dad, a husband and small business owner...etc....that really resonates with people. They will all be getting christmas cards showing who they are supporting. Had a great first season, and currently have more bids then I can actually handle myself next year. So, I'm bidding high and forming a nice relationship with a guy who's doing the same in my area. If we're not careful, we will be the big dog soon!

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      • #18

        That is interesting to know. I wonder if others are finding the same to be true. We don't hear much about craigslist on here like we used to.

        Craigslist isn't what it used to be. I remember the days where it was wildly popular. It seems like now if you are looking for some cheap hack, that's the place to go. The LCO's advertising now aren't what they used to be. It's a shame, but it's also better because good customers are realizing it. Maybe it's a sign of the green industry turning around?

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        • #19
          I had a ton of success (most of my clients) writing a letter with an estimate to people who had the big dog lawn care company in town. with a lawn company that big, their level of service is usually below what an owner/operator can provide. I wrote 23 letters, had 10 customers within a week. I made sure the say, I'm a dad, a husband and small business owner...etc....that really resonates with people. They will all be getting christmas cards showing who they are supporting. Had a great first season, and currently have more bids then I can actually handle myself next year. So, I'm bidding high and forming a nice relationship with a guy who's doing the same in my area. If we're not careful, we will be the big dog soon!
          How did you determine who to send the letters to and what is your view on why you went with 23 letters?

          To those customers, what is your selling point that makes you stand out from the larger companies?
          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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          • #20

            How did you determine who to send the letters to and what is your view on why you went with 23 letters?

            To those customers, what is your selling point that makes you stand out from the larger companies?
            So I got started by working for a guy who built a route, and then sold it to the main lawn care company in the area. I knew the yards I was going after. This was a huge part of grabbing them quickly, and I realize most people dont have a summer to waste working for someone else. However, I have been picking off that same companies customers to fill in areas I need to get more accounts in. I will get some of these accounts simply because the big company has varying degrees of service, I have the same service week in and week out.

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            • #21
              That is brilliant. So you know which customers they have, you know they don't have consistent service and you market to them with your message that you are consistent and they sign up with you.

              I bet you could continue this marketing message successfully until you have a full schedule!
              - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
              Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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              • #22
                That is brilliant. So you know which customers they have, you know they don't have consistent service and you market to them with your message that you are consistent and they sign up with you.

                I bet you could continue this marketing message successfully until you have a full schedule!
                Yeah, I found my plate as full as I wanted this summer. Have some more opportunities for bid, closer to home. My back is still barking from fall cleanups, so I'm really contemplating a helper this year.

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                • #23

                  Yeah, I found my plate as full as I wanted this summer. Have some more opportunities for bid, closer to home. My back is still barking from fall cleanups, so I'm really contemplating a helper this year.
                  Read my post #16 on this thread. http://www.gopherforum.com/forum/jus...-to-hire/page2

                  This will give you insight before hiring an employee. Doing it under the table or not having the right insurance can cost you thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. A lot of us have had a scare or 2, I know I did when I was starting out. Fortunately I was very lucky and it didn't cost me anything, but it was enough to re-evaluate my business and the future of it.

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                  • #24
                    I am going to try a new approach this year, and that is to always be marketing, 12 months a year. I have a calendar setup of what I am going to market each month, based on seasonality. I will start out marketing each month's service through free or cheaper methods, such as emails to my existing clients, magnets that I will place on my truck that changes each month, flyers, and lawn signs. As I grow, I will then market each month with PPC, Social Media Campaigns, and possibly more traditional methods such as radio.

                    I think some of us get it in our head that Spring is marketing time. It is true that that is when you will pickup the majority of your new clients, but isn't also true that every LCO in your area is also dumping all their marketing dollars into the Spring time? If I am the only guy marketing in my area in May-January, then there is less competition, at least in my area.

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                    • #25
                      In theory, the social marketing campaigns sound like the best idea ever. I just don't know if people respond to them enough to make them stand out from other marketing methods.

                      Have you done any experimentation with this before? If they don't respond enough, is it possible the offer wasn't enticing enough? Should it be something they see that really grabs them and opens the door for more upsells?

                      For instance, 'Get signed up to have your spring flowers planted' Today only $29.95 (or whatever) to have a flat of flowers planted.'

                      - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                      Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                      • #26
                        In theory, the social marketing campaigns sound like the best idea ever. I just don't know if people respond to them enough to make them stand out from other marketing methods.

                        Have you done any experimentation with this before? If they don't respond enough, is it possible the offer wasn't enticing enough? Should it be something they see that really grabs them and opens the door for more upsells?

                        For instance, 'Get signed up to have your spring flowers planted' Today only $29.95 (or whatever) to have a flat of flowers planted.'
                        I think that a Facebook campaign that is solely paid advertisement is ultimately a weak strategy. The number of ads you see on your Facebook wall is growing to the point where most people have now learned just to scroll past them and ignore them. I would only see this strategy working where an LCO was able to throw a lot of money at it (increase impressions to a huge amount), and/or also have a large following that could promote the special organically for them as well. I know personally I don't even read or look at anything on Facebook that doesn't have a video attached to it, because 9 times out of 10, it's an ad, clickbait, or irrelevant. I am working on running Live videos on a regular basis to try to get my followers more involved and hopefully promote for me. I will probably continue to use Campaigns for extremely targeted reasons though in the future.

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                        • #27
                          I know personally I don't even read or look at anything on Facebook that doesn't have a video attached to it,
                          With that said, does it make it more valuable to you to make video content that people will watch in order to promote your company?

                          For instance, possibly quick 30 second make over videos? Or what ever time length you feel someone would watch.

                          Where you show off something you did for someone?

                          Like maybe a giveaway? Or a good deed for someone? Showing a before and after? Something that includes a reaction shot from the person you did the work for?

                          Would such videos bring you more views and would the customers follow?
                          - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                          Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                          • #28

                            With that said, does it make it more valuable to you to make video content that people will watch in order to promote your company?

                            For instance, possibly quick 30 second make over videos? Or what ever time length you feel someone would watch.

                            Where you show off something you did for someone?

                            Like maybe a giveaway? Or a good deed for someone? Showing a before and after? Something that includes a reaction shot from the person you did the work for?

                            Would such videos bring you more views and would the customers follow?
                            I am messing around now with making videos like this, so I don't have any feedback as far as their results yet, but I am hopeful.

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