When you start a landscaping business, it can be difficult to feel like you can find enough work to go full-time. Well, I am here to tell you that finding customers is not near the problem you think it is. You just have to learn the basics of marketing and finding customers honestly feels super easy. Plus while you are just getting started, you can find those couple hundred dollar package deals all day long if you know where to look.
So let’s take a look at everything you can do to find new customers. A few of these things are something you can go out and do right now, while others build up over time. Physical marketing definitely has its place in the business, but having your own website and marketing online is a must if you want continued success.
When you first start looking for customers it can be hard to realize just how many people out there need your services. Let me tell you, there are way more people out there that NEED you than you think.
Cutting grass and landscaping is a major inconvenience for most people. They are willing to pay you a reasonable price, they just are not sure how to find you if you do not do enough marketing.
All it takes is the right message at the right time for someone to see your advertisement and say “you know what, I really do not want to cut my grass, or replant those flower beds. I will give these guys a call”. Then you have got yourself a new customer.
Once you have that call and land a new customer you just have to do a good job. Take pride in your work and do your best. Good work will always make sure you get a call the next time they need you. On top of that, be reliable. If you don’t pick up the phone, or skip out on an appointment, you are just asking for failure.
Getting new customers is super important for any business that wants to grow. However, that does not mean you should skip out on your old customers. If you have someone that has been letting you cut their lawn from the beginning, you should keep cutting it and doing good work.
If you decided that you need to raise your prices and a particular customer does not want to pay the increased rate, well that is a different story. You can always eliminate bad or cheap customers, but I would hold onto those cheap reliable customers until you know that your new higher paying customers are going to give you continued (not just repeated) business.
This whole process of marketing is something that you should continue to do for as long as you are in business. Don’t get me wrong, if it is just you and a couple of helpers, you do not need 1,000 customers.
Although your continued marketing and customer acquisition just means you can cycle customers and keep increasing your rates ever so slightly until no one is willing to pay you more. This way you are doing the same amount of work, but for more and more money.
While you are just getting started, physical marketing is going to be the best way to get new customers. It is easy to do and if you have a personality, you can get a lot of customers.
The very first thing you should do is make business cards. This should be a card with your name, phone number, and logo on it, with your services on the back. You can have a logo made for as little as $5 online on places like Fiverr.
Then take that logo and send it to another person on Fiverr that does business card designs. Tell them everything you want on it, and in a few days, you should have a pretty solid design. It does not have to be the best business card ever, but a basic design with good information will work wonders. Then you just have to send that to a printing service and you will have a couple of hundred business cards to give to potential clients.
The next thing you want to make are bandit/yard signs. These are little signs just like the political “vote for XYZ” signs you see all along roads and yards. Make one for your business. Find someone on Fiverr to make it if you need to. Then print out a couple of dozen signs.
Put them everywhere. I mean it. The best place to put them would be the entrances and exits of suburbs or culdesacs. This way everyone that lives there will be forced to see it. Even if they contact you and tell you to take them down, put them back up. Put them everywhere!
On the topic of signs, you should also put a couple of them on your truck. If you have a truck whose doors stick to magnets, get some magnetized signs for your business. This is great for business, and again make sure your phone number is as big as possible, as well as your business name. If you have an equipment trailer, make sure you deck that thing out with signs too.
The next thing you should have are t-shirts. Make shirts for you and your employees if you have any. Make sure that your logo is on them and have your phone number as big as possible on the back. This not only makes some sort of uniform for your company, but it directly advertises to the neighbors.
Shirts can get a little expensive if you are not making a ton of money yet, so you do not have to go all out with graphics, but make sure your name and number are easy to see.
Once you have all of those things, some people are going to call you and you will get a few customers. Although if you want to speed things up a bit, you should go door to door.
Now I know that everyone hates going door to door and it can be hard to do, but you honestly just have to get over it. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to do the things that no one else wants to do.
You do not have to do a whole big pitch, but introduce yourself and your company and let them know what it is you do. Then give them a business card. If they need work immediately, you can possibly schedule them right then and there. Otherwise, they will probably say no thank you and you can try again at the next house.
Although for all of those people that are going to say no, they will at least have your business card. Many of them will throw it away, but a few of them will keep it. You can expect a call from some of them when they need your services.
When you do land some clients, do a good job on their property. Then use your door to door skills to go to their neighbor’s houses. A cold introduction never works as well as “hi, I am joe with joes landscaping and I just cut your neighbor Jane’s lawn”. This works way better than going up to a random door, just make sure you give them a business card.
Now you can keep doing this as long as you want to, but it gets hard to go door to door when you are busy cutting lawns. It is even harder to cycle clients for higher-paying clients. If 1 out of 10 people liked your old rate, only 1 out of 30 people are going to like your higher rate. That is a lot of doors.
Door-to-door works while you are just getting started, but if you really want to scale your business, you need to take to the internet to expose thousands to your brand and services.
I know a lot of you probably have a good idea of how the internet works, but no one can really fathom just how big the internet is. Your reach is nearly unlimited. Plus there are dozens if not hundreds of ways for you to market your business online that are super effective, and alot of them are free.
The first thing you should do is try out Craigslist. It is an awesome place to post your services and it is a super local setting. Post as often as you are allowed to and if you want to, you can even place a few paid ads. Ads on Craigslist are fairly effective. For around $5 per day, you can show an ad to a ton of people. Then direct them to a website or phone number and fill up your schedule.
The next hottest place to be is Facebook. Everyone is on Facebook. If you want, you can even start a Facebook page and show content of you and your team. If you get a small fan base, odds are you will be their first choice when it comes to landscaping.
There is also a service and marketplace portion of Facebook that you should certainly post in. Post in those sections as often as possible and take full advantage of the free system. Personally, I am always scanning the Facebook marketplace for whatever I need, and I am not the only one.
Plus you can also run ads on Facebook to very specific groups of people. Facebook ads can get fairly complicated and there is a ton of optimization and testing that goes into it. You will definitely need to spend a couple of dozen hours researching Facebook ads if you really want to be effective with it.
However, if you do put the time into Facebook ads, it will be extremely rewarding. Facebook is super powerful and can give you all the data you could ever need. You can target people based on the smallest factors or go broad with just a general zip code.
For our uses, I would start with targeting people from your city and surrounding areas. See how that goes and if you want, you can even target homeowners, older people(who may not be able to cut their own lawns), and anyone or group you can think of. The only limit is you.
After you make all of your ad sets in your campaign, you can set it to spend as little as $3 a day. I recommend $5 or $10 a day while you are getting started. This will get spread out over all of your ad sets(groups of people) and then you can see which ones perform better, then duplicate and tweak them until you have an ad set that is giving really good returns.
There are dozens of other social media platforms that you could get on to advertise your business. They could all work, but I really suggest picking 2-3 and sticking with those. It is a lot of work to run 10 social media accounts and splitting your effort among them all means that none of them will get enough attention.
Try your best to build up one or two socials and passively advertise your business on it. I think that Facebook absolutely needs to be one of those, but the others could be Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Youtube, or anything else.
An awesome free way to get customers is to make business listings. The most important listing you should make is a google business listing. When you go on google and search “landscaping near me” business listings will come up with phone numbers and websites. Your average customer is going to search that and look for the one with the best reviews.
So make your listing and add plenty of pictures and information, the more the merrier. There are plenty of ways you can optimize your business listing to improve your ranking, but for now, just make it as good as you can.
This is going to be a completely passive way of getting highly targeted people to see your business. These people are highly targeted because they are actively seeking your type of service. Other advertisements online often go to people who are just scrolling through social media.
You can make these kinds of listings on Google, Yelp, and Angie’s list. Then do your best to get some reviews. If you can, offer a one-time discount to customers to leave you a review. The more reviews you get, the better those business listings will do.
Ods are you are not a graphic design genius. You are a landscaper and business owner. However, all of those online ads you are going to pay for will do a whole lot better with good graphics and videos.
Try and record a few videos of you and your team working, or maybe a bit about who you are and what you do, then send it to a video editor on Fiverr. They can make a good edit, and produce something that will hold people’s attention a whole lot longer. The longer you can hold someone’s attention, the more likely they are to buy from you.
When you are making all of these ads and business listings, it can be easy to just tell people what your phone number is and hope they call. However, a website can be a whole lot more versatile.
Before you get all stressed out, websites are not as hard as you think. You just need to spend a few hours making it look good, or hire someone to make it for you. Website designers can get expensive, but as long as your own design is not horrible, it will work just fine.
Plus a website is super cheap when it comes to operating costs. You can get website hosting for as little as $3 a month from Bluehost, and WordPress is free. There are a ton of website creators out there but WordPress is extremely versatile and moderately easy to use. Plus there is a plugin for just about everything.
Alright, so what should you have on your website? Well, the main reason we want to send people to our website is so they can see our services and prices. If you get someone to call you from an ad for some sort of service that they want to pay $20 for and you charge $60, then you waisted both of your times.
So make your services and prices front and center. I would put them on the home page. Then you can put a bit more detail about your services than you did in your ad. The more info the better. Then if they are interested, direct them to a phone number, or automatic calendar booking with a plugin. You can even charge them directly from your website if you want.
Although it is likely that a majority of customers will not fit into a cookie-cutter deal on your website. You shouldn’t have something like “Mowing - $50” because lawns are very different, so that may require a walk-around before a quote.
Instead, you can have them schedule and pay a non-refundable deposit. If they do a deposit of $50, and you decide the law costs $100 then they pay the other $50 upon completion. Just make sure they understand that it is just a deposit and give them an idea of what a medium, large, or extra-large lawn may cost in total.
You can also add content to your website that will impress would-be customers. Adding a few before and after pictures can show your potential clients just how good your work is and increase your credibility. Try adding content for every type of service you provide. This gives a visual aid to your services instead of just having “pressure washing” in a bulleted list.
If you are having trouble figuring out your marketing, you should try the oldest tactic in the book. Monkey see monkey do. Watch your competition. Go through their funnels, call their phones, and act as a customer if you have to. Make sure your prices are competitive with theirs. Offer more services than they do.
In short, figure out what people around you or online are doing, and then do it better. If they are having success, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to replicate it at some scale with a direct copy and paste of what they are doing.
Now I always recommend being original, but there are plenty of things you can ethically copy from your competitors. Just trust your moral instincts and do your best on every job you get. Success will come.
While it may sound hard while you are just getting started, finding new customers is fairly easy once you get it figured out. Physical marketing can be super effective in the early stages, and still works in the later stages. Although if you really want to scale your business and be able to raise your prices, you need to use the internet to expose thousands of people to your brand and services.
You should be on multiple social media outlets. You can make a couple of accounts and try to keep up with posting content on them, but you do not have to go too crazy. After all, even if you get to a million followers, you can’t cut a million lawns. Take advantage of all the free advertisements these platforms offer. Then you can start paying a bit extra to show an ad to select groups of people.
All of these ads, along with your general internet presence, will start to attract customers. It takes practice and hard work, but you can eventually do it. After all, if it were easy, everybody would do it.