For new businesses, and others that have been around a few months but are still on a tight budget, traditional lawn care advertising ideas might not be the best. You may want to try a slightly different path to generate activity, and use small reminder ads in newspapers occasionally. Think of advertising in a slightly different way from others who are working in the same field as you are.
Suppose a competitor has been in business for two or three years, and now places advertisements in a couple of local/area newspapers at specific times during the year.
What the business owner is doing, most likely, is advertising specific services for certain seasons, or trying to generate revenue during a slower time by giving his customers (and a few potential clients) something special. This might be a discount or some other ad method, such as a coupon.
Outside the Box
The phrase “outside the box” is now so common it is no longer outside the box. For a new company, you need to think differently, of course. Perhaps you should use the phrase “unusual” instead, as in, “I am going to try some unusual lawn care advertising ideas.” It probably wouldn’t be good to go all the way to “outrageous” when you’re just starting a business, especially if you are in a rather conservative area.
But you can certainly try something that is a bit different to get attention, without going overboard. One of the top marketing experts of the last 20 years urges his clients to use methods that have been reserved for direct marketing in the past. He tries to steer them from just throwing money away on large newspaper and magazine ads, unless they are an established brand.
In fact, some of the latest advice for those just starting a lawn-care business states quite clearly the new entrepreneur should focus on likely customers. This means taking some time, from the beginning, to identify who your customers are likely to be.
Placing an ad in a newspaper that tells people “Here I am. Call me,” is just hoping a few of the readers notice. Most businesses spend their advertising money in this way and have no idea if the method works.
Make an Offer
Your advertising should never go out into the market without some kind of offer from you and your business. What does that mean, exactly? Should you use a coupon to give a discount? Yes, you can certainly do that. It may attract two or three customers who wouldn’t otherwise get in touch with you. But there’s something you can add to this idea.
If you try a straight-discount coupon, and want to do something a bit different next time, why not offer a free inspection visit that will result in you giving the potential client a report on what needs to be done on their property. Combine this with a free report on some typical problems people in your area have with grass, trees, flowers, vegetable gardens etc. Or leave a small, free gift as part of the inspection.
If you decide this might work for you, to get things started in your new business, take the second step into unusual advertising and set some sort of deadline on the offer. Give your potential customer a reason to respond now.
As you continue in business, you’ll find that the vast majority of people who say, “I’ll get back to you,” never do. If you offer something that people want and let them know it won’t be available very long, you are doing something most businesses fail to do.
Almost every business person understands that customer testimonials are very effective as advertising. If you have two regular customers who like what you do, ask them to put their experience into words. They don’t have to write a book, and you don’t either. Take notes when you talk to them and ask if it’s OK to use one sentence from them in your marketing.
This leads into a final word about lawn care advertising ideas in the 21st century. Put your money where it will do some good. Try social media, like Facebook and Linked In. Don’t just sit back and expect the customers to roll in. You have to be active with these outlets too.