My goal with this blog is to help other LCO’s learn how to start a lawn mowing business and create an actual business rather than a job for themselves. What happens so often with newbys in the business is that they think making $25 a pop for mowing a lawn is great money. What they don’t realize is that pushing a mower every day is NOT a business, this is simply a really crappy job. I recommend reading The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, this simple book will begin a process of opening your eyes to the difference between a business and a job!
Okay, we won’t get into that too much here!
Last month I spent $0 on advertising, conducted a total of 0 walk throughs, had a total of 0 meetings, made 0 cold calls, and did 0 estimates . . . yet we added over $25,000 in new contracts!
How did I do it?
The short answer is In Bound Marketing. What is inbound marketing?
The difference between in bound and out bound marketing
Traditional marketing is dead! Traditional marketing focuses on creating flyers, slogans, ads, commercials, sales sheets, and other pieces of material that you can hand to anyone to try to get them interested in you. This doesn’t work. Basically you simply canvas as many people as you can and wait for the one or two that might be interested to give you a call. When I do flyers I only anticipate a 0.5% to 1% call back on the flyers that I do. Here in Texas a GOOD flyer guy can put out about 100/hour . . . at $0.10 per flyer that means you are paying anywhere from $10-$20 just to pay for those flyers to go out. This doesn’t include printing, designing and shipping the flyer, lost flyers, flyer permits with the city, gas . . . etc (you get the point). Now this obviously doesn’t count the actual conversion rate of those customers. And you have to do a TON of work. Every second you are out doing flyers you aren’t making money. If you simply want to know how to start a lawn mowing business than this is the way to go! But, if you want to build an actual company you understand that this is not the right way.
I cover how to create a GREAT lawn care flyer here. Even with PERFECT timing, a great flyer, and a great deal 1% call back is great! Now, how long will those customers even stick with you?
Inbound Marketing for Lawn Care CompaniesInbound marketing is basically the exact opposite from outbound (flyers, cold calls, etc). Wikipedia puts it this way:
“Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, enewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing. In contrast, buying attention, cold-calling,direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, Email marketing, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered “outbound marketing”. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.“
In other words inbound marketing forces customers to find you rather than trying to get in front of them. With inbound marketing people look for you when they are interested in your services. My main lawn care website produced an 89% lead conversion last month. That means nearly 90% of people that called us signed up for service, gave us a credit card number, and bought into our system.
Here are my costs for this website:
- Design: $0
- Hosting: $9/month (I have several websites on this hosting account so the real number is more like $1/month)
So how does a lawn care company create an inbound marketing campaign?
Like the quote above states, you must create interesting content that allows for internet users to actually find you. Let me outline a few tools that you can use to create a website that drives your inbound marketing.
Blogger is a free and easy to use platform for creating blogs. This is so easy to use, you could have a website up in minutes.
For a more professional website use WIX.com
Click Below to Try Wix
If you want a real website that has some really functionality use WordPress. If you purchase a domain from Go Daddy or whoever you decide to use you should talk to their Customer Service about getting WordPress. If you are completely new to the web try these books: CLICK HERE.
Another great option for your website is to insure you have a good hosting account. We trust Blue Host for our webhosting needs: CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM
Okay, but how do you create content that brings in customers?
Having a lawncare website is just the first step! Unfortunantly this is where most guys stop! They throw up a site and STOP. . . don’t do that. No one cares that you have a webpage if it is just a worthless page that doesn’t do anything.
Inbound marketing requires that you find out what your customers are actually interested in. . .
In the above podcast Marcus discusses how his failing pool company begin using inbound content marketing to turn their company around. Believe it or not your lawn care customers do not care about the things that you care about. They are probably not asking the questions you think they are. Do not over complicate the process of marketing;
Find out what your customers want to know and write about it on your website
To do this simply write down the top ten things that customers ask when they talk to you on the phone or in person. Then start writing blog posts about those things.
Ranking Your Lawn Care Website in Google
Once you start writing to the questions people are asking you will begin to rank in Google. This obviously is key to people finding you. I recommend a couple tools to find out what you should be writing about. The first is NICHEPURSUITS.com. Spencer provides a lot of amazing content regarding marketing and ranking sites in Google. He is a full time internet marketer who makes his living creating small websites that rank well in Google. If you learn anything from him it is that: finding the RIGHT thing to write about is all that matters. He calls this KEYWORD research. If you use the right keywords when creating pages on your lawn care blog or website than customers will find you.
If you build it they will come!
Download Spencers short ebook on keywords. You just put in your name and email and it comes via email. It is a short read but will begin to change your thoughts about marketing. Although he is in a different industry he will teach you lessons you need to know in order to rank a website and get yourself out from doing flyers.
I also want to mention Hubspot.com. If you listened to Marcus’ interview above you learned about it somewhat. On their website they have dozens of free ebooks that you can download and read to learn more about inbound marketing tricks that can help you learn how to start a lawn mowing business the right way.
I hope this provides a very basic intro into what inbound marketing is and why it is important for lawn services. Lawn care marketing does not have to be overly complicated, but you do have to play the game. My main company website targets just one town of about 80,000 people. Last month we had over 1,000 visitors to the site that means (not exactly) that 1.25% of the towns population visited my companies website last month. These were people that had a question and we answered it! The website helped filter out those that we aren’t the right service for and of those that called 89% signed up for lawn care services with our company. Like I mentioned before these leads provided us with a credit card to secure their lawn care services . . . . and e had 0% bad debt last month. . . IN BOUND MARKETING is a MUST for lawn care services.