The Only Landscaping Business Marketing Guide You Need

The Only Landscaping Business Marketing Guide You Need

Having an effective marketing plan in place is essential if you want to start and grow a successful landscaping business, whether you’re interested in a part-time home-based business, you’re buying into a franchise, or want to start your own landscaping business from the ground up.

The landscaping business industry generates $83 billion in annual revenue, and it’s growing by a rate of 5.1 percent per year – which means there’s plenty of opportunity to cash in on landscaping. Of course, there’s plenty of competition too, so you need a strong marketing strategy to compete and thrive in the landscaping industry.

We’ve created the only landscaping business marketing guide you’ll need for ideas on how to get landscaping customers.

Get ready to grow your landscaping business revenues with our strategic marketing plan.

1Landscaping business startup information

Considering a landscaping business startup? Thinking about how to revitalize your existing landscaping business? The following tips will set you up for success.

Start by deciding what type of landscaping business you want to own. Each has its own nuances, equipment requirements, and customer types.

Types of Landscaping Businesses
  • Basic landscape design
  • Landscape installation
  • Landscape care and maintenance
  • Lawn fertilization
  • Lawn mowing
  • Arborist services
  • Turf installation
  • Snow and ice management
  • Landscape lighting
  • Irrigation
  • Landscape construction (retaining walls, patios, small ponds, etc.)
How much it costs to start a landscaping business

Your startup and operational costs will vary depending on which type of landscaping business you start.

The Balance states that landscaping startup costs can be as low as $500 for a one-person mowing service. That includes the cost of a mower, trimmer, and leaf blower. Lawn Doctor, one of the top lawn care business franchises, charges approximately $80,000 to open a new franchise.

Profitable Venture states that starting a small scale residential landscaping business will cost between $5,000 and $15,000. A medium scale residential/commercial landscaping business could require a $250,000 investment, which includes salaries for staff for the first three months of operation.

Landscaping Business Startup Costs
  • One-person mowing
    and trimming service $500

  • Small residential business $5,000 to $15,000

  • Lawn Doctor franchise $80,000

  • Medium-scale residential
    /commercial business Up to $250,000

  • Large-scale
    landscaping
    business $250,000+

You won’t know your actual startup costs until you do your research, and the best way to do that is to develop a business plan.

Use your landscaping business plan to help you determine what type of business you’ll start, what your startup costs will be, what your operational costs will be, and to outline marketing strategies for your landscaping business. A good business plan will also help you project profitability.

You can find free landscaping business plan templates and advice from the following resources:
How much money do landscaping businesses make?

Like your startup and operational costs, how much money your business makes depends on what type of landscaping business you own, your business savvy, and your ability to market. Knowing what customers want and communicating how you can beautify their homes and businesses are keys to success. Your business plan will help you project expenses, revenues, and net income.

According to figures from Entrepreneur.com, landscaping business owners earn from $5,000 to $50,000 in their first year, and as much as $160,000 to $250,000 annually once they are in business a few years.

Lawn & Landscape puts the landscaping business owner annual salary at $69,629. According to a Lawn & Landscape survey, nearly 50 percent of owners thought they’d be making more money running their own landscaping businesses when they started out. Only 21 percent say they pay themselves a fair salary based on industry benchmarks, and 23 percent of respondents say they draw less than the fair market value salary and need to find a way to raise their salary to a better level.

How much do photographers make? Represented by stacks of money
  • First year $5,000 to $50,000

  • Average owner salary $69,629

  • Established mid-sized businesses $160,000 to $250,000

Knowing how to advertise your lawn care business, or other landscaping business, is critical to avoiding cash flow pitfalls.

2 Landscaping business branding and design

The landscaping business can prove to be tough terrain to navigate if you don't have an effective marketing strategy – and that starts with developing a strong brand image.

Importance of a branded image

Branding your landscaping business is the first step you need to take for long-term growth. Some landscaping companies skip this step, and they might do very well until a market-savvy competitor comes along and encroaches on their sales.

Crafting a well-thought-out, creative brand identity that influences your customers can be a daunting task, but the effort will pay off. Brands build trust. If your landscaping business is not branded, then you're just another landscaper with nothing to set your company apart from the competition.

Apply conceptual thinking with modern motivators to craft a unique identity that resonates with your audience.

How to identify your branded image

Define your niche

What is your niche in the landscaping industry? Do you cater to middle-class homeowners, upscale country clubs, or educational institutions? What kind of work do you do: groundskeeping, landscape lighting, or landscape construction? Your niche market and your brand are two different things: Your niche market is who you cater to, while your brand represents the psychologically based ideals that make you appealing to that market. How do you differ from the competition? Focus on those elements to help you define your niche.


Describe your benefits

What you provide is one thing, and how that benefits your customers is another. Make a list of your features and benefits so you can identify why your customers should choose your landscaping company over another. Consider your unique selling points – what differentiates you from the competition?


Know your customers

List your top customers and identify shared their traits. Compose a "perfect customer" profile. Why do your customers buy from you and what are the key services you perform for them? The better you understand your customers, the easier it is to cater to their needs.


State your mission

Where does your company stand today, and where do you want it to be in two, five, and ten years? Your mission should include who you are and where you're going.


Sum it all up

Your brand is an expression of all these elements. Write them down, brainstorm potential taglines that represent your company's core identity, then pick the most memorable and unique to represent your brand.


Branding through design

As a landscaper, you're already familiar with design. Your artwork is perhaps the largest format of all, literally the lay of the land. When it comes to branding, your goal is to transfer your creative landscape designs into a singular branded image that communicates what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for.

Your company colors, logo, corporate ID package, website, ads, and other marketing efforts are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design should be applied to all channels. In time, anyone should be able to see your logo and instantly know who you are and what you stand for. Once you accomplish that, you've developed a remarkable landscaping brand.

3 Landscaping business marketing tools

Savvy landscaping businesses view marketing as an investment with an expected return. A little bit of marketing savvy can go a long way. Include these materials in your marketing campaigns to help your landscaping business sow a seed and become deeply rooted in your community.

Must-have landscaping marketing tools:
Business cards

Business card are great networking tools for landscapers, and they can also serve as appointment reminder and coupon cards. For added visual impact, print triple-thick ultra business cards that feature an attractive band of color on the edges.

Flyers

Landscaping advertising flyers are perfect marketing materials for placement on bulletin boards, windshields, direct mail, storefront windows, and more.

Landscaping booklets/guides

Print booklets that explain landscaping concepts, styles and designs. Showcase your artwork so your prospects can envision how you can transform their properties into works of art. A well-written landscaping reference piece with intelligent use of images such as "10 Ways to Top the Neighbors" or "Landscaping 101" or “How to Use the Green Space around Your Home to Contribute to the Environment” can land you a place on your customers' bookshelves – and rack up business.

Postcards

Postcard printing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market a landscaping business. Send them out before the busy season to round up new business. Consider adding an exclusive offer with a coupon code you can use to measure response.

Catalogs

If you sell landscaping supplies, lawn care maintenance supplies, equipment, or watering systems, you can compile your products into a mail order or leave-behind catalog. Add more value with unique anecdotes, advice, tips, and tricks.

Brochures

Brochures are service industry staples. Add attention-grabbing pop and pizzazz to your brochures with die-cuts and oversized printing. Print online brochures that feature your best work to create desire and motivate follow-up calls.

Yard signs

Showcase your work by placing yard signs in customers’ yards. Make sure your logo, company name, website URL, and phone number are easy to spot from a distance.

Calendars

Print calendars that feature your work each month, and include seasonal guidelines for exterior home and lawn maintenance. Add in seasonal coupon codes to turn your landscaping calendars into direct-marketing powerhouses.

Door hangers

Print door hangers that feature a special offer against a backdrop of your beautiful landscapes, and blanket targeted neighborhoods packed with likely customers.

Website, email, and social

Take your landscaping business online and post before-and-after shots on your website and social media pages. Send a regular email newsletter packed with landscaping and lawn maintenance tips and advice.

Corporate identity package

Print sales sheets, brochures, flyers, and business cards and place them in a branded pocket folder to give to businesses and help drum up commercial landscaping accounts.

4 Landscaping business marketing: copywriting

Your landscaping marketing materials should take advantage of professional copywriting conventions to motivate prospects to take action. Follow this four-step process to craft incredible copy that generates response:

Four steps for writing winning copy:
Craft an attention-getting headline

Your headline, along with your design, is the first thing your recipients will notice – and it must convince them to read the rest of your copy.

  • Make a bold statement
  • Solve problems
  • Fulfill desires
  • Include your offer in your headline.
Highlight your benefits

Tell customers what’s in it for them. A set of bullet points featuring the benefits they’ll receive from hiring you is a common technique.

Develop an incredible offer

Think like a customer: what would it take for you to respond? Great offers make money.

Motivate with a call to action

What do your customers need to do next? Call you? Visit your website? Make sure they know how to take advantage of your offer.

5 Landscaping business marketing: distribution

You might have lots of great landscaping marketing ideas, but if you can’t get your campaigns in front of a well-targeted, you won’t realize your full potential. Here are some tips for landscape marketing distribution.

Direct mail

Direct mail is a powerful way to reach your landscaping business audience. A well-run direct-mail campaign is an investment and should be approached with deliberation.

40/40/20 RULE – make the numbers large
  • Of your direct-mail marketing success is dependent on the quality of your mailing list

  • Of your direct-mail marketing success is dependent on the quality of your mailing list

  • Of your direct-mail marketing success is dependent on the quality of your mailing list

Consult a list broker, or take advantage of the mailing list tools available at PsPrint, to help you create a list based on key demographics such as income, gender, geographic location and more.

You could potentially have several lists, depending on your target audience. For example, you might have one list for your corporate business owners, one list for small business owners, and another list for residential customers.

Repetition is key to direct-mail marketing success. Don't plan to send a single postcard and expect an incredible response (though it can happen). Instead, send several marketing pieces during a six-month period. This contributes to your branding efforts and allows you to begin to develop relationships with your prospects.

By the time you launch your best offer, you'll have established trust and credibility; which will ultimately yield a higher response rate.

Advertisements

Take out paid advertising on radio, local television, in newspapers, and online: social media, local blogs, local websites, and more. Print flyers to place in public spaces: bulletin boards and countertops, for example, or partner with a grocery store or other business to have them stuff your flyers in customers’ bags.

Follow up

Test, track, and tweak your landscape marketing campaigns to develop a winning formula with predictable response and conversion rates.

The Three T’s

6 Landscaping business creative marketing ideas and resources

Creative marketing generates buzz, delivers value to your customers and increases profits for you. Find inspiration for marketing your landscape business in the following ideas:

Creative ideas

Host an event

Offer a valued customer free services in exchange for allowing you to host a demo on their property. Walk your audience through so they can experience your work first-hand. Allow them to bring photos of their homes for instant concept sketches. Have take-aways available and schedule consultations on the spot.

Partner with others

Non-competing, complementary businesses can increase profit. Construction crews, masons, greenhouses, and other businesses could be perfect partners for your landscaping business. Develop a multiple service package or offer a discount to those who have purchased from your partners.

Promote unique angles

Give your services unique and memorable names. For example, instead of just saying you trim hedges, "Prim 'n Property" might work.

Resources

Links to landscaping business marketing resources you can use to bolster business:

Full-service printing, direct mailing and mailing list generation.

Information on direct marketing.

Service Corps of Retired Executives offers free business counseling and other resources from retired, successful execs.

Helpful guides, forms and sample marketing plans for small business. The SBA also supports Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States.

The Service Corps of Retired Executives provides free advice in the form of online information and business counseling. Simply contact one of SCORE's volunteer members for business mentorship.

The Service Corps of Retired Executives provides free advice in the form of online information and business counseling. Simply contact one of SCORE's volunteer members for business mentorship.

Industry information, including landscape marketing. In addition, many states have landscaping associations. Try a Google search for your state (i.e. "California Landscaping Organization") for additional resources.