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Marketing Tools & News

Using Google Reviews for Better Landscaping & Lawn Care Marketing and Easier Sales

You and your team may think that your lawn care or landscaping company is the best around, but your prospective customer may be a little bit skeptical and may not take your word for it. The great things that your happy customers say about your company carry way more weight than what you could ever say. So when it comes to getting great five-star Google reviews, are you really leveraging...Read More

Ideas for Better Garden Center Blogs

A blog that posts regularly keeps your business front and center, answers your customer’s questions and positions your IGC as the go-to source for expert knowledge. But let’s face it, writing a weekly blog post can be nearly impossible in your busy season. Faced with trucks to unload, customers to help, and plants to condense or water, updating a blog often slips to the bottom of the to-do list. Read More

6 Tips to Create Drone Marketing Videos

Over the past few years, drones have infiltrated our news headlines and airspace. People are flocking to the flying devices for recreational and commercial activities, and it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. Drones come in all shapes and sizes and can be equipped with a camera to capture angles that are otherwise difficult to get. Because of this, drones are becoming...Read More

Three Instagram Marketing Tips to Attract More Customers

Landscaping is a very visual art. While your landscape designs may cater to the other senses as well, what is seen tends to make the first impression on people. Instagram is a social media platform that is all about visuals, too. It encourages users to share photos and videos of their life or their brand. According to sproutsocial, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and users typically spend...Read More

Emailing with a Purpose

“First, it’s important to understand the five steps to a great customer email,” Leach said, “which are the subject line, body, CTA (call to action), timing and mobile. For a strong subject line, she suggested using numbers and avoiding salesy language. For the body, Leach advised focusing on benefits, writing in third person and personalizing the message. For the call to action, Leach said it should be easy...Read More

Why & Where to Get Online Reviews for Your Lawn Care or Landscaping Company

If you're watching this video, it means that you're either extremely ticked off because some customer just lit you up with a bad review online for your landscaping or lawn care business, or you are extremely frustrated because you have happy customers that are nowhere to be found or heard. Would you like to learn how to crush it when it comes to your online reputation for your lawn care landscaping company? Watch Video 

5 Tips for Turning Customers into Brand Storytellers

Most companies have their best marketing tool right in front of them, but they don’t use it. When you give your most devoted customers a platform, you create an authentic marketing strategy that immediately builds trust with customers and potential customers. Read More

Signal Your Business Power With Marketing Clarity
In the film, “The Shawshank Redemption,” Red says to Andy Dufresne, “Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” Hope is its own prison. Hope didn’t get Andy out of prison, taking action did. Do you know what is one of the worst website calls to action? LEARN MORE. It’s weak because it’s passive. Do you have any buttons like that on your website? This is not how people that are ready to do business talk. Look, I get it. You’re afraid of scaring people off. Nobody wants to say goodbye...Read More

13 Tips To Help Businesses Boost Sales Conversions Through Social Media Marketing
For marketers, social media offers platform variety, audiences of billions and ease of use. Studies have shown that 40% of digital consumers use social media to research brands or products and that both Millennials and Generation-Z consider social media the most relevant ad channel. With staggering statistics like these, it’s no wonder many businesses have gone all-in on creating robust social media marketing campaigns. Read More

The Best Ways to Advertise a Landscaping Business in the Digital Age
We get lots of questions about the best ways to advertise a landscaping or lawn care business in this new digital age. Questions like "Is radio and print advertising still relevant?", "Should we pay to be on Angie's List?" and "Does Facebook advertising actually work?". All good questions, my friends. Let's address the best ways...Read More

Insta-green: How to get 20,000 Instagram followers
Mulhall’s joined Instagram in 2014 because the social media platform presented opportunities to interact with customers online. The retail garden center had plenty of pretty plants to photograph, but cultivating followers wasn’t easy. “We were posting about the plants and products that we were excited about,” says Sarah Vanek, education and outreach...Read More

Essential Photos for Marketing Your Lawn Care, Landscaping, & Tree Services
Having a robust portfolio of images will help your marketing and messaging shine. Without a proactive plan to capture the essential shots, you’ll be frustrated when you search your files and come up short. Download Tip Sheet

Own Your Message
Once an email program is up and running, certain questions always pop up. The over-arching commandment for building your list is this: You only want to email people who want to hear from you. If you’re emailing to people who don’t want to hear from you they will: 1) Mark your emails as spam, which will affect your ability to email people who do want to hear from you; and 2) you’ll annoy them. Maybe they like being...Read More

Why and How to Address Cost of Services on Your Website
If I gave you three guesses of what activity occupies the most time on my 13-year-old son’s smartphone, I’d be willing to bet that you wouldn’t be able to even nail it with three tries. It’s not games nor social media. It’s researching prices on Amazon, Craigslist, and Google.Even if we drive to a physical store, my boy knows what the item costs elsewhere and where he could even get an upgraded version...Read More

Make More Money With Email Marketing
Where to put marketing dollars and energy is an eternal question. For the last decade, social media has been the hot topic for marketers. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social properties have risen and fallen (MySpace, anyone?) one type of communication method has chugged along without fanfare: email. Search and you can find plenty of articles about the death of email. Read More

This 6-Step Plan Will Transform Your Next Visual Marketing Campaign
Whether you're establishing a visual language or choosing a color palette, great planning is key to any successful visual marketing campaign. But with so many marketers under pressure to produce more and more content, many don't feel they have the time to make a marketing plan. What they don't realize is that this type of planning...Read More

Why Marketing is Hard and How to Fix It
Marketing touches every aspect of your company. This was scary when there were only a few ways to promote your business. Nowadays there are hundreds of marketing channels, and that’s only counting those that are completely or nearly free. The time comes when a key marketing channel is neglected. This could be your website, social media profiles, search directories or review sites. Read More

3 Graphic Design Tips for Non-Designers
Given the power of visual content (it’s more memorable and more engaging than text-based content), many marketers have turned to DIY graphic design software or contracted with graphic artists. With more traditionally text-focused people entering the world of visuals, it’s time for a brief...Read More

Strategic New-Media Marketing is Worth the Investment
New-media marketing seems like something that should be easy to understand and execute, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised, as I was, to study the many ways members of our industry approach marketing with new-media technologies (including social media, websites, e-newsletters, etc.). Many horticultural business managers...Read More

Your Website on a Mobile Device: Lead Generating Machine or Hot Mess? (New Data)
When we analyzed the average monthly website traffic to our clients' websites five years ago we found 33% of visits were from a mobile device. Based on how your own personal habits have changed, you can probably guess what has happened to this important metric. Yeah, it's gone up. Significantly. We (i.e.- Emmett) recently analyzed 17 lawn care and landscape company...Read More

How to Build a Social Media Following
How do you build a social media strategy that delivers real results for your business? We asked three world-class marketers at the top of their industries for their secrets. They revealed their tools, daily routines, and principles for outperforming their peers on social. Read More

Strengthen and Protect your Brand Reputation on Social Media
You have total control over many elements of your organization’s brand—things like your logo, tagline, tone of voice, and design guidelines. But no matter how carefully you curate the perfect brand identity, you can’t fully control how people feel. Read More

How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Where a lot of marketers fall short in developing a content marketing strategy is in understanding the importance of the strategy relative to tactics and plans. Read More

Email Success Checklist

2018 Social Media Trends Report

A Simple Guide To Your Small Business Marketing Plan

Garden Center Virtual Conference - Increasing Profits 

Factors to Consider when Pricing - Part 1    Part 2

Adjusting Prices in Light of Raising Minimum Wages - Part 1   Part 2

How to Be Successful with Multiple Pricing and Adjust to Increased Freight Costs - Click Here

A Fresh Start

When Pam Dooley first started the process of a rebrand in 2016, she simply wanted to redesign her website. Its outdated appearance made navigating the site an exercise in patience. But after a few conversations with some experts, she realized her company’s problems were rooted deeper than just the website. “They were like, ‘Who are you?’ and I said, ‘What do you mean, ‘Who are we?’” Dooley says. “They made me realize...Read More

Make Your Project Presentation Stand Out

“I know it doesn’t matter, but I liked their design better.” These are the words a buyer used to explain why our company lost his landscape project. What was the difference? The other company’s presentation package had a little bit more flair than ours. They put on a show. It doesn’t seem fair. It shouldn’t have mattered, but it did. He went so far as to acknowledge that our construction work is probably better than the company...Read More

Grow What You Know

Sometimes in business, it pays to go with your gut. At K&D Landscaping in Santa Cruz, California, the payoff came in the form of 30 percent growth over a year-long period. Skirting around a sometimes-risky market segment, K&D decided to table their residential design/build efforts for several years. The company shifted its services towards commercial design/build projects in 2014, and it wasn’t...Read More

Create Community to Connect With the Next Generation

Grabbing the interest of younger customers and new plant enthusiasts has proven a tricky endeavor for many traditional garden centers. You may have found yourself frustrated with the younger generation’s seeming lack of interest in your idea of gardening, while your existing customer base may be aging out. If you aren’t seeing an influx of new younger customers the way your business needs...Read More

Leverage your Smartphones for Fantastic Photography

Can we talk about photography for a second? Because I think we need to. When it comes to leveraging your strengths for effective marketing, great photographs are fundamental. Yet, taking and cataloging good photographs of plants, facilities, merchandising, installations and people gets pushed to the back burner by many garden centers. All this beauty at your fingertips, yet many of you aren’t putting it to work. Read More

What Is Your Gardening Persona?

When trying to sell plants, it’s important to know the consumers you’re trying to market to, and why they are motivated to garden. During New England Grows, Jonathan Pedersen, Monrovia’s vice president of business development, discussed four “gardening personas” that garden centers often find in their customers: Zen, Dedicated, Practical and Apprehensive. Read More

Peddling a Profit

Mike Gooder says growers need to improve upon themselves as they look to the future, take risks and be okay with making mistakes along the way. The president of liner producer Plantpeddler in Cresco, Iowa, gave a presentation on the Saturday of Cultivate’19 titled “Turning Plants, People, and Predicaments into Profits.” “All kinds of maladies can happen in the plant world,” he said, pointing to past...Read More

Putting Horticulture Back Into Popular Culture

Two years ago, my friend Ellen Zachos and I started a podcast called Plantrama. Like all podcasters, we wanted our program on Apple Podcasts and other apps that deliver “radio on demand’’ programs, so I went through the process for Plantrama to be listed on iTunes. Part of the procedure is choosing a category that your podcast fits into. There were several sports, business, technology...Read More

Selling Simplicity

At Eagle Creek Nursey in Indianapolis, landscape designer and project estimator Charlie Swartzell says lighting is all about accenting projects. “We like to accent and add to the hardscapes the outdoor living environments that we create,” Swartzell says. “So it's putting lighting in for steps or safety or some spotlights on to highlight plantings.” He says they company always includes lighting...Read More

What Your Website Should Say

At Lawn & Landscape’s 2019 Top 100 Executive Summit, Marcus Sheridan said that 70 percent of the clients you meet with have already decided if they’re going to buy your service. Sheridan, a full-time professional speaker and also the co-owner of IMPACT and River Pools and Spas, encouraged attendees to consider a different approach to marketing their services. Simply put, the work in closing sales...Read More

Is the Train on Track, Off Track or Not Moving?

Now that we’re closing in on the halfway point of the calendar year, it’s an appropriate time to evaluate how the year is going. Many of you are on track to meet, or even exceed, your goals for 2019. This may be due to strong economic demand, good teamwork or other factors. If this describes you, what needs to happen to finish strong in the second half of the year? Read More

Death By Marketing

An Italian proverb reads, “He that deceives me once, it’s his fault; but if twice, it’s my fault.”  The fastest way to put a bad business out of business is for this operation to advertise to bring customers in and see why they wouldn’t go back there in the first place. If you’re spending money in hopes that people will come and do business with you—don’t, until you’re sure they’ll be likely to WANT to come back. Read More

How to Answer your Customers' Toughest Questions

“Why are your prices so high?” “Why do you charge more than the florist down the street?” “You guys did it for me last time I was here. Why not this time?” Let’s face it, in a retail floral business, you are bombarded with tough questions every day. When put on the spot, it can be difficult to answer gracefully and confidently without becoming defensive; but never fear, there are strategies. Read More

Picture This

You’ve got two events to promote, an upcoming sale on six-pack annuals and a company blog or website that needs updating. The employee who does your Facebook posts wants to highlight the nursery stock and a request has come in from a regional magazine for photos that feature roses. Suddenly, you find yourself wondering if you work at a garden center or a stock photo service. Read More

What is Your Nursery's Brand?

If you own a nursery, garden center or landscape business, you are in the branding business. The real question is “Are you creating a valuable brand and are your leveraging its value?” Brands have been in existence for a long as people have put up store signs. The word “brand” was derived from “brandr,” an ancient Norse word meaning “to burn” or more specifically it referred to a burning...Read More

Why Garden Centers Should Be Ruling Facebook

My dad always told me that you fight battles from your strengths. Facebook for business is intimidating for both beginners and experts, but our industry has strengths built into it that we can use to rule Facebook. Let’s start there. If you think you have a tough time making interesting Facebook posts, try being a mortgage...Read More

A Pocket Full of Rewards

In an age when consumers can get anything they want delivered to their front door with a pocket-sized device, it can be difficult for physical retailers to compete with that kind of convenience. Garden centers in particular have relied on their ability to forge personal connections and offer in-depth solutions for their customers, but the competition with online shopping remains fierce in the retail world at large. Read More

Get Ready for Your Closeup

Being on television or even appearing in a YouTube video can be intimidating. The thought of hundreds, thousands or even millions (should your video go viral) of people watching you can cause some to struggle to be themselves when the lights and cameras go on. But appearing in television segments can help position your garden center as the local expert and is a great way...Read More

How Stories Can Help You Sell

Let me tell you a story. I was on a design consultation a few years ago, and there was a perfect spot for three dwarf Hinoki false cypress. Because my consultation customers can go anywhere to buy the plants I have recommended, I decided to use a story to illustrate the importance of buying just the right variety. I didn’t want them to end up at the box store where someone would put just any random evergreen...Read More

Embrace Modern Media

We’re living and working in times where marketing and media are ever-moving targets. Technology continues to evolve at a pace that’s tough to match. With the way media continues to redefine itself, choosing and executing the best marketing tactics can be confounding. If you’re still trying to use conventional sales channels to capture marketing share...Read More

Tell the Truth and Tell it First

From local newspaper and television stories to social media reviews, coverage of your independent garden center sways the opinions of consumers interested in your store. When press is positive, everyone basks in the warmth. But when negative media hits, what you say and do are crucial to weathering the storm. The following principles can help your IGC navigate negative media coverage...Read More

Marketing the Benefits of Native Grasses

Native grasses have become increasing popular, however, many garden centers have a difficult time selling them in the spring without showy flowers. The University of Minnesota, thanks to grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the USDA's Specialty Crop program, has developed marketing materials to help retailers sell more grasses. Read More

Should I Use Facebook Ads or Google Adwords?

So, you want to advertise online after realizing that newspaper ads aren’t working. It’s overwhelming when you first look at it, so let’s break it down. There are two dominant platforms: Facebook ads (also known as “paid social”) and Adwords (the ads that appear when you enter search terms on Google). They operate completely differently. Here’s the key difference: Facebook ads are based...Read More

Live By the Calendar to Create Generous Marketing

I was doing some discovery work with a new client, our first meeting together. She said, “Marketing is difficult.” Marketing used to be easy. You could pay for an ad and recoup its cost plus a profit. This was the power of a full-color Yellow Page ad. The more you paid the more you got back in return. Marketing is now difficult because it’s different. You can no longer win by outspending...Read More

Solving the Millennial Riddle

Meet Ashley. You know who she is. She’s young, she’s independent, and her eyes sparkle when she arranges her succulents. She’s the Millennial woman we all want in our stores. Compared to our Baby Boomer female base (who make up about half our sales right now), she takes a radically different approach. She’s also the future of our industry. In 20 years...Read More

Does Your Customer's Experience Match Your Marketing?

Imagine this scenario: you see Apple’s commercials. They’re full of young people having fun, living their best lives (we’ve all seen them). You see Apple’s advertising — slick, smooth, promising technology that changes your life and leads you into the future. You hear about Apple’s products and how innovative and game-changing they are for the tech...Read More

Achieve the Ultimate Customer Experience

We all seem to get it by now — more engaged employees perform at a higher level. The organizations that get their strategy right in this area provide a superior customer experience, have lower levels of employee turnover, higher morale, and ultimately much higher financial performance. Their customers love them more. What are some things you can easily implement...Read More

Best Practices for Homepage Banners

Making a good first impression on customers, even before they visit your independent garden center, is crucial to growing your business. One way retailers are doing this is by adding banner videos to their websites’ homepages to give customers an idea of not only what they’ll find in the stores, but also a behind-the-scenes look at the companies. Rob Lucas, website developer for Johnson’s Nursery, says having...Read More

Managing Reputation in the Age of Infinity

More junk every day. And they know this. They sell junk that would never, ever be sold at a Wal-Mart store. That’s because in order to get into a store, a buyer, a human being with a reputation, has to allocate shelf space. The easiest way to lose your job as a buyer is to put brand-destroying lousy products on a valuable shelf. Amazon, on the other hand...Read More