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Credibility Builders for Marketing Lawn Business

Hello, it’s Andrew again here in sunny Miami. I hope everyone is doing great. I’d like to thank everybody who’s been sending in questions. They’ve been fantastic, and I’ve gotten some really good ones, and I’m going to get to all of them. I find it really interesting some of the things that you guys write in about and ask questions about. It’s really helpful to me. It helps me to understand my clients more, helps me to really break down these subjects. I can explain things easier to my clients as well. So, thank you again for sending in the questions. I will get to all of them. I appreciate it.

So something I wanted to talk to you guys about today is something that my staff is working on, a specific project today. I was giving them some direction and it made me realize I haven’t shot a video about this yet, and it’s super important. It’s something that everyone should do to their website. Not even just your website, all of your marketing. All of your marketing, all of your lead generation materials, this is something that you should think about, and that’s online credibility builders or offline if you’re using it in print. Let’s just say credibility builders. Very important, so let us talk about them.

I’m going to kind of start with some of the most important ones first, and we’ll just kind of work our way down the list. The number one online credibility builder would be, have you or your company been featured on TV or on the radio? Very important, this could be a couple of different things.

But probably the first thing that’s going to pop in your head would be, have you been featured in a newscast on your local news station? Have you been featured on radio? Have you been interviewed perhaps, by the public radio station? Springtime is approaching maybe you’re talking about what to do to your flower beds. It can be any number of things.

Maybe, you’re a plumber and you’re talking about protecting and preparing your pipes for winter, whatever the case may be. Have you been interviewed or featured on the radio or on TV on a TV station, either case? If you have, you want a copy of that video. You want a recording of that interview. These really help boost customer confidence and belief that you are the expert in that field.

When people are turning to you and asking you questions about what it is that you do and why they need to do something, especially when it’s coming from an authority such as a TV station or a radio personality, very important. So, get copies of that stuff, feature it on your website. Maybe, even make mention of it in your print advertising as featured on ABC Local News in such-and-such a city, whatever. Then, think about that. You want to get a copy of those. You want to integrate those in your website. Maybe, think about how to integrate them in your print advertisements as well.

Number two, speaking about print, maybe you haven’t been featured on the radio or on television. If you haven’t, maybe you’ve been featured in a magazine or a newspaper, or another industry journal, trade magazine, whatever. If you have, you want to get a copy of that article as well. You want to get a scan of the cover of that magazine, that particular issue that you’re featured in. You also want to feature those on your website.

Again, just like radio or television, this helps establish credibility for your business. It helps establish you as the expert in your market, and it’s also very important. So, keep that in mind. If you have anything like that, you want to integrate that onto your website. If you don’t have anything like that, I would recommend contacting some of your local newspapers. Oftentimes, they’ll let you write an article pertaining to the subject that you’re doing business in and feature you in a specific section in there. You’d be surprised. A lot of these newspapers do accept articles and news stories from readers.

If they’re good, you need to find out the local contacts at your newspapers. On the other hand, you can also go after some local trade journals. There are trade journals for just about anything, and it would be good to get featured in there. Get a mention of some sort and feature things on your website. Maybe mention it in, again, your print advertisements. So, there’s another possibility there, too.

The third thing would be certifications. Are you certified for what you’re doing in your particular business, in your particular market? If so, put that on your website. You want to mention all of your certifications. You want to show people that you know what you’re doing. You’re the expert. So, certification is very important. You want to feature those predominantly.

As well as certifications, awards, has your business, have you won any awards for what you do in your market? You’d like to feature those. You want to mention those. Then again, are you a part of any industry organizations? The Landscapers Association, any number of different organizations, very important. You’d like to feature those as well.

As well as, are you certified by the Better Business Bureau? This is very important. If you are and you have a good ranking, you should put a logo on your website showing that. People trust that organization, so it’s good to show that to your potential customers.

The next thing would be badges. By badges I mean, they’re simply small graphics that you can put on your website. Some of those we use, a lot of our clients are on ServiceMagic. The consumers trust ServiceMagic. They also trust Judy’s Book and some other sites like that. If you are featured on those websites, put a link to your page on ServiceMagic on your website. Obviously, you should have tons of good reviews on ServiceMagic, so link over to ServiceMagic page and let people see that.

Speaking of reviews, I would also feature badges for Google Places, Yelp, maybe Citysearch, some of these sites that consumers go to to find business like yours in your market. You want to link to the actual place page or to the actual Yelp page, where you have your testimonials and also, like we’ve spoken before, encourage customers to continue to get you new testimonials.

Testimonials, obviously is my next thing. You’d want to feature these on your website as well. I go over this in another video, but the best type of testimonial you can get is when you’re meeting with your customer, you’re doing a follow-up, you’re asking them about your service and they tell you it was awesome. They’re thrilled at what you did. Pull out your little iPhone, ask them to repeat what they just said, shoot that ten seconds of video, and continue to do this with all of your satisfied customers. Then put all those video together and make you a short two minute video or so. Feature that on your website. It’s great.

If you have a video tape of them, you can also transcribe it and then use text testimonials on you print advertisements as well. So, video testimonials, much more powerful, if you can’t get video testimonials when you’re calling your clients to follow up on your service, ask them if you can record a testimonial on the phone. Record that testimonial and then in turn, feature that actual recording on your website as well. It’s fairly easy to do, and again, this is more valuable than doing just a plain text testimonial.

But if you can’t do the other two, which there’s no reason why you can’t do the other two, you should the other two, but if you can’t do that for whatever reason, you can rely on text testimonials. Use their full name. Don’t just use an initial. Use their state and their full name. Most customers aren’t going to have a problem with this. People’s names are generic enough generally unless you have my crazy last name, and then people will know exactly who I am, but regardless.

So, feature customer testimonials. People like to be sold by other real people, not the person that is the business owner. People would rather be sold by a friend or somebody who has a similar problem that they do. That’s why testimonials are very important.

The next thing I always want to feature on the website, photos of you and your staff. The reason why we want to do this is because we want to put a personal face on your business. We want to show consumers that you’re a real person. They can trust you. You care about their home. You care about their business. Wherever you’re providing this service to them, you care about them, and this is you. This is your staff. We’re trustworthy. We’re professional. You can believe in us. Give us a call. So, we want to feature that.

Even better than photos, I recommend to all my business owners, shoot a 30-second video, shoot a 45-second video, shoot a two-minute video. Introduce your company, introduce your staff. At the very least, stand in front of some of your equipment. If you have Brandon trucks, these are great. Stand in front of your fleet of Brandon trucks and speak directly to the camera.

Tell your potential consumer why you’re the best company, why you should service them, how many years you’ve been in business, why you’re dedicated and why you’re passionate about what you do. How many awards you’ve won, why you’re the best, all these things that we just covered sell yourself. Be proud of the things that you’ve accomplished and introduce yourself in a video.

iPhone, again is great for this. Everybody has an easy video camera that they can use. There’s no reason why you can do this [inaudible 00:10:03]. I encourage you, please go do it. Again, feature it on your website. The whole reason we’re doing this is because we want them to see you’re professional, you’re passionate about what you do, and you’re the expert at what you do. You’re the best in your city, and that’s what you want to demonstrate to them.

So, that’s it. That’s all that I really wanted to say. Again, this is just a really short one, but all very important. Build credibility, that’s what your website is for, to get new clients and to build credibility before they even get on the phone and call you. If they can trust you, if they believe you, chances are they’ll call you and give you a shot.

Build trust, build credibility, build a PERSONAL LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP with your customers.

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Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, the largest online marketing agency in North America specializing in marketing strategies for the lawn care and landscaping industries.

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