As a professional gardener, you love to spend time outdoors. But have you been keeping an eye on how your business is growing? Transform an ordinary business into “horticultural heaven” with these simple marketing tips for gardeners.
Put It In Print
Business Cards Are A Must
If you don’t have business cards yet, they’re the bare minimum of what you should consider printing to promote your business. You’ll never regret having them on hand, as potential customers can be met anywhere. If you’re computer savvy, you can even design your own, as there are so many templates and simple design tutorials available online.
Print That Sells
Exploring the world of print beyond business cards, have you thought of distributing leaflets or postcards in your local area? This is another prime piece of marketing “real estate” that can feature bold images of gardens you’ve worked on. A well-designed flyer, posted in your local shop window is guaranteed to attract a few eyes!
If you live in a small town or a rural area and your budget allows for it, a print advert in your parish newsletter or local paper is also a wise idea. Include a photo, your contact details and your web address, so potential customers see what you’re capable of and know how to reach you.
Show Off On The Internet
The best way you can sell your abilities to others is to show them beautiful examples of what you’ve done. Being personable, reliable and professional will keep your customers coming back, but wowing them with stunning photos of your previous projects is what will initially draw them in. This can, and should, be accomplished in several ways.
The first step to attracting attention in the digital age is having a good web presence. Your website doesn’t need to cost a fortune, and the layout can be simple. After all – you don’t want too much to distract from the imagery. A clean, easy to navigate site that shows examples of your work and offers basic information on the services you offer, your rates and how to get in touch with you will go a long way towards getting you noticed. Should you have the budget or inclination to do more, your site can also include a blog, which can be updated regularly with growing tips, project news and more.
Once your website is set up, consider using social media sites to promote it and make connections with potential clients. Facebook and Twitter are the big two, and are both useful in their own ways. On Facebook, set up a business page and join local groups through which you can offer your services and make connections. Given the visual nature of gardening, it’s also worthwhile to try Instagram, which will enable you to share quick images of your “growth” and tag them with key phrases which make them easier to find in search results.
Get It On Video
If you’ve been tending to a large scale garden, why not use your smartphone to take a video tour of it? Longer videos could include commentary on the types of plants you used, the challenges you overcame and the overall theme of the garden. Shorter video clips are also great to post on Instagram and Vine, and can be used as teasers to attract viewers to your website or other social accounts.
Taking opportunities to get involved in local events will also spread the word about your business to a fresh, new audience. Going local is effective for connecting with people face to face and reach those who may not be on the Internet.
Should You Go Networking?
Networking groups and business coffee mornings tend to draw a wide selection of people, and can often be useful for gaining business ideas and inspiration. Still, some gardeners may find it’s more useful to reach out to potential clients in other ways. Why not sign up for a stall at your local flower show or summer fair? You could surround it with a display of potted plants you’ve grown and have photographic examples of your work and promotional flyers on hand. You may even want to hand out packets of seeds with your business cards attached!
If your business has a larger budget and scope, you may wish to set up a smaller-scale garden design at one of the many flower shows that take place annually around the UK. Draw inspiration from the greats at events such as the Chelsea Flower Show, and establish a living example of your skills.
Well-Intentioned Garden Owners
Reaching out to people in more rural or suburban areas is the best idea for professional gardeners, as they are more likely to have spaces that need tending. However, urban gardening is growing and certainly shouldn’t be discounted. Many people purchase homes with larger gardens and have the best intentions of keeping them up, but work and life get in their way. They would benefit from someone who can help keep their beds and lawns tidy, so they can enjoy leisure time in their gardens without having to put in the work. Local fairs and events are great places for professional gardeners to make connections; many people care about keeping their yards beautiful but don’t have the time to tackle the task themselves.
Become A Teacher
An addition to your business that’s worth contemplating is teaching gardening techniques to others. If you can patiently explain things and enjoy spending time with people, then hosting workshops at community halls or garden centres to teach simple skills may be for you. Sessions can include “how to create a potted plant display” or “simple tips for growing your own vegetables.”
Connect With Other Businesses
When considering marketing tips for gardeners, you’ll likely find it’s worth developing rapport with other business owners. Try approaching businesses that are relevant to your services, and broach the topic of some mutual promotion. Is there a plant nursery or home and garden supply shop in your area? Perhaps they would post your flyers in their shops, or give out your business cards to people looking for landscaping help. Even a local cafe or corner shop, which serves a broad selection of residents in your community, can be a great place to approach regarding displaying some business cards.
In exchange, you could offer to tend their storefront beds or plant pots, or simply give them a mention on your blog or social networks.
Get Creative And Be Prepared
For professional gardeners, planning and creativity go hand in hand. Put those talents into play with your marketing, too. Think outside the box and know your next steps, and you’ll be well on the way to growing your business!