The demand for landscaping services is on the rise and there are no signs of it slowing down. Pent up demand means new landscaping businesses are cropping up everywhere and competition is fiercer than ever.
The challenge for many business owners is that with all that competition, they feel obliged to say ‘yes’ to every job that comes their way because they fear losing business to their competitors. This strategy results in long hours, high stress, and an overworked staff.
The solution, then, comes down to attracting more of your ideal customers — the ones who love your work, refer you to others, and are happy to pay for your expertise — and fewer of your nightmare customers — the ones who suck up your time, kick up a fuss, and complain about invoices.
In this blog, we’re going to explore how you can strategically position your landscaping business to attract more ideal customers and become more profitable.
1. Define Your A-Client
“Try to be everything to everyone, you accomplish being nothing to anyone.” – Bonnie Gillespie
Before accepting any new clients, you need to define who your ideal customer is — what we call your A-Client (Awesome Client). By developing a clear understanding of your A-Client, you’ll be able to identify better-fitting leads and lower your customer acquisition cost…not to mention you’ll avoid wasting so much time on less-than-ideal customers.
How to create an A-Client profile?
Start by thinking of the ideal customers you’ve worked with in the past. You can think of one person or a number of people. The more refined you can make your A-Client, the better you can finetune your messaging to appeal to them. Here are some things to consider:
For residential customers:
- Where are they located?
- What is their age?
- What is their education level?
- What is their role?
- What is their income level?
- What does their family look like?
- What are their hobbies?
- What do they value?
- What social media channels do they most frequently use?
- Why do they like working with you above anyone else?
For commercial customers:
- Where are they located?
- What is their business type?
- What is the size of their company in revenue and/or staff?
- What role inside the organization do they have? What is their job title?
- What problems do they have that are unique to their role and industry?
- What are they trying to accomplish with their career?
- What is hard for them to do when it comes to managing your type of service?
From here you can figure out where to find your A-Client and how to reach them. You can create ads and landing pages that are targeted toward them specifically. You can write emails, social posts, and website copy that describe their specific problems and appeal to their desires.
This isn’t to say that you need to turn down all business opportunities from customers who do not fit this exact profile. It does mean that by focusing on your A-Clients — and on messaging that speaks to them — you’ll be able to attract more business from similar prospects.
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but the idea that narrowing your customer base will increase profitability is incredibly powerful…and liberating. It means you get to work with the customers you’re most passionate about. It also means spending less time and money trying to reach customers you wouldn’t want to work with in the first place, which can have a drastic impact on your profitability.
Here is an A-Client Profile template (with examples!) that you can download and fill in with your team.
2. Establish Your Niche
“The riches are in the niches” – Pat Flynn
One concern we often hear is that by focusing on a specific niche, there won’t be as much work. Specializing will indeed narrow down the number of customers you’ll attract, but the key is that you’re competing against a much smaller pool of competitors with a much more refined message. “Best landscaper in the region” is a tough sell, but you may be the only one that specializes in hardscaping in your area, therefore becoming known as the “go-to expert”.
Let’s consider the difference between:
Landscaping Business #1: We help with all your landscaping needs!
Landscaping Business #2: We specialize in the sustainable design and build of custom outdoor spaces for the serious backyard enthusiast.
Not only is Business #2 more specific, it’s more meaningful to a specific audience. Business #1 on the other hand isn’t meaningful to any specific audience and therefore doesn’t stand out.
How to determine your niche?
So, how do you find your landscaping niche? It starts with getting specific about your area of focus and expertise. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What jobs are you really good at?
- What work do you really enjoy doing?
- What tools, equipment, and/or training would you need to specialize in that area?
- What jobs (type, budget, geography) produce the customers with the highest ROI?
Then, do some market research and think of your past clients to answer these questions:
- What do clients in your target area want?
- What special features have they requested?
- What gaps are there in the services offered by your competitors?
Finding your niche is the best way to meet your customers’ needs. By building your expertise, you will also develop a stronger portfolio, attracting more A-Clients who desire your specific services. When you prove you’re an expert in a certain niche, word will spread organically.
3. Help Your Customers Solve Their Problems
“Better to go an inch wide and a mile deep than a mile wide and an inch deep.” – Ryan Boutin
It’s tempting to think that people choose to work with you because of the incredible features and benefits you offer. Many business owners fall into this trap. That’s why we’re constantly bombarded with company-centric messages about being “the greatest”, “the best”, “the top”, “the #1”. This type of messaging is widely overused and tends to fall flat.
As harsh as it may sound, the reality is that no one cares about you. They care about two things, and two things only:
- Solving their problems
- Accomplishing their goals.
The quicker you come to terms with this reality, the quicker you can position your business to stand out from the competition. You do this by writing compelling content that is customer-focused and problem-oriented as opposed to company-focused and benefits-centric.
Compare these two value propositions:
Landscaping Business #1: Voted #1! Get the job done right by the best landscaping crew in town. (Company-focused and benefits-centric)
Landscaping Business #2: We create beautiful, tranquil spaces and offer worry-free maintenance solutions for busy homeowners (customer-focused + problem-oriented).
Business #1 is entirely focused on itself, while business #2 is centered around the customer and their biggest challenges. If you were a busy homeowner, which do you think would resonate most with you?
How To Improve Your Positioning?
Take an honest look at your website, your emails, and your social media posts. Are you more focused on your company than on your customers? It’s OK if you are — it’s just time to make a change.
Start by answering the following questions:
- What are your customers biggest problems when it comes to their property?
- How does your business help solve these problems?
- How much time and/or money do your customers save thanks to your services?
- How does your business influence others’ perception of your customers?
When crafting your messaging, bring these challenges, pain points, and frustrations to the forefront. Then, showcase how your company solves these exact problems with supportive examples, testimonials, and images. It’s a simple yet highly effective formula.
In a single glimpse, your website’s job is to demonstrate that you understand your A-Clients and their biggest challenges. It should clearly describe what you do and who you serve, and use specific messaging to position you as the expert in your niche.
By demonstrating that you understand your customer better than the average landscaping company, you’ll become hyper-relevant and will earn their trust. Do that, and you will attract more of your A-Clients.
If you’re interested in generating better leads for your landscaping business, we’re here to help. Contact the team at Intrigue today to get the conversation started.