Andrew Bowman
Andrew Bowman

Two years after taking over the family lawn care business, Andrew Bowman could not be happier. His family business is thriving with an abundance of new opportunities and growth. How was this achieved in just a few years? By improving two critical aspects of every lawn care marketing strategy: word-of-mouth marketing and name recognition. Here’s how this was achieved.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Bowman’s first plan of attack for improving his company’s word-of-mouth marketing involved focusing on the neighborhoods his company was already servicing.

“We have phenomenal customers in our service area,” Bowman said, “and we wanted to make sure their neighbors knew who we were. So, we focused on maintaining our current customers’ service to perfection to allow for comparisons between the lawns we do not handle and do. Then, we let the word of our work travel.”

He continued focusing on the neighborhoods his company already serviced by having his staff inspect new lawns and send out introduction letters earlier than most other companies.

“We started inspecting new lawns and sending out introduction letters to new customers in the neighborhoods we already serviced in the middle of January,” Bowman said. “We were advised that it was too early to do this, but we received a great response.”

Bowman did not limit his focus on word-of-mouth marketing to neighborhoods; he took steps to encompass the whole community. He and his wife joined the local Rotary Club.

“The Rotary Club allows us to take on community service projects that can make a difference in the place we live and work,” Bowman said. “And this is very important to us. It also allows people in the community to know our names and associate us with caring about the community, creating positive word of mouth marketing for us.”

He also did not limit his focus on word-of-mouth marketing to non-technological tools. Bowman implemented new software that allowed for a high potential of positive chatter due to its convenience for the customer.

“Our new software enables technicians to write notes about home visits on their tablets, ” Bowman said. “When printed, the notes show up on the invoice. When we go service a customer’s lawn, most of the time they are not there, and we really never get a lot of face to face interaction to tell them about the visit. By being able to put notes on the invoice, we can now have communication with the customer without them being around. We hope this convenience creates a positive experience with us, and they share the experience with others.”

The customer will also get an after service email discussing the home visit, which Bowman hopes creates a positive experience customers want to share with others.

Name Recognition

In the quest for name recognition improvement, social media is a fantastic tool. Bowman realized this and chose YouTube, in particular, to improve his company’s name recognition. According to Bowman, YouTube videos boost company name recognition in two ways.

lawn vlog

#1: YouTube videos boost name recognition by reaching new people.

“I posted videos on YouTube that discussed different lawn care topics, and people, who may or may not have been existing customers, found those videos through searching topics they found relevant to them,” Bowman said. “This meant our name could get in front of people who may not have known the Bowman’s Pro Turf name otherwise.”

#2: YouTube videos also boost name recognition by putting a face to your company name.

“The videos put a face to our name,” Bowman said. “If people read our blogs online or have researched us on our website and I put all these videos up with my face all over them, it will make them feel like they already know us and trust us. People will remember our name if they know and trust us.”

For someone who may be hesitant to try videos, Bowman has a few pieces of advice.

The first piece of advice: Stop procrastinating, shoot the video, and make it feel personal by leaving mistakes in the footage.

“Just sit down in front of the camera and shoot the video all in one take.” Bowman said. “Leave the bloopers in. It gives the video a little more of a personal feel.”

The second piece of advice: Have patience, and you will feel comfortable with the process.

“The first two or three videos will probably not be the greatest,” Bowman said. “But the more you try, the more comfortable you’ll get with it. The first video I made was close to 10 minutes long, and it took me around 3 hours to edit. Now, I can record a video in 15 minutes, edit it in about 10 minutes and get it up on the Internet pretty quickly, just because I’ve become comfortable with it by doing it so many times. ”

The third piece of advice: Bring expert guests on your videos.

“So, most of the time it’s just me talking on the videos,” Bowman said. “But every once and a while, it’s good to bring on an expert guest. Someone like your technician or distributor partner is a good choice. Their expertise helps to build credibility for you and the lawn care industry.”

According to Bowman, the most essential thing to remember when improving aspects of your marketing strategy is to never comprise on customer service. Bowman credits his talented staff for taking the marketing changes in stride and never budging on anything less than perfect service. Without a great staff of people around you, he stated, your plans for improving anything will crumble.