Category Archives for "Business Tips"
A few months ago, I posted to the blog about my visit to a small native plant nursery in Winter Garden, Florida. Since then, I pitched and wrote a feature about gardening the natural way in Central Florida, and I was able to spend quality time with the knowledgeable team at Biosphere Nursery, and they figured magically into the story.
The feature was just published in the April issue of Orlando Magazine. Take a look!
My hope is that my neighbors in our corner of the world–from manicured Dr. Phillips to wild Apopka–will think about the positive impact they can make on the environment by making good choices in their yards. It’s easy to think that one yard can’t make a difference, but as we discovered when speaking with Zen Silva, general manager of the nursery. When they restore a lakefront property by removing exotics and planting non-invasives that also attract wildlife, and teaching homeowners natural gardening techniques so they aren’t feeding the lake with fertilizer, the lake quality begins to improve. Their neighbors notice, and soon the Biosphere team is called in to restore properties on the same lake. This is how the environment is sustainably managed.
Do you have expertise in sustainable design and gardening? Make sure that knowledge is integrated into your marketing materials. The 2017 Garden Trends Report showed that customers are tuned to the environment’s centrality in their lives, and are making buying decisions accordingly.
A growing number of American consumers describe themselves as “health conscious” or “ingredient sensitive,” and a majority say they pay close attention to the ingredients in the food they buy. Demand for clean food, clean water, clean air, clean medicine and clean environments is dramatically shifting how people buy plants and products, and garden both inside and out.
Most garden designers want to get their work published. (That’s mostly true. I once met a garden designer in Texas who had so much work that she had stopped taking new business and didn’t want to publicize her services. What a great problem to have!) There are many avenues to getting your garden feature published. You may know a magazine scout or garden writer who can pitch your design to an editor. You may have a publicist with good connections who helps get your design work in front of the right people. You may be so well known that editors come to you to ask about your latest projects.
You can also publish your projects yourself.
Several years ago, a garden designer in Pasadena, CA, came to me to ask me to write a garden feature about one of her projects. Then she had me write more about other gardens she designed. She turned those into illustrated booklets that she distributed to her clients and potential clients. I thought it was a great idea, so I began offering this service to my customers.
If you have (or can get) good photos of a favorite project you’ve designed, the foundation of your feature is in place. Then, we look at your plans and photos, talk with you and perhaps your client about the project, and write the story. Our designer creates a layout. Then, you have a digital version of a feature story that you can use as a part of your marketing efforts. You can also print and distribute it.
Most businesses are looking for content for social media and their websites. A garden feature is a perfect fit because it appeals to what people love most: beautiful gardens!
Here’s an example of what it could look like: CLICK
The best part is that you don’t have to wait for a magazine to discover you!
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, give us a call at 407-461-4368.
When you hear the phrase garden trends report you might think, “But my clients aren’t trend chasers.” Garden Media Group’s annual trend report isn’t about that. It’s about observing areas of growth in our industry, and giving you free access to consumer information that will drive business in 2017.
Here are a few highlights that are especially meaningful for garden designers, because they emphasize elements of home gardens that your clients are more likely to want in the near future. Maybe your clients are already asking for these things.
Knowing what potential clients are likely to want before you even meet them helps you shape your marketing efforts. Your eNewsletter, your website, your brochure, and your social media posts should showcase how you provide these desirable garden elements.
I don’t mean to detract from a designer’s holistic approach to designing a garden, and once you read the report, you’ll understand that the most popular garden elements are likely already baked into the way you design. So, I’m not encouraging you to change who you are as a designer in light of this report. Rather, the report helps you adjust your marketing efforts, so you can more effectively sign new clients.
And now for the highlights:
When Liz Klein designed my mother’s garden in Austin, Texas, about eight years ago, she sited a raised bed veggie garden in the back corner where it would get good light. Fresh food was a priority for my mom then, and now it’s high on everyone’s list. Why? The demand for organic, local food exceeds the supply. People are ever more conscious of what they put in their bodies, and when you grow your own food, you control what goes into its making. As the report underscores, Americans now demand to know what is in and on their food – and where it comes from. Consumers today are demanding products that are clean and “free” from pesticides, antibiotics, preservatives, and cages. This clean food movement and lack of locally grown, organic food is causing a profound shift in the food world that is dramatically affecting gardening.
Do your marketing materials include pictures of the veggie gardens you’ve designed? Do you showcase your edible gardening expertise?
Over a decade ago, when Michelle Derviss was dealing with some serious health challenges, she created a garden for herself where she could relax and recover. She already knew when the rest of us are catching on to: that mental health, wellness and quality of life are directly affected by gardens, and trees in particular.
Read the 2017 Garden Trends Report for details on which garden elements contribute most directly to wellness, and examine your marketing materials in the light of the knowledge you gain from the report.
As a garden designer, you should be cornering the market on natural pest control. You understand the ecology of the garden, but do your marketing materials reflect this expertise?
As the report states, Using nature to help keep your yard insect free is economical, educational and fun and doesn’t harm the environment. You are in a unique position to correctly guide clients by explaining how you factor natural mosquito control into your designs. Plants that attract birds and bats; plants that naturally emit bug-repelling chemicals; attractive bird and bat houses: these all make great topics for your blog.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t include an entire page on your website about natural pest control. People will be searching google with terms that can lead them to your page, so you need to invite them by using the right keywords.
If you don’t have experience with positioning your garden and landscape design business to appeal to the most current consumer desires, or if you aren’t well-versed in digital marketing best practices that help you capture search traffic, we’re here for you. That’s our wheelhouse: using proven digital marketing strategies to help people like you — people with garden businesses — grow.
We would love to chat with you, so contact us anytime for a free consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 407-461-4368.