Just getting started in professional landscape lighting isn't too hard to do. It doesn’t require a lot of special equipment, and low-voltage landscape lighting manufacturers like in-lite make installation a breeze.
The hard part? Getting noticed.
Closing new clients, building a reputation…making your landscape lighting business into a profitable venture you can be proud of!
At in-sider, we’re not just low voltage landscape lighting manufacturers. Our mission is to help you grow your outdoor lighting business. Aspiring pros like you can take advantage of our programs and articles on the path to becoming a successful lighting professional.
Today, we will show you five ways to start building your client base and attract more business as a new professional landscape lighting installer.
Marketing Your Professional Landscaping Business
Landscape lighting is a competitive industry. Just looking good and doing good work isn't enough. You need to get your name out there — and here are five foolproof ways to do it!
1. Partner with Other Landscapers
Many outdoor lighting pros started their careers as landscapers: planting and maintaining flowers, installing ponds, decks, and drainage systems, and so on. Perhaps you are even one of them!
The fact is, many landscaping professionals are happy to do just that. They don’t want to expand their service to outdoor lighting — especially the folks who remember the days when it was all line voltage and a pain to install.
But just because they aren’t interested in high quality LED landscape lighting fixtures doesn’t mean their clients aren’t either.
That’s where you come in.
Whether you are a landscaper who provides landscape lighting or a pro who specializes in lighting first, you can get a lot of business just by partnering with other landscapers and taking care of their clients’ lighting needs.
This can work out in a few different ways. A landscaper could refer lighting clients to you, or you could work for the landscaper as a subcontractor.
In any case, carving out a niche as the landscapers’ go-to outdoor lighting installer in your area is one surefire way to grow your fledgling business. Landscapers who trust your work and refer others to you will trust your work as well!
2. Spread the Word in the Neighborhood
Here's an old trick landscapers have been using for years.
Whenever you start a big job, drop off a letter to each mailbox on the block notifying them that you will be in the neighborhood and inviting them to contact you in case of any problems.
This is especially a good idea if you’re going to be bringing in an excavator, cutting down trees, or generally making a lot of noise.
So, why bother?
Well for one, it shows that you're considerate. That's an important quality in any kind of home service, whether it’s roofing, landscaping, or professional landscape lighting. You give the impression that you are a professional with integrity who cares about what you do.
Beyond that, it also gets your name out there. When the job is done, the whole neighborhood will know it’s your masterwork they’re admiring!
3. Put Up Yard Signs
A well-done outdoor lighting project with high quality LED landscape lighting fixtures will definitely turn heads in the neighborhood — but it doesn’t have your name on it. So, unless they ask your client, onlookers will not know it's your work.
And it seems that people aren't as willing as they once were to poke their heads over the fence to ask their neighbors who installed this wonderful lighting.
The solution is another very old-fashioned trick that still works to this day: putting up yard signs to advertise your business after your work in the yard is complete. During the day, people will see your sign as they drive or walk past your house, giving them a hint to take another look at the property after dark.
Happy customers are often more than willing to let you put a simple lawn sign at the end of their driveway for a couple of weeks after you’re done working. Some contractors offer them a discount for doing this, but it isn’t always necessary, because many customers take pride in their upgraded lighting spaces and want to show them off!
4. Have a Solid Website
Your website serves as the hub for all your marketing activities, and it’s easier than ever to start one, whether you take on the task yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
We’re not going to get into the weeds on how to start a website here, but we had to mention the importance of doing so:
- Many customers won't call you up right away even if they have your number. They'll want to check out more of your work and read some reviews first.
- When customers can't find you online, it’s a red flag. These days, it is unusual not to have an online presence, and it begs the question why.
- If you don't have a website, and people look you up, search engines like Google will probably show your competitors instead of you. You don't want other businesses to steal your potential business just because you’re not online!
Brand-new professional landscape lighting installers who are just starting out don’t need to go all-out on a $10K website right at the start. You need only create a landing page that contains your name, services, photos of your work, and contact information to let potential customers know where to find you!
5. Encourage Word-of-Mouth
“Word-of-mouth” takes many different forms.
Sure, some folks are still the type to talk to their neighbors about home improvements, but most people are comfortable sharing their thoughts online. These days, word-of-mouth is most commonly found in the form of online reviews or in social media posts shared only by friends and followers.
That’s why, even if you don't intend to use social media for marketing, you should have a presence on these platforms where customers can share positive feedback.
Feedback of any kind is also useful for you and your business, since it tells you where to improve as well as where to take pride in your work.
Having a profile on sites like Facebook and NextDoor also allows people to tag your business if they decide to recommend it to someone. It’s free advertisement!
There are also websites dedicated to reviews of businesses like HomeAdvisor (HomeStars in Canada) and Yelp. Encourage your happy customers to leave a good review and it can make a world of difference!
We hope these tips help guide you in your next steps towards promoting and growing your professional landscape lighting business! Consider what we have discussed in this post as you come up with a plan to get more outdoor lighting business from your existing customers, or from new ones!
To learn more about keeping up with business during the slower season check out our recent article on maintaining your lighting business in the fall.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we are more than happy to help!