Feature Image Source: iStock.com/beastfromeast
According to a research by IBISWorld, an Australian research firm, the demand for landscaping services in America has increased by 3.5% annually due to a significant growth in property and housing markets. In the next five years the trend of outsourcing landscape design and maintenance services will flourish.
In the expansive space (9.842 million km2) and thriving economy of America, there are thousands of landscaping companies ranging from small businesses to large enterprises. Some are in fact purely digital. In order to attract clients in this highly competitive market you need to become noticeable, reliable and distinctive.
What’re we waiting for? Let’s get started.
Create A Digital Design Portfolio
A portfolio of creative work gets graphic designers loyal clients. Instead of simply showing pictures of gardens and landscapes on your website, show potential clients how you work through a project. Share your sketches, prototypes and final design. This way people can know about your strategic and aesthetic design process.
Keeping a hardcopy of your portfolio in storage is a traditional way to record things, it won’t get you anywhere. Show your landscaping talents to people. Make an online portfolio on websites like Behance or Deviant Art to display your creativity in working with nature and 3D urban spaces.
Join Platforms Where Clients Are
A full-time job isn’t the only way graphic designers get clients, they also collaborate with online crowdsourcing companies. You could join architectural competitions for instance on Arcbazar. Such sites are good for getting clients from all over the world. If you join such websites then you can enhance your credibility with reviews and testimonials.
You can also join forums. Graphic designers engage with people on HOWDesign or Graphic Design Forum (GDF). Find popular online communities like Land 8 or Ground Trade Exchange for landscape designers and thinkers.
Chris Heiler, founder of The Landscape Leadership Team, suggests that Houzz is a good platform where potential clients are “actively searching for ideas and contractors for their projects. This can bring you qualified leads warmed up and ready to buy.”
Know How To Market Yourself
A graphic designer these days is versatile and you should be too. Knowing about marketing will assist you in promoting your company and designs to both existing and potential clients. Email marketing is an effective way to talk about your company in an entertaining way and provide exclusivity of offering news first to subscribers.
Also, promote your business via social media platforms. Tools like Crello and Canva can be used to make quick online marketing images.
In The Professional Practice of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide to Starting and Running Your Own Firm by Walter Rogers, it’s explained that “landscape architecture firms that are effective at marketing will obtain and keep more clients and work on more interesting and high-profile projects.”
Engage Through Your Blog
Create a blog with friendly user-experience and responsive user-interface. Graphic design organizations do this a lot. For inspiration you can see AIGA’s blog. For low-cost engagement, having knowledge about WordPress, HTML and CSS helps you in maintaining your blog.
In a landscaping blog you can write about: 1) things people are looking for, 2) tips and tricks readers don’t know, 3) simply talk about areas related to your business, or 4) directly talk about your business but this is often boring.
Your blog can be about agronomy, land contouring, cost-effective landscaping, hardscape and softscape, landscape architecture, land topography, landscape photography, sustainable gardening, color scheming in open space, landscape drawing, urban landscaping and so much more. You can pick a niche topic or a generic one depending on your business and target market.
Educate People Via Videos
Simply writing about topics won’t bring you in limelight. Graphic design companies make audio/visual content to educate their target market about the services they offer. This involves selling products and services, adding calls to action, telling people about product features, displaying product versatility, and giving DIY tips etc. For creative and unusual video ideas you can explore Grant Thompson’s channel.
If you’re a landscape architecture startup, you can make a corporate video using Facebook’s Your Business Story.
Talk Your Way To Clients
If video isn’t your kind of thing create podcasts. Graphic designers are already doing this you should too. Talk about landscaping ideas, tips, famous landscape designers, or collaborate with credible thinkers to not only inform them but inspire as well.
In a recent twitter chat How to Run a Successful Podcast with Ryan Hanley by SEMrush, participants from around the world gave great tips that you can use.
@CTrappe Hi C, good to see you, right now we are interacting with more “humans” in the web than a years ago: more podcast, blab, anchor, etc
— Alberto Gómez (@alberMoire) March 9, 2016
A3: Quality mic/audio. Storytelling. Good editing. #semrushchat
— Kathleen Garvin (@itskgarvin) March 9, 2016
A3 music sprinkled in or all the way through the episode. That’s how I like podcasts, & that’s what I do for mine. #semrushchat
— Meloney Hall (@MeloneyHall) March 9, 2016
A2: Podcasts are all about chemistry (much like radio shows) the best podcasts feel like listening to a close friend #semrushchat
— Stephen’Bern’ Banham (@Berngaming) March 9, 2016
Use Visual Content For Leads
Nowadays it’s crucial to know data visualization techniques. With infographics, videographics, visual e-books and whitepapers you can not only attract strangers to your content but also convert them to leads and eventually customers as HubSpot Blog hints off and on.
Many graphic design companies provide visual resources to people in general and to potential clients. You can charge readers for subscriptions, but a better idea is give some freebies. A free subscription form allows people to act more, and this way you can develop a buyer’s persona for your company. This way you will know that a number of people are genuinely interested in what you give.
With visual content, you can be as creative as you want. See Pinterest for infographic design ideas on landscaping, planting or architecture.
Be Confident When Pitching Ideas
Clients can be finicky, so how to then present your design brief? Confidence and research is the key. Before meeting your client make sure you know the inside-out of your concept. Graphic designers prepare themselves beforehand about a project’s strengths, weaknesses, requirements and importance.
When approached by a client, graphic designers only show their strengths. In graphic design you need to know what you’ve done and why you’ve done it. If you make this your habit, your clients will start trusting you with future projects.
Don’t Forget Your Team Players
For a graphic design company, working as a team better defines and refines the process of designing.
You must also work together with all your shareholders of the project in order to attain your goal and please the client. As Steve Jobs put it, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.”
Take Help From Mobile Apps
Graphic designers use apps to reach local customers, and you can learn this trick too. Either partner with apps like Plowz & Mowz, or make your own app to reach clients with a click of a button. This way you can digitize and ease the process of providing your service to your target market.
Use Digital Design Programs
Surely you already use Computer-Aided Drafting programs to plan out landscaping for a natural space. However, you should also use tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Maya, 3D Max and other similar programs to market your work online in a two-dimensional and three-dimensional way.
Usually landscape architects draw from bird’s eye view, but most clients don’t understand how it will all look in real life. For this use graphic design programs to promote your business by making models of your design and putting it on your website, blog or in a magazine.
Be Updated About Trends
In any design field you need to be updated about trends. Graphic designers are constantly looking out for new practices that’ll enhance the look of their branding and also allure more clients. As a landscape designing or maintenance company, you should too be aware of what’s popular and what’s obsolete. With the changing atmospheric and urban environment, you’re already staying ahead by providing sustainable options.
However you must also keep yourself up-to-the-minute about graphic design trends. These will help you brand and market your company in print and online. Know what kind of visuals clients get attracted to and then make your imagery.
Make A Gift/Souvenir Shop
Steven Harrington, an American designer, promotes his work by selling branded items found in his online shop. As a landscape design company, you can too sell gifts and souvenirs with digital prints and sketches of your work. Don’t forget to put your logo for recognition.
Tell Us Which Tactic Works For You.