How To Grow Your Landscape & Garden Design Business

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Let me ask you a strange question.

“Do you have socks on?”


If yes, what color are your socks?  If no, what color are your favorite socks?

Bear with me.  I can explain.  I’m quite a normal guy, this really has very little to do with your socks.  I’m making a point.

When you read the question “do you have socks on?” your brain kicked into a different gear, didn’t it?

Your eyes defocused on the screen, rolled up and to your left, and your mind climbed down your neck, across your hips into your legs and followed them down to your feet.  Maybe your toes even wiggled a bit.  You probably weren’t even conscious of the whole process.

Your brain is such a good computer.  It dutifully obeys your eyes.  When your eyes read the question, it triggered a process in your brain that is nearly impossible to stop.

Let me give you a quick example.

Don’t think of a huge pink elephant with spectacles on.

I said don’t.  But what did your brain do?

If you’re reading this there is a better than 90% chance that you saw an elephant in your imagination.

But I said don’t, right?  Isn’t the brain strange?

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Look, I know what you’re thinking. 

“Dave, what does any of this have to do with growing my business?”

For the next 3 days I’d like you to look at every piece of advertising in your neighborhood related to you.  Competitors, side line businesses like snow removal, home repair or roofing, all of it.

Watch for how much advertising is what I call “INSTITUTIONAL”.

Name of the company.  Phone number.  Watch for how many businesses are standardized, copying what everyone else does.  You’ll see this on the side of a truck.


“J&J Plumbing.  555-1212” 

“Ace & Sons Landscaping.  No job too small.   555-1213”


You get the idea.

Keep a little notepad handy, or snap a few photos on your smartphone as you go about your day.  Put on your investigator hat.  Value this as powerful market research.  If you see an outlier, something that looks different in any way go out of your way to snap a photo.

Remember our first question, “do you have socks on”?

When the brain sees J&J Plumbing, chances are it blurs it out.  The average human is bombarded daily with so much sensory input that it has to screen most of our lives out.  You’ve heard of the masses of people being called “sheeple” or “asleep”?  It’s because most of our day we are blocking out the non-essential, the unimportant and the disposable.

What happens when the eyes see this headline on a truck, flyer, business card or Facebook banner?

Is Your Home As Beautiful As It Could Be?


Or maybe this one…

Do You Live In The Best-Looking House On Your Street?


The brain tries to answer any question you give it, doesn’t it?

You need to think about waking up your ideal client.  They are asleep, just trying to cope with their world.  Your marketing needs to snap them out of their daze and get their tremendous brains working.  In fact over 80% of your success with any form of advertising comes down to the questions it generates in a prospect’s brain.

Questions are powerful, aren’t they?

For the next week track any time you see a powerful headline on any advertising that your competition or related service providers locally are running because it will be worth a lot of money to you.  I promise you it will be a small, tiny minority of business owners doing any kind of headlines.


Because garden designers learn Latin in school.  They learn color, space, texture, weather, moisture, chemistry and nomenclature.

But…what do they NOT learn?

  • headline writing
  • local marketing techniques
  • prospect generation and follow-up
  • client retention
  • referral strategies
  • social media positioning
  • sales skills

Can you see the distinction?

I’ve already written in the past about simple ways to generate local clients that are fun and inexpensive.  I’ve talked about using software to automate the client follow-up process.  I’ve given you the vital importance of email marketing and website design.

Listen, growing your garden design company is simple.  Note I didn’t say easy.  It’s just a matter of mastering a handful of basic ideas and doing them over and over again.  Things like Minimum Daily Contacts.   I call it my MDC.  You have a process internally to track the number of leads generated in your business, right?

I give away 99% of my best ideas in my private email newsletter about once a week.  You can join it for free, and leave at any time.  Just for testing it out I give you a special cheat sheet to get you moving quickly.

Do you want my best tips on how to grow your landscape & garden design business?

CLICK HERE and request the cheat sheet.