Over the weekend I fielded a question from Matt, who runs a landscaping business.
Matt and I are both in Perry Marshall's Mastermind Club, a paid private group that's packed with top drawer marketers.
Matt's a sharp guy. If I remember his story correctly, he took over his dad's business and has grown it like crazy.
He's put together a new offer to target affluent homeowners in his area, and he wanted feedback on an ad he'd written.
The ad was… how to put this delicately… a complete trainwreck.
It read like, “Holistic lawn care, blah blah blah, we're awesome, blah blah blah.”
The focus was 100% on Matt's a-MAZE-ing lawn care service, 0% on the customer and what he cared about.
Here's what I told Matt:
This ad is written from your perspective, not theirs.
How many of your customers wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, shouting “I gotta get me a customized total maintenance solution for my lawn!!!”
You're writing about your weed killer, not their crabgrass. (Heh.)
To give you an idea of my perspective on this…
I'm actually your customer, although I'd be at the lower end of your market. I have a .19 acre yard, and I pay a crew to maintain it because my time is too valuable to spend on yard work.
I used to spend several hours a week maintaining my yard. Every Saturday afternoon (plus one other evening), I was out there mowing and trimming bushes and spraying weeds. My kids would watch me from the windows.
I was hesitant to hire a lawn care service—it seemed crazy to pay someone to do something I am perfectly capable of doing myself.
But last year I decided to give it a shot. I felt a little guilty about it at first…
Until one Monday morning 5 guys show up in a truck. They pile out and back two lawn mowers off the trailer. I sat there and sipped a cup of coffee while my 4 and 2 year old boys went nuts watching the crew zip around my little lawn, spray the weeds, edge the yard, blow the clippings off the driveway…
I was so impressed—it was choreographed, almost like watching a ballet. They were back on the truck and gone in 8 minutes.
If you ask me why I pay for the lawn service, I'll probably mention that I'm saving several hours a week. I can get in a little extra work in that time, so I feel less rushed and enjoy my time with my family.
The time savings is a big part of why I like the service. But I also have a “secret” reason that's equally powerful (maybe even more so):
I have the neatest, greenest, most weed-free lawn on the block—and I'm proud of it. Yeah, it's shallow, I know.
What's worse, though, is that I'm even prouder that I can afford to maintain it like that without lifting a finger.
For me it's an affordable luxury. I can't swing a Benz or a butler just yet, but dang it, my lawn looks GREAT. Look ma, no work!
And if the lawn care service catered to this “affordable luxury” angle more skillfully, I'm sure they'd manage to extract even more money from me.
Like maybe having a sharp-dressed “lawn concierge” arrive with the crew and tell me that he noticed my bushes needed trimming, and oh by the way the mulch in the flower beds is looking a little sparse… (I'm probably lucky they haven't figured this out, come to think of it…)
Two points about all of this:
- If you're struggling with what to say in your emails, sales page, Yellow Pages ad, whatever…
Talk to a few of your customers. Find out if they have stories like mine, or if there's something else about your service that really pushes their emotional hot buttons.
When you get their stories, your ads will almost write themselves…
- Don't try to “go it alone” with your marketing. You're going to need people to smack you around once and a while when you forget things you already know.
I belong to four different paid marketing groups, and I am thinking about joining a fifth.
It's an “iron sharpens iron” thing.
This Mastermind Club group is like having a team of grizzled marketing vets on standby at all times.
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