Tag Archives: how to grow my swimming pool waterfall business

Demonstration Days: Gaining Exposure For Your Water Feature Business

backyard waterfall demonstrationOne of the most successful methods Neptune Panels installers have had in generating new business is by hosting a demonstration day.  Any contractor that does hardscapes, swimming pools, water features and outdoor living areas can benefit from this type of promotion.  Water feature contractors have generated significant business from a demonstration day.

Plan:

1.    Select a date 4-6 weeks out in advance.

2.    Find a suitable location that can accommodate a good number of people and has some traffic.  Car dealerships and retail shopping centers lend well to a promotion, and you’ll gain exposure beyond the demonstration. Once the area is prepped, a typical water feature can be completed in 4-5 hours.  Offer to cover the cost of labor if they’ll pay for only the materials in exchange to do the promotion.  They can also help in cross promoting through their local advertising.

Promote:

1.    Let your customers know what you’re doing.  Send them a flyer in the statement for the month letting them know.  Send out a couple of email invitations.  If you have a monthly newsletter, promote it there.  Post it on your Facebook page. Send invitations to the local chamber group and other builders associations or organizations you belong to.  Invite architects and other contractors.  This is a networking event getting you some exposure for the creative work you do.

2.    Send out a press release, contact your local paper and invite them to the event.  Post in your blog and on your website.  Maybe even contact your local TV station.  At certain times of the year they might want to highlight home improvement stories.

Execute:

1.    The day before the event have the area prepped and ready to go.  Be sure all of the supplies are ordered and in place and your team is set.

2.    The day of the event have a 10×10 tent set up.  Have a table with brochures, business cards, and a sign in sheet for attendees.  Refreshments like water and soda, coffee and doughnuts, and maybe even bring in pizza or sandwiches for lunch.  Plan to start around 10AM and finish around 3PM.

3.    Take pictures and video for the work as it’s going along.  This will be a great piece to use on your website and blog, and for promotional purposes.

4.    Have a great demonstration!  Invite questions and participation as the project progresses.

Follow-Through:

1.    Now that you’ve had a successful demonstration, it’s time to build off of it.  Get the picture and video posted to your website and Facebook page.

2.    Get an email out to everyone on the sign-in sheet.  Let your customers know the location of the completed project so they see firsthand what you can do.

3.    Follow up with the contractors and architects and find out where you can quote some projects.

Gaining exposure for your services of building resort style backyard water features by hosting a demonstration day can generate opportunities well beyond the featured installation.  While it takes some planning and promotion, the rewards can pay off for years to come.

neptune panels installers

5 Keys To Build A Successful Water Feature Business

running a successful water feature business

A growing trend in outdoor living areas is the addition of water features and backyard waterfalls to the landscape.  While this is a niche market, it can be a highly profitable addition to swimming pool builders, hardscape or landscape contractors business.  There are a few key principles to follow in insure your continued success.  These five principles are:

  1. Follow a systematic and duplicable process.   When you build your water features using a system that can be replicated on jobsite after jobsite, using the same installation process, it takes the mystery out of the process and lets you teach and train crew members on the steps and procedures.  This is important so you can run your business, find more jobs, and focus on growing your customer base.
  2. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid).  Let’s face it; building backyard water features isn’t rocket science.  There’s really no reason to overcomplicate the process.  Leonardo Da Vinci’s principle “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” certainly applies here, whether working with your crew or working with your clients.
  3. Work with the landscape, not against it.  As a professional, it’s your job to let your customer know what will work and fit with their landscape plans.  Sometimes clients can have some unrealistic wishes.  This brings us to the next point.
  4. Give your customers what they want, not what they ask for.  We’ve all had the customer that thinks they can’t live without certain features in their design.  This is what you get paid for, to give advice.  If you’ve listened to their expectations of what they are seeking to achieve, you should get a good picture of the finished product you can provide.  You’re the one that has solved the same problem for previous customers.  Clarify their desires,  ask the right questions, then show them the solution you’re going to provide.
  5. No free estimates.  While it’s certainly possible to provide a price range for your customer over the phone for a typical water feature, chances are the customer is looking for a design or drawing.  As a professional, you should respect your time and trade, and insist on working with customers that feel the same.  Every job you do is unique and your time is valuable.  When you do a design consultation, you’re providing value for that client.

Of course your success will depend on many other factors including providing a quality service and securing customer referrals.  Let us know if you agree or take a different philosophy in running your business from what we’ve covered here.  We’d like to hear your comments.

neptune panels installers

How to Market Your Swimming Pool Waterfall Business on Pinterest

By Jonathan Allard

swimming pool waterfalls, waterfalls, swimming pools, pools, pinterest, how to grow on pinterest, how to use pinterest for business, what is pinterest

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you have probably heard of this social media platform called Pinterest. If you’re a female you have known about this image-capturing site for months, and have probably used some recipe ideas from it. If you’re a guy, you may be confused as to the purpose of this site which you may be hearing about for the first time. Do not worry though, we have put together the top strategies for marketing on Pinterest whether you work for a large company or own your own business.

TechCrunch reports that it got exclusive stats from ComScore showing that Pinterest had 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in January 2012. That’s up from 7.5 million in December…and a scant 418,000 last May. These stats represent the fastest sustainable growth ever for a standalone site.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a platform for user sourced, visual content, grouped into topics. From a broader perspective, it’s a social network that allows users to visually share new interests by ‘pinning’ images or videos to their own or others’ ‘pinboards’ (a collection of ‘pins’ that have a common theme). Pinterest in the visual version of Twitter, as you can hashtag all your photos and create external links within your boards. It is a great way to drive traffic to your site and other social media platforms, through media integration.

Here’s how it works:

1) When someone likes an image on a website they can pin it back to a board they’ve created on the Pinterest site. These boards can be named anything, but fall under categories designated by the Pinterest team, like weddings/events, home décor, travel, etc.

2) Individuals can see pins by people whose boards they are following, or by searching through the most popular pins (most repinned), by category, by search term, or by price. If a user has typed in the price of the object in the comment area it will also appear on the top left corner of the image (this only happens when the dollar sign is typed into the comment area. No other money symbol – like € or £ – makes the price appear on the pin).

3) Every image has a comment area, link, and options to like or repin. Viewers can visit the site that housed the original image by clicking on the image or on the URL in the top right corner of the image.

Maybe this cartoon explains it best, it’s addictive! (source)

 So how do I use Pinterest to help grow my business?

1. Use your business email (and Twitter) on account set-up: Once you receive an invitation to sign up for Pinterest (it’s still invite only!) use the same email address you use for your business Twitter profile, then sign-up with Twitter so you can easily share your new pins through your Twitter account. Pinterest doesn’t offer a connection to Facebook business pages, so Twitter it is. Of course, choose your company name as your username then add a company description, logo, and a website link.

2. Be worth following with great visual content: To get started, spend time looking around, this way you’ll get some great ideas and a feel for how the network works.

See this post here on some of the most successful brands who are using Pinterest effectively so far. Get your great, non-promotional content uploaded – see point 2! This way, new followers will have a reason to follow your pins; just as you would populate a brand new blog before you start promoting it. What images, graphics, info graphics do you have or could you easily get together?

3. Promote your brand externally:

  • Add the Pinterest follow button to your website and write a blog post to promote it.
  • Promote your presence on Pinterest through your other social networks by encouraging your followers/fans on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter to follow your pins!
  • Consider a Pinterest contest (see below).
  • Start following users you think would want to follow you back.

4. Don’t upset fellow pinners! The site naturally discourages blatant self-promotion. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, great, just don’t use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion. Think up creative ways to promote your brand on the network – showcase the lifestyle that your brand promotes. If you are in the Swimming Pool Waterfall business, do not just pin photos of how great your waterfalls are, pin photos of the work being done, waterfalls that you find interesting, even things unrelated to swimming pool waterfalls. This will engage a lot more traffic to your site, and create consumer awareness.

5. Become an expert on a topic: Become the go-to Pinterest account for pins about a certain subject or topic relating to your industry. You’ll see this by looking around the network. Some people are really owning certain spaces and you’d have to say there’s an early, possible gold-rush potential within Pinterest at the moment to do just that. I like this graphic designer and their logo love board, it is just simple but a great board. How about a pinboard that showcases life around and in your organisation, whether day-to-day stuff or events, even parties. It’s subtle, basic stuff but every little bit helps.

6. Create a fan Pinboard: You can allow other users to contribute their own pins to your hosted pinboards, so involve fans and customers in your marketing as you would in any other social channel. Dedicate a pinboard to your top fans or customers – ask the customer to pin images that showcase your brand within their lifestyle. Does your product allow the user to look good, be better at something, feel better – get images the illustrate that, think of it as a pictorial testimonial.

7. Learn about your buyer personas: View pinboards of your customers, learn more about who they are and what they’re interested in. Use Pinterest as a tool for understanding the interests and needs of your ideal customers. Then… show your expertise within those areas, be valuable and interesting. Very simple, and very time consuming to do it properly. Yet that’s surely the opportunity.

8. Remember videos: Pins can be videos as well as images – worth remembering! Existing footage you can use, interviews, fun stuff, even videos that you find interesting on the web. Pinterest is all about the visual, so if you can spark an interest through all types of media, you are bound to build your brand.

9. Integrate with other channels: Do you attend or run offline events that your fan base would find interesting to see behind the scenes? How about features around the best photos and video footage – this is good for those not attending and it helps you generate interest and promote the next event you run or will be present at. Consider online integration too – you can use hashtags in Pinterest, if you use them then create a pinboard around it, tag it with a hashtag you’re using on Twitter and Google+ and help integrate Pinterest within the campaign. You can use your Pinterest account to promote a relevant section of your site this way – driving multiple links (traffic) back to your domain around a particular topic, theme or campaign.

10. Measure traffic back to your website: Make sure this is all generating results and proving it’s worth your time and effort. Whenever possible, include links back to your website and landing pages in your pins. Keep track of referral traffic and leads generated from Pinterest to see what resonates and what doesn’t.

Here are a few external references to setting up your Pinterest account:

http://visual.ly/how-pinterest-can-help-your-business

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/08/64-pinterest-marketing-tips-and-tactics-infographic/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2017448/how-to-set-up-a-pinterest-business-page.html

 

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