Local Landscaper Semantic Search Success Story!
Based on the popular book, Google Semantic Search, by David Amerland, this fictional story of a landscaper who did everything right is another example similar to the bread baker story of Chapter 3. In almost any profession, a small business person can do things a little differently and experience the power of customer referrals at the heart of the relationship economy. Could you do this with your business?
Fictional story of the Organic Landscaper who used Semantic Search to Build Success
This landscaper realized the importance of excellent customer service, and providing a web savvy communication system. As a result of his efforts, he had many customers wanting him to handle their lawns. One step at a time, the landscaper realized that making each lawn beautiful was just a part of the role he played. The people became excited about supporting his business when he not only shared good information with them about organic gardening but also worked with them to help beautify the town public spaces.
There were many landscapers in this town, but he had done something to earn the hearts of the people and had more friends and customers than he ever imagined as a result. It was his passion to truly serve the community in which he and his family lived. His customers knew this, and their referrals were at the heart of his business growth. Follow the steps he took to make his business really work.
Mobile Friendly Website
This small business had a simple fast loading mobile-friendly website. With this each client would know when the crew was coming to his house and what they were doing that day. The calendar was there for all to see. His focus was on developing great communication with his customers and serving them well.
Questions from his clients were handled easily, as they could be typed into the website and answered by the staff member responsible for cheerful communication. Having a staff member with the cheerful communication responsibility insured the success of his customer relationships. She didn't do that all day, but one or two hours in the morning was enough to handle all clients with a cheerful and proactive "right on it" response. People genuinely felt that he cared for them.
A Passion for the Organic
His passion for keeping up to date on the organic nature of his plants and fertilizers was shared almost daily in his simple blog posts. Every day, well several each week, always on Tuesdays and Fridays for sure, he would post a short podcast with the latest news on his website. He wasn't much for typing, though he did have his cheerful staff member type it for those who came to read. He always shared photos, which he often just took with his phone.
Each day as he was starting out his rounds, he called in from his phone with a five-minute update about the weather and care tips for your lawn and plantings, as well as new inventions in the organic plant world. These were posted on his website by his staff. People came to trust this after a while and loved knowing what would be the best thing for them to do on their own lawns each weekend. His greeting to all became a kindness that those who enjoyed it loved more than their local morning news and weather report. He always added a joke. It cheered up the start of the day.
Blogging About The Passions
On his website, each week, he posted news and photos of unique organic plans that had been invented, as well as new organic pest treatments. Those who saw it realized that his passion was not just for making profit. He loved the safe treatment of the plants and valued the quality of the air and soil for all who lived in their town. He sprayed only organic solutions. Others living on the same street as a lawn he cared for would compliment and thank him for caring about them.
To his customers he just seemed to be everywhere helping them, online, in daily and weekly postings, providing news and some entertainment. They eagerly shared this with others. The power of their referrals was at the heart of his business growth.
You Tube Videos of New Organic Solutions
On his YouTube page he shared videos of organic farming solutions from around the world. He could tell you where each of his special pest solutions came from and you could see the original farms where the techniques were discovered. You could also see him mixing up his own fertilizer solutions and explaining what was in them and what he would be spraying on lawns that week.
His customers knew that they were getting the best in the world from a guy that was really on top of it all. If he learned something new, they trusted that it would be applied to their own lawns as soon he could get to it. That was comforting. People began to share the videos with their friends. This gardener started to do really well and edge out his competition because he just seemed to be everywhere. This allowed him to be noticed in so many different venues.
Social Media Promotions
On his Facebook page, he frequently offered promotions for the latest techniques and plantings. But there was something that he did that turned out to be even more special. As he drove around the town he noticed the local green spaces and arranged group gatherings to plant and refurbish them.
He loved teaching people some of the simple principles he followed. He would set a date, maybe once a month, for anyone who wanted to gather at this small corner park or playground. He provided a little soil and a few plants and others came with shovels and joined in the fun. A local bakery came along with some pastry samples for all those who worked and these events turned into fun celebrations for families all around town. Soon the town was in bloom.
Calling the Town to Garden
He would "Tweet" too, when the gardening day was approaching, so all would know just when to come out to lend a hand. This is also the way he helped the town open up some gardening spaces. He helped those who wanted this to talk about it and plan, and there he was on the days scheduled, always with a little extra dirt or fertilizer to offer. There was a good spirit and friendly advice each time. You see, he envisioned a life where people helped each other make their town just a little more pleasant, and he spread that joy in everything he did.
On Google+, since he was more of a hands-on guy than a writer, he appeared frequently on HOA's on the topic of organic gardening. He freely offered his newest insights and these were becoming extremely popular. His fame spread around the country and he often got to be on HOA panel shows with the thought leaders in his field. This was more than he ever thought possible when he first started out.
Media Starts to Notice
Next, of course, the news media began to take notice and other bloggers on the organic gardening topics would talk about his actions. Normally those in his business were busy just working on the land, or supporting their staff of workers. But he was a bit different with his passion for organic landscaping and how it cared for the earth.
Traffic on the Search Engine
The Google search bot discovered all these little items and the traffic to his website and each one of his various social media pages. There was a good variety of local folks as well as news media and thought leaders in the organic world that would keep up with his efforts. Traffic like this helped his website be very visible. Google would serve up his website to those researching how a small business could become a symbol for making the world just a little bit better.
Customers Grow Organically
He had no difficulty finding customers. In fact, little was spent on advertising any more since word of mouth and online sharing took care of that for him. This left him extra to provide for all those local green spaces. He took care of the town and the townspeople took care of him. Isn't this just the way it should be? Yes, this is just an idealistic story, but it could and probably does happen in many places.
Semantic Search Techniques
This story shows the transition from the traditional 4P's of marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion, to the 4E's of Experience, Everywhere, Exchange and Evangelism. This is the natural outcome of the "joining of the dots" through semantic search.
1. Website, fast-loading and mobile friendly, provided easy-to-use visibility online for customers.
2. Communications via web, timely and cheerful, is the way he put customer needs first.
3. Blog posts and pod-casts of voice messages created the sense that he was everywhere.
4. Use of photographic images were effective for him since he did not enjoy writing.
5. You Tube videos showed the beauty of his work and the care he gave the plantings effectively.
6. Facebook promotions and Twitter announcements continued to get regular public attention.
7. Google+ for the HOA appearances spread his work to a wider audience.
8. Social media referrals and customer "evangelism" brought him all the business he needed.
Leveraging the power of referral at the heart of the "relationship economy" through semantic search, this man could find new customers, grow his company, increase its reach, expand its market, increase its visibility, change the perception of the value of his product, and so much more.
Continue the ideas you may generate from this story into a real action plan for your business. This article on "Passion and Creativity" is from the same chapter in the book and continues the concept into the next stage.
Thank you to David Amerland for providing us with a rich model of this new web opportunity of semantic search. His book formed the inspiration for this fictional landscaper story. You can purchase his book, Google Semantic Search, and read all about it for yourself.
Please know, I have no connection to David Amerland except my excitement for this information he has provided and what it can do for so many in business in our local communities.