As a landscape designer, acquiring new clients is essential to the growth and success of your business. But what if you don’t know how to find landscape design clients? Where do you start – and how do you know which methods will work best for you and your business?
Luckily, we’re here to help!
In this article, we’ll break down 20 effective ways for landscape designers to successfully find and attract new customers. So, keep reading to discover what they are!
How Long Will It Take To Grow a Landscaping Business?
It’s not uncommon for landscaping businesses to take a few years to get off the ground and become profitable. This is because there are a number of factors that will affect how long it takes for your business to start making money, including (but not limited to):
- How much startup capital you have
- How quickly you can find and attract new clients
- Your level of experience you have in the industry
- Your qualifications and professional credibility as a landscape designer
- The location of your business
If you’re starting a landscaping business from scratch and with no experience, it’s likely that it’ll take longer to become profitable than if you already have experience in the industry.
The bottom line is that it takes time, patience, and dedication to grow a successful landscape design business. But if you’re willing to put in the work, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience – both financially and personally!
Why a Professional Certification Will Help You Get Landscape Clients
If you’re not already a certified landscape designer, we highly recommend that you consider getting certified. Simply put, having a professional certification will give you the credibility and qualifications needed to attract new clients. In fact, you’re far more likely to book customers if you have proper training under your belt, compared to if you don’t.
Furthermore, being certified and reputably designated will show potential clients that you’re serious about your career as a landscape designer – and that you’re willing to invest in your professional development.
Not sure how to become a certified landscape designer? We’ve got you covered!
QC Design School’s Landscape Design Course
QC Design School is a faculty of QC Career School, a pioneer of distance learning since 1984. All of our training programs are 100% self-paced and online. This means that although you’ll have 2 full years to finish your course, YOU get to choose when and where you work on your studies!
As a point of reference, many of our alumni found that they were able to graduate from their course(s) in as little as 3-6 months, simply be devoting a mere 1-2 hours per week to their training.
In QC’s 5-unit long Landscape Design Course, you will learn all about:
- The landscape design industry and the role of a professional landscape designer
- How to conduct client consultations
- The different types of sites and projects you’ll work on with clients
- How to increase the perceived value of your clients’ homes and properties by improving curb appeal
- Key factors in developing a functional landscape design
- Spatial planning and the “outdoor room concept”
- Planning the hardscape (e.g., decks, fire pits, gazebos, etc.) and softscape (e.g., garden plants, trees, shrubs, and other plants) of a landscape site
- Plant classifications, physiology, and healthy growing conditions
- Popular garden styles throughout history, as well as modern styles
- Sustainable, environmentally-friendly landscape design
- Fundamental principles and elements of design
- How to develop professional, high-quality landscape design drawings
- And more!
What’s more, you’ll also have an entire unit devoted to business training! In this final unit of the course, you’ll discover the ins and outs of marketing and promotion, building your brand, developing your portfolio, working with vendors and suppliers, and more!
The best part of this entire program?
As soon as you graduate, you’ll receive a globally-recognized International Landscape Design Professional (ILDP) certification! This also doubles as your official designation, which can be proudly added to your resume and business cards.
Basically, if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to impress potential clients, this is definitely it!
Learn even more about QC Design School’s self-paced, online Landscape Design Course here!
How To Find Landscape Design Clients: 20 Ideas To Try Out This Year!
Now let’s get into the good stuff – our top 20 ways to find landscape design clients!
1. Know Your Brand
This one’s important. How can you expect clients to invest in your landscape design business if you don’t even know what your brand is?
Your brand is more than just a logo or a catchy tagline – it’s the heart and soul of your business. It’s what sets you apart from other landscape designers in your area. Moreover, it’s what will make potential clients remember you long after they’ve first heard about you.
So, sit down and really think about who you are as a business. What are your core values? What kind of work do you want to be known for? How do you want potential clients to see you?
Once you have a good understanding of your brand, start promoting it everywhere! Use social media, your website, and even local print and online publications to get the word out there!
2. Have a Business Website
Don’t have a website? Now’s the time to invest in one! In today’s digital world, potential clients are going to expect you to have an online presence… And if you don’t, they’re likely to move on to someone who does.
Your website doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Just make sure it’s easy to navigate, includes your contact information, and showcases some of your best work.
Never built a business website before? This handy article by Forbes breaks down the process in 10 steps!
3. Start a Blog for Your Landscape Design Business
Another awesome idea is to start your very own blog. Regularly publishing high-quality content will not only help you attract new visitors to your site; it’ll also show potential clients that you’re an expert in your field.
PRO TIP: Link to your blog within your official website, in a way that makes it easy to find for navigators. You can also share your blog posts across social media platforms to help increase traffic.
Additionally, you can also outsource your subject-matter expertise and writing skills to external publications as well. Become a guest writer for others within the industry! This will help you build up your reputation as a thought leader within the landscape design industry – which can only mean good things for business!
4. Identify Your Target Audience
Who are you trying to reach with your landscape design business? Families in newly built suburban neighborhoods? Businesses in urban areas looking to spruce up their outdoor spaces?
It’s important to have a clear understanding of who your target audience is before you start marketing your services. This way, you can tailor your message and promotional materials to appeal directly to them!
For example, if you’re trying to attract businesses as clients, you’ll want to focus on promoting the benefits of investing in commercial landscaping. Increased foot traffic, higher property values, and improved employee morale would all be great examples.
On the other hand, if you’re targeting families, you might want to focus on showcasing your experience with designing kid-friendly outdoor spaces.
Once you’ve identified your target audience, you can start thinking about the best ways to reach them. For instance, are they active on social media? Do they read certain publications?
Identifying your target audience is the first step in creating a successful marketing strategy – so, don’t skip it!
5. Find Clients Through Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool that should not be underestimated – especially when it comes to finding new clients!
Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok offer incredible opportunities for networking, relationship-building, and promotion.
So, make sure you’re regularly active on the platform(s) of your choice. Share interesting articles, post photos of your work, join relevant groups… Basically, get involved in the conversations that are happening within your industry!
You never know who you might meet or what kind of opportunities might come your way.
6. Invest in Paid Targeted Advertising
Paid targeted advertising is a great way to reach new clients who might not be familiar with your landscape design business.
The best part? You can specifically target your ads to reach people in your ideal client demographic. How cool is that?
There are a ton of different platforms you can use for paid advertising, including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, TikTok Ads, and LinkedIn Ads. Just make sure you do your research ahead of time so you know which one(s) will work best for your business!
Not sure where to start? This guide from Hubspot offers some helpful tips on getting started with paid advertising.
7. Look Into Additional Marketing Strategies
There are a TON of different marketing strategies out there – and, unfortunately, we just don’t have the time or space to cover all of them in this article. That’s just how many there are at your disposal!
That said, here are just some examples off the top of our head:
- Advertising in print media
- Filming a commercial for your landscape design business
- Getting an ad on your local radio station(s)
- Hanging up flyers or posters around your town/city
All of these strategies can be extremely effective in attracting new clients to your landscape design business. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try a few things out!
8. Make Sure You Have a Strong Design Portfolio
Your design portfolio is one of the most important tools you have at your disposal when it comes to attracting new clients. After all, it’s a physical representation of your work, experience, and style!
Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date with your latest projects and that it’s easy for potential clients to flip through. If you can, try to keep it organized by project type or client demographic. And don’t forget to make your portfolio accessible on your website – as well as showcase it regularly on your social media.
Not sure where to start? Get involved in a stylized photoshoot! By collaborating with other industry experts in your area, you can receive high-quality images for your portfolio in exchange for your landscape design services!
Another option is to enroll in QC Design School’s Accelerate Your Business Workshop. As part of this 5-unit program, you’ll discover everything you need to know to build the BEST portfolio for your business… Plus, so much more!
9. Join Landscape Design Associations & Organizations
Joining landscape design associations and organizations is a great way to grow your network and learn from other designers. Not to mention, as you’ve probably already guessed, it’ll help you attract new clients!
Some of the most popular landscape design associations and organizations include the:
Each organization offers its own unique benefits, so be sure to do your research before joining one! Next, once you’ve joined, make sure you’re getting involved in as many activities and events as possible.
10. Attend Industry-Related Events
Attending conferences, webinars, trade shows, and workshops is a great way to meet new people in your industry. Plus, of course, you can also show off your landscape design skills!
Looking for even more opportunities to get involved? Why not volunteer for a local landscaping project? You can also offer your services pro-bono to a non-profit organization.
Not only will this give you some great experience – it’ll also help you attract new customers who appreciate your philanthropic efforts!
11. Network, Network, Network!
If you want to attract new landscape design clients, you need to get out there and start networking! As we just mentioned above, get involved in as many industry-related events as possible. No matter what, make sure that you’re meeting as many people as you can!
After all, you never know when or where you’ll meet your next client. So, it’s important to always be prepared. Make sure you have a strong elevator pitch ready to go at all times… And don’t forget your business cards!
12. Join Online Forums & Communities
In addition to attending events, another great way to network is by joining online forums and communities related to landscape design. This is a great way to connect with other designers from around the world – and potentially attract some new clients, too!
Some of the most popular online forums and communities for landscape designers include:
Additionally, if you’re a QC student or graduate, you can also start networking while completing your certification training by joining our Virtual Classroom on Facebook!
13. Get Listed On Online Directories
There are dozens of online directories that list landscape designers in a specific area. So, if you’re not already listed on these sites, you’re missing out on some great opportunities!
Some of the most popular online directories for landscape designers include:
Furthermore, other popular online directories you should look into as a business owner include:
The advantages of being listed on online directories are twofold. First, it’ll help you attract new customers who are actively searching for landscape design services in your area. Second, it’ll improve your search engine optimization (SEO). In turn, this will help you attract even more clients!
14. Set Your Landscape Design Rates Properly
If you want to attract new clients, you need to set your landscape design rates properly. So, how do you do that?
By taking the time to understand what your potential customers are willing (and able) to pay!
Of course, this can vary depending on the type of clientele you’re targeting. For example, if you’re targeting high-end residential clients, you’ll be able to charge more than if you’re targeting commercial clients.
Next, it’s also critical that you do some market research and see what your competition is currently charging. This’ll give you a better idea of what’s realistic in your area. After all, if you charge too low, you’ll attract the wrong type of clients. But if you charge too high, you might not attract any clients at all!
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to set your landscape design rates. When doing so, make sure you’re taking into account all of your costs – including materials, overhead, and labor. Additionally, don’t forget to factor in your desired profit margin!
15. Offer a Free Consultation for New Landscape Design Clients
Another great way to attract new landscape design clients is by offering a free consultation. This will give potential customers the chance to meet with you and get an idea of your landscape design skills before committing to working with you.
Not only will this help build trust between you and your potential clients; it’ll also give you a chance to sell them on your services. After all, the more they like what they see during the consultation, the more likely they are to hire you!
To make sure your free consultations are as effective as possible, here are a few tips:
- Schedule each consultation for at least 30 minutes
- Meet with the potential client at their home or business
- Bring along samples of your work (if possible)
- Ask questions and listen to their needs/wants
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to attracting new landscape design clients in no time!
16. Offer Other Incentives While You’re At It
In addition to offering free consultations, you can also attract new landscape design clients by offering other incentives. For example, you could offer a discount for signing a contract on the spot. Or, if you’re working with a larger budget, you could offer a free upgrade (e.g., from mulch to stone).
Another popular incentive would be a referral program. For example, you could offer a discount to clients who refer you to someone else. This is a great way to get word-of-mouth marketing – which is always a plus! Plus, it’s a great way to encourage past clients to come back to you for future services.
While we’re talking about client retention, perhaps another idea to consider is some sort of loyalty program! For example, you could offer a discount to clients who use your services multiple times. This is a great way to show your appreciation – and keep those clients returning for more!
No matter what type of incentive you choose to offer, make sure it’s something that will appeal to your target market. After all, there’s no point in offering a discount if your potential clients can’t afford your services in the first place.
17. Start a Podcast
If you’re looking for an innovative way to attract new landscape design clients, look no further than podcasts!
Podcasts are a great way to reach a larger audience and show off your expertise. Plus, they’re relatively easy (and inexpensive) to create. And, if you do it right, they can be a great marketing tool for your business!
When starting a podcast, the key is to focus on topics that will appeal to your target market. For example, if you’re targeting residential clients, you could discuss topics like “How To Choose The Perfect Plants For Your Home” or “The Top Landscaping Trends of 2022.”
On the other hand, if you’re targeting commercial clients, you could discuss topics like “How To Landscape A Business Park” or “The Benefits of Commercial Landscaping.”
No matter what topics you choose to discuss, make sure you’re providing value to your listeners. Otherwise, they’re not likely to stick around for very long!
18. Provide Virtual Services In Addition To In-Person Ones
In today’s day and age, it’s important to offer both in-person and virtual services. This way, you can reach a wider range of clients – no matter where they’re located!
If you’re not sure how to get started with virtual services, here are a few ideas:
- Offer video consultations
- Provide online design services
- Use social media to connect with potential clients
- Send e-newsletters with landscaping tips and tricks
- Teach one-on-one and/or group classes online
By offering virtual services, you’ll be able to reach a whole new group of landscape design clients! And, who knows – you might even find that you prefer working virtually!
Thinking of taking your landscape design business online? QC Design School’s one-unit Virtual Design Training mini course will break down everything you need to know in less than a month!
19. Run an Email Campaign (or Two)
Another great way to find and attract new landscape design clients is to run an email campaign!
Email campaigns are an excellent way to reach a large group of potential clients all at once. Plus, they’re relatively easy and inexpensive to create. Furthermore, if done correctly, they can be highly effective!
When creating an email campaign, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:
First, make sure your subject line is attention-grabbing and relevant. After all, if no one opens your email, they’re not going to see your message!
Second, keep your message clear and concise. No one wants to read a long-winded email – so make sure you get to the point quickly!
And lastly, include a call-to-action. This could be something like “Sign Up For A Free Consultation” or “Get 20% Off Your First Service.”
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to create an email campaign that’s both effective and successful! And, if you need a bit more help getting started, we recommend giving this article by OptinMonster a read!
20. Offer Additional Design Services
In addition to landscape design, there are a number of other design services you can offer your clients. For example, you could become a certified interior decorator or home stager!
By offering additional services all under one roof, you’ll be able to reach a whole new group of potential clients. Plus, you’ll be able to diversify your income stream – which is always a good thing!
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
- Interior decorating
- Home staging
- Professional organizing
- Color consulting
- Feng Shui design
- Floral design
- Aging in Place design
No matter what design services you choose to offer, make sure they’re in line with your skillset and target market. That way, you’ll be sure to attract the right clients – and grow your business in the process!
Did you know that QC Design School offers self-paced, online certification courses for ALL of the above design fields? It’s true! Check out our full course catalogue and see for yourself!
By following the 20 tips outlined in this article, you’ll be sure to find and attract new landscape design clients in no time! So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start growing your business today!
Looking for even more business-growing advice? Check out our other articles on our blog, The Focal Point!
Do you have any other tips on how to find landscape design clients? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below! And don’t forget to share this article with anyone else who might be interested!
Thanks for reading! 🙂