Tawnya Pappin and Erica Knapp

Tawnya Pappin, Digital & Events Manager Turf Holdings Inc. and Erica Knapp, Digital Director Turf Holdings Inc.

Tawnya Pappin
Photo courtesy of Tawnya Pappin
Erica Knapp
Photo courtesy of Erica Knapp

Together, we manage the digital department at Turf Holdings Inc., the master franchisor for Weed Man, Mosquito Hero and our affiliate robotic mowing brand, TurfBot. It wasn’t long ago that our company really dove into the world of digital with the help of a two-person team. Today, our department is made up of seven talented digital marketers — six of whom are women! Digital sales now account for more than 30% of the company’s annual revenue.

We wanted to use this article as an opportunity to encourage female entrepreneurs in the green industry to take the plunge into digital. You don’t need a big budget, a marketing agency or even any level of digital prowess to get started. All you need is your story.

Tawnya: When I first started at Weed Man, I didn’t know the first thing about lawn care. I did know, however, that the industry was a male-dominated one. I’m always up for a challenge, though, and over seven years later, I can say it wasn’t all that scary. In fact, it’s been beautiful! Not only do I get to witness our franchisees transform dull-looking lawns into green oases, but I get to help them build their local businesses online and tell their stories via various digital avenues.

Erica: I have had the privilege of working at Weed Man (and now TurfBot!) for the last decade. Weed Man is a woman-led company that espouses family values above all else — one of the many benefits of this growing organization. These values are intertwined in everything we do online. Offline strategy has so much value when it comes to customer acquisition, but oftentimes, it’s difficult to tell a story without some movement or a human element. Enter social media.

Tawnya: Social media has been one area of our business that has transformed over the past decade. We use our social presence to not only share educational content regarding how to care for your lawn, but also to represent our brand and highlight the career opportunities this growing industry offers. Our brand colors and messaging are prominent in everything we share. Our look and feel online is cohesive across all platforms, and our pages and profiles are created and maintained in a way that illustrates the importance of an inclusive environment. If this is your first foray into digital, social media is a great place to start.

Erica: As you develop a social presence, keep the focus on your story. Share tidbits of who you are as a woman in the green industry, give kudos to key employees, highlight beautiful projects you’ve worked on (hint: everybody LOVES a good before and after), and let your audience know who you are and what you do. Publishing content that represents your core business values will help you advertise your brand in a meaningful way.

Once you’ve developed a comfort level with organic or earned social, you may want to try investing a few marketing dollars into a paid Facebook/Instagram campaign. Targeted, inexpensive and market-size inclusive, this is a tried-and-true way to create brand awareness and generate leads at a relatively low cost.

Pay-Per-Click is another medium that can help you capitalize on Google searches happening in your local market. As you continue to grow and integrate additional channels into your digital repertoire, you may want to consider bringing on a digital marketing partner to help bring these campaigns to life.

Tawnya: The sky’s the limit when it comes to digital, and we know it can be overwhelming. Just remember that your story is all that’s needed to start dipping your toe into the digital waters.

Women in Landscaping is a column brought to you in partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

September 2022
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