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Video: How to Find an In-House Marketing Person and What to Pay Them: Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Tips

Picture of Chad Diller Author: Chad Diller

So you finally reached the spot in your lawn care and landscaping business where you're ready to hire an in-house marketing person. But where do you find this person and what do you pay them? That's what we're going to talk about today. Stay tuned.

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Video Transcription

Hey, what's going on? It's Chad with Landscape Leadership. We work with dozens of lawn care and landscaping companies all across the country to help them grow their business. Some of the mid-size lawn care and landscaping companies that we work with have reached this point in their company's maturity where they're ready to hire someone in-house to help with the marketing.

Now, if you're not sure about what that person should do, I encourage you to go back to my previous video that talked about how you can best leverage both an in-house marketing person in an outside agency to get the best bang for your buck.

Today, we're going to talk about that in -ouse marketing person, meaning how to find them, what are things to look for, and how much you should be paying them.


My Unique Landscaping & Lawn Care Marketing Perspective

So I have an interesting perspective on this topic. Over the last 20 years that I've been in the lawn care and landscaping industry, I've held a bunch of different types of roles. I started out in the field doing the work. Then I moved inside into the office and started going out and meeting with clients and selling a lot of the work. And then I developed into a marketing position within the $13 million company that I worked for.

Throughout my time there and also since I've been here at landscape leadership, I've come in contact with all kinds of marketing people within the green industry that worked for companies. And, I realize that this isn't an easy answer or one-size-fits-all solution to figure out who should be in this role.


(RELATED READING:  7 Lessons I Learned in My First 5 Months with a Marketing Agency)


Hiring Internally or Looking Outside Your Landscaping or Lawn Care Company?

You basically have two options. You can either hire someone from inside your company and put them in that marketing role or you can hire someone from outside of your company that knows marketing. Both of these have pluses and minuses.


Hiring From Within

When you hire someone within your company, they know your company really well. They know services. They probably have a lot of technical knowledge when it comes to lawns, landscapes, trees, or whatever it is that you're selling.

But they might not know a lot about marketing. When you hire someone from outside your company, they typically have an inverse of that. They can have a lot of marketing experience or knowledge, but not understand all of that technical industry detail.

There is a time and place when that helps a lot to have someone that's kind of the perfect combination of these two, but that's pretty rare.

If you have somebody internally that has a lot of technical knowledge, what are they going to have to do to learn marketing? Probably a lot.


(RELATED READING:  5 Reasons Your In-House Marketing May Be Failing You)


Hiring From Outside

What if you have somebody that understands marketing, the core of what they're really doing for you? Can they learn things about lawns and landscapes over a year or two years? They'll probably will be able to learn all that they need to know to market your services.

Plus, if they're working with a team, they can lean on other people within your team, those technical experts to find  answers.


So Which is Best (In My Opinion)?

My knee-jerk reaction is to hire somebody that really knows marketing and that will best serve your company. That's not to say that hiring someone inside isn't going to work out because a lot of what they're going to do is implementation. They're going to make sure tasks get done on time. They're going to work with really great outside vendors and they're really going to coordinate a lot of those things.

Skills, Experience, & Personality Traits

Whether you hire someone internally or from outside your company, you're going to want some of the same personality traits that are hardwired in that person, versus just looking for skills on a resume.

Make sure that that person has a lot of these core personality traits really hardwired in their nature. Marketing is constantly changing and a good marketing person is always looking to learn.


A Hunger for Learning Marketing

If you find somebody that has a marketing degree from 10-20 years ago and really hasn't been keeping up with what's changed, that may not work. You want to have somebody that's really hungry for knowledge and they're learning everything that they possibly can on a consistent basis. That's a kind of person that's going to evolve with your company as time goes and catch onto new trends and platforms that they can use.


Easy to Work With

The next thing I would look for is basically somebody that's just really easy to work with. They're going to work with people within your team as well as vendors outside of your company. It's really important that they're easy to get along with, that they communicate well, and that they can go back and forth and have some really valuable dialogue. They need to be able to bring all that information together and really formulate and execute on a plan.


(RELATED PODCAST:  Hiring Marketing Help In-House)


Someone Who Follows Through

So that leads me to my next point, and that is you need to have somebody that's going to follow through. The last thing you need is someone that creates a great plan and never puts it into action and doesn't live up to their own deadlines.

You're going to need to see that, in this person's prior experience, they have demonstrated that they've handled big tasks and taking care of all kinds of things. They took charge of the implementation of these big projects and made sure they pulled it all together, and leveraged a team inside and outside the company to make sure those things happened.


Sales Experience, an Added Bonus

It's an added bonus is if you have somebody with some prior sales experience. Marketing and sales are really closely related and it's important to understand that, yes, I need to market this service, but I also need to understand how people are wired, the language that we need to use, and the psychology that goes behind things like a blog posts, the way the website is positioned, what our photography says, and how videos should be scripted. This person can really get that and they should be an intuitive thinker that can really think beyond just kind of posting things here and there.


(RELATED READING:  The Biggest Challenges Faced by In-House Marketers at Lawn and Landscape Companies)


What to Pay an In-House Marketing Person at Your Landscaping Company or Lawn Care Business

So what should you pay this person? That's probably a big question as well. What I recommend to do is when your company gets to the point that you're somewhere around $3-$5 million, it's a great time to hire an internal marketing person. Chances are that you, the business owner, might've been doing all of these things or someone else on your team may have been doing it as some of their tasks that they have to do every week. They might not be passionate about it.

So by hiring that full time person, they're going to really focus on it.


Hiring Someone Right Out of College

There are a couple of different ways this goes. In the past, I've seen lawn care or landscaping company owners hire someone that maybe their child or relative, that's looking for a job that just graduated from college for marketing.

That's not always the best fit. Sometimes they don't have the real world experience to really put this stuff into action. You've got to be careful with that.

When you're hiring somebody that's just coming out of college, you're probably looking to hire them at the low level of a pay scale. What I would encourage you to do is really invest in this person.


Hiring Someone with Prior Marketing Experience

If you want somebody that has a lot of practical experience (even if it's in another industry and they can adapt that to your company) you're going to have to pay well for that.

Hiring somebody at $35k to the low $40k range typically means that you're probably gonna have some churn in this position. Then you're going to waste a lot of money and that's going to be money wasted.


Hiring a Marketing Coordinator

What I would recommend doing is to hire what's called a marketing coordinator. It's a person that's really going to work with all those people and get all that stuff done. Depending upon your market and where you're at in the country, you should probably hire that person and pay them somewhere around $50k a year.


Hiring an Experienced, Marketing Director

What about someone that really knows marketing? They've got a master's degree, or 5-10 years in the field. Maybe they worked for different industries, maybe even other lawn care or landscape companies. How much should you pay that person?

Well, be careful because if you pay somebody a lot of money, they better deliver. I've had a lot of lawn care and landscaping company owners tell me that they've made this move and the person really didn't follow through with what they were supposed to do. Again, that's money wasted.

What I would recommend to do is to first hire that lower level $50k to $55k marketing coordinator position. Make sure that they understand that at some point in time someone else is going to come into the company and into the picture as a marketing director. Either they can grow into this role or they're going to get a new boss when you bring somebody in.

That marketing director, may be supervising a few people within your marketing team and they can really pull things together from a higher, strategic standpoint, and they really understand how to extrapolate data and different trends that you have going on with your company.

If your company is getting to the point where you're probably around $8M to $20M, you need to have more than one marketing person on your team, and so then you might want to bring in a marketing director.

If your marketing coordinator is getting paid $50k that marketing director might be closer to $70k+. Again, the idea is to pay well so people don't leave.

Make sure you keep them accountable so you're not paying them to do nothing and make sure that they understand that they have a future with your company and that will really help your business grow.

I hope this helps you understand where you should find this in-house marketing person for your team and also how much you should pay them. Ultimately, it's going to come down to really taking some time and exploring all these questions that go into hiring someone for your team to make sure that they're going to stay and really perform for you over the years to come.

Thanks a lot. Hope you're having a really great day.

Want regular, practical tips like these to take your lawn care or landscaping business to the next level? Then consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. Or if you'd rather read our in-depth articles on Landscape Leadership's website, you can also subscribe to our blog   

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Picture of Chad Diller

About Chad Diller

Chad is the Vice President at Landscape Leadership. Prior to joining our team he served as a marketing manager for one of the Top 150 Companies in the Green Industry. In addition to his vast marketing experience, he also has held certifications such as an ISA Certified Arborist and Landscape Industry Certified Technician. He currently resides in beautiful Lancaster County, PA.

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