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Sharing Green Values (even when it's not central to your biz/org)

Imagine this... 


You inherited your parent's landscape business along with a list of loyal clients. Like many landscaping businesses, your family's has typically cut a lot of grass, moved a lot of rocks, and planted fancy flowers.🌳🌹🌷🌹🌷🌹🌲.


You've known for a while that landscaping could help the environment by supporting pollinator species and increasing biodiversity, so you've started making some changes to be more eco-friendly. 🌳🐞🌻🐝🌾🐦


Yet, you seem to keep getting clients who are more interested in having a good yard for people parties than bird parties, and you find yourself wondering why you're not landing clients who share your passion or vision for supporting biodiversity.


"Perhaps," you think, "If I could communicate my environmental efforts, I could get more of the work I'm passionate about. But how can I do that without losing loyal customers or looking like I'm greenwashing?"

🌸🐝☘️


This is a really common experience for businesses owned by people who truly care but whose offer isn't specifically about making an environmental impact. Businesses across many sectors can feel this way: financial planners, cleaners, hair stylists, bakers, builders, chefs, and more.


Meanwhile, sometimes businesses and organizations that DO have an environmental impact as their central purpose are not connecting with the audience who share those values. 


So, what to do? How can this be fixed? 


Well, you're in luck! There are many good solutions! 


It comes down to a few core things: clarity, audience, proof, and storytelling.


So let's dig in...


1. Get clear on your passion and goals. 👀

The first step is to get clear on your purpose. Identify the specific area within the environmental space that you are passionate about. ❤️‍🔥. For the landscaper, your main passion may be enhancing biodiversity. 🐝🐛


But, if you're like me and it is taking a long time to narrow your focus down, that's fine...you can either go broad and say that your thing is climate change or identify several areas that you're passionate about, like carbon sequestration, pollinator habitat, and having a safe planet for future generations.


To get more clarity, do some journaling or consider what you get excited talking about with friends! ✏️


2. Get clear on your target audience. 👋

Apply your narrowed environmental focus to your target market. As a landscaper, originally your target market likely included that they must have a yard, want someone else to do the work, and live within 45 km. Now you can add "care about protecting nature" to the list. 


You may still accept other clients for a time, but at least this will help you when designing your promotions and messaging.


3. Prove your dedication 🕵️‍♀️

Show your commitment to being a hero in the specific environmental space by taking green actions and get verifications from 3rd parties.


For your landscaping business, you may start the transition by no longer using fertilizers, pesticides, or coloured wood chips. You may then encourage your clients to get pollinators and native species of plants and to landscape in a way that reduces rainwater runoff.🌱🕷️🌧️


Look into industry associations for green businesses like yours. For instance, as a landscaper, you might become a member of the Organic Council of Ontario. Becoming a member is a great way to ensure continued learning and connect with like-minded people. 🧾🤝


You can also pledge donations to an organization working on the specific environmental impact, in this case, you might donate 1% of your income to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Committing to financially supporting an organization is a great way to show that you really are passionate about it, and it's not all talk! 👛


Finally, look into accreditations and certifications for your eco-friendly business to show that a third party has verified that you do what you say you do. 🏅 As an eco landscaper, you might seek accreditation from the Society for Organic Urban Land Care! This can be really helpful to clients who don't know a lot about eco-landscaping and want to make sure that the efforts will have an impact.



4. Tell your story. 💬

Now you can tell the story behind your passion and actions. 


Why is protecting and nurturing biodiversity so important to you? When you were young, did you have a really special moment with a grandparent, watching a spider build its web?🕸️ Or perhaps you visited an aunt who had many different plants in her backyard, and there were more birds than you had ever seen anywhere else, swooping between the trees?🐦🦉


Sharing the story behind your passion is an excellent way to connect with others and get them to empathize with your mission. Stories show people that your passion is genuine and can inspire them to get involved and make a difference to support the characters in the story.💗 


It's also valuable to share the stories of your current actions and your future goals. What differences are you seeing because of the actions you've been taking?✔️✔️✔️


Trust me, people want to know! Much more than lists of plants, discounts, or holiday hours, people want to hear your stories! You can share them on your website and on social media.


You can take it a step further by bringing your audience into your story. Ask them what they are doing to increase biodiversity on their property!


What about my current clients? 🤔

It can feel scary to do this because you can worry that your current clients may leave you.


Truthfully, there may be a couple that aren't all that into it, but you'd be surprised just how many are very excited about the new opportunity.🙋 And consider the fulfillment that you'll get out of doing more of the work you love! That's worth a lot as well! 💚💙


But, more than likely, the vast majority will stay loyal, perhaps even more so.


That's because 

  • Now you're offering something special and new that they can do with their outdoor space. 

  • They already respected you, and now you're showing a greater amount of expertise in one area of the work you do.

  • They may have been wanting to make their space more environmentally friendly but didn't know where to start and didn't know if you'd be up for it!


You don't have to ditch any client that doesn't get 100% on board with eco-scaping. In fact, you can share options to start with small sections of yard that are friendly for pollinators and grow from there. 


Start by telling your clientele that this is what you're interested in doing and ask if they'd be interested in exploring it with you.

🐦🦉🐿️🐸


You don't have to do all of these steps or do them in this exact order. Do what feels right, and I promise that you'll feel more fulfillment in you business and find clients who really value your work!


So, go for it!! And then tell me all about it!! 

🦗🐝🐛🐢

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