It's the 200th episode of The Landscaper's Guide Video Podcast, and I'm excited to share some takeaways that I've learned having made over 200 episodes that you can use in your own marketing. Things about social media, including how to handle negative comments on social media and some funny responses to some kind of nonsense comments I've gotten. Plus stay to the end because I'm going to give away a gift to celebrate our 200th episode that'll help you grow your snow and landscape company.
Hey everyone, Jack Jostes here and welcome to the Landscapers Guide Podcast where we share sales, marketing, and leadership inspiration to grow the snow and landscape industry. Right now it's actually December, 2023 that I'm recording this. It's going to come out in January, so Happy New Year. And when I started this show, it was the height of COVID and there were some doubts in my mind of like, "Wow, the world's in turmoil and should I do this? Should I wait? Is there a better time?" And I'm really glad that I decided to launch the podcast. At that time, I was thinking, "You know what? It is a really weird time and people need to hear inspiration. They need to keep growing their businesses." And I had already done all the prep work of recording the podcast music and creating the graphics and getting everything planned out, and I'm glad that I decided to get started because it ended up being a major way of growing my business when all of the landscape trade shows were closed, I still had my podcast going and launched a virtual conference, The Landscaper Summit, which we now continue.
01:52: Why YouTube Should be Part of Your SEO Strategy
There's never a good time to get started. You probably have some big important project in your business that you know you need to do. Do it. Get started on it. If you know in your heart that you have something big and important to do in your business or in your personal life, get started, do it. And you'll start getting the results faster than if you wait until the perfect time. There is no perfect time. There is no good time. The time is now. So this is our 200th episode. And what was cool is up until launching this show, I had already been doing a weekly video show called Friday's Ramblin Roundup. And all along one of my coaches, Jason Swenk, was like, "Dude, you got to release it as a podcast. It's really easy and you're going to reach this enormous audience." And I delayed that for years.
And I'm glad that I finally did because we have had now over 40,000 downloads for the audio podcast alone. And over 31,000 YouTube views and over 2,700 hours of watch time on YouTube. And what's amazing is one of the episodes that I made several years ago is still one of our top videos. So video, doing it in both. Audio has been amazing because I've reached a lot of new people who listened to the show, and video, YouTube is so powerful because it has a really long shelf life. And a video that ranks well and gets views continues to rank well and get views. So consider that in your landscape company, even if you're not creating a podcast, YouTube is a very powerful place.
And just today I was doing some research around how much does landscape design cost. I was doing some searches. I had my whole team do it. And what we're seeing, I have employees all around the country, is that the location of the person searches changes their results. So we have some clients here in Colorado that I'm just seeing show up, and also my Ramblers who are in different parts of the country are seeing clients that are closer to them. I also saw a YouTube video straight up ranking on the first page. So I think there's an opportunity for you this year in 2024 to use YouTube as part of your SEO and social media strategy. That's one of the reasons I love video so much is that you can reuse it in all these different places. And I was just looking at my Instagram stats today and realized a lot of the most viewed content are little clips that I've pulled out of my video podcast.
04:37: The Benefits of Repurposing Long-Form Video on Social Media
So video, long form video and repurposing it on social media has a lot of benefits there too that I think you could get with your own business. One of the hesitations that people have with getting started with social media or video is not being perfect at it, and that's totally normal. No one likes seeing themselves on video. For me, it's just part of my job. I make video content, I watch it enough that I need to get the work done, but it doesn't have to be perfect. It's just part of my job. It's part of what I do.
And getting started, it doesn't need to be perfect because hardly anyone's going to be following you and seeing your content. So start and you'll get better over time. I'm super excited about the quality of the show that we're producing now. I've learned all about lighting. I have a video studio. I never would've had any of this if I hadn't gotten started. And originally I got started making it on my iPhone and using cheap lights that I got from Amazon and inexpensive microphones. And over time it became a passion and a hobby of mine to invest in higher quality microphones. This microphone was actually a gift from the Ramblers. My team gave me this and that inspired me to finally get started. So I'm just sharing that I've made a lot of episodes just straight up on my phone and the video and photo and podcast interview skills got better over time. So thank you all to everyone who's been watching the show and listening to it. I'm really grateful to have you listening to the show.
06:15: The Secret to Producing Results: Consistency
One of the lessons that I've learned that has stuck with me from the beginning and why I started doing a weekly video nearly 14 years ago was partly inspired from Jeffrey Gitomer. I read Jeffrey Gitomer, I actually listened to it. It's an amazing audiobook, Little Red Book of Selling, and I listened to that while I was doing door to door sales as a milkman at a dairy farm, and I was listening to it trying to improve my sales skills and then knocking on doors and trying little scripts and things that I was learning from the book and really developed a passion for selling. My wife recently told me she's like, "Sales are like a drug to you." And it's true. I enjoy sales. Even when we sell small things like a webinar ticket, I get so stoked and I love helping my clients sell.
But the lesson I wanted to share with you is showing up to work every day and making it a habit. My dad was talking with me recently and he's like, "Jack, I don't understand what you do. I don't understand how you do it." And he worked the same job. He worked at Allstate trading stocks and bonds for 28 years, and I'm like, "I don't understand how you did that." But I do though, he just woke up every day, got dressed and went to work, and it was this Midwest work ethic that I learned from my dad. It's the same thing I do here. I suppose there's more risk involved in running my business, but I don't know. Trading stocks and bonds is pretty risky too. So I'm sharing that with you because many of you run landscape companies and it's a lot of the basics. It's showing up and doing your job every day over a long period of time that produces the results.
We didn't have 40,000 downloads in the first year of the show. It's been nearly four years since we started it. We started it in March of 2020 and we're coming into spring of 2024. So it took a while, but it was the weekly consistent effort of making the show that produced the result. So what is it in your business that if you did it every week, if you committed to it, that years from now would really pay off? Now, I'm super grateful to have people listening to the show. It's part of why I do it. But also one of my core values at Ramblin Jackson is “Grow or Die”. And honestly, I learned so much by producing this podcast because it forces me to write things every week. It forces me to interview people, and it gives me an excuse to ask people questions about their business. So I'm getting a lot of value out of it. And I think that's one of the cool things about having a podcast. And I know some landscape companies that have podcasts. There are some really successful ones from active landscapers who are working and they run their podcast and they run some really great shows. So have you ever considered running a podcast? I think it could actually be a pretty cool opportunity for you.
09:36: Considering the Gap & The Gain When Making Decisions
Another lesson is the Gap or the Gain. This is something that I worked on that I learned ultimately from my business coach Wayne. I was telling him about something that was happening and how it didn't go the way I wanted. And he's like, "Hey, write down what you got out of it. Write down the gain. And do you want to focus on the gain or the gap?" So 41,000 downloads over several years is not very much in the scheme of podcasts. Joe Rogan gets, I think 190,000 downloads a month, but I don't really need that. I don't really need that wide of appeal. I don't really want people to know me at the grocery store.
Now, if I see a landscape professional randomly somewhere and they know who I am, cool. I'm really looking to influence my Hell Yes Customer, you, with the right information, and I don't need the enormous broad appeal. So I think that's an important thing to think about when you're making social media content, if you're going to do a podcast, is not to compare yourself too much to other people. Obviously, I want to continue growing my audience and continue reaching more people, and I know that I will over time, but I'm not going to get too hung up on how many downloads I have versus so-and-so and so on. It's not really why I do it.
In running the show, I do run paid Facebook advertising to help grow the show, to help grow my social media, help people find out about Landscaper’s Guide. And when you run Facebook ads, people come from out of the woodwork to post comments on your stuff. And initially when I started getting comments on my stuff on Facebook, I was riled up about it and blah, blah, blah. And then after a while I realized that I'm just some guy on the internet with, sometimes I'm wearing a suit or whatever, and people are scrolling the internet at night and I come through their feed and they blow me up with some comment, and now I just laugh.
11:53: How I Deal With Negative Feedback on Social Media
One guy was posting all of this stuff about how I'm a globalist and all this just straight-up nonsense. I'm like, bro, bro, do you know that we have a bell? This is helping small businesses ring the bell. We literally have an 11 pound ship bell. Yeah. Yeah. This is not about globalist. Are you kidding me? So I'm sharing this partly because that was just nonsense. And when people post nonsense on my social media, I laugh at it. I usually take a screenshot and I usually delete it.
Now, some people though legitimately disagree with me, and I welcome that. If you're listening and you're like, I don't like this idea, cool. I just had somebody email me this week who read my book and was like, "Hey, I don't understand why you don't like word of mouth. I just sold all this business on word of mouth." I'm like, "Cool. Word of mouth is amazing. I love word of mouth. We should all be doing such a good job that we're getting word of mouth." I still think it's irresponsible to rely on word of mouth to grow your business, especially when you have a team and a staff and you're looking to grow. Partly because if you rely on word of mouth and you're trying to increase your customer base, maybe your skills grow. I just had a conversation with a client who upgraded from Gold Nugget to Wild Frontier, super stoked. That's our top marketing plan level. They have grown a tremendous amount in the last several years. They're capable of doing much larger design build construction projects with much larger budgets. But if they were to just rely on word of mouth from their existing customer base, who in the previous years invested like half of what they're capable doing now, they'd only be getting referrals to those smaller projects. So it makes sense for them to invest in marketing for people who are searching online for those sorts of things.
But again, legitimate question, love legitimate questions. And there is quite the debate going on one of my Facebook ads that I'm running, it's a clip from the podcast with Andrew Hardison about charging for the appointment. And somebody wrote, "Exactly who I don't use. I don't know you or your company. And if you look that crooked, I wouldn't trust that company. Clearly able to exploit right off the bat. You don't pay Walmart to use their store and you don't pay a car dealer to look at their cars. It's just abusive."
And there is quite the thread of replies on here. And I wrote back, "Hey, thanks for commenting. Walmart and car dealerships sell commodities not services." And it goes on and it's clear that this strategy works. I mean, do you really want a customer who commoditizes you in the same category of stuff that they buy at Walmart or a used car? This just proves the point that this is a great strategy for Hardison to disqualify people. It's working. It's working really well, and he has all these amazing reviews.
So I just wanted to share with you that sometimes when I'm working with people on social media, they're afraid of the negative comments that they're going to get on Facebook, and there's nothing to be afraid of. If you have a good idea, share it with people. And if it's a really good idea, some people will disagree with it, that's good. If it's a bland idea, no one will disagree with it, and that's kind of boring.
But part of it for me is I look at, I get dressed. As soon as I'm done, I'm going to take this off. I'm going to change into my home clothes and I'm going to go smoke a pork loin roast. And I'm done working for the day. Of course, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about work and I get ideas for the podcast and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But separating like I'm on the internet doing my job, this person is commenting on this idea. It doesn't really have a lot to do with me personally. It gives me a lot of confidence to keep making content. So I wanted to share that with you because as you grow your business, you're going to get people coming out of the woodwork with this.
And I invite you, I'm going to put a link to this in this show notes to weigh in. Do you agree or disagree about charging for appointments? Asterisk, this is for a design build construction company. This is not for HVAC. There are different contractors coming out of the woodwork to like, "This guy's swearing at me." And I left it up there because it's interesting and it's funny. But anyways, it's not about HVAC leads. It's not about fence leads. It's about landscape design build leads.
So anyways, wanted to share that with you, that I appreciate the comments here to an extent. And also, there are people who tell me how much they enjoy listening to the show. And here's somebody I got to interview at Elevate.
17:33: Chris James Shares Why Every Landscaper Should Listen to the Podcast
Hey, I'm Chris James with Perfect Cut Landscape, and I'm here to tell you why you should listen to The Landscaper's Guide. So on a day-to-day basis, how much windshield time do you have? I find myself faced every day with a decision. Do I put on the radio? Do I listen to the same hundred songs on repeat that I listen to all the time? Or do I put on The Landscaper's Guide, take the opportunity to learn something, take the opportunity to listen to other landscapers. The struggles that they're having and how they're overcoming them, how I can implement these things in my day-to-day to improve my company's efficiency, to improve the experience that my customers are having, my employees are having. And these are the things that I hear live testimonials every day on The Landscaper's Guide. How can I improve my marketing? How can I improve sales? How can I be better as an individual to improve my company? And I can do that sitting in my truck every single day with all those extra hours I have. So if you're a landscape professional, check out The Landscaper's Guide podcast.
Recently, my mom told me that she doesn't like my haircut. I love you, mom, but this is my hair. And it's okay that my mom doesn't like my haircut. It's just information, right? I am receiving the information. It's not the end of the world. I'm going to probably change my hair six months from now anyhow, in some way. Super grateful to you, mom, that I got your thick hair though, so thank you.
So when you're creating content, though, I remember reading somewhere, you can't let the negative comments go to your heart, and you can't let the good comments go to your head. It's just information. Some of it helps me know what content is on track, but I'm going to keep making the content regardless.
I'm reading a book right now called YouTube Secrets. It's by one of my favorite podcasters, video content creators, Sean Cannell. And in it has a chapter about courage. And what keeps people from getting started on YouTube? Chiefly, fear. The deer in the headlights feeling. I totally get that. The fear of being judged, getting hate comments and negativity, putting effort into something and not getting any return. I can totally relate to that.
19:53: How to Not Let Fear Stop You From Getting Things Done
And part of the way that I've learned to deal with it is I literally wrote it in my job description. So maybe creating a podcast in social media isn't your job right now, but what is? What I found when I write down my job, I find a way to get it done. And in fact, I think I'm coming down with the stomach flu. I'm pretty sure after I record this, I'm probably going to have a stomach flu. My family's had it in the last couple of days. But this is my job, the show needs to come out, and I'm going to get it done. I found the energy to get it done. It took a while to do it, but this is my job, and I haven't missed an episode in years. I can't actually think of ever missing an episode.
Now, some of them have not been as good as others. Some of them have been repurposed content from something else, but I have found a way to get it done. And this chapter talks about why, finding a why to do it. So I think this is just part of work. Not all of you make a podcast. Some of you do other things. Some of you are on my team listening to this, but to me, why I do this, I wrote in the book, "To help people run a better business and enjoy their life." I really think that's a potential outcome of the show. Not all of the ideas are mine. In fact, most of the episodes, I'm just getting to interview really successful people and share their story and give them a platform to share what's working for them.
But to me, that's meaningful because helping one landscape company owner can impact hundreds if not thousands of people in their community. I mean, just drive around and look. I mean, everywhere you go, the world is a better place with landscaping. How boring would it look if you drove around your neighborhood and there was no landscaping or you went to the shopping mall and there were no lines on the asphalt? It would be chaos. A landscape company probably put the lines in the parking lot and put the plants in place, and all of these different things come from landscaping. So to me, the impact is enormous.
22:17: A Special Thank You to Pat Flynn for Your Inspiration & Resources
I wanted to thank Pat Flynn. I've never actually met Pat Flynn, but I bought Pat Flynn's course Power-Up Podcasting. So this course set me up to launch the podcast, established some really good copywriting habits, helped me figure out how to organize the show in a way, and super grateful and wanted to share that because people ask me all the time about, "How did you start your podcast?" And Pat's course is an amazing resource for that. So check it out, Power-Up Podcasting.
So thank you for watching this. Thanks for helping me reach 200 episodes. And thank you to those of you who comment, let me know that you enjoy the show. I appreciate it. If you are enjoying it, leave a review on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or subscribe on YouTube or whatever. And if you disagree, thank you to the people who are posting comments with questions or rumblings, whatever. Remember to engage in that conversation about charging for your appointments. See a link in the show notes.
23:20: A Special Gift for Landscaper’s Guide Podcast Listeners
And in honor of the 200th episode, I do have a gift for you, like I mentioned. Now, you may be watching the show wondering, should I start a podcast? Should I build my website? Should I do an email list? Should I do all these different things? And the answer is, it depends on your goals and what have you already built. But I can tell you that having worked with over a thousand clients, that most people go in the wrong order, meaning they start investing a lot of time and money in social media only to drive people to a website that is incomplete, that doesn't differentiate them, that doesn't qualify them, or they're missing a key part of their sales process, like charging for appointments, if that makes sense for them, or charging for designs or various different things.
So I'd like to send you a free copy of The Tree of Good Fortune. So this book, you can get it on Amazon, but I want to give it to you totally for free. And normally I have people pay for the cost of shipping and printing the book. But in honor of the 200th episode, I want to ship it to you entirely for free. So I'm literally going to pay for the shipping, all of it. I just want to get this book to you because it has a lot of my best ideas that I believe will help you grow your snow and landscape company in the right order without all the stress of experimenting with things in the wrong order. Follow the proven process in this book and use promo code “200” at treeofgoodfortune.com. So I'm going to put a link to that in the show notes, promo code 200 at treeofgoodfortune.com. And thanks again for checking out The Landscaper's Guide. My name's Jack Jostes, and I look forward to talking with you next week on The Landscaper's Guide podcast. Thanks everyone. Bye-Bye.
25:27: A Special Thank You to The Ramblers!
All right. So I forgot to say thank you to some of the people who make this show happen, Jamie, our Sales and Marketing Manager for getting it out every week. Brendan, who normally edits our show, I edited it today, Ken sometimes edits it. Thank you both. Jessica and Lou for setting up all the automations and the website, landscapersguide.com, Erin, for doing quality control on the email that goes out. So there's a lot of people who help make the show happen. Right now, I am making pork loin roast, so the lighting's really weird. I've got an orange light bulb apparently on my deck. And look at this. Oh yeah, it's pork loin time.
Watch the full episode + see the transcript at: https://landscapersguide.com/podcast/
Tell us where to send your beef jerky: https://landscapersguide.com/toolbox
Use the Promo Code “200” to download your free copy of the Tree of Good Fortune: https://treeofgoodfortune.com
Listen to the podcast featuring Andrew Hardison: https://landscapersguide.com/how-to-increase-close-rates-by-charging-for-landscape-consultations/
Weigh in on the conversation about charging for appointments! https://www.facebook.com/Jack.Jostes.Page/posts/pfbid0GUzRggkTF4UyJAwEFAF8GUzFgMxSG2My7sX3qeiACbdSa4XU3VqfPqJ9dFvnbrUtl
Buy YouTube Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Following & Making Money as a Video Influencer: https://www.amazon.com/YouTube-Secrets-Ultimate-Following-Influencer/dp/1544511817
Check out Pat Flynn’s Power-Up Podcasting Course: https://courses.smartpassiveincome.com/p/power-up-podcasting