California

“Door hangers: Anyone use them? If you do, have they worked for you? How much did they cost? Did you go from an online site or a local company? If you used a nationwide company, how much were they?”

Pennsylvania

“I have never solicited work in this manner. I find a job well done pays twice over: once when the customer pays you, and again with the work that comes from word of mouth. I get more work in this manner than I can handle. I have been thinking lately of subbing some of it out. Have not had any experience in it, so I am very reserved about doing it, but to keep people happy I might have to.”

California

“Word of mouth is where I get most of my business. The phone book ad has been ‘eh,’ but I have a small ad. My biggest problem is I moved from San Diego to Sonoma County about a year and half ago. It’s been slow breaking into a new county; I have really been working here for just over a year.

“I can pay the bills from word of mouth, but it has just been getting slower and slower. A good cleanup, a big smile and being honest can go a long way. Best of luck to everyone staying successful.”

Illinois

“I used door hangers one year. Put out 1,500 and got five or six customers from them. I now use a mailing list I made and send out postcards. I sent out 200 just trying to get some aeration work. In one week I had 103 new aeration customers. People pick up their mail, but do not use their front doors. Many people read the paper online, so they do not have to get it off the front porch in the morning. I will be sending out about 2,000 postcards in the next three weeks to pick up new lawn and tree customers for next year.”

California

“If you don’t mind sharing the goods on how you started this process, I would love to hear.”

Illinois

“Here’s my experience in advertising. I have used the paper that covers most of central Illinois. I have used the Yellow Pages and some small-town local papers. These all were a waste of my time and money. The big companies get all the prime areas in the yellow pages and papers. Postcards have done the best for me for the money I spend. Through the winter, I went through the phone book and started making my own [mailing list]. It is a pain in the butt, but the addresses are always right. I will also never use door hangers.”

Michigan

“I sent out 100 postcards to a neighborhood I wanted to snowplow in. I got two responses, which is 2 percent, and that’s not bad. I got an additional three from word of mouth from doing the other two.

“There are white pages online where you can find addresses of the area you want to hit. I put them all in a spreadsheet. When they come back from the post office as undeliverable, I delete them from the list. It is a little work, but there is no cost.”

“In Your Own Words” is contributed from www.TreeServicesSite.com. Visit the forum, and join in the discussions.