You’re Looking at an Expert on Deerproofing Landscapes
My garden roots run really deep, starting with my mother and her garden – which was and is always immaculate and beautiful. I later hoofed it as a landscaper and gradually refined my status to park horticulturist, architect, then landscape designer. In that last role I learned how to run a business. That fete at once almost broke me. Yet in turn it birthed a little piece of who I am, and that is the Deerproofing Expert.
Although I was set on cultivating an elegant roster of landscape design clientele as a newbie business owner, I had little clue as to how to wrangle them towards me. I had top notch design and garden skills, but very little business savvy when I started my first company, Flourish. After learning some networking abilities – I realized that getting my face out and about was one way to attract business. So I set about town as often as I could meeting, greeting, and passing out business cards.
There were several flaws in how I initially decided to market myself, because it can be so very hard to see outside of who you are and into the hearts and minds of the people who need your help. I just kept hearing from many of my initial clients that deer were a very difficult challenge to overcome in their landscapes as they were eating almost every plant in sight. By charging bargain basement rates when I started, I tended to have projects that were smaller in scope where the clients would actually install themselves. I thought it would be wise to start putting together my well honed, tried and true, and many landscapes-proven deerproofing ways.
I began the process of writing.
My truly solid and foolproof methods went into a little book I called Deerproofing 101. At trade shows and in some of my marketing materials I would promote myself as this expert. This helped my business grow very little, though, and here’s why. Deeproofing is for people who actually do gardening work themselves, and I was trying to gain the attention of people for whom many of their services, including landscaping are hired out. While my expertise was greatly appreciated by those who hired me for my design abilities, deerproofing was just one component of a long list of what made me talented in design. At the end of the day, I am really great at cohesive, tailored, beautiful spaces, and I needed to be telling that story if I wanted the more elaborate jobs.
So into a light blue folder on my computer the booklet sat for years, along with a tip sheet freebie I had made that folks could download and a darn right funny power point presentation that I used to give at the Civic Garden Center (to a packed house, I might add!).
It hurt my feelings that my inner horticulture geek was starting to fade as I morphed into business lady, until one day it clicked – people DO need this information. In fact, it is a huge need in many parts of North America, it’s just that the target market for this information isn’t the one I started serving with Flourish. Deerproofing needed to be seen and heard, and it is a business on its own!
I’m so excited to have an outlet for all my years of preening and finessing my garden knowledge…if you plan to follow me in this community you will see how one obsessive workaholic crazy woman traveled the globe from ecosystem to park to garden and back to seek out beautiful places, learn from the industries most exotic experts, try building a life with a now ex husband/pirate (yep, true), and built a successful business at the same time.
I promise to tell the truth in my no holds barred way about gardening. This is NOT your typical garden blog, nor should it be.
If your interest in this booklet has peaked, you can view it on the homepage. Enjoy a deer-proof future and sign up for my newsletter for more updates and tips from an expert. For continuous inspiration, check out my Pinterest page here.