The Little Green Book excerpt by gamezire


More Info

Little Green Book


Ways to win loyal clients & crush your competition



The Little Green Book of Big Marketing Tips & Tactics for Landscape Professionals Copyright © 2009 by Chris Heiler All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author. ISBN 978-0-692-00651-1 Printed in USA by 48HrBooks (



would like to thank my Landscape Industry colleagues and friends who brought life to my ideas and made this book a reality—your unique experiences and contribution take this book to a level I could not have reached on my own. This book would not have been possible without guidance from Anthony Daniels who edited and critiqued my writing, as well as Amit Pant who patiently organized my writing into book format. And a special final thank you to my wife, Amy, and son, Charlie, who supported me throughout the entire writing and publishing process.

Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: Earn Your Clients Loyalty #1: Behind the Curtain #2: ‘Tis the Season #3: “Don't You Forget About Me!” #4: Let Your Clients do the Talking #5: Giver's Gain #6: Giver’s Get Rewarded Chapter 2: Create Your Personal Brand #7: Plan Your Way to Success #8: Image is Everything #9: Be Remarkable #10: Your Branding Tool Box #11: Home Field Advantage #12: On Site and On the Road #13: The Specialist #14: “No, Thank You.” Chapter 3: Become the Expert #15: Back to School #16: Expert in a Day #17: Write Your Way to Success #18: “I’m too Lazy to Blog” #19: Advertising is Dead Chapter 4: Build Relationships that Matter #20: Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine #21: Let’s Meet For Coffee #22: Give, then Receive #23: More than Just Business i v 1 2 4 6 8 12 15 19 20 23 26 29 32 35 38 41 45 46 49 52 54 56 61 63 67 71 74

#24: Join My Network On LinkedIn Chapter 5: Sow Your Seeds in the Community #25: What Goes Around, Comes Around #26: A Win-Win-Win Proposition #27: Stick Your Name on It #28: Lead the Parade #29: If You Build It…They will Come Chapter 6: Develop Your Presence Online #30: Maximize Your Exposure #31: Your Marketing Hub #32: Your Personal Platform #33: The Real You in 140 Characters #34: The Future is Now Chapter 7: Leverage the New Rules of Advertising #35: If You Must… #36: Mail Your Message #37: An Automated Lead Source #38: There Goes the Neighborhood #39: Deliver Your Message Monthly #40: Just A Click Away Chapter 8: Showcase Your Portfolio #41: Take Your Work With You #42: Share With The World #43: Leave Your Work Behind #44: Become Your Own Publisher Final Thoughts Contributors Who is Chris Heiler?

76 81 82 84 86 88 90 93 94 98 100 105 108 113 114 117 120 123 125 129 133 134 138 140 142 147 149 153

hris Heiler reminds me of me. I hope that doesn’t make him cringe! Or make you toss this book directly into the trash! What I mean is—he is a student of the art. He is always looking for a better way. He’s also interested in helping the industry as a whole. When I think back to an earlier time in my career, I remember an industry that was behind the times in many ways. When most small companies used answering machines, many in this industry used answering services. Younger readers of this will have no idea what I’m talking about. Cell phones and faxes were just coming into mainstream usage. The industry embraced those changes fairly quickly. But when the Internet came along, it was a longer road. In fact, even today, many landscape businesses have only a token web presence at best. We are still very much a grass roots, cottage industry and many of us have not spent the time to learn how to use technology to our advantage. There is a significant element within our industry who are not comfortable with computers, email, CAD, or any of the other things that have become integral parts of business in the 21st century. That’s changing, of course, but, as an industry, we are slow to embrace these changes. For my part, I’ve always taken the same approach to my business as I did to landscape design. Building a business is a design process, and if something isn’t working the way it ought to, then try something else. I never worked for the big firm until later in my career, so, for the most part, I had to blaze my own trail. Getting business in the door was a big part of that journey.


ii | The Little Green Book

Many of us were attracted to the landscape business because we like the outdoors, nature, plants, and helping people solve problems. Many of us don’t really do well on the business side of things, and we don’t know how to market what we do. In fact, most of us don’t really understand what marketing is, let alone how to do it! First of all, marketing is not selling. And marketing is not advertising. Marketing, to me anyway, is creating a situation where people want to buy from you. That means becoming visible and becoming desirable. Do you need to spend a lot of money to get noticed? Nope. But you may need to spend some. If you want to be perceived as a professional, then you should do all you can to portray yourself as one. If writing is not your strength, then find someone to help you write your letters, web site copy, contracts and anything else you put in front of a potential client. Dress professionally, and answer the phone professionally. Return phone calls promptly. In this industry, these simple things will differentiate you from much of the competition. Also, use technology as much as you can. This book is a great way to jump start your marketing efforts. Chris has assembled ideas from many experienced leaders in the industry. You can’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself, so you may as well learn from others! Chris Heiler has made it incredibly easy for you to gain many years of experience in one easy read! You cannot afford NOT to read this book cover to cover. Congratulations for buying this book. The fact that you took that step shows you are interested in getting better. In this book you will undoubtedly read things you already know. But chances

Foreword | iii are you will find at least a few nuggets that make it worthwhile. Keep looking for a better way. Tim Thoelecke, FAPLD June, 2009

“If you have no successful example to follow in whatever endeavor you choose, you may simply look at what everyone else around you is doing and do the opposite, because—THE MAJORITY IS ALWAYS WRONG.”


arl Nightingale, a pioneer of the personal development industry, spoke these words over 50 years ago. More recently, author and marketing guru Dan S. Kennedy coined the term Mediocre Majority succinctly describing the vast undistinguished middle of any industry or profession. In my estimation, this mediocre majority can make up as much as 75% of any industry, including the landscape industry. If you were to put 100 landscape professionals in a room together, you are likely to find three general groups of individuals and companies. Remove the 75% Mediocre Majority, and you will be left with the bottom 20% and the top 5%, who I refer to as the Remarkables. In this room of 100 companies, only 4 or 5 will stand out among the crowd and be considered remarkable. Why is this? These industry superstars understand that the majority is always wrong! They look at what the majority of companies are doing and instead of following along, they blaze new and unique trails for themselves. Throughout The Little Green Book, you will meet industry superstars like Jason Cupp, President and CEO of Highland Outdoor in Kansas City, who continues to blaze a trail for other landscape design/build companies to follow. From large companies like Highland Outdoor, to small design boutiques like Susan Cohan Gardens in Chatham New Jersey, you will learn the

vi | The Little Green Book exact marketing strategies that have helped these companies build their brands. My hope is that after reading this book you will be on your path to joining the ranks of the Remarkables. The Time is Always Now “It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself to deal with difficult times; while fortune is bestowing favours on it then is the time for it to be strengthened against her rebuffs.” These words were written by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman stoic philosopher, early in the first century AD. His words are strikingly relevant to our economy and industry today. Marketing yourself and your business takes constant effort. You cannot kick your marketing efforts into high gear only during a tough economy and expect a handsome payoff. You must be consistent, good times and bad. A Mediocre Majority also exists with regards to marketing in that most landscape professionals understand its importance, however, don't put forth the continual effort required. Only a tiny percentage of landscape industry professionals are truly passionate about marketing themselves and their businesses. The primary goal in writing this book was to bring together some of these remarkable individuals in order to learn from them directly and incorporate their real world marketing strategies and experiences into our own businesses. You Can Be Different To be successful, you need to stand out in the overly crowded marketplace we call the Green Industry. The marketing

Introduction | vii strategies and case studies put forth in this book will enable you to do exactly that. This book was written for all professionals within our great industry. That said, each and every tactic will not be relevant to everyone. For example, Chapter 8: Showcase Your Portfolio, will be more relevant to landscape designers than lawn maintenance contractors. Ultimately, you will decide which marketing tactics are relevant to your company and current situation. So how can you get the most from this book? First, don't worry about trying to implement each of the 44 marketing tactics. This would certainly lead to serious overload. Implementing just one or two of these tactics could lead to huge gains for your company, so look for the few nuggets you can quickly implement and master, and then build on those moving forward. Second, I wrote this book to be treated as a “stepping stone” in your marketing journey. This book will lead you to other complimentary support materials, such as video and other downloads, that expand on specific tactics enabling you to implement these strategies more easily and successfully. Take advantage of these additional support materials and resources. Shortened URL’s have been included throughout the book so you can easily access these valuable resources. I wish you much success in your marketing journey. Be different! Chris Heiler July 2009


Become the Expert


he words “marketing” and “advertising” are often times used interchangeably. Advertising is only one form of marketing; whether it is print, on radio or television. Let’s face it: advertising is expensive—especially to execute a long-term strategy that exposes your message to prospects multiple times. Most companies in the landscape industry don’t have the resources to fund this type of initiative. Fortunately, there is a less expensive, and more effective, marketing strategy. You have probably heard the saying, what someone else says about you is 100 times more credible than what you say about yourself. This is why a steady blend of good public relations and publicity is much more effective than using advertising to drive home your message. Mixing a bit of publicity with a heavy dose of speaking, teaching and writing can position yourself as an expert in your community. This is a long-term strategy requiring hard work; the rewards you reap will be well worth the investment.

46 | The Little Green Book

#15: Back to School
No, I’m not asking you to go back to school as a student. I’m asking you to become the teacher! Numerous opportunities exist for you to teach, speak and share your expertise with those most interested in your subject. This is a terrific way to establish your credibility and expertise within your community. If someone hired you to speak on a certain topic you must really know your stuff, right? That is exactly what your audience will think. To find opportunities to share your knowledge you will need to go where your audience is. Two of the best venues are local garden clubs and botanical gardens. Both are filled with garden enthusiasts who may be in need of your services or who are in a strong referral position. Most garden clubs bring in speakers each month. Most botanical gardens offer classes for both adults and children. Both are always on the lookout for new presenters. Putting on workshops at nurseries and garden centers is another way to get in front of the right people (see tactic #11: Home Field Advantage). This is a win-win for both you and the host. There are even opportunities to teach with community adult and continuing education programs (see the case study that follows). “What can people possibly learn from me?” The truth is that you probably have more experience and expertise to share with others than you give yourself credit for. This is especially true if you have a specialty or niche (see tactic #13: The Specialist). The more frequently you can speak on a very specific topic, the more you will be recognized as an authority figure on that

Become the Expert | 47 topic. For instance, when I speak to garden clubs I always present the same topic: How to reflect the architecture and period of your home into your garden. I recommend this approach versus speaking on numerous subjects which leads to being an expert on nothing. Speaking at any of these venues is a wonderful opportunity to market your talents and your business. But, the marketing doesn’t stop when the event ends. A majority of people who listen to you speak are not currently in the market for your services. Because of this, you need a way to get your marketing message to them in the future. I suggest bringing a newsletter sign-up sheet to each event so you can collect contact information from these potential prospects. This allows you to immediately thank them for attending the event and provides the opportunity for long term communication via a company newsletter.

Author’s Author’s Resource


To locate garden clubs in your area, start with National Garden Clubs, Inc. here: For an extensive state by state list of botanical gardens, visit here:

48 | The Little Green Book

Case Study

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stamford, CT

Deborah Roberts—Roberts & Roberts

When I was brainstorming low-cost ways to market my business and get my name out in the community, I remembered several classes I had taken at a local adult and continuing education (ACE) program. The ACE program offers a variety of quality classes and has a devoted following of students who live in many surrounding communities. I also knew the ACE catalog, complete with instructor bios, is mailed to over 15,000 homes and is available both online and at local businesses. As an ACE instructor, my company’s information would be in front of thousands of potential clients. My offer to teach a class was well received so I decided to start with a class called ‘Before You Begin…Tips from A Professional Landscape Designer’. You should know, at the time, I had never taught a class before. I had a fear of public speaking and I honestly had no idea if I had enough tips to fill an entire class. The ACE program offered to pay me a nominal fee to teach the class but I decided, in the interest of good karma, I would donate the fee back to the program and hope for the best. My involvement in the ACE program paid benefits even before I taught my first class. A woman contacted me who had seen my bio in the catalog (which included my website address and contact information). She couldn’t attend my class and wondered if she could pay me to come to her home for a private consultation! And I picked up two more hourly design consulting jobs from students who took the class. So while the jobs aren’t big, they are on-going. I’d like to think the good karma of donating my fee back to the ACE program definitely worked since I have been re-paid many times over with my new clients.

Become the Expert | 49

#16: Expert in a Day
If waiting for someone to invite you to speak doesn’t appeal to you, then take it upon yourself to organize and host your own seminar. This gives you total control of how you market and structure the event, as well as whom you target for your audience. Compare this to speaking to a garden club where you may be one of many speakers for the year with a topic that may only appeal to a small number of the club members. By hosting your own event, you will be speaking directly to qualified prospects. This is a highly effective way to build your expertise very quickly. Selecting your topic of presentation will be your most important decision. You will need to select a topic that appeals to your target market. The narrower your focus the better—do not be a generalist and try to appeal to everyone! Pick hot topics that appeal to people’s current situations. For instance, How to Add Value to Your Home Prior to Selling. Talk to your existing clientele to gauge which topics potential attendees would be interested in. You don’t have to do all the work Does hosting your own event sound like a lot of work? It certainly can be, but you don’t necessarily need to go it alone. Consider teaming with other professionals to host the event or simply invite other professionals to speak to your audience. What is most important is that your audience recognizes you as the host. There are numerous ways to structure an event such as this. First, consider whether this will be an annual event or a seminar

50 | The Little Green Book which you present multiple times throughout the year in various targeted locations. If an annual event, the seminar could be three to four hours in duration, if not all day. Bartlett Tree Experts in Grand Rapids Michigan has hosted an all day event in past years for landscape contractors, designers and nurserymen. The company provides valuable, updated information that is relevant to the attendees. Because of this, they are considered by many to be the expert authority on tree care in our area. Options are many when it comes to choosing a location for your event. You can rent space at a local botanical garden or go the more traditional route and rent space at a local hotel. There will be costs involved so you will need to decide if you want to offer the seminar for free or charge a small fee to attend.

Case Study

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Glenview, IL

Tim Thoelecke, FAPLD—American Academy of Landscape Design

In March, 2003, Smart Money Magazine published a Special Report entitled Fertile Ground: Add 15% To Your Home’s Value. What a gold mine for the landscape industry! My first impression when reading the article was, Hey, why didn’t they interview me? A number of industry friends were interviewed for the article and I felt a little left out. But, I thought, perhaps I can use that to my benefit! So here is what I did. I crafted a presentation on the topic and offered it to the public for free! Now, I’m not going to claim to be a first class orator, but I am an experienced industry speaker, and I really enjoy getting up in front of people, so that part of this was not uncharted territory. Also, I own a projector and have a lot of good photos to use, so I had a head start.

Become the Expert | 51
We sent a press release ahead of time to local papers before sending post cards to a targeted demographic of prospects. We bought some mailing lists for our post cards. In all it cost a few thousand dollars with the biggest expense being printing and mailing of the post cards. But, if you think about it, one client, and it’s paid for. If you have an email list, this would be a good way to market your free seminar. A follow up press release was also sent after the event describing the success we had. Even better would be to invite a member of the press to attend the seminar! We rented rooms for the numerous seminars in zip codes where we like to work. We also provided soft drinks, coffee and snacks for each seminar. The presentation was the easiest part. I simply showed slides of our work as examples of how people could increase the value of their homes and tied it into the Smart Money Magazine article. Each presentation was one hour in length and typically attracted 15 to 30 people. We, of course, collected lots of information from people, and contacted them later. But, as you can imagine, people who attend these things may not have an immediate need. Many are planning for a project down the road. So if you plan to do this, collect email addresses and add them to your regular email newsletter list. We also raffled off a book at the end, which is how we collected the “please contact me” info. You can view the original post card used to promote these free seminars here:

52 | The Little Green Book

#17: Write Your Way to Success
While speaking is a terrific way to communicate your expertise to a small targeted audience, writing can connect you with a much broader audience. A combination of the two will ensure that you gain expert status in your community. As with speaking, your specialized knowledge and expertise is in demand more than you think which means ample opportunity exists for you to share this knowledge. The benefits of writing about your craft are many. First, writing for various publications and other media earns you instant credibility in the eyes of readers—all for free. Second, having an article published presents an opportunity for “piggyback” marketing. Here’s an example to illustrate this idea: upon writing an article for a landscape industry magazine, I submitted the same article to online article directories and shared it with multiple people in my online social networks as well as linked back to it in my monthly newsletter. I also added it to my Press Page on my company website. Sharing the article across multiple platforms, especially online, ensures for maximum exposure. Beyond earning more clients, writing can also lead to other opportunities such as speaking engagements and future collaborations. Being presented with a writing opportunity is a fantastic way to meet influential people in the community who you would like to build a relationship with (see the case study from tactic #21: Let’s Meet For Coffee).

Become the Expert | 53 So many options… Writing opportunities exist now more than ever. Because of this, editors are constantly on the lookout for writers and quality content that will appeal to their readership. Print media such as community newspapers and glossy lifestyle magazines offer obvious writing opportunities. That said, many of these publishers are also moving online where they need a steady stream of unique content aside from their printed publications. You can also contribute to newsletters published by local garden centers and other landscape industry professionals. This way you earn credibility by aligning yourself with an already strong brand. Do not overlook opportunities to write for other professionals within the landscape industry as well. These readers may not be your clientele, but you can earn a great deal of credibility and trust from potential clients when they see that you have written for landscape industry publications. You must be an industry expert if you are writing for its trade publication, right? So, what to write about? If you have a specialty, or niche, I suggest writing about this consistently to hammer home the point that you are an expert on this topic. Other topics can include valuable “How To” oriented information as well as topics that are focused on current hot button issues such as the economy or sustainability.

54 | The Little Green Book

#18: “I’m too Lazy to Blog”
This tactic ties in nicely with the previous marketing strategy in that it is another example of how you can use your writing skills to build credibility and establish your expertise. I can hear your thoughts now: Chris, my time is already stretched too thin and you want me in front of a computer blogging? Well, not exactly. While I will be covering the benefits of blogging in tactic #32: Your Personal Platform, this strategy is as much for non-bloggers as it is for current bloggers. I’m referring to writing “Guest Posts” for other bloggers. Much like contributing an article to a printed magazine, a guest post is similar in that you are contributing to someone else’s blog. Let’s look at some of the benefits of being a guest blogger. First, by aligning yourself with a prominent and influential blogger you earn credibility by association. Second, you put yourself in front of an audience who otherwise may not know you even exist which can lead to cross-traffic back to your company website or blog. Next, guest blogging costs absolutely nothing and can be less time consuming than operating your own blog. The previously mentioned piggy-back marketing principle also applies to guest blogging in that you can share your guest posts across various online social networks, such as Twitter, as well as pitch your post to magazines and newspapers in hopes of being printed as an article. And just like you would with a printed article, you can add your guest posts to your Press Page or portfolio on your company website.

Become the Expert | 55 Location, location, location… The key to guest blogging is to write for bloggers who have a large readership which consists of the exact type of people you want to be in front of. It doesn’t do much good to spend time writing a blog post that very few people will read. Most likely you will want to write for a local blogger with a local readership. The blog does not necessarily need to focus on landscaping or gardening; your unique knowledge and expertise just needs to appeal to the blog’s readers. For example, as a landscape designer, I may pitch a local chef and influential blogger the idea of a guest post about outdoor kitchen design. This would put me in front of his readers and also helps him by providing his readership with expert advice. This would be a win-win. No matter the topic you choose to write about, be sure to provide valuable and substantive information that will appeal to the blog’s readers. This is not a time to share your opinions. Remember, the blogger is giving you this opportunity, so don’t make him or her regret inviting you to post. Spend ample time writing the post and write about something unique that readers haven’t been exposed to hundreds of times already. Write something that makes readers say, I really want to read more from this person. If you do this, you will be invited back to post again.

56 | The Little Green Book

#19: Advertising is Dead
Nothing establishes you as an authority and as someone who can be trusted like good PR (public relations) can; not even writing and speaking. Good PR enhances your credibility like advertising cannot because the coverage is coming from a trusted, unbiased source other than from yourself. This coverage can come from many types of media such as local newspapers and magazines, local radio and television stations, online media such as bloggers and not to be underestimated, landscape industry trade publications. Types of coverage can come in the form of short “News Briefs”, calendar listings and personal and business features. Good PR also comes from being quoted as an expert source in stories and articles. Your PR goal should be to generate a steady mix of each. The positive effects of consistent PR are many. Not only is publicity free, unlike advertising, it also reaches a wide audience which increases public awareness of who you are and what you do. You become visible in your community which establishes you as an expert. Using PR strategies is also a good way to create awareness of special events like seminars, charity events and open houses. Tell the world The most effective way to generate PR is by reaching out to journalists, editors, freelance writers and bloggers via press releases. The key is to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with these folks by getting to know them and their needs. Keep in mind; by supplying them with good material for a short story,

Become the Expert | 57 you are solving one of their problems—finding quality content and stories for their audience. So, what constitutes good story material? For short news briefs, submit information about awards earned, company milestones, new business initiatives and events. Unique projects you have designed and/or built make for terrific feature articles. Don’t underestimate how unique your work really is. Chances are it would appeal to a large group of readers, listeners and viewers. To get started down the PR path, first identify the various media outlets you would like to be featured in. From this you can develop a contact list or database of editors, journalists and freelance writers. The next step is to create a “Press Kit” to send to each contact which consists of a cover letter introducing yourself, a personal bio, business card, brochure and your initial press release. Let them know that you are a knowledgeable and quotable source for future articles they write within your area of expertise. This is also a good opportunity to direct them to your company website’s Press Page to see other media you have been featured in for credibility sake. This initial contact will not always lead to immediate results so be sure to follow up with a phone call or personal note once each year or every six months to let them know you are still available for quotes (beyond sending a press release). To maximize the exposure good PR can bring, you need to send press releases on a consistent basis, perhaps once each month. It is absolutely critical that you submit press releases in the proper format or they will not get read (see the Author’s Resources below for a template). The same goes for how you send a press release. Fax is the preferred method, although email

58 | The Little Green Book is acceptable if you have permission. To reach an even broader audience, consider using an online press release distribution service such as or For a small fee, these services automatically feed your release to media outlets throughout the world. Once your press release is online, you can then share it across your various online social networks for even more exposure.

Resource Author’s Resource


Press Release Template: If you are serious about being quoted and featured in the media, you can sign up to receive free media requests from a service called Help A Reporter Out. I’ve been featured in multiple stories throughout the country, as have other landscape professionals, simply by subscribing to this free service. You can sign up here:

What You Can Do Right Now:
(1-2 hours) Spend some time thinking about places where you can speak. Use the resources listed in tactic #15: Back to School to locate garden clubs and botanical gardens in your area. These are good places to start. Do you have a relationship with a local garden center or nursery? Contact them to brainstorm the idea of hosting a workshop where you can present your knowledge and expertise. (2-3 hours) Think about who you could do some writing for. Could you write a weekly or monthly column for your community newspaper, or possibly their online version? Contact your local landscape industry trade association and let them know you are interested in writing an article for their

Become the Expert | 59
publication. Research prominent garden centers to see if they send a newsletter to their customers and volunteer to write a column for each. (8-12 hours) Research and collect all local media you would like to be featured in. This can include print, radio, television and online. Begin to develop a database of the contacts from each media source. Put together your press kit and send it to your contacts along with your first press release. You can use the press release supplied in the resources following tactic #19: Advertising is Dead as a template.

Award winning, Susan Cohan, APLD, ( is often featured in traditional and digital media. Via her blog Miss Rumphius’ Rules ( she regularly shares her thoughts on design. Susan was recognized in 2009 New Jersey Life ‘Editor’s Choice’ for exterior design. (see page 90, 117, and 140) Jason Cupp, a Certified Landscape Professional and Kolbe Certified Consultant, is a Green Industry business owner, designer, consultant, speaker and leader. He recently served the industry as President of PLANET, the Professional Landcare Network, in 2008 and 2009. Learn more about Jason at or contact him at (see page 94, 123, 129, and 131) Larry Ditkoff operates Larry’s Lawn Service and Snowplowing, Ltd ( servicing the southeast side of Grand Rapids for lawns and snowplowing, and all of West Michigan for stump grinding and tree work. (see page 37) Steve Griggs of Land Design Studio Inc. is a renowned landscape designer with decades of experience creating unique outdoor spaces for a high-end clientele. Steve’s business also encompasses development of properties in the Catskill Mountains, and redevelopment of apartment buildings in Brooklyn ( (see page 27)

150 | The Little Green Book

Jeff Korhan is a new media marketer who works with entrepreneurs and small business owners to strategically use social media and Internet marketing for maximizing Web visibility, reputation, and referrals. Jeff blogs at and resides in Naperville, IL. (see page 76, 103, and 105) Jessie Newburn is the PR Gal at Nemetschek North America, the makers of Vectorworks® Landmark design software. She blends PR, communications, community engagement and brand awareness in her work; tweets as @vectorworks; and encourages landscape professionals to check out the Vectorworks Landmark-US Facebook fan page. (see page 96) Deborah Roberts, owner of Roberts & Roberts Landscape and Garden Design ( in Stamford, CT, is a professional landscape designer, freelance writer and lecturer. Her blog can be found at Deborah can be contacted at (see page 48) Genevieve Schmidt is a tech-savvy landscaper in the redwoods of Northern California. She writes for, and you can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @NCoastGardening. (see page 110)

Contributors | 151 Jody Shilan, MLA is a former design/build contractor, now Green Industry consultant. His website,, is the perfect resource for landscape contractors who want to take their business to the next level. He can be reached at 201425-1869 or (see page 65) Tim Thoelecke, FAPLD, is a past president and Fellow of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Tim’s awardwinning design-build work has appeared in over 70 publications. Tim’s current venture is the American Academy of Landscape Design (, a professional development program that improves the confidence and skills of landscape designers and landscape architects. (see page i, 50, and 136)

Who is Chris Heiler?
At times a landscape designer, always a dreamer; Chris is also an author, editor, and blogger. Self-proclaimed lazy, he takes great pride in the fact that he has no employees, works less than 30 hours per week and manages to sneak in an afternoon nap each day. He is addicted to coffee, travel, 1980’s music and is a rabid Notre Dame Football fan with a son appropriately named Rockne. Chris is editor of, cofounder of and President of Fountainhead Gardens, LLC. Connect with Chris: LinkedIn: Twitter: Facebook: Chris' Lifestream: Hire Chris for your event: Chris is available to speak throughout the country at Landscape Industry events. For speaking topics and more information visit:

To top