4 Tips to Create a Cohesive Brand

4 Tips to Create a Cohesive Brand

As a tree service owner, diving into the realm of branding can seem like a daunting task. For so many companies, it’s overwhelming or gets filed in the “I’ll do that later” folder. Your brand is your company’s entire image and the story that is being conveyed to customers and prospects, so it needs your attention.

Before a customer uses your services, they have interacted with your brand in some way. Whether they drove past a truck with your logo, walked their dog past a house with your sign in the yard, or saw your latest Instagram post, all of these seemingly small interactions are the building blocks of relationships with your audience and ultimately what defines your brand.

With a few tweaks and fine tuning, you can create a cohesive brand for your tree care company that attracts new customers.

Determine your brand identity: Your brand is so much more than your logo. It is the story your customers tell. The first place to start determining your brand identity is by defining your “why”. The “why” is so critical for many aspects of your business, but will essentially define your brand identity. We wrote an article recently all about this topic and can help you define your why: https://arboriskinsurance.com/2018/08/what-is-your-why/ Clearly outline your key services, the history of your company, your company’s values, and where you want to go in the future. Once it is determined, your brand identity will influence everything in your marketing plan from the words on your website to your social media posts.

Utilize a consistent color palette and fonts: Your logo is your company’s most identifiable aspect. Your brand colors should include those of your logo and complementing colors that align with the principles of design. From mailers to social media posts, utilize these colors in all artwork. Your fonts should remain consistent just as your colors. When choosing fonts, make sure they are easy to read and can be used for a variety of purposes. If you select a “fancy” font for headlines, make sure to pair it with another that is more ordinary. Here is a resource that helps pair complementary fonts: https://fontjoy.com

Create a professional website: Did you know it only takes 3 seconds for someone to make a decision whether to stay on your website or not? Your website is the first place prospective customers go to check out your business before they decide to use your services. With such a short time frame to make a great impression, having a professional website is a critical aspect of your business and your brand. If you are like most, website design isn’t included on your resume. Invest in a web designer and a professional photographer to create a site that helps your business stand out!

Use a recognizable voice: Whether you are doing all the writing yourself, or outsourced to another company, decide on a writing style that portrays the brand identity you have created. Start by choosing 3 words to define your brand’s personality and voice. From there, choose a style that appeals to your target audience and keep it consistent. Use the same tone and formality throughout your website pages, blog, direct mailers and social media posts.

With a clearly defined brand, you will attract the right kind of customers. Following the 4 tips outlined above you will begin to create a cohesive brand that will help your tree care company stand out from the crowd!

Do you need help with your company’s overall branding? ArboRisk’s exclusive Thrive program includes brand building initiative to help take tree services to new heights! Contact [email protected] today to learn more!

Written by: Amanda Eicher

Who is Your Brand’s Villain?

Who Is Your Brand’s Villain?

Who would Batman be without the Joker? Or Superman without Lex Luthor? Or Luke Skywalker without Darth Vadar? All heroes need a villain – the villain is, inherently, what makes the hero, a hero. Without the Joker’s embrace of chaos, Batman’s need for law and order would fall flat. The same can be said of your own brand: without the contrast of your own “villain,” your pitch to consumers may not resonate as soundly. By identifying your own villain, you are differentiating yourself from the competition, and makes your purpose in the market that much more tangible to the consumer. (1)

Identifying Your Villain

Before you are able to identify a villain, you first need to define your purpose in the market. WHAT are you fighting for? WHO are you fighting for? Defining your purpose, or WHY, within the market will help you identify your top competitors. (Shameless Plug: Don’t know how to define your “why?” Check out our blog post entitled “What is Your Why”) Villains are not necessarily other companies either – they can be beliefs or trends that affect your market and may negatively impact your product.

Samsung is the villain of Apple. The two companies are continually in a race to provide the best technology experience to their consumers. Their rivalry is actually to the benefit of us, the consumer: as we continue to demand more and more, their companies strive not only to compete with each other but also to be constantly on top of the latest trend.

When Netflix first hit the market (& our hearts), their villains were two-fold: brick-and-mortar video rental stores (RIP Blockbuster!) and the belief that instant access to movies and tv shows from the comfort of one’s home was “a small, niche market” (2). Netflix fought for a new definition of normal and now nearly 60% of homes in America stream their platform (3). Ironically, Blockbuster executives passed up the chance to buy Netflix in early 2000 and, well, er, you know the rest.

Within the tree care industry, your villain does not necessarily have to be a rival company. Similar to one of Netflix’s villains, the general public’s lack of knowledge surrounding the tree care industry can be a top villain for your organization. To overcome this villain, your company should begin a campaign targeted at educating customers or residents in your city about the importance of professional arborists and proper tree care. I don’t recommend reinventing the wheel either – Treesaregood.org is a great resource for assistance in educating individuals about the tree care industry.

To Be the Best You Have to Beat the Best

Don’t settle for average – identify your top villain, your supervillain. Think about why your supervillain can hurt your company. Learn from them, and grow from there to become the superhero you need to be to survive. Remember, your best villain will oftentimes have an incredibly relatable and attractive “dark side” that your customer doesn’t even realize is a negative (4).

Amazon began as a garage operation that sold, wait for it, books. Its founder, Jeff Bezos, had bigger ideas, however. He began identifying the best products that were sold in stores that could be sold online and eventually started doing so. By selling these products online, he inadvertently took on retail conglomerates like Sears and Boston Store and, ultimately, contributed to their closures. Amazon is now among the top retail stores in the world and was arguably the catalyst for the retail apocalypse (5)

Your villain should scare you. If it doesn’t, aim higher.

Written by: Katie Petersen

What Social Media Platform Should I Use?

What Social Media Platform Should I use?

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube. Social media can be overwhelming. #AmIRight One of the top mistakes I see business owners make is pushing themselves to do too much with social media, becoming overwhelmed, and giving up entirely. It does not have to be that way. My advice for business owners who know they need to be involved with social media but don’t know where to start, is to pick two or three platforms, get to know them well, and use those to connect with followers. You may find that one platform works extremely well, and another does not. When the time is right, switch out the platform that does not work for your customers and try a different approach. Finding the right balance of platforms is essential to your growth as a business.


Below, I’ve briefly explained the more popular social media platforms. Because every tree service is unique and has their own target clientele, which platform you utilize will be based on who you are trying to reach. Always keep in mind, the main goal of any social media efforts is help you promote your business to customers and prospects.




Oh, Facebook, the birthplace of social media. Create an account, “friend” your friends, post photos, start a business page, gain followers, utilize hashtags – Facebook does it all. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to connect with many followers of all ages, Facebook is the way to do so.




Brush up on your photography skills! Instagram is the place to showcase photos of yourself, your business, and your passion for the tree care industry. Plus, like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags to connect you with other users and push your content to those who search for #trees.




LinkedIn is typically used to post an online resume. Have a skill you want to promote? LinkedIn. Want to boast about your background or assure a potential client you have the correct credentials? LinkedIn. LinkedIn is also a great place to “connect” with colleagues and clients and promote business-oriented content.




If you have read my article entitled “5 Ways to Better Your Social Media Marketing” (and if you haven’t, you really should – it’s great), you’ll know that I stress the importance of moving your business towards videos. Utilization of video is key for your business in 2018. A YouTube channel is the way to do that! Showcase yourself, your employees, your equipment, a job site. This creates a more intimate, personal connection with your clients.




Have you ever tried to condense your thoughts into 140 characters? #Yeahmeneither Luckily, Twitter allows 240 characters now and you can enhance your content by using hashtags. Hashtags allow your content to be discoverable by others so that when client is searching for #treeservice, any content you post with that hashtag attached will pop up in their search.




If you are looking to appeal to a younger crowd, Snapchat is 100% the way to go. Snapchat allows you to display a photo or video for 1-10 seconds, with your “snaps” being able to be added to your “story” where followers or subscribers can watch them after the fact. This is a great way to interact with clients if you want to tell a quick story or give a follower a quick burst of information.




Pinterest is a great place to organize ideas, thoughts, and lists and present them in one simple “board” to all of your followers. If, for example, you want to showcase steps, tricks, or items with which to prune a tree, all of these ideas and examples could be “pinned” to one board, allowing you to easily share it with your followers.




Contact a Google employee to learn more ☺

Written by: Katie Petersen

5 Ways to Better Your Social Media Marketing

5 Ways to Better Your Social Media Marketing

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at your computer screen, wondering what to post on your social media accounts, you are not alone. Digital marketing success remains elusive to most small business owners. The fact of the matter is, 46 percent of (small) business owners are unsure their marketing strategies work and 17 percent know they aren’t working at all (source). #WHAT. This does not need to be you. While I cannot tell you that there is one simple, fix-all option available for individuals struggling with digital marketing, I can give you 5 strategic ways to better your social media marketing and help your business thrive.


Strategy #1: Use Real Photos and Personal Stories


Do your followers know who you are? Have you given them a reason to connect personally with you? Spoiler Alert: majority of customers are not impressed by the type of equipment you use.Posting photos of your truck fleet will not gain you more business. But, you can certainly tweak those posts and use them to your advantage. Perhaps you are still using the very first truck that your father bought when he started your tree service. Posting a narrative about that, talking about the history of your company and what your father meant to this company, will give customers a reason to connect with you. It humanizes your business and gives them a trigger to remember you when they need your services.


Strategy #2: Shoot (More) Videos


Video, video, video. I cannot stress this enough: the future lies in videos. While videos can seem overwhelming, take it step by step. Start off small – use your phone and record a quick video introducing yourself, your company, and share three fun facts about who you are. As you become more comfortable conversing in front of the camera, up your techniques. Have someone else shoot you discussing a common misconception about tree care, like how trees with early leaf drop does not mean they are a lost cause and need to be removed. If you have the funds, invest in a video marketing company, and allow them the opportunity to come in and shoot your work day. By taking what would normally be multiple paragraphs of text and translating that into video form, you are allowing your customer a new avenue to engage and connect with you. Plus, the stats don’t lie: 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video (source). #VideoForTheWin


Strategy #3: Engage and Reward your Followers


I’m not sure about you, but my Instagram and Facebook feeds are scattered with individual and company accounts that receive tons of engagement. How are they succeeding at this? By giving their followers a reason to engage with them. Successful digital marketers know that the best way to increase engagement is to incentivize your following:


Create a contest for your follows (ex. Upload a photo of yourself with your favorite tree. The best photo receives a $25 credit towards your next service)
Host a giveaway (ex. The first 10 likes on this post receive a $10 Starbucks gift card)
Offer discounts (ex. Like this post and receive 5% off your next tree removal)
Elaborate or superfluous giveaways are unnecessary. Simple, easy offerings are the best way to create a buzz around your company and have your followers watching your page for your next giveaway.


Strategy #4: Collaborate with Others in Your Niche


We all have people we look up to in our businesses, the individuals or companies that set the bar high, keep us chasing growth, and that every customer seems to know. If you have not used these individuals to your advantage, it is time to start. Reach out to them and propose collaboration on a blog post, a video, or a quick photo on your page. Set-up a lunch and learn with your employees or clients and have this expert come in to teach on a specific topic, all while promoting this on your social media. Business is not always about competition – customers love to see individuals working together to bring them the best possible product. Meeting with others and collaborating with them will not only give you an opportunity to learn something, it will open up your business to a whole new set of followers.


Strategy #5: Use Online Tools to Find Top Content for Posts


Do you struggle to find relevant content that your followers not only appreciate, but also understand? #beenthere. Many individuals find it difficult to engage with certain companies on social media because they do not equate the relevance of the post to their individual lives. Try one of these content sourcing tools for mainstream articles, on topics that businessmen and stay-at-home moms can both understand.


Google News Alerts are a great way to keep yourself informed of headlines that are happening in your industry. Nuzzel connects with your Twitter feed and shows you the most shared content from users you follow. If you follow numerous accounts that are relevant in your industry, the content provided by Nuzzel is invaluable. Mix (formerly StumbleUpon) is a discovery engine that finds and recommends content to users. All you have to do is select a few interests, and hit the ‘Mix’ button and the platform will show you pages relevant to your interests. Finally, Reddit is the hot bed of the Internet, and it’s a great place to find content. Subreddits enable users to browse different topics, where users post and “upvote” the best content. Subscribe to subreddits that are the hottest in your industry so, when you log into Reddit, your front page will be full of content specific to you.


Pro Tip: Reddit can also be a great place to share your own unique content. If you’re active on the platform and get familiar with some of the subreddits, submitting links can be a great way to get more traffic to your website (source).


These five action items are just a few easy ways to up your social media marketing game and propel your business forward. Doing these things will not only set you apart from the competition, but it will open up your business to an entirely new client base.

Written by: Katie Petersen