All about Apprenticeship: Q&A

All About Apprenticeship: Q&A

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

Responses from August Hoppe and Josh Morin

By now, most tree care owners have heard of someone within the industry utilizing apprenticeships for their employee recruitment and development, but I know there are still a lot of questions out there surrounding this topic.

For this week’s tip, I was honored to interview two of the most influential and knowledgeable tree care owners on apprenticeships, August Hoppe of Hoppe Tree Service in Milwaukee, WI and Josh Morin of We Love Trees in Niwot, CO. They both gave some fantastic answers as well as very practical guidance for tree care companies wanting to explore this further.

Q – Are tree care apprenticeships here to stay or just a fad?

August – I believe, they are here to stay for sure, and only growing. Companies that use the program see the success and keep adding more employees into it. It’s a snowball effect. In Wisconsin, we hardly have to promote the program anymore, companies just keep adding enrollees.

Josh – In my view our society and our country is embracing models of learning and career preparation that allow you to earn money while you learn, instead of the traditional academic model which has many of our young people in a lot of debt. From what I hear from young people is that they don’t want to screw themselves with unnecessary debt, and they want meaningful work with a viable career path that will give them options in the future that isn’t a dead end. In my experience Arborist apprenticeship offers this. Will they last? We’ll see.

Q – What are the benefits you’ve personally seen with making apprenticeship a part of your tree care company’s recruiting strategy?

August – We have seen more and higher quality candidates that truly want a career, not just a job.

Josh – The challenge and bottleneck for growth for many businesses in our industry has been attracting people that are interested, willing and capable of doing the work. Apprenticeship which offers a structured learning process and incremental growth plan is attractive to a different type of person. It attracts people that understand that they will have to work hard and learn along the way, but they will get something out of it in return that will be valuable to them in the future.
Our industry has a diversity opportunity, so anything we can do to speak to more people of diverse backgrounds increases the size of the funnel of people we are recruiting into our industry.

Q – Can you attribute a dollar amount of growth your company has seen to the successful implementation of the apprenticeship within your company?

August – It’s hard to put a $ sign on culture or branding. But apprenticeship has definitely helped our employees understand that they are true professionals and they carry themselves that way. It gives them confidence and pride. Customers see that every day and want to work with companies that are excellent.

Josh – I also cannot attribute a dollar amount of growth, but I can say that attracting people who want to learn and grow is fundamental to the growth of a successful business.

Q – What are some of the challenges that tree care companies run into when starting down the apprenticeship path and how can they avoid some of them?

August – It’s scary to start as it seems like a lot of work with a lot of processes. But just like anything else in life, hard work pays off when it’s completed.

Josh – The owner and leaders of the company need to believe in the model and understand that investing in training and educating their employees is a company value and is of value to their company.

If the leadership of the company does not believe in the model of apprenticeship and does not see the benefit, then they will not be interested in investing in the related learning that is required with an apprenticeship program.

Q – How much of the business owner’s time is involved in setting up the apprenticeship and maintaining it?

August – It depends on each organization. I would recommend a business owner stays involved in setting up the program, but larger outfits may be able to delegate to an HR or training and safety manager for maintaining it once the business processes are figured out. At Hoppe Tree, we use a committee approach with a few staff members responsible for different parts of the apprenticeship program, including myself.

Josh – In my experience, setting up the apprenticeship program in terms of paperwork is fairly easy and takes a few hours, then, having an administrative person, sit down with the apprentice and explain the program and register them in the database. The challenge can be working the related learning into your business model. We try to schedule this classroom time during slower periods of business like in the winter.

Q – What would be your top piece of advice to tree care company owners regarding apprenticeship?

August – It’s a great way to train your employees in a consistent manner. It can improve culture, it helps with retention of employees, it leads to better recruitment, and also it helps our whole industry become more professional. Can you imagine what our industry will be like when we have 100,000 journey worker arborists?! Please get on board with this!

Josh – I recommend taking on the apprenticeship program with the goal of starting with one employee, and getting them through the program successfully and approaching the process as an experiment, and with curiosity so that you can learn as much as possible along the way, and figure out how, and if apprenticeship really lines up with the needs of your company and its people.


Thank you, August and Josh, for your time and passion in leading this very important and exciting development in the tree care industry! For more information on apprenticeships, check out the following resources:

What Do Corn Flakes Have To Do With Marketing?

What do corn flakes have to do with marketing?

Written by Katie Petersen

Ever heard of Bran Flakes? Maybe, but chances are probably not. I’m willing to bet, however, that you have heard of Corn Flakes. You know, the flaky, curled, corn-like cereal that people have been eating for almost 100 years. So, how does everyone know what Corn Flakes are but not what Bran Flakes are?

During the Great Depression in the 1930s, people were limiting their spending and the breakfast cereal industry was facing challenges. At the time, both Corn Flakes and Bran Flakes were popular cereals amongst consumers. While most cereal companies, including Bran Flakes, were limiting their marketing dollars and reducing spending, Kellogg’s, the manufacturer of Corn Flakes, took a different approach in navigating the depression.

Instead of reducing their marketing, Kellogg’s realized that it was a better idea to adjust their strategies to resonate with the financial constraints of the time and to tap into the emotions of the populous. They addressed head on that times were tough and people did not have extra funds to spend on high-priced breakfast cereal. Kellogg’s began capitalizing on the fact that Corn Flakes was a budget-friendly, yet still nutritious, breakfast option. They launched a targeted marketing campaign that emphasized affordability and health, positioning themselves as the economical choice for families that were struggling through the Depression.

One of the greatest parts of their campaign was the promotions they included. We all take box-tops for granted today, but Kellogg’s introduction of these small discounts in exchange for proofs of purchase incentivized consumers to buy Corn Flakes. They also began heavily advertising Corn Flakes through a variety of mediums, like newspapers, radio, and billboards. 

What Kellogg’s accomplished was quite impressive. During a time when the country was in an economic downturn and most companies were pulling back on their marketing, they went all in. With the right message that resonated with their audience, combined with a few additional discounts to show that they understood their audiences’ needs, they solidified themselves as a household name and have stood the test of time ever since. 

What if you applied this same technique to your marketing?

Every year, I hear from so many companies that they want to cut costs and plan to scale back on their marketing. While I understand that business finances sometimes necessitate this, I do always wonder if, instead of pulling back, what if those companies went all in? What if they, like Kellogg’s, took a chance and gave it everything they had? 

Sure, not everything may turn out perfectly. And it is more likely than not that your business will have some set backs. But how will you ever know what you could accomplish if you don’t try to embody what Kellogg’s did?

Here are my top 3 tips for how to market like Kellogg’s in 2024:

  1. Embrace Data-Driven Insights: Data has always been king and that is even more true in 2024! If your company does not actively track data insights, it’s time to start! Invest in data analytics and leverage insights to drive your marketing decisions. Utilize sophisticated tools, like Outreach, Drift, Sproutsocial or ChatGPT to analyze consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. By understanding your audience better, you can tailor your marketing strategies to be more targeted and effective.
  2. Ramp Up Personalization: Marketing, and social media especially, has become about community. Fostering a community with your audience means connecting with them personally! Consumers now expect brand to not only cater to the needs but understand and empathize with their needs! Utilize AI-driven technologies to customize content, recommendations, and interactions across various touchpoints. Implement personalized email marketing, dynamic website content, and AI-powered chatbots to engage customers on a one-to-one level, fostering stronger connections and increasing conversions.
  3. Invest in Emerging Technologies: Did we mention AI above? If you haven’t tried out ChatGPT yet, now is the time to do so! Utilizing AI to help you analyze data and create content will become a game changer and will put you miles ahead of your competition. In order to do so, however, you need to invest in the technology now!

If 2024 is anything for your company’s marketing, let it be the year you embrace taking a chance on yourself. Your choices may surprise you and who knows? You may even end up as the next Corn Flakes.

For those that want extra help with their marketing, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today to get signed up for our Thrive Sales & Marketing Package!


Short-Form Videos: Big Impact for Your Business in the Blink of an Eye

Short-Form Videos: Big Impact for Your Business in the Blink of an Eye

Written by Katie Petersen

If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram or TikTok, chances are you got sucked into a catchy video that made you slow down and watch, only to vanish before your eyes. This is an example of short-form video content. But what exactly are these videos and why should your business make producing them a priority? Let’s take a look at what these are and how they can change your business’s brand!

What are Short-Form Videos?

Think of short-form videos as the bite-sized snacks of the digital world – tiny yet irresistible to the point that you cannot have just one! Normally less than 60 seconds, these little videos require an abundance of creativity, humor, easy to digest how-tos, or inspiration. The main platforms you will find these videos on are Instagram and TikTok. 


How Can Your Business Utilize Short-Form Video?

This is the million dollar question that every business has – how do I use short-form video to catch my audiences’ attention? Luckily, it’s much easier than you think! You can use short-form video to showcase a product or service you offer, share behind-the-scenes glimpses into your business, offer quick tips that will directly solve a problem for your audience, and even introduce other members of your team! These videos are your opportunity to directly connect and engage with your audience and help them to learn a little bit more about you and how your business can directly solve a problem for them.


The Perks of Short-Form Video Marketing

Short-form videos are attention magnets—they grab eyeballs faster than you can say “viral.” They do not require a lot of overhead; all you need is a phone to capture your content! They can be uploaded directly to a FREE platform where you can directly engage with potential customers. Plus, they’re shareable, which means your content has the potential to reach additional people beyond your audience in a matter of minutes. If you utilize high quality content, provide a good hook in the video as well as your caption, and capture your audiences’ attention with a Call to Action, you’ll have an abundance of people engaging with your content, thus increasing your chances of them buying your product or service.


In a Nutshell: Tiny Videos, Big Impact. 

In a world where attention is the hottest currency, short-form videos are the golden ticket for your business. They’re quick, snappy, and oh-so-shareable, making them a game-changer in your digital marketing playbook. So, grab your phone, get creative, and let these mini-masterpieces tell your brand story in the blink of an eye!

If you’re struggling trying to utilize short form video in your marketing, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today to sign up for our Thrive Sales & Marketing Package!


Using AI In Your Tree Care Company

Using AI In Your Tree Care Company

Written by Katie Petersen

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of AI and its impact on marketing strategies. If you haven’t yet played around with AI, specifically ChatGPT, I highly encourage you to start! AI is here to stay and while there are some precautions to take with it, it is a game-changer for content creation for your business. 

Think of AI as your marketing assistant, but a super smart one! It helps businesses understand their customers better and make smarter decisions without needing to be an expert. Imagine having a friend who knows exactly what your customers want and can even predict what they might need next—that’s AI in marketing for you!

AI will help your business work smarter, not harder, and will eliminate wasted time so that you are free to complete other tasks! Here are a few ways that AI can revolutionize your marketing strategies in 2024: 

  • Personalized Customer Experiences: By using AI, you can easily analyze data already in your system to understand individuals’ preferences, behaviors, and purchase patterns. From this data, you can create experiences tailored directly to your consumers, delivering the correct message to the right audience at the optimal buying time. Looker, Akkio, or Polymer are all great options if you want to integrate all of your data in one spot and have AI identify trends, behaviors, and purchase patterns. 
  • Content Generation and Optimization: The next time you are feeling stuck for content, take a few ideas you have and put them into ChatGPT. It will produce content for you based on your prompt, which you can then use and edit on your own, or ask it to expand or simplify what it wrote. This is a great way to end writer’s block and to batch create content efficiently! Plus, the free one works great, meaning no need to purchase the paid option!
  • Marketing Automation and Workflow Optimization: Similar to content generation, AI can help you automate some practices within your business. You can have AI create email marketing campaigns, scheduling and data analysis that then works for your business without you having to do it yourself. There is some set-up involved, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner! Outreach and Drift are two AI softwares that will integrate with your current procedures and spit back key messaging across your data.
  • Voice Search Optimization: Voice search has seen an increase in 2023 and will continue to rise in 2024. AI helps optimize content for voice-enabled devices. By helping to understand user intent and context with searches, AI strategies will optimize your content to match your audiences’ search queries.
  • Social Media Insights: AI tools can analyze social media engagement and conversations, giving you data on trends with your audiences’ behavior. This can help you tailor future social media campaigns to your audiences’ preferences, aiding in brand perception management. HootSuite and Sproutsocial are two platforms that you can use to organize content and they have integrated AI into their platform to help you analyze your data more easily. Circleboom and Lately are also user friendly and support AI to help you generate content. Answer the Public is another great social tool that will analyze your audience and their patterns.


ChatGPT may seem scary, but it is like anything else – once you start using it, it’s actually pretty helpful! Try this: access ChatGPT here. There is no need for you to purchase a higher version; the free version works just fine! Input this prompt into the search box: “Write me a blog post about 5 trends in arboriculture for 2024. Make the post professional but give is a conversational voice as well. This article is for prospective customers who do not know anything about arboriculture.” 

What did it spit back out? I’m guessing it gave you a smaller, more condensed article. That’s okay! If you want to use that and expand on it, go ahead! If not, you can ask ChatGPT to go more in depth, to clarify certain points, or to do something entirely different. Either way, you’re not starting from square one. You can now take that information, add in your own personalization and brand voice, and you have a blog post to easily implement on your website and social media!

These are just a few of the ways that AI can assist your business in 2024. It helps businesses stand out by creating personalized experiences that make customers feel special and keeps them coming back for more. My advice? Start out by trying ChatGPT when you’re done reading this article!

If you’re struggling trying to utilize technology and AI in your marketing, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today to sign up for our Thrive Sales & Marketing Package!


2024 Marketing Trends

2024 Marketing Trends

Written by Katie Petersen

Welcome to 2024! As I was researching marketing trends for 2024, I couldn’t help but look back at my previously written articles on this same topic. From 2021, to 2022, to 2023, marketing, and the technology associated with it, has evolved so much. 2024 looks to be no different!

Here are 5 trends the marketing world expects to see grow in 2024:

  1. Rise of AI-Powered Personalization

Picture this: A marketing strategy so personalized it feels like a tailored suit. In 2024, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize personalization.

By now, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT and possibly a few other AI content generators. If you haven’t played around with the program yet, I encourage you to start! It has been a game-changer for ArboRisk this year in regards to assistance in creating content. Using it to help you brainstorm or create an outline for a blog post are great ways to help automate these processes for your business. 

Please be advised, DO NOT SIMPLY COPY AND PASTE THE INFORMATION YOU RECEIVE FROM ANY AI! ChatGPT gives, what I like to call, a “working draft.” It is up to you to edit the content you receive and apply your brand voice to the information. If you don’t, you could get flagged for copyright infringement and people can tell when there is no personalization to written words.

  1. Interactive Content Takes Center Stage

Engagement is the name of the game, and interactive content is stealing the spotlight. Get ready for immersive experiences through augmented reality (AR), interactive polls, shoppable posts, and engaging quizzes. 

Every single webinar, course, content guide I’ve look at this year has said the same thing: engagement is what matters. You might only have 20 followers on a given social media account, but if all 20 of your followers engage with you and interact with your content, that is far better than 200 uninterested followers.

It is also important that within all of your content, you are encouraging followers to engage with you! Every piece you put out should have a call-to-action, a way for your audience to respond back to you. If you don’t tell people what to do, they won’t do anything, even if your content is the most amazing thing they have ever seen!

In 2024, it’s not just about showcasing products—it’s about creating experiences that captivate and convert.

  1. Sustainability Marketing Goes Mainstream

Green is the new black! Consumers are increasingly conscious of their ecological footprint, and brands are heeding the call. In 2024, expect sustainability to become an integral part of marketing strategies. 

This does not mean simply slapping a “green” sticker on your service and calling it good. Customers are looking for authenticity and they know when they are being duped. The green initiative is also about tapping into consumer emotions. Sustainability is at the forefront of audience concerns and by addressing this, companies are solidifying their space in the future market.

From eco-friendly packaging to transparent sustainability reports, brands will weave environmental consciousness into their narratives, connecting with a socially aware audience. Tree services can promote their use of electric chainsaws, biodegradable bar oil and/or natural soil amendments like biochar or compost tea.

  1. The Era of Influencer Authenticity

No more smoke and mirrors! Authenticity will reign supreme in the influencer sphere. In 2024, audiences crave genuine connections. Influencers are at the forefront of these connections.

Micro-influencers with niche authenticity have actually seen a rise in the last year. More and more brands are partnering with local influencers who have a connection to their area. Through this, the brand is able to have their product promoted by a local influencer that others in their community actually know. This lends credibility to their product and erases the sense of polished perfection.

Influencer marketing is all about trust and relatability. If you have an influencer in your area that would fit well for your company, I highly recommend looking into this type of marketing in 2024! If you’re looking for more information, please see the article I wrote from 2023, describing all aspects of influencer marketing!

  1. Video Marketing And Short-Form Content Dominance

In a world where attention spans are as fleeting as shooting stars, short-form video content, succinct snippets—ranging from seconds to a few minutes—are the new language of expression.

While video marketing isn’t new, its dominance has been sustained by the rise of platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. Short-form video will continue to dominate in 2024 and we may begin to see a shift to Instagram becoming more of content search engine as opposed to a social media platform. That is the power of short-form video!

Brands are now leveraging short-form videos not just for advertisements but for storytelling, product launches and even customer testimonials.


In 2024, experimenting with emerging technologies and humanizing brand experiences will be the hallmarks of success. Stay tuned as we navigate this exhilarating voyage through the ever-evolving landscape of marketing trends in 2024!

If you’re concerned that your marketing tactics aren’t ready to take on 2024, reach out to an ArboRisk team member to start our Thrive Sales & Marketing Package!