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Business Owners & Managers

Women in the Industry - Caety James, Part One

"I'm fortunate that PPLM takes such great care to ensure high-quality service results; in any industry, it is much easier to market, sell, and represent a service in which you have full faith."

Meet Caety James - Sales Director of Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance (PPLM), a family owned and operated lawn maintenance company that focuses on fertilizer and fescue seeding in the Greater Richmond, VA area. Caety's job includes working one on one with clients, performing sales calls and estimates, producing video content, and more. We talked with Caety about being an employee in the lawn care industry, and she shared lots of marketing and YouTube tips! Get ready to take notes!

1. Caety, what was your inspiration to get into the landscaping industry? How did it all start?

Honestly, my passion has always been for content creation and client education. Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance, the company with which I'm proud to be working, is family owned and operated, and it was a great relationship with the family that originally introduced me to this field of service. I really enjoy how diverse, challenging, and variant the lawn and landscape maintenance industry has proven itself to be.

2. What is the best part of your job as Sales Director of a landscaping company?

My favorite part of what I do is being able to form strong relationships with a very diverse group of clients and ensure their understanding of and satisfaction with the services they receive. Because PPLM is still a smaller business, our client base receives a very personalized service. I'm fortunate that PPLM takes such great care to ensure high-quality service results; in any industry, it is much easier to market, sell, and represent a service in which you have full faith.

3. As Sales Director, you're in the unique position where you're able to focus on marketing and interacting one on one with clients. What one main piece of advice would you give solo entrepreneurs who promote business while also working in the field?

The biggest advice I can give to the entrepreneurs who are doing it all right now is to take the time to ring the doorbell. When visiting a property for a service, it is a great idea to reserve a little bit of time to regularly knock on the door if a client is home.

This gives you the chance to reinforce the face behind your company and gives your client the chance to ask you any questions, or raise any concerns, they may have that they otherwise wouldn't bring up until it potentially becomes a significant issue.

It's also very useful to make standard "leave behind" brochures or flyers that you can leave on a client's door for any issues you've noticed on their property, or additional services from which you think they could benefit. These small steps can really make a difference in a customer's experience and help you build stronger relationships within your client base.

4. What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of running a Lawn Care YouTube channel?

The YouTube channel that Picture Perfect has developed is one of our younger projects but one about which I am very excited! If you check out our channel, you can see in the timeline of videos we've uploaded how I've learned to relax and "converse" with the camera over time.

Simply becoming comfortable speaking to the camera was probably the biggest challenge, but it's helped me become more aware of how I speak with clients and convey complex information. Plenty of people have short attention spans (myself more than most!), so I've found it's important to keep the pace of the videos up to avoid rambling or repeating myself.

The growth we've seen in the channel's engagement and subscribers has definitely been the most rewarding part. I love creating content that can be helpful or entertaining to people, but it means so much to have it received well and to build a diverse, widespread audience.

5. You're always very open, authentic and positive on videos. What's your secret of being so comfortable in front of the camera?

Thank you so much for the compliment! As I mentioned, there was definitely a learning curve at first. In my first few videos, there was a lot of tongue-tied stumbling and asking, "Oh wow, is that really what I sound like?" I learned pretty quickly that a big help is to pretend the camera is a client with whom you have a good working relationship.

I always have an outline of how the video should flow, but I don't script anything. When a friend watched one of my videos, she expected me to present the information more like a news anchor. I explained to her that that wasn't how I speak to people while I walk their yard with them, and that's what these videos are supposed to replicate on a broadcasted scale.

I think the more casual and conversational approach is more appropriate to both YouTube and lawn maintenance.

About Caety: Caety James is a Sales Director of Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance in Greater Richmond area. Caety represents the company and is largely responsible for sales, client communication, and their YouTube channel. See more from Caety and PPLM on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Are you (or do you know) a woman professional in the lawn care and landscaping industry, or know a women-owned business? We'd love to hear your story - you can share it with us by using the "Tell Us Your Story" section at the bottom of our home page.