If Your Firm Values Green Building, Let People Know
Focusing on your company’s values and how they are portrayed in your communications and media—can play a big part in attracting your ideal clients. Because today’s buyer looks not only for energy efficiency but also for green and sustainable products and practices, these values are often considered in a buying decision in today’s market.
While it’s still important to talk about how your products or services are green and sustainable, your clients, especially your first-time home owners and Millennial clients, want to know more about your company’s values and what actions you and your firm are taking that support a green, sustainable future. That sort of “doing as you say” is an opportunity to build loyalty by showing your firm’s integrity and the values expressed in your business and beyond.
Why Share Your Green?
Sharing your company’s values distinguishes you by daring to do something different, something brave. By not following the pack and being like everyone else, your company can emerge as a leader. Distinguishing your company from all the other companies which do the same or similar work, gives the opportunity to stand out, the opportunity to be recognized and to be different. By distinguishing your company, you create an environment to attract your tribe, your ideal clients – the same people who believe in the same values AND need your solution.
The first step is to understand and document your company’s values. This is often what fills up a company’s “About Us” section of your web site or company brochure. Company values may be represented by organizations and movements that your company supports and gives back through; personal beliefs of its founder(s) and leadership; and ways the company seeks to make a difference in the population it serves, the community where it is located or a larger stage.
Connecting with Your Ideal Client
Your ideal client is hopefully already identified, described and understood. Going beyond basic demographics will help your company have better insights into your ideal client and what values are likely to be important to them. For instance, let’s say your ideal clients are young families buying their first home. They typically have 2 jobs, elementary-school aged or younger children and regularly shop for organic food. It is likely they spend most of their free time involved with their children’s school and activities.
Let’s say one of your company’s values is being a part of the community where you offer services or products. Opportunities abound for your company to support schools in your community, community gardens with plots for families, alternative food sources like farmers markets and coops. By being where your ideal clients are and sharing the values you both have, you now have the opportunity to connect. Connection can provide opportunity to offer your services, although it is important not to use your involvement as a ploy to outright market or sell. This is all about building connection with people who share the same values as your company.
Doing as You Say
Doing as you say is a way for you to inspire and educate your potential clients, your ideal clients. It starts with doing – doing service in the community, doing education programs, and showing how your experience doing helps you to help your clients. Your clients see the value in learning from you. What kinds of things does your company do?
Is your community active in community service? Does your company embrace green business practices in your office, your operations and your offerings? Is your company transparent about the work it does? If there are things your company is working on improving, let people share the journey with you and learn from your experience.
- inspire and educate by doing
- buyers and owners see value
- Education AND experience
- Transparency is key
- Green business practices
Green Business Practices – work both in your business and on your business
- Energy Star equipment…and appliances, and more
- Recycling – could also be a recycling center/hub for items
- Real dishes
- Home tech
- Rain gardens and/or barrels
Saying What You Do – Things to Share with Your Community
Now that your company understands the value of doing and connecting with your ideal clients through your service and experiences, sharing this news helps people to know about your company outside of your offerings. This is how your help your ideal clients to know you have values in common. If you have a marketing, communications and/or PR team, be sure to let them know about your community activities and involvement and share it. Share it in your newsletters and social media. Be sure to tag the groups you are serving or working with so that your communities can connect. If your community involvement offers opportunities for people outside your company to get involved, let them know how to get involved. Sponsorships and support do show your company’s financial support of causes your company embraces, but people being involved show even more. It shows the people side of your company and your commitment to the values you hold dear and share with your ideal clients.
- Get involved / Give back
- Your green business practices
- Share on web, marketing, social posts, etc. on
- Distinguishes you
- Ideal clients – Your story may compel people to buy…or not
- company values
- contribution / giving back
- personal beliefs
- make a difference
- from a business view – good business
- cost savings
- attract / retain great talent
- strengthen brand and increase market share
- Things to do
- Use and share the value of green building practices and materials
- Recycle and be the place to help recycle
- The “obvious” – paper, aluminum, cardboard
- The “not-so-obvious” – batteries, electronics, print cartridges (or refill them)
- if you haven’t yet…go virtual – e-news, websites, etc.
- turn it off! – lights, computers, etc.
- use the real thing – reduce disposables
- Purchase recycled – office supplies, marketing materials, building materials
- Green team – educate, motivate and help ‘get the ball rolling’
- Typically focus on greening operations of organization
- Events and contests for employees, clients, community
- Get involved in a local or regional Green Business Challenge
- More Ideas – Resources and Tips for Greening Up
- Inc http://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/8-ways-green-your-company.html
- Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/kateharrison/2013/02/07/10-ways-to-green-your-business-and-save-money/#1210b2225c9e
- The Balance https://www.thebalance.com/greening-your-business-2948100
- Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/11-really-simple-ways-to-go-green-at-your-office-and-save-money-too-2010-4#now-dont-miss-12
- GreenBiz https://www.greenbiz.com/collections/buildings-facilities
- The Shelton Group blog http://sheltongrp.com/biggest-benefit-telling-sustainability-story-flywheel-effect-sustainability-engagement/
Drop me a line to let me know about your resources and tips for greening up your operations as part of doing what you say.
Marla Esser Cloos, the Green Home Coach, helps align design, remodel or new build home projects with the green home certification process. Master CGP and LEED AP. Marla@GreenHomeCoach.com 877-828-1827