Designers, see how 15 of your colleagues are using video to market their services or to pursue other professional goals. Videos and information here supplements an upcoming article in the magazine of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers about how designers are using video – to be published March 15, 2018.
Videos promoting the services of landscape designers run the gamut from simple “About Me” to showing off their stunning gardens to their own YouTube channels populated with a hundred or more instructional videos. Explore these 15 designers across North America and Europe for examples, plus what they’re doing right.
Some of these videos are missing some key details, so here are some suggested improvements:
Videos: Have a short introductory video in which you appear and show a few of your gardens (using still photos is fine). Narration and captions are easy and not used enough! Use title and credit slides to display relevant business information.
YouTube channels: Upload banner art for the channel that’s beautiful but contains your name, business name and website, plus a decent profile photo of you. Make your intro video the “featured” video on your channel. Make sure to have an About page with relevant qualifications, scope of work, service area and contact info. If you have more than a few videos organize them into useful playlists.
INTRO ONLY: Las Angeles designer Susan Taylor has just one video and it just may be perfect! She makes great use of it on her website’s home page.
INTRO AND GARDENS: English designer Tim Jennings’s introductory video is also professionally done, and is displayed prominently on his website. Though short, it contains all the necessary contact info, name, even endorsements.
Jennings’s channel also contains four videos of his designs that are made by simply panning across still photos, with a bit of actual video footage, too, plus music. He’s the only designer we’ve found who made videos of customer reviews. At just 50 seconds, they’re perfect and may have been done by himself at no extra professional cost.
INTRO AND GARDENS: Designer Noel van Mierlo in Holland makes gorgeous videos of gardens that he’s designed – all by himself. So yes, it pays to be a passionate video hobbyist like Noel. He displays his videos on his website, on two video channels – Vimeo (preferred over YouTube by serious videographers) and the more popular YouTube. The video “Gardens of Noel van Mierlo” is a good overview of his designs.
Noel writes that he’s surprised to learn that so few American designers use video. “I know nobody uses video in our country and that’s the reason why I do it – haha. So this means there’s a huge advantage for the ones who will start using video in a proper way.”
“Video is the perfect media to show what gardens are about. Way better then pictures. With video the garden truly comes alive. You can show movement, water, rain, wind, leaves falling, people laughing at the BBQ, a walking dog or a cat etc…I hear the positive reactions I get from audience and fellow garden professionals.”
He also uses videos when speaking in public. Wow, we bet he does.
“Video is also good for your google ranking. Facebook loves video.
INTRO, GARDENS AND HOW-TO: London designer Lee Burkhill has about 140 videos, all self-made, on his channel. They’re nicely grouped into playlists. His intro video is the “featured” video on the channel, and also displayed on his website. Uses channel art with links to social media and website in it. He’s even corrected YouTube’s automatic captions! Lots of videos are displayed on his home page, and he shares his videos across all his social media platforms.
Lee writes that “My Garden Ninja videos do help me to gain new clients, many of which will have watched my design videos before getting in touch. I think it adds a level of confidence for new clients in seeing my portfolio in live videos as well as on my website. It also allows new clients to see how I work, which I think is refreshing given many garden designers show the before and after, but not the actual work to get there! Clients comment that my videos have inspired them to either garden or transform their own back garden spaces.
“Although the online videos takes a lot of my time and focus, I believe it helps me become a far better garden designer…It makes you really consider every decision and explain why you have chosen planting schemes or layouts.”
INTRO AND HOW-TO: Northern California landscape architect/contractor Jeff Wortham puts his introductory video exactly where it should be – “featured” on his YouTube channel. On his website there’s a different video of lesser quality.
His tips videos, though low-tech, are probably good enough because they’re instructive (focusing especially on maintenance). For proof, just look at his videos’ views – one has over 51,000! He makes them himself while talking in the garden, or by using narration over stills.
INTRO AND HOW-TO: New York designer/installer Steve Griggs’s intro video is professionally made. His 32 how-to videos seem to have been made by himself, but with the smart use of a professional opening and closing. Good job displaying his firm name, profile photo, and all social media links on his channel art.
INTRO AND HOW-TO: Designer Lisa Lapaso in Austin displays her YouTube channel in her website’s sidebar – great place. She makes lots of videos herself, walking and talking, at a great length – under 1.5 min. Even without high production values they’re watchable. The standard intro to all her videos uses clips from her intro video, and always shows her face – good idea.
GARDENS: London designer Amir Schlezinger has seven excellent videos of his designs on his channel. Because they use just stills, music and some captions, they could easily have been made without hiring a professional.
HOW-TO: Designer Laura Eubanks in San Diego specializes in succulents and her popular “Succulent Tip of The Day” videos have been viewed over a million times on YouTube. She makes them herself with a cell phone. Videos of her gardens look great on her website, along with still photos there. (Here’s an example.)
She writes that she started making videos two years ago to share with “my small following of succulent enthusiasts on Facebook” videos about succulent care and design. “People really responded, so I began sharing them to a wider audience by posting to succulent groups on Facebook and even launching a YouTube channel…My business has definitely grown through the videos, with folks reaching out from all over the US and abroad!”
HOW-TO: Northeasterner Kim Eierman is founder of Ecobeneficial, a combined educational project and consulting business. She has about 30 videos on her site’s home page, along with podcasts and slide shows – great! Her YouTube channel is also prominently displayed, as are her social media platforms.
She writes that “I use my videos as both an educational tool and a marketing tool” and that some new clients do mention having seen her website and videos.
HOW-TO: Designer/installer Gary Alan in Florida had a great gig with HGTV doing 30-minute shows but when that show ended in 2002 he simply pivoted to making much shorter instructional videos – 70 so far. His channel smartly displays his firm name, website link, profile photo and informative About page prominently and oh yes – it has 30,000 subscribers!
Gary is able to include any number of his TV shows on his YouTube channel because unlike most HGTV stars, he retained ownership of his shows, simply leasing them to HGTV.
Gary’s videos and channel are targeted less at getting new clients than at showcasing him as an on-camera personality and expert, and marketing his upcoming e-book.
HOW-TO AND GARDENS: John Holden of Land Designs in Connecticut has produced well over 100 videos since 2011 on his channel, which are helpfully organized into playlists, a channel that has almost 30,000 subscribers! Most are instructional, but his Landscape Ideas videos show his own creations. Though he doesn’t have an actual Intro video, notice that the beginning of most of the videos begin with by introducing himself – his degrees and experience. All videos, including how-to, show his website URL in the lower right corner – throughout – which is so smart. Excellent use of informative captions.
HOW DESIGNERS GET VIDEOS WITHOUT PAYING FOR THEM
HOW-TO: Los Angles designer Lisa Burton either was asked or offered herself to her local water authority to provide on-camera expertise about sustainable design, and the resultant video has gotten 1,100 views so far – primarily in her service area.
GARDENS: Toronto designer Terry Ryan appeared in two videos for the Canadian House and Home channel, probably at no cost to himself. He puts these excellent videos on his website’s News page, where there are also tons of great photos.
MORE VIDEOS OF GARDENS BY DESIGNERS
Click here to watch the very best videos of gardens designed by professionals that GGVideos can found on YouTube. Many were made by the award-winning PBS show Central Texas Gardener. Would that all regions had good local gardening shows!