Been lurking at the Pro Landscaper Network for the last few weeks which according to the info, "invites you to join the industry new Network, this network has been set up to facilitate communication, discussion and networking with the UK landscaping sector."
Now I have noticed quite a few LJN members have joined and just wondered what people think of this new site?
Part of me is holding back from joining as 1. I get the feeling that it is more geared or certainly seems to be attracting the more pure landscaper / designers than general ground contractors. 2. Is this site aimed at the professional or also general public? 3. My on-line time is limited due to personal circumstances and would have to question if I did join I would only really duplicate what I post of LJN anyway. 4. Would being a member of this network increase my on-line presence that greatly? 5. If most of the members of The Pro Landscaper site are also members of LJN, so how would this increase my networking?
Don’t get me wrong, the think the Pro Landscaper Network as a forum to its publication is probably the next logical step for it, I would just like to know how others view this new addition and if members, what do they see as the benefits?
Can I please stress that we don’t need any comments particularly from non members of Pro Landscaper saying it is a copy / rip off etc. of LJN but more as to why they joined and what they perceive the benefits could be.
We joined a few weeks ago after an invite through LinkedIn. On my first visit i found it a good clear looking site with plenty of info. As you stated, at the moment it seems to be mainly geared up to the landscaping and design side of our business.
It seems to be for the of professional rather than general public which i think alot of people will find appealing but may be a problem in getting new members.
If they start adding more content regarding the professional side of garden contracts then i will join in and add my voice to the forums as i do with LJ.
They also promote APL and BALI heavily :)
I must admit I like their magazine and the general site but haven't seen too much on the forums that as yet "floats my boat" or anything too different to that which is posted on LJN.
Anyone else have any views?
I've been lurking too but So far find LJN is the forum most useful to me - I Do like that they have a magazine to back them up and this may mean over time they get a good back-catalogue of literature to help their members. For me, at the moment though, I dont think it has any benefit and LJN is more social and active on the Maintenance side which I prefer.
I would be interested in knowing what the designers and landscapers view is and why do they feel it may serve them better?
I just get the feeling that the Pro Landscaper Network is reaching out to a slightly different member base and learning towards an APL / BALI preference. Whilst I mainly do ground maint contracts I'm not too sure if it would too specialised for the likes of me.
I've done similar Graeme, without doubt the quality of the magazine is excellent - good paper & colour repro quality. That will set it apart in the physical marketplace. I think that aspect will appeal to the more artistic element of our Industry.
I recognise many of the PL members as those belonging to other networks (LJN, included).
The PL network and magazine are inextricably linked - if the magazine does well, it grows - if it fails, it dies as the Editors clearly say they are not landscapers, but publishers and thus I can't see they would continue in that scenario.
The editoral is clear that is aimed B2B and not to the general public.
Reading it, it is clear they are courting APL & BALI & SGD heavily which I believe is good as they really don't have such a platform for their members to enjoy an online, social media orientated web presence.
I have not seen a future editorial list of features, but if it continues as it started off it could be a great assest to the industry.
A final comment, is the B2B focus a missed opportunity to interact with potential/existing clients ? Apart for the 'housey' magazines with the mainstream personalities, we do not have a B2C channel as an industry (happy to be corrected on that one....)
We were approached by email on Monday by this lot to advertise in their Magazine. They said in their email that we had previously expressed an interest in doing so? Don't know how this happened, since T&S is Tina & Steve, and nobody had spoken to either of us before, unless one of the dogs answered the call!
Later, we had the sales call from the Rep. Like most Reps selling on the phone, he sounded about 12, going on 18, with not a clue about the industry that he was trying to sell to. I asked about the circulation of the Magazine, (with Tina working in publishing for 20 odd years, I have been well trained). I was told that it is free to BALI and APL Members, or those whose business turns over £100,000 All other mortals have to pay £4 a copy. The Rep asked if we had seen a copy of the Magazine, I replied no. The Rep said he would post us a copy, and he did, which arrived yesterday.
We had a read, Tina knew the printer of the Magazine, as she would!, and is always the first thing that she looks for. Following this, we asked on LJN chat if anyone had heard of the Magazine, a sort of market research on our part. One LJN Member replied.
We then found the un-pro-Landscaper website, it looks at lot like LJN, but not as upmarket. We signed up as we knew many LJN Members on the site.
Our first post, we sang the praises of LJN, and LJN Members that have helped us set up our business, but, we have since discovered that the un-pro- Landscaper, does not allow free speech within our industry. It appears that our industry post has been deleted, and we have been banned from the un-pro-Landscaper site. We heard this via a third party from a telephone call, from a long standing LJN Member :-) this evening.
So the un-pro-Landscaper, it is not Professional, not open, and just a little bit tacky. The site may look like LJN, but for the wealth of experience, knowledge and passion of LJN Members and LJN, it's not even close.
Just wondering, if the person is going to call us back re advertising? Should be a fun chat.
We will be happy to share our experience of the un-pro-Landscaper with other Growers, HTA Members like ourselves, and the APL, which is a part of the HTA.
Not the kind of behaviour one would of expected from such an outfit that is closely linked to APL and Bali. In facted I am quite shocked.
I smell narrow self interest - Atempts by vested interests to clone a successful forum up-start that challenges the way "things are done" and control how things develop....
No use to me then!
Wow, that challenges the views I held in my post above......
Steve, I hope you get the right to reply on their network or via other means.