If you hold a Landscape Industry Certified designation, you should promote it!
As the new chair of the NALP International Certification Council, I am particularly pleased to volunteer my time to such a rewarding program and recognize my fellow certified professionals. I don’t hesitate to let others know that I’m certified and proud. What about you? As active certified professionals, we are listed on the Honor Wall for all to see, and NALP member companies with certified staff can be found here.
I hope you know the value of sharing your credentials with others. However, in my years of involvement with certification, I’ve noticed that many of us shy away from stating we’re certified, or simply forget to communicate our prowess as a certified landscape professional. You’ve proven that you have what it takes to be nationally certified in the landscape industry. Now, flaunt it!
Here are some quick ways to let others know the value of your certification:
- Add text about your certification status to your project bids to help demonstrate competence, gain the competitive edge and instill confidence.Your certification toolkit has sample bid language to follow.
- Wear your certification pin, especially at professional events, conferences, and community meetings. Put the Landscape Industry Certified logo on clothing. NALP also offers Landscape Industry Certified uniform patches and window clings.
- Hang your certificate in a visible office setting. Perhaps your company can establish a team certification wall of fame.
- List your credentials and logos on all communications from business cards to email signatures.
- Introduce yourself as a Landscape Industry Certified professional to customers and peers.
- Mention your credentials in your social media profiles and in interviews with media.
- Use the press release template in your toolkit to announce your certification achievement and maintenance status when you recertify, and submit to associations, alumni news and local newspapers, as well as industry trade press.
- Encourage your company to highlight its certified team in marketing materials and on the website. There is even a logo in your toolkit “Landscape Industry Certified Professionals on Staff.”
Have you ever been asked what certification means by a customer or colleague? There is an electronic consumer brochure “Do you know who’s working for you – Why hire a Landscape Industry Certified professional?” in your toolkit to hand customers, and give out during exhibits at home and garden shows. Certainly, make sure you’re familiar with the talking points listed in your toolkit so you can chat about the importance of certification anywhere, anytime. I think these points should be committed to memory and kept at the ready. They are worth repeating here.
Tell Your Customers – Being Landscape Industry Certified demonstrates that I am …
- COMPETENT – I have passed an exam demonstrating a mastery of skills and relevant knowledge to perform my job effectively. I send the message that I have been evaluated against standards of practice that other subject matter experts and practitioners believe is necessary for competent practice in my profession.
- COMPETITIVE – By earning and maintaining my designation, I show that I understand how to stay ahead in my career, and how to take responsibility for my own professional development.
- COMMITTED – I invested time and preparation to earn my credential, and I maintain my active status through continuing education that qualifies for biannual recertification. Staying current with industry changes is important, especially in this dynamic field.
Tell Your Colleagues – Being Landscape Industry Certified demonstrates that I am …
- PROFESSIONAL – I have taken my experiences, skills, and desire for excellence to the next level by studying, testing, and becoming certified. I represent an elite group, demonstrating a commitment to technical expertise and industry knowledge to better serve you and your needs.
- PROFICIENT – I have been evaluated against a set of skills and knowledge that demonstrates competent practice in my profession and I maintain my certification through continuing education. My up-to-date, ongoing education on current trends and techniques enhances my ability to improve your property.
- PREFERRED – Hiring a Landscape Industry Certified professional gives you peace of mind in knowing that you are choosing someone with a distinguished level of professionalism and technical knowledge to care for your exterior or interior landscape. I take my profession seriously and that is reflected in the quality of my work.
Talk UP your credentials. And, if you missed the March webinar on winning contracts through certification, you can easily access it here.
If you have other suggestions on how to increase recognition or know of other ways to spread the certification word, we’d love to hear them! Click here to email your thoughts, and share your certification success story with us.
Skip Thompson is Landscape Industry Certified in the lawn care manager and horticultural technician designations. As the chair of the NALP International Certification Council, Thompson previously served on the Council as subcommittee chair and chair-elect. Thompson lives in Columbus, Ga., and works as the director of operations & development for Tidewater Landscape Management, Inc.