Neptune Panels Waterfall Training: October 2013

Building A Waterfall Training

In October, we welcomed three new companies into our network of licensed and trained installers.  Jeff Krupinski of Landscapes Unlimited from Southington, CT, John Madison of John Madison Landscape and Eric Gagnon of G&G Landscape and Development of Lewiston, ME.  Here’s what they had to say about the system and their learning experience.

“Hi my name is Jeff Krupinski. I own Landscapes Unlimited. We’re a lawn and landscape installation company based out of southern Connecticut.Currently we’re a paving and retaining wall company. We do a tremendous amount of flat work, all segmented concrete units. But we saw the product, we can see it’s versatility not only used in the water features but anything used outdoors basically. Seeing it done I’m amazed at how simple it actually is and how strong it actually is.

John Madison with John Madison Landscape.- Orlando Florida. We didn’t do waterfalls. We were pretty much scared of them. Everything done there is more of a liner for natural stone type of products. Just never liked the liability of them and then we found this product here that’s basically reduced the liability. I feel like there’s a demand in our area for something like this because no one else is doing it. The product is amazing, I mean we haven’t even stained it yet and it already looks like a real rock. I haven’t seen any other products on the market that do what this product does and look as realistic as this one does.

Eric Gagnon with G&G Landscaping and Development. We’ve been in business since 1999 doing landscape maintenance and hardscape installations. We’re out of Lewiston. We don’t do many water features right now and there’s not many guys in our area doing them so that’s why we came down to the training because we’d like to get that going as part of our business. I like it so far. I definitely see it’s applications. For the initial investment it’s a wonderful wonderful product that really does what they say it does. It’s really as easy as it’s made to look. Very very very little artisticness is needed in it. There’s tons of opportunities to go back and correct mistakes. Definitely an easy to get into product. It’s a no brainer really. It’s worth the investment.”


Swimming Pool Waterfall Builder Profile: Naomi Otto From Mackay, Queensland, Australia

Naomi Otto, swimming pool waterfall builder


Naomi Otto is an award winning building designer and the managing director of Majestic Development Services, a one-stop shop for interior, exterior and landscape design build needs located in Mackay, Queensland. A family based business with over 45 years combined full expertise and experience, they value service and providing their clients with the highest level of service.  Here’s what she had to share after completing her Neptune Panels training.

We’re from Mackay, which is a little town in far north Queensland, central north Queensland in Australia.   We’re a design construct company.

What sparked your interest in the Neptune Panels product? 

We were looking for a different product, a point of difference that can set us aside from anybody else who’s doing housing design and construction.   You quite often get someone who just does design or just does construction. We do both, design and construction. But we wanted a product that was going to make our houses stand out from the crowd.

How is it working with the system?

I cannot get over, number one, how easy it is to construct. There’s Ledgefalls–they are so simple and straight forward. Dave has this system down pat.  Between the panels that we use, the height that we can get, and the effect of that massive overhang rock; it just blows you away.   It’s just amazing.

How does this compare with other products for building backyard waterfalls? 

I have never seen anything like it- I’ve seen natural stone, I’ve seen lots of waterfalls, but I have never seen anything like this system–it’s just fantastic.   It’s just amazing the strength that they’ve got in these panels and these panels are so thin and easy to lift.

What are the limits for using this system?

From what we have seen and what we have experienced there is no limit to what you can do with this product.

What would you say to other contractors considering the Neptune Panels system?

You’re silly not to. This will blow your mind. This product will change the way you operate your business.

Backyard Waterfall Builder Profile: Craig Otto From Mackay, Queensland, Australia

Craig Otto, outdoor living spaces

Craig Otto has worked in the construction industry for nearly 30 years.  In 2011 he was awarded apprentice of the year at the Queensland Master Builder’s Awards.  He is an owner of Majestic Development Services in Mackay, Queensland.  Majestic Development Services is a boutique builder, specializing in high end projects from $500k and up.  In 2012 he discovered the Neptune panel system and in August 2013 made the 12,000 mile trip to attend installer training.  Here’s what he had to say about the system.

“Craig Otto from Australia, all the way from Brisbane.”

What do you think of the panel system for building outdoor living features?

“The panel system is sensational.  That thing went up in a couple of days.  That is absolutely awesome.  I’ve never ever seen anything like it.  I actually built it and I still don’t believe it.  It’s absolutely fantastic.  And strong, durable, easy to put up, anyone can do it.”

How will this incorporate into your water feature business?

“It gives us the edge that we need.  It gives us a point of difference.  Only limitation I can see that its got is your own imagination.  It can do anything.  If you can think of it, it can be done. It will put us above everyone else.  Without a doubt it will put us miles above everyone else, and that’s where I want to be.”

What would you say to others looking at the backyard waterfall system?

“If you, if you’re on the edge or if you want to get in front on your business definitely get out here.  Like I said I came, ah, just over 12,000 miles and I’d come here again no problem at all.”

Neptune Panels Installer Profile: Gustavo Ordonez, Jardines y Piscinas (Video)

Gustavo Ordonez, Jardines y Piscinas, Neptune Panels Installer

Gustavo Ordonez is President of Jardines y Piscinas S.A, a full service swimming pool company located in Honduras.  With locations in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and Roatan, his company is the largest pool contractor in the country.  Serving both commercial and residential clients, they offer design and build services, spa, sauna, maintenance and repair and water features.  Gustavo recently attended training, and had this to share.

My name is Gustavo. My company is Jardines y Piscinas.  I’m from Honduras in Central America. The company started 20 years ago. We started just doing small water features.  And I’m always researching, looking for a new system to do those things- easier system.

How versatile is the Neptune Panels System?

I never thought about going three/ four feet over the pool ledge–never.  With stone or cement or nothing-No.  Even the big big waterfalls I’ve done in commercial installations I’ve done over there — they go like 10 inches over the edge- no more than that. So that’s amazing.

I’m sure I’m going to sell a lot of these. They’re very nice looking, consistent quality. The engineering behind it is surprising. I’m’ still amazed how fast we put it up.

Really, it only takes four guys to build a huge waterfall. No more than that.  It’s really amazing how user friendly the system is– how easy to install.

What will this do for your Company?

I’m so excited about it I’m trying to set up a whole regional coverage. Installing waterfalls in the five or six countries that make up central America. I see it as that much of a potential.

What about installer support?

One of the things that inspires confidence in the whole system is that you got all these people, experts, backing you up.  I’m in a different country, not different zip code, a whole different country, and I feel confident about it.  Excellent, excellent customer support.


Neptune Panels Installer Profile: Cummings Landscape And Masonry (Video)


Neptune Panels Installer Connie CummingsCummings Masonry & Landscape, Inc. is a full service Landscape, Masonry, and Concrete contractor. They provide and install new construction and remodel work to the outdoor living space to homeowners in the San Francisco Bay Area, constructing everything from outdoor kitchens and custom concrete work to foliage, outdoor lighting, and water features. In the following video, Connie discusses how becoming a licensed Neptune Panels installer has increased her business.

How has Neptune Panels helped your business?

“Using the Ledgefalls/Neptune Panels has really helped our company through the recession. We were able to bring our product on national TV on several Yard Crasher shows. It’s kept us busy and now we are starting to offer in almost every quote we do, we try to make sure it has a water feature.”

How is the customer demand for Neptune Panels?

“It’s hard to go on vacation. They go on vacation, spend a lot of money. Why not build a staycation in your own back yard? People want big water features and their and their pools they want that dramatic feel, but pool decks cannot put a 2, 3, 4000 pound rock to get a huge overhang. It just cannot happen unless you spend a lot of money trying to do something like that.”

How easy is the Neptune Panels System to work with?

“Totally changed the water feature excitement for me because I could lift the panels up. Being able to get in we will pour a pond maybe just me and 3 of my workers. We will pour a big pond on Monday and we are turning that water feature on by Friday. We can go in and do outdoor kitchens, fire pits, water features giving that whole feel of outdoor enjoyment for the family.”

Have you seen an increase in business with the Neptune Panels System?

“People like to see transformation in their yards quickly and that is what this product brings to our bottom line. We get most of our work on referral. Once you get a referral you have an 85 to 90% chance of getting the job. They can’t go to anybody else because nobody else is doing it. It has been very easy for me to sell these in people’s homes.”

Would you recommend the Neptune Panels System to other contractors?

“I would say if somebody were interested in wanting to become an installer for the panels and ledge falls I would say if you have passion for it go for it because it will totally change your life.”

Neptune Panels Installer Profile: Swimming Pool Builder John Oliver

Atlantis Pools And Spas Neptune Panels Installer

As a pool builder for over 32 years, John Oliver of Atlantis Pools and Spas Inc. has built over 1000 pools in the metro area of Tulsa, OK.  A full service pool company, Atlantis designs, builds, services and remodels pools.  By incorporating specialty features for their clients such as grottoes, swim-up bars, vanishing edges and swimming pool waterfalls, they have earned the reputation as the premier builder in the area.

When John was introduced to the Neptune Panels system, he was intrigued by the reduced time to build as well as the natural look.  Using boulders a small job could take from 2-3 weeks and a larger job as much as 2-3 months.  And with natural stone waterfalls, he could never achieve the 3-5 foot overhangs due to the restrictions from the weight of the boulders.

While attending training, John that the Neptune Panels system not only looks better than any modular waterfall system, but it was completely customizable, allowing him to build more sheer cliffs than he could with natural stone.  In addition, he’s able to build projects more quickly, allowing him to get more jobs done in a season.

Master Pool Builder John Oliver

According to John, “I wish I had this system 20 years ago.  I wasted a lot of time putting boulders up.  It could be a game changer for us.  I think our company can definitely grow our revenue, to the point where we could double our revenue in a couple of years.”

neptune panels installers

Neptune Panels Installer Profile: Pond Builder Cliff Fitzwater

fitz water design neptune panels installer


With over 340 ponds and water features installed in the past 8 years, Cliff Fitzwater of Fitz Water Design worked hard to become the premier pond and pondless waterfall builder in Southwest Missouri.  With a retail store in Reeds Spring, MO, just north of Branson, Cliff’s goal is to turn his customer’s backyard dreams into reality.

When Cliff was introduced to the Neptune Panels system for waterfalls, he immediately saw a method to fill a void in his current offerings.  He’d lost jobs for swimming pool waterfalls and requests for large backyard waterfalls due to the customers requested location and the amount of property disruption.

As an Aquascape dealer,  Cliff appreciate the fact that he’ll be able to combine this system with his current pond building methods to add another level of service to his customers, without detracting from his core business.

With the ease of installation and ability to reach heights that are nearly impossible with natural stone waterfalls, Cliff feels that adding the Neptune Panels system opens new avenues to construct water features, allowing him to diversify his portfolio of services.

According to Cliff, “I just have to decide how large I want my business to grow.  With the Neptune Panels system I see reaching 2-3 times my current gross sales very easily.”

Video: Creating The Most Believable Testimonials For Your Swimming Pool Waterfall Business

video testimonials for your pond waterfall business

The secret to getting testimonials and referrals is to ask for them.

Video testimonials generate a lot more confidence and trustworthiness than written or even spoken testimonials. Folks actually have a person they can associate with; they’re able to see the expression on customer’s faces and the belief in the product is essentially sensed. People today intuitively know that it’s much more challenging to fake a video testimonial, which makes it all the more potent.

Acquiring a customer testimonial on video humanizes your narrative.  It shows that despite the fact that a client may have paid for your services and products, a actual person enjoys the real benefits

The first thing to think about is what you want to be known for. Character is what one is; reputation is what one is thought to be by others. This should shape all else that you do in obtaining testimonials.

Allow me to share a few crucial questions you should answer about your marketplace positioning before getting your testimonials from others:

  • What do you want your product or service to be recognized for? What is it you’d like everybody to say about you and your products or services?
  • What differentiates you from your competition?
  • How do you want your testimonials to appear?

Rather than requesting your customers just wing it through their testimonial by speaking off the cuff, put together a list of questions that frame their replies and make it effortless for them to say excellent things about you and your company.

Here are a few techniques to compose a testimonial:

1. Introduce yourself and say what you do.

2. What type of work were you looking to have done that had you look for the company you are going to highly recommend?

3. What were the final results this company provided? What services did they offer and how easy were they to work with?

4. Sum up your overall experience and advocate for the company. It’s always beneficial to wrap up with one key takeaway you want the viewer to remember.

Make it a Video

Making short videos is quite simple. The strategy is to plan not to edit considering that editing is the difficult piece and prevents people from actually undertaking or publishing them. So if you plan to do your short videos in one take, similar to having a conversation, you’ll produce more testimonials.

If you happen to make a modest error then just say, “What I meant is…” and proceed as you would in any dialogue.

In today’s online world, it’s ok to have a video that doesn’t look staged.  Of course ideally you’ll have your background set against the job you’ve just completed and you’ll guide your customers statements with leading questions.

The feeling of authenticity that’s found in these videos will beat out the well-polished, professional videos every time.

Remember, today’s smartphones have video cameras that will work just fine for creating the type of testimonial video you’re looking for.  And for a few hundred dollars you could set yourself up with a video camera and tripod if you’re looking to get a little more serious.

With today’s technology right in your hand, and a few thought out questions to prompt your customers, what’s holding you back from getting video testimonials?

How To Harness Online Testimonials For Your Swimming Pool And Pond Waterfall Business

local search testimonials

In this second part of getting customer testimonials, we’ll take a look at harnessing the power of online reviews for your swimming pool, pond, and backyard waterfall business.

How do you get credible testimonials? Let’s examine some of the sites you can gather reviews, as well as how to inspire reviews from your customers and how to collect them from all around the web.

Set up a testimonials or reviews button on your website. Clients can click on the button as you encouraged to leave positive reviews and feedback about your services and company.

Send out an email to your clients seeking a testimonial. Your email can contain a link that guides them back to the feedback section of your web-site or a web link that takes them to a customer survey form you created with your evaluation questions.

Include your business in search directories hosted by major search engines. Search directories enable users to leave evaluations about your company on the internet, and may influence the way you get ranking with local search results. One example, let’s say you’re a swimming pool waterfall builder and include your business on Google Places. Customers looking for a swimming pool waterfall builder in their area may select your business over others when they see you have a great deal of favorable customer critiques.

Local search directories like Google Places, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle, Yelp, and CitySearch allow participants of their networks to write assessments about local companies. Google obtains opinions from Google users, in addition to drawing in opinions from other local search sites like Yelp. Merchant Circle enables member testimonials and also brings them in from Yahoo Local, CitySearch, as well as other sites.

Why would you want to guide your customers to creating reviews on these sites versus writing a testimonial specifically for your site? The answer is simple. If you are attempting to get Google search traffic to your local small business, you would want your company to come up in the search with the most testimonials.

If you have great evaluations on these websites, you should promote them on your testimonials webpage as well.

Use the reviews features on social networking websites like Facebook. Facebook has built-in functions that allow other users to leave recommendations and reviews for your company on your profile page.

Execute an Web search for local business directories to discover a search directory for each significant search engine. You can then add your company to each directory and advise clients to leave their feedback on these websites.

Create daily notifications via email on Google Alerts for a wide range of relevant terms in order to keep track of your name, company name, brand name with the word review.

There is one drawback when it comes to soliciting reviews on your Facebook page, in local search directories, and other sites that you don’t have control over. There is the chance that all of the reviews that are posted will not be positive.

Anytime you come across an unfavorable assessment about your company, it is vital that you act in response to it. When a prospective customer reads a negative evaluation, but also recognizes that you have acted to help resolve the issue in a consumer forum, then that prospective client will discover that you do care about your client’s satisfaction, which might lead to a favorable perception after all.

Your testimonial page is probably one of the most powerful pages on your website. Fantastic testimonies tell people that your product or service is not only legitimate, but amazing enough that other customers are finding great benefits from it.

YouTube Strategies to Help Your Waterfall Business

By Jonathan Allard
With its more than 100 million videos viewed each day, tens of millions of unique visitors; did you know that YouTube is the number 2 search engine on the Web in terms of inquiring volume?  It sounds impressive, but what does that mean for local businesses trying to reach customers?  You need to separate yourself from your competition!

Have you ever uploaded your own creation? Chances are, probably not.

If you own a small local business or if you are nationally known and don’t want to mess with video hosting and access issues, YouTube provides a free, easy way to host your corporate videos. Below I have listed some of the ways that you can take advantage of using YouTube for your business and help grow your media awareness.

Boost Your Brands Presence

Similar to traditional television ads, YouTube can help your business by increasing overall brand awareness. In fact online advertisements may be even more effective than TV ads. A recent Milward Brown study found that online advertisements resulted in 82% brand awareness while similar TV ads only led to 54%. Be sure to have content that is entertaining and informative to capture your viewer’s attention. Remember you are trying to make your audience aware of your brand, so your video should have content that represents your company. This way the next time a viewer sees your logo somewhere, they will associate your brand with it. Use YouTube to make your business more than an impersonal entity. Video tours can show off an office space or give a behind the scenes look at the process that goes into the everyday operations of your business. Let customers connect with the heart and soul of your company: the people who make it what it is. By featuring workers in action or even highlighting individual employees with video bios, you allow your company to have a personal touch that everyone can relate to.

Don’t be afraid to create awareness about who you are and what you do; it’s important to let people know who they’re getting this valuable information from.  You should encourage users to take a step towards a relationship with your company by having them subscribe to your YouTube channel or company email newsletter (if you have one).  By building your YouTube subscriber base you’ll automatically reach a built-in audience of potential customers who have opted-in to seeing your latest videos. For example you could say “Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more moneysaving tips on ways to improve your outdoor living space,” and include that call to action graphically in the video. Alternatively, driving people to a newsletter is another way to form the start of a relationship with that viewer.

Optimize for YouTube Search

Nearly 24 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day.  In order to be found you need to optimize your video so that it can be found on the site.  Here are just a few things to think about when adding your video to YouTube.  Include important keywords in the title and be sure your tags include those keywords as well.  Choose an appealing thumbnail that clearly depicts what your video is about.

To continue the outdoor living space example, you may want to title your video “How to design an outdoor living space that will adapt to your backyard. XYZ hardscaping top tips for designing an outdoor living space on your budget.”  Your tags might be “how to, hardscape, outdoor living area, pavers, plants, landscaping, DIY” etc.  The thumbnail could be a shot of you planting some flowers (assuming that YouTube gives you that as an option). Your title, keywords and thumbnail all gives your viewers the information they need to decide whether your video will help meet their need and solve their problem.

How-To Videos

Not all content has to directly promote your products. How-to videos that give viewers tips and hints on solutions related to your industry are a great way to give your customers a valuable gift that creates a feeling of goodwill, but also, importantly, is likely to be shared with others. For example, a barbeque restaurant might share a video about the perfect basting technique, or a graphic design studio might do a monthly series on simple Photoshop tricks. Neither one gives away sacred secrets that will hurt their business, but they do create relevant, helpful content that their customers – and potential customers – can use and appreciate.

Product and Service Demos/Details

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But when it comes to showing off your company’s products, a video demonstration or overview gives your customers more than a photo ever could.

Whether videos are used to demonstrate key features of new products or show off that product from all angles, YouTube gives you the perfect opportunity to let customers see your product in use, how it’s meant to be seen

Produce High Quality Videos

You don’t have to be the next Spielberg, but your videos should be professional and easy to watch.  Shaky hand-held camera work, poor audio quality, bad lighting or lack of coherence in the story all lead to viewers changing the virtual channel.  Pay attention to the lighting. Use a tripod to create smooth viewing experience. Use microphones and pay attention to the audio.  Try to tell a story or clearly walk viewers through the video and what you’re doing.  By paying attention to these basics you’ll standout from the massive amounts of poor quality content on the site – earning you more attention and more interest from viewers.

Give the Viewers a Follow-Up Action

Following the AIDA model you want to create a desire for viewers to take a follow up action.  If you’ve created an informational video about landscaping tips you want to give the viewer a compelling reason to follow up with you and a clear path to do so.  One way to do this is to provide a special offer and a unique web address in the video.

For example a call to action such as “Print step by step instructions and receive 10% off our in-home evaluation by visiting,” gives your viewers an actionable next step with clear value. The unique URL and discount will also provide you one measurable way to determine how successful your YouTube video is.

Those are just some quick ways local businesses can take advantage of YouTube.  There are dozens more, but starting with the basics will put you in front of potential customers who need your help. 

What tips do you have for making YouTube work for business? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!