A Complete Guide To Marketing & Growing Your Painting Business
Being a paint contractor or paint shop owner you have a lot to juggle from bidding jobs, to ensuring enough work is available to pay the bills, to ensuring customers are delighted by the paint work you provide, and much more. Whether you are a single painter looking to move their business to the next level or a large regional contractor growing your business can often seem difficult. This guide seeks to provide all the options you may pursue to grow your painting business and provides ideas to help you evaluate whether certain options are working.
Step 1 to Grow Your Paint Business – Get New Customers
Its no secret that to grow your paint business you either have to get current customers to order more or get a greater number of customers. Will work on getting current customers to order more shortly but for now, let's focus on getting new customers.
The Path to New Customers for Your Painting Business
If you are serious about growing your paint contracting business there are a variety of potential tools and avenues to pursue. Will sort the list from top down to provide ideas. Every channel will differ on its effectiveness and opportunity. Some rules to live by, go where your competition is not and test, test, test. Is your competition on google adwords, use it, but also try Instagram, or Facebook (more on this later). Before you test channels the first thing to do is set up a home base.
First Recommendation for Marketing your Paint Business A Website
There are a variety of options to advertise your business including using a facebook business page or similar options. However, if you are serious about developing new business you need a website as it will serve as a place to drive customers to and initiate a sales process. The site should serve to list why someone should work with you. It should include testimonials and visual proof (as the reason people buy a painters services is most often to eliminate the hassle of painting and to achieve a beautiful end result). The website should also be designed so that search engines place your site at the top of their results for a local area. This Udemy course serves as a fantastic guide on LOCAL SEO and helped us with relevant words in our market area.You will also want to consider a way to capture and follow up with people who fill out leads on your website. Potential Options include a basic form builder like Gravity Forms or Contact Form 7. A critical step in maximizing your opportunity is to use a plugin like Hotjar or Google Analytics to track how many people visit your contact us form and how many become customers. If the results are lower than you hope you can consider improving the copy on the landing page to include things like testimonials or before and after photos. You could also consider a simple chat widget that would pop up to increase engagement anywhere between 10 – 30%. Ultimately think of your website as a home base for your marketing & growth pursuit as a paint business. You will potentially use it to drive potential customers to, measure how many become customers, and more.
Landing Pages, Forms, and Email Services
Not everyone who visits your website is ready or interested in buying your product. That is why having an email list or atleast a customer database can be critical to provide opportunities to continue to communicate with a prospect who may one day turn into a customer. There are a variety of options including Active Campaign, Mail Chimp, and many more. Active Campaign integrates a CRM with highly customizable email marketing and allows list creation so you could create a list that is created when customers signed up for a coupon and email them 3 times annually. Zoho also offers a CRM and marketing suite along with invoicing (making it a streamlined solution for all aspects of helping grow your painting business. Additionally, you could keep the database of past clients and leverage direct mail occasionally to generate potential additional opportunities.
Step 2 to Grow Your Painting Business– Drive Awareness Among Prospects for Your Painting Business
Once you have your home based set up the next step to consider is getting prospects to turn into leads. This is another area where testing can be important to determine your conversion rate. Opportunities for leads could include the following:
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing consists of the results you see when you search for something on Google or Bing above the natural results. Now with a bit of good SEO and local page optimization as mentioned in the section above you should be appearing in the local search results. If you don’t take steps to appear in the natural results. However, for an extra boost you may also want to consider paid advertising through search engine marketing with Bing & Google. The beauty of these platforms is the ability to micro target to display ads only to customers in a given geography (for example 30 miles around your city) ensuring you do not necessarily spend on ads that are not relevant. While there are a variety of resources to learn Search Engine Marketing the one that has been easiest to understand and provides a thorough overview of all aspects of Google Ads (Bing is similar) that we found easiest to implement is Advanced Google Adwords by Brad Geddes. Just remember Google and Bing Ads are only a few of the channels and compared to some of the alternatives like Facebook may be expensive.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook boasts over 1 billion users. Additionally, the platform allows for micro targeting and you can run ads that you only get charged when an action is taken. Additionally, clicks are usually cheaper than Adwords. There are a variety of strategies you could use. You could drive Facebook visits to a landing page on your website that offered a 10% discount on future work and then send reminder emails very 3 – 6 months or a similar strategy. Just remember the best way to continue to have an opportunity to grow your painting business is to have a way to follow up with your prospect occasionally until they are in need of painting services. You could also start with a Facebook likes campaign and then boost posts highlighting a coupon (as this may give you cheaper leads for your paint business). The key will be to experiment to see what works. Remember to run ads you need a Facebook business page first. Instagram ads are run from Facebook and can be selected from where ads are placed. Instagrams visual nature may provide opportunities to capture a potential lead to help grow your paint business.
Thumbtack is a site dedicated to helping customers find reliable contractors for any project. You can sign up for a pro account and are only charged when you send a quote. This allows you another source of potential customers to help your painting business grow that you can pick and choose when to send a quote. You will again want to test this to see if prospects accept your offers or its maybe too competitive for your business.
While there are many online choices for marketing to help grow your paint business a lot of customers do not rely on the internet, in fact some may rely on mail. This is particularly true of baby boomers but also millennials. One particular tactic that can help is mailing your previous painting customers once or maybe twice a year. This helps you stay top of mind with them as new paint projects develop. You can also try blanket canvasing the particular areas you serve. Factor in the costs ahead of time to see if direct mail may or may not make sense for your business as response rates can be as low as the 1 – 2 % range but mailing existing customers has proven to be effective.
Networking to Market & Grow Your Paint Business
While a lot of the methods above may offer you the opportunity to connect with residential paint customers what if you want to focus more on commercial opportunities. While the ideas above can still work to grow your commercial painting, there are additional strategies that may be better suited to grow a commercial focus painting business. For example, networking in relevant industry events. Groups like Business Networking International or if you have a particular industry segment your targeting you can consider attending their trade orgranizations. For example, we have the Gas Pipe Liners Association that seeks to provide networking within the Natural Gas Industry. Your results from these groups can vary which is why it can be an additional idea to try when you want to grow your painting business.
Yes this is old school but guess what if your in an area already doing work or even have enough down time you can walk through an area and offer free quotes. Obviously you want to consider safety and the time investment. Compared to the other strategies the cost is low in money but will cost more in time. Again its a strategy to test.
Just remember the key to growth is capturing new customers and delivering awesome painting work that they want to come back. All of these channels provide options for you to market and grow your painting business. Test all these ideas and you will eventually learn the best messaging and channels for you to pursue growth of your painting business.