The Online Resource for the Painting Industry

banner ad

Identifying Your Ideal Customer

By on September 25, 2013 in Marketing with 3 Comments

darts Marketing your business without a clearly defined audience is like throwing darts in the dark.

Sure, your message will hit something, but probably not the target you intended. But this is exactly what many contractors do. They create websites and ads, replete with a bullet list of services, which carry the emotional charge of a grocery list. And when consumers see ads such as these, they think, “Ok, so you paint walls, just like the other thirty contractors in town.” Where’s their incentive to call you?

The Trap

Many contractors market themselves as all things to all people, armed with the fallacy that if they don’t cast a wide enough net they’ll lose customers by turning away business. And while this wide-net approach sometimes works for large companies that have a deep pool of employees, it is neither practical nor cost effective for most businesses, especially smaller ones consisting of just a few, if not one, employee. So before you begin crafting your company’s story, you need to identify that ideal customer, that person your business is best equipped to serve.

Targeting a Niche

By targeting a niche, you differentiate your company from all those performing essentially the same task—applying coatings to a substrate. The beauty of differentiating your company is that it gives you a platform on which to sell your services other than price. And since your services are geared towards the specific needs and tastes of a select group, you can charge more because you’ve set yourself apart as the expert. But developing a niche not only makes it simpler to sell your services at a higher profit, it makes marketing much more manageable. It’s much easier to wrap your mind around a select group of people and construct a dialogue that appeals to them than trying to formulate a message that appeals to everyone.

So what kind of market should you target? The answer depends on your strengths and interests. What kind of painting are you experienced in? What kind of painting do you prefer? Is there a segment of the market being ignored in which you can capitalize? Finding the answers to these questions can help you establish your niche. I’ve identified a few categories to help kick start your brainstorming:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • New Construction
  • Repaint
  • Industrial
  • Apartment
  • Investor Work
  • Interior
  • Faux
  • Drywall repair
  • Luxury/Custom
  • Restoration
  • Cabinet refinishing
  • Parking lot striping

Once you’ve chosen your niche, or small group of niches, hone your services to meet the needs of the audience you’ve identified. What benefits do you offer to this group that is being overlooked by the competition? Is it better quality? Speed? Convenience? Expert consultation? Fine tune your marketing and advertising to express your difference. Follow these tips and you’ll go from being just another contractor to being the contractor.

Don Foster
Don Foster has worked as a painting contractor, a B2B sales rep, and a freelance writer. He enjoys helping businesses articulate their voice through authentic copy. He can be found blogging regularly at The Well-Fed Painter.
Don Foster

Latest posts by Don Foster (see all)

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. I need help. I love painting. I need help marketing.

    Dan

  2. Dan, you look like you have a great website, and you passed several of the obvious markers of a bad SEO job, at least on the surface!
    Can I ask what you aren’t happy with on your marketing, it looks like you have some of the right parts in place?

We would love to hear what you think!

Top