The State of things
I’m not sure where you are right now, but here in Denver, CO, things are smoking hot, and I’m not talking about the weed, but there has truly never been a better time to market a painting business. While it is true, people are lighting up here in the Mile High city, but I’m referring to the construction and remodeling industry. Everywhere you look there are cranes, dump trucks, ladders, and tool belts.
If you are in the remodeling or better yet the painting business, you better be busy, or you have done something tremendously wrong. But does that mean you can stop marketing your business? Unfortunately, you might be one of the many contractors that I meet that are proud to say that you rely on “word of mouth” advertising for your business as the ONLY type of advertising, but let me tell you, here has never been a BETTER time, to market your painting business.
Walls by Design, my painting business, has been in business for over 17 years. Before that, I ran my Denver painting business in Northern Illinois, right outside of Chicago, during college. So, I have seen an economic cycle or two, and if I know one thing for certain, what goes up…will come down. So we need to make hay while the sun is shining (should I throw in another cliché?). I think you get my point. It is important as painting contractors, to make as much money as we can, because this is a cyclical business, and we all know the other side of things.
That is why it is so important for you to market your painting business now…and always! Did you know the average painting contractor in the US makes less than $30,000 a year? The sad reality is that that might even be their gross sales. They may have to pay for gas, insurance, and a cell phone out of that. I believe it is because the average painting contractor does not understand how to market a painting business.
Why is it BETTER?
You may be asking right now, “But why is now the best time to market a painting business?” And you also may be thinking: “Things just keep getting more and more expensive. In the old days, I would just put up an ad in the Yellow Pages, and my phone would ring.” True, some things are more expensive, like the yellow pages, but no, marketing is done differently today than it was done in the past…but THAT is the good news! Let me tell you why.
Never before has it been so easy for a painting contractor to connect with homeowners through social media and email marketing. Never has it been easier to track the marketing dollars that you spend. Never has it been easier to stand out in all the noise through a website and video. Never have the tools been so readily available to the average person. BUT, in order to take advantage of it, you have to take action. Most people have iPhones, and that is a powerful weapon in marketing. But with great power comes great responsibility.
If you are on the fence, let me tell you three ways that you could start marketing your painting business today, AND book actual work within the next 30 days for little to no money.
Build a website on WordPress
Back in the day, you used to have to pay a web developer thousands of dollars to build a half-good website, and then, if you wanted to change something, you would need to pay AGAIN to add copy, pictures, or do a correction. Today, you can buy a template (I use Template Monster) for less than $100, add your logo, pictures, and copy, and have an amazing website. I hire a virtual assistant company to do all the tech pieces, and I write all the copy, make changes, and add pics. Check out my site at wallsbydesign.com to see a site that cost me less than $400.
Create a video FAQ page
Last summer when we were screaming busy, I got a call from my office manager to tell me a lady had just given her $500 to hold a spot on our calendar (she had called in two separate times, and our backlog just kept getting worse). I was amazed and could not wait to find out why. When I went to do the estimate, I asked her why she felt so confident in us that she would give us a deposit without even meeting me. She went on to tell me that she had watched ALL my videos, and just felt like she knew me. You can do this so easily with an iPhone or smartphone. Come up with a list of frequently asked questions, get a tripod, and start recording. Check out some of my FAQ videos on my website to get an idea of how easy it can be. I think I recorded almost all of these in one afternoon.
Record video testimonials.
When you finish a project, and your customer is excited about the project, it is a great time to ask: “Would you mind doing a quick 15 second testimonial video for me?” Then grab your phone and hit record. If they don’t know what to say, just ask them”
- How did you hear about us?
- Why did you like working with us?
- Would you recommend us to a friend?
They will most likely go on about you for a minute of two…as long as you have done a good job. The first ones will be the hardest to do, because you are not used to asking. You may get some people that say they are not comfortable in front of a camera, and that is okay, you just need about three to get going. Once you have them, put them on the front page of your website for social proof. People love to see testimonial videos.
I know I said three, but this is your bonus for sticking with me. Commit to a recording 6 videos a week (one per day) on Facebook Live. Yes, more video. Video is hot right now, and Facebook is giving a lot of weight to posts thru Facebook Live. Just prepare 2 or things to say about projects you are working on, about trends in the industry, or about a maintenance tip…but DO NOT SELL!! No one likes that, and no one will share if you are saying: “Buy my stuff!” Keep the video to under 3 minutes. If you do it consistently and have good content or are funny (appropriately funny), people will comment and share it. Here is an example of a designer friend of mine, Rachel Moriarty, who I learned this from. She is just finishing her 30 day challenge of using this format and she sold 4 projects!! Go Rachel!
Now go and take some action. You can’t make money if you don’t sell anything, and you can’t sell anything if no one knows about you. Take an interest in marketing your painting business, and it will repay you in spades.
Like I said…there’s never been a better time to market a painting business.