Do you need to be a painter to make a name for yourself in the painting industry?
Not according to Heidi (Hirst) Nyline of Warline Painting. Seven years ago Heidi was running a successful PR and communications company while her husband, Warren was operating as an independent paint contractor. They were both content in their own careers until Warren got sick and needed someone to be onsite for a large new construction project that he had underway. Heidi volunteered to help and enjoyed it so much she ended up winding down her PR firm to partner with Warren and start Warline Painting Ltd.
“I knew nothing about painting”, says Heidi “but it didn’t take long for me to realize that a major component of this business was customer service and I knew I could bring those skills to the table. It made sense for Warren and I to join forces and combine our talents to build a company together.”
And the result of their partnership speaks for itself. Warline has grown from being primarily new home construction paint contractors to a fully faceted residential and commercial painting company. The other big change in their business has been embracing the internet as their primary source of marketing.
Heidi explains, “This is where I got to shine. At the beginning of 2011 we launched our website Warline Painting and it really does reflect the type of company we are. I write for our blog, Warline Online and am actively engaged in social media. I write from a customer service and marketing perspective. That makes the content of my articles unique in that they really are geared towards educating homeowners on how to get the best experience when hiring a paint contractor.”
Does it make a difference to Heidi that she is not a painter?
“Well, I have become a sponge for everything I can learn about painting but I also don’t try to fake it. Instead I focus on what I do know. I have always loved design and colour and have taken that to become our in-house colour consultant so now I get to help our customers choose the perfect paint colours.”
In addition to her own company blog and website, Heidi also writes for articles for the painting industry helping other contractors with their marketing and customer service.
“I figure the more I can help other painters improve their own businesses, the better it is for our entire industry. So many paint contractors have very little marketing experience so I really enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with them. In return, I learn everything I can from them about painting practices and techniques so I become more educated on those areas of my business.”
When she’s not blogging or helping customers find the perfect colours for their homes, Heidi loves to cook and entertain and spend time traveling with Warren and her two young kids. Warline Painting is based in Vancouver, Canada.