How Two Different Work Styles and Points of View = 1 Terrific Marketing Plan!
Photo Credit: Gary Hayes via Compfight
By: Tim Grubbs, Owner, Quality Assurance Painting, Inc.
Barbara Walsh, Marketing Consultant, Walsh One Marketing,
How does a busy, driven, type A painting contractor and an equally driven, type A marketing consultant work together to develop and implement a marketing plan that works? It takes patience, perseverance, and a mutual passion for growing a business. Like any relationship, including business, it can take time to successfully blend different personalities and work styles together. It’s not always easy, but we did it, and you can too! Let us explain, from our points of view, the pros and cons of the client/consultant business relationship and how we make it work.
Cons: Let’s start here and move toward the positive!
From working in advertising and marketing most of my career, I can tell you that working with a contractor has been a different experience for me. Marketing and advertising can be somewhat exciting and glamorous fields filled with many client business meetings taking place at high end restaurants, over drinks, or at the very least over a Starbucks!
Discussions with my painting contractor are generally infrequent, rushed, and discussed over static-filled cell phone calls. My lengthy reports via email are answered in few words. The painting contractor I work with is completely comfortable discussing business over the static-filled cell phone calls, this is where I have needed to learn to adapt. Over the past year, I have learned patience and perseverance with my fellow colleague. Instead of thinking that everything I’m working on is urgent and demands a quick response, I have learned to wait until he is available to discuss the items at hand (patience). I communicate now in shorter emails or text messages and ask him to contact me when available. I try to keep a list of items I need to discuss by the phone so when I get a phone call I can quickly address my list. Sometimes I have many items from my list pending for several weeks, but I keep at it (perseverance). In the end, the projects get worked on and completed. After all, that’s the goal.
I implement this company’s social media strategies, create and maintain their website, and advise on traditional marketing avenues. It has been exciting for me to take a young company with virtually no online presence to the place it is now, showing up high (Page 1) in Google searches under various key words. Additionally, each month we add components to our strategy to reach potential and existing customers and grow the company’s presence within the industry, on the Internet, and within the community. That’s where the passion to help someone grow their business lies.
The most rewarding aspect for me as a marketing consultant is that my busy painting contractor allows me the freedom to create and take control of the marketing projects. Yes, he wants to be informed and consulted, but he’s not interested in micro-managing — he’s too busy doing the daily work of his business. He just wants to know someone is doing the work we initially outlined.
I have come to realize that my skills and expertise can be most useful to this company by taking the initiative with their marketing plan and finding ways to save them time.
My day is rushed and filled with customer telephone inquiries, driving from location to location to provide estimates, gathering supplies from vendors, meeting with GC’s, overseeing employees, and then spending the necessary hours it takes to complete the job I was hired to do. I agree that as a busy painting contractor I do not care to read lengthy emails or discuss marketing plans for hours. I like to quickly develop a plan and implement it. This is where my patience has been tested, but after working together for over a year, and having a few disagreements along the way, I think we both understand what is necessary in order to achieve the goals of our marketing plan.
Having a marketing consultant saves me time. Posting relevant content to social media sites, building online relationships, blogging, updating and maintaining my website, gathering information for future campaigns, and monitoring my business name on the internet takes hours and requires some advanced computer skills. I simply do not have that kind of time during the day or in the evenings to work on this new type of marketing.
Having a marketing consultant saves me money because I am not taking on an in-house employee. I pay a flat rate based on the services I see as valuable to marketing my business.
Having a knowledgeable marketing consultant serves as a colleague to brain-storm ideas with, develop existing plans, and create new ones. This is where a mutual passion for growing my business is seen as we continue to develop long-range goals for promoting my company name.
Please share your comments in the comments section below. Let us know how your painting company implements social media marketing and traditional marketing into your day.
9 thoughts on “Rolling Toward Success”
Very insightful, and hats off to both sides for making it work.
I can identify with a few points.
I’m developing a few strategies to leverage my website to increase the profile and work opportunities for some of the UKs best painters. I totally agree that you need patience to communicate what appear to be some pretty alien concepts still. (Making sense of websites, blogging. SEO, keywords, hypertext linking, tweeting, G+ – how many social media options are there in that graphic, its amazing! This may seem basic fare to some, but that’s not the overall reality for the guys in the front line, especially when there is only evenings and weekends to learn this stuff)
Patience is also needed to convey why contractors even need to be thinking about these online concepts in the first place, especially if they are busy and the old ways seem to be working fine. I was in the US when the wheels started falling off big time 2007 onwards, so once back in the UK I had a blank sheet and got ready for what was coming from across the pond. I went for it online, differentiating myself.
Businesses are still talking about recession, and a few guys have seen the potential of an online presence and have decided to make an extraordinary effort to get with the online program. They will reap the rewards down the road. And the rewards are going to be exponential. But for most, the tinternet is still a step too far, and it is hard to step back and watch good but stick-in-the-mud thinking painters continue their next 2 or 3 year march, straight into a brick wall.
Online marketing is a brilliant medium for the good guys to spread their message fast to specific areas, and exert a lot of positive influence, educate clients and raise income on the back of value for money and craft skills, not price.
I hope Barbara gets plenty more on board, and if he carries on, Tim should be set up for life too.
Thanks Andy for your comments! It’s great to see so many painting contractors joining the social media scene. Websites, blogging and social media will certainly help get a companys name found on the Internet and help position them as serious long-term business people.
Now that we’ve settled into our working styles, I can say I really enjoy working with Tim Grubbs at Quality Assurance Painting, Inc. and think our efforts are already paying off!
Your website looks great too!
You’re such a creative writer!
Nice blog! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for visiting the site and reading the article Danielle. I appreciate the kind words.
The article makes a lot of sense. Especially where you say “Additionally, each month we add components to our strategy to reach potential and existing customers and grow the company’s presence within the industry, on the Internet, and within the community”.
The point is, an internet presence is important of course, but we (the contractors/tradespeople) should not forget the importance of good networking within the local community, and within the industry itself.
Thanks for commenting Alan and I couldn’t agree more. Business people need to be able to be found on the Internet, but if your business is local you need to get your name out there locally. Building a network with people within the industry has become easier now with social media. Sharing ideas and expertise is always helpful.
Enjoyed the content and creativity of this article. Seeing both sides is extremely helpful and making the professional relationship work shows maturity that will benefit everyone.
Thanks for commenting Lynn. As with any relationship, it can take a while to get to know each others work style and settle into a pattern. Happily I can report “smooth sailing” and continued progress in our marketing efforts!