Marketing Your Painting Business with The Idaho Painter

Marketing - Making Millions

For quite a few years, I owned a successful painting company in Boise, Idaho. Starting a business from scratch can be intimidating, and it may seem like you’re getting dwarfed by the competition in your area, but the key to being successful and getting ahead is marketing. These days, that shouldn’t seem like an outrageous new concept - you have to market to get your name and your business out there. And I’ve definitely been around the block a time or two when it comes to doing marketing for a painting company and a large social media brand, so you can trust that I know what I’m talking about. 

Having a good website

A website is an absolutely essential tool for your marketing arsenal. It’s just as important as a good business card. Almost all companies have an online presence and website. Due to this, simple online searches like “painters in my area” will yield a lot of results. To increase the chances of your company showing up at the top, work on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or you can also pay Google to promote your website - you’ll show up at the top of related searches! 

Websites won’t get you jobs in the way that referrals or other direct marketing techniques do, but a website is part of the overall package you present to your potential clientele. A professional-looking website is one of the best ways to instill customer confidence - customers want to be able to know that you’re trustworthy - that you’ll show up to do the job, and that you’ll do it well. All of the materials you present to a customer or have online for them to view will improve their confidence in you and your company - bid packages, estimates, websites, social media, etc. 

Vehicle logos

Vehicle logos have the potential to be seen by the most people who could be your potential customers in the area. Even driving around yourself daily, how many cars, trucks, and vans do you see with company information and marketing all over them? They’re everywhere! You might think this is a large cost investment, but the vehicle will be guaranteed to get in front of a large number of potential customers. 

On days when we weren’t working, I would park my vehicles in high-traffic areas - hardware and home-improvement stores, to get the most amount of eyes on it as possible, and especially people that are already going to be thinking about painting or contracting jobs. This way your vehicle is marketing for you, even when you’re not working. Just remember not to leave your vehicle overnight, or in an area where it could get towed. 

Make sure the branding is on all sides of your vehicle to ben seen from every direction, and make sure you keep it simple - company name, phone number, free estimates (or something similar!)

Door hangers

Door hangers are a low expense marketing tool - a simple card with a hole at the top to be hung on a doorknob. On your door hanger, make sure there is some basic information on there like your company name and a contact phone number. A good practice is to offer a deal or incentive for them to call you instead of the competition - like free estimates or $200 of an exterior repaint. 

In this day and age, it’s easy to create a well-branded door hanger. There are plenty of free online design services, or places like Vistaprints have easy templates. You can also outsource to Fiverr, or use the template we have available

In the beginning, we would pick upper middle class neighborhoods, where the residents were more likely to want to paint/repaint their homes, or neighborhoods that had a homeowner’s association that would require houses to be repainted after a certain amount of time. You can distribute door hangers yourselves, or find services that you can pay to do it for you. 

It’s also important to know that the only place you should be putting door hangers is on the door knob - don’t tape them to the door, and don’t place them in the mailbox - which is actually illegal in the United States! 

Yard signs

Anytime you show up at a jobsite, place a yard sign in front of that house. People driving by have the potential to see this sign and know exactly who is working in their neighborhood - it’s another opportunity to get your name and company out there to more people. This will often contain the same information as a door hanger - you want this to be readable by people driving by quickly. 

Make sure the yard sign is in a visible area, but not someplace that is not on the customer’s property, or somewhere that an HOA might have an issue with. You can also check with the customer to make sure they are okay with a yard sign being placed in their yard for the duration of the job, and perhaps for even a few days after. 

The Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau is an agency that helps people find and recommend businesses, brands, and charities that they can trust. Having a BBB accreditation seal shows your business’ commitment to integrity, ethical business practices, and customer service. The BBB rates you and ensures that you’re going to follow through on your commitments as a contractor to your customer. If you have a high rating, you’ll be placed high on the list with similar contractors in the area. While the cost may seem high, the amount of jobs that you get will pay for the cost!

Online reviews

Online reviews can make or break your company - referrals can be a large portion of your jobs. People are likely to trust their family and friends to use specific companies, especially if they’ve had good experiences with them. On apps like Nextdoor where neighbors can chat with each other, anyone in a specific area can see if their neighbors recommend working with your company. 

One of the last things you talk about with your customers can be asking them to leave you a positive review on places like Google, Nextdoor, Yelp, social media, etc. If they’ve had a positive experience, hopefully they’ll be happy to do this. But, you should know that people are usually more eager to spread the word when they’ve had negative experiences compared to positive, to make sure that no one else has the same experience. 

Using social media

Social media has blown up as a marketing tool, and if you can figure out how to use it to your advantage, you can increase the reach of your business. Like a good website, this won’t necessarily get you jobs, but it’s part of the overall package and impression you give to your customers. Having a professional social media account where you show examples of your work, or even make videos giving tips and tricks to your customers, can help you stand out amongst the competition. 

You can start to build a platform on any social media website or app - do what you’re comfortable with, but don’t limit yourself. Apps and personal usage of them will rise and fall over time, but attempting to make content on all of them means that you never get into a tough situation should one fail or fall out of public popularity. Right now, Facebook is one platform that may be more geared towards businesses - a lot of people might be searching their first for your business! Make sure you post regularly so that everyone can see your current work, and that you’re still an active business. 

Social media can be a display for all the work that you do - it doesn’t take long to snap a few pictures or even shoot some simple vertical content after or even during the job. If you’re creating a social media account, I would recommend creating a separate business account - keep your personal social media and online presence separate. This is in your best interest overall, as there are many things that could offend potential customers. Everything you post is up to your discretion, of course. Be aware of your digital footprint to not alienate your customer base, especially if you’re in the habit of bringing up hot-topic politics. Focus on growing your business! 

Marketing is not an exact science - you’ll have to work out which methods work for you and your business, and the only way to do that is by trial and error. When potential customers call into the office, always ask them how they heard of you so you can know which marketing methods are bringing in jobs for you. This list is also not complete - there are a million ways to get your company name out there, but these are a majority of the ways that worked for me as I ran a successful painting company in Boise, Idaho. In fact, we were turning down 10-20 jobs a week because we had no time in the schedule to fit them in! 

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