When it comes to marketing services, everyone wants to sell you something. Get your painting company in front of thousands of eyes! A picture is worth a thousand words! Guaranteed house painting leads or you won’t pay! Surely if these companies stay in business, they’ve got to work for somebody. Right?
Not necessarily. More than 90 percent of those postcard mailers will get thrown away before anyone looks at them. A big visual ad is useless if someone isn’t actively thinking about getting their house painted when they see it. And those “guaranteed leads” – they don’t tell you that they’re sending them to a half dozen other painting contractors too, and the ‘lead’ will pit you against each other until you’re losing money on every job.
In fact, many of the most effective marketing techniques don’t cost as much as you’d expect! Some of them are free! Here are the most important things to do if you need more business.
Get your name where it matters online
If you’re trying to get your business in front of customers right when they’re thinking about hiring a painting contractor, these are the three most important facts to consider.
- Over 80% of people use Google to find local businesses.
- Over 80% of people who use Google never get to the second page of results.
- And 80% of consumers say they trust 4 or 5-star rated businesses the most.
To get new customers from the internet, you don’t need a beautiful, custom website. You need a site with the content that gets you on the first page of Google. And if you want to earn all of those customers who are trying to learn more about you, you want to have a Google Review rating above 4.0. That means you need to ask your happy customers for reviews, even if it’s awkward or unpleasant.
Claim your work
Neighborhood houses tend to be built around the same time. If houses in the neighborhood are still on their first coat of paint, the paint also tends to start peeling at the same time. That means the house you just painted probably has several others around it in need of a coat of paint.
When you finish a job, ask the customer if you can put a yard sign outside of the house. People in that neighborhood will see what a new coat of paint did for your customer’s curb appeal – you should make sure they know where to go to get that same effect for their own home.
It’s also a good idea to send a mailer to other houses in the area letting them know which house nearby has your paint on it. Tell them you would by happy to paint theirs, too. This might make them circle around the neighborhood to look at the newly-painted house, even if that house is further back in the neighborhood and they normally don’t pass it.
Ask for referrals (and explain why)
So many companies build marketing campaigns asking for referrals that it’s easy for consumers to get immune to them. That’s a shame, because referrals are the lifeblood of a small business. This is especially true with a business like house painting, where repeat customers are uncommon; it doesn’t really matter how great of a job you do with a customer’s house, you’re still only going to get paid to paint it once.
When you ask for a referral, don’t do it like big business does it – an off-hand, scripted remark that’s said as quickly as possible because it’s awkward and unsure. Do it in a way that will make it have an impact.
After a customer tells you they’re happy with your work, thank them for the feedback. Then tell them you’re a small business, and you’d really appreciate the opportunity to do any painting work that their family or friends need done. Tell them referrals are one of the most important ways that you get business. Give them a couple of cards and ask them to hand them to anyone who might need painting.
The reality is that most people won’t make the effort of referring you even if you ask. But if you can double your referral rate, you can have a dramatic effect on the amount of business coming your way.
To get more business for your painting company, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.