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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Responding to online reviews isn’t just customer communication; it’s high-visibility marketing. An easy way for people to learn how your painting business treats its customers is by reading your responses to customer reviews. Click here for tips on how to help your review responses make you look great.

 


Monday, December 30, 2019

Since 2019 is coming to a close, we thought it would be a great time to take a look at some of our most-visited blog articles of 2019.  The most popular topics this year centered around how painting contractors handle marketing and ensure a profitable business.  Two of our most popular blogs, however, weren’t about good tactics to try, but about bad tactics to specifically avoid.  Here are our four most popular blogs of the year.

Three Very Expensive House Painting Customers

The customer isn’t always right.  In fact, some customers are better off left alone entirely.  Here are three types of horror customers that you’d be best to avoid selling your services to.

Use Paint Job Photos to Earn More Business

Nothing sells a paint job like a great picture of what it can do to a house. Unfortunately, not every painting contractor has great examples of their work.

The good news is that you don’t need a professional camera to take great photos anymore.  Get ready to be surprised at how easy it is to take excellent photos to show potential customers how great your work is!

Really Bad Marketing Ideas for Painting Contractors

As a small business owner, you know that nearly everyone has a great new marketing idea for you; if you had one customer for every marketing call you received, you’d probably be booked two years out.

Unfortunately, not all marketing is good marketing.  Here are three particularly bad marketing ideas that will cost you money or valuable opportunities to connect with new customers.

Profiting from New Services

Some painting contractors offer services beyond painting, especially during the winter months when there is less painting work available.  But which services make the most sense to offer?  It depends on what’s in demand in your area.  Here are three things to consider before you begin to offer additional services to potential customers.

To learn how Pro Painter Websites can help bring you new painting customers, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.


Monday, December 23, 2019

If you use social media personally, you know how helpful it can be to keep up with family and friends.  Pictures and stories that used to be shared once a decade at class reunions are now available every day, along with the memes and funny videos that keep people addicted to these platforms for hours at a time.

You probably also know what types of stuff you don’t like on your social media feed.   Advertising, like coupons and weekly promotions, from brands you rarely interact with is quickly scrolled past by nearly everyone.  Social media companies like Facebook and Twitter know this – and they don’t show that stuff unless companies pay them a lot of money to do it.  Save your money.

The reality is that social media platforms are a great place for painting contractors to advertise, as long as you aren’t actually advertising.  Share funny pictures.  Tell people stories about customers, or customer service.  Show people how a room can improve with a new wall color.  If you’re keeping the people who follow you engaged with non-promotional content, an occasional message about a promotion you’re running won’t hurt you too much.  But if you’re selling on social media, nobody will be buying, because nobody will be looking.

Another thing to think about when you’re posting on Facebook specifically is that Facebook doesn’t want its users to leave the Facebook page or app.  That means that, if you link to a website that isn’t on the Facebook platform in one of your posts, Facebook is much less likely to show the post to its users.  So no matter how tempting it might be to get a user to follow a link to your website, avoid the urge to do it.

The easiest way to use social media effectively as a business tool is to imagine yourself as a customer instead of a business owner when you’re posting.  Ask yourself, if this post showed up in my feed, would it make my experience better or worse?  If it would improve your day, that’s a good sign that your content is good – and that social media platforms will show it to users who know and follow you.

To learn how your online presence can bring in new house painting customers, call us at 99-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.


Monday, December 9, 2019

If you own a painting contractor business, you probably know that many consumers find local businesses online.  And if you’ve ever bought website services from someone who doesn’t know much about painting or search engine optimization, you’ve probably also learned that it’s not easy to show up in the organic search results.  After all, every other painting contractor in town wants to show up, too, and there’s only so much space on the first page of Google.

You’ve probably also been told by a website provider that they’ll get you results if you’ll just pay them for a few more months.  Sure, it takes time to show up on Google – but how much time does it really take?


The short answer is that it will take at least three to six months.  Your website might show up further down the rankings in the first few months, but if your domain is brand new, it really will take some time to get a first or second page ranking in the organic search results – and that’s if you’re doing everything right.

To get results within a quarter or two, your website needs plenty of content about your painting services.  It needs to be well written; Google needs to see that it’s written for humans, not just a bunch of repeated keywords designed to trick search engines.  Your website should include images and be linked to other websites relevant to painting.  Ideally, your website provider will help you get some legitimate links back to your site, which also helps with visibility.

If you want to get the fastest results, there are a few things your provider can’t do without your help.   The most important is setting up your Google My Business account; it’s free, and if you don’t have up-to-date, accurate information about your business here, Google is likely to leave your website very low in the rankings. If you are uncertain, we wrote a blog about getting set up on Google My Business.

Another way to boost your search results (and, more importantly, the number of calls you get) is asking for Google reviews from your satisfied painting customers.  Businesses with a strong number of positive reviews are more likely to search well.  They are also far more likely to get called by the potential customers who find them online.

One of the most important parts of searching well is to have one website.  Obviously, you’re not going to get found easily without a web presence.  But if you have multiple websites, you’re going to have problems.  Google doesn’t like uncertainty because it really doesn’t like delivering bad information. If you’ve got five web addresses and it can’t figure out which one is the “official” one, it’s not likely to show any of them.

To learn more about ProPainter Websites and how we can get you found online, call us at 919-424-6121 or email us at Team_PPW@ProPainterWebsites.com.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

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.

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.

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