Marketing is an important part of running a successful painting business. No matter how good you are at doing professional painting jobs, it won’t help you if you don’t have a marketing strategy in place to promote and sell the services you offer.
In this article, we look at how effective paint business marketing strategies can help your business get the paint jobs you need on a regular basis. We also have ideas and advice on setting up such a marketing plan.
Right from the start, you should strive to build a brand. Consider how you want to shape the public perception of your business. A good name and logo design can give visual representation to your brand, but there’s so much more to it. A winning brand strategy is all about having the right attitude and adopting a business philosophy that will ensure that you slowly start building a good reputation. Strive to brand yourself as a reliable company that consistently meets and exceeds customer expectations.
Paint niche markets
Before you can start developing a marketing strategy, you need to know exactly what painting services you intend to sell. Depending on the size of your local market and the number of competitors, you may decide to specialize in a particular area or be a “jack of all trades”.
The market can basically be divided into two major areas, exterior and interior painting. Exterior or outdoor paint jobs are generally easier to get because people are less likely to do it themselves due to the perceived danger of climbing ladders. The advantage of exterior painting jobs is that clients are generally less demanding than when painting surfaces inside their homes. With exterior painting, however, you have to consider safety to a much greater extent, especially for multi-storey buildings. You don’t even have to limit yourself to painting the house, because all types of buildings need to be painted from time to time.
Do thorough market research and identify all the opportunities that exist in the market. You should also try to understand who your customers are and how you can market your service to them in a way that they will respond favorably. Create customer profiles and chat with a few typical customers to learn more about their prospects. Put yourself in the customers’ shoes and try to understand what they are looking for in a painting business.
A great way to land regular jobs is to approach people who you think can recommend clients to you. Try to build relationships with property developers, interior designers, real estate agents, home staging companies, property management companies, and others in the market. Other networking options include joining a local builders association or the Chamber of Commerce.
Look for other well-established service companies that have large client lists and regular communication with them. You can find cleaning or lawn care companies that will promote your service on their mailing list for a fee.
It can be great to have connections with other painting contractors. Although they are competitors in some sense, they can also be useful. If you specialize in different types of paint or work in different parts of town, you might just be able to refer business to each other. If you’re lucky, there may be times when you have more work than you can handle. Being able to assign the job to other painters you know are reliable will be good for your clients and good for them. They can also reciprocate and send work your way.
A great place to meet people is at home improvement stores. Home Depot’s paint section can be a goldmine if you’re friendly and strike up casual conversations. You’ll meet other entrepreneurs there and maybe even meet a client.
The obvious way for a new business to reach out to potential customers is through advertising. Test a variety of methods that will put you in direct contact with your target market. For more information, see our article on advertising paint companies.
It helps if you have marketing materials to show potential clients when you meet them for a consultation. Prepare some brochures or at least take a folder with you with pictures of some of the work you have done in the past. Testimonials from past clients also offer the prospect the kind of reassurance and “social proof” they want before they sign the dotted line.
What can you do if you haven’t finished the painting work yet or don’t have proper photos? A good tip is to buy stock photography from an online retailer. Showing pictures of beautiful paint jobs in your brochure or on your website isn’t fraudulent if you don’t misrepresent that the work depicted is yours.
Refine your sales process
To be hugely successful in the painting business, you need to have someone on your team who is able to go out there and sell your services. There are many different sales strategies and techniques and they all have varying levels of success depending on the salesperson and the prospect. Learn about some of the different approaches, test them out, and then find out what works for you.
Don’t be intimidated by the idea that you have to sell. Sometimes, if you just be yourself, stay positive, and guide the customer through a pleasant conversation about how you can help them, that’s all it takes.
Try selling customers additional paint jobs. Once they agree to hire you to paint a certain area, you can also start suggesting other areas of their home or property that might need painting.
Ideas about customer service
In the field of painting, you have to be a good communicator as well as a good painter. It is necessary to take the time to understand the unique requirements of each client. Always give them the best level of service and make sure they have open lines of communication with you. This should start from the moment they contact you to inquire about your services. Try to have someone answer your phone calls in person and if that’s not possible, be sure to return calls as soon as possible.
Marketing to existing customers
Once you have a client and have completed work on their home, that doesn’t have to be the end of your relationship with them. Build a client list with notes on each property you’ve painted. You can then contact them from time to time and offer to do any other paint job they need.
There are many great guides available online that will offer you additional ideas and strategies for marketing your painting business. If you study marketing in general, you will find that most of the concepts relate to the paint industry and can be applied in your business.