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Top 25 Free Marketing Tools for Painting Contractors

Top 25 Free Marketing Tools for Painting Contractors

Published On: March 9, 202229.1 min readCategories: Search Engine OptimizationTags: , , ,
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Best Free Marketing Tools for Painters

Are you using the right tools to market your painting business?

Often referred to as a marketing stack, the tools you use to market your business must integrate seamlessly into your daily workflow.

We often see contractors using marketing tools that cause workflow issues or simply don’t move the needle. So, we created a complete list of free tools specifically for painting contractors.

The complete list of free marketing tools for painting business owners

The list we compiled is based on our experience both in the marketing and professional painting industries.

These are the same tools we used over the last 10+ years to scale painting businesses just like yours. That’s right! We know these tools work since they’re some of the same tools we use to generate repaint leads for our clients!

Let’s jump in!

  1. Google Business Profile
  2. Get a Website (Paid)
  3. Setmore: Estimate Scheduling
  4. Later: Social Media Management
  5. Tawk.to: Live Chat
  6. Google Analytics
  7. Google Search Console
  8. Google Page Speed Insights
  9. Moz Local: Free Listing Score
  10. Google Trends
  11. Answer The Public
  12. Hemingway Editor
  13. MailChimp
  14. Omnisend: Subject Line Tester
  15. Hotjar: Website Monitoring
  16. Google Optimize
  17. Hunter.io: Email Scraper
  18. Zero Bounce: Email Verification
  19. Pixabay: Stock Images
  20. Canva: Design Templates
  21. Trello: Project Management
  22. HubSpot: CRM
  23. Zoho Invoice
  24. Joist: Invoice + CRM
  25. Zoom: Video Estimates
  26. BONUS: Arrivala Review Handout Generator

Digital Marketing: Essential Tools

We organized this list by importance, so let’s start with the tools that will have the most significant impact on your painting business.

1. Google Business Profile

There is no excuse not to have a well-optimized Google Business Profile if you own a painting business. It’s free, and it’s relatively easy to set up. More importantly, your painting business will not rank on Google Local Search or Google Maps without this!

In fact, because this tool is so important, we dedicated an entire article to creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile. If you haven’t done this already, you’re leaving painting leads on the table.

Learn how to create an optimize your Google Business Profile

2. Get a Website (Paid)

Ok, this one might not be free, but it can be inexpensive, and you need a website. Without a website, your competition will always have the upper hand. If you want to grow your painting business, it’s time to get a website.

  • Google Sites

    At the time of writing this article, Google Workspace starts at just $6/mo. It includes a custom email address with your domain, 30GB of cloud storage, AND a website builder.

    This solution works great for those on a budget. However, Google Sites is missing some of the standard features of more robust website builders, like Squarespace. We only recommend this for new painting businesses trying to get on their feet.

  • Squarespace

    Starting at $14/mo, Squarespace has a feature-rich website builder that is great for small painting businesses. With over 100 templates to pick from, there is sure to be an option that works for you. While you give up control over SEO ranking factors like site speed and file compression, you’re getting a nice-looking site that will convert visitors into painting leads.

  • Custom website

    A custom website can be expensive, but the return on investment can be huge. On average, you can expect to spend around $10,000 for a professionally built website. Yes, that’s a lot of money.

    At Base Coat Marketing, we take a slightly different approach by creating a custom website in 30 days with no setup fees, no contracts, and guaranteed results. We’re exclusive to only one painting company per region, so if you’re interested in learning more, first check our availability below.

Schedule a call to discuss a custom website for your painting business

Regardless of which platform you choose, make sure you have a website. It can take 3-6 months to rank your website organically in Google, so get it set up now; you’ll thank yourself later.

Setmore

3. Setmore: Estimate Scheduling

If you want to turn website traffic into booked estimates, you need an online booking application. We have found success with Setmore. They offer a free plan to get you started.

Setmore integrates directly with your existing calendar to prevent double booking. You can even add an appointment booking widget to your website and send text message reminders to reduce cancelation rates.

Get Setmore
Later Social Media Management

4. Later: Social Media Management

This is one of those “work smarter, not harder” tools. If your painting business has more than one social account, you need a social media manager; it’s life-changing. Schedule posts, respond to comments, and find new hashtags to increase visibility. Later is free and integrates will all the major social media platforms.

Speaking of social networks, make sure your painting business is using them!

  • Facebook

    As the reigning OG, Facebook is as popular as ever. Your business needs a Facebook Page to stay relevant in this industry. 

    Tip: Rearrange the tabs on your Facebook Page to feature Photos and Reviews. Ensure your reviews are positive and add before/after photos to encourage visitors to contact you.

  • Instagram

    Instagram is arguably the most important social network for professional painters. With a focus on photos, this is the place to feature your work.

    Tip: Invest time into planning before/after images on every job site. Blank walls don’t photograph well, so ask your customer if you can help move their furniture in exchange for a quick photo.

  • Twitter

    While not as critical as the other social platforms, there are still over 68 million monthly active users in the United States. This is a great place to reshare your posts from Facebook and Instagram.

  • LinkedIn

    This is the best social platform for generating new commercial painting leads and network with other local business owners. Target a particular business by locating the decision maker’s contact information, or start your cold outreach directly on LinkedIn. Regardless of how you use this platform, we recommend creating a business page and resharing the posts from your other social platforms here.

  • YouTube

    Create a few “evergreen” videos of your painting business to help increase the visibility of your business in Google search results. It’s no secret that Google loves to serve videos in search results. Capitalize on this. A simple “how-to” video or even a brief introduction to your business while on a job site can help drive more traffic to your website.

  • TikTok

    As a relative newcomer, TikTok is an excellent tool for generating viral content. While the audience on TikTok is on the younger side, there is still a large demographic that will fit your residential target market (over 59% of the 79 million monthly active users, to be exact). We recommend reposting whatever videos you generate on TikTok to your other social platforms.
    (Source: Statista)

While you don’t need to be on all of the platforms we listed above, we recommend committing to at least Facebook and Instagram. It is easy to share posts between these on social networks. Also, they’re both great for building customer trust, brand awareness, and generating new traffic to your website.

5. Tawk.to: Live Chat

You must provide your website visitors with as many forms of communication as possible. Prominently featuring your phone number in the header, adding a contact form to every page, and using live chat on your website all provide visitors with options to use their preferred method of communication.

Tawk.to is a free service that checks the last box. This live chat widget integrates seamlessly with any website and even includes a mobile app so you can chat with your website visitors directly from your phone.

Get Tawk.to

Search Engine Optimization Tools

Ranking organically at the top of page one in Google for your target keywords — It’s the holy grail of digital marketing, which is why we dedicate so much energy to it. The SEO tools I’ve listed below all serve an important role in growing your painting business online.

Search Engine Optimization

How well is your painting business website performing?

Scan your website for over 60 critical search engine ranking factors. See how your site stacks up, receive an instant technical SEO audit below.

Google Analytics

6. Google Analytics

If you’re investing time and energy into marketing, knowing what efforts are driving the best results is essential. We recommend that every painting business owner with a website install Google Analytics. Since Google Analytics only records data after it’s installed, it’s vital to implement this sooner than later.

If your plans include online advertising or digital marketing, this tool is worth your time investment today. Trust me; even if you don’t review this data yourself (I highly recommend learning the basics, though), you’ll be happy you have this data in the future.

Get Google Analytics

7. Google Search Console

Think of Google Analytics as a measure of what happens on your website. Similarly, Google Search Console measures how your website is performing in search results.

How we use it:

This tool communicates the exact keywords your visitors use to find your website and will even notify you of issues that could negatively impact your Google ranking. We monitor this weekly to address issues and identify search trends. Suppose we notice we’re losing traction on a particular search term. In that case, we’ll invest more energy into link building and add more content to boost traffic for the term.

Like Google Analytics, even if you don’t plan on using it yourself, we still recommend claiming your domain since it only records future data.

Claim your Google Search Console account
Google PageSpeed Insights

8. Google Page Speed Insights

Did you know that website speed is a primary Google ranking factor? That’s right, the more time it takes for Google to index your website, the less likely they are to favor your site in search results. Google Page Speed Insights is a website scanner that will break down any onsite issues that could be impacting your page load speed. 

Mobile Website Note:

This tool defaults to scanning your website as a mobile user since Google ranks your website by how it performs on mobile devices first.

Scan your website with Google Page Speed Insights

9. Moz Local: Free Listing Score

Online directories are a great way to increase the visibility of your painting business. After all, the more places you can be found, the more likely you will be found. With a bit of effort, you can list your painting business on over 50 relevant online directories such as Yelp, Apple Maps, and the Yellow Pages. Moz Local Listing Score is a free tool that scans your website to identify unclaimed directories.

Also, since some directories provide do-follow backlinks, they can directly optimize your website for search engines!

Scan for missing directory listings

Copywriting Writing Tools

How well your painting business ranks on Google is entirely dependent on the content on your website.

For instance, if you want to rank for “cabinet painting,” you need to have an entire page on your website dedicated to that service. Writing a blog is a great way to expand your digital reach and capture more website traffic, but it’s a lot of work.

So, where do you start? More importantly, how do you determine if anyone is even searching for your content to begin with?

You wouldn’t pay for a billboard on the side of a road that doesn’t have any traffic. Similarly, you want to verify the content you’re writing is something your audience is actually searching for. Fortunately, we have some tools to help with this.

Google Trends

Search volume measures how popular or many people search for a particular key term. Trends is a free tool that pulls this information directly from Google.

How we use it:

Before we write content, we always check search volume to justify the investment. We compare terms already producing traffic for our website against a term we would like to rank for. We know we have a winner if the search volume is equal to or greater than our control terms.

Measure search volume on Google Trends

11. Answer The Public

“The Little Bighorn” is a proven marketing strategy we use to break into hard-to-reach markets.

How it works:

One-third of our blog posts are designed to answer a specific question. Why? Because people ask Google questions. Answer The Public is a powerful tool that identifies the popular questions searched for on Google. Answering topics that are easy to rank for provides a quick surge of traffic, increasing your website’s authority.

How we use it:

Let’s say we wanted to rank a painting business better in Google. We would start by building more traffic to the website. The best way to do this is by writing answers to low-competition questions since they’re easy to rank for in Google. We type “house painting” into Answer The Public, then measure the search volume on Google Trends to identify winning topics. In this case, we could write a blog post to answer “Can you paint your house while pregnant?” since it is a popular question with little competition.

Find new topics on Answer The Public

12. Hemingway Editor

Let’s be honest; writing can be a drag. It’s time-consuming, and if you’re running a painting business, it’s probably the last thing on your mind. This is where Hemingway Editor comes in. The free online editor corrects spelling, grammar, and will even highlight content that is difficult to read.

Pro Tip:

Regardless of what you’re writing for, we recommend using Hemingway Editor to check your work. We even use it to check our emails! For best results, aim for a readability score of under 9.

Write better content with Hemingway Editor

Email Marketing Tools

Did you know that email marketing has the highest ROI of all digital marketing mediums?

With an average ROI of 42:1 (that’s 4200%) there is no reason your painting business shouldn’t be investing time into this marketing strategy.
(Source: Litmus)

MailChimp

13. MailChimp

There are several free email service providers (ESPs) on the market. Still, we prefer MailChimp for its user-friendly dashboard and feature-rich interface.

How we use it:

We create two mailing lists, one for past customers and one for prospects. Each month we send one email to each list. We incentivize past customers to refer new business. Then we send prospects limited promotions to convert them into paying customers.

You can quickly build a mailing list by capturing emails on your website or reaching out to industry partners, such as real estate agents, for contract referrals.

We typically capture a few painting jobs each month using this strategy on a high-quality mailing list consisting of at least 100 emails.

Start sending emails with MailChimp

14. Omnisend: Subject Line Tester

Email subject lines are the first thing you see before opening an email. It can make or break your email marketing efforts. This is why we always test our subject lines using Omnisend’s free Subject Line Tester tool.

How we use it:

We aim for a score of 90% or above, focusing on scannability, wording, and subject length.

Check email subject lines with Omnisend

Conversion Optimization

We find value in validating the websites and content we produce. Just because we *think* something will convert doesn’t mean it will.

15. Hotjar: Website Monitoring

Wouldn’t it be cool to record your customers interacting with your website? Introducing Hotjar, the free website recording tool. Install a simple line of code on your website to start recording your visitors.

How we use it:

We review website recordings and heatmaps once a month, looking for actionable trends. For example, let’s say you have a prominently featured contact form, but you’re not receiving any leads. Reviewing how your customers interact with that page can provide insights into issues you may have never even considered.

Improve your website with Hotjar
Google Optimize

16. Google Optimize

Technical warning: This is one of our favorite onsite optimization tools, but it does require some technical knowledge to set up and manage.

Have you ever changed your website but were unsure if that change had a positive or negative impact on your bottom line?

Wonder no more. Google Optimize connects to your website, allowing you to test landing pages, headings, button colors, and more.

How we use it:

Anytime we run a Google Ads campaign, we always pair it with a test. Why? Because something that converts well for one painting business may not convert for all painting businesses. As a result, we test everything “above the fold” (content you can see without scrolling down the page) to make sure we’re delivering the best possible results.

Start testing with Google Optimize

Lead Generation Tools

Cold outreach in the professional painting industry can be tricky. For residential painters, we recommend networking with industry partners such as landlords and real estate agents. Since we have more demographic information to work with, commercial painting contractors have more flexibility in this space.

Hunter.io

17. Hunter.io: Email Extractor

We use this tool for quickly locating email addresses on a website. We use this to build a cold mailing list or identify the contact information of a business we are targeting.

How we use it:

We use Hunter.io for quickly locating email addresses on a website. This can be used to build a cold mailing list or identify the contact information of a business you are targeting.

Find new contacts with Hunter.io

18. Zero Bounce: Email Verification

Did you know sending to an email address that’s outdated or no longer in service can send your other emails to spam? Reducing bounce rate is critical when engaging in cold email outreach.

How we use it:

Before we start sending to a new email address, we always verify that it’s valid and can receive emails. This process only takes a second and can save you from ending up on an email blacklist.

Hit your customer’s inbox with Zero Bounce

Design Resources

Whether you’re creating a flyer or adding images to your website, using stock images is a great way to add a professional touch to your marketing material.

19. Pixabay: Stock Images

We searched the internet for the best free stock image resources. We landed on Pixabay for their wide variety of stock images specifically for the professional painting industry.

Find stock images for your painting business

20. Canva: Design Templates

Create signs, mailers, and other professional marketing material using thousands of free pre-designed templates. No additional tools or design experience is required to start using Canva.

Design better marketing material with Canva

Business Management Tools

After you load up your calendar with new painting jobs, you need somewhere to manage it all. These free business management tools work great for painting contractors of all sizes.

Trello Project Management

21. Trello: Project Management

Trello has been around for some time. With Atlassian’s acquisition, you can rest assured that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. We love Trello for its whiteboard-like interface and its massive library of free power-ups and third-party integrations.

Use Trello for project and task management

22. HubSpot: CRM

HubSpot offers a wide variety of free marketing tools, including a free CRM. Out of all the customer relationship management systems we tested, this was our favorite for its wide range of features and ease of use.

Manage and acquire new customers using HubSpot
Zoho Invoice

23. Zoho Invoice

Customer invoicing doesn’t need to be complicated. Zoho Invoice is straightforward to set up. It’s also 100% free and integrates with Stripe and PayPal to make accepting payments as easy as triggering an invoice from their mobile app.

Invoice customers with Zoho Invoice

24. Joist: Invoice + CRM

Interested in a free tool that combines both Zoho Invoice and a few HubSpot CRM features into one interface? Look no further than Joist. Designed specifically for contractors, it has the features you need to run your painting business without the fluff that comes with many other platforms.

Manage and invoice customers with Joist

25. Zoom: Video Estimates

Since the dawn of COVID, we have all been well-acquainted with our favorite video chat service, Zoom. Your customers have most likely used it, making it an easy tool to leverage for your painting business.

How our clients use it:

Many of our clients offer virtual estimates over a free Zoom call. This cuts back on travel time and can lead to quick wins for acquiring new business since you can provide quotes while on another job site.

Save time, use Zoom for virtual estimates

BONUS: Arrivala Review Handout Generator

If you’re unaware of how critical online reviews are for your painting business, I would encourage you to read our article dedicated to the topic.

Arrivala is a service we have recommended as a paid review acquisition resource in the past. They also offer a free tool that generates a document you can print or email to your customers.

This document takes the burden off your customer, providing them with detailed step-by-step instructions for leaving you a review.

Build trust with the Arrivala Review Handout Generator

What are we missing?

Are we missing tools that you feel would be a good fit for our list? Send us an email at [email protected].

Looking for a hands-off marketing solution? Let’s chat!
Austin Houser
Austin Houser
About the Author: As founder of Base Coat Marketing, Austin is a data scientist and digital marketing expert with over a decade of lead generation experience within the professional painting industry.
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