So you own a painting company and you need to generate new business… where do you start?
Quality painting leads can be difficult to find, especially if you’re looking in the wrong place. Here we have compiled a comprehensive guide that covers online painting contractor marketing ideas, door-to-door marketing strategies, and painter advertising tactics that are guaranteed to get your phone ringing.
Digital Marketing Tactics for Painting Contractors
To be considered the best painting company in town you need to get your name out there. The quick and easy way to accomplish this is by investing in online marketing.
While most of these strategies are effective, they can get expensive, particularly with online ads. As a result, we focused this article on proven online marketing strategies that painting companies of all sizes can implement, today.
1. Configure and Optimize your Google Business Profile (Formerly known as Google My Business)
First, start by claiming your profile here. This may require phone or business address verification so be prepared for delays as this is something that could require a physical postcard to claim. Once you have access to your listing you will want to add as much information to this profile as possible.
Start with the “Info” tab. Keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent with any other online references to your painting business (this includes your website and social media accounts). For instance, if your Facebook Page doesn’t contain “LLC” in the business name, neither should your Google Business Profile. Some of the ways you can improve your profile are by:
Fulfill all pertinent information. Include your painting business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, link to website, and business description.
Upload Photos. Add as many photos as possible. Include your logo, all of your recent painting projects, before/after images, and job site photos of your team working hard. Also, be sure to post your photos before you walk away from the job site. The second you leave without posting, the more likely you are to forget.
Add Services. Use “Painter” as your primary service category, then apply as many relevant secondary service categories as possible.
Reply to all reviews. As the business owner, it’s important to respond to all reviews, positive or negative. For positive reviews, you can respond with a simple “Thank you for your business!” while negative reviews may require a bit more personalization to address the customer’s concerns.
Use Posts. Similar to social media, you can add posts to your Google Business Profile. We recommend reposting anything you add to your website or social media on this profile. Monthly posts are great, but weekly is even better.
According to Google, local Google Map rankings are determined by prominence, distance, and relevance. Their search algorithm uses all this information to determine which businesses offer the best and most relevant services for a potential painting lead. While you can’t change distance or relevance, you do have control over prominence, which directly impacts how your painting company ranks online.
2. Ask Customers to Leave a Review for your Painting Business
To improve the prominence of your painting business ask your customers to leave a review after your job is complete. Online reviews are a primary ranking factor for your Google Business Profile so don’t skip this step. Plus, it’s a great way to show off those satisfied customers. When you complete a service, simply thank your customer for choosing your painting business and provide them a link to leave a review.
3. Create a Website for your Painting Business
If you want to scale your painting company, you need to capture new painting leads. If you want to capture new painting leads, you need a website.
Before you invest a dollar into online advertising or digital marketing services for your painting company, you need to get your business online. Think of it as a business investment. A well-optimized website is the single best way to reach your target market online.
You need to make it EASY for your customers to contact you. For best results, eliminate any barriers and provide as many contact options as possible. Every page on your website should include the following:
Prominently featured phone number
Physical mailing address — This is also an important Local SEO ranking factor!
Live website chat
The more variety of contact options you provide your website visitors the more likely they are to convert into a painting lead.
5. Emphasize your Unique Selling Points
What sets your painting business apart from other local painting companies?
Background Check Employees
Warranties or Lifetime Touchups
Licensed and Insured
High-Quality Paint Products
This is truly one of the easiest online marketing strategies you can implement today. For instance, even if your competition offers exact same warranty as you do, if you have it listed on your website and they don’t, then you become the local painting authority.
While converting traffic into paying customers can be challenging, getting traffic to your website in the first place can be even more difficult. This is where SEO comes in…
6. Attract New Painting Leads with Local SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, improves your chances of ranking in Google search results organically (without paying for ads). We have a definitive SEO guide for painting contractors, but for quick-wins, here are some easy-to-implement SEO techniques that are guaranteed to generate painting leads:
Add a unique page for each service you offer and each location you serve. Ensure those pages are at least 750-1000 words in length.
Make sure your website is fast. Images typically impact speed the most. Before you upload your job site photos run them through a free image compressor first.
Every image on your website should have an alt tag. What is an alt tag? It’s an attribute that helps Google better understand the image. This is also critical for ADA compliance. The last thing you want is a lawsuit over your website because it’s hard to navigate for someone with disabilities.
Every page should have a unique title, meta description, headings, and body text.
Add content and update your website often. Weekly if possible, but monthly at the bare minimum. Writing blog posts geared towards topics your customers are searching for is a good starting point: How much does it cost to repaint a house in “insert city name here”?
Organic search engine traffic is free, and it’s an important part of increasing the number of exclusive painting leads your business can generate. Also, how well your website ranks in Google directly impacts how well your Google Business Profile ranks on Google Maps.
How well is your painting business website performing?
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7. Create Videos for YouTube
YouTube videos are the new blog posts, you need to do it to stay relevant. Not only do they increase your digital footprint, but they also help build trust and increase dwell time on your website which directly impacts SEO.
Dwell time is a signal Google uses to determine how long someone spends interacting with your website. The more time they spend the more authority Google gives your website. The more authority you have the better you rank in search results.
We always recommend creating a brief introductory video, you can do this on your phone while at a job site. We’re not going for production value, this is simply to build customer trust. Prospects that see your face are significantly more likely to convert into a painting lead. Upload this video to YouTube and embed it on your homepage.
Pro Tip: Create a “next steps” video that you can send leads ahead of their first appointment. This creates a rapport, builds trust, and can ultimately drive the customer to choose your painting company over another, regardless of price.
8. Get Creative with Content Marketing
Any content you produce for the internet is considered “marketing material” and is considered part of content marketing efforts. One strategy we have found particularly useful is using content marketing to find new industry partners. How does it work?
First, create a blog post about the Top 10 Real Estate Agents in your town.
Next, send a link to each agent with a simple “Congrats on making the Top 10! We’re looking for new industry partners. Let me know if you’re interested in talking details.” message.
Finally, after a few days, follow up with a phone call to discuss if they might be open to recommending your painting services to their clients. Since they’re referring clients they have already established a relationship with those painting leads should be easy to close.
This strategy has helped our clients build new industry partnerships, from scratch, with very little effort.
9. Use Facebook and Instagram for Residential Leads
Most painting business owners using social media today are missing the big picture. Social media should not be your primary source of lead generation. Why? Because buyer intent has not been established. Your customers don’t go on Facebook to find your painting business, they use Google for that.
Sure, you can retarget visitors on social media or build a marketing funnel with ads, and that does produce results, but the bottom line is you will produce more closed painting jobs at a better price on Google than you will on Facebook.
So what’s social media good for? Social media is great for brand awareness and building trust. For residential painting contractors, you need to be on Facebook and Instagram. Commercial painting contractors should also be present on LinkedIn.
10. Post Regularly on Social Media
Consistency is key on social media. Not only does it improve your chances of being found in your prospect’s news feed, but it also helps build customer trust. For best results, post at least 3 to 5 times a week. Add before/after images from the job site and respond to comments and messages promptly.
11. Use Facebook Groups
To leverage Facebook Groups run keyword checks regularly. We recommend monitoring your local community Facebook Group — most towns/cities/neighborhoods have at least one.
Search the group for keywords like “painter” or “refinish” as they are terms generally associated with locals looking for painting contractor recommendations. We recommend responding with a personalized message and a link to your website. If they click on your link you can retarget them with ads on Facebook later to convert them from a prospect into an exclusive painting lead!
12. Capture Painting Leads Using Social Media Retargeting
Retargeting is an advertising strategy designed to recapture painting leads who have already visited your website, but never engaged. Why is this strategy effective? Because we established buyer intent.
Consider this: A prospect visits your website, then they get distracted and never submit your contact form. Later, on Facebook, we serve them an ad specifically for the page they visited on your website. Think of retargeting as an online reminder service for your painting business.
According toThe Business Professor, only 4% of new website visitors will convert into painting leads. This means a second or third visit is often needed to get the job done. Retargeting reminds potential customers of the services they were once interested in. Creating multiple “touch-points” like this increases the likelihood your painting website will generate new, quality leads.
13. Use LinkedIn for Commercial Painting Leads
When it comes to lead generation, each social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. LinkedIn is great for generating new commercial painting leads. Network with local business owners by connecting with them on LinkedIn. For best results, send prospects a personalized private message with special promotions. LinkedIn is also great for advertising — Refine your demographics and target markets for the best ROI.
Promotions are great for first-time customers, but what about returning customers? As a marketing strategy, we find the best results come from incentivizing your past customers to generate new painting leads. Use email marketing to target those customers with a monetary incentive or a discount on future services. Don’t forget to mention your referral program in person after the job is complete!
16. Advertise with Google Ads (PPC)
As far as advertising for painters goes, Google Ads still reign supreme. It is the single best online marketing and lead generation source for painting contractors. Plus it works great for painting companies serving both residential and commercial clients!
While the cost-per-click may be higher on Google compared to Facebook and other social networks, the quality of the lead is much better. At the end of the day, we’re looking to generate more closed painting JOBS, not more painting LEADS.
If we focus on closed jobs within the home service industry, it takes 3-4 leads on Facebook to produce the same results as one lead from Google.
Google Local Service ads are in direct competition with Thumbtack, Angi, and those other shared lead generation companies. Instead of paying for each click, you’re only paying for the painting lead itself. The benefit of this lead generation service is the painting leads are exclusive to your painting company. At the time of writing this article, these ads are only available in select markets. Click here to check availability.
18. Expand your Digital Footprint with Online Directories/Citations
Expanding your “digital footprint” is a pretty basic digital marketing strategy that any painting company can implement today, for free. Simply, the more places you can be found the more likely it is that you and your painting services will be found. In addition to your website, Google Business Profile, and social media, there are many online directories you can list your painting business for free. Some examples include:
Chamber of Commerce
Be sure to keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent across these online directories. Little differences across such as “Ave” vs “Avenue” can have a big SEO impact.
19. Advertise on Craigslist
In the U.S. and Western Canada, Craigslist is a great way to advertise your local business online and is one of the best painting contractor marketing ideas that you can implement today. In Eastern Canada, Kijiji works the same way.
Depending on the size of target service area(s) you can advertise for as little as $5/month on this local resource. While these ads are not likely to produce a high quantity of quality painting leads, the potential ROI can be huge. For just $60/year you can keep your painting business in front of locals using these websites. Closing just one job will justify this expense.
Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Painting Contractors
Now that we’ve covered what you can do from your desk, let’s look at ways you can generate painting leads while in the field.
Guerrilla marketing, or door-to-door marketing, is typically inexpensive. This means a higher ROI and more closed painting jobs. A great way to use guerrilla marketing to your advantage is by tapping into painting contractor marketing ideas that your competition is not.
21. Find Industry Partners
Real estate agents, property management companies, electricians, plumbers, flooring companies, and the list goes on. While some of these industry partners may seem obvious, others could be completely untapped referral resources to capture new painting leads in your service area.
Create a rapport with these potential partners by engaging them on social media or by email first. If you’re unable to make contact after a few attempts online, pick up the phone and give them a call!
These referral sources work particularly well since they’re coming from a trusted source. Prove yourself on the first job by delivering a satisfied customer for guaranteed future referrals.
22. Co-market with Another Local Business
Co-marketing is a method of generating new painting leads by splitting the cost of advertising with another company that can directly benefit from your services. For example, you can ask your local paint store rep if they’re interested in sharing the cost of creating new mailers for a specific advertising campaign. Any painting jobs you land will directly benefit their business as you would exclusively use their paint products for the job.
23. Register with your Chamber of Commerce
Registering with your local Chamber of Commerce grants you access to local businesses, meetings, and potential industry partners. Even if there are several other painting companies in your local CoC it is still worth joining, at least for a year.
“You miss 100 of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky Michael Scott
This marketing strategy works particularly well for painting companies targeting commercial clients.
24. Tape your Business Card to Used Paint Cans
This one is simple and only costs you a business card and some tape. After your project is complete tape your business card to the leftover paint cans that you leave with the customer. Even if they don’t use this, the next homeowner might.
25. Send Direct Mailers
One powerful aspect of the professional painting industry is your target audience is easy to identify. Whether you’re targeting new homeowners or an entire zip code, direct mailers are a great marketing medium to generate new, high-quality painting leads. For best results, add an exclusive, limited promotion.
26. Use Lawn Signs
Lawn signs are a great way to generate free advertising while on the job site. When you’re painting a customer’s home or business ask if you can put your sign on the lawn until you’re finished with the job. This acts as a trusted referral source. If you’re good enough for them their neighbors are likely to hire you as well.
27. Track Your Local Storms
Depending on your location the painting industry can be seasonal. In the winter months monitor your local weather for severe storms. For instance, if a hail storm rolls through homeowners could be looking for a painting contractor to repair and repaint the siding on their house.
To generate new painting leads from these storms simply target the areas impacted hardest with mailers specifically for exterior painting services. Even if they hire a contractor to repair the siding they may still be left on the hook to repaint it afterward, and this is typically not covered by insurance.
28. Leverage Trade Shows
Most towns and cities have an annual Home Show. These events can be a great lead generation source for targeting residential prospects. While these trade shows do require an investment to attend as a vendor, you can typically generate a return with just a single closed painting job.
Since you’re interacting with these prospects in-person it puts you and your competitors on an even playing field, which makes it easy to pitch your painting service as the best in town!
29. Take Quality Before/After Photos
While you might be focused on big picture things, like business growth, it can become easy to lose sight of the small details that can make a big difference.
The painting industry is rather unique since your services are easy to photograph, and customers LOVE before & after images. They’re one of the best marketing materials we use to generate painting leads today. These images can be used on physical mailers in addition to online ads.
Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:
If you’re painting inside find the best angle to take a “before” photo.
Take your photos from the same angle.
Keep the subject centered on the camera, and take all photos in landscape mode (hold your phone sideways).
Add “whitespace” to your image by standing further away from the subject.
Consider light sources. Keep windows to your back if possible.
Declutter the room. Remove water bottles, shoes, and anything else that may impact the quality of your image.
Take both the before and after images with furniture in the room, blank walls are boring. Ask your customer if you can help move their furniture after your job is complete, or simply ask them to send you an “after” image once they have the room put back together.
Quality photos are important. As a painting business owner, you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take quality before/after photos. Simply plan ahead and practice with different techniques until you find a process that works best for you and your painting company.
30. Market to Family and Friends
Finally, don’t forget to market your painting business to friends and family. If you’re just getting started they can be some of the best word-of-mouth referrals. Friends and family are also usually eager to offer up referrals without asking for incentives.
31. BONUS: Contact Base Coat Marketing
But wait, there’s more! If you’re looking for a hands-off digital marketing strategy for your painting company, we can help. Base Coat Marketing has over a decade of experience serving the professional painting industry. Interested in learning more about how our digital marketing services can generate new, consistent, high-quality painting leads for your business?