Want to learn the best places to market a painting business? Here are some tips on how to make your marketing more effective and how to get customers for a painting business, from painting bidding websites to advanced digital marketing strategies for painters. Whether you’ve just become a painting contractor or have been in the industry for some time now, learning how to market your painting business be a daunting task. One of the biggest struggles that people come across after they’ve started their painting businesses is how to bring in clients.
Marketing for painting contractors remains a key to long-term success in every business phase. It doesn’t always have to be an elaborate campaign with expensive advertising materials. All companies have different capabilities, target audiences, and channels. However, many strategies work great for almost all industries. We’ll show you house painting advertising ideas for your business that you can easily implement and thus reach many customers.
First, let’s focus on your audience. Decide whether you want to spend more effort on targeting residential painting leads or commercial painting leads or both. Next, you need to research your audience, including where they spend their time online, what other additional services they use, and what’s the best way to engage with them.
Once you understand your target audience, it’s time to craft your painting company marketing plan and learn how to advertise a painting and decorating business. In this article, we’ll share a few house painting advertising ideas that can help you engage both residential and commercial clients.
By combining tried and tested offline advertising examples with the opportunities of digital marketing, you can expand the reach of your painting business and stand out in your local market, allowing you to start invoicing for more paint jobs than you thought possible. Whether you’re an established painting contractor or just starting out, below are some ways to find the best places to advertise a painting business.
Door-to-door Painting Business Marketing
When you are new in the business, one of the first marketing strategies for the paint industry is going door-to-door. Not many people do this because it can seem scary or intrusive, but it really is an effective way to get your business going! One tip is to look for neighborhoods that are a part of a HomeOwners Association because this often requires their homes to get repainted every so often (usually 8-10 years).
If you’ve just started your painting business, door-to-door is the best way to start increasing brand awareness and attracting clients. Many business owners are afraid to do this or don’t dare to do it. But this is only good news because this means more leads for you.
Aside from the costs for promotional materials such as flyers or business cards, door-to-door marketing is very inexpensive. But, it’s not only free but also extremely effective because you are directly engaging with your leads.
If the person answers the door, all you have to do is introduce yourself and your company and offer them a free painting estimate. For all of the doors you knock on, someone will have been considering repainting either the interior or exterior of their house, especially if you go to neighborhoods where the houses are 10+ years old. This information can easily be found on different realtor websites. If they do say yes to a free estimate, schedule a day to come back. This tactic will help you secure your first few paint jobs!
Most people will say “no” to your proposal, but a few every hour you spend going door-to-door will say “yes.” What’s more, even those who will say “no” now might keep your business in their minds for the future.
Find Recently Sold Homes in Your Service Area
One of the best parts of technology is that information is readily available to you at all times. This makes finding new customers a bit easier for you! How? You can browse various realty websites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com for homes in your service area that recently sold. The majority of the time when a home sells, the buyer opts to repaint the whole home to start with a fresh new look. This provides you with an ample number of potential customers!
Keep tabs on homes that have recently sold in your area and mail them some of your marketing materials and promotional offers, if applicable. The best part about this method? You can browse through the photos on the house listing and pinpoint exactly what services the homeowner might need and provide them with specific information or specials tailored to their exact needs.
For example, if all the bedrooms are bright colors, you can share information on interior painting — and give prices for single rooms versus the whole home. If the home’s exterior is peeling, you can send them details on your exterior painting services. Or the kitchen might look a bit dated and could use cabinet painting to freshen up its appearance. Maybe you noticed that the living space has popcorn ceilings. If your painting company also offers popcorn ceiling removal, you can promote that. Looking through the realty listing allows you to customize the specific materials you are sending to the homeowners, improving your chances of having them call you over a competitor and winning the contract.
Once you have a few paint jobs under your belt, you can start doing some more visible marketing. One way to do this is through yard signs (ie lawn signs). When you’re painting a client’s house, ask them if you can put a sign up on the lawn. This will give you a few weeks of free advertising and all you have to do is pay for the sign. Make sure the sign is easy to read, with the company name and a phone number. Your work will speak for itself, and curious pedestrians might give you a call.
Partnerships with other local businesses
Meet with local companies from related industries and start a collaboration. For example, local moving services, hardware stores, or homeware stores might be interested in promoting your services if you do the same for them. Also, reach out to realtors looking for painters.
Connect with Local Realtors
Browsing realty websites isn’t the only way to get in front of new homebuyers — you can get in front of local realtors looking for painters! Building up relationships with realtors helping homebuyers in your service area is an easy way to get your name out there. Your target audience trusts their realtor, and they rely on them for assistance with everything throughout the homebuying process. That includes recommendations for local contractors to help renovate their home, update their landscape, and yes, repaint the interior or exterior of their home.
Find ways to connect with local realtors and pitch to them why your painting company is the only painting company they should be recommending to their buyers. You can create customized marketing materials for realtors to provide their buyers, along with tailored promotional offers that are exclusive to the realtor (making both the realtor and the homebuyer feel special).
But how do you get started connecting your painting company with real estate agents? Do you have any friends or family that are realtors? If so, connect with them and their contacts. If you don’t know any realtors personally, that’s alright! Call local real estate agencies in your area and spread the word about your services — giving them important information like your website and sharing reviews from satisfied customers. Let them know you’re available to take on jobs from their buyers and provide them with materials they might need to promote your business.
Not all real estate agents will be open to the idea of promoting your painting company. If that happens, you have two options. The first is to rely on the two other methods of finding houses that need painting we mentioned above. The second option is to offer the realtor a commission for any painting jobs that they refer to your company that turns into a sale. Their commission doesn’t have to be a high amount, but having some incentive for the realtor will ensure they share your painting services with all applicable buyers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that offering a commission might not be the best option for a painting company that is struggling or just starting. Only offer this option when you have enough cash reserves in the bank already.
After each job, leave door hangers at nearby houses.
Brochures and flyers
A popular way to advertise painting services is to print out flyers, brochures, and business cards and mail them out or leave them at local businesses. Hardware stores and local home/interior design trade shows work best.
Similarly, investing in a vehicle with clear graphics and signs of your company will also allow you to be constantly advertising. Even if you’re doing the interior of the home, people will drive by and see the truck and remember you when they are considering painting their house.
Sometimes finding jobs to work on is all about who you know in the industry. Whether you’re just starting your painting business or you’ve been managing it for a few years, you must build relationships with those in the painting trade, as well as the construction industry. You never know when that quick conversation you had in a coffee shop or that time you handed out your business card in an elevator will come in handy.
If you have a good rapport with other local painting companies, they’ll be more likely to come to you and offer you a paint job that they might not have the capacity to take on at the moment — and the same goes for you! Sharing leads with other painting companies in your area (if you are a bit tight on capacity at the time) can help you in the long run if they also need to send some leads your way. This isn’t always the best tactic depending on the types of painting companies in your area, but something to consider.
Similarly, you must network with those in the construction industry as well. If a contractor is building a custom home in your area, that home is going to need to be painted — and in the best-case scenario, the builder might be working on an entire neighborhood of homes that need painting. If a home remodeler is gutting a kitchen and making it more modern, they might want a painter to come in and put on a fresh coat of paint throughout the main living space. Building relationships with those in different but similar industries can help your painting company win jobs that you might not otherwise have the opportunity to take on. Never underestimate the power of networking and building relationships with like-minded individuals.
A website is like a digital business card proving the legitimacy of your business. Consumers who already know about your business will look at your online presence to verify your trustworthiness. A painting contractor website is a great way to find new customers through search engines who don’t know about your business.
You should have an impactful, custom-built site so homeowners can look you up when they find you on things like van signs, yard signs, and social media, and learn more about you. Creating a website is a must-do to grow your business because:
- 30% of consumers trust businesses that have a professional online presence. This starts with having a site.
- The local pack (the box at the top of a Google search that gives an overview of the local businesses) gets 44% of total clicks on the search engine results pages.
- Your website acts as your business 24/7 sales rep, making it easy for consumers to get in touch with you and schedule an appointment.
- 97% of consumers now search online for painting contractors in their area first.
- 63% of consumers use and engage with a local company’s site.
- Your site allows your prospective customer to get a better understanding of who you are while also viewing your previous paint jobs.
This means that you need to somehow position yourself as a local authority in the painting sector. In doing so, you need a user-friendly and mobile-responsive website to start getting it ranked in search results by search engines. Things like fast-loading times, prominent call-to-action buttons, and sticky menus will help convert more leads into customers. Of course, you will need to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to promote your website to ensure that you get it in front of the right eyes and get consumers to use it. Strong SEO features such as a good click-through rate, high domain authority, quality content, and backlinks will up your chances of having your site noticed and ranked high in search engine results pages.
Create a dedicated “Our work” section showcasing your most beautiful paint jobs to convince visitors of your expertise (the before and after format works best). A good painting website design should also include testimonials from your satisfied clients, a list of services, frequently asked questions, and a contact form or quote request form.
Claim & Optimize Your Google Business Profile
As a local painting company, you need to be accessible to potential customers searching for your services. Where do most people go when looking for a company to hire? Google. If your painting company isn’t visible on Google, you’re missing out on a high volume of leads and sales!
The easiest way to boost your presence on Google is to claim your Google Business Profile (GBP). Google business profiles are the best and 100% free way to market your painting business online. When you see different companies listed in the local pack, this company information is pulled from their GBP listing. That’s why you must include important details like your address and location, phone number, website URL, and hours.
To get verified, all you need is a mailing address (a residence is fine), business name, and phone number.
Once you’re verified, your company can show up in the map pack section of Google search anytime someone searches for painting services in your area. Depending on your location, hundreds, if not thousands of people are searching for residential & commercial painters on Google.
Go through your profile and add in all the important business information — from your business category to your name, address, and phone number. The most important thing to keep in mind when filling out your Google Business Profile is that all of the business information should be consistent on all online directories. Google rewards companies that have a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) across the Internet.
Now that that’s done, you can have your satisfied customers leave a review for your company! Reviews are essential — they help convince prospective customers to choose your painting company over a competitor. As customers leave reviews, a representative from your company should respond to all of them (whether they’re positive or negative!). While you want as many reviews as you can get, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. It’s better to have fewer five-star reviews than a lot of mediocre reviews from unsatisfied customers.
Focus on Local Search Engine Optimization
With your Google Business Profile claimed and optimized, you’re one step closer to having consistent local SEO. Having a consistent NAP is extremely important to Google and directly impacts your website’s ability to rank on the first page of Google. That’s why you need to spend time keeping all online directories updated with the same business information.
Consider maintaining reputable directories like YellowPages, Angie’s List, and Yelp. Do you have a claimed profile on each of these online directories? If so, does the business information on these directories match the information you have listed on your Google Business Profile and your website? If it isn’t all aligned, it should be!
Apply Search Engage Optimization Best Practices
Now that customers can find you in the local pack, it’s time to make sure that your business also shows up in the organic listings on the first page of Google. Follow these search engine optimization best practices to increase the chances of your website ranking:
- Build out service pages – Every webpage provides an opportunity for your website to rank on Google. Take inventory of all the different services you offer. By building out pages for every service, you are making it possible for your company to show up when customers search for that specific service.
- Create geo-targeted service pages – Now that you’ve built out webpages for all of your individual services, you should focus on geo-targeted pages. If your painting company services multiples locations outside of the city in which you are located, you should create localized service pages for each area. Not only does this improve your chances of ranking for localized searches, but provides a more customized experience for your prospective customers.
- Incorporate keywords – When creating content, you need to strategically weave targeted keywords onto the page. What are your customers searching for? How are they searching for your business? Find ways to incorporate the exact phrasing they’re using into your website content.
- Make your website mobile friendly because most of your traffic is likely going to be coming from people on mobile devices.
- Include calls to action – Once a prospect gets to your website, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you to schedule an appointment. Along with a contact form on your homepage and within your subpages, you should add in language that guides customers to call you or visit your contact page.
By putting together a strategic SEO strategy, you’ll increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google.
With over 3.2 billion people actively using social media in the world today, it’s safe to say that your customers are hanging out on places like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Use social media to share photos of your work and message interested customers. Also, keep in mind that they will do their due diligence before someone becomes a lead. The truth is that painting contractors are a dime a dozen, so you have to go the extra mile to stand out. Having an active social media presence will make your business look more trustworthy.
Make sure you post regularly on your social media accounts to drive engagement. You can also post before-and-after shots from your portfolio for potential customers to see how well you do your job. 52% of consumers discovered businesses on Facebook last year, which is more than Yelp and Google Reviews. As for Instagram, it’s an excellent medium for visual content and offers you creative ways to showcase your works.
Although Facebook might not be the first place you think of when considering different ways to find paint jobs to bid on, it’s one you don’t want to skip. Word of mouth referrals are crucial to any business, and nowadays, most homeowners are going to read through all of your reviews and ask their friends for painter recommendations before committing to a particular painting company. Where are they going to ask for these recommendations? More often than not, it’s going to be Facebook.
But how do you use this to your benefit? First, your painting company needs to have a presence on Facebook. Create a profile that is well filled out and makes it easy for prospective customers to contact you or request an estimate for a paint job. Once that is complete, you should join various Facebook groups for your area. Ask around to see if there are particular groups that you should be a part of. Otherwise, you can use the search functionality to search for different Facebook groups that are local to your area. Joining these groups gives you visibility into what people are saying about your company (if you’re being mentioned!), and allows you to reach out to potential customers who mention they need painting services. Try joining a variety of groups, from those built for company referrals to groups for people moving to your area who might have new homes that need to be painted.
Read: Our complete guide to Facebook Ads for Painters
Target Homeowners With Facebook Ads
We shared four ways to increase your business over time. But what if you want/need customers ASAP? Then invest in Facebook Ads to bring your service directly to potential customers. Facebook will only charge you for people who click on your ads. If your Facebook ads are set up correctly, you can make a solid ROI from your ad spend.
Listings in local contractor directories.
Many people still use Craigslist and other local equivalents to find contractors. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable ways to promote your painting business online.
Reach out to a local magazine and ask them if they can post sponsored content about your businesses. Alternatively, you can hire someone to write insightful articles about home painting and publish them on niche websites.
There is no exact recipe for combining these online and offline advertising options, nor a minimum budget required since it all depends on your local market. Remember that consistency is key here, so be patient and track the results of each campaign to find out which advertising method brings you the most clients.
Create YouTube videos of your work
Video is continuing to grow in impact and popularity — which makes sense, considering that it goes hand-in-hand with the rise of social media. Compared to last year, there has been a 19% increase in the average person’s time watching videos online every day. Plus, using visual stimuli to showcase your work is an excellent motivator for those interested in getting their house or corporation painted to contact you. What better advertisement for your work than actually showing them!
You can even create videos of things like the pre-paint preparation or introduce your staff and video how they work. Anything that demonstrates your professionalism and exceptional skills in what you do best — painting!
Word of mouth
Word of mouth remains the most effective marketing strategy for getting painting contracts because people always trust their peers’ recommendations over a social media ad or a flyer. So once you have a few satisfied customers, make sure you ask them to share with their peers their positive experience with your business. You can also consider a referral program where your customers get a small commission for referring their friends, and to make the deal even better, their friends also can get a small discount. Just make sure you still make a healthy profit.
Painting Bidding Websites
If you need leads and you need them now, you might not have time to wait for tactics like search engine optimization to work. While other methods can also help you find jobs, it usually takes a bit longer to reap the reward. To find paint jobs more quickly, you can sign up for various bidding websites to have access to job requests that come in in real-time. These lead-generating websites make it easy for homeowners or business owners to go to the website and request painting services. By doing this, the lead-generating website will connect the customer with a painting company that pays the bidding website to feature their business. The cost per lead will vary depending on the size of the paint job request but is a great way to get your business directly in front of warm leads that will more easily convert into customers. Sign up for websites like HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, or similar lead-generating sites to increase the opportunity for your business to be found and hired for local jobs. It’s an easy way to keep high-quality leads coming in with minimal effort on your part.
Below we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite painting bidding websites for your painting company to take advantage of.
Think of Thumbtack as a certified online directory that prospective customers use to sift through the countless number of painting companies serving your local area. When a business has a profile on Thumbtack, it will appear in the customers’ search results and display the painting company’s profile, customer ratings, and other details. The customer also can sort through the displayed painting companies using the filters to help them narrow down exactly what they’re looking for. The goal of your painting company should be to appear in the search results on Thumbtack to improve the odds of being discovered by prospective customers.
Simply creating a profile on Thumbtack doesn’t guarantee that your business will be visible to searchers. Before your company can be shown in the search results, you will need to generate at least one review from a former customer and need to set up targeting preferences to increase the likelihood of being matched with the right customers. Thumbtack is a great place to get started when looking for painting jobs to bid on or additional leads to take on every month. Because the jobs aren’t huge, the leads aren’t usually too expensive for the professional.
One of the most popular bidding websites is HomeAdvisor. This lead-generating site is known for producing a high number of high-quality leads for various industries — including painting. It works similarly to Thumbtack where your business will have a profile on the website that will show up when customers are searching for a service you can provide. The cost of the lead will vary on the size of the project you’d be taking on.
Keep in mind that HomeAdvisor is an extremely popular site for both professionals and customers. This means that your target service area might already be relatively saturated with painting companies on HomeAdvisor. When signing up for the platform, we recommend reaching out to a representative at HomeAdvisor to see how many other painting companies you will be competing against for leads in your target market. If the number of competitors paying for HomeAdvisor is pretty high, it might be a better investment to use that budgeted money on another platform that might have fewer leads coming in but less competition.
CraftJack works similarly to HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack by connecting prospective customers to your painting company for a fee. Again, the cost of leads can vary depending on the size of the paint job and how quickly you connect with the customers but tend to be between $12 and $75 per lead.
One thing to note about all of these websites is that the site can sell the same lead to multiple companies — meaning that paying for the lead doesn’t guarantee that the customer will convert into a customer. You will still need to connect with them, provide them with an estimate, and convince them that you’re the best painting company in the area. These sites are simply your way to get directly in front of customers who are already looking for your services. A benefit of CraftJack is that they are open about not selling the same lead to more than four painters.
CraftJack uses two different websites to help bring in customers: Local Painter Quotes and ImproveNet. Local Painter Quotes is a website where commercial property owners and homeowners can go to request multiple bids from different painting companies in their area. When these bid requests come in, CraftJack connects the prospective customers with painting companies signed up for CraftJack’s services. ImproveNet is essentially a resource for property owners that might be looking into questions related to home improvement and painting. By supplying helpful guides and resources for these types of home improvement projects, CraftJack users ImproveNet to get the customer interested in the service and offers a way for them to get in touch with a local painting company in their area — supplied through CraftJack. This service will only ever connect your painting company with customers who are looking for your specific service offerings.
It would be hard to find someone who hasn’t heard on Angie’s List. This online directory has built a dedicated following over the years because of its ability to connect customers to reputable companies. In fact, Angie’s List has a lot of users who don’t use free access to the site and pay for a monthly membership. This required payment makes it even more important for Angie’s List to only put the best painting contractors directly in front of their customers.
As a business, signing up for Angie’s List is free — but you won’t achieve much visibility without paying to play. Angie’s List search results pages are similar to Google in that there are advertisements at the top, followed by organic listings below. A free profile can show up in the organic section, but without a large quantity of 5-star reviews, the chances are pretty slim. That’s where the paid portion of Angie’s List can be extremely beneficial for painting companies, but keep in mind that the per click ad rate can vary from $4 to $8.
Another great way to increase your visibility and increase the number of leads you’re generating through Angie’s List is to include an exclusive discount. Because Angie’s List has customers paying to use their website, they’re more likely to feature your business because you’re providing their paying customers with an exclusive offer that can be seen as a major perk of a paid membership (since free users won’t have access to these deals).
Angie’s List can bring in a ton of high-quality leads, but it can be more difficult to gain traction and visibility if you’re newer to the industry.
Create A Referral Program
Anytime a past customer talks to friends or family is an opportunity to talk about your business. Whenever you finish a job, let your customers know that you’re still taking on more business and would appreciate it if they shared your services with friends and family.
The best way to get past customers to become referrals is by staying in their ears and offering a reward for referring more business to you. Stay in their ear by sending a Christmas postcard or a letter thanking them for their business.
Create a referral program by awarding customers who refer you painting contracts with a $50 gift card for each new customer. $50 is a drop in the bucket compared to the time and money you may already spend hunting for more business.
Email Property Managers
Bidding commercial painting jobs can be very lucrative. You can send a cold email or phone to facilities, property managers, warehouses, general contractors, builders, and more and potentially land very large jobs. Check out our guide on getting commercial painting leads to learn more.
The most successful marketing strategy for painting contractors is to mix all of the above strategies. Each strategy will expose you to a different market that other strategies neglect and allow you to win and invoice for more painting jobs fast. Good luck!