In this post, we’re going to explore how to get free painting leads and advertise your business for free by using Facebook Groups, Instagram, and Nextdoor.
Method #1: Facebook Groups
You can get thousands of views on your company’s Facebook posts without having to use paid ads. The key is sharing your post to multiple local groups on Facebook.
In this method, you will use pictures to share to your Facebook business profile. We have an article on how to manage your business photos. But for now, let’s get right to learning the Facebook Local Groups method.
Before you can use this strategy you must be a member of various local Facebook groups with your personal Facebook profile. Start by searching Facebook for groups by entering the following keywords into the Facebook search bar (replacing the terms in parentheses with your words). Join as many groups as you can as long as they have over 1000 members.
- (your city) community
- (your city) marketplace
- (your city) market
- (your city) connection
- (your city) yard sale
- (your city) garage sale
- (your city) buy & sell
- (your city) for sale
- (your city) what’s for sale
Now repeat using the names of nearby cities or towns that your company serves. And then repeat using the names of neighborhoods inside the city. You will find that many groups will make you answer some questions so that the admins can determine if you will be allowed to enter. It’s common for them to ask if you live in that area. Simply answer that you work in that town or neighborhood, which is true of course if your company serves that area.
Check the rules for some groups as some of them prohibit any type of marketing at all. Some only allow marketing on specific days of the week. And others have no restrictions.
Now we can begin sharing your company’s posts with thousands of people. Always use this method with brand new posts. If you have old pictures you already posted, simply re-post them so that you have a brand new post to share. This is because Facebook’s algorithms will increase the likelihood of your posts being seen if they are new.
Now go ahead and post a picture to your Facebook business profile to use for this method. Write something about the picture but do not write anything that sounds too salesy. Just make a comment about the benefits of cabinet painting. Never use terms such as “get a quote”, “call today”, or anything that sounds like you’re trying to sell instead of simply sharing a cool picture and job or moment that your company is proud of. People nowadays rapidly and subconsciously filter out anything that looks or reads like an ad.
Now that you have just posted your non-salesy picture & test, click on the share button below the post. Two options should pop up:
- Share to a Page
You will click “Share to a Page”. On the new popup, on the very top, you should see a title that says “Share on a Page You Manage’. Click on that so that you can change it to “Share in a Group”. Below that, make sure you are sharing from your personal profile, not your business profile. Your business profile uploaded the post but you will use your personal profile to share the post to the local groups. Now search for one group to share your post to. Where it says “Say something about this…” enter some text about the post, remembering to not say anything to elicit sales, simply sharing what’s in the picture. Now hit “Post”. Now repeat the process until you have shared to either all of the local groups you are in or most of them.
And that’s it. Get ready to get lots of views for free.
Each post will not generate leads. Instead, it’s putting your brand out there to stay in people’s minds on a regular basis. This will generate leads over time, not with each post.
Now all of this is pointless if you forget the next critical step: every time somebody likes or comments on your post, invite them to like your business profile. And if they commented, always reply, even if it’s just with a simple “thanks”.
You should post to Facebook regularly. Use the strategies from our photo management post to keep a constant stream of new photos to share. But when you’re low on new photos, just re-post old photos. The most important thing is to share photos regularly. Aim for twice per week. Feel free to experiment with sharing more times than that, but you might risk annoying some people if you post daily. Also, feel free to post funny memes or inspirational posts to your business profile. It does not always have to be pictures of cabinet painting.
Method #2: Instagram
Instagram marketing involves 3 activities: generating pictures and posting them, hashtag research, and communications. Instagram is typically a low-volume lead generator but because it is free, it is still worthwhile to incorporate into your weekly marketing routine.
Additionally, you can use your company’s Instagram account as it’s gallery/portfolio, which I recommend because of how easy it is to use. You can ask your website developer to code your business Instagram feed into your website’s gallery script so this way you can update your gallery automatically simply by posting to Instagram. Contact us if you would like us to do this for you.
There is no rule to help you decide what type of pictures to post. Different types of pictures perform well at different times. Trying new and creative types of posts could yield good results. When trying to come up with picture ideas, think of these 3 categories:
- The standard/expected posts: This will include pictures of finished projects, before & after shots, close-ups of doors, and you or your team at work.
- The unexpected/creative posts: This is where you get creative and take close up pictures of your equipment, your team having fun, your work vehicles, close-ups of specific parts of the project. For example, if you painted a kitchen, try posting photos of the knobs, a wine rack, or a range hood.
- The unrelated shared posts: This when you share funny memes, inspirational posts, or tips for customers/homeowners. You can get these from other people’s accounts as long as you give them credit in your description such as by saying “reposted from @scalebloom.” Another idea is to post pictures of local businesses such as restaurants or vendors you use such as embroidery or print shops. It is helpful to post things unrelated to your core product to make your brand more personable and engaging. Just be thoughtful and consider whether a meme could be seen as offensive to your audience.
Finally, remember to include a text description with every post. If possible, tell a short story, joke, or a funny anecdote about the post and use words that evoke emotions. Adding personality to your brand by using emojis will help people remember your brand. Also, consider asking a question in order to invite comments which will help your posts get ranked higher up by Instagram’s algorithms.
The next step is deciding which hashtags to use on your posts. Hashtags will allow your posts to be displayed on the search tab of Instagram to users who have previously engaged with posts with the same hashtags. To automate the process, keep a list of valuable hashtags in your notes app on your phone so that you can easily copy and paste them onto your Instagram post. A popular trick is to only include 1 to 3 hashtags in your post’s description and enter the rest into the comments section. Hashtags in the comments section still allow your photo to be discoverable but pushing them out of view allows the focus to be on the photo and description text.
The following is a list of good hashtags to use for cabinet painting but you need to stay aware of new hashtags trends and pay attention to what other types of posts get good engagement to continually improve your hashtag usage.
#whitekitchen #kitchen #dreamkitchen #kitchendesign #customkitchens #beautifulkitchens #kitchenremodel #kitchentransformation #kitcheninspo #paintedkitchen #charmingkitchen #kitchensofinstagram #kitchenrenovation #cabinets #homeinterior #homestyle #homeinspiration #homerenovation #decor #paint #inspiration #happy #inspiring #instamood #love #instalike #picoftheday
Also, use hashtags for your city or local area so that people nearby can find them. And add a location to each post, you can simply use the general location of your city or neighborhood.
As mentioned at the start, the third and final activity for Instagram marketing is communication. The first place to communicate is on your company’s profile page. I suggest including a list of cities or metro areas you serve. Many potential customers might otherwise have no idea you serve their area. Also, include a call to action, I personally use: “DM for a quick quote”. And finally, include a link to your website. Even if someone visiting your profile does not click on your website link, just seeing it there makes your business look more professional and thus, trustworthy.
And finally, communicate by engaging with many accounts. Search for local businesses and follow them, and regularly like and comment on their pictures. This will help you be seen by local customers that also follow that business. An easy way to get engagement is to follow and engage with other painting businesses. They may not buy from you, but if they engage with your posts, it will help your posts get more views due to Instagram’s algorithms. And finally, focus on making connections with local businesses that are related to your industry because they can recommend you on a regular basis. These will include realtors, interior designers and decorators, and other contractors such as floor installers, window installers, as well as general contractors which may even hire you on their projects.
Method #3: Nextdoor
You should create a business profile for your cabinet painting business on Nextdoor to make it easier to get recommended by local members. You can also run paid ads on your Nextdoor profile but for now, we’ll talk about using it to get free leads. Use your personal profile to post a message to your neighborhood’s feed talking about your company’s services. Always include a picture in your post to get people’s attention.
On nextdoor, unlike Facebook and Instagram, it is expected to learn about local businesses, so you can be more salesy in your copy than on regular social media. If you are being salesy, restrict your posts to only 2 to 3 times per month. But feel free to share stories or cool posts more regularly. People on Nextdoor love finding deals so when you are making a post with a salesy copy, you may benefit by offering a discount code such as NEXTDOOR.
Whenever you log in to your Nextdoor account, run a quick scan of recent posts to see if anyone is looking for painting work and comment on their post with a recommendation for your company. Or just use the search bar and look for “painting” to see any recent posts that specifically mention those words.