Marketing for Painters (Get More Painting Contracts)

marketing for painters

Date Published: 03/01/2021

Written By George Leon

George Leon is a Painting Contractor in Charlotte NC and a Partner at Scalebloom Web Design.

Whether your painting company is just starting out or ramping up to hit huge growth goals, you need a strategic marketing campaign to get you where you’re trying to go. Without one, your painting company’s growth can become stagnant — which is not where you want to be! Here are four essential components that need to be part of your painting company’s marketing campaign:

  • Claim, optimize, and monitor your Google My Business profile
  • Focus on local SEO to have a consistent name, address, and phone number
  • Apply search engine optimization best practices to your painting company’s website
  • Create social media profiles and run paid advertising campaigns

We’ve put together a guide to help you get started building a strategic marketing campaign to get more painting contracts.

No matter how good you are at painting houses, your painting company won’t be able to survive if you don’t have enough leads coming down the pipeline. While referrals from satisfied customers and your digital marketing efforts will help to bring in leads organically, it might not be enough to cushion your bottom line. You need to take the reins and find houses that need painting to increase the amount of business your painting company is bringing in.

Before you can jump into finding painting jobs to bid on, you need to have a fleshed-out idea of who your dream clients are. Do you prefer to take on commercial job leads? or residential jobs? Maybe you dabble a bit in both. You might need to tweak your lead generating strategy depending on who your target audience is. For instance, most home paint jobs will be won through your digital marketing efforts like social media ads, search engine optimization, and pay per click ads. While commercial paint jobs are more likely to be won through your various industry connections and network.

Both types of clients can be profitable for a painting company, you just need to choose which is best for your particular business model. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to determining your ideal client. Do you prefer one type of job over the other? Does your team excel at a specific service that applies to only one of these client types? Once you’ve narrowed down who your target audience is you can begin working to find paint jobs to bid on that can help to grow your business and revenue.

Follow these tactics to find houses in your service area that need to be painted — helping you bring in more sales for your painting company and increase your revenue and profits.

Claim & Optimize Your Google My 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 My Business (GMB) profile. When you see different companies listed in the local pack, this company information is pulled from their GMB listing. That’s why you must include important details like your address and location, phone number, website URL, and hours.

Watch our video tutorial on how to optimize your GMB

To get started, you need to claim your business listing. Once claimed, you can go through 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 My Business listing 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 My 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 My 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.
  • 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.
Create Social Media Profiles & Run Paid Ad Campaigns
Your marketing strategy shouldn’t only include your Google My Business profile and your website — your social media presence is just as important. Think about where your target audience spends their time browsing. Create a profile for your painting company on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter (or wherever your target audience is!). By doing this, you’re making your company not only more accessible but more personable as well which makes customers more likely to choose your company over a competitor.

By building an online relationship with your customers and sharing photos of your successful paint jobs, you’re helping your company to remain top of mind. It also provides you with another platform where you can utilize paid ads. Social media advertising campaigns allow your painting company to reach your customers with the click of a button. While running paid campaigns is an investment, the ROI is worth it. Test out a paid campaign by setting a low budget to start and pivot your strategy as needed to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Scout Out Older Neighborhoods

When it comes to finding new potential customers, the first place to start is scouting out older neighborhoods that might require a little facelift. That’s where your high-quality paint jobs can come into play. Look for neighborhoods that were built about 15 to 20 years ago (or more!) and do a quick drive through it to determine the state of the homes’ exteriors. It’s also a great idea to look for neighborhoods with a Homeowners Association because they often have rules in place for maintaining the condition of the home’s exterior.

Once you have your desired neighborhoods picked out, there are two different methods you can take to get your painting company’s name out there. The first is by going door to door and passing out professionally designed pamphlets or various marketing materials — either dropping them in the mailbox or hand-delivering it to the homeowner (which allows you to answer any questions or offer an estimate right then and there).

The second, and less intrusive option, is to send your marketing materials directly to each homeowner in the neighborhood. Work with a designer to create beautifully designed materials that explain who you are, what your painting company offers, and what makes you better than your competitors. Mailing your information will get your painting business in front of your desired audience, but be less intimidating than having a stranger knock on their front door.

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.

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.

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.

Thumbtack

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.

HomeAdvisor

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

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.

AngiesList

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.

Facebook

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

Networking

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 industry, 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.

Get More Reviews

Google reviews are important for two reasons:

  • When a potential customer is browsing the Internet looking for a painting company to hire, the first place they’re going to go is Google. Your goal is to take up as much of the search engine result page’s real estate as possible. To do this, you need to be investing in SEO and pay per click—but you can’t forget about your Google My Business listing as well! Customers will see a list of local painting companies and be able to sort by the highest rated.
  • By generating reviews on your Google My Business listing, you’re increasing your chances of showing up in the GMB Local 3 Pack. When Google evaluates your company’s reviews, they look at the recency, frequency, quality, and quantity. The more high-quality, positive reviews on your profile, the more Google will favor your painting company over competitors.

Reviews are especially important if you’re just starting your painting business. Reviews will help establish your company as a legitimate painting contractor.

5 Ways to Get Google Reviews for Your Painting Company

Now that you know just how important Google reviews are to reaching your target audience, let’s dive into how you can begin generating more reviews. Whether you’re a new company starting out or your working to maintain your 5-star rating, these tried and true tips will have more Google reviews pouring in in no time:

1) Provide Great Customer Service

It might seem like a no-brainer, but the number one thing you can do to increase your online presence is to have a great in-person presence as well! Whether you’re out on a painting job or operating the phones in the office, you always need to be on your game providing high-quality customer service. Following a few of these customer service tips will have you gaining more reviews fast:

  1. Set high standards for your employees or painting subcontractors to always do a superior paint job. Check out our guide on how to subcontract painting jobs for tips on hiring and managing subcontractors.
  2. If a problem should arise, address it as soon as possible.
  3. Show your customers that you appreciate their business.

2) Directly Ask for a Google Review

One of the easiest ways to get your customers to leave a Google review is to ask them directly!

When wrapping up a job well done, it’s always a great idea to ask your customer to leave a review. There’s never a better time than when they’re most excited about the new splash of colors on their walls, cabinets, or exterior!

If your painters don’t feel comfortable asking the customer in person, you can create a leave-behind material piece for them to provide the homeowner after the job is done.

As a local painting company who just painted an entire home to prep it for move-in, consider providing the new homeowners with material that includes:

  • A guide for cleaning painted walls
  • If you painted the cabinets, leave a guide on how to clean painted cabinets.
  • A card with information about the paint brands and colors used for future reference
  • A business card with your company’s contact information
  • A special customer service phone number for follow-up questions or concerns
  • A card with a direct link to leave a Google review with clear instructions for them to
  • A written warranty. (Download my painting warranty templates)

You want to equip your team with everything they need to successfully ask happy customers for Google reviews.

3) Send a Follow-Up Email After the Job

Following a successful paint job, send a follow-up email to your customers. You can treat this email as a digital version of the leave-behind marketing materials—reducing waste while still providing your customers with all the information they might ever need.

Along with helpful information like a guide to cleaning painted surfaces or the paint brands and colors, you should include:

  • A personal touch so it doesn’t seem like a templated email
  • A thank you for choosing your company
  • An ask for feedback so you can always provide the best service
  • A direct link for them to leave a Google review—making it super easy for them to do so!

If you’re worried about receiving a bad review, you can ask customers if they had a satisfactory or unsatisfactory experience, and guide them accordingly. For someone who wasn’t happy with the service provided, you can guide them to a feedback form that lives directly on your website. For happy customers, you can direct them to Google to leave a 5-star review! This way, you’re receiving all feedback—both good and bad—without hurting your rating.

4) Add a Review Link to Your Website

Your website is essentially a virtual sales rep that is working around the clock. Because you have customers accessing your website regularly, you can make it easy for them to share their experience with your company!

Add a button or a link on your website that links them directly to Google where they can leave a review. You can incorporate this in the header or footer of your site, or within some of the webpage copy.

5) Respond to Your Reviews (Both Positive & Negative!)

As a business, you understand you’re not always going to have happy customers. And unfortunately, sometimes these customers will leave a negative review on Google. If this happens, don’t stress out or react harshly to the critique. You should respond to ALL reviews on Google—both positive and negative.

If a customer leaves a positive review, you can show your appreciation by saying thank you! When possible, include their name and a few details about the paint job to take your response to the next level.

When the inevitable negative review comes in, you’ll want to respond in a way that shows you care about the customer and want to make it right. To do this:

  • Acknowledge the problem the reason the customer isn’t happy
  • Apologize to the customer—don’t they say the customer is always right?
  • Provide a way for the customer to contact you directly to resolve it privately

When potential customers see that you positively react to all feedback, both good and bad, they’re more likely to choose you as their painting company.

Do you know what conversion rate optimization (CRO) is? You might be leaving money on the table if your website isn’t taking advantage of CRO to turn visitors into customers. I’ll tell you how to improve your own painting website for free, enter your URL below. If you don’t already have a website, click here.

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