How to Get
Organic and Paid Leads for Painting Contractors
As for professional painting contractors, we all know that word of mouth is the best way to get painting contracts. Unfortunately, sometimes word of mouth trickles to a halt and we need to take a different approach to acquire new leads for a painting business. Learn how to get painting contracts and how to find painting jobs to bid on.
Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business is by far the #1 best thing a professional painting contractor can do for his online presence. If you are just starting a painting business and want more painting contracts, this is the first thing you should do. The best thing about Google my business is the reviews. The more the reviews the higher up in rank you will be in the search. Follow these 6 simple steps to sign up to GMB.
Go to google.com/business and click Start
Sign in to your Google Account
Enter the name of your business
Enter the street address of your business(you may also be asked to position a marker for the location of your business on a map).
Enter the website address and phone number
Verify- Google will send you a postcard in the mail with a code to enter in your account once received. This is the hardest part, waiting for the postcard
That’s it! Now you will be found on google maps and search results. The best thing to do is have a website for searchers to click through to. Google my business can also be used for a lot more, like posts and reviews.
Another way to get more painting contracts is to automate your email list with companies like Mail Chimp or Get Response, and add to your painting business plan. Your existing clients are gold mines. All you need to do is reach out to them consistently to stay top of mind. If you're just starting out and don’t have many emails you will need to find clever ways to capture emails from potential clients. One way to do this is with blogs, lead magnets, and landing pages. Learn more advanced email marketing read this article-
I like to do this by physical mail. Send out personalized referral letters directly to your most valuable clients. After explaining how beneficial of an asset they are to your painting company offer them $25 every time they refer your company to a friend or family. Let them know you will take care of the referral just as well as you did them. Do this a few times a year and start now.
These days everyone's on social media. For a painting business, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram may be your best bet. People are not looking for your services on these platforms but with the right types of posts, you can attract new interested clients. There are plenty of other platforms a painting company can engage with to gain more leads like YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest and more. For now, we will go over the most relevant platforms.
Facebook- Another free way to get painting leads is to start a Business Facebook Page and optimize it with as much information about your company and services as possible. This helps with Google search, SEO and Facebook search. Add a list of your services in the service section and add a story to the story section. Post up to 6 times daily anymore and Facebook algorithms will negatively affect your results. I like to go in the search box and type in “I need a painter”, sometimes I’ll spot a post someone made a day or so before about needing a painter. Then I direct message them to see if they have found any service yet. If you have a website and a blog you can leave a link in your posts to get traffic to your site and possibly an email or Facebook Pixel info.
LinkedIn- LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect. Over 65 million professionals use LinkedIn to cultivate their careers and businesses. Based on quality, LinkedIn isn't’ about how many friends you have it’s about connecting with similar business owners. As a painter, it’s best to associate with builders, realtors and similar trades to grow your web of connections. LinkedIn is also a great place to run into potential employees or partners.
Instagram- This is where the young crowd hangs out but believe me there's potential to find leads on this visually based platform. Have any high quality, colorful or vibrant photos of your painting work? Maybe some before and after pictures? Post these images to Instagram with detailed descriptions and hashtags. Make sure there is a link in your bio section so you can get traffic to your website. Request friends daily who are relevant to your niche, like, interior design, remodeling, home improvement, paint, etc.
Door to Door
Even though this tactic seems desperate, it does work. If you want to get painting contracts by the end of the day this method will work if you hustle. Even if your presentation isn’t the greatest, the fact that you're showing your face and business to hundreds of homeowners a day it's practically inevitable you will score some work. Print up some flyers, dress in nicer clothes. If you have a company shirt make sure its clean. The best times to go out knocking is after work hours when people are actually home. Saturday is a great knocking day, but knocking on Sundays may be a bad idea. Most people value their Sundays to be with their families and have leisure time, not to deal with the “painter”.
Do a Google search for your trade, “painting business near me”, and notice the first organic results are not painting companies. They are pay per lead websites and directory sites. Yelp has great SEO so they typically always show up on top, then yellowpages.com and so on. Sign up to as many as you can starting with the most popular. There's Yelp, Yellowpages, Craigslist, Houzz, Manta, Merchant Circle, Local.com the list goes on and on.
Search Engine Optimization is a slow but solid way to gain traffic to your website and eventually into prospects. It's all about keywords. Use google search auto-fill to gain insight on what people are searching for. Sprinkle some of these keywords in your website content to make it more visible on google search. Getting to the 1st page takes a lot of persistence and time, if you want to learn more about SEO and keyword research read this article:
Business to Business (B2B)
Business-to-business (B2B) simply means business-to-business, which is a business model that focuses on selling products and services to other companies. Think of it as a supportive company that that through their products and services helps companies succeed or boost their internal efforts. There are many types of business to promote your services to here are some examples.
Realtors- We have received a lot of referrals from realtors and they always end up being high-quality leads. Stop by in person to every realty office in your service area. Introduce yourself, leave some cards, explain your referral program (if you have one) and follow up with them via email or social media. If you really want to get the realty agents connection, send them some potential property buyers that you know of. Take advantage or the law of reciprocity and obligation.
Property Managers- Property managers are a great resource for extra work. Call up your local property managers and ask them if they have or need any painting services. Ask if you can send them an email containing recent job photos, testimonials, and references. If you can send them a company packet in the mail, this will really impress them. Most property managers do their painting in-house so you may have to offer your services a little cheaper than typically. When a larger project comes up the at the manager can't take on alone he will remember your services and refer your business.
Interior Designers- Some of the largest painting contracts I ever landed were from interior designers. If a property owner is serious enough to pay a company to tell them how to design their space, they sure as heck aren't going to do the painting themselves. Typically people who hire interior designers have a little extra money to toss around. Also, it means they will want top quality painting work which is great for any business. Connect with interior designers through LinkedIn and Facebook. Start by asking for advice in their field and engage with their posts. Eventually email or direct message introducing yourself and business and complimenting them on their business. Mention that your a growing business and could use more painting projects if they know anyone in need you would love to help.
House Flippers- House flippers usually do the painting themselves but larger business’s sub out the work. If you can in with a successful house-flipping business you have plenty of work. 48,457 houses were flipped in just the first 3 months in 2018. The 48,457 homes flipped in the first quarter represented 6.9 percent of all home sales during the quarter. So there's plenty of flips happening you just need to find them. Prove to your local house flipping business’s that your painting company can speed up their process by helping and how they will benefit from using you. House flippers do a lot of work in the off season making them a good source for painting contractors to keep busy in the winter.
Construction Companies- If your wondering how to get house painting jobs, these companies are always looking for “Production Painters”. Painting companies that are very quick and familiar with new construction and remodels. The pay rate is usually low, about $.50-$1.25 a sq.ft. for quick spray out jobs. Large crews with professional painting equipment are best for these jobs. To find them go on Linkedin or Facebook and search for local contractors, builders, construction companies, etc. and follow they're pages. Engage with their content and eventually message them introducing yourself and business. If they need any painting services they will let you know. It may not happen that day but if you keep engaging and following up they will remember you when the time comes.
If you’d like a Free copy of our B2B Contact Templates, read this full article:
I could not stress enough on this topic. Having a website for your painting business is extremely important if you're in this for the long game and want to make more than the average painter. Your website is like your central hub. It’s where everything should lead to. Your sales funnel should filter high quality leads right to your doorstep if properly set up. Without your website, you can't capture emails, use pixel trackers, inform clients about your business, re-target leads and so much more. Yes, it does take a lot of effort to create a professional looking, properly functioning website, so outsourcing this is usually an easier and quicker option. I like to build out my own websites, mainly because I enjoy it, and I like having the full control.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click platforms allow you to pay a specific dollar amount to bid on keywords relevant to your niche. If you have the budget this is the ultimate way to gain traffic to your website thus yielding your painting business job leads. One surely can lose some money fast if this is not implemented with a marketing plan proven to be successful.
Google Local Ads (LSA)- Local Services ads help you connect with people who search on Google for the services you offer. Your ads will show up for customers in your area, so you can keep your calendar full. This service is not in all areas. Do a google search for a local service business in your area and see if there are listings above the paid ad listings and have a “google guarantee” emblem. If so then you're in business.
Check eligibility and estimate your spend
Sign up or sign in to an existing Google account
Create your ad and Local Services profile
Upload your license and insurance details
Get verified and background checked
Google Ads- Formally “Google Adwords”, is probably the best advertising any local contractor can pay for, right up there with Facebook Ads. Google is the OG of online advertising. It’s an extremely powerful tool and provides us with some great features. There are literally over 3.5 Billion Google searches per day lol, that's 40,000 per second. By the time you have read to this point about Google Ads, there have been over 1 million searches, absolutely mind-boggling. Getting into the analytics of the system is extremely vast and would take a million words to write but if you want to know what I've learned about Google Ads for Painting Contractors read this full in-depth article about advertising with Google Ads:
Facebook Advertising- By far my favorite advertising platform. Over the last decade, Facebook has been running the Social Media world with over 2.2 Billion active users worldwide there's absolutely no reason to not advertise here. With a properly set up a Facebook campaign, the sky is the limit with any business. The audience targeting in Facebook Ads is so powerful it’s almost scary. The information they have on us is staggering. There is a extremely high learning curve but it’s ridiculously precise if optimized over time. With the Facebook Pixel, Custom Conversions and Look A Like Audiences the possibilities are endless. The basics can be learned over the course of a few weeks but there's so much more to really benefit from its features. Facebook Ads requires a whole book to even just scrape the surface of its potential. If you want to know more about Facebook Advertising this article explains it in great detail:
Although this is an old-school advertising method it still works great for getting painting contracts. There are several places and ways you can advertise with print. It may be a little more expensive than other advertising methods but it does usually bring in quality leads. Here are a few examples of marketing with print.
Postcards- This time-consuming task can often result in a great ROI, but I’ll admit I have had some bad luck with it as well. It can get difficult because there are so many moving parts. Card design, mailing list, postage, delivery, size, and much more. There's a special way to send large amounts of cards at once called EDDM (every door direct mail) it’s an awesome program the United States Postal Service offers. It's a pretty in-depth process but definitely the next level and professional move. I’ll leave a link at the end of this section below. Interested in EDDM for your painting business?
It’s all explained in this article:
Yard Signs- Yard signs are a great way to produce a few new leads. Stick them in your client's yards near the road while painting their home. Ask the client if you can keep your sign out front for another week or 2 after the job is complete. In most cases, they typically always say “no problem as long as you’d like”. Be careful though, as some cities and towns have restrictions yard signs and HOA’s (homeowners associations) look down at it. Make sure to keep track of your yard signs, it’s easy to set and forget them. We don’t want the clients contacting us a month or 2 later wondering if the sign was going to be removed, or worse than it was stolen or damaged. Read this article for the best advice on where to get the best signs, design help, and more:
Billboards- I know what your thinking, billboards, isn't it really expensive to advertise on a billboard and the answer is, yes. It may be expensive but the ROI can be staggering if done right. Location, location, location, just like real estate, location is the most important aspect of billboard advertising. Then comes ad copy and then imagery. You get these 3 parts moving in the same direction you’ll be sitting on a gold mid. Costing anywhere between $500 to $5000 a month it’s definitely an investment to plan accurately before attempting.
Newspaper / Magazine- Super old school but very effective, people have been advertising this way since cavemen times. There's not as much competition in this media than others and isn't crazy expensive either. Depending on what area you live in and what paper you advertise in really makes or breaks you. They charge by the inch and colors so it can be a small text ad or a large display ad. If your service area has a local paper that is extremely popular then try it out.
Pay Per Lead (PPL)
I’m sure you're well aware of Home Advisor and ThumbTack. These multi-million dollar companies use their deep pockets to invest in serious SEO, resulting in them holding the top positions of search results every time. If your a member of one of these services and someone searches for your business directly on Google, there's a good chance your profile will show up and the client will click-through missing your site completely. On top of that if you accept the lead, you may have just paid for something that should have been free. We spent over 2 years using both Home Advisor and Thumbtack for our painting business. We got about the same amount of leads but Home Advisor was a little more expensive. Once you have a good client base a professional painting company shouldnt need help from companies like these. The jobs were typically larger though. There are other PPL platforms out there but we will discuss the most popular in this article.
ThumbTack- Signing up for Thumbtack is free. When a lead signs up for a painting service your phone is notified and you have an option to bid on the job. Last we use ThumbTack it was about 5 contractors or so could bid but you didn't get charged unless the lead connected with you. The leads were low cost, about $15- $45 at times. Some were dead ends and some were great. They were typically quick and fair about getting credit for unfair charges. Overall I loved ThumbTack and once in a while, I’ll respond to a lead that looks like it has potential.
Home Advisor- Ah, Home Advisor. Really I consider these guys to be the top dogs in the field. They have been around since the beginning and have Adam Corolla as their spokesperson lol. They do charge a annual fee and it’s about $300! They run a background check on you and your business and you have proof of Painting Contractors License. The leads are very expensive from $40 - sometimes over $100 for a larger job. We stopped using their services after realizing our ROI was dropping.😒
Angie's List- Angie's List started off as a free service, but as it grew in popularity so did their greed. They now charge anywhere from 420 a month to thousand a month but the leads a super high quality. I know painting business’s who have done extremely well advertising with Angie's List. Although, a newer company may have a hard time standing out in the vast amount of reviews from companies who have been there for years. If you want to learn more about PPL this article explains this topic in detail.
If you would like to know more about how to get painting contracts please check out our YouTube channel.
To name a few other PPL platforms there is: