I own a Painting company and I am wondering what my fellow contractors are doing in terms of advertising and marketing?
I'm not really interested in comments from people who just go from job to job being a sole proprietor (sorry but just trying to be clear).
I am more interested in how people grow their business beyond themselves (the owner can sometimes be the bottleneck) which is why I like to focus on the business side of things, although I started the company myself doing the work along side my team and still do sometimes but would like to transition into working "on" the business and not "in" the business.
Curious to know what others are using? Marketing agencies? Social media? Print?
What have you noticed to give you the most ROI ratio for your marketing dollars?
I'm currently working on 411, Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you in advance for your feedback and comments.
Having your own website, and then using website optimizers to direct traffic your way is the equivalent today to a newspaper ad in years gone by. It will work for you 24/7, when your client is ready, your site will be waiting to show them why you should be contacted over your competition.
Try it yourself and look at competitors sites!
Marketing and advertising my services have always come secondary to promoting my reputation. Any company that has been in business before the arrival of websites and the internet know word of mouth was and still is the best form of advertising. In today's market having a good website is crucial however without the reputation or the experience it is very difficult to compete with the vast competition of both legit and non-legit companies.
My advice to any contracting company that wants to advertise is this: Repetition pays off. If it's a print ad in a newspaper, go long term. One ad here or there is a waste of money. Having flyers delivered is also good but must be repeated on a weekly basis for a few months in the same areas or that too will be a waste of resources. Care must also be given if doing radio spots. Having your ad run at the wrong time will offer little to no results.
Thank you all for your feedback, it is much appreciated.
I do agree that your reputation is the key foundation and building blocks to your business growth, without it you won't last.
Lets say you have already beat the statistics (most business fail within the first year and many don't last 5 years) and your in business for a decade now, while consistent referrals are great, I am looking at other ways of growing my business beyond myself as the owner. Traditional advertising in my honest opinion has lost its power because marketers ruin everything (Do you remember when you actually used to read the emails you received! now its mostly junk)
@Paul - I agree your website and rankings will drive a lot of business your way. I think of when I want to purchase a service or product the first thing I do is search online.
@Andrew - I definitely agree with the long term game as its the "compound effect" even though a customer may not want to buy your service today, when they consistently see your company over and over again they will remember the name when it does come time for them to make a purchasing decision
Just to go back to what I was saying earlier, take a look at the biggest business in the world today Facebook, Google, Amazon, Ebay... all internet companies, I know this isn't a comparison, but I'm trying to illustrate that marketing is ever changing today and its not about how much content you can throw out their hoping some of it sticks but what value can you provide to actually attract people towards your sites, access to you, etc.
Having said that I have been looking at some Social Media advertising companies that specialize in blogs, website optimization, seo, etc. basically all aspects of your online presence to help drive leads your way. I am looking at delegating these services to a professional so I can focus better on the relationships within my business and clients. So far I have gotten quotes that range roughly from $1,000-$1,500/per month for an all inclusive package. Anyone else out their that has a company doing their online work? Does this price range sound right based on what you have paid and the ROI you have gotten?
First internet presence - I believe that you need to focus on the geographic area you want to grow.
Having a huge web presence is tough to some extent as you start to incorporate "key word(s)" for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you will unlikely be unable to gain increased ranking in results. You need to focus the key word that you think people are looking for. For a small city this is easier then for a larger city... however if you just put in "Residential Painter Mississauga" you get 450K results of which of the first two pages are individual companies. This sight shows up on the first page however.
Local presence - You may want to try local trade shows. Almost every city has a local "home and garden show" of some sort.
I do not belong, but a number of people I know belong to "networking clubs" to increase their contact pool.
I believe that clients generally will not find you "independently" (read as online search and directed to your website), but through a third party sight such as this one. Once they find you they will search for your site and search "about" you on the internet and that is where the reviews and comments come to play.
We have tried with zero success the print and flyer route. Essentially we do little advertising now independent of this site. We spend a lot of time with clients at initial interviews (estimates) as well as follow-up communications. We have a pretty good conversion rate despite a higher then average charge out rate. However we stand on our heads to ensure the client is satisfied.
Datawise Solutions Inc
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