34 Ways To Market Your Painting Business [2021]

34 Ways To Market Your Painting Business [2021]

Wondering how to market your painting business?

Marketing your painting business is certainly not easy, but there are many ways to promote and advertise your painting business.

We put together a list of 34 of the best marketing ideas for your painting business, so you can get your small business out there.

Here’s the list:

1. Get Press Coverage For Your Painting Business

The more buzz around your brand - the more the phones ring, the more traffic to your website, and the more customers as a result.

Here are a few ways you can get press for your business:

Press releases:

Press releases are a great way to share big announcements or news, but in order to get any traction, you'll need to find a way to make your press release stand out amongst others.

Try to convey a story that really matters, not just to you, but to the reporter and to their audience.

Here are some things to consider when submitting a press release:

  • Craft a catchy subject (keep it short and sweet).
  • Acknowledge the journalist's past work and interests - this is key!
  • Include the main point of the story in the first paragraph, heck, even the first sentence. Reporters want to hear the juice first and foremost.
  • Focus on the facts and try to limit the amount of jargon used.
  • Pitch yourself! Help them put a face to the story.
  • Make sure your topic is newsworthy. If it's not, find a way to!
  • Try not to include any attachments of your release!

Email is one of the most effective and preferred way to send your press release, so as long as you keep your pitch brief, interesting and personalized (no cold emails), you should stand a chance!

Get Press Using HARO

HARO, otherwise known as "Help a Reporter Out" is an outlet for journalists to source upcoming stories and opportunities for media coverage.

The best part is, HARO is free to use! There are, of course, premium versions you can purchase, but the free version is still an accessible way to get press.

Once you set up an account, HARO essentially will email you based on stories (that are relevant to you) that need to be covered where you will then have a chance to essentially "bid on the story."

Here are some tips when crafting your pitch:

  • Discuss your experience and expertise in the space. Make sure it's obvious why you're relevant to this story.
  • Answer the question in 3-4 sentences. Try and be as direct as possible
  • Offer to provide the reporter with more information and make sure to give them your contact info

Plan a Publicity Stunt

Planning a publicity stunt is an effective and quick way to raise awareness for your brand and gain some traction from the press.

If you're looking to plan a stunt, the objective should be to be bold and create something memorable

However, being bold has a fine line - it's important that you consider the timing of your stunt to ensure you don't come off insensitive or unethical. For example, timing may not be in your favor if you plan something during the general election, or in most recent cases, a global pandemic.

In order to measure the success of your stunt, it's important that you first determine your end goal, for example:

  • Is the stunt aimed to raise money for your business or a particular organization?
  • Is the stunt aimed to drive more traffic to your website?
  • Is the stunt aimed to get more followers and engagement on Instagram?

Here are a few tips for creating a great publicity stunt:

  • Research to ensure that there haven't been similar stunts done in the past by other businesses - this could easily turn off journalists and your audience.
  • Make sure you can explain the stunt in one headline - this will help grab the media's attention. In other words, simplify!
  • The stunt should be related to the product you are promoting. Even if the stunt is a success in terms of viewers, but it doesn't tie back to your original goal, then it's not useful.
  • Keep the stunt visual with videos/images.
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms for your stunt by sharing your message across a variety of audiences. This will help with word of mouth and the overall success of your event.

To learn other strategies on how to get press, check out our full guide here.

Check out our full guide to press (articles, shark tank, etc) ➜

2. Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your painting business.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here and check out Neil Patel's 3 Powerful SEO Tips below

Check out our full guide to seo (blog posts, organic traffic from search engines) ➜

3. Authenticity

As a brand, you want to deliver an experience that authentic, honest and transparent.

Don't make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve.

Be Authentic

If you go around chasing every trend and only focused on yourself and money, you’re going to lose very quickly.

There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true.

Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.

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Valentin Ozich, on starting I Love Ugly ($300,000/month) full story ➜

4. Build a Referral Program

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.

A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.

A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.

5. Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.

We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

6. Experiment With Pay Per Click Ads (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Consider connecting the ad to your corresponding landing page so that the audience receives the necessary information after clicking on the ad.
  • Conversion Tracking: When running PPC campaigns, be sure to run the ads with conversion tracking.
  • Focus on quality keywords, even if there are few as this will save you time and money. When assessing the performance of a keyword, it's important to track the expense, conversion, and cost per conversion, as well as the ROI.

PPC advertising can be a very important lead generator as long as it's done properly. Your PPC campaign is intended to drive traffic to your website and help the business scale.

Additionally, if the campaign is not having the desired results, you can make the necessary changes immediately to improve them.

Ryan Schortmann, founder of Display Pros talks about their investment in PPC Ads:

My name is Ryan Schortmann and I’m the founder of Display Pros. We are a custom trade show display booth company offering easy to use portable display “kits” for small and medium businesses wanting to get into the trade show game.

It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display.

From experience, I know that it is important to give Google’s hivemind some time to settle in before each campaign starts seeing consistent results (this is largely dependent on budget).

A certain amount of PPC budget must be viewed as a “marketing research” expense and then you can look at the analytics data and make informed decisions on where to refine, tweak or plain scrap an idea.

Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. You can’t assign keywords to products so at first, I was asking myself “How the hell do you refine these?”. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. It turns out you can utilize negative keyword lists combined with the priority setting on each shopping campaign to “shape” the keywords that are coming in and how much you are spending on them.

To learn more about PPC Ads and Google Shopping, check out this video to learn everything you need to know!

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Ryan Schortmann, on starting Display Pros ($30,000/month) full story ➜

7. Build A Facebook Community

Building a community is a great way to grow your network and your business.

There are several different ways of building a community, one of the most effective (and simplest) ways is to build a Facebook group

Setting up the group page takes less than 10 minutes, and we've outlined ways the top 5 ways to create an engaging and successful group:

  • Make the group exclusive. This may sound counter-intuitive, however, this ensures privacy and that the group will feel comfortable posting and engaging with members.
  • Try to be warm and welcoming. A great way to do this is by having a "Member Monday" where you welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves in the group
  • Use polls/surveys. This is a great way to know your audience and see what people want more of in the group (more business tips, networking opportunities, etc).
  • Include influential people & conduct AMA's (ask me anything). This is a great way to get members engaged
  • Host an in-person (or virtual) event with members in the group. This will create stronger relationships and build a strong community.

Mike Doehla, founder of Stronger U, an online nutrition company noticed that his customers needed a little motivation and sense of community:

Most diets are lonely so we wanted to give support and a community.

I think many people fail diets because there is no one to talk to and no accountability.

You can by a book, or google a meal plan but who’s going to keep you on track? We will. The entire SU community.

We give our members access for life to our Facebook community filled with people around the world who are looking out for everyone’s success.

Most diets make up arbitrary rules and we thought they just didn’t make sense. Meal timing, Cutting carbs, butter in coffee, sugar being the devil? Ehh no need to overthink that stuff.

We’ll give you the science behind of what we do and show you what actually matters based on real research.

Luckily we have a PhD at our disposal to educate our staff and members so everyone is getting the most up to date information out there.

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Mike Doehla, on starting Stronger U ($500,000/month) full story ➜

8. Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your painting business, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

9. Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to painting business.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

Founder Andy Hayes talks about mastering FB ads and the pixel:

The biggest bang for your buck will likely be mastering Facebook and it’s platform - which we all know is pay for play, so you’ll have to come up with a small amount of budget to start for marketing.

We’ve spent countless hours (and paid numerous coaches) before we cracked the code that works for us on Facebook, but it is working really well for us now.

Some of the most important things to know when it comes to FB Ads:

  • Start with retargeting (that’s showing ads to people who already know you but did not purchase). Master this - and start building information on your Facebook Pixel - before you do anything else
  • Once you have that down, try working with the 1% “Lookalike” audience to prospect for new customers. This may take awhile because your pixel audience is small, so try layering on interests - 1% Lookalike and your largest competitor, for example. Don’t use interest-only targeting until you master this.
  • Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Research what’s out there in your industry and constantly test - what works for one company may not work for other people.
  • Make sure you have good offers. For example, we have a $5 trial for our subscription, which converts affordably - if we promoted our subscription with the standard $30 front charge, it wouldn’t be as cost-effective.
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Andy Hayes, on starting Plum Deluxe Tea ($75,000/month) full story ➜

Check out our full guide to advertising on social media ➜

10. Form partnerships for your painting business

Starting a painting business is all about building relationships and becoming an integral part of your community.

Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking they can do everything on their own. In reality, other businesses (even your competition) and members of your community can be a huge piece of your growth strategy.

When forming any type of partnership, a lot of energy and time can go into this. To ensure it's worth your while, dive deep into the vetting process and ask yourself (and them) the following questions:

  • What are your businesses values and priorities?
  • Who are your customers? What matters most to them?
  • In what ways can we both bring value to each others businesses? Cross promotions? Clout/credibility?
  • Should we do a trial run first to make sure this partnership works out before finalizing an agreement?
  • What will the agreement look like?

Once you have an idea as to what the ideal partnership agreement looks like, that's when the outreach begins (the hardest part)!

Here are some different ways you can meet other entrepreneurs and form partnerships:

  • Simply talk to other people in the painting business industry. You'd be surprised as to how willing other entrepreneurs are to share their knowledge with you
  • Host an event: By inviting people to your event in your community and industry, you may be able to form partnerships and expand your clientele
  • Join a facebook community: Nowadays, everything is online. A great way to meet other people is to become 'active' on a public forum or community
  • Use other social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to aid your outreach. This can be a very powerful tool if used properly.

Forming partnerships and building relationships within your community can be a very valuable tool, but it's important that you do your due diligence and avoid going in blind to any sort of partnership. This can save you months, if not years of time.

Mike Aspinall, founder of The Crafty Gentlemen discusses how brand partnerships are the most important part of his growth strategy and revenue stream:

My main revenue stream is sponsored brand partnerships, whereby a company pays me a fee to feature their product within one of my blog posts.

Over the years, I’ve worked with some really cool brands – Etsy, Hobbycraft, Cricut, Pinterest, Gorilla Glue, Singer, Janome, Brother, Bosch, and lots more.

For a long time, I was hesitant to charge for my work – I was happy to work in exchange for products. But there came a point where I was being offered more work than I could have said yes to – something had to change. So I started to charge for partnerships. And brands agreed, no questions asked!

The last 6-12 months have been the most successful yet for my business. I’m making regular revenue through multiple streams, including sponsorships, media appearances, influencer work, and passive ad revenue. My website traffic is at an all-time high, and growing – as are my social media followings:

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Mike Aspinall, on starting The Crafty Gentleman ($1,200/month) full story ➜

11. Word of Mouth

The most tried and true way to grow a painting business is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

Why you should focus on word of mouth:

  • Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
  • 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing

Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜

12. How To Crush The Sales Process For Your Painting Business

You may find yourself in a spot where you're ready to hire a few (or many) salespeople to support the sales conversion process.

Regardless if you have one or thirty salespeople, it's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support.

Mike Korba, co-founder of User.Com walks us through the entire sales process and which teams are responsible for what:

User.com Sales Process

Each user and account is qualified with a specialist. For business leads, they are handled by the sales team, and if they are qualified we give them a demo, more than often at the end of their fourteen-day trial. If they’re happy they’ll add a payment, and get an account manager, so a customer support and success team who will help implement the solution and to use the technology.

Sometimes, users will convert naturally on their own, after using the freemium product and finding it to be something that they will find beneficial.

After they convert, we help with onboarding, give them some personalized tips for their specific business or industry to grow plus all kinds of support, for whatever they need - something we take huge pride in.

The team is right now more than 30 people, with more than half working on the IT and product side, and the rest are in three teams: Support, Marketing, and Sales who all work together very closely.

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Mike Korba, on starting User.com ($100,000/month) full story ➜

13. Boost Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is a form of paid marketing, and when implemented properly, it can be a very effective way to grow your business.

We want to quickly highlight the difference between SEO and SEM:

SEM refers to businesses paying per click Google to show their ads in the results, whereas with SEO, businesses do not pay google and instead, results show up based on relevant content for a given keyword.

When getting started, you'll want to consider identifying which keywords to use. WordStreams Keyword Tool is a great tool for this.

Then, simply search for a keyword that is relevant to your business and suggestions/valuable information will populate for you.

Jay Vasantharajah, co-founder of ClientFlo walks us through how to get started with SEM and GoogleAdwords:

"The best way to learn is honestly through experience. Create a campaign, set out a test budget, optimize, and learn the basic as you go."

There are tons of resources out there to help you learn how to effectively manage campaigns.

There are also a couple of tools that are helpful like SEMRush and Wordstream. But over the years, Google started to incorporate new features that have made many of these 3rd party tools obsolete. I myself have developed proprietary tools I used to create and manage campaigns, but they have become obsolete with new features Google has added.

Definitely become familiar with the Google Keyword Planner, really powerful tool if you know how to use it properly. It will help you discover keywords worth bidding on, different trends and insights.

As mentioned earlier, users having familiarity with your brand/company plays a huge role. For this reason I would recommend starting with a re-targetting campaign as a first step.

Consider Adwords!

As I mentioned earlier, I believe that Google Ads is still an amazing advertising platform and almost any business can generate a positive ROI from it. I strongly encourage everyone to consider it in their marketing mix for 2019. Learn to use the Google Keyword tool, test, learn, and optimize constantly for killer results.

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Jay Vasantharajah, on starting PureFilters ($200,000/month) full story ➜

14. Expand to New Countries

Expanding your product into new countries can be a great way to gain a new audience and have an even bigger footprint.

Just like any market, it's important that you do your research and have a good understanding of what the process will look like:

You may want to ask yourself things like:

  • Will my business be successful in another country? Have I done my research?
  • What are the tax and immigration regulations?
  • What will this cost me?
  • How much time will this take from start to finish, and is it worth it?
  • What will my hiring process look like?

Abeer Iqbal, founder of Remy Sleep conducted research and identified that his business would do really well in Germany:

This year we have plans to expand into new countries. 95% of our sales come from the UK. Our research shows Germany is an interesting market and worth getting into. The challenge with Germany is the language. Germany, like other European countries, prefers purchasing from local websites. This means hiring a German-speaking customer service rep, opening a German fulfillment center, and translating our website and email marketing.

how-we-started-a-50k-month-weighted-blankets-business

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Abeer Iqbal, on starting Remy Sleep ($50,000/month) full story ➜

15. Handwritten notes

Implementing smaller & more unconventional PR is a great way to attract and retain new customers.

It's easy to focus on all of the digital tools we have at our disposal, that I think we tend to forget about the smaller, old fashioned things we can do that people truly appreciate.

One great example of "unconventional PR" is writing a handwritten note to your customers.

Brittney Torres, founder of Glace Cryotherapy ($35K/month) explains the power of a hand-written note to gain new customers:

However, with that said we hustled hard those first 5 months. We constantly reached out to people in the community who we thought would be interested in our services, delivered handwritten notes and chocolates to physical therapist and chiropractor offices inviting them in to try out our services reached out to the local high school and college.

We ended up with 50 members our first month and worked 8am-9pm to make sure our hours accommodated mostly everyone and to see what worked best for our new business model. On the weekends we took our modalities that were mobile out to different boutique fitness places (barre, spin, etc.) basically anyone who would let us and even if we just got one member out of it we saw that as time well spent.

how-we-started-a-successful-cryotherapy-business-that-landed-shark-tank

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Brittney Scarlett-Torres, on starting Glace Cryotherapy ($35,000/month) full story ➜

16. Diversify your Product

Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business:

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product

  • Meeting the needs of your customers
  • Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
  • Resistance to downturns/trends fading
  • Create new revenue streams

One great example is when Michele Morton, founder of Maxbit created a successful product and decided she wanted to experiment with two new products

This female-run company has grown from the first year to this third year in over $200,000 in sales and added two new products this year. All this from an idea because I kept saying, “There must be a better way!!”

We have expanded into Hammacher Schlemmer through The Grommet and more up and coming platforms for next year that will lead to exciting growth.

We love our local mom and pop stores and you will find The MaxBit Display scattered all over the US in stores. ACE Hardware picked The MaxBit for its National show in 2018 and several ACE stores throughout the US now carry the product line. In addition Forestry Suppliers, and A M Leonard customers keep coming back for more.

We expanded internationally into Canada and Australia. We are pleased to see people all over the planet enjoying digging in the dirt with The MaxBit. We launched two new products, The MaxBit 1 Gallon and 3 Gallon digger that is powered by a one-man auger. It is a big hit in Canada and making its way into the US markets.

As we have grown we have looked at options for growth and decided to pursue companies that would be interested in licensing The MaxBit product line. With more inventions in the back pocket, we need the freedom to explore and help with a company to expand. I think for some companies this is the threshold point. How do I manage the growth, do I want to manage it, grow with it, or give someone else the opportunity - responsibility?

how-maxbit-grown-over-200k-in-sales-and-added-two-new-products-this-year

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Dr. Michele M. Morgan, on starting THE MAXBIT ($15,000/month) full story ➜

17. Research your Competition

Researching your competition can benefit your business in several ways. It can:

  • Help you understand your competitive advantages
  • Help you identify what areas you may be lacking
  • Help you evaluate things like customer service, pricing, and trends

You'll love the story of how Justin Clark, founder of RomperJack came up with his business based on a competitor:

In May 2017 just after finals ended (Just after our busiest time for whiz tutor), I came across a Kickstarter campaign called Romphim; it was a couple of guys trying to launch the men's romper. They essentially wanted to raise $10,000 to get their project going, but by day 3 they already raised $330,000! I was blown away!! The first thing that popped in my head was product-market fit. They had this instant explosive traction and they didn’t have a single competitor.

So I gave them a competitor, MEEEE 😎. I remember that day calling a couple of friends and quickly asking them for some funding that would be used to help design the rompers and buy inventory. After about a minute of me pitching them, they all happily agreed. Also, My other Whiz Tutor Co-founders all agreed to help as well.

That was the day the idea was born.

how-i-started-a-60k-month-business-selling-male-rompers

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Justin Clark, on starting RomperJack ($60,000/month) full story ➜

18. Leverage Existing Platforms

Leveraging existing platforms that have a proven track record can be a great way to scale your business and amplify your marketing.

A few examples of this would be:

-Amazon -Airbnb -Upwork

Ricardo Fernandez, founder of Fernaco realized the potential of starting a business through Amazon:

During college, I started my own services that dealt with social media and concert promotion; neither of which allowed me to do it full time and stop working. I knew I needed to figure out what else I could be doing that might allow me to have my own business full-time.

It wasn’t until I discovered Amazon FBA two years ago and saw some of the success of those “Amazon Gurus” you see on Youtube that I decided to start a business through Amazon might be a path I’d like to explore. I thought that if they could do it then I could, especially since it was so heavily reliant on working online and with computers – my background. I began by downloading an Amazon course and started studying how to become an Amazon seller.

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Ricardo Fernandez, on starting Fernaco ($10,000/month) full story ➜

19. Post on Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual board where you can "pin" images of whatever you like from the internet.

Pinterest is an excellent channel to market your small business, especially if it is in the following industries:

  • Home
  • Fashion
  • Health & fitness
  • Travel
  • Beauty
  • and more...

Pinterest has become the #1 social traffic driver to our site, driving over 50% of our total social traffic & 50% of our conversions!

We have 2.1M monthly viewers of our Pinterest page and with all of our Pinterest success, I wanted to share what we’ve done to help other marketers find success in this channel.

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Brittany Finkle, on starting Happily Ever Borrowed ($5,000/month) full story ➜

20. Create ads on Pinterest

In addition to regular posting on Pinterest, you can also run ads on the platform.

This can be a great way to boost your business, especially if you're just getting started.

Pay for Pinterest Ads

Nobody likes to hear this, but it is truly the key, and the spend is much less than facebook or instagram.

That being said, we find that pinterest is better for driving TRAFFIC than driving sales. Pinterest is the #1 traffic driver to our site, but from there, it is our job to educate the client through different channels and help them to convert.

Don’t pay for simple images or pins that don’t mean anything to your brand. Help create engaging titles to your content which can easily be done on Canva. Everything you see below in our examples was created there!

You can target your audience just like FB/Insta ads and really get direct on how people are searching and help your items show up.

Think of Pinterest like a search engine; like Google. It’s just a visual search engine so the better the image, the better the results!

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Brittany Finkle, on starting Happily Ever Borrowed ($5,000/month) full story ➜

21. Get more Yelp reviews

A foolproof way to grow your painting business is to get more 5 star reviews on Yelp.

Within 6 months we went from 1-2 star reviews on Google & Yelp to 4-5 star reviews. Since buying the shop I’ve increased revenues by about 60% and am looking at the possibility of franchising.

My stress level going from the corporate world to meeting-greeting-helping real people every day is so different.

Someone thanks me every day for keeping the shop going and being here! You don’t always get that in the corporate world.

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Linda Gonzalez, on starting Gloria's Cake & Candy Supplies ($20,000/month) full story ➜

22. Run ads on Yelp

If you run a restaurant, real estate business, gig business, or other "local" business, it may be worth advertising your painting business on Yelp.

Yelp ads

Pros:

  • Yelp has high consumer trust. Many people take Yelp’s recommendations as if it were a friend telling them.
  • If you can rank #1 in a city for a service you yield massive results. There doesn’t seem to be much of a long tail in that the top three or so results get all the business.

Cons:

  • Predatory sales tactics: They are a bit harassing with their phone calls and claim it helps the page
  • Real reviews getting taken down. They have a recommendation system in which certain reviews become unviewable this tends to happen to at least 50% of reviews.
  • Contracts for ads. They don’t allow month to month deals.
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Max Maher, on starting Skinny Wimp Moving ($115,000/month) full story ➜

23. Get business cards

Business cards may seem like an "old" way to market yourself, but it still may be worth it, especially if you meet many clients in person.

If you want to get the most out of business cards, try these:

  1. Include testimonials.
  2. Make your cards multi-functional.
  3. Provide links to online marketing.
  4. Put your face on your card.
  5. Mention a cause you support.
  6. Give recipients a challenge.

(source)

Recently, I watched a video by the legend, Gary V., in which he shared some strategies to retain customers.

One tip I took from that is that whenever I get an in-person sale, I personally write out a discount code for future website orders on my business card.

This has worked a few times with some customers making more orders online after visiting me at the market.

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Alex Moore, on starting Gold Pan Pete Design ($2,500/month) full story ➜

24. Strategic gifting

Giving gifts is one of our oldest traditions. Why? Because it works.

According to Destination CRM:

"Businesses that send highly personalized and modern gifts at key moments in the customer journey see a far better outcome—particularly with small and midsize businesses, whose customer relationship are crucial".

On the corporate side, we receive orders for:

  • Thank you gifts to clients or business partners
  • Award gifts to employees or contractors
  • Business apology gifts
  • Year-round birthday/anniversary gifts to employees.

Many of our corporate customers have lists with hundreds of recipients in dozens of countries and our platform offers them a one-stop shopping solution for anyone on their list for any budget and occasion.

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Dmitriy Peregudov, on starting GiftBasketsOverseas.com ($100,000/month) full story ➜

25. Get more testimonials

Testimonials about your business or services are one of the easiest, yet often missed strategies to grow your business. You need to make sure you:

  1. Get testimonials, and
  2. Show off your testimonials

Here are a couple of good resources on testimonials:

Every testimonial and case study makes it easier to acquire the next customer.

Business moves at the speed of trust, and there is a large lack of trust in the marketing services vertical.

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Matt Pru, on starting Stackmatix ($20,000/month) full story ➜

26. Meetup groups

Meetup groups offer some benefits for marketing your business, such as:

  • Finding clients at Meetup groups
  • Hosting meetup groups that attract your customers
  • Learning from likeminded entrepreneurs

Find a group you can count on.

Bounce ideas off of, ask questions, etc.

For me this was my family, friends, and girlfriend, but your’s could be a local meetup group or even a FB group.

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Michael Arciola III, on starting Southern Cigar Co ($20,000/month) full story ➜

27. Create Interesting Video Content

We live in a very visual world, and now more than ever, businesses are realizing the impact videos can have on their audience.

Videos are a great way to capture your customer's attention and increase your exposure.

According to G2 Crowd, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.

28. Improve Your Customer Service

Great customer service is something that you may want to consider prioritizing from day one.

Support for your customers will not only retain existing ones but will also directly impact future sales.

Think about it - when you think of good customer service, which businesses immediately pops up in your mind?

I think we can all agree on a few, and easily identify what sets them apart from their competition:

  • Southwest - flexible cancellation terms and friendly staff
  • Apple - fantastic experts that can fix any technical issue
  • Trader Joes - joyful employees...need I say more?

We interviewed Travis Richardson, founder of Impressions Agency and he stated that building long term relationships with clients is hands-down the most effective way to attract and retain customers:

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Hands-down our customer service. Sure everyone says this but what sets us apart is our ability to wear our hearts on our sleeves and actually care for our clients. Part of our mission is to build long-term relationships and to truly be effective in this area it requires us to be flexible and to sometimes lose profit. At the end of the day, we know that life happens. It happens for us and our clients.

When a customer is hurting, we are hurting. A couple of examples include: for seasonal clients we adjust budget to work with them during their low season, when another client was in the hospital we gifted them marketing at no cost, this also means that our support manager may spend an hour on the phone with a client before they even talk about support issues. When I’m in a meeting, if someone wants to know what sets us apart, I send them to our clients to ask them.

In the beginning, what worked for us to attract customers was our pricing model. We could keep our costs lower than our competitors due to our mobility and this gave us an edge. We have niche our company to target small to midsize* local* businesses. If you are looking for customers within a specific radius of your brick and mortar with our pricing and the results we can provide it is hard for these types of businesses to say no to us. This has helped us identify who our ideal customers are and also helps us attract new clientele.

how-we-started-a-100k-month-marketing-agency-during-our-honeymoon-in-costa-rica

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Travis Richardson, on starting Impressions Agency ($100,000/month) full story ➜

29. Grow your Twitter presence

Twitter can be an amazing resource to grow your painting business. But how to grow it organically?

Here's a couple of great resources:

30. Get Exposure with Offline Ads

Offline ads are essentially meant to reach an audience off the internet, and can be very effective when looking for new customers, or remaining front of mind for current ones.

This can be anything from billboards to the radio, to even posting flyers in your area.

You may be thinking to yourself, is this even a valuable way to market in our world today?

As old-school as it may sound, these techniques are still valid, and if you're able to balance both online and offline marketing, this could have a big impact on your business.

One great example of this is when Sam Evans launched a junk removal company and posted flyers around his town:

"My flyers and free craigslist posts were really the reason I started to get business."

In my area, saying you are a Penn State student or graduate holds a lot of weight and people love to support a fellow Penn Stater. On these flyers and posts, I really honed in on the fact that I was a current PSU student home for summer vacation, looking for a way to make some extra money. The original flyer had a picture of a roommate of mine holding up a random couch that we found sitting in a field by campus.

When we first started we did not have a website, Facebook page, or Instagram account. We spread the word by taping flyers to mailboxes, free Craigslist posts, and sharing screenshots of our flyers in local Facebook groups which were our biggest source of customers.

It took us about a week to get our first customers and we were profitable by the end of month one in which we did about $2,000 in sales.

Our biggest successes from organic marketing have come from midnight bandit sign drops. Going out in the middle of the night allows us to put out 50-60 signs in high traffic areas in under three hours. We map out where to put them based on incomes in various local zip codes. Zip code incomes can be found through USPS Every Door Direct Mail tool. We’ve also been utilizing the Nextdoor app which is tremendous for home services. If you are recommended on that app, customers treat it like the bible. They will hire you blindly and agree to any price you say.

how-i-started-a-18k-month-junk-removal-company-before-graduating-from-college

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Sam Evans, on starting You Call We Haul Junk Removal ($25/month) full story ➜

31. Learn to Delegate

Delegation is critically important to growing your business and is one of the most powerful tools a business leader can have.

Especially with small businesses, it's second nature to wear a ton of different hats and feel like you need to do everything yourself, or else it won't be done right.

By adjusting this mentality and delegating your tasks to other team members or outsourcing platforms, this may create more time to get the critically important stuff done.

To successfully delegate and ensure expectations are met, you may want to consider a few things first:

  • Articulate your desired needs and outcome, or else your task most likely won't be done right. Loom is a great platform for this. You can record an educational video that your team member can always go back and refer to.
  • Provide a timeline/deadline
  • Communicate the importance of the task to your team member
  • Understand who's completing the task, and what their workload currently is

Valerio Celetti, founder of Loop learned to delegate, which led him to focus on the important stuff for his business:

"During Loop’s first year, we worked too much and delegated too little. We were both dangerously close to a burnout. Things started to go better when we finally decided to only focus on key activities."

We built a company as a team for two reasons. We felt that working alone was limiting us in terms of potential revenues (our fiscal plans forced us to keep our individual yearly revenues under a certain threshold to have taxation benefits initially). We also felt that while our focus and specialization were somehow useful initially, it proved to be somehow limited in a scale-up phase. Potential customers wanted more services and a more structured interlocutor in some cases - the bigger the prospect the higher the project complexity in most cases.

Our personal values are concreteness, respect, responsibility. It may sound trivial, but we’re really happy to wake up every morning and turn on our computers while sipping a good coffee. We truly hope this is the same for our partners!

how-we-started-a-35k-month-online-advertising-agency

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Valerio Celletti, on starting Loop ($115,000/month) full story ➜

32. Automate Systems

Automation tools are one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and scale your business.

Think about all the redundant tasks you complete in a day. This can be anything from:

  • Emails
  • Following up with customers
  • Posting on social media
  • Paying bills/collecting payment

... that's a lot of time, and that time could be spent on other aspects of growing your business.

One example of a great "all in one platform" for automation is Hubspot. Their platform can automate pretty much anything from task reminders to workflows to social media posts.

33. Start guest posting

Guest posting on other blogs about your expertise is a great way to get your name out there and may also help with SEO.

Here are a couple good resources:

We built a bunch of backlinks to it through sharing an infographic, manual outreach, and guest posting, and quickly saw it rise to the top 3 for most of its target keywords.

We repeated the operation with several other topics, observed great success, and eventually concluded that every single post on the Reedsy blog should be for SEO purposes.

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Ricardo Fayet, on starting Reedsy ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

34. Create promotional videos

Wow your prospective leads and customers with professional promotional videos.

Here are 8 examples of outstanding promotional videos

After we create content that is valuable, informative and useful we will then place it into a marketing sequence. We run Facebook/Instagram ads split between prospecting and remarketing, send out 2-3 emails to our email list each week and work with an outsourced SEO company to optimize our content and back-end network.

Our Black Friday Instagram Promotional Video:

embed:instagram

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Nick Bare, on starting Bare Performance Nutrition ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜
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