Best advice about online marketing for painters
Off my own back, I set up and started marketing the Traditional Painter site in 2009, and for the first year, enquiries via my site kept me fully employed with a constant flow of specialist decorating work. I doubt I would have come across most of those clients via conventional offline sources.
At the end of March 2011 I came across Darren Slaughter online on a paint forum, checked out his site, read loads, liked it, and contacted him for a website review, which he did. April and May time, I gradually implemented most of his website navigation and layout and sales ideas. This is how the traffic improved (this article was originally published in August 2011).
It takes a while for inertia to build online, but as you can see, there was a marked rise in interest in my website after I implemented Darren’s suggested tweaks. I think it will still be several years before this site is on a par with the most valued “go-to” painting sites on the internet, but at the moment, it’s heading in the right direction for all things kitchen painting and specialist interior decorating.
And in terms of how that increased traffic is translating into real business?
One of Darren’s ideas was to use the wealth of information on the site to generate business beyond the obvious work leads. This got me thinking and lead on to another source of enquiries – hand-painted kitchen specialists around the UK.
As a Cheshire and NW England kitchen painter, homeowners from around the country often emailed me for names of that rare beast, a specialist kitchen painter in their area whom they can trust to do a great job. I have met a few talented craftsmen who really know their onions, so as an experiment, I set up a page for them. I could see from my dashboard at mission control that this page soon started to generate interest and enquiries for decorators in areas I could not realistically service from the NW.
This advice from Darren, to look at making the information and content work in different ways, has resulted in a win-win opportunity where enquiries from homeowners looking for the best and most reliable kitchen painters, have converted into premium work for those specialists. Now, 19 TP specialists cover much of the UK, and when they finish a TP job, they blog about their work, talk about the products they use and rely on in their daily work, all adding to the appeal of this site…
Painters start marketing yourself on line.
It is quite tricky getting a decent website set up, but unlike baseball stadia in movies, even if you build it beautifully, they will not come! If you have a website, but you know next to nothing about marketing online, ie you don’t yet grasp how to drive traffic to your website and convert that interest into enquiries and bookings, you have a steep learning curve ahead of you. It will take probably 12 months of hobby time posting before you see any real action.
One thing I have learnt the hard way is that there is always a lag between promoting a service, getting an enquiry, booking it in and starting the job. So always give yourself time for things to happen.
But if it all seems way too daunting, if you want to get up to speed months ahead of a DIY approach, and be headed in the right direction early on
1 – get a WordPress site professionally written by someone who understands SEO, the business of painting and decorating; and knows how your target audience uses the internet
2 – teach yourself to blog about your work, and upload photos and don’t look back.
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