Marketing Advice | A David Creation - Part 24

Samples of Quality Painting Websites

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Updated 3/2018

Below is a list of a few of the websites Pioneer Design (my web design partner) and myself have been involved with the past few years.

Our sites might have some similarities between them, but all these sites were built from the ground up. These are not themes or templates.

The cost on these sites also varies depending on several factors. Because these are all built from scratch, a lot of planning goes into them up front. The customer will answer a variety of questions about what he/she is looking for on a website. Our team also will discuss how large the site will be: how many pages, copywriting, pictures and extra features. Pricing for sites typically varies from $8,500 to a site with lots of content/pictures/features: $14k. All of our sites are built on a custom Content Management System (CMS), making it easy for your team to make edits to your site once completed.

Advanced Sites

  1. Chism Brothers Painting: High-End Professional Painters in San Diego & La Jolla CA: View Site
  2. Allbright Painting:  Painting Contractor in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita CA specializing in both residential and commercial: View Site
  3. Commercial Painting Examples: Painters USA and Kaloutas Painting
  4. MB Jessee: Painter in Oakland / Bay Area

Starter Sites (basic websites with 3-4 pages. As a company grows and more money is available, these sites will grow)

  1. Karen’s Company: Professional house painter in Lafayette, CO
  2. Brooks Painting: Residential and Commercial Painter in Davis CA

Check Your Business Voicemail Greeting

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One of the areas that is almost always overlooked the most for small business owners is their personal greeting message on their business cell phones. Here is the typical message you hear on a mobile phone, for example, “This is Brandon. I’m not available at the moment. So leave me a message after the beep and I’ll get back with you shortly…” (Remember that the tone of voice usually sounds boring too). Think of your voicemail message as a way to separate yourself from your competition. This is the perfect opportunity to leave a good impression on a potential client or leave a greeting that is just different than the norm. Your callers are not stupid. You don’t need to remind them that they have reached your voicemail or about the “beep” sound. They know how to leave a message. Besides, voicemail and the “beep” have been around for over 30 years.

The key to a good voicemail greetings is to be different and get right to the point. Here are a few better examples for Brandon, “This is Brandon from Brandon’s Paintworks. When leaving your message, let me know the best time to call you back, and I will do so promply. Thanks for calling” or “This is Brandon. Your call is important to me and I promise to get back with you in less than xyz mins…”

One final tip about your voicemail message: Smile when recording your greeting and speak clearly! You’d be surprised at how many people will comment about your positive attitude when leaving a message. When I learned this concept a few years ago from another marketing professional and switched my voicemail greeting to sound more positive (and that I “welcomed” their call), I had many people say things like, “Wow! That was a positive greeting.” or “Whoo…what a great message…you sound chipper.” It is this simple: never leave the impression that a customer’s phone call is not important!

Most Commonly Used Painters Clipart

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Since my background is in the painting industry, I typically look at and critique a lot of painter’s websites. I just had to post the #1 worst clipart photo for painting contractors. Paint companies have got to become more creative when designing their websites or print materials instead of “falling back” to this clipart! There are more overly used cliparts I have not posted in this blog strictly because I do not want to waste money buying the artwork just to show you! If you are interested in other forms of clipart that is outdated, send me an email.

And the winner is…

paintcans

Painters Using Twitter

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A few paint companies have asked me if I used Twitter and if I think it is worth their company getting on Twitter.

For those of you not familiar with Twitter, it is a another form of Social Media or Social Networking for individuals and businesses. Twitter allows the user to type in 140 characters per post, which Twitter calls “What Are You Doing?” It is basically like sending a text message, but the message goes to anyone who subscribes to your Twitter account, also called “Tweets.” A lot of the larger corporations use Twitter to post updates about new products and services and listen to feedback as Twitter allows users to comment and reply on each post.

Twitter for a painting contractor is not a bad idea, but I am not sure how much business one will reep by posting updates. The best thing Twitter can do for a paint company is build more brand awareness and hopefully a few referrals. The more places you can post your company online, the better! It is a form of another term called “Social Bookmarking.” You are placing your name and website links all over the place. Social networking, blogging, bookmarking, etc. is still very new to all of us, so there is really not a great ROI to report for painters and remodelers…YET. I hope it proves to be a success for the business owner. It does not hurt to give Twitter a try. It just takes discipline and a lot of time.

Jigsaw

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jigsawLogoAnother handy tool for a small business owner to have in his tool box is to join Jigsaw. Jigsaw is a powerful website that is maintained by its membership to help any one in sales or the marketing field to find more contacts and do more research. There is a free version and a paid version. The free version is this: if you contribute a contact, you receive a contact. The more information you submit, the more you can receive! If you want to research a company or find a key player within a company, Jigsaw is the place to help you get answers.

Give Jigsaw a try to help grow the quality of your leads!

New Blackberry Browser on the Horizon

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There is a beta version of a new third-party browser for Blackberry users called “Bolt.” One of my biggest problems with the Blackberry is that it is rather difficult to use the default browser when browsing websites. I use the web all the time on my Blackberry and spend half my time waiting for pages to load or not load at all (causing me to restart). The only other browser I know that works reasonably well is called “Opera”, but I always revert back to the default BB edition.

The Bolt is not a bad little browser. It loads the entire web page on your Blackberry, similar to the iPhone. However, the iPhone does a fabulous job sizing the webpages to fit onto your screen. The Blackberry browser on the market just can’t do it…yet. You have to scroll side to side, up and down to see the whole site. There are a few nice features on the Bolt browser, but I still feel that it is a waste of time building this program until it can be more like the iPhone brower. There is still lots of time waiting only to get a HUGE website that does not fit your screen well. I had problems with the “mobile” version too, which supposedly does resize the pages. So, all in all, I’m not impressed with Bolt just yet. It is still in the testing stages. There is quite a bit more features I would add before making it available to all of us. I will still keep Bolt on my device to play around with it. Sometimes it just takes time!

Quick Tip to Using LinkedIn in Your Business

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I have been using LinkedIn for several years. I must admit, a few years ago, I had no idea what it was for or why a company should be a part of it. That was really before the days of Facebook and Twitter, which revolutionalized the now buzz words “Social Networking.”After jumping on the bandwagon of social networks more in recent months and the last year, I have come to recognize the power of these sites, if you utilize all they have to offer.

One thing I have noticed from my industry (painting), is paint contractors are not utilizing LinkedIn. They sign up and then turn off their potential connections. In order to connect, the person try to connect has to know their personal email account associated to LinkedIn. It is rather annoying! The whole purpose of getting on LinkedIn is to connect with potential customers, decision makers, fellow business owners, and so on.

So one simple little tip that I hope is helpful: if you are going to sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the any other social network/media, make sure people can connect with you as easily as possible! It is that simple!

Advanced Shop Talk for Paint Contractors in Portland

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PDCA logo

I just finished up the first day at the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) conference called “Residential Forum: Advanced Shop Talk” in Portland, OR. This is a once a year even of 50+ professional residential painting contractors who collaborate ideas on how to have a successful house painting business.

I have served 2 years as the “secretary” and a director for the Residential Forum and have enjoyed being apart of such a great group of professional painters. During this years conference, I had 1 main presentation and 2 presentations where I assisted the presenter. The first presentation was on having a good website and the other two were on the latest in technology for paint contractors and estimating software.

To learn more about the PDCA or the Residential Forum, visit their websites!

SyncMyCal

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SyncMyCalIf you are wondering how to sync your smartphone with Outlook on the go without plugging your phone into your computer daily, consider using SyncMyCal. This wonderful little program works to transfer your calendar and contacts from Microsoft Outlook to Google Calendar and Google Contacts. I have used it with a Blackberry for almost two years now, and it has been fantastic. The program cost $25 and is well worth it.

The best thing about SyncMyCal is that it can be installed on multiple computers, eliminating the need for a Microsoft Exchange Server. Why is that a good thing? It saves you the headache of having Exchange! If you install SyncMyCal on each machine and connect SyncMyCal with Google Calendar (very easy setup) then all your office computers can have your calendar updated wirelessly every 15 minutes. This is a great tool for your office manager to have and your sales staff! A salesperson can be almost completely mobile when using SyncMyCal while the office manager can keep tabs and schedule appointments for the salesperson.

If you have further questions on how this program can save you lots of time and money, I would be happy to help. To learn more, visit their website.

You Can Text While Driving!?

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logo_VlingoWe all know it is dangerous to text and drive! We frown at those who still do such foolishness. We’ve been told to not do it and even state laws prohibit us from texting in the car! So why am I advocating we can still text while driving?

I’m not! I found an alternative!

I stumbled upon a handy little application for a smart phone called Vlingo a few months ago. It has its quirks but is a very helpful at times. It is a software program that is for “voice texting” not finger texting. Vlingo was designed for Blackberry, iPhone and other Smartphone devices to use voice to text technology. Voice to text has been out for quite a few years but has not been very well received by consumers. However, the latest version of Vlingo is well worth giving it a try if you do a lot of texting and emailing. The Vlingo Plus cost $17.99 and is virtually hands free. If you speak very carefully and with simple sentences, Vlingo is very accurate. The Plus version gives you access to Voice to Text emailing, text and to-do list. I actually really like the to task function. Sometimes I am driving, I remember something and cannot write it down. Now, I push a button while looking straight ahead and say, “Task: Pick up Coffee.” Done! It is that easy.

The program is not perfect, and I am not giving it a five star rating. However, it really is the best on the market and is VERY safe while driving.

CAUTION: I do advise that you avoid distractions while driving and always keep your eyes on the road, not your phone! If Vlingo is a distraction, don’t use it.

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