How to Grow Your Painting Business, Part 5: Get More Painting Leads

March 5th, 2015 | Eric Barstow | Painting Business Articles, Videos | No Comments

Hi this is Eric Barstow, the co-owner at Painters Choice and the founder of Painting Business Pro. And this is the fifth video in a series of six videos teaching you how to grow your business, grow your revenue; grow your income, because that’s what we’re here for.

So in the first video, we talk about kind of an overview and the second video, we talked about production systems and how to free up your time by creating a really elegant production system so you can spend your time growing your business with marketing and sales. Third video, we talked about marketing and sales where do you start, how do you start marketing to get more customers so you can do more estimates. And we talk about sales and the importance of having a high sales rate if you want to grow your business. And the fourth video, we talked about sales and specifically talk about how to improve your sales so that you can just grow your business much faster.

In this video we’re going to talk about marketing and the reason we are going to start talking about marketing is, because marketing is actually the foundation of everything. We start with leads, however many leads we get, turns into how many estimates we do, how many estimate we do, turns into how much we sell. And so leads is really the fundamental game-changer, so if we can only get 10 leads a year, it’s going to be really hard to grow the business, so we want to look into how do we go from getting 0 leads per month to 10 leads per month to 20 leads per month to a 100 leads per month to a 1,000 leads a month. You know if you’re getting a thousand leads a month from great marking sources that were profitable, you would have a huge business. So we are going to talk how do we start getting more leads. So we need more leads because leads drive everything, so how do we start using marketing sources? There’s a ton of marketing options out there, so when you start trying marketing, it’s really important that we test and we track the results that we get.

So remember from the second video, we talked or the third video, we talked about how do we measure marketing to know if it’s effective. We need to measure how much money do we spend and how much money do we sell and I said, I recommend around 10% is kind of the high end, like if I spend a $1,000, I want to book at least ten grand, if I spend a $1,000 and I book less than ten grand, I don’t really like it.

Some people it might be more like 15%, some 10%, some 7%, it going to be different for every business but fundamentally we want to know what is our – what’s the amount of money we spend for how much we get and this we want to turn into a percentage. So imagine we have 10 different marketing sources, 1 through 10 and next to them, we know how much we spend, so we’ve got 3%, 6%, 4%, 13%, we got all these percentages. What we are going to want to do is we’re going to want to start with whatever is the best returning marketing source, that’s where we want to pour the most money into and then the next best return and the next best return, the next best return. So we’ve got to testing track things, no matter what a sales representative tell you about a marketing service, it really doesn’t matter because what really matters is if they’re horrible salesperson but you spend 5% on their service, who cares how bad the service sounds, if you’re getting that kind of return, spend as much money on as you can. If on the other hand, the sales person is telling you all these great things and the service just sounds amazing and you try it out and you’re spending 20% on marketing to get jobs, cancel it, it doesn’t matter how good it sounds. So we need to test it, we need to track it; we have to know how much we spent and how much we sold. So how much does it take to really test the marketing service? That’s a big question, do we spend, do we just get one lead? You know we get one lead from a service to determine if it’s good or do we spend $300 before we cancel 500, a 1,000? My kind of rule of thumb is to try and spend somewhere between $500 and a $1,000 and then as our company grows, we’re willing to take bigger and bigger risks. So we start with the lowest risk things, like paper leads services are a great place to start because if it’s just total garbage, you could cancel right away, which is nice, you’re not tied into a long-term contract, it’s not a big fee upfront, so that’s great.

So it’s low risk and big return. So when you start testing, let’s say we use a paper lead service, I’m going to probably want to spend anywhere from you know 3-400, 500 to 1000, I’m going to be a little more on the hiring because our company has grown so we can afford to take a little bit more risk but I would say you got at least spend at least you know 300 bucks, 400 bucks to really see what kind of return you get because at $300, if you book one 500, $5,000 job from that, you’re at 6%. You’re looking pretty good you know, 300 spent for 5,000 sold, you can book that on one job. So it would be a real shame if you spent $300 and then you cancel and then you know the next 50 bucks, you book 5,000.

So you got to test it enough to really know if you’re going to get a good return on it and you also have to be aware that some jobs come later. So it’s just something to kind of think about, the more money you can test with, the better but my recommendation is three to five hundred on the very very low-end, a thousand is a really safe number, like if you can test a thousand and then I sort to get kind of nervous about companies who are asking me for you know three to four to five thousand dollars when they don’t provide any idea of what type of results they are going to get me.

So you just be smart about kind of how you scale into that and then once you test the service, you got to be really rigorous about knowing how much did you spend, how much did you sell, and should I spend more money here or not. So like I said we want to start with whatever is the best return, so if we know what returns well for us, we want to dump all of our money into that until we’re getting all the juice out of it if we can. And once we’re squeezing out all the juice out of that service, then we can start using the next service and then the next one and the next one, until you’re using every service that is 10% or lower, you’re using all of them. And then what we can do is and you’ll add services as you need them, so if you need 50 leads a month and once your best service get you 50 leads a month; you only need that one service. Then when it’s time to add, you need more leads, you add in a second service and then a third and then a fourth and then a fifth. And you add them as needed, once you’re using kind of everything and we’ve got all of our marketing offers on the table, then we want to tweak to improve. So something like we’re doing for that right now, is we’re hammering reviews. So we’re spending money on all kinds of marketing this year and we want to really just test it, we are going to test it and then they we’re going to tweak it to improve it and one really great way to do that in the painting businesses is to get more reviews. So this is really the outline for marketing, so again leads is the front end of the whole final for the business. The amount of leads you get is the bottleneck to how many because we can get, we can get as close to converting all the leads as we can but we can’t set up more estimates than the number of leads we get. If we get a 100 leads, we can’t do 120 estimates, so this is the limit. So we really want to make sure we can increase leads as we have more time and that’s really the steps. So in the next video, we’re going to talk about what are some different services that you can actually use so that you can start testing a lot these different services because Painter Choice is one but there’s a whole lot of others too and we’ll start to cover how Painter Choice works, how some of the others work and what are some of your options for testing different marketing sources. So that will be in the last video and then it’s time to start growing your business, see you there.

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