Advertising on Facebook: 9 Reasons To Start Investing In Facebook Ads For Your Business Today

Why should you advertise on Facebook?

Is advertising on Facebook actually effective, or is it simply a fad?  

Many people will talk about negative experiences they have had with Facebook Ads, but many times, they aren’t implementing ad strategies correctly. 

Pay-per-click advertising may be quite beneficial if you’re serious about marketing your company and attracting new clients. If you don’t invest in Facebook Ads for your business, you may be losing out on the numerous benefits your brand may get from social media marketing today. This is because there are 2.89 billion people on Facebook.  Trust us, your ideal clients are on there.

It’s important to be on Facebook if you want to promote your business and grow your brand.

Failing to take full advantage of Facebook advertising may prove to be a costly oversight.

Here are nine compelling reasons why every company should start a Facebook Ad Campaign right away:

1 – Your target market is already on Facebook

Millions of individuals use Facebook on a daily basis with many checking their news feeds several times a day. In fact, the average person spends 33 minutes per day on Facebook.  

If a significant portion of your target market is active on Facebook regularly, you have a great opportunity to expand your client base by advertising on Facebook.

2 – Facebook has very specific targeting capabilities

Paying for advertising that may or may not be viewed by your target demographic is a time-honored method of marketing your brand. Facebook has never been like that, which is good for you!

Social media networks like this allow business owners to target a very specific audience. You can target by location, age, likes, dislikes, home value, places you’ve been and much more!

As a result, Facebook Ads are an effective marketing tool that you should use to further your company’s success.

3 – Facebook Ads tend to cost less

Do you have any idea how much it costs to advertise on Facebook? You can advertise for as little as $1 a day and have your ad seen by as many as 1,000 people!

If you used to spend a lot of money on radio or billboard advertisements, you may now reach your target market for a lot less money.

4 – Facebook Ads Are Quick And Easy To Create

Often, advertising on social media yields quick results. To begin contacting thousands of individuals, just create a campaign that targets your ideal client and choose a spend amount.

Facebook Ads are an excellent choice if you want to reach more customers and grow your sales quickly.

5 – Ads on Facebook Can Increase Your Website Traffic (and Brand Awareness)

Facebook advertising easily boosts the visibility of your business and number of visitors to your website.  It is a great way to raise awareness about your company or product. 

People are more inclined to buy from you if they know you have a good reputation.  Be sure to showcase your reviews or testimonials using posts or ads. Here are 10 proven ways to get more positive online reviews for your business.

6 – It’s Easy To Judge The Efficacy Of Your Ads

Facebook advertising campaigns can easily be measured and compared.  This is great news because you can figure out which approach is working best.

There’s no speculating once you’ve placed a Facebook ad. You’ll be able to see how many people have seen your ad, clicked on it, and converted as a result. Using the platform, you’ll have access to a wealth of information that will help you gauge the success of your campaigns and make the next one even better.

7 – Facebook Ads Can Help You Quickly and Cheaply Test New Markets

Facebook is a great way to begin testing a new market! Offering your customers something new can sometimes result in a costly mistake. An affordable approach to discover if your fresh concept is a hit is to run a Facebook advertising campaign. At your own speed and on a budget, you may explore a new market.

8 – You Can Tweak And Perfect Your Campaigns In Real Time

Is the return on your advertising effort underwhelming? 

That’s okay…make a change! You can adjust your Facebook advertisements in real time.

If you’re not satisfied with the campaign’s performance, you may immediately make changes to your ads. Other media types, like radio or TV, don’t allow for this kind of customization.

9 – Your Competition Is Already Running Ads On Facebook

There is one last benefit to consider before investing in a Facebook Ad campaign today; your competitors are already purchasing advertising on the social media platform.

Take action and don’t allow your competitors to steal your thunder!

Need Help?

Do you need help implementing your first Facebook Ads campaign or setting up a Facebook Business account?  

Call IFTS to get started at 412.715.6266 or email us at si@iftsdesign.com

Your Small Business Should Use Social Media To Market Your Services: 11 Reasons Why

Have you ever heard that your business doesn’t exist if it isn’t on Facebook?

This is because your clients may already be “friends” with your rivals if they utilize social media to follow other companies.

When it comes to reaching new clients and prospects, social media marketing is an extremely effective method! If you aren’t on social media, no one will know about your company. How could they?

In another post, we share 5 social media marketing secrets that nobody has told you about…

With sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, companies can communicate directly with their customers. If you aren’t doing this, you’re losing out on key opportunities.

Social media attracting customers

Local companies should always have social media campaigns as part of their marketing plans. Making and distributing content on social media sites will assist you in achieving your marketing and branding objectives quickly.

Using paid social media advertising in conjunction with regularly posting updates, videos, and other material to engage your audience will help you reach more prospective customers, build loyal brand supporters, and increase sales.

To connect, engage, and develop your business, here are 11 reasons why you should work on your social media presence:

1. Speed

Using social media to market your business is a quick and easy way to get your message out there. You can start promoting your business in minutes after creating your profile.

2. Price

Because of the low cost of social media campaigns, you have more control over your advertising budget and may expand your social media presence at a rate that is right for you.

3. Effectiveness

To contact your target customers and construct a successful marketing campaign, you need to use multiple social media channels.

4. Brand Awareness

Social media is used by millions of individuals every day all over the world. Consider social media marketing as a surefire technique to raise exposure of your brand.

5. Relationship Development

General marketing methods do not “talk” to the client in any meaningful way. You can, however, develop genuine relationships with your potential clients by connecting with them on social media.

6. Trust Building

Customers are more likely to believe in your brand when you use social media to build trust with them. Successful social media campaigns should help you become a leader in your market.

7. Website Traffic

Making your social media updates engaging will raise your click through rate and drive more attention to your website, increasing sales.

8. More Leads

To produce more leads, you’ll need social media marketing. With social media marketing, it’s easy to run free social media campaigns or pay for advertising.

9. Content Promotion

You should make use of the social media channels to spread the word about your work. If you’re doing content marketing well, you should use social media to get the word out about your products and services.

10. Involved Followers

Increase the link you have with your fans by getting them engaged in your initiatives. Your followers will become more engaged if you just ask them what they want.

11. Spy on Your Competition

Spying on your competition is a cinch with social media. Don’t let your guard down whether it comes to your friends or foes. With social media, it’s simple to monitor your competition on multiple platforms.

Need help getting started with social media?  Call IFTS today for a free strategy session at 412.715.6266 or send an email to si@iftsdesign.com

Grow Your Painting Business By A Factor of 10 With These 5 Steps – Part 5 of 5: Increase Your Pricing

Grow Your Painting Business By A Factor of 10 With These 5 Steps – Part 5 of 5

Are you afraid to raise your pricing for painting jobs?

Most painters are…but you shouldn’t be because competing on price is an intrinsically bad idea.  Your only two options are to be the highest or lowest.  No one will care if you are the second or third lowest pricing in town.

When you are the lowest price, there is an implied low-quality factor as well.  Typically, services that are the cheapest are never the best.  You don’t want that stigma associated with your painting company!

However, if you are the most in-demand painter in town, people will pay your prices, no matter what they are.

So how do you become the most in-demand painter in town?  You become the most known, liked and trusted.  You can accomplish this with the videos, content and Facebook ads that we discussed in Step 1.  Here is a link to that article in case you missed it.

By providing content and value through your videos and articles to people in your area, they already know, like and trust you.  They know that you are an expert at what you do and they have seen proof.  

Therefore, when it comes time to hire a painter, they will automatically think of you.  In fact, there is a good chance that they won’t shop around at all.  They will need to hire you because you are the one that they trust.

When this happens, they will pay whatever you ask for…and because you are providing value and excellent service, you can definitely charge at least 50% more than you are charging now.  You will get just as many clients and make more money.

Let’s Return To Our Example Company With A Premium Offering For Our Painting Business

Remember, ABC Painting started with $40,000 monthly gross revenue.  Then, we implemented a follow-up system, which will increase the leads by about 60%.  This took the gross monthly revenue to $64,000 with a close rate of 20%.

Next, we doubled our leads from 80 to 160 per month using the tactics in Step 2 of this series.  This resulted in 32 new clients and a monthly gross income of $128,000.  

Then, we doubled the close rate from 20% to 40%, which gave us 64 clients per month with a monthly gross income of $256,000.

In step 4, we added a premium offering at $12,000 that 10% of our clients chose, resulting in 90% of our new monthly clients (58) with the regular offering at $4000 and 6 of them at $12,000.  This gives us a total revenue for the month of $304,000.

Finally, in this step, we are going to increase the regular pricing by 50%.  The 90% of our monthly clients (58) will now be at $6000 and 10% of our monthly clients (6) will be at $12000.  This gives us an end result of $420,000 for the monthly gross income.  

We have just 10X’d your monthly revenue in 5 easy steps!

BONUS Tip For Increasing Your Recurring Revenue

Would you like to start each year knowing that you have at least $500,000 on the books?

You should be able to count on at least 10% of your customers from the year before having a job for you in the current year or referring you to someone that has a similar job.  

To make sure that they think of you, you want to stay at the “top of mind” for them.  There are a few ways to stay in front of your current customers.

First of all, send out a monthly newsletter via email.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it shouldn’t be all about your company.  Just like your videos and content, send out some monthly helpful advice that would apply to your ideal client.  

For instance, if you were a painter located in Virginia, sending out an email with tips on weatherproofing your deck would be perfect for September or October.

IFTS offers a service that does this automatically for painters for under $300 per month, so it pays for itself if you get just one repeat client.

Another way to stay in front of current clients is to turn them into a Facebook audience.  You just upload your list of clients to the Facebook audience wizard.  Then, you can be sure to periodically place helpful videos and content in front of them via Facebook.

Side Note – This audience is also great to use to create a lookalike to send videos and new content to via Facebook Ads.

A final way to get in front of current customers to send them something via snail mail.  Most companies will send Christmas cards or something similar, but this doesn’t really make you stand out in the crowd.  We recommend choosing a holiday that most other companies don’t really acknowledge, like St. Patrick’s Day.  Send them a “We’re Lucky To Have You As A Customer Card” and watch how many people find a way to hire you again!

By staying “top of mind”, you should see at least a 10% repeat from the year before.

If you followed the 5 step process that we discussed, you’d have a monthly revenue of at least $420,000…which is over $5 MILLION DOLLARS annually.  So, if you have at least 10% of the people from last year hire you this year, you will start off knowing you have over $500,000 already on the books.

Grow Your Painting Business By A Factor of 10 With These 5 Steps – Part 4 of 5: Create a Premium Service Offering

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule or the Pareto principle?

It states that “80 Percent of Your Results Come from 20 Percent of Your Efforts, and 20 Percent of Your Results Come from The Other 80 Percent.” 

The rule applies to your customers as well.  80% of your revenue typically comes from 20% of your clients.  Now, let’s apply the 80/20 rule again to the top 20% of your clients.  64% of your revenue comes from 4% of your clients.

What does this tell us?

There is always a small percentage of people at the top that are willing to pay a premium price.  

However, are you offering that chance to them?

There are ALWAYS at least 5-10% of your clients that would be willing to pay a premium price to get a premium service.  

A premium service is going to be better, faster or easier than the services that you currently offer…and it’s going to cost 2-3 times as much.

To create your premium service offer, you need to ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. What can you do to offer a better painting service than other companies?
  2. What can you do to be faster than other companies?
  3. How can you make your process easier than other companies?

Let’s look at a few examples for each question…

What can you do to offer a better painting service than other companies?

To offer a better painting service, you need to increase the quality of the experience.  You could use a more expensive paint that lasts longer and doesn’t require as many coats.  You could give a guarantee to the homeowner that you run criminal background checks on all of your employees.  Because a lot of people are now working from home full time, you could offer a whisper guarantee – they won’t even know that you’re there while you’re working.

To create a better experience for the customer, you will need to go the extra mile.

What can you do to be faster than other painting companies?

To offer a faster service, take the time that it normally takes you to complete a job and decrease it by 30% or more if possible.  Offer kitchen cabinets done in a week (obviously kitchen size matters, so there can be a disclaimer).  Offer rooms done in a day with quality work.

When you provide a quicker service, it really makes you stand out from the crowd.

How can you make the painting process easier than other companies?

There are a ton of premium options here that you can offer, starting with the sales process.  As soon as someone contacts you, you could FaceTime them and do the estimate immediately.  This also puts you ahead of your competition as the first quote.

You could offer a free stay at a hotel or a small vacation (built into the price of course) while you work on their house.  They don’t have to deal with the mess/upheaval…and you don’t have to deal with them as a little bonus. There are many companies that do this.  You can get great deals on pricing from travel businesses.

If they are pet people, you could hire pet sitters to take the animals away for the days that you work.  This way, there are no accidents and the pets don’t have to deal with an unfamiliar situation in their home.

Think of the problems that are created by you painting their house and provide solutions to create your premium offering.

How To Present The Premium Painting Offerings

Make the premium offerings part of your proposal.  People like to have choices, but not too many.  According to a study done in 2000, people are more likely to make a purchase when presented with less choices.  So, offer 2-3 options max when it comes to the premium offerings.

This also allows the people choosing your regular pricing to feel like they received a “deal”.

Let’s Return To Our Example Company With A Premium Offering For Our Painting Business

Remember, ABC Painting started with $40,000 monthly gross revenue.  Then, we implemented a follow-up system, which will increase the leads by about 60%.  This took the gross monthly revenue to $64,000 with a close rate of 20%.

Next, we doubled our leads from 80 to 160 per month using the tactics in Step 2 of this series.  This resulted in 32 new clients and a monthly gross income of $128,000.  

Then, we doubled the close rate from 20% to 40%, which gave us 64 clients per month with a monthly gross income of $256,000.

Now, if we add a premium offering at $12,000 that 10% of our clients choose – we’ll have 160 leads per month with a 40% close rate.  That gives us 64 clients.  90% of them, 58 clients, choose the regular offering at $4000 and 10% of them, 6 clients, choose the premium offering at $12,000.  This gives us a total revenue for the month of $304,000.

This is an increase of 6.6X

Stay tuned for the finale next week (Step 5) where we will talk about being the irresistible option, which allows you to charge what you want!

Grow Your Painting Business By A Factor of 10 With These 5 Steps – Part 3 of 5: Work On Increasing The Closing Rate For Your Painting Business

Have you ever heard someone say – “People love to buy, but they hate to be sold to?”

I beg to differ.  That statement is unequivocally false. People love to buy AND they love to be sold to. 

The key, however, is that they need to have a quality sales experience.  They will love to be sold to!

What Constitutes A Great Sales Experience

As an example, think about buying a car. 

When you go to buy a new BMW or Mercedes Benz, the salespeople offer you unlimited Starbucks and snacks in their plush offices.  You get to hang out in a decked-out designer lounge while they prepare the cars that you want to test drive.  Typically, you’ll get to take a nice long test drive to check out all of the niceties of the car.  Then, after you purchase the car, you get cool little extras in the mail for the next few months.  Sometimes, they even invite you to special track events where you get to drive souped-up cars.

Now, let’s contrast that to purchasing a new Honda.  First, you enter a bare-bones sales floor where you take a number.  Once it’s your turn, you get to take a 10-minute test drive where the salesman glosses over the features.  When you return to the dealership, you get ushered into a drab cubicle and have the contract put in front of you.

Both cars will get you from A to B, but which sales experience would you rather have?  I think that most people would agree that they would rather have the BMW/Mercedes experience.

Selling Is A Process

The easiest way to get a client is for them to know, like and trust you.  You can start this process even before someone contacts you for a quote.

As mentioned in Step 1 of this series, create a set of videos that answer common questions that you hear all of the time from clients.  You can also make videos that address common objections that you hear from people that don’t hire you.

Then, run these videos on Facebook to your target audience.  They’ll get to know, like and trust you before they even contact you for a quote.

Why?

Because you have provided value to them and shown your expertise in the area without sounding salesy.  These videos are the first step of your sales pitch (and don’t take much time from you at all).  You want people to see you over and over again.  This way, you become cemented in their mind as the go-to business in the area for painting.

BONUS TIP: Testimonial videos are a great way to establish trust with potential clients and showcase the work that you did without having to toot your own horn!

Now, when someone contacts you for a quote after seeing your videos, you’ve already gotten the hard part out of the way.  They know, like and trust you from your videos…and people buy from people that they like.  It becomes a much easier sale for you to close on.

“Selling” Is A Dirty Word

“Sales” or “Selling” seems to have gotten a bad rap lately.  You think of sleazy used car salesmen or worse.  It just has a very negative connotation.

However, you must remember that you are HELPING PEOPLE when you sell them a quality paint job. 

Maybe you are helping them paint their kitchen cabinets and get a higher asking price when they sell their house.  Maybe you are painting the exterior of their home and helping them get it weather-proofed for winter.  Maybe you are helping a family have an amazing holiday in their newly painted living room.

Whatever the case, you are helping people achieve positive goals.  They are better off than they were before!  Keep this in mind the next time you go to close a deal.  You should find yourself in a completely different mindset, which will help your close rate.

Increase Your Closing Percentage

Create a quality sales experience that starts even before someone contacts your company.  By using the tips above, you should see your closing rate more than double. 

Let’s Return To Our Example Company With Double The Close Rate For Our Painting Business [h2]

Remember, ABC Painting started with $40,000 monthly gross revenue.  Then, we implemented a follow-up system, which will increase the leads by about 60%.  This took the gross monthly revenue to $64,000 with a close rate of 20%.

Next, we doubled our leads from 80 to 160 per month using the tactics in Step 2 of this series.  This resulted in 32 new clients and a monthly gross income of $128,000. 

Now, if we can double the close rate from 20% to 40%, we will have 64 clients per month with a monthly gross income of $256,000!  This is more than 6X the starting monthly revenue and we have 2 more steps to go!

Stay tuned for next week (Step 4) where we will talk about adding a special upsell that will score you some high-ticket clients right away!

Grow Your Painting Business By A Factor of 10 With These 5 Steps – Part 2 of 5

Are you looking to grow your painting company but aren’t sure where to start?

It’s difficult to know what steps to take or where to invest your time and money.  However, we have created a proven roadmap for you to follow that will help you 10X your painting business.

In part 1 of this series, we discussed how to set up a follow-up system on multiple platforms.  If you haven’t already read it, you’ll want to start here.

After the follow up systems are in place, your next step is to increase your number of leads.

Step 2 – 2X (At Least) Your Number of Leads

In order to grow your painting business, you will need to commit yourself to taking the steps to get bigger.  By doubling your leads (at least), you will have more work coming in than ever before.

This is where it gets tricky.  People will ask us, “How exactly do I double the leads for my painting business?”

The truthful answer is this – you need to test multiple avenues and see what works best for you.  In order to know what is working and what’s not, lead tracking tactics will need to be in place.

Let’s talk about a few ways (or combinations of ways) to double your leads.

Marketing Tactics To Try To 2X Your House Painting Leads

Tactic 1 – Facebook Ads

As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, Facebook Ads can be an effective way of attracting new clients.  Video tends to perform better than images, so make sure you take a bunch of little videos at your next work site.  

You’ll want to make two sets of videos.  Set 1 should have videos that do the following:

  • Answer a common house painting question
  • Talk about prepping a house for painting
  • Discuss when to paint certain areas and why
  • Discuss how weather affects painting 

Video set 1 should be videos that people would watch if and only if they were thinking about painting their interior, exterior, cabinets etc.

Video Set 2 should showcase your company and why they should hire you.  These videos should consist of:

  • Showing the quality of your work
  • Cool before and afters
  • How clean you leave the house
  • Anything else that makes you stand out

Set 2 videos should also close with a call to action of contacting you or scheduling an appointment.

Schedule Video Set 1 to show to people in your area.  To get your targeting a little more specific, we generally recommend the following settings:

Age – 40+

Gender – Female (Women tend to make the decisions)

Radius – Within 20 miles of your business

Then, after Video Set 1 has been running for a few days, you’ll want to schedule Video Set 2.  These videos should only be shown to people that have watched at least 25% of one of the videos from Set 1.  This way, you know that you are targeting people that are at least thinking about painting their house.

You can also show Video Set 2 to people that have been on your website if you have the Facebook Pixel setup correctly.

Tactic 2 – Google Ads

Google Ads can be a highly effective way of getting leads online.  In fact, we have seen leads come in for companies that we’ve worked with for under $50/lead.  However, Google Ads can be a bit tricky when it comes to the settings.  

Let’s discuss a few of the common Google Ad “gotchas”.

First, you need to decide what type of ad you want to run:

  • Search Ads are the text ads that you see at the top of the results page, before the map and the organic results
  • Display Ads are the image ads that you see across the web when browsing

Both types of ads have their merits, but you should never create a Search Ad that also targets the Display Network and vice versa.

Secondly, you need to make sure that you are using keywords in the manner that you intended.

Google has multiple types of keywords:

  • Broad match
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

According to Google, a broad match keyword is one that “may show on searches that are related to your keyword, which can include searches that don’t contain the keyword terms”

For example, you may enter House Painters In My Area as one of your keywords.  However, your ad may show for people looking for famous painters or automobile painters.

Rule #1 of not overpaying for Google Ads – DO NOT USE BROAD MATCH KEYWORDS.

Google defines a phrase match keyword as one where “ads may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword”.  To denote a phrase match keyword, you’ll need to put it in quotes.

To use the example above, you would define one of your keywords as “House Painters In My Area”.  Now, your ad would show for someone that typed in that phrase.  It also might show for someone that type in “Painters Near Me” or “House Painting In My Area”.

These are okay keywords to use (as long as you have a good negative keyword list, which we will discuss in a few moments).

The last type of keywords are exact match keywords.  To denote these, you enter the phrase in square brackets.  Google defines these as “Ads will show on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as the keyword.”

This type of keyword gives you the most control of when your ad is shown, but it also limits the audience.  Using the previous example, you would enter one of your keywords as [House Painters In My Area].  Then, your ad would show to people who type in this phrase or something very similar, like with the same words in a different order.

After you enter your keywords, you will also want to create your list of negative keywords as well.  This is a list of words and phrases that you give to Google that tells them – if this word is in a search phrase, do NOT show my ad.  It allows you to weed out unqualified buyers.

Good negative keywords to use for your painting company:

  • Any painting or store brand, like “Home Depot” or “Behr”
  • “How To” or “How Much” (People searching these phrases are typically in the education phase of their searching and aren’t looking to purchase
  • Automobile, car, auto etc.
  • Boat
  • Paint and Sip
  • Etc.

If you think of words or phrases that are associated with painting, but not house painting, put them on the list.

Finally, you want to make sure that your keywords match what you say in your ads AND that your landing pages that you send people to match your ads.  This is called “Ad Congruity”.  If you call yourself a “house painter” in your keywords and your ads, make sure that the page that you send them to highlights the fact that you are a “house painter”.

NEVER SEND YOUR ADS TO YOUR HOME PAGE!  This is a huge, costly mistake that we see painting businesses make all of the time.

Some Other Marketing Tactics

We wanted to review a few tactics in depth.  However, there are tons of other tactics to try, like:

  • Door hangers
  • YouTube ads
  • Radio ads
  • Appear on Podcasts
  • Networking
  • Find non-competing partners
  • SEO
  • TV
  • Get featured on the local news
  • And more!

Important to Remember – Measure Your Results

In order to know what tactic or tactics worked the best, you have to measure your results.  One way you can do this is through call tracking.  Use a different phone number for each tactic type and see what number brings in the most leads.  CallRail is one vendor that offers this service and makes it simple to set up.

You could try one tactic per month, although seasonality may affect these results a bit.

You could send each ad to a separate landing page.  Then, your site analytics would allow you to know which ad had been the most successful.

However you choose to do this, you just want to be sure that everything is measured.

Let’s Return To Our Example Company With Double The Leads For Our Painting Business

Again, let’s see how powerful doubling the number of leads that we bring in actually is.

Remember, ABC Painting started with $40,000 monthly gross revenue.  Then, we implemented a follow-up system, which will increase the leads by about 60%.  This took the gross monthly revenue to $64,000.

How to double the leads for your painting business

Now, through the tactics discussed in this article, we have doubled our leads from 80 to 160 per month.

If that 20% close rate remains, this will result in 32 new clients and a monthly gross income of $128,000!  We have already more than tripled the revenue using just 2 steps of the system!

Next week?  Step 3: Work On Increasing The Closing Rate For Your Painting Business!

Grow Your Painting Business By A Factor of 10 With These 5 Steps – Part 1 of 5

How to grow your painting business

Are you looking to grow your painting company but aren’t sure where to start?

It’s difficult to know what steps to take or where to invest your time and money.  However, we have created a proven roadmap for you to follow that will help you 10X your painting business.

Step 1 – Implement A Follow-Up System So Your Potential Clients See You Over and Over

Did you know that at any given time, only 3% of your market is ready to buy from you? 

This means that 97% of the people that see your advertising are going to need a little more time.  In fact, your average customer is exposed to about 10,000 marketing messages every day.

What are the chances that your marketing message is going to be the one that stands out among the 10,000 that your client is seeing (especially if they had never heard of you before)?

Typically, your potential clients need to see and hear from you multiple times in order to make an informed buying decision.  This is why you must FOLLOW UP.  In fact, a 2011 study from Google found that a buyer needs 7 hours of interaction across 11 touch points in 4 locations.

Let’s break that down quickly.  You (or your marketing) needs to interact (or be in front of) your potential client 11 times.  These interactions can be snail mail, videos, ads, phone calls, emails or anything that gets you in front of them.

Then, these 11 interactions need to be across 4 locations.  This means that you can’t just always call or email.  You need to expand the number of places that people see you.  You need to be “everywhere” your clients may be.  So, adding to phone or email, text, Facebook Ads, YouTube, the Google Display Network, LinkedIn etc.  To accomplish this task correctly, think about where your clients commonly are.

Finally, these touches need to result in about 7 hours of interaction.  In other words, you want a prospect to spend about 7 hours thinking about you.  This is when it helps to have video.  For a house painting business, customer testimonials are great ads to use.  It allows other people to “toot your horn”, so you don’t have to.

Another great interaction piece is a downloadable pdf that contains information about your company, examples of your past work, testimonials and more.  You can make this available on your website or social media.

How To Implement A Great Customer Follow-Up System – Set Up A 3×3 Contact Matrix

First things first – automation is your friend.  Don’t shy away from technology because it seems complicated.  In the long run, it will be worth it.

So, what is the first thing to set up?

Start using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, like GoHighLevel, CorkCRM or Keap.  It will more than pay for itself in the long run.

In your CRM, you will want to set up what we call a 3×3 contact matrix.  You want a potential client that requested a quote to receive a call, text and email from you.  If they don’t respond, do it again 3 days later.  If they don’t respond, do it 5 days later.  This automatically gives you 9 interactions on 3 different channels.

A common fear that we hear from painters is “What if they get annoyed or tell us it’s too much?”

They won’t.  Remember, they originally contacted you.  The more information that you give them that allows them to make a good decision when choosing a house painter will be appreciated.

Another common question that we get is “What should I say in these emails, texts and calls?”

  • CALLS: The calls can just be follow ups to the original contact for quote, which most painting businesses are used to doing.  
  • TEXTS: The texts should be quick messages asking them for a reply, so you get them engaged.  This is also a great time to offer an exclusive discount that they can only get by replying.  Keep these short, sweet and to the point.
  • EMAILS: The emails are where you can shine and really highlight your company.  Send them more information about what it’s like working with your company.  Have a testimonial video?  This is a perfect opportunity to share it with them. Do you offer something completely unique in your area, like a guarantee or a special technique?  Share it here.

People buy with emotions and justify it with logic.  Use these 9 points of contact to get them emotionally invested.  Then, provide the facts so they can justify their decision.

How To Implement A Great Customer Follow-Up System – Play The Follow Game

Have you ever looked at a toaster on Amazon and suddenly, that toaster is everywhere?  You need to apply the same principles to your painting business.

The way to accomplish this is through the use of the Facebook pixel and the Google cookie.

Install these on your website (don’t forget to mention them in your terms and conditions) and they will start tracking your website visitors.  You can now show people ads on Facebook that have been on certain pages of your website.  You can use the Google cookie in a similar way.

Another way to interact with people multiple times based on their past browsing behavior is making use of Video Ads.  Create a set of 3 videos where you answer questions that people commonly have when hiring house painters.  Use the questions that you get from potential clients all the time.  These videos do not have to be formal or cost a ton of money.  A video shot on site with an iPhone will work for this.

Use these 3 videos to advertise to a broad audience.  You want to use them to weed out people.  Then, advertise your services in a follow up specifically to people that have watched at least 25% of one of your videos.  

Why 25% of a video?  

Because no one is going to watch a video on commonly asked questions about house painting unless they are in the market for house painting.  This is a great way to narrow down your audience.

You can apply this tactic on YouTube and Facebook.  

How To Implement A Great Customer Follow-Up System – Advertise on Multiple Platforms

To be “everywhere”, you need to advertise on multiple platforms.  

Google Ads are a great resource that lets you advertise on Google, YouTube, Gmail and the Google Display Network (GDN).  The GDN allows your ads to show up on websites that Google leases space on.  You can decide what type of website “lease” you want to rent from Google.  So, as a painting business, Home Improvement sites or Home Decorating sites may be good places to start.

Facebook Ads are another great place to target specific audiences with all types of advertising.  Videos perform better than static ads, so start filming!

Depending upon the type of work you do, LinkedIn advertising could help you reach certain professionals.

How To Implement A Great Customer Follow-Up System – Let’s Look At An Example

To really illustrate how powerful just this one step is, let’s look at an example painting business, ABC Painting.

Let’s say that ABC Painting gets 50 leads per month, their close rate is 20% and the average painting project in their area is $4000.  This means that they will get 10 clients and the company will gross $40,000 per month.

If you implement the follow up systems discussed above, you will increase your leads by about 60%.

To use the numbers above, this means that instead of 50 leads, ABC Painting will now have 80 leads per month.  They will close on 20% of them, which is 16 clients and the company will now gross $64,000.

How To Implement A Great Customer Follow-Up System

See, the CRM really will pay for itself…

Stay tuned for next week when we discuss how to double your leads!

How To Create and Optimize Your Company’s YouTube Video (With A Secret Step That Not Many People Know About)

Painting FAQ videos

Did you know that every day YouTube has over ONE BILLION hours of video watched, which results in billions of views?

Is your business taking advantage of having videos on YouTube?  If not, today is a great day to start!

Most people think that creating a video for their business is really time consuming or that you need expensive equipment to start – Not true! All you need is your smartphone and a location that is relatively quiet with good lighting.

Choose Your Video Location Carefully

Find a room where there is a window in front of you so the natural light illuminates your face. Make sure that there is no distracting clutter in the background.

Prop up your phone so that it is pointed at you and you are centered in the frame. Another option for this is to purchase an inexpensive stand that holds your phone. Most of these stands also come with a remote control so that you can press “record” more easily.

Choose An Outfit To Film In

When choosing an outfit to film in, pick something that represents your brand. If you’re in a professional field, you can never go wrong with a suit and tie. If you’re in a service business, a polo or T-shirt with your logo makes sense.

Make sure that there aren’t any distracting patterns on what you are wearing. Patterns can appear fuzzy or out of focus on camera. Noisy jewelry is also a negative. You want your microphone to pick up what you are saying rather than your bracelet clanging off of your watch. 

Following these guidelines will ensure the professionalism of your video, and it will make you look good. 

Choose Your Video Topic

A lot of businesses have videos all over their website about themselves…and this is where they go wrong.

Your clients don’t really care about you, they just want to know that you are the best company to solve their problems. So, prove it!

Choose 5-10 questions that you are asked regularly, then answer them on video.  Don’t use industry jargon, and speak as if you are talking to a potential client.  

On an aside – A lot of people wonder if they should write scripts when filming videos like this.  It really depends on you.  Write a script, create an outline or conduct a practice run; do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.  You want to do your best to sound natural and relaxed, so your expertise shines through.

Stumped for ideas?  Go to https://answerthepublic.com/ and enter your business type or a problem that you solve. This website will give you frequently asked questions about the topic.

Edit Your Video For YouTube

This is the part of the process that most people find difficult. There are multiple ways to edit your video easily that don’t require expensive video software, like Adobe Premier Pro. If you have a Mac, you can use iMovie. There are also many apps on your phone that will allow you to edit a video you have created.

Whatever software you decide to use, make sure your sound is clear. If it allows you to add background music, choose something that is unobtrusive and appropriate for your business.

Secret Step That Most People Don’t Know About – Do Keyword Research For Your Video

Once you have your video completed, you’ll want to do a little research on keywords that go with it. Keyword research helps tell you:

  • Most googled phrases about your topic
  • How many times per month something is searched
  • How difficult it is to rank for that keyword or phrase
  • And more!

Use a tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest for your research. Both options have free account versions.

In this example, we will use SEMrush.

Let’s say that you are a painting company, and you created a video on how to prep a house to paint. 

Go to SEMrush and type in “how to prep a house for painting” to see the search statistics that go with that phrase:

Painting company SEO statistics

As you can see, this keyword phrase is googled 320 times per month.  That means it’s a great phrase to use in the title of my video. The keyword difficulty is 42%, so it tells me that we will need well-structured and unique content to rank, which is exactly what my video is for.

The keyword research also shows me: 

  • Variations on the keyword that I could use in my video description
  • Common questions that are googled about my keywords
  • Related keywords that can act as secondary keywords that can be used in my video description on YouTube (more about this later)

When choosing a title for your video, be sure to choose a keyword phrase that is googled at least 100 times per month (rule of thumb).  Be sure to also choose 1-3 other keywords or phrases that go with your video that are searched over 20 times per month.

Upload Your Video To YouTube

You’ve created your video and have your research, so you are ready to upload your video to YouTube and have clients find you!

Before you upload your video, change the name of your video file to be the title of your video, separated by hyphens.  

So, in this example, I would name my video “How-to-prep-a-house-for-painting.mp4”

Then, go to your YouTube channel and hit the “Create” button.  Once you upload your video, YouTube has multiple fields that you can fill in.  The most important field is the “Title” field.  This is where we would put “How To Prep A House For Painting In 2021”.  If possible, it’s a great idea to add the year in the title to let YouTube know that this is the most up to date information available on your subject.

The next most important field is the description, which can be 5000 characters.  This is where you will tell people about the video, and why they should watch it.  Remember the secondary keywords that you chose?  This is the place to use them.  

You can’t use the same keyword phrase over and over again.  This is called “Keyword Stuffing” and YouTube/Google don’t like to see it.  So, you use keywords and phrases that are similar to your primary keyword (your title).

Another good rule of thumb is to place a link to a page on your website within the description. It helps you build backlinks and send people to your website if they are interested in your product or service.

YouTube will also ask if the video is made for kids (to create an age restriction if needed) as well as a few other questions that you should be able to answer easily.

Once the video has processed, the last thing that you will want to do is set the thumbnail.  This is the image that YouTube will use to represent your video before it is played.  Typically, we recommend creating an image that is 1280x720px and following the YouTube tips on creating an effective thumbnail: https://creatoracademy.youtube.com/page/lesson/thumbnails

BONUS – What To Do After Your Optimized Video Is Live On YouTube

Once you have your optimized video live on YouTube, don’t stop there.  You took the time to create it, now promote it!

There are multiple ways to get your video out there:

  • Post a link to the video on your social media
  • Share the video on LinkedIn
  • Send the video to your clients
  • Send the video to your prospects
  • Share the video with partner companies that you have

In addition to promoting your video, you can also use the content again!  Upload your video to a tool like otter.ai to create a transcript of it. Use this transcript to create a blog entry on your website and link to the video. This allows you to give information about your business topics to multiple audiences, and it helps with your SEO (search engine optimization).

Start creating your content on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to see your traffic increase and your videos start to rank.

If all of this seems overwhelming and you’d like some help getting started, call IFTS today and ask about our “Beginner’s Video Package” at 412.715.6266.

The Complete Guide to Online Reputation for Small Businesses: How to Grow Your Business, Improve Your SEO & Get Found Online

The sales cycle for most businesses today has more steps because customers are smart and informed.  The more that you can present your company in a positive light to your target market, the more likely they are to buy from you…and not your competition.

This is where your online reputation factors into the equation.

Growing the online reputation of your business positively consists of two main tasks:

  • Reputation Management
  • Reputation Marketing

Reputation Management is the process of soliciting, collecting and supervising online reviews for your business.  This will both build and protect your reputation, ensuring the people that Google you find positive, persuasive content.  It also will help you improve customer experience with the feedback that you receive.

Reputation Marketing highlights and boosts positive online content that customers provide (like reviews).  This may be done through both traditional and digital channels.  Leveraging positive reviews/ratings increases the visibility of a company.  

These two tasks must be done on a regular basis to be competitive and help ensure the future growth of the company.

Why Should Online Reputation Matter to You?

Don’t underestimate the importance of your online reputation!

Small businesses, especially ones that have a local target market, should have a plan in place to grow their reputation positively.  In fact, 82% of local searches are followed with an in-person visit to the store.  Local searchers are definitely using the internet to check out where they want to spend their money before they leave the house.  Any business that lacks an enticing online presence is risking losing business to well-positioned competitors…even if that competitor has a worse product or service.  

Even when you have the best product with the best customer service at unbeatable prices, if you have negative social signals or if your online reputation isn’t great, prospects will be hesitant to give you their time or money.  Consumers are now searching for the best service at the best price.  They are using Google, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram and more to find it.  Social media, search results and online content are allowing buyers to make very informed spending decisions.

“82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54” (BrightLocal)

When your ideal prospect searches for the type of product or service in your location that you provide, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Does your business show in the search results?
  2. Are you the obvious choice with 5-star reviews and a professional, authoritative online presence?

If the answer to either of the above questions is “No”, then chances are you just lost a customer.

Customers Trust Online Reviews to Guide Their Decisions, But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It…

“Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.” (BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)

“Businesses ranking in Google’s local positions 1-3 have an average of 47 reviews, while businesses in positions 7-10 have 38 reviews.” (BrightLocal, Google Reviews Study)

“Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks from Google local results than having a 1-star rating.” (BrightLocal, Impact of Reviews and Ratings on Click-Through Rates)

Want more clients?  Using the facts above, a well-positioned online reputation can help you grow your business more efficiently than practically any other form of marketing.

What are the Benefits of Online Reputation Management for My Small Business?

Crafting a positive online presence has a multitude of benefits for a small business.  It will establish credibility and authority, which gives your company a competitive advantage over others in your market.  Be the obvious choice for your prospects!  

Want a salesman that works 24/7/365, advertising you as the best in your locale?  This is what a positive online reputation can do for you.  According to BrightLocal, “Review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks in local search engine results”.

Additionally, a great reputation can help with your search engine optimization (SEO).  Online reviews, directories, business profiles and more help your website rank higher.  Thus, exposing you to a new and wider audience.

You now may be asking yourself, “This is great, but how do I start?”

That is what the rest of this guide will cover.

What Should A Small Business Do To Grow Their Online Reputation?

Step 1: Claim, Manage and Optimize Your Business Listings and Online Review Site Accounts

Review sites are vitally important when maintaining your reputation.  This is where consumers go to research companies and products.  One goal for your business should be showing up in Google local results with good reviews.  

Sometimes, people are willing to take their research to the next level.  This is where review sites come in.  For example, did you know that Yelp has over 178 million site visitors monthly?  They are all looking to confirm that they will get what they want from a particular business.

Make review sites work for you.  Build and protect your online reputation by building your review set on multiple sites.  Make sure to respond to every review in a way that is consistent and persuasive to potential customers reading.

Claim your business profiles on all review sites that are pertinent to your business.  Don’t forget any local directories as well!  Complete the profiles and be sure to use keywords and phrases that your target audience may be interested in.  Make sure that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) are consistent across all profiles.  For example, don’t use “Road” in one and “Rd” in another.  Pick one usage and apply it across all online properties.  Be sure that your website has the same exact information, as well.

Missing, incomplete or duplicate information in these listings can hurt your business and your SEO!

Some of the top review sites that you may want to consider are:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Facebook
  • Trip Advisor
  • Foursquare
  • Angie’s List

Step 2: Create and Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

When you are first starting this plan, Googling your business normally results in various social media profiles for the owner and the business being returned.  This is exactly why you should claim and establish your social media profiles.

Social media profiles generally rank highly for personal names and business names.  If you have not done much to establish yourself, this is a great way to control what prospects can see about you.  You have complete power over what your profiles say and the imagery displayed.  

It’s important to claim these profiles as soon as a business is established.  Profile names are first-come, first-serve, so it is possible that someone else could claim your name.  Don’t let your competition block you, or even worse, create a fake profile and pretend to be you.

An active social media presence lets you promote your brand and establish your voice.  Your content will help create relationships with your clients.  It also lets you showcase your thoughts, opinions, interesting articles, reviews and more.

When claiming your profile, be sure to fill everything out in its entirety.  Include your NAP from above, your website, contact information, logo and lots of photos.  People like to see the people behind the business.

Step 3: Solicit and Manage Reviews

Create a process for your business to request online reviews from your customers and make sure that you and your employees follow it every time.  

“76% of consumers that are asked to leave a review go to write one.” (BrightLocal, Local Consumer Review Survey)

Monitor your review profiles for new reviews and be sure to respond to all new feedback.

When you receive a positive review, it is easy to write a response. Thank them for their time and review, use their name, talk about your commitment, let them know that their feedback is important and invite them to take another step with your company.

Receive a negative review?  You need to reply!

“45% of consumers say they are more likely to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.” (ReviewTrackers, Online Reviews Survey)

Reply to the reviewer using a courteous tone, and apologize for the experience that they had.  Then, offer to discuss the issue offline.  This way, potential clients will see that you care about customer satisfaction and that you tried to make it right – allowing you to flip a negative into a positive.

Step 4: Create a Blog with Consistently-Published, Quality Content

Your online reputation also comes from the authority that you have established.  A blog is a great way to accomplish this.  Blog entries published regularly with proper SEO ensures that the content and images that you create occupies the top search results for your name and business.

Worried about how to start your blog?  

Here is our blog quick-start guide:

  • Set up your blog in WordPress (You can follow this guide if you run into trouble https://www.wpbeginner.com/start-a-wordpress-blog/).
  • Install the free Yoast SEO plugin (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/).
  • Identify 13 commonly asked questions that you hear from your customers frequently.
  • Answer the questions.  If writing is not your thing, record yourself answering the questions on your phone and use https://otter.ai/ (free tool) to transcribe it.
  • Create one blog entry per question.  
  • SEO each entry with page titles, meta descriptions, tags, URLs, image names etc.
  • Use WordPress’ built in functionality to schedule one of these entries to post every 2 weeks.  This gives you a regularly scheduled post for the next half-year.
  • BONUS: Film yourself reading the blog entry and post the video to YouTube with a link back to the blog.  This will help with authority and SEO.

Step 5: Get Started

You now have everything that you need to begin.  Don’t jeopardize the time, money (and maybe tears) that you have put into your business by neglecting to build and maintain a positive online presence!

Need help getting started or want someone to take over the responsibilities of this task?  Contact IFTS and ask about our ReviewLead free trial.  We make online reputation a stress-free experience for you.