Low Cost Marketing Strategies for Painting Contractors - Part 2 - Local Networking

Posted 01/27/2014

Since most painting contractors work within a small radius of a few towns or counties, local networking is still a smart strategy to get you and your business known within the community. 

Sure it has been a long day and the last thing you want to do is go to a networking event.  Consider what will happen if your competition is going and you aren’t.  Networking is a way to put a face to a business name and personalize it.  People want to do business with and refer people they know and trust.  So making local relationships is paramount to the continued success of your small business.

There are many networking opportunities within your community, you just need to look.  The trick is to pick a group or organization you are interested in.  The more interested you are in the group, the more likely you will stay involved.  Consider visiting local Chamber of Commerce events, local business networking groups, community charitable groups, and national industry specific groups with local chapters. There are groups specifically for painting contractors like the PDCA (Painting and Decorating Contractors of America) which are a national industry specific group with local chapters in many cities.

Tips for effective local networking:

  • Choose a group or organization you are interested in so you will remain active.  Visit more than once before making a commitment.  Most groups do require a fee to join which will entitle you to various benefits.  Often times the benefits are local advertising opportunities. Be certain to utilize the benefits associated with your group to maximize your ROI.
  • Networking events are not a time to “sell”, but rather a time to get to know others and make a connection.  People love to talk about their business, so have a few questions in mind to start a conversation and keep it moving.
  • Arrive early to the meeting or event.  By arriving a bit early it gives you additional meet and greet time before the event begins.
  • Bring lots of business cards.  Be sure to exchange cards with others throughout the meeting.  Make note of any conversations that require follow up in the coming week.
  • Take the connections you have made and follow up in the weeks to come.  Choose a few of your new contacts each week to either make a quick phone call, send an email, or arrange to meet for coffee, a quick breakfast, or lunch to further your business relationships.
At some point people will need your services, whether you are a general contractor, plumber, or painting contractor.  People want to hire and refer those they know and trust to their friends and family.  Set yourself apart from the competition by being known in the community and watch your referral base grow.  Sometimes finding work is about who you know!

Make sure you read last week’s article with tips for painting contractors and other tradesmen on Job Site Marketing.

This is Part 2 in a six part series on marketing strategies for painting contractors.  Next week Part 3 in the series will be on using Internet Business Listing Sites to get found online.

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Written by: Barbara Walsh, http://www.walshonemarketing.com/