Having a marketing plan means planning your marketing. Many painting contractors rely entirely on word of mouth. While this can be good when times are good, many will attest to the fact that when times are tough, word of mouth doesn’t get enough work. For this reason we need to market ourselves.
When we market ourselves, we stay ahead of 90% of the competition, because most painting contractors do not market their business.
This is not an article about how to market, but how to plan or schedule your marketing. For example, what should you be doing with your marketing in January? Or what should I be doing with my marketing in June? Most of whom I am writing for is the residential re-painter. Commercial or new construction marketing will be different.
1) January, if you have done your marking throughout the year you should be busy painting in January, so you can lay off your marketing because it will largely be a waste of time. I still do door hangers in the neighborhoods where I am working and also proximity mailing that is mailing to the locals around where we are painting.
2) February, I like to start my heavy duty direct mailing towards the end of February, with the intent to capture the shoppers who are already planning for their spring painting. Lots of times this will be mainly exteriors but it is also those folks who are planning their interior or exterior painting jobs around their income tax refund.
3) March is when we get serious about direct mailing. We are now getting jobs for the entire spring. Keep in mind that we never stop hanging doors or proximity mailings. Of course we are trying to fill in the summer months all through the spring.
4) April is pretty much the same as March.
Tip: How do you market for next January and February? Try this, every time that you win an interior job during the months when you are booked with exterior jobs, offer your customers an additional 10% off the top of the estimate if they agree to schedule their interior jobs during the colder months when you will be slow or it is too cold to work outside. Some will agree.
5) May is the same as March with the difference being that we should be booked up through the end of June and much of July.
6) June is the last of the heavy duty mailings for the spring, summer needs to be booked by now, as most jobs for the summer will be contracted out, and once again we are still putting door hangers out.
7) July means to ease back on direct mailings but keep up with hangers and your proximity mailings.
8) August is pretty much the same as July except you should get all of your printing need s done now because September starts the big marketing push for holiday and winter painting.
9) September is when we pull out all the stops and begin our all-out direct mailing campaign.
10) October we continue with September’s work.
11) November, at least in the early part of the month we continue marketing, but towards Thanksgiving we stop mailing as most people have scheduled their holiday work and are too busy to entertain painting jobs.
12) December marketing is pretty much over except for door hangers and proximity mailings.
Door hangers announce that we are in the neighborhood at #10 Green Lane or whatever.
Proximity mailings tell the same story.