Marketing on a Budget: Decorator Edition

June 21st, 2021

Our guest author Jon Mears has put together a range of simple guides to help professional painters and decorators with their sales and marketing. These simple marketing secrets will help to grow your business in no time!

Jon has been working in sales and marketing for over a decade and has gained important skills and knowledge about the industry. He began writing to help tradespeople with their marketing in 2020, and has since published three books which are available to purchase on Amazon.

EASY ways to get more work FASt - all for under £50

1.Social media

There are loads of things you can do on social media to get some new enquiries.

My favourites are:
  1. Go into your local Facebook groups and do a quick post saying you have some availability coming up. Some groups won’t let you do this, but some will. So, it’s worth going for it.
  2. Set up a Facebook business page. If you haven’t already got one, then get it sorted! You never know who might be snooping on your profile. If they don’t know you’re a decorator, they aren’t going to hire you!
  3. Get on platforms you don’t currently use. Whilst I think it’s a good idea to focus most of your time on the platform that gives you the best results, I also think you should have a presence on all the major social media sites. This includes, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.  

2. Facebook ads – From £2

Running an ad campaign on Facebook can be a great way to generate some enquiries, FAST!

You can reach thousands of people for as little as £2.Personally, I would suggest you try a 7 day campaign with a £5 per day spend cap. (Total spend £35).These have proven most effective for me. 

Ads don’t have to be complicated. A simple before and after photo of a previous job will catch people’s attention. Then use the text on the post to encourage people to either message you for a free quote or visit your website.

The only other thing you need to do is pick your audience. Think about your ideal customer. Are they male or female? How old are they? Where do they live? Answer these three questions based on your experience and you’re all set.

3. Leaflets

Printing leaflets is so quick and easy nowadays it has got to be worth a go. I have heard loads of stories from decorators who did a leaflet drop and ended up with customers for life.

Use a local printer if you can, if not, Vistaprint can produce a few thousand leaflets and send them to you in a matter of days. To distribute them, you can either pay a local company, use the Royal Mail door to door service, or simply do it yourself. 

4. Local paper / parish magazines

Placing an advert in a local magazine can be a great way to increase enquiries. Think about your target customer. Without stereotyping too much, older people often like to use local magazines and newspapers to find trades people. If this is your typical customer then it will pay for you to have a listing.

5. Get in touch with other local decorators

The community amongst decorators is unlike any other. If you are struggling for work, don’t be afraid to reach out to a local decorator and see if they could use an extra pair of hands. A week as a subby is better than a week sat at home doing nothing!

Plus, you might form a relationship that will have unforeseen benefits.

6. Signs for your van

I’m a big advocate for signwriting your van. Even if you spent £500 on signwriting, if you kept it on your van for 3 years, it works out as just £13.89 per month. That’s about as cheap as advertising can get!

However, if you don’t have the money to go all out on the signwriting, then you can get magnetic signs printed very cheaply nowadays. This is a great option if you want a quick bit of advertising.

7. Build a relationship with your local decorator merchant

Once you get to know the staff there you might start getting referrals from them. They might even let you leave a stack of your business cards on the counter!

8. Contact local schools and colleges 

This is especially fruitful just before the holidays. Often lots of decorators will get drafted in to complete a load of work over the holidays, make sure you are on their radar!

9. Email Marketing 

Email marketing is free and you don't need to get all technical for it to be effective. Writing a simple email to all your previous customers saying you are now taking bookings could be enough to get you a few jobs.

TIP - marketing works best when you combine multiple effect. Try doing several things from this list all at once for maximum effect!

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