Painting Business Marketing 101

Marketing is easy, so this post is going to be short.

Step 1: Spend a bunch of money on marketing

Step 2: Track your results.

Step 3: Decide if you like the results or not.

Step 4: If you like the results, do more of it. If you don’t like the results, don’t do it again.

Step 5: Repeat for every possible marketing option you have.

It’s really that simple… People will try to sell you marketing services and they are always going to sound good… their job is to make it sound good. And it probably does work, for some people. But I don’t care about some people. I care about ME.

Step 1… How much money do you spend on marketing to know if it works? I’d recommend at least $500. I try to spend at least $1,000-$2,000 to see if something works… unless the results are awful right away. The point is that you need to spend enough money to give yourself a chance to see if it will work. For example, if you spend $50 on a lead service that costs $50/lead you can’t know if that service works. If you get one lead for $50 and you don’t win the job, that’s not surprising. You need at least 10 leads, to do 6-7 estimates, to book 1-3 jobs. And even then, it’s not a very big test sample. What if the very next lead you got you booked a $10,000 job? So you gotta give marketing a chance. Early on, start with the cheapest services that you can spend the least amount of money on. If you spend a lot of money, you can almost always at least get your money back even if the marketing service sucks.

Step 2… What are good results and how do you track them? You want to know the % you spent on marketing. Figure out how much money you spent on that particular marketing service, and how much sales you got from it. Dollars spent/Sales. So if I spend $500 on marketing, and I got a $5,000 job from it… that would be 500/5000 = 10%. At our company, we don’t like to spend much money on marketing. I would consider spending 10% on marketing if it got us a lot of work… but we like to be under 6-7% spent on marketing. Some companies can go as high as 15%, especially if you are just starting out.

Step 3… Under 7%, do more! 10% – maybe try it a little longer… 15% – drop it, try something else, come back to it later. You get the picture… Track your percentage, and choose afterwards.

Step 4… If it’s effective, spend as much money as you can on it.

Step 5… Find another marketing service to test out.

Here are some services to try out and get you started….

Painter Choice:






Direct Mail: google a local company

Door to Door: check out my course on how to do this well

Leave a comment – What marketing services have worked for you?



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  1. Tony betancourt | January 3, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I’m trying to launch my own business I have workmans comp and general liabilityand a 12,000 dollar bond how can I attract good employees

    • Eric | February 9, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Be a great employer! There are amazing employees everywhere. What is missing is great bosses. People who set good expectations. People who set up their employees to win. Pay them fair. Treat them well. Provide opportunities and growth. Do those things and you’ll have all the amazing people you need.

  2. Lance Stillwell | January 15, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Hello Eric… This maybe an odd question, but what is your last name and part of the country are you in? Thank you!

    • Eric | February 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      Eric Barstow and I’m in Colorado.

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About Me

I’m Eric Barstow, creator of Painting Business Pro, founder of National Painting Group & Foothills Painting, Co-Owner of Painter Choice. I’m disrupting the painting industry, and helping thousands of painters start or improve their businesses. I love what I do!

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