Some of our customers are just starting their painting business.  Once they start having expenses, they need quick revenue to cover them.  Unfortunately, search engine optimization takes a few months (don’t believe anyone who tells you it doesn’t!).  Many of these customers ask us how they can get work while we’re helping them move up the rankings.

The bad news is that there isn’t any lead source that is as affordable and effective as a website that searches well online.  The good news is that there are several other ways to earn some quick business without paying an arm and a leg.  Here are a few of them.

Do you have few or no prior customers?

If you’re just getting started and you’re building from zero customers, these ideas can help you get those valuable first few.

Door-to-door sales:  Use a service like VistaPrint to design and print some simple but professional flyers cheaply.  Put on some professional clothes (khakis and a polo shirt, for instance) and go to a part of town with nice houses, especially if that area has a Homeowners Association that requires the exterior of the house be in great condition. Drop off flyers at any house that you think could use a fresh coat of paint.

If you want to increase your sales rate and get some practice selling, knock on those doors and offer an estimate – but know that some people will respond negatively to being interrupted while at home.

Other painters:  Established painters with more work than they can handle may view small jobs as a nuisance – but these jobs are valuable to painters who are just starting out.  These jobs lead to online reviews and referrals, both of which lead to larger jobs.

Contact other painters in town and ask if they have more work than they can handle. If they do, ask if they could refer any painting work that’s too small to you instead.  This also makes them look good, because they helped someone who called them.

Mass Marketing (be careful!): Although many painters use mass-advertising such as mailers or online ads when they first start out, we encourage people to be careful when doing this.  The advertising itself often ends up costing more than the profit left after the jobs produced by the advertising, leaving nothing to pay the bills.  While this method can produce leads that will help grow the business, you want to make sure you have enough money in the bank to cover personal and business expenses for several months if you’re using this approach.

Do you have existing customers?

If you have existing customers but need more, there are other options available to you to earn more business while you wait for your site to search well.  Some of these techniques are worth doing even after you have a website that’s producing leads, because they don’t require much effort.

Online reviews and referrals: If a customer is happy with the work you’ve done, don’t forget to ask for an online review and any referrals they may have!

As you gather positive online reviews, search engines will begin to regard you as a high-quality painter, and this will help you search better.  Additionally, those who do see your company online will see that you have dozens of great reviews, and will be more likely to select your company to do their painting.

While online reviews have a slow-building positive effect, referrals can lead to immediate revenue.  Prospects who are referred to you by previous customers are far more likely to select you for the job, because you’ve been approved by someone they trust.

Yard Signs:  Have some professional yard signs made, and ask happy customers if you can leave one in their yard for a couple of weeks.  There’s no better way to communicate that you’re happy to paint in a community and that you do a great job at it than a yard sign in front of a house you’ve just painted.  This allows people to see your advertisement right next to your high-quality work – and it can lead to several calls from other people in the community who see their neighbors renovating and don’t want to have the oldest paint job in town.

To learn how ProPainter Websites can help your business grow, call us at 855-385-1134 or email us at