The Best Painting Contractor Marketing Ideas are Systems

Marketing a Painting Business

If you’re looking for painting contractor marketing ideas or if you have ideas about marketing your painting company but aren’t sure if they’re valid, you have good reason to be searching. Let me tell you why…

In this calendar year alone, I’ve conducted over 600 in-depth marketing assessments, surveys, and one-on-one reviews for painting contractors. What I typically discover, to say the least, is disheartening.

Replace Painting Contractor Marketing Ideas with Systems

The term “marketing ideas” makes me nervous when it comes to painting companies because it makes a bold and inaccurate assumption. It assumes that a few ideas that aren’t part of an overall framework can produce sustainable results.

The term denotes that marketing for painting contractors is supposed to be an assortment of tricks, gimmicks, and one-shot efforts that are pulled out as needed like a magic wand.

Quite to the contrary, the most effective ideas for marketing a painting business aren’t “ideas” at all. Instead, what you should be searching for are marketing systems that are continually employed to achieve specific results on a calendared, ongoing basis.

Here are a few such systems:

5 Marketing Systems

#1 Marketing to Past Customers – Many painting contractors neglect their past customers, even though this is the ONLY way you can build stability, predictability, and equity in your business. On a quarterly basis, you should be running offer and deadline-driven customer reactivation campaigns. These campaigns should be multi-step and multi-medium.

#2 Marketing for Painting Referrals – Most painting contractors make the marketing mistake of taking a “wide and shallow” approach to generating leads. As a result, painters run out of resources before they see results. Instead, focus your efforts narrowly and deeply. Pick a target market that can not only give you LEADS but also represents an excellent source of referrals. When you do this, you get the benefit of the immediate sale and the ongoing stream of referrals.

#3 Improving Your Estimate Process – Many painters believe that they are like a clerk at Wal-Mart. They think that conducting an estimate is all about giving the customer a price. They’re just there to “ring up” the sale. This is the opposite of what should be happening in your estimating process.

As a painter, you are often offering services that are just as expensive as cosmetic surgery, legal services, or accounting services. Yet we try and sell these services with a weak and wimpy email two days after the visit – at a great distance and at a remarkable disadvantage. Ask yourself this: Do plastic surgeons, accountants, and lawyers sell their services this way? Absolutely not! And you shouldn’t either!

#4 Marketing for Commercial Repaint Contracts – I firmly believe that a repaint contractor should “live off the residential” and “thrive from the commercial.” If you call up ANY facilities manager in your area and ask him when the last time was that he heard from a painting contractor you’ll get these responses, “never,” “several years,” and “can’t remember.”

Your local area is swimming with opportunity for high-margin, recurring commercial maintenance painting contracts if you’ll simply take the time to market for them in a systematic way.

#5 Marketing Maintenance – Of all the neglected aspects of marketing a painting business, this is it. If you work at the four fundamental aspects of 1) marketing to past customers, 2) referral sources, 3) commercial contracts, and improve your 4) estimating process, you’ll have four precious assets:

  1. Past Customer List
  2. Unconverted Leads List
  3. Commercial Repaint Target List
  4. Painting Referral Partner List

So, how do you keep these resources from being wasted? The answer is very simple – newsletter marketing. On a monthly basis, you should be contacting ALL past customers and high-value prospects with your monthly newsletter. This process costs less than $12.00/year per contact, yet past customers alone are worth an average of $1,000.00 in sales. Mathematically, it’s a can’t lose proposition.

If you’re searching for “marketing ideas” for your painting business, let me caution you. Discovering a potpourri of assorted, disconnected, and unproven marketing ideas is just about as dangerous as finding nothing at all.

Spend your time instead looking for marketing systems that you can continually employ to build upon your past efforts in a way that’s integrated and continuous. This is the secret to painting profitability, equity, and continual growth.

For more ideas about marketing a painting company, go here.

Brandon Lewis, MBA
1523 E 27th St.
Chattanooga, TN 37404


  1. Mercy on June 2, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Great job. learnt a lot

    • Brandon Lewis on June 2, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Mercy! We appreciate the feedback!

  2. Mercy on June 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Great work

  3. Kelvin Flores on August 31, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Thank you for the great perspective on how to generate business

    • Brandon Lewis on August 31, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Kelvin! We also have lots of free resources for improving your painting business sales, hiring, and operations systems at

  4. Ben on March 30, 2018 at 4:56 am

    Great job guys

    • Brandon Lewis on March 30, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks again Ben! We are always looking for ways to help house painters grow their business with effective marketing and sales tools! Keep reading!

  5. Ben on March 30, 2018 at 4:58 am

    You are so right on many levels. Greetings from Miami, Fl

    • Brandon Lewis on March 30, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks Ben!!!

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