In our previous post on promoting your paint business online, we discussed online identity in broad terms. Today, we’ll discuss the building of your website, and tomorrow’s focus will be on social media.
Once upon a time, having a professional looking website was expensive and complicated. Now there are a number of free or low cost options that can help you create and maintain a website that features pictures of your work, details your skill set and offerings, and allows visitors to reach you easily. If you don’t know where to start, try WordPress, Microsoft Office 365, or GoDaddy for free or inexpensive and simple to use website options. You should be able to find a website provider for less than $10 a month that provides professional templates and an easy to use website editor so you can easily add content and make changes to the information you publish.
But what should your website say? How should it look? Whether you already have a website or need to build one from scratch, here are five tips for the website itself that should help distinguish you from the competition and exhibit your professionalism.
The goal of your website is to paint a picture reflective of your business. A messy or disjointed website will communicate to potential clients that you are disorganized, and a website that looks boring or unprofessional will communicate that you don’t take seriously how your company is perceived. The presentation of your website, from color choices to the text content included, communicates more than just information to prospective clients; it communicates who you are and the qualities and values you find important. Your website must tell potential customers that you hold yourself and your work to a high standard and you are excited to share that with them. Here are five ways to maximize your website’s potential:
- Contact us! Making it easy for site visitors to contact you is a priority. Your direct phone line and email address should be prominently displayed on each page. Requiring those viewing your website to click on a “Contact Us” link or to look around for a away to reach you may not seem like much of a burden, but the purpose of your website is to solicit their interest in your services. Make it simple for them to contact you.
- Pictures picture pictures. As a professional painter, your work is very visual in nature for clients and customers. Having as many high resolution photos as possible of the jobs you are working on or have completed will give prospective clients an idea about the quality of your work. Studies have shown that websites with more photos convert visitors into paying customers at a higher rate. Displaying your work on your website is a great way to show what the client can expect when you are finished with the job.
- It’s for them, not you. A smart chef knows that he should cook to the taste of his customers, not his own. Your website should follow the same maxim; forget your own favorite colors or that fancy script writing you saw on a birthday card. Your site needs to be easy to read and easy on the eyes because it isn’t meant for you – it’s meant for potential clients. If you aren’t sure what aesthetics will resonate with potential clients, find the websites of three or four competitors that are successful. Look for the common themes among their sites. You are likely to find legible text, an abundance of pictures, soft color choices, and easy to find contact information.
- What do you do? It is staggering how many professional paint websites do not share information about expertise or services offered. If you are skilled in interior painting, make sure that is listed on your website. If you paint exteriors, list that as well. Airburshing? Off-shore painting? Paint stripping? Color-matching? Yes, yes, and yes. Every service you offer should be detailed on your website. When a potential client calls, you don’t want them asking what you do. Rather, you want them to say something like, “I saw on your website that you repaint antique cars…I’d be interested in talking to you about a car I need painted.”
- Keep it fresh. Most businesses (including many of your competitors) use their websites as billboards. And like billboards, those sites are often seen once and then ignored. To really begin leveraging the power of the internet, your website needs to be fresh and interesting every time a visitor happens upon it. Make sure your the photographs on the site are updated to show your most recent work. Add a blog and share your thoughts about the work you are doing. Share information and stories that visitors might find interesting and useful. Your website should be dynamic enough that a potential customer may find reason to visit it more than once.
Whether you are receiving referrals or running advertisements on television, it is a near-certainty that anyone considering your paint services is going look at your website before hiring you and your team. Paint business promotion always includes an element of your online identity and presence. The tips above will ensure that your offering comes across as professional and respectable instead of assembled haphazardly and then forgotten. Click here to learn more marketing tips for professional painters!