Welcome to the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast. The show was created to help painting company owners build a thriving painting business that does well over one million and annual revenue. I’m your host, Brandon Pierpont, founder of Painter Marketing Pros and creator of the popular PCA educational series, Learn, Do, Grow Marketing for Painters. In each episode, I’ll be sharing proven tips, strategies and processes from leading experts in the industry on how they found success in their painting business. We will be interviewing owners of the most successful painting companies in North America and learning from their experiences.
In this episode of the industry partner series of the Painter Marketing Mastermind Podcast titled Wisdom from the World’s Wealthiest Painters. We host guest Brandon Lewis. Brandon is the founder of Academy for Professional Painting Contractors. He specializes in helping painting companies increase their income and reduce day to day frustrations through done for use systems and one on one mentoring in this episode, Brandon discusses the habits, mindset philosophy and implementation methodology of the highest achieving painting contractors he has encountered what’s going on. Brandon. I am doing great. I’m glad to be here. I appreciate you very much. I am I’m proud to have you. I love your name, love your attitude.
Let’s go, Brandon. I hear it. Everywhere I go. I’m like, thank you. Thank you so much. That is the kindest thing and I just, I feel a sense of encouragement. Uh So it’s, it’s awesome. This is the, this is the year for us when I, when I first uh read that, I think someone had commented to a Facebook post before I realized that that was a thing and someone said it and it might have even been an ad on Facebook. I was like, man, like that. Gosh, that makes me feel really good.
Usually people are kind of hurling stuff at you on Facebook and this guy is just like, hey, let’s go, man. You’re doing great. That’s awesome. I put on a tank top, I’ll wear it to the gym occasionally and people say I like your shirt. I said, what’s my name? Um There you, you, you’re, you’re taking the, yeah, you’re, you’re gonna take the bump. So there you go. I appreciate it, man. You’ve been, you’ve been in this space for a really long time. I’m super excited for, for what you have to share with us.
Uh I’m gonna let you kick off brother. So if I could prom the pump here or set the scene for folks that are listening on your podcast, it’s seven o’clock in the morning, you show up to the paint store and you look around and there’s so much money in the painting industry, multi multibillion dollar paint, uh, industry, uh, all, all over the United States of America. And I also work in a lot of English speaking, uh, countries like the UK and uh Australia, Canada, Switzerland and all, all kinds of places.
Uh, you would think that people would be wealthy, but instead you look around the parking lot and what you see are folks that are barely getting by, uh, people that are driving old rusty vans and trucks. Folks that have been laboring, uh, at this vocation now for 1020 603 years and, and when it gets, uh, retirement time, instead of selling their painting business for multiples of their income, they roll their rusty equipment out on the sidewalk and they tell all their painting friends, they’re going out of business and maybe they go drink a beer at the local bar and they post an ad on Craigslist and that is the end of the legacy.
But it shouldn’t be like that because, uh, we are in an industry if you do it right. And it’s not very hard where you can put $5000 in a project today and get 10,000 out of it. 56 days from now, you can’t do that in retail, you can’t do that in manufacturing. Uh, but because folks are confused about what they do for a living because they, um, they got to their business. Um I guess they launch their business um in a weird way uh from a technical perspective, uh they miss out on the wealth and affluence that can be created through the painting industry.
And so we’re here to talk about, you know, what separates the, the ultra achievers uh from your average painter and why that need not be the case. I love it, man. Let’s dive into your business. You’ve obviously worked with many painting companies. So you have, you have your own personal experience and then you have a lot of experience from all the companies that you’ve coached. Can we learn more about, about what you do? Yeah, just go to painters academy dot com. Uh A lot of folks follow our youtube channel.
Just type in academy for professional painting contractors. It’s a long name, uh or painter’s academy. It’ll pull up either way. But I mean, that’s a good way to, to learn about it. But uh as you mentioned, I’ve worked with, I guess now it’s somewhere between 455 100 painting contractors in six different countries. And so I have just seen a lot and um after a while, uh the truth begins to coalesce if you do anything for a living, uh long enough and if you do the same thing over and over again, uh you start to see a pattern of behavior, a methodology that works.
Uh you begin to uh see the pitfalls, you begin to see the opportunities. And after a while you develop a philosophy based upon reality and you’re able to reproduce that for folks. And so that’s uh what I spent all day long doing. Yeah, I love it, man. That’s, that’s actually what the industry partners series. So you’re coming on as an industry partner because it’s really your, your area of expertise here is working with other painting company owners. That’s kind of how this originated was the idea that because the Painter Market Mass Mind podcast, we’ve been talking with successful painting company owners for years, you know, people above a million people above 10 million people above 50 million, right?
What you, what you know, what do you recommend, et cetera, et cetera. But when you talk with people like you who have, who have helped, who have hands on, worked with hundreds and hundreds of painting companies across, I guess, six different countries. There’s a certain level of data that you can extract. There are themes that you can present in a way that’s just not possible, talking with owners, one on one. So I’m super excited for this. Well, thank you, for example, I’ve got my own coach that I’ve worked with for years and he is a coach to coaches uh and associations and I have my experience running my organization, but it’s not the same as his uh helping hundreds.
And so, uh when I present a problem to him that to me just seems completely unique and unsolvable and I’ve wrestled with it forever. It’s like two minutes into, it’s like, what you need to do. Isn’t that stupid? Do this thing over here and me. Right. And I do it and it is a lot better than what I would invent in my own brain or trial and error. And so, uh, it’s my, I’m not any smarter than your average painter. I’ve just uh been a librarian for all these ideas and I have uh stolen uh tons of ideas from our most productive members who have suggested new and better ways to do things.
And I, I always tell them I’ll give you credit the first time, but after then it’s my idea and so just be prepared. Yeah, that’s funny, man. Yeah, we’re, we’re all out here trying to re invent the wheel, right? Or, or thinking that our problems are unique but they’re really not. Painting industry is not a new industry. These are not new. No, you can go visit the pyramids if you think it’s new, just go down there, go down there, visit the very visit too. And Common’s Tomb and you’ll see that it is not, it is not new.
People have been doing this for a long time. Yeah. So in light of focusing on, I guess the most successful themes I would actually like to start the opposite way and I’d like to see the most, most common problems. Right. We all think, oh, we can’t find it, find any good painters or, you know, we, we keep getting undercut, um, by chucking a truck so we’re not able to actually charge what we’re worth. Uh, these are two examples of, of common, unique quote unquote, unique problems to a specific market or my market is not big enough.
What sorts of patterns or problems have you seen across the industry at large that people maybe think are unique to their market or maybe are just not thinking about this the right way and you, and you have a chance here to set the record straight. Well, I would say that that people are looking at symptoms instead of diseases. If your problem is not that you’ve got a runny nose, your problem that you got Rhinovirus, your problem is not that you, that you, that you’re continent. The problem is that you, you ate AAA bean burrito with £5 of jalapenos in it.
And this, these are the results. These are not the uh the, the problems are, are the result of how you run your business. They’re not uh a problem with the industry or the business. OK. Uh And I think that the underlying cause of the majority of these quote unquote problems which really aren’t problems at all. I is this tradesman to entrepreneur, to manager journey that most people go on. Not all. And there’s a kind of a AAA different problem that I see with people that are college educated or have worked in another field and they start a painting business which are, you know, I don’t know, maybe 0003 to 15% of the people I work with.
Uh I was one of those individuals but when you go from being a tradesman to an entrepreneur, often, you know, you, uh one day you’re painting and the next day you’re pissed off at your boss and the next day you’re running a painting business. And so people look at things like, oh crap. I know how to paint. Now, I’ve got to get a price out the door and you think that sales and then you’re like, oh crap, I gotta find a lead through any means necessary no matter how expensive or how poor the quality of the client or how price sensitive I gotta find a lead.
Uh I’ve got a, I’ve, I’ve got to hire a painter but you really don’t stop to think that, hey, I am now uh a sales manager. I am now AAA small business marketing person. I am an operations specialist. And if you never develop any of those skills, um then you’re gonna, the road’s gonna be tough, the profits are gonna be low, the days are gonna be long and frustrating. And it’s simply because uh those are things that most folks that have spent 23, 10 years as a crew leader.
Uh The boss isn’t training, you how to do sales. He’s not, and he didn’t know either and he’s not training you how to do operations. And so you find yourself fed into this situation where your, their family’s livelihood depends on your expertise and ability in those areas, but you don’t have any. And then the worst part of it all is when you lack the self-awareness, uh, to know that you lack them and you continue to, to blame outside circumstances for your situation. And that is a vicious cycle, man.
I have never heard it laid out like that. That is impressive. I think that is at the root of the problem. And, and you would any man in a van, business plumber, uh general contractor, even, uh you know, gutter installer, it’s all the same. You got a dude in a van going to a box to do something with his hands and tools or if you’re running a, that, you know, if you’re in a box, people bring their van to you and you fix it or they bring their face to you or your feet or whatever it is, you do, you counsel them about their marriage.
It’s all service industry related. Uh But you know, the, the service is the least important part. It’s the least important part because if the service was the most important part, the painters would make a ton of money and the owners would make none. Uh So, but it’s exactly the opposite from the income standpoint. And so we know that the skills required to run the business are far more important than the trade knowledge. Interesting. What is the, the problem that you see that from the 10 to 15% that are college educated?
They decide, hey, this looks, looks like a good opportunity. I’m gonna start a painting company. What does that look like? They’re so smart. They’re lazy. They, they won’t do anything. The, the dumb ones. Uh My dumb, I always say my dumb uh members are putting checks in the bank uh and, and piling up income while my smart ones are giving me the 15 reasons why my recommendations won’t work. And that goes on for too long. And, and, and I always tell our guys, you know, wealth has attracted speed of implementation and is repelled by sloth and indecision and the slower you move, the poorer you will be uh especially once you know what to do.
And you’ve got a good idea that it, that it needs to be done. And so, uh that, and then uh there’s an odd thing that happens and I did this myself. Uh And so I, I can’t say that, oh that y’all, y’all did this. Uh But I never did that. Uh People very often fail to take the skills that made them successful in their previous business into the painting field because they think all the rules are different when, in fact, in many cases they are not, uh, case in point would be, I talked to a lot of guys that were in manufacturing sales or were in some kind of sales position, uh, or an accounting position.
And when I asked them about their sales process, it’s like they pet the dog, they email a PDF, they barely do any follow up and they wonder why they keep losing jobs. I said, is that how you did it when you sold $200,000 pieces of equipment to auto manufacturers? Well, no, what the hell makes you think it’s gonna work here? And same thing with an accounting. So you are an accountant but you’re not doing job costing, you don’t have production rates like you, you don’t count what you sell for a living, which is labor hours and gallons of paint.
Well, and so that’s, that’s a, that’s something I see with, uh, college educated folks, uh, is really this kind of analysis paralysis. Uh, and then, uh, followed up by the fact that they do not really leverage, um, what made them successful in their earlier careers and, and, and not that all of it would transfer, but, but a lot of it does and they leave that on the table unfortunately. Yeah. Yeah, I love that man. So the, I, I wanna touch on one thing quickly just to kind of hammer home that point that you brought up about quick implementation, you know, and people overthinking things people trying to over perfect things.
So when we started, before we started the podcast, you and I were chatting, we talk about how we both like to move quickly and we don’t like to overly edit our podcast, talk about on a podcast. So we’ll use the podcast as an example. Um I didn’t have the, the intro done quite as much as I should have is a nice way of putting it. Uh Right before we, we started this, I just read it right. As I, as I launched this podcast, I messed up, actually stumbled over a word or, or I, I misspoke something in it and I kept going and I’m gonna push this out and a lot of people are going to listen to it.
Some people might call that irresponsible, but I think it’s a lesson. You don’t have to be perfect. You have to just keep going because the value here is not. O Brandon did the, the, the intro 15 times. Oh, look how good it sounded on the 103th time. He didn’t, he didn’t mess any words up. The value is in what, what we’re talking about in the lessons that are being conveyed. So the 8020 rule, right? Focusing on the actual value that you’re, that you’re, you’re talking about. I think right now what I’m hearing from you is, is the basics, you know, at least for the college educated folk, we’re gonna circle back and we’re gonna spend a whole lot of time on the, on the first thing that you ran through, but for the college educated folk, they’re thinking this is the rules have changed that.
What was up, is down and, and down is up because now I’m in the painting industry, I’m not selling $200,000 pieces of equipment or I’m not doing accounting. So the numbers and, you know, the financial metrics don’t, don’t matter anymore. This is painting, it’s not accounting, but it’s business is, business, is business. Go focus on the fundamentals, do them well. And you’re probably gonna be off to a strong start. Now if you do the fundamental fundamentals well, and there aren’t really that many of them in a painting business.
Not, not that you can’t get better and better and, and, and move on to secondary and tertiary things, you certainly can. But if you do the basics right in the painting business after about a year three or five, when you get through the rough patch of launch, you can’t kill the damn thing. You cannot kill the damn thing if you just do. And I now I’m not saying the basics uh from an industry average or standard standpoint because if you do the industry average in painting, you will be poor and you will fail because the average painting business is 1.7 people.
It’s one dude and two thirds of a helper. I don’t know if he’s missing an arm or what, but that’s what it is. That’s what it averages out to be. And so you can’t. Yeah. And the other thing you can’t do is ask for advice from people to paint store or your peers in your local area unless you want to be poor because you are going to get primarily, uh, the philosophy of poverty when you just ask most people that run a painting business, not everybody in your area, but most that’s what you’re gonna get and that’s what you have to avoid.
Yeah, I always say um I think, I think I might have gotten this from Robert Kiyosaki. I don, I don’t know where I got it, but don’t take advice from people you wouldn’t want to trade places with there, you have it, right? Um So that’s why the PC A, that’s why your academy, that’s why places like that are good places to take advice because there are probably people in that room who you, who you might be OK, trading places with financially or business wise, right? Um OK, so let’s go back to the, you know, what is the 85 to 90% of the market?
The non college educated, the tradesman moves up into entrepreneur, moves up into manager. How do you recommend someone who, who’s doing that? How do they actually acquire those skill sets? How do they not kind of trip on themselves as they grow? Well, the first thing is you have to have some sort of mental awakening most of the time when people come to me, um, on a call, something has happened. Now, some folks are just insanely driven, but that is not the majority of folks that I talked to.
Something has happened. Typically it’s, I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’m still broke. Uh, I just had a divorce. I had a heart attack. I’m bringing my son into the business. We moved into a new market, they found a book, they went to a seminar, something happened. They’re getting, they’re 62 years old, retirement is three years away. Whatever. There’s some kind of life uh occurrence that, that makes them go, I need to do something different. But the majority of people never even have that awakening. They just think that the, the physical act of painting is the business and they go through life from cradle to grave, uh never doing anything any different.
And so what I often do, uh is I show up where painters are and whether it’s online or in a mailbox or at an event or through a referral. And all of a sudden, uh I’m talking about things uh related to the problems they have in a way they’ve never heard before and they realize there’s something else to this that I am missing and they start going through this, um, period of their life where they really want to gain knowledge. They start watching things, they surf the net, they go to events and after a while they come to a conclusion that I don’t want to have to re invent all this stuff in the beginning.
So, I kind of interrupt them where they are. But that’s a rare few, most people never even get interrupted. They just, they paint so they fall over and they don’t have much to show for it. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a sad, it’s a sad reality. Um, so, so for people who are listening to this, who have maybe been in the industry for a while or maybe they’re one of those, uh driven people. I mean, they’re, they’re listening, they’re proactively trying to educate themselves on how to grow their businesses.
Uh, for them you would recommend a program like yours a good way to skip. Well, yes, I mean, so the, so the first thing I guess backing up it a lot of this and I’m not a big, I don’t talk about mindset as much as I probably should. It’s, it’s actually a shortcoming of mine. Uh, I make the same assumption that my painters often make that I have to disabuse them of which is you’re not your clients. The painters always have all these, these ideas about what works in sales or marketing or whatever and that, and they’re not true and they’ve, they’ve been proven untrue but they hold them, they possess those ideas but they’re incorrect.
Uh So the the first thing is uh you have to have some kind of uh mindset that is uh geared around curiosity and problems solving uh versus indifference in excuse making when I present someone who I feel like is going to be successful. And I’ve seen this play out time and time again with our best students when I say, oh, so you’ve got a client list and you never communicate with them and there’s 1500 of them. And then we start talking about the fact that why are you spending all this money talking to stone cold strangers?
When the very people who have performed the behavior that you’re seeking to have happen again, you spend no money on that. You spend all your money over here. You’ve already found the people. If you, you don’t have enough painters to paint these 1003 houses. If they all said yes, let’s talk to them first. You get one of two responses which kind of demonstrates this mindset. The first group of people are, uh, are idiots and they can’t be helped and, and they, and they say something like this. Well, I ain’t gonna paint your house about once.
Are you telling me? I’m gonna, I’m gonna talk to them once a month. But why am I gonna tell them? Talk about painting? It’s just like they, and they begin, I don’t think that’s gonna work. I don’t mind the idea. Well, what about, what about Facebook ads? I’m like, well, that is great. But let’s pick up this low hanging fruit before we climb all the way up the tree and break our necks. Let’s just, and some of the stuff laying on the ground, it’s about to write this stuff up first that costs very little money and time and then we, we will work our way up the tree.
But let’s start on and they’re argumentative. They’re dismissive and the ones that make a lot of money are like, huh? Man, I know I shouldn’t, should be doing that. That makes a lot of sense. Well, what would I do? Should I put unconverted leads in there? Well, how often should I communicate? What should the messages be? What’s the best way to use them? What mediums? But they, it’s almost like you have given them a Rubik’s Cube and they’re, they’re taking their hands and they’re trying to solve the puzzle and they’re asking questions and they’re remarkably curious.
Whereas people that, that tend to not make a lot of money when you present an idea. That is like an, I wouldn’t say an industry standard. It is a business 101 standard. You must communicate with your clients. Ok. That is just like you must communicate with your kids. If you have kids, you gotta call this, that you have to say it like that. It is like, I’m like John the Baptist, you know, crying out in the wilderness, you know, and and, and nobody, it’s, I’ve been saying this for 10 years and it’s like, it’s people that pearls before swine and uh and, and it, and it’s to their detriment, so curiosity uh and, and really wanting to, to like, how do I do this?
Like every, every little part of my business uh is a discipline, right? It is a unique set of skills. It’s a unique system. How do we make this unique system as part of the business? Excellent, whether it’s sales operations or compensation package, all of it. There’s a way to do it that, that yields this wonderful bountiful result. And then there’s a way to do it that just creates poverty and misery. But people cling to that uh instead of of looking for something new and so that that mindset of curiosity and problem solving versus indifference in excuse making is critical in entrepreneurs that are wealthy. Yeah.
Yeah, mindset is huge. The and you’re approaching it from really a a, you know, mindset can seem soft. It, it can seem like, oh, hey, you have to believe you can do it and that stuff is true. You know, I think there’s a lot of power to that stuff. But the way that you’re approaching mindset right now is actually not, is actually quite different. You’re approaching mindset in terms of how you actually look at ideas, how you look at growth, essentially being open minded. You know, the it may be played out term would be sort of abundance minded or oriented, um, versus closed minded or having a scarcity or scared type of mindset.
Uh, if someone is, well, let me back up, why, why do you think some people would be immediately dismissed of, of an idea like that, that maybe they, they haven’t implemented or don’t fully understand versus other people would, would be like, yeah. You know what, maybe that’s a good idea. I think it’s a combination of a few things. I think the first thing is it’s dressed in overalls and it smells like work. It’s stressed and overall it smells like work and people are lazy. Uh, not lazy in that.
Uh, I would say most painters are, are lazy. Most people are lazy and by that, I mean, they’re not lazy in the sense that they won’t go work all day. They won’t work 16 hours a day. Like they’ve got the work ethic of, you know, the, the old protestant work ethic that built this country. Right. That’s what they have. And I, I work with people in the UK, I work with people in Australia and Canada. They don’t work like we do here in the States. We are workaholics.
Um, it’s not that they’re lazy but they are mentally lazy. Here’s this thing, I don’t know a lot about, I don’t have any knowledge in, you’re telling me I’m gonna have to do something different in my business. I, I’m afraid of that. Uh I’m scared of that. Uh I don’t know how to do that. Uh I can barely work Microsoft Word Excel and, and powerpoint, which is a huge problem in our, in our industry. It’s just a technological divide, people like uh sometimes I go to our industry conference, I love the PC A and I realized that we got the smartest people in our industry in the room, but they’re always talking about all these apps and applications and rent and all that stuff.
And I’m like, I tell you what the number one problem is when I deal with painters, they can’t turn the computer on and they can’t type in a word document and they don’t know how to work spreadsheet. And we’re trying to, you know, they can’t get out the door. We’re trying to show them how to get on the moon and we have to start where they are. And I can see, yeah, I can see people in the room. I don’t know anything about it. And so you got to meet people where they are.
And then the other part of that, uh is, and I got off on a little bit of a tangent there. The other part of that is this, um, if they admit that something is wrong, then they have to then be saddled with the fact that they’re not doing anything about it. And it is a lot easier to just put the mental block in, you know, take the hammer, take the mallet and just put it in the hole and then move on with your life. A lot of, and, and, you know, a lot of folks think if they just learn something but don’t do anything or if they just surround themselves with people or ideas that somehow that magically just soaks into the business and everything improves when instead it’s really like a series of projects that you have to work through to completion and it’s, it’s uncomfortable and it, it requires work and it, it doesn’t require a lot.
I mean, you set aside 48 hours a week and you work on business system implementation and improvement, you turn around a few months later and you’re gonna have a lot more money in your pocket. I mean, two or three months, depending on what you implement, you turn around 18 months later, you got a completely freaking different business from about 4 to 8 hours a week. But that 4 to 8 hours a week people insist they can’t invest it. It’s not true but they insist that they can’t. Uh, so that’s if we could get into habits at some point.
I mean, that’s their, their habits as well. Yeah. So the, it, to me it sounds like a lot of that’s driven by fear. You know, this idea, you present something they don’t know how to do it. It’s overwhelming the idea. We reach out the past because they might not even have a, an official CRM, you know, customer relationship management system. They, they might not even know if they have all the data. They, they don’t know, they heard their rules about. You can’t text people, you can’t email, they don’t understand the rules and the laws and, and then what do you even say to him?
Yeah. Do you want me to come paint your house? I just painted it last week. So there’s this, you’re just, you’re confronting them with this thing that just is this giant scary question mark. And so the, I guess the, the knee jerk reaction would be to just put head in sand and say no, it’s a bad idea. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m not gonna do that because it’s more comfortable, even if it’s laborious, it’s more comfortable to just continue to move forward how you’re doing it then to have to kind of rip the band aid. Stop.
Take a hard look and figure out, I guess the, the, the personal development business development who you need to bring on whatever you need to do to actually take that next step. That’s, it’s difficult. Yeah, it is. I mean, anytime you do anything new, I mean, it, and I have, I have things in my life, uh, that I’ve dragged my feet on for weeks, months, years and then I finally do it and there are things I don’t like doing and I drag myself to this desk and I do them all the time because I just got, you know, they, they’re, and nobody’s life uh in business is ever going to be uh you doing everything you absolutely love to do.
Uh And, and so when you run into those situations where you’re uncomfortable, uh where you have anxiety, uh where you uh immediately want to do something that could be characterized as procrastination. Always tell our members that that is usually where the money is. That’s usually where the money is, is like a gaga counter for wealth. If you’re like nervous, your armpits are sweating, you’re like, I don’t want to do this. If you put it on the to do list and three days later, it’s the only thing left on the list.
That’s probably the thing that will make you the most money, uh checking another email, running another estimate. Um You know, go into the paint store one more time. If that was gonna fix the problem, it would have been fixed 10153 years ago. It can’t be that or as I often tell people, well, you may disagree with me, but the only thing we know about how you’re doing it is that doesn’t work at all. You’ve proven that that doesn’t work. You’ve used this method over and over again. That’s one thing you can take off your list is, is, is something that works, is what you’re doing.
It’s like Edison, you know, if Edison had put something other than horse hair in the light bulb and he’d tried to turn it on. I don’t think he’s gonna use that same thing for 15 years. But painters do, they put the same thing in the light bulb over and over again and they turn the light bulb on it. It doesn’t come on. They just keep putting it back in there and I’m like, it does not work. You gotta put something else in there. That’s crazy. So yeah, the uh that reminds me that John wooden quote, don’t mistake activity for achievement.
You know, it’s easy, easy to, to be doing things and feeling like you’re being productive because you’re doing things. Email. What a uh what a remarkable thing if you, if you ever don’t know what to do or the only thing left on your to do list is that big, big scary important thing you don’t want to do. Check your email, check. There’s some very few of us have zero. There’s gotta be a problem in there. There’s gotta be a fire, there gotta be, there’s gotta be some bad news in there.
There’s got to be an estimate request in there. Let’s go check, check, you know, what is, you know, what is it that um it’s like a uh procrastination doom loop, you know, check your bank account, check your email, go check your Facebook. Look at the weather, check the scorch scores, go back post on Instagram for a little while, you know, because you’re supposed to post. Right. So, they’re putting out a social media, they’re growing their business. Yes. Yes. That is, that’s gonna do it, that’s gonna do it.
And so, and that’s fine if you, you know, and I tell most people technology is great and I hate to sound like a dinosaur but some of the, there’s this common theme and I wish it weren’t true and I’m getting off off base here a little bit. But so many painting businesses that are failing miserably are some of the most technologically laden companies that I have worked with. So we talk about all this stuff and usually I ask like the beginning of our, you know, the first, the first thing I look at are macro metrics.
You know, what’s your revenue? What’s your income? Uh income is, you know, your profit and net income. And if you drive a $60,000 truck, you write off that you only really use to tow your boat on the weekend. If your wife’s, you know, paying her gym membership, just whatever the total compensation package would be. If you work for somebody else, they’re not making any money and there. And often it’s because they, they don’t really understand the business processes, but they went out and got software first thinking that that would solve a problem and then they go get some more software.
I think it’s gonna solve a problem. But they really don’t understand what, what, what the software needs to do or why, or it obfuscates or covers up the data or makes it hard to access, makes it hard to extrapolate. Uh And, and so they don’t do anything with it, they don’t look at it. It’s not used in real time to inform their decisions. It doesn’t change the behavior of their crew leaders. But they’re like, well, I got all this technology. It’s getting in the way of the sales process.
It’s actually getting in the way of persuading the customer to buy. And so sometimes that’s the case. Uh, sometimes it isn’t. But I’m telling you, uh, when you get down to brass tacks, it is typically, uh, the fact that folks don’t understand, uh, in an intimate way what that system is supposed to do and they get the software first and they try to build the system around the software and they don’t always get it. Right. Yeah. So that’s, uh, an unbelievably good point. So, I, I was at, um, the PC, I had a, uh, the first conference that they’ve ever had for Spanish contractors.
It was a, you know, Spanish speaking event. I used to speak Spanish. Well, we’re, we’re working on recovering that, um, I did present in it, sweat a little more than I thought I was going to during that time. But, uh, it’s called Pina product and you had to present in Spanish, correct? I did. Yep. Yeah. So we, we did that and then uh and then we were doing Q and A and at some point during the Q and A I was like, you know what Juan Vasquez, he was there, he’s just gonna translate.
So we, we just did some translation and, and uh but one of the attendees is a good guy, good company, but he was very focused on, I mean, to the, to the point he asked, I think two or three follow up questions during this Q and A of of what’s like the most innovative, what, what’s the newest, what, what like how can you combine, what, what’s something that nobody else is doing in marketing? And my response was effective, just effective basic marketing, right? That’s what if you do that, you’re gonna beat the whole room if you just do the basics and you do it right?
You’re gonna beat every single person in here. You don’t have to worry about, you know, some tiktok to a video sales letter to like some crazy complicated thing. Just do the basics and do them really, really well. So exactly what you’re saying and I almost feel like it becomes a I I in exercise in, in kind of wasted thought or maybe it’s just fun or, or it’s sometimes fun to feel like we’re smarter than other people or, or we have some secret sauce. The secret sauce is just be really good at your business and, and just do the fundamentals really well, I agree.
I agree entirely and, you know, but I can remember one of our, uh, members was like, 15 $20 million when he enrolled in our program and he, he didn’t have a website, didn’t have one. and, you know, it’s like he, he’s like, I don’t want people that are strangers calling me off the damn internet. You know, because they, they’re tired, you know. No, I’m not saying you should, I believe you should. I’m not anti, you know that, but I’m just saying that most people would think, oh God, you can’t even possibly do that.
That’s humanly impossible. And uh and it’s because like all the other, that’s just one marketing um method out of an abundance of other ones. Uh And, you know, he was old school and so he focused on relationship marketing, which is really your, your quickest uh way to find success. In most cases. I always tell folks when it relates to marketing. Uh I always say if your Children uh were abducted and held at gunpoint and if, and if you didn’t find $50,000 in sales by the end of the week, would you do what you’re doing now?
And they always said no, I call my customers. I get in a car. I go see somebody, I’d bla bla bla email everybody. I, I’m gonna do that shit every day and you won’t have these problems and so I call it gun to your head marketing. What would you do if you were in the worst situation ever? And you had to reach this big goal in a short period of time and it is never, I would post on Instagram never. And, and, and not to say that you shouldn’t do these, those things in their own silos and measure their return on investment and their uh average uh cost per sale and cost per lead and, and percentage of acquisition you certainly should.
Uh But it is just hilarious to me that people intrinsically know what works. Um But that they don’t do it uh with regularity. Yeah, you ask a question like that you can really cut through the fat in people’s minds. Get them to the heart of the issue quickly, the relationship marketing. So obviously growing on referrals, repeat business. That’s a common theme in the painting industry. You know, you’re in business long enough eventually you can probably grow, you know, to over a million dollars or through some length of time, you’ll get somewhere if you just kind of keep putting 1 ft in front of the other.
Uh What I find is pretty rare is a really active approach to relationship marketing. I find it’s far more passive. I know you’re super passionate about this kind of and you talk about the most effective ways to, to actively conduct relationship marketing. I will, I’d be happy to, I’d be happy to. So, especially like right now it’s winter. Uh, and all of us, all of our guys have a very strong, um, online, a pretty strong or decent online leads game. Everybody likes to swipe a credit card and, and make their problems go away.
So I don’t coach to that a lot because people will do it without me even having to coach. Like, they’ll waste money, they’ll throw it in the garbage can, they don’t track it so that I know they’re gonna swap the credit card on online marketing. Like I there’s no doubt in my mind so I don’t harp on that. But what they won’t do is is put together a good list uh commercial uh repaint prospects, people that are facility managers, maintenance, managers of 203 20303 a million square feet of uh manufacturing class, a office space, assisted living facilities, private schools, et cetera.
They won’t go and look at uh the top 10 realtors in their market that are moving houses in the ideal neighborhoods where people are very wealthy, very old and living in houses that, that were built in the 19 nineties that have siding that has to be painted every three years. Uh They’re not out there networking with other plumbers, uh cabinet installers. They don’t have a process for uh surveying their clients on every visit for uh what trades they will need over the next 60 days and creating a network where they swap leads with that same survey approach.
They’re not running referral routes. They’re not showing up at the Boma meetings. They’re not, uh, sponsoring, uh, the Interior Decorator conference that might be in their area if they’re in a mid-sized metro or larger, uh, they’re just, just all the stuff that if you just get in front of people, uh, add them to your mail and email newsletter list monthly and if you physically show up in their office and then set up an appointment to take them out for coffee and then stay in touch with them uh by phone, email and mail and you build this list of your top 100 people that are uh trusted by and serving the same clients that you serve.
Well, why wouldn’t you do that? Um One of the concepts that I’d like to share with everyone here is I, is this when something really good happens in your business, meaning somehow some way, almost everybody’s got one or two referral sources. It could be a realtor, it could be another tradesperson. It could be a uh plumbing company. It could be a water remediation company that you come behind and fix their holes and their destruction as they do all that stuff. Whatever it is, everybody runs into somebody like that on accident and they send you 20 $30,000 of work a year and you’re, oh, I’m so glad I got these people but you didn’t do anything to do it.
Get it. You didn’t do any, no outbound communication, no consistent anything. It just happens, right? It’s pleasant. It’s positive. It happens. Same things with referrals for your clients. When that happens, you need to stop, shake yourself by the tail, by, by little tails. Like just then just ask yourself, what can I do to make this happen more frequently with more people? What would that system look like? And then put that system in place because it is remarkably powerful. Uh It’ll never go away, it’s never gonna stop, uh, working.
It says in the Ecclesiastes, there’s nothing new under the sun and I haven’t found anything yet and, uh, neither will you if you look. And so you might as well just go do what has been proven to work before. Um, and, and when it comes to marketing, uh, looping back to that thing, you told me, uh, about the gentleman asking 1000 application questions. Um, you, you can always spot a pioneer. You know how Brandon they’re lying face down and they’ve got arrow arrows in the back. Uh That’s how you spot a pioneer.
Uh And so what you want to do is you let three or four of those people go run out there and, uh, the one that makes it to wherever he’s going, you go follow him. You don’t want to be, you don’t want to be the pioneer. That’s a bad thing to be in most industries, in most situations, you don’t want to be a pioneer, you want to be like they always say, oh, so and so and so pioneered in XY and Z and usually it’s not, it’s usually he’s the fifth or sixth person.
If they learned enough lessons from everybody else that failed. Somebody found something that worked and then he did it and did it a little better and then improved upon it. So uh that is a, a far better strategy in business than the other. Yeah, like pe people, you know, thought Facebook was, was the first social platform far from it. And you know, these things, they, they the first mover advantage. This idea of being the first mover advantage is long uh is largely overshadowed by 2nd, 103rd, 4th mover advantage of seeing, seeing all the things that went wrong for the, the first couple of times, let somebody else spend all that venture capital money creating a market and then that left the markets created you come in and, and, and build a better mousetrap. Yeah.
Yeah, 100%. So the, the way that you just broke all that down, I mean, you did mention realtor as a referral source. You know, it almost seemed like the way that real estate agents operate to me. You know, it was, it was extremely hands on, it was extremely intentional. Um It, it was far more, I guess, robust than I expected. I I focused you to, I expected you to focus on maybe B and I um you know, the Chamber of Commerce BN I is good if it’s productive.
Not all chapters are uh you know, the thing that makes a BN I group uh productive is twofold. Number one, you need to have a high concentration of tradespeople in there. If your BN I is full of massage therapists and acupuncturists and, and uh and an attorney and somebody that sells insurance, you’re, you, you’re in the wrong group. Uh, you want a strong trade alliance in there and then you have to, uh, really train them, uh how to gather referrals in the field when they write estimate requests.
And it, and it’s not through just hoping somebody, uh a mad you go to ask you a question like you really, that the easiest way to get referrals for any networking group is to survey your clients while you’re at the home. I started a thing called the Chattanooga Trades Association and founded it and grew it up when I was here and I’m still friends with a lot of those people, very close friends. And, um, and uh, we surveyed everybody and what we found was that, uh, when you put that survey in front of them, they filled it out 70% of the time and they checked 2.1 boxes.
So if you ran 10 estimates, you had about 14 leads and we got together every other week it was half as long as b, and I didn’t cost any money. We surveyed them and it was just a cash cow. But it does take somebody organizing it and running it and leading it and not everybody has the interest or the ability to do that. But I did and I loved it and I’d do it again. If I started a painting business again, I’d be one of the first things I did.
Yeah, man, that’s wonderful. When, when we are talking about what everyone generally thinks in terms of reaching out via email or text or calling or direct mail or whatnot for, let’s say past customers. What would you recommend in terms of messaging for past customers as kind of a for that? Well, you don’t have to keep getting your house painted every single year. So, what should you send them? So, I have spent um a lot of time in my career and before I got into painting, I was in politics, I ran us Senate us house state and local races.
I wrote a book called How To Raise Money for Political Office. I run our state’s uh largest conservative news alternative. I’m, I’m a conservative and I’m a Christian. And I always tell people if you will not tell people that uh that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior because you’re worried you’re gonna lose some money. If you won’t tell folks that uh you love your country because you’re afraid um that someone will invite you to a cocktail party, then your values are, are neither Christian nor conservative, their money and people’s approval.
And so you have to be able to stand up no matter what your business model is. Uh And, and I’m gonna be worm food in 40 years and I don’t want my kids to look on and say that I would not speak my mind. I’m not gonna do that. And so I’ve had a, a huge opportunity and I worked in nonprofits uh to learn about newsletter marketing. And it’s a, uh sometimes it’s a misnomer. It’s how you communicate with your clients consistently and it needs to be uh from a messaging standpoint, purely messaging.
It can’t be about paint because they don’t care about paint. And neither do you, uh because I asked people, I ask painters, what do you do in your free time? Do you just read about paint all the time? And I don’t ever read about paint so well, if you don’t read about paint and you own a painting business, imagine how much they’re not reading about paint. And so you can’t be about paint. It’s really about building a personal relationship. It’s about giving them helpful information. It’s about telling them, uh what you did with your wife last weekend, how you celebrated your c your uh anniversary, uh the fact that uh one of your painters just got his GED, uh that um you and one of your customers uh have been best friends for 15 years.
It’s, it’s all that personal stuff that makes people like you because they really don’t, honestly, they don’t refer your company very often. They primarily refer you, they refer the estimator, they refer the owner. This is still a people business. This is not a branding business, this is not a logo business. This is a personal business. People completely screw this up. You can’t, you can’t brand your area and yet I don’t want to get into that, but you can’t. There’s no such thing as a hardly, there’s no such thing as a brand in painting.
Um You’re not Lexus, you’re not Toyota people don’t uh identify uh with your painting business. They’re not uh tying their personal identity up in it. You’re a dude that does something for them that is reliable. Uh Somebody that cuts hair or does anything else. And if you do a good job at it, they will refer you and if you’ve got a strong personal connection, they will uh helpful articles on how to improve their life of funny comics, recognizing customers. Uh um having a contest where you have the best referral of the month.
It’s the same stuff that would be in a church newsletter. Uh It’s the same stuff that would be in a nonprofit newsletter uh or a political newsletter to a degree. Uh And so that’s, that’s the mix it needs to be, you know, about 80% non paint and maybe about 13 about uh we probably about 70% non paint, about 10% pitch and about 20% tang tangentially. I said that wrong related business stuff. But if you treat your clients like a human ATM machine, that’s just about as bad as not communicating with them.
If everything you send them is the deal of the month, the color of the month. Why you should stain, why you should stain your deck? Uh, five colors that make your office make you feel not depressed. Whatever the hell that stuff is. I see people send out all the time is like the worst and they think that’s good. Uh If I see one more email in our industry talking about the color of whatever I’m gonna throw up. How do you really feel about it though? There have never been any, there are no more colors today than there were a million years ago just because you point at one and say something about it.
I just don’t think that’s interesting. I don’t think anybody else does either. I’m just gonna be honest. I don’t know. There are trends in colors. I get it and they come and go. But I don’t know, it’s probably just the practical nature of my mind. I just get tired. Like who cares about the new green? It, it’s just the same practice not to, you know, I used to have a pair of pants like that when I was in the eighth grade. This is nothing new. So, almost like it’s a marketing gimmick or something.
It’s not even an effective marketing gimmick for a marketing gimmick has to be effective. Yeah. If it’s not a, a, an effective marketing gimmick, it’s just a waste of electrons. Yep. Well, I know you said you did, you didn’t want to get into it. I, I am gonna push back in here a little bit because I find this really interesting and I’ve actually had at length conversations with people about this, the branding. You know, I think that people way overthink it. You know, we, we work with uh painting companies, we build size, we build their presence and, and sometimes we get so we get stopped because it, it just, it, it, they kind of go over the rails in terms of the branding and the logo and the, that every, every word needs to be.
Exactly right. And no, this, this page has a little, I’m like, man, you are really missing the forest through the trees here. Like no, not one person in the next 2000 years is gonna care about this detail on your site and, and my thought process has been yours. Exactly. You know, you’re not Nike, there’s not some like it’s, you’re in a different type of business. Uh some things like uh people’s religion, their clothes, the car, they drive the house, they live in is very tied up in their identity.
No one ever says that you used goat for painting at a cocktail party. Nobody cares. Get the, get the logo like painted on the side of the house. Nobody. Uh And so, and the other thing about branding is this one of the biggest marketing mistakes that painting contractors make is they want to go a mile wide and an inch deep and they wanna like Sprinkle a little money everywhere and they wonder why they don’t have any purchase. When I worked, uh, on us, house us senate races.
We would have to spend in a metro market about 210 and $2100,21015 to get 100 points of name ID. And it would almost evaporate in 210 days, which means that if you want to, uh, have 13% of the people in the market recognize you, you gotta spend almost a million dollars and this is just like Republican primary voters. Ok. And that, so, which is a small crowd. It’s a very small crowd because most people don’t vote and only half of them are depending on where you are. 21 to 24% of them vote Republican. Right?
So, it’s a really a, if you look at a metro market, comparatively speaking, it’s a small market. 25 points in A ID. It’s gone in 60 days. Most painting contractors spend like 20 to 30 maybe 50 grand, maybe 100 200 grand. A year and they think they’re gonna quote unquote brand, their community. You are living in a delusional reality. You’re not gonna do that. Now, can you create a, uh a, a brand and a sense of um awareness about your company and a small a uh audience? Yes. If you pick 43 realtors and you put them on a newsletter list and you consistently talk to them, I don’t think, I think it’s way too many, but I’m just giving that as an example.
If you uh show up in your boma meetings every uh month and you put them on your newsletter list and you have an appreciation dinner for them and you and you uh stalk them on social media. Can you build a brand and list of 100 and 50 property managers and facility managers who can make you rich? Yeah. Can you get on a radio station and run enough radio ads for people that listen. And I used to do this with conservative and Christian talk radio where people like, stop you in the supermarket and say, hey, you’re that guy with the nasally southern redneck accent.
I need something painted. Can you do that with 60,000 people in a decent budget? Yes. But most people try to, they don’t think about their medium. Uh They don’t think about their budget and they have no idea of what it takes to get uh the exposure to have enough estimate requests to come in with the proper conversion rate and the average transaction size to justify the marketing. Yeah. Yeah. And the, the idea of having a small market, whether that be, you know, radio station with, with a certain sub, sub segment of listeners or whether it be, you know, neighborhoods that you’re operating in and kind of having an omnipresence channel there.
So maybe running ads to them having, uh, websites that, that lend yourself to show up for searches in that area doing, um, you know, having your, your rap vans drive it, yard signs, uh, door hangers, eddm, things like that. In a small area. You can become known in that area, but they’re still not going to know you or think about you the way that they do Rolex it, it’s not gonna be that way. You’re just a service provider. I went today and I’m gonna stand, it’s getting dark in here.
I’m gonna, um, I went today to pick my daughter up from school. Sorry. It’s the, I live in the mountains. I’m in a bowl of trees and the, the sun only shows from about 10 o’clock to three o’clock. So it’s starting to get dark in here. I’m in my office, detached from the house. Um, I went to pick up my daughter and there were two yard signs at the top of the W road that I had seen previously about, uh, gutter cleaning and leaf removal. And I’m just here in this old growth forest of 100 years and it’s not been cut and it’s huge trees.
And so my yard is just like I’ve been fighting leaves continuously here. Um, and I went and I, I drove all the way over there, pulled on the side of the road, took a picture of one leaf removal uh company’s sign. And then I think they had actually put the sign of the other company down because there was only one before. And so I went out there and I lifted it up off the ground and I stuck it back in the ground and some bastard came over here and took this competition signed out.
I mean, if you’re gonna put it down, you might as well steal it. I mean, at this point. And so that if you just dump it and put yours right next to it, I mean, it, it, I’ll just set it there for him to come back and put up. So I put it up for him. I don’t know who he is and I took two pictures of both sons and I’m gonna probably call him uh this weekend to get the, the leaves removed. Did I think about, yeah, the brand.
No, I thought I need to have my leaves out of my betters. Let’s see which one of these people looks like they can be trusted to do that. And let’s, let’s get a quote and, and I’ll select one of them. And so that’s how most of your uh people uh go through their decision making process. Now, there are marketing messages that resonate, right? People care about. What’s your warranty? What’s your guarantee? Do your background? You check your painters. How long have you been in this? Most people have worries, fears and concerns uh women in particular, they’re worried about sexual assault, they’re worried about theft, they’re worried about having folks in their homes that are gonna case it or steal something or drug use or the way you smell the noise you’re gonna make.
And those are things they’ll never tell you. And then they get down to the things that they actually will talk to you about. Are you gonna make a mess or you is what if this doesn’t hold up? What’s your promise on this stuff? How many people have you worked for? How long have you been in business? Tell me a little bit about yourself. What are the people that look like to come over here, et cetera? And those are all things you can put in your marketing uh messaging you put on your website, you can put it in any medium that you use and depending on how long form it is and then it needs to be sprinkled throughout your sales process with lots of third party proof because nobody will take your word for anything.
So yeah, are there things you can communicate and say that help your market. That helps your marketing convert, that helps your sales convert. Absolutely. It’s important. Yes. But it’s not about the ethos or the culture of your company. It’s about the needs of the client and making sure that you talk to those needs. Uh, it’s not about you. It’s all about them. Yeah, that’s huge. Yeah. People get very hung up in, in their company. The, the client doesn’t really care about your company. They care about what you can do for them. Yes.
So then we’ve, we’ve covered a lot, Brandon. We are coming up close to time but we, we’ve covered having a, an open mindset, um, doing the fundamentals really well, whole host of other things. Is there anything else you want to cover in terms of the highest achieving painting contractors you’ve encountered the, the patterns how they tend to, to think or do things. I’m gonna close in rapid fire with eight things and I’m not even gonna be able to elaborate on them. So people want to know what these things are.
They’re just gonna forever wonder and marble. But here they are first they use their calendars as shields and not sponges. Most people are like, I can’t do this. I can’t do that. They try to put in the things that make money whenever they’re, uh, not inconvenienced or when they don’t have anything else to do. And that’s only about two weeks out of the year for a painter. So, you gotta use your calendars are shield by funds. They focus on reducing problems and increasing uh opportunities at the system level.
Not the situational level. They don’t go fight a fire. They’re more like a fire marshal. They put the systems in place that reduce the fires. They don’t run out and put the fires out. That, that’s their mentality. Uh, number three, they major on the majors, not the minors. There are some things that can make a huge difference in your business if you fix them. And there’s some things that if you worked on them for hours on end every week, it wouldn’t make much difference. People often major on the minors.
Uh They plan uh from the highest ro I to the lowest ro I activities. Uh They use math to inform their planning decisions instead of emotions. If it’s not scalable or trainable, they question its value and they avoid neces uh unnecessary debt. This is for people that have lots of money in the painting industry and they postpone gratification. And those are eight things that I have seen to be commonalities uh in wealthy painters. And so if you’re not wealthy and you’ve been in this industry for like 1015, 2030 years, it’s not the industry, it’s not the market, it’s not the competition.
It is you, you are the reason that things aren’t going well. And so you need to fix yourself so that you can fix your company. Truth. Bumps Brandon. I appreciate you, man. It was good. It was fun. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. I would do it again. Then we, then we will do it again. Brother. I, I uh enjoy your approach it. Well, thank you. And I hope that you and Tara uh have an opportunity to connect. We, we’re done with the notes. I hope you and Tara have an opportunity to connect.
Uh She is fantastic. wonderful. I’m glad to have her on the team. She thinks a lot of you uh in your capabilities and uh because I know that you had helped them at Fresh Cope where she was CEO for a little while. Uh for 10 years, I worked with her for the 1st, 1st 4 to 5, helping them get systems in place that were absent or broken. And so uh II, I value her opinion. So if she says you’re a good egg, you’re a good egg. I appreciate you, Brandon. Thank you, brother. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your wisdom, take care bud.
If you want to learn more about the topics we discussed in this podcast and how you can use them to grow your painting business, visit painter marketing pros dot com forward slash podcast for free training, as well as the ability to schedule a personalized strategy session for your painting company. Again that URL is paintermarketingpros.com/podcast.
Hey there, painting company owners. If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure you go ahead and hit that subscribe button, give us your feedback, let us know how we did. And also, if you’re interested in taking your painting business to the next level, make sure you visit the Painter Marketing Pros website at Painter Marketing Pros dot com to learn more about our services. You can also reach out to me directly by emailing me at Brandon@PainterMarketingPros.com and I can give you personalized advice on growing your painting business until next time.