ASK A PRO: Q: How are you leveraging Instagram to grow your business?
A: I cannot say enough about the power of Instagram (IG). We tripled our revenue last year and I am able to attribute a half-million of that growth to the social media platform.
When we started using it about three years ago, my goal was simply to grow a following. But when I crossed the 10,000 mark about a year and a half in, I asked myself, ‘why am I doing this?’ and I decided then that the purpose of my posts would be to educate and entertain viewers.
Since then, I’ve done daily posts from our jobsites. I don’t spend time on introductions but, rather, get right to showing the work being done. Most videos run about 30 seconds, with many being sped up to show a time-lapse.
I think offering a behind-the-scenes look really builds trust and confidence with potential customers. We’re putting it all out there for them to see. They get a sense of what it’s like to have our team in a space and they can see that we’re not trying to get away with anything. Plus, they can see that we’re proud of our work and how we accomplish it.
And, of course, I want potential customers to see our work. I achieve that through both direct messaging and tagging.
I follow a lot of designers, builders and contractors on IG and will sometimes direct message them through the platform to introduce myself and my body of work. That connection gives them access to everything I’ve posted so they get a good picture of what we do and how we do it. I’ve definitely landed jobs through that effort.
In addition, I’ll often get tagged in a post by the contractor or a designer I worked with on a job. They’ll throw up a photo and mention me as the painter. That post goes to all the people who follow that contractor, which includes a lot of people who might have never heard of me. In fact, tomorrow I’m going to bid a job thanks to a post that a designer tagged me in. The prospect trusts that designer and, through that relationship, wants to talk to me about a job.
Plus, our followers, who include builders and designers, give us added exposure. They often tag us or repost, which then puts us in front of all of their followers, many of whom then become our customers.
I also encourage my crew to post. They each have an IG account tied to the company and they like showing off what they can do. And, on days where I don’t get to a jobsite, I’m able to repost their videos.
Beyond marketing, doing daily posts has caused us to step up our game. The crew knows we’re going to be filming every day so our jobsites are neater, people are following protocols, and are all in all being more professional.
In addition, I was recently looking to hire and ran an ad on Indeed. At the very bottom of my ad, I included a line to the effect of ‘direct message me on IG for brownie points.’ My last seven hires all did it. By driving them to IG and our videos, they got a chance to see what it’s like to work for us. I really think that’s helped streamline the hiring process.
Zach Kenney, the owner of ZK Painting, is a Rhode Island-based custom paint contractor. As one of 13 Master Certified Fine Paints of Europe painters in the country, his company specializes in high-end-coatings applications. Kenney thrives on pushing the limits of both painting techniques and customer experience. ZKPainting.com