As much as we write articles/reviews and produce video content here at TCR and Prep to Finish, we also invest time in seeking out and reading (and even contributing to) other online resources for paint contractors. Whether it is over morning coffee or on long flights, we are always on the lookout.
Here is a quick tour of some of our regular stops when we fire up the Macs and iphones and cruise the online paintscape. We are guessing that there are several resources here that you may want to know about and make part of your brain food diet heading into the new year.
**Hover over the text below and use the ARROWS to go to the next slide**
Paint Quality Institute - Debbie Zimmer
If you haven't heard of Debbie over at PQI, it's time you did. The Paint Quality Institute (PQI) was founded in 1989 in Philadelphia with the initial goal of educating consumers, contractors and retailers on the advantages of using the highest quality paints and coatings. Today, PQI also delivers information on cutting-edge trends such as color, decorative techniques, and innovative new ways to use paint. It is nice to know that in addition to us here at Topcoat Review, there are other sets of qualified eyes doing both chemistry based and real life exposure testing of the products that are coming out in our industry. Click the "Learn More" tab below to see what we believe to be one of the most underutilized resources in the paint industry.
Tom Reber is one inspiring dude. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the 2015 PDCA Regional Expo in CT, where he was the keynote speaker. Very genuine and down to earth guy, and because he is a former paint contractor, he "gets it". His videos and podcasts are inspirational - for those who need a little shove in the right direction with their paint contracting business. Hit the "Learn More" button to check out Motor Hard and see what Tom is all about.
Tess is a regular read for me. If I wasn't a writer, this is the writer I would hire to do my writing - hands down. Tess' work strikes the perfect balance of proper content marketing practices, but making it real. Tess knows how to make a blog post or published article into a story worth reading, and by the end of the story, you realize that you have learned something. Tess' website has bunches of free content that is useful and practical for contractors. Click the "Learn More" tab below to visit Tess' site.
Early in 2015, I read Steve's book ("How to Double Your Business Without Making a Sale") and implemented a few of his basic concepts about marketing/branding into my own business - and saw results. Steve is a former paint contractor turned business coach, and is one of the most helpful people you will meet in the paint industry. He shares resources for paint contractors that help people create a 30 hour work week, integrate tech solutions to solve age old business problems, and #keepitcaffeinated. What's not to like about all this? Hit the "Learn More" button below to check out Steve's place.
Here is one to keep an eye on. After a prolonged stint of relative dormancy, this site is about to come alive and enter the modern era. PDCA has just put an entire new chassis under their online program, and it is currently being stocked with exciting new resources for paint contractors for 2016. This is especially exciting news for PDCA members, and if you aren't one, you should consider it. Click the "Learn More" button below and bookmark it.
Gotta say right up front, I am one of the founding members and long standing writers for this site, so I may be biased...but it continues to amaze me what an outstanding resource for paint contractors it has evolved into over the past few years under the guiding direction of Chris Haught. BP is rich with relevant articles about all kinds of topics of interest for paint contractors, with a particular emphasis on good old fashioned blogging and social media. Learn More by clicking "Learn More" below!
Our interest here is in the obvious importance of making sure that architects and interior designers are learning about paint products, because goodness knows that us painters have to work with them sometimes on product specs. Sherwin-Williams offers a library of Continuing Education Units certified by American Institute of Architects (AIA), Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC) or Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). Check out what SW is sharing for resources by clicking "Learn More" below.
So, on this one I will say right upfront that I am biased, because I have been writing in the print version of APC since 2008. That said, in the past couple of years, my editor (Emily Howard) has done a great job of bringing the APC website into the modern era and making it a relevant and free resource. On this site, you will find years of archives of the digital edition of the magazine, Paint Radio, Video, News, and Top Stories from around the industry. APC has also done a nice job of promoting the new site format through social media that you can follow. Click the "Learn More" tab below to visit the Paint Mag site.
If there is one thing painters like to complain about, it is tape. This might be the most under-used of all the resources for paint contractors on the internet. So, we have been spreading the word about it all year. There are many different blue tapes available, even just within 3M's ScotchBlue brand, so it is very handy to have a chart describing the intended uses for each. In addition to the chart, 3M launched a more comprehensive online resource called Prep School, which is full of problems and solutions with tape. To check out the 3M Prep School "Guide to Taping", just hit the "Learn More" button below.
Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!
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