Whether you’re an independent driving instructor or a driving school trying to increase your numbers and reduce your admin time, you need two things. One is an online booking system; the second is a marketing strategy that will bring the motorists of tomorrow to your door.
How to set up your driving school website on SimplyBook.me platform
The video gives some fantastic tips and techniques for building your SimplyBook.me website for your driving school. Using the tools available you can guarantee income over several weeks or months, by incentivising payment in bulk to save money. You can offer one-off services, such as motorway driving skills or advance driving techniques (if you can offer them), theory preparation, or simulator experiences.
How to use your booking site to manage your marketing
We’ve talked before about marketing tips for your driving school, but now I’m going to talk about how your SimplyBook.me booking system can help you to implement your marketing strategy. What’s more, it can help you without adding to your workload.
Building a Website & Your Brand
It sounds like the most natural thing in the world. However, unless you have the necessary skills, the funds to get someone to do it for you or a friend to help you out, building a website tailored to your brand and your business isn’t as simple as it sounds.
With the customisation available on the SimplyBook.me system, it’s possible to create a
for your driving school using custom pages, news/blog, photo gallery, and any other specific page you wish to create. You can use your company branding and colour schemes so that everything recognisable about your brand is right there on your booking website.
In addition to the fact that you can create an entire website around the booking functionality, you can start building your brand image here. You don’t have to keep the SimplyBook.me branding, terms and conditions or even the URL. By using the custom domain feature, you can purchase a domain and use that.
Running a single website from a central dashboard is a time-saving exercise that you need.
Claim business listings with ease.
Once you have your booking site or website up and running, you have to attract traffic to it. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an often-used term, but not so many people understand how it works. You can start making ripples on the web by registering your business on sites such as Google My Business and driving school directories. As a benefit of the SimplyBook.me booking system, we register every business on Booking.page, which is a global service marketplace. Another bonus to the SimplyBook.me system is that you can transfer all of the relevant information about your business, including your business rating, into the Google Business listing. Google My Business is a fabulous listing for getting your business on the top spot for local search results.
By creating profiles on directories and marketplaces, you increase your online visibility and accessibility to new clients seeking driving lessons. Not to mention that the backlinks to your website will improve your ranking on search engines
Keep an Eye on your Reviews
Almost everyone checks online reviews before they take on a new service. Some people count the proportion of 4 and 5-star reviews; others check how you deal with 1-star reviews. What’s more important is that you keep an eye on them too.
Encourage your successful new drivers and enthusiastic learners to leave reviews, and respond with gratitude when your driving school gets one that glows. Your fantastic customer service is the way to attract reviews. When you do get a poor review, address any concerns as quickly as possible. Offer extra lessons or a partial refund to off-set any negative feedback.
Good reviews are authoritative; almost as powerful as personal recommendations. Poor reviews probably won’t kill your business, but it’s best to keep them to a minimum and make sure you address the issues promptly and transparently.
Reward your referrals
One of the fundamental facets of marketing is turning your happy clients into advocates and the referrals they make to friends and family
As an estimate, close to half of all new client business comes from word of mouth referrals. You can’t afford to ignore that kind of figure.
So, put a referral reward system in place. Talk to your learner drivers; get to know them, and what would incentivise them to recommend your driving school.
Ask for referrals and have something to offer something in return. It’s about nurturing meaningful relationships with students and increasing retention and satisfaction rates so that they’ll act as brand ambassadors and spread the word.
Get Your Social Game On
Social media is how people keep in touch these days, and it also means that we maintain a much broader social circle. In the social sphere, it is possible to make an impact for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. Setting up a profile is free of charge, and connecting with your students means accessible communication and sharing success stories.
Remember that you need to choose the right social networks for your market. The chances are that most of your driving school clients are young, so you need to find out which social spheres they inhabit.
With the agreement of your students, you can share the nerves of a first lesson to the triumphant driving test finale.
Instagram image sharing means that you can use the pictures from your business Instagram account to populate your website. No more loading pictures onto multiple platforms.
The is all down to engagement. Connect with your students, share in their triumphs, large or small. If Robert made his first parallel parking attempt like a pro, shout about it. His success is your proof of a job well done.
For instance, upload fun and informative videos (including live streams) that gather heaps of likes, shares, and other social singles. But always get the cooperation and agreement of your students first. Some will get a buzz out of it, and others will hate it.
Email Marketing is Alive
Some people have been claiming that email marketing is dead for years. Email is still here, and it’s still useful as part of a targeted marketing campaign. For a small or medium-sized company, it is inexpensive but has an impressive ROI. Assemble a contact list and segment it according to demographics and other criteria.
Furthermore, if you employ an email automation tool like MailChimp to make your life easier, you can link your SimplyBook.me account to MailChimp via Zapier. Email automation tools make the planning and scheduling of email campaign a simple task and streamline the whole marketing process.
Advertising – There’s no such thing as a free lunch
While you can do everything possible to promote your driving school in a free and organic manner, the edge will come from targeted and PAID advertising. More to the point, it can help you attract more business to your school. Pay-Per-Click is the best proof of this. There is no shortage of great PPC platforms for placing display and search ads (sponsored ads that appear in search results).
Providers such as Google Adwords ask you pay only when somebody clicks the link that will transfer them to your website. The costs will vary depending on the level of competition – how many others are bidding for the same keywords – and how many times your paid link is clicked. There is no guaranteed ROI, but if you target your ads to the right audience, you will spread brand awareness far and wide.
SimplyBook.me platform has Google integration, which allows you to track your Adwords.
What are you waiting for? Get your motor running
If you genuinely want to get your business on the map, increase your customers, and spend more time with clients than doing the admin work, you need to use the tools available. You can’t ignore the marketing side, but neither can you ignore the cost of hiring a receptionist – it’s really steep.
Marketing is a long game – you can’t expect instant results. However, if you don’t feel you’re getting traction, don’t just stop, switch things up a bit and see what happens. It really doesn’t matter whether you are a large driving school with nationwide coverage or a small independent, you can’t ignore the benefits of online booking. Who has time to answer the phone or respond to emails when you should be filling your time with driving lessons?
Come to think of it, when do you make time for any of the marketing functions you need? Let Simply Book.me take the weight of making appointments, and let us pave the way for your online presence.
If you want to hear about a driver training agency uses the SimplyBook.me booking platform, check out our interview with Green Penny