Driving instructor marketing what have you done today

If your driving school needs more learner drivers, here is a question for you, what instructor marketing efforts have you tried today?

1. Could you have sent a sms text or better still called some of the people who have called you and made enquiries about learning to drive in the past 3 months (surely you have kept records of all those prospective clients including name). But if they are ready, they will call me, maybe or they might call your competitor.
Even if you only get one driving lesson out of 10 calls, that is better than sitting and waiting for the phone to ring. I use this marketing system regularly to top up sucsessful referals from my driving instructor website.

2. Have you registered that driving school domain name, that you have been putting off for the last 4 weeks? Did you know that all things being equal, a 3 month old domain will rank higher than one that was registered 1 month ago?

3. How about that overdue article you have been planning to write for your driving school website about the complex junction used by your local test centre, don't forget to drive down and take a few pictures to illustrate your maketing article. But if I give free test tips away, people will be able to pass the driving test without having to take any lessons or tuition with me! If you don't put the information on your website, people will not find your website, see it is useful, link to it and pass it on to others! In any case there will still be those who know the theory, but can't put into practise and they are the ones who will call you up especially if they had an attempt with one of your competitors who never quite gave them the helpful tips you shared online.

4. Could you have ordered your driving instructor business cards that you don't have.

5. How about washing your dual controlled instructor vehicle, so that it looks more attractive and those school advertising graphics can really shine through and grab the attention of new potential learner drivers.

6. Online forum activity. Use the free time to join a learner driver forum, and start giving advise to test candidates, you have setup a signature with your website url so people can also visit and find out more about the services you offer. If you are consistent with your activity, people will be willing to recommend or try you out.

Being a good teacher is just a small part of the things required to run a successful driving school business, marketing your services is just as important especially in the early years, as it will be a long time before you get a steady flow of recommendations coming in from those you have helped to pass.

So I ask again what driving instructor marketing or advertising have you done to grow your business today?

Promoting driving school website

Many of you might already have a marketing driving school website and might be wondering how do I promote it. I'm going to show you an example of how one instructor is doing it.

I was searching on the internet for information about the proposed DSA independent driving changes in october 2010 when I came across the following.

driving instructor advertising advice

Notice the purple highlighted link on the first page of google.com for the term 'driving test changes 2010' the title of the page is "Driving Test Changes - Reasons to Learn With JSF Now!" clicking on the link takes me to a free press release page where the driving instructor uses the proposed changes to market his/her services and includes 3 links back to the driving school website.

I don't know how long that press release will stay on the first page of google for those search terms, but while it does, the catchy title will surely refer some traffic to the driving school and maybe someone in Gloucestershire will sign up for some lessons.

The use of links in the press release could be improved, as 3 links to the same home page is excessive. If I were the one, I would have a link to the home page, and a second link pointing to a different page which would talk more about independent driving and the DSA changes in October 2010. Having a look at the website of the school, there is one such page, but it contains almost the exact same information from the press release, I would have changed the page a bit, and linked to it from the press release, this would then allow my driving school page gain some authority from the well established free press release website, and in the future people searching for independent driving or dsa test changes in 2010 will hopefully find that page of my advertising website.

If you want more learner drivers to come to you, then you need to TAKE ACTION, don't just read this blog, register your driving school domain name and get a website created.

You need to add relevant content to your website or blog that will benefit readers with the appropriate keywords sprinkled throughout (make sure the words fit into the article naturally without spamming).
Promote your blog or website using tools such as twitter or facebook, in particular if an article is popular or doing well then spread the love! Ask your learners to post links in their social media, they are very willing to do this after a pass!
If you post a picture of them with their pass certificate make sure you write a review (using appropriate words like your brand name and area you cover and get them to endorse i!
You could also write a motoring article for your local newspaper especially if addresses a current traffic or safety issue.

There are no instant results guaranteed, but every little helps as JSF driving school in Gloucester knows.

Driving School Car Graphics

One good and not too expensive way of driving school advertising is having graphics on your instructor car.

Not a lot of independent business owners use this form of instructor marketing for various reasons, but it is very effective in drawing attention to the services offered as well as establishing the brand or driving school name especially if it has your school website on it.

If you have bought a car or leased it for 12 months then I would suggest you put some professionally designed graphics on it if you are really serious about getting more learner drivers to sign up with you.

But it is the only car I have and need it for private use as well. If you want to build up your business, then you have to deal with any pride, or not being cool issues. You want to be advertising your driving school whether you are conducting lessons or not. The more your brand is seen, the more likely you will get an enquiry, how many people see a car while it is giving lessons, say they should really call to start their lessons, but forget or are distracted and never get to it.

No company runs an advert once on telly or in the newspapers, they do it over and over, you buy a product because you saw it on the TV, heard it on the radio, saw it at a bus stop, etc. So let your car work for you even while you are sleeping, having a meal with the family on Father's day, doing the weekly shopping or at the cinema spending your hard earned money.

It might be expensive to put graphics on your school car initially, but over a year, the amount of exposure you will get, will surely pay off, take a leaf from AA, BSM and even RED!

As a driving instructor you need to think as a business owner, not a teacher, and marketing is all about being known and recognised by your potential clients, recommendations work, but if you are just starting out, then advertising is what exposes you, so make sure your school car is not just used for giving lessons, it should be calling those new learner in as well. The time to be cool and pose will come once you are making enough money, have an established business and your website is doing it's job.

Funny driving school name

I noticed a funny driving school name on an instructor's business car the other day, 'Bloomin L I've Passed'!

I did a search on google, but could not find a driving school website for the instructor, but while that name might catch the attention of a teenaged learner driver, it does not do much as far as online marketing of an ADI is concerned. If there was a website, then one of the words that would be repeated regularly would be the driving school name.
The only people searching for 'Bloomin L I've Passed' will either be people who have seen the car on the road or those recommended by current learner drivers of the instructor.

Anyone else wanting to learn to drive in Edgware (which is where this school is based) will search for 'driving instructor edgware', 'driving lessons HA8', 'driving school near edgware HA' so you can see why it is important to have a school business name that contains the keywords people wanting your service will type into search engines.

As for the owner of 'Bloomin L I've Passed', he needs to learn about marketing, as I presume from the listing in Thomson Local directory, he does want more learner drivers.

Edit: I just spotted another name that I can not understand why it is being used: Bully-4-U Driving School!

Driving instructor advertising leaflet

If you are considering printing some advertising leaflets for your driving school marketing efforts, my honest advice to you would be don't bother, as the return on your investment is going to be very low.

Let me explain why door to door leaflet drops will not do much to attract more learner drivers to you.

Driving school advert leaflets are not targeted when posted through letter boxes. You have no idea if the house has any provisional licence holders who might benefit from lessons. Even if there is a potential learner driver, they might not be ready or have the money to start at the time of your marketing campaign. Assuming they decide to keep the leaflet, what are the chances they will find or remember your leaflet 9 months later.

How many people take a second look at leaflets that are posted through the door? Most people don't trust companies that advertise this way, consider them cheap or untrustworthy.

How much information can you put on a leaflet that will convince people to use your services, will that include price and will it satisfy the cheap driving lessons crew?

The people that will benefit most from your leaftlet advertising campaign will be the printer and distribution company (if you decide to use one).

A driving school website exposes your instructor services to people who are ready and actively looking for lessons, car for a test or refresher tuition, if you don't have one or have a poorly designed, non optimised standard website, you are losing out and also wasting money on the wrong marketing tools.

This week alone, I've already had 2 new pupils signed up for lessons after visiting my online blog, and it is just wednesday.