Running a driving school business or becoming a driving instructor is a popular option for those wanting a career that offers them flexibility and a good work/life balance. It allows you to choose when, where and how you want to work. This is great, but do you know what it means? More competition. So you really need to have your foot down on the pedal when it comes to marketing and make sure you know what you’re doing and driving school marketing is something many business owners struggle with.
The good news is to run your driving school business you don’t need to have lots of money to get started and there are plenty of channels and quick hacks to make use of. We’ve also put together a list of the basics for you. Now is the best time to take your driving school business up a gear!
1. Define your audience
Successful driving school marketing is more simple than people think, and with all marketing, it’s important to understand who your customers are and what they’re interested in. For the average driving school business, this is obvious! But some focus on specific groups, like female-only tuition. Understanding your target will make it easier to reach them and make sure that they’re interested in booking lessons with you. In the case of females looking for female driving instructors, focusing on content around this specific audience will go along way.
Do some research based on your recent customers and find out how they came across you. Use this information to decide which marketing channels to use and define a strategy for your business.
2. Build your driving school business brand
The biggest factor in marketing is branding. it’s about creating recall and an association with a feeling or experience. Driving school marketing is no different, and it really should be a priority for any new or existing driving school trying to set themselves apart.
This is key to your success, ask yourself – is your branding cool? Is it memorable? It’s a competitive market and the brands who invest time in building their brand reap the benefits later on. Look at what you offer and create pillars, do you offer a really cheap rate? Have you been given excellent reviews? do you operate during times that people can work around other commitments? Have you chosen to use a certain type of car? Whatever it is that makes your business unique, own it. Make sure everyone knows what you’re about and build your brand around it. It’s worth investing in design support to create a really fantastic and memorable logo for all of your marketing materials.
3. Create a website for your driving school business customers
The best place without a doubt to start with driving school marketing is social media and a website. this means having a presence online. Most people use the internet to find the services they need, this includes finding a driving instructor. Having a solid online presence should be at the top of your priority list. How do you expect people to find you otherwise? There are plenty of easy ways to set up a site, through tools such as WordPress, Mailchimp and Squarespace. However integrating these sites with a booking tool, payment and email system can require an extra level of tech knowledge. With Learnr for business instructor software, you won’t need any of this as we take care of everything. Just simply link your website to your booking page and start taking payments.
4. Build an Instagram presence
Instagram has grown exponentially in the last few years. Which makes it really relevant for finding younger learner drivers. Start an account that fits with your brand and use it to share student successes and latest news. Share top tips on Instagram to learners to show you’re an expert in this field. You’ll probably get new followers and potential students too. Make sure you get your current customers to tag you in their posts to increase your brand reach.
5. Setup a Facebook group for learners to find you
Facebook is a quick and free way to build a community around your business. All you need to do is set up a group and invite your customers and prospective customers to it. This gives you a great forum to share referral codes or special deals that you might run during quiet periods. It’ll also give you a way to ask for feedback and answer questions.
6. Start using email marketing to grow
Email marketing is a key channel for any thriving business, it’s very effective and very low cost. Using smart email marketing tools such as Mailchimp you can create lists of customers based on different demographics. Then you can send targeted emails to these lists based on topics that they find interesting. A great example of this would be getting parents of learner students to join your email marketing list (via your website) and then sending them an exclusive offer for lesson packages on payday.
7. Don’t forget offline marketing
Despite what people think, the older more traditional ways of marketing can still be as effective as digital marketing. This is especially applicable to local businesses, so don’t discard this is a method of driving growth. Create leaflets but be strategic about where and when you distribute them, for success refer back to your defined audience and target the areas where they’re likely to be. Business cards and referral cards can also be very effective, always have some of these with you to distribute to prospective customers.
8. Leverage your online reviews
Build your online reputation by offering a brilliant service and then following up with customers to get feedback and reviews. Customers look for details, so why not offer your students a bottle of water in the lesson (especially a long one) or take them for a celebratory drive-through coffee when they pass their test. Anything you can do to make the experience more enjoyable is likely to get you a five star review.
Once you’ve got gathered lots of impressive reviews you can start to leverage these to drive your customer acquisition. Add some snippets from the best ones to your website, emails and social media to get the ball rolling.
Not sure how to ask for a review? It’s easy for students to leave you a review via the Learnr app and they’ll receive an automatic reminder to review their experience in case you forget to mention it!
Top tip: if you get lots of good reviews you’ll appear higher up in the search results you’ll be – which means more bookings for you!
If you really want to have a successful driving school business and a well-known brand then you need to prioritise investing time and some money into marketing and creating a solid marketing approach. The key is to highlight the best parts of what your business offers and find a way to get feedback from customers to improve on the weaker areas (whilst still driving business).
All the hard work will pay off when you start to see the increase in business and the money coming in!