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8 Simple Yet Effective Driving School Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients

Man driving car happily

It’s no secret that driving schools are hot and in demand, which is why they have started sprouting up at almost every corner. The industry has grown by over $1 billion in market size.

But these numbers make sense only when you can actually tap into that potential. And how can you do that?  

The answer is simple: Marketing! 

We understand that driving school marketing might sound tricky and complex at first. That’s why we’re here to help you come up with a marketing plan for your driving school. 

Ready to travel the journey of elevating your business? Here’s a teaser of what’s to come:

  1. Get listed on Google My Business
  2. Build a website to enhance leads
  3. Spread awareness and build your brand
  4. Partner with other institutions 
  5. Leverage social media to your advantage
  6. Run promotions
  7. Go a step further with advertising
  8. Bonus tip: Be a leader in your area

1. Get listed on Google My Business

In today’s world, whenever we face a problem and want to get access to any kind of information we all turn to our savior: Google! From flight bookings to finding out which car is the best to buy, it’s all on Google. Since everyone uses it for finding answers, what better way to stand out and be found than to use its potential?  

This is where Google My Business (GMB) comes in!

GMB is a free tool that manages how the business appears on Google Search and Maps. For best results and reach, fill in complete information about your business –  your business name, location, and hours. Additionally, monitor and reply to customer reviews, add photos, and learn where and how people are searching for your business.

Now that you know the ‘why’, here’s the ‘how’ to do it well:

  • Have a clear cover photo so that people can see your business clearly.
  • Add pictures of your business to amplify your visibility.
  • Request clients to review and give feedback on your school. The more reviews, the better your chances of getting listed higher. Besides, prospects also decide where to go based on reviews! 
  • Fill in all the essential details of your business like your contact info, website URL, address, etc. so that leads know where to contact you.
  • While filling in your description, utilize local SEO. Use words that people will search for when they want to find a driving school.
  • Reserve with Google is another very crucial platform that people often miss out on! Even after you have listed your business on Google, providing clients with a seamless booking experience is essential to ensure that the lead generated is converted into a customer. 

Tip: Looking for a scheduling software that has RwG? Here’s how you can choose the perfect scheduling partner for Reserve with Google to ensure that your customers have the smoothest experience! 

2. Build a website to entice leads

Monitor displaying a website

Your lead’s first impression of you is going to be through your business website. This is why you need it to be one that captures the visitor’s attention. Regardless of whether you link it to your Google Business profile or run advertisements, the onus of converting lies on the site.

Having a company website adds to the overall legitimacy of your business and helps build your brand long-term. Furthermore, good sites help your business rank higher on Google. Here are some ways that you can try to enhance your website:

  • Take inspiration from pre-existing sites to understand what clients are looking for in a website. Look at what your competition is doing and what works to get a better understanding of what is trending in the industry.
  • Take a good look at your fonts. Fonts are a very important part of presenting your content. Ensure that there is font consistency. Use fonts that are easy on the eyes; this means they should not be tiny, and also not too bright to read. 
  • Make the site SEO-optimised by using words that people search for to increase the number of people viewing the site as well as making appointments.
  • Make the website mobile-friendly. Most people today use phones to check out everything they want to find on the internet. For such scenarios, it is very important you make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. 
  • Make your website visually appealing. Ensure the visuals are consistent with your branding. 

Pro tip: A good way to test if your site is appealing enough is by using the squint test: Get up in front of your desk, walk a few feet away from your computer screen, and squint. You will have to make everything blurry so that only the most prominent features (large and colorful) are noticeable. When you notice this, you are basically seeing what a visitor might notice when he/she scans or skims your website for the very first time. If you’re not happy with what you see, change it!

  • Ensure that all the necessary information about your business is easily accessible.
  • Incorporate core features of your business such as online payment processing, contact forms, coupons, etc.
  • Add testimonials to gain legitimacy. Trust with customers is the grassroots of any good business. What better way to build trust than having good testimonials? This adds more legitimacy to your driving school and convinces people to book an appointment with you.
  • Make it fast: If your website loads too slowly, your visitors will leave without waiting. So, you need to be careful with adding too many large images to your website.
  • Integrate an online booking software on your website: At the end of the day, giving convenience outweighs everything else. Having a book now button on your site makes it easier for people to book. Besides, people are more likely to book right after they are impressed by your site! 

If you don’t have a website, Appointy gives you a mini domain that you can customize to your look and feel. It can also help you with your promotional strategies by offering gift cards and discounts.
Book a demo now to see it in action!

3. Spread awareness and build your brand

Blue car in forest

The perception of your business is what is going to be the deciding factor for people when choosing which driving school to go to. That’s why having a good image is so important. You can even use your customers to help you with this! A simple and easy way to convert loyal customers into marketing for your driving school is through referrals. It is the process by which you nudge loyal happy customers into getting you more customers. 

This is very effective as 83% of the people trust the recommendations of their friends and family, and are more likely to at least try the business once. So, referral programs can help boost your revenue by significantly reducing expenditure on bringing in new customers.

A few ways you can boost your image include:

  • Referrals: Offer incentives to loyal customers who are willing to introduce your services to their friends and family. These incentives can range from discounts and cashback on getting a certain number of referrals to having a points-based program where you can redeem points to get sessions.
  • Get online reviews: These can play a pivotal role in building your image, because nowadays, being seen as a trusted business requires quality reviews. Online reviews are read by nearly everyone who uses the internet. So, you can nudge people to review your school if they like your services.

4. Partner with other institutions 

Another way you can expand your business is by strategically partnering with other establishments. Some of the local businesses or institutions you can partner with include:

  • Schools: Schools and colleges are going to be your primary source of leads as they entail your primary audience. Form partnerships with them. For example, a local high school may have a need for a driving instructor, and you can then advertise your related behind-the-wheel services outside of just teaching in the classroom. You can also offer to give seminars on safe driving, the dangers of driving rash, etc. in order to build rapport in schools.
  • Hospitals: Hospitals need driver evaluations and special driver rehabilitation services. You can reach out to them and offer your services.
  • Courts:  Court systems and lawyers have clients who require defensive driving services. If you provide training for defensive driving services, you could consider reaching out to courts and legal practitioners.

5. Leverage social media to your advantage

Tablet with display showing "Online marketing"

It’s well known that most of the people who want to get a driver’s license are young. Hence, consider marketing where they are most likely to see it – Social Media!

Social media is the easiest place to start driving school marketing as it is affordable and accessible. But more importantly, there are millions of potential customers scrolling every day. Here are some evergreen tips to get you started:

A. Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are a way of labeling your content and letting people know which tag it belongs to. You will be able to use limited hashtags so it’s important to make each one count! 

Using the right hashtags is one of the best ways to get people to see your posts. You’re expanding the reach of your posts because people outside your own followers will see your stuff. They’ll find you because they see your post in their feed through the hashtags they follow, and on the discovery page under posts they might be interested in. 

The right way to use hashtags is to avoid using popular hashtags that are generic, and instead research by looking into which hashtag gives you the most reach and interaction. Find out which ones work for you and then mix and match them to get the maximum reach possible.

B. Add a ‘Book Now’ button

At the end of the day, convenience could make all the difference between a potential lead and a client. You would want leads to take action while you have their attention. 

This is why platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to add “Book now” buttons to your profile. Leverage it to your advantage and get more leads!

C. Don’t oversell

Remember not to actively push your services on social media. If you talk too much about your business and why people should sign up, it may off-put any potential leads as well as reduce your engagement. For this reason, there should be a right balance between educational and promotional content.

D. Connect with your audience

Providing tips and suggestions is one of the best ways to connect with your audience. Whether it’s driving trivia or how to get a driving license easily, you should engage your audience regularly on social media. By doing so, you build trust with your audience and establish your credibility. 

E. Showcase success stories

There’s no reason you can’t show off to the world. Showcase success stories of how your clients got driving licenses with ease, talking about their journey, how they learned, etc. 

You can even add a personal touch by showing testimonials. The more you share such stories, the more people get to know about your school. Sharing these stories will give your audience a push to inquire. And sharing real people’s stories always creates more impact on those who are viewing it from the other side.

F. Explain the need for your driving lessons 

Sometimes, people cannot feel the necessity of signing up for a service until they are made to understand the need. A great way to fill in the gap is through social media marketing. It comes to your rescue when you need to make your audience believe that they need the service and that too, urgently. Explain to your audience why driving lessons are important.

6. Run promotions

Giftbox with label "Just for you"

The easiest way to grab customers’ attention is by running special offers and promotions.

A promotion is a discount that you offer to anyone that is willing to come in for your sessions at a particular time. Promotions are a great tool in marketing for driving schools.

Here are a few hacks to not only get more customers but also make more profits from discounts:

  • Ensure that you plan out your budget and how much discount you can afford to give in advance to make a profit.
  • Track the time and dates when your business runs slow. Offer sales during these times for hitting two birds with one stone.
  • Pamper first-time customers with free trial sessions to start building loyalty.
  • Offer special festive event discounts as these are the times when there is a larger influx of clients. Black Friday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day are a few occasions that brim with activity and you can leverage this by advertising your school the right way.

Running these driving school promotions can also increase your social media visibility which in turn brings in more customers. It also pairs with other driving instructor marketing strategies to bring more attention to your business.

7. Go a step further with advertising 

As discussed above, social media is a great step to building and expanding your brand. The question then arises about how to go further than that. If you have the money for it, advertising is a great way to expand.

The fastest way to grow and increase reach is by using Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads that can generate new clicks to the website as well as to your social media. While this can be costly if done well it can significantly increase your reach.

These ads work better as they factor in location, interest, and likelihood of conversion preventing uninterested clicks or people on your site, thus only bringing in interested people to your school.

You can also use Google search Ads. Google Search Ads campaigns are an effective way to drive traffic to your website. These, basically, are sponsored search results shown on a Google search and they usually show up at the top of the page or on the right side. When users search for information on Google, the results on the first page are usually the ones that get the most clicks. 

The PPC model of Ads aims to get your business at the top of the list by paying Google a fee. The good thing is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It doesn’t matter how many times it showed up. Keep in mind that the higher your ad shows up on the search result page, the higher the number of people that will click on it. 

However, if that is out of your budget, you can also utilize local influencers to market your school. Content creators have a wider reach on social media, and can thus, spread your message to more people. Furthermore, people have a certain level of trust in these established influencers and you can capitalize on this to take your brand higher.

You can also do this locally by using visually-appealing flyers. You can then hand them out in popular streets in your locality. A smarter way to do this is by collaborating with local popular businesses, and paying and putting up your flyers in their stores.

8. Bonus tip: Be a leader in your area

One of the many uniquenesses of your business is that as a driving school, you can only make your services available to limited areas. You may have instructors who service particular neighborhoods or you might just accept students from around your area. In such a case, getting customers from unserviceable areas can be a problem. 

But what if we tell you we have a bonus tip that helps you with this?

We absolutely do! 

So the best way to tackle this issue is to make customers choose an area code (from the ones you cater to) before they book their appointment with you. And your scheduling software should help you do that.  

If your current software does not help here, it’s time for you to switch to Appointy! 

With Appointy, you can create area codes, and assign them to particular staff members, all by yourself! 

Many of our customers are already making use of this feature, and growing with targeted customers in their serviceable areas.

Want to see it in action? Book a demo today!  

Final thoughts

That was the end of our guide on driving school marketing. We hope that you had ample takeaways from what we had to say and that we helped you gain some clarity on how you can approach it.

The driving school business can be tough to crack as there is heavy competition. However, a good marketing strategy can put you at the top of your game.

You might think that you have too many hats to wear, from managing a driving school to handling marketing and administration. What if there was a solution that could seamlessly automate your booking process and marketing initiatives, and give you real-time analyses of every appointment? 

To streamline your business, we recommend using a scheduling software. Set your availability, integrate with Reserve with Google, manage coupons and discounts, and do more to create an efficient booking journey for your clients! 

All the best! 😊

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!