Get Started With Marketing: A Guide for New Affiliates
We’re pleased to welcome our new affiliate partners to the 2Cool Family. To get you started on the path to success, we would like to share some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your new business asset.
Regardless of if you’re selling a behind-the-wheel bundle package with us or are simply using an affiliate link to earn commissions, the basic marketing suggestions are the same! You need to find creative ways to get the word out about what you have to offer.
Have the Right Mindset
The first thing you have to do is go “all in” with this and start being creative. Despite the fact that people can’t visit your physical brick-and-mortar driving school, you now have a product that you can sell. Just like when your business was new and you flourished with ideas, you need to use that same vigor. This is most likely the toughest financial time any of us will ever go through in our lifetime. So buckle down and be as creative as possible. Be willing to try some things that others think won’t work. You really don’t know until you try.
Speak to Past Students & Customers
Your best resource for future business opportunities begins with your old customers. We know that you’ve kept meticulous records, so the easiest way to initially reach out is to do a bulk email. If you don’t have an easy way to reach out to that many people at once, you can sign up for an email system like MailChimp. MailChimp is easy to use and lets you send emails to up to 2,500 email addresses for free. Once you have a way to send emails, you need to decide when to send emails. Best practices suggest that you need to send at least 4 emails over a 3 week period. Follow-ups are important. If you have a lot more emails, let us know and we can help you figure out a good way to email them in a very inexpensive manner.
Another option for reaching out to past customers is to just give them a call. This is a great way to find additional leads if you are good at conversation. Ideally, you will have a database with tons of useful information about your previous students that will help you identify potential new customers.
Some of the information that may be useful to know include:
- Do they have any siblings? If so, when are their birthdays or how old are they?
- Do they have any close relatives or neighbors with kids about the age of getting a license?
- Do they know anyone 18 or over who failed their road test or maneuverability test that hasn’t gotten their license yet?
If you don’t have something like this, it’s never too late to start! Google Sheets is a convenient way to keep track of this information, but you can always start with a spreadsheet if nothing else.
When making the calls, if you don’t have a rapport with them, make things easier on yourself by coming up with a short script to get you started.
“Hello, Mr Smith? Hi, this is Frank from XXXXX Driving school. We did the behind-the-wheel training with your daughter Kim so she could get her license. I was calling because I wanted to reach out to see how things are going for your family at this time and to let you know that we are now offering online drivers ed. So, if you have any other children or know anyone else looking to get their license, this will allow them to make progress towards it even during the state lock down since it’s done online. Then, when the bans are lifted and we get back in touch and help them with the rest of the requirements.”
That is just one suggestion. But now you can see how important that client database is — and if you don’t have one why you should start one.
Advertise on Your Website
You have a new product, so it’s important to make sure that people can find it when they go to your website! The first place you want to put this information is right near the top of your website with some kind of big, highly noticeable banner or graphic. You can usually do this right under the header of your website to attract the most attention. If you need help let us know. If your website uses a common CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, we can help you do that pretty quickly if you have the login information to your website. If you’d like to do more detailed work on your website (or want to completely modernize your website), our partners at StudioX Media can help you out for a very reasonable cost. They give a special discounted rate to our affiliate partners and you’d be in excellent hands.
Leverage Social Media
If you’re not using social media, you need to be. Seriously, you do. Especially since you are doing localized marketing. Three of the most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You’ll need a personal account on Facebook to take advantage of Facebook and Instagram. It may be a good idea to consider making a new personal Facebook account separate from the one you may already have established with friends and family. Wondering why? Well, a big part of what you’ll do after you create an account is start friending everyone you possibly can in your area — regardless of if you know them or not. But on your truly personal account, you may want to only be friends with people that you actually know.
Once you have your new Facebook account, you can create a Facebook business page. It’s pretty simple. Just grab the same graphics you have on your website, or if you want to put some new pictures, just make sure that you’re not violating any copyrights. You get free photos to use on your website or social media from Pixabay, Unsplash or Pexels that you’re legally allowed to use for commercial purposes. Once you have your business page set up, start the friending process. People can only like or follow a business page. It can’t gather “friends” like your personal account can. That’s why you will do all of the friending with the personal account.
Like anything else, you start with friends and family again. Then, go through their friends lists and find anyone that lives in your area and add them too. As you get more friends added, look through their friends list and keep trying to add more people who are in your area. You also want to join every Facebook group that you can think of or find related to your community. There are often Facebook groups for your city, the local high schools and other popular things in your area. Join them all. You should also seek out parents groups, single parents groups and church groups. Each of these places is a potential place where you can meet new customers and get your name out. If there are people from your area in it and the group is active, join it.
Instagram is a super important social media source for our industry. 75% of people under 30 have an Instagram account. If you’re not on it, again, you need to be. Facebook owns Instagram (or Insta, for short) so login using your new Facebook account. Here is the thing you need to know about Insta. While Facebook posts are usually posts and stories accompanied by pictures, Insta is primarily pictures with just a little bit of story. Also, in order to post on Instagram, you will need to have the Instagram app on your smartphone.
Look around on Instagram before you post. This is a super savvy media demographic and if they get a hint of insincerity, they will never interact with you there. The things you want to do that are business friendly are cute and funny memes as a staple, with only a touch of your advertising. You don’t want to just post things advertising your business. Be funny and creative. If that isn’t you, then every member of your family is probably at home now too. Ask a funny relative to help you out. Or better yet, if you have any teenagers in your family, ask them to help. That includes extended family. You can offer them a reward if they can get people to sign up. Post about it on their social media and if they can get people to sign up, offer them a little commission of $10 — or something else that works for you.
Twitter is pretty self explanatory. Your posts have to be 140 characters or less. But the same things still apply. Once you’re signed up, follow people, topics and groups in your area. Again, don’t just post promotional material. Look for things at places like reddit.com or imgur.com that are funny, cute, or interesting.
Best Practices on Social Media
Remember, you should try to naturally attract an audience of people who are interested in seeing the things that you post. Just like you don’t like to see business ads all the time, neither do your potential customers.
Steer clear of politics. Don’t post political content on your business accounts. That includes funny political memes and graphics because as much as you might encourage people from liking your business, there is an equal chance that you might turn someone off. Don’t promote or bash Trump, political parties, etc. But, you can still post helpful tips that you find about dealing with stuff during this unprecedented time.
Once you have this all done, you can do things with your followers online such as holding Webinars on “How to get your Ohio Driver’s License: A Q&A session”. You can do that on Facebook using live streaming. Advertise it for a week or two before you do it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get big numbers. Learn from the experience. Do it anyway and record it and watch yourself after. This is a tool you can regularly use to help promote your business in the future.
These are just a few ideas that keep you safe at home while you expand your business. If you have any questions or suggestions please us and let us know.