After a seasonally slow Summer (really slow!), the Fall is now off to a good start for our boarding school clients. Leads in the summer basically came to a standstill from early June to early August. It is important to know these seasonal trends, so you aren’t caught with empty beds when the slow times come, or are not prepared for the onslaught of leads at typically busy times.
Here is our experience of the general seasonal trends (year-round boarding schools only)…
Many of the directories that Exceed has developed over the years are now top ranked in the search engines for many of the search terms people use to find our clients’ programs. The are visited by over 100,00 people per day, all seeking help. These directories were built to help our clients gain exposure, credibility, higher rankings, and ultimately, more leads. We are adding 2-3 directories a year, either starting them from scratch or buying them. Being listed for free in our directories helps our clients on several fronts:
We sell our constituents short if we believe generosity stops after payment for services. If that were true, universities would never ask their alumni for a gift. Hospitals would only charge for services and not contributions. And museums and zoos would survive ONLY on admission and membership fees.
In 2016, Randy Soderquist, Owner and Clinical Director of Re-Creation Retreat in northern Arizona was searching for a way to improve the marketing of his residential treatment center for girls. “We were getting only around 12 to 15 leads each year from the web, and I didn’t want to spend more time learning about digital marketing.”
Many admissions people fail to be successful as they could be because they fail to describe the distinct values of the program quickly in their initial call. This message is a must as most people are shopping around and you only have their attention for a few minutes. You need to give them something to remember!
Don’t talk about the distinctive values of your program vs. others. Poor or late follow-up – leads grow cold in a few hours. Fail to notice the massive impact of bad online reviews. You sound overworked, harried, or uncaring – need to set the caller at ease and be empathetic with their situation!.
Facebook is a powerful tool for building your center’s community (and that’s good), but it can also be a real stumbling block to your marketing if handled improperly. An unmanaged and undisciplined Facebook site for your business can spell disaster or fines. It is important to understand the power of this tool and why it is so important to get it under control.
Google and Yelp are more diligent than ever before at removing reviews if their algorithm thinks the reviews might be fake. Both will also take legal action, or delist your site, if they find you are faking reviews.
Most people today won’t buy anything without first checking out the online reviews of the product or service. It’s possible to do a quick verification of almost anything, so you aren’t burned by a bad purchase or a bad dinner. So, if people check reviews of things like toilet paper and restaurants, how much more are they checking out your organization before considering it.
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