The childcare industry is always in high demand. However, that’s not a guarantee that clients are just going to keep walking in the door looking for childcare services. In addition to the high demand for providers, there’s also a high number of competitors that you have to differentiate yourself from if you are going to succeed with lead generation.
Marketing to new clients can be done in several ways. It’s not about finding “the” solution to generating new leads, because there’s never going to be just one answer. Instead, you should be looking at the best tactics that will help bring in new clients and how you can add them to your overall marketing strategy. Like any business, your daycare or childcare business is going to need a lot of attention, which includes proper planning and the most effective marketing strategies that you can find.
Simple strategies are all that you need to improve your childcare or daycare center leads. And even if you think your budget is too tight, you’ll be surprised at just how much you can accomplish for $10k per month. Here’s what you need to know.
Cost: Free, unless you offer incentives
For childcare (and many industries), reviews and referrals are your bread and butter. Despite all the advances in technology and changes in the way businesses conduct their operations, little has changed in this regard. People want to know what to expect from a service provider, especially when it comes to those who will be caring for their children.
Make sure that you have reviews in multiple places so that people can get a comprehensive idea of what your daycare center has to offer. Testimonials on your website are great, but not quite enough. You should also make sure that you’re getting reviews on sites like Google and Yelp, as well as other directories and websites. Childcare forums and social media pages are other places to solicit reviews. You can offer incentives for referrals and reviews, but you don’t have to.
How many times have you opened up your phone while you’re out to search for a business “near me” or in your city? More than half of all searches are performed on mobile devices today, and that includes people who are searching for the best childcare or daycare center for their children. If your business doesn’t come up in local searches, you’re losing a lot of possible leads. You can spend less by doing your own optimization, but unless you’ve got experience, it might be better to hire someone.
Optimization of local SEO includes:
You can hire an SEO expert (or a team of them) to optimize your childcare website and the rest of your online presence for local search. They will perform an audit first to determine what needs to be done, come up with a strategy to improve local SEO, and then start to implement the different steps. It’s a lot of detail work and it requires regular attention, so it’s best to have a pro do the work.
Cost: $250-$1,000, varies
Granted, you could easily spend $5,000 or more on an open house if you really wanted to. However, it’s not necessary. If you have an open house, invest money in the advertising of the event. Market the open house on your social media pages, on your website, and by sending flyers home with your current enrollees so they can pass the information along to others.
You can even go the extra mile and have an in-person open house and advertise a secondary virtual open house for those who may not be able to make the in-person event. At the open house, you should have plenty of information about your programs, why you are the best choice, etc. Don’t skimp on the snacks and refreshments, either—people pay attention to the details.
Cost: Free, unless you pay for memberships, networking events, etc.
This is a strategy that helps you build your reputation by connecting with others who are established in the childcare industry. You can partner with schools, connect with your local and state programs for childcare, and network with others who can help build your credibility. If you have a strong professional network, it will provide you with more opportunities for potential leads. It will also show those leads that you are a reputable childcare provider or daycare facility because you have these connections.
You should also consider joining childcare forums and other professional organizations. Again, it boosts your reputation and provides a lead source at once, giving you more for your money. And perhaps the best part about this tactic is that it’s free unless you pay for memberships or networking events, so you won’t even have to touch that $10k/month lead gen budget.
Cost: $250-$5,000, depending on what you outsource
Outsourcing is one of the best tools available to businesses today. There are professional services that make it easy to outsource just about anything that you need done. When it comes to lead generation, imagine having a partner that’s there to handle 24/7 phone answering so that you never miss an opportunity. Of course, it’s more than that. When you partner with the right team, you can get a full array of solutions.
The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can offer all the support you need for phone answering and beyond, including assistance with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your live website chat. We can also team up with you to ensure that your outreach campaigns are on point to draw in all those leads in the first place.