I visit a lot of new and seasoned owners of Residential Care Homes. These small homes have the ability to provide much better care than a nursing home. The challenge has been getting the word out. Because they are small, they often do not have much of a budget for advertising and marketing.
The Passion Is There
For the most part, the owners of these homes are passionate about helping seniors. This is why they started their business. Often, they have worked in the elder care field. Some are nurses, others physical therapists, while others have cared for or may be currently caring for an aging parent or other relative.
Most do not have a business or marketing background.
As such they struggle with this part of the business. Some of the homes who have been around a while made a name for themselves because of the wonderful care they have given families over the years. When they started their business there was not much competition in the Assisted Living market.
Now there is a large assisted living facility everywhere you turn. And memory care places are popping up like popcorn. On top of that there are a lot more of the smaller residential care homes.
And care homes are now competing with both the larger facilities and other care homes too.
Furthermore, things have changed.
The days of getting in to see the case managers or social workers are slim. Moreover, everything is moving online. But a nice- looking website without a marketing strategy is a huge waste of your money.
She Waited to Start Marketing
I see this time and time again. New business owners wait. They wait until they have all the brochures and business cards just right. They wait until the house is perfect.
Marketing is not about your brochures and business cards. It’s about building relationships. If your home is not quite ready for residents or visitors that’s okay. Tell them your home will be opening soon.
Get Out and Meet People
The truth is you should have a combination of outside marketing (or in person marketing) and online marketing. The two go hand in hand.
Attend industry networking events in your area. Join the local chamber of commerce. Meet Home Care and Hospice marketers. Meet Elder Care Attorney’s. Meet other local businesses. All of these people have the potential to refer business to you.
But Why Should They Refer to You??
You have to give first in order to receive. Look for ways that you can be of service. Get to know people. Learn more about their business instead of telling them all about yours.
And follow up. Connect with the people you meet and their business on Facebook and LinkedIn. Regularly comment on their posts. Likewise, when you feel a connection with someone you meet (online or off) invite them for a cup of coffee to see how you can work together.
Do these new prospects write articles or blogs or create videos? If so, share these when you can. Make sure that when you share a post you tag the owner or marketer. This way they will know that you are helping them. This is a great opportunity to start building that relationship.
Invite everyone you meet to like your page on Facebook and connect with you on Linked In. But the best way to do this is to first like their Facebook page and visit their Linked In page.
If you are in this business chances are you have a wealth of knowledge. Don’t hold back. Share that knowledge. When families or professionals are looking for a home for someone, they are not just looking at how pretty the place is. They want to know that you and your staff are capable. And they want to know that you are passionate about caring for seniors.
Facebook and Linked In are both great places to be able to show off your expertise and knowledge. When you post good quality information that is helpful, people will take notice. And when your content is unique you will really stand out above the rest.
Hire someone to create content for you if you need help. But make sure the person you hire understands your industry. Hiring a teenager who hasn’t a clue about what families need or want will be a huge waste of your money. Sometimes it is better to spend a little more and hire quality.
Personalize Your Posts
People want to see real people. When you post pictures of your residents (make sure you have written permission first) families are able to visualize their loved one living in your home. When you do this regularly (once a week) they will begin to feel more comfortable with the idea of placement.
Here are a few easy ideas for posts you can do:
Post pictures of residents enjoying a sunny day on the patio.
Pictures of a Birthday Party or a Holiday Party
Manicure or Spa day
Dancing with residents
A caregiver connecting with a resident.
Invest in Your Business by Investing in Your Marketing
That new lamp you want to buy for the living room could be spent on Facebook advertising or a marketing class that might bring in a new resident. Which would you rather?
If you are new to marketing or maybe just to online marketing you need to learn. That is if you want to stay in business for the long haul.
Take classes to learn how to market your business. Hire a marketing coach. Learn how to advertise on Facebook (Hint: Do not use the boost button) and allocate a budget (it can be small to start) to advertise.
Kathryn Watson has been in business for herself since 1992. She is a speaker, author, and coach. Kathryn loves to help small service related businesses market using the vast resources of social media.
Join her FB Marketing Group to connect with other business owners and marketers who are targeting the over 50 crowd.
Kathryn offers an in depth assessment of your online presence. We will meet on Zoom to discuss the results. A full report and video recording of the consultation will be a part of this package.
Contact Kathryn to learn more.