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HOW TO GET CLIENTS FOR ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES

Adding new elements to your census improvement strategy can help your senior living community attract great new residents .

Here are a few easy, yet effective lead generation tactics to help you continue to receive referrals and also enroll new residents any time of the year.

    • Host an event
    • Create a referral reward program
    • Create a survey

HOST AN EVENT

Creating an event for current and potential residents is a great way to encourage engagement with your brand and boost current resident morale at the same time! Offer them a singles night or taco party where your residents can mingle in event spaces or outdoor areas they may not have explored before.

Hosting an event shows your residents you care and engages your social media and email leads, too. To reach more people, promote this event through your community’s website, social channels, newsletter and blog. Hosting events may convince friends of friends of residents to join your community based on all of the fun they’re having now.

CREATE A REFERRAL REWARD PROGRAM

Put your current residents or referral sources in a position to easily refer new leads and promote your brand through a referral reward program. New potential residents value and trust recommendations from their friends or family members, so encourage existing residents to spread the word about your community. Referral reward programs can be short or long-term and are wildly effective.

Creating a referral reward program is not only a fantastic way to gain new residents, but can also increase participation in your community events. The more people participate, the more they are willing to participate – then it will just become second nature.

Offer an incentive to your residents to invite a friend, such as free coffee on Tuesdays, to encourage current residents to recruit new residents on your behalf. Think of what types of initiatives make the most sense for your assisted living facility. While it is unlikely these new leads will instantly become new residents, they will be excellent candidates for social media ambassadors or they may be able to refer their friends to your community even if they’ve already chosen another community.

Don’t forget your cross-referral relationships. Introduce new incentives for communities to refer their leads to you. There may be times when a resident is not a good fit for one community and may benefit from enrolling in another one (independent care vs. memory care vs. assisted living and so on). The best incentive for another community to send referrals is when you refer a potential resident to them! Work on your cross-referral relationships to support each other in census growth.

CREATE A SURVEY

Creating a business development strategy around a new referral program or in-person event presents exciting opportunities for your senior living community to learn more about potential future residents. When obtaining information from referred leads, make sure to ask them questions about themselves. Asking questions helps you gain information to keep them coming back for more. Here are a few ways to throw short, effective assessments into your business development strategy:

    • Create polls or offer a suggestion box at your next event or class
    • Add questionnaires at the end of movie nights to see what movies residents would like to see in the future (sneak in a question about amenities, etc.)
    • Add brief survey questions to your email or newsletter blasts to learn more about your leads and loyal residents
    • Create a survey that invites your leads to self-qualify their need for a great senior living community by identifying their biggest challenges or pains

With your goals in mind, ask questions that will lead you to information that supports follow-up conversations with potential residents. Over time you can show how you’ve changed your business development strategy and produced new opportunities for residents to be their best selves. Back up your changes with testimonials about how your current residents and potential residents prefer them. These changes also demonstrate to your residents that you’re listening. You are building a positive reputation that supports effective lead generation and boosts customer loyalty at the same time.

Remember to always collect an email address! Email addresses provide the opportunity to stay connected to potential residents through email campaigns and newsletter blasts. Your leads can stay connected to the events and content you produce until they are ready to join your community. Send your content through email and social media to keep your brand top-of-mind as an amazing senior living facility.

Read: Driving Lead Generation

Looking for more advice on developing a strong business development strategy? Schedule a conversation to see how we can help.

Navigating your business into a new market

Transitioning into a new market can be challenging for any business. In this video, Dawn Wagenaar, Principal of Ingenuity Marketing Group, goes over some of the key factors to consider when exploring a new market base.

One of the most important preparation steps is market research. It is crucial to know who your competitors are as well as how your competitors are doing in the market space. Are there things that your competitors are doing (or not doing) that your company can highlight as strengths?

Now that you’ve researched your competition, it’s time to identify your target audience. Are they attending events? Are they involved in organizations? If so, is there a way to get your company’s name in front of these potential leads as part of your marketing strategy?

Market research is multi-faceted and can be confusing even if you’ve done it before. When you need assistance into a new market, contact us at Ingenuity!

Looking for an in-depth analysis. Learn how market research can help validate your business decisions and move your business forward.


When reaching out to a new customer base, it can seem daunting at first, but trust me, you can win over a new market. But first, where do you begin?

Do your market research. Is this new vertical growing or is it stagnant? What are the top industries in that market?  What is the labor market like?  How can your firm grow in this market?

Then you need to identify your competitors. What are they doing right? Look at the areas that you can compete on based on what they are doing or not doing.

This is the stage in the process when you need to identify your target audience. Research their demographics. Determine what events they attend or organizations they are a part of. Will you need to hire additional team members or can your existing team develop these new relationships or can your current clients give you referrals into this new market? Be sure to incorporate in-person networking and sponsorship opportunities into your strategy.

The last thing to do before branching out is to identify barriers to overcome and define clear goals to measure your progress.

It’s a marathon and not a sprint when building new relationships and visibility in a new market or city.

Let me know if I can help. Good luck!

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A boy giving the peace sign in a yellow Hawaiian shirt with yellow background.

Own Your Brand: Lead Generation Tools

A boy giving the peace sign in a yellow Hawaiian shirt with yellow background.

A longtime engineering and architectural firm needed to change its brand positioning strategy. Historically, it was perceived as only serving clients in a certain region, but the firm was gaining a national presence. Leaders also spoke of being overlooked for certain services even though they now offered a full-service solution.

This is a good problem to have because a strong, historic brand position is hard to shake once established. It’s also a bad problem because the full potential of this firm is not recognized by people who can offer new business. If segment leaders don’t change how they talk about the firm in all aspects of marketing, their firm’s former brand will persist.

If your firm is limited by old perceptions about your capabilities, then your brand positioning strategy needs to change. Otherwise, you can miss out on new leads and projects.  

Ask the Market about Your Brand

Research is a good first step. Talk to your clients and project partners about why they work with you and what you are best known for. Investigate how much they know about other services, disciplines or locations that you serve. We recommend up to 20 interviews among your best contacts or three to four interviews per market segment/discipline to get a good cross sampling. Interviews are better than a survey because you can ask more detailed questions to determine gaps in perception about your firm’s strengths and capabilities.

Sometimes your brand perception erodes because longtime project partners or clients experience a change in leadership through retirements or mergers. Make sure to interview those leaders and then follow up with a capabilities conversation.

Analyze all the interviews for common themes, such as lack of knowledge about (1) locations you serve (2) special skills (3) approaches or outcomes that are unique to your team. Make a list of what you are known for better than anyone else (your current brand), and make another list of what you want to be known for.

Clarify Target Clients and Growth Opportunities

Your new brand position should always be aligned to business goals. Identify your target clients and revenue goals as part of business planning. This will help you allocate a budget for strategic marketing spend and business development efforts.

Let’s say you want to increase awareness and revenue for your firm’s surveying services, but the market perceives your firm as mainly offering structural engineering. Practically speaking, your brand positioning strategy should include new messaging about your team’s skills and unique approaches in surveying.

The market already knows that you are a go-to firm for structural engineering. Let that branding stand on its merits and history for now. Focus your brand positioning strategy on the gaps and best kept secrets of your surveying team and services — the capability that fewer people know about, but should.  

Create Your New AEC Brand Messaging

What is brand messaging? It’s not really about your surveying services. Brand messaging lets people know how you deliver surveying services in a way that is unique to your firm…how you promise a certain level of quality. For example, your conversation about surveying services would address the outcome that people can expect when working with you: easy scheduling or team collaboration or quick results using new technologies.

Build awareness that you offer a service, but then take it a step further with branding messages that identify why your team is the best choice.

You can also create brand messaging around a geographic location that you serve. Emphasize your connections to local project partners or how fast you can mobilize your team. What is the difference you deliver that will help you stand out in this location? That messaging will make you memorable and will help you change a limited perception about your firm.  

What’s Next?

After conducting your branding research and creating competitive brand messaging, build a marketing plan that gets the word out about these expanded markets, locations and services. Add your new branding messages into your proposal copy as well as your website content, advertising and sponsorship descriptions. Start using this new messaging in client and sales conversations, too. Create talking points for leaders to use in prospecting discussions or presentations.

In six months to a year, check in with your clients and project partners. What is their perception of your firm now? Has it changed and evolved through your brand positioning strategy? The proof of change should be clear in new discussions and opportunities that you didn’t have before.

More: 

AEC Marketing Essentials

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