Updated: Sep 11, 2020
You are your own brand. Embracing that is your biggest strength. Getting creative is more important now than ever when it comes to marketing your team. There are so many free tools available for you to use that will make a huge impact in your team's marketing abilities, we are sharing some of our favorites with you today. It is our hope that you will be willing to branch out of your comfort zone and try some of them!
Here is our list that requires minimal time and effort that will make a huge impact in your Marketing:
We started off our last blog discussing Staff Photos and we want to reiterate how critical they are. You don't have to hire a professional photographer, you can do this with a smartphone if that's all you have available. Get matching Team Polo's or Team T-Shirts and have them taken with the same background. Make sure it's current and up to date if you have staff changes from season to season. A white wall is easy, most people have that in their home. You could also choose to take them with a team banner or in front of your pool. It doesn't have to be fancy but it should be professional looking. You are the face of your business. How you advertise yourself says a lot about your team culture, and you don't need us to tell you that first appearances matter. Your website might be the first time a recruit or a family sees you so they know who to look for at their tryout or campus visit. Don't make it awkward with a staff picture from twenty years ago and someone can't find you on deck because they were looking for the younger version of you.
Make sure your email, phone number, and business hours are on your home page and easy to find. It really is frustrating to go to a website and not be able to find who to contact. Please make this a priority to advertise yourself on your home page. Don't give your business away to your competitor just because your website isn't organized. Your website is a reflection of your team, you want to represent it well.
Register on "Google My Business". It will help users find you and ultimately boost your Search Engine Optimization, also known as "SEO". This also gives customers looking to connect with you the business address, directions to your location, posted business hours so they know when to reach out, and contact phone number. All of these things makes you much easier to become discovered on a search engine and optimizes overall communication with a potential customer or recruit. If someone were to Google "Swim Teams Near Me" your team would be brought up in a search for people that weren't searching directly for your team name. This is huge for new families moving to an area or a swimmer doing a college swoop through a state they are unfamiliar with. Take advantage of this free tool!
Do you have a location tab on your current website? Make yourself available and easy to find. Is your information current for "find my club" through USA Swimming & your local LSC? If you have multiple sites for your team, is it easy to find on your website so prospective families can locate the site nearest them easily? Do you have pictures of each location on your website so people know where to find you? If your pool is hard to find or there are parking complications, give specific instructions to make their first pool and team visit as smooth as possible. These are simple things that make a huge difference and make a prospective family or athlete have a great first experience with your team and facility.
Establish boundaries with parents, swimmers, and recruits. Get "Google Voice". This is a free app you can download on your smartphone. It enables you to pick a number near your area code and directs your calls to your phone which makes your life easier. You can ditch the second phone, cut costs on your budget, and actually have a business phone number that is free! With Google Voice, you never have to worry where you left that second phone again. This enables two phone numbers to act through one phone with the Google Voice App. It's a game changer and will save you money on second phones for you and your staff. It will work as a tool to create boundaries from personal and work life to give you that division. This will also help you with achieving Safe Sport goals by creating a seperate line of communication to protect yourself, your staff, and your athletes.
Team Stores.Work with your team dealer on a way to connect their store page for your team to your website. Have them divide your content up by groups so parents can go to that section and get the items they need. This makes it easy for parents to know what to buy and where to buy it from. Make everything for parents as convenient as possible. Anything and everything you can do to make things convenient is a win for them. If you are a college program and your swimmers purchase things you can't get for them with your budget, make sure they are able to buy from your dealer's online store. This comes in handy if you get higher discounts or kickbacks from your team dealer, they remain available to your athletes as well so things stay affordable for them. This simple step makes you more organized and a simple process easier for everyone involved.
Automatic Billing. I feel like this is definitely something many teams have upgraded to but there are still a lot out there that haven't. If that is you, don't stress.There are many services out there like "QuickBooks","PayPal", and "Wave" that offer online billing, history tracking, sends reminders to customers about upcoming or overdue payments, and includes invoicing services that help you stay organized. You will have to pay a processing fee or some form of monthly subscription with any of the above options. We will leave that to you to select what works best for your business, just know that options are out there for you and your team.Online billing helps to ensure you get paid on time for the services you provide and creates less paperwork for you to handle. This makes life easy for parents and yourself, do that website upgrade or get some form of online billing. It's worth it!
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. There is so much you can do. Look into it a little more and embrace it. You can have so much edge on that competitor team across the street not utilizing SEO. Maybe someone is looking for swim lessons and you show up first in a web search. Maybe a high school swimmer is looking to attend a college camp and you are the first result in the feed. Take control of your SEO. There are so many free resources out there. Google has a free class in their "Digital Garage" that will help you get started if you don't know where to begin. Give your team this advantage and sign yourself up for success!
Online Registration. Very simple but you would be amazed at those that don't have this available on their team website yet, if that is you, don't stress. In the age of COVID-19, do you really want to touch papers that have been in the hands of everyone on your team? If you can't afford that feature to upgrade on your website, make your packet downloadable so parents can print or use something like "DocHub"and fill out at home. Once you get the documents back, create a folder on your computer so you can easily access them. Paperless is great for the environment, you will be saving time and money not printing endless copies only to file them away. A huge added bonus is that parents already have a copy they sent in to you of what they signed.
Here at Streamline Teams, we want to help you grow and utilize opportunities to help your business grow and thrive. All of the above recommendations are great tools you can use to make your team operate at a higher success rate, most of which are completely free!
Our additional gift to you is "Edition 2" of our coach business planner! Take advantage of our free downloadable checklist to help you stay organized and focused on your team marketing goals!