As a funeral director, your first priority is to serve families and help them in their time of need. For many funeral directors though, this trait doesn’t go away when you leave the funeral home.
Many family members of funeral directors often share stories about how they’re always going out of the way to help others whenever the opportunity arises. They’re walking through a restaurant and see a rug is bunched up, they stop to fix it. An elderly woman is struggling to load her groceries in the car, they put them in the trunk for her.
Helping your community is just an extension of helping families. There are plenty of opportunities for your funeral home to get involved with your community and help others. Community involvement not only benefits others but also creates a positive image for your funeral home and gives you the opportunity to network and establish pre-need leads.
Today we’ll look at 6 ways that you can get involved with your community.
By serving on a community board, you can network with other business professionals in your area and put yourself in front of the consumers in your community. Serving on a board shows that you care about bettering the community you live in and want to help your neighbors. Many cities offer several boards that aim to serve different causes and concerns related to community improvement and wellbeing. School boards, downtown business development, city council, and rotary clubs are all examples of boards in your area that could benefit from your service.
The great thing about many of these boards is that they are often led by influential people in your area. By aligning your funeral home with these people of influence, you will gain authority and credibility which could lead to more people becoming familiar with your firm and services.
People are curious by nature. A great way to connect with people is by showing them behind the scenes. Offer tours of your facility including the prep room. This gives you a chance to answer any questions people might have and educate them about how your funeral home can assist them.
There are plenty of ways to show people behind the scenes. You can record a video tour of your facilities and walk people through the different areas of your funeral home. Another option is hold an open house and have staff provide guided tours. Both options let you showcase your facilities and what sets your firm apart from others.
In almost every community, there are events throughout the year for various causes and celebrations. Participating in these events is a great way to get your funeral home out there and interact with people in your community. If you set up a table or booth at the event, you can interact with people as they walk by and introduce them to services you offer. Often people are moving from booth to booth quickly so try to collect some sort of information to follow up with the person later.
Giving away free promotional gear is an excellent way to attract people to your booth. The giveaway doesn’t have to be anything big either, something simple like a water bottle or free food/drinks is a something small people can grab while passing by.
A larger giveaway can also serve as a way to gather contact information. To enter people for the draw, you can collect contact information like an email address and have them opt in for communication. Once you have that you can begin sending newsletters and other forms of communication to keep them up to date with your funeral home and what you have to offer them. Keep in mind though, that some people may just enter to win a prize. Don’t think of your contest entrants as leads but rather people you’ve connected with and can hopefully turn into a lead down the road.
By posting engaging content online, you can help entertain and educate consumers in your area. In today’s “Google It” society, everyone goes online when they need to find out information. If people in your community want information about funeral services and pre-planning, consider posting and sharing content to help educate them. Think about it, if you become the go-to source for information about funerals, grief, and end of life resources, a family will most likely come to you when it’s time to arrange a service for their loved one.
Thought leadership is also a great way to subtly promote your own services. If people are turning to you for information, you can highlight services you offer and how they can benefit people. If you want to boost your number of pre-arrangement clients, consider posting about the benefits of pre-arranging a service.
One of the best ways to connect with those in your area is by hosting events at your funeral home. As mentioned earlier, opening your space to the community allows people to walk through your funeral home and see how beautiful the facilities are. It also allows you the opportunity to promote features of the space and talk to people about how they can utilize it if they want to host a service or event. If your funeral home holds a liquor license, hosting a community event is a great way to promote this unique feature to those in your community.
The options are endless for the types of events you can hold at your funeral home. Some great examples are holiday celebrations, concerts, guest speakers, grief support workshops, local business meetings, and company parties.
Before a family comes to you for a funeral service, think about all the other local professionals and groups they deal with. By networking with these groups and forming relationships, you can create a referral resource to direct people to your funeral home. If there is a local business community for end-of-life care professionals in your area, you should join this group and begin networking within it.
Does a local grief support group need a space to meet? Offer your funeral home as a space for them to gather for meetings. By supporting others in your community, you can increase the chances of connecting with people who will come to you when they need your services.
We understand how important it is to connect with families in your community. At FrontRunner we are dedicated to making it easy for your funeral home to establish these valuable connections in a variety of ways. If you want to get your firm in front of more people in your service area, we would love to help.
Tommy holds a Communications degree from Laurentian University and an Integrated Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate from St. Lawrence College. He is a Content Marketing Specialist at FrontRunner and focuses on producing engaging content that funeral homes can use to connect with families. In addition, Tommy crafts SEO content for clients and specializes in helping the general public connect with the death care industry as a whole.