It’s Harvest Time for Your Funeral Home Marketing Garden

My wife and I plant a small backyard garden every year. It’s nothing too elaborate, just tomatoes, green beans, squash, potatoes, and peppers. To us, gardening is a hobby. 

As a child, one of my friends lived on a 100-acre farm. His family planted corn on most of their land but also had a huge garden that produced enough food to feed their family of eight for the entire year. In their case, the garden wasn’t just a hobby. It was their primary source of food.

Your funeral home probably doesn’t have a garden that produces food to feed your family.

But your funeral home business does have a garden, and it’s called social media.

A garden requires you to plant seeds, nurture them while they grow into healthy plants, and harvest the produce when it’s ripe. 

For a funeral home business, your local relationships are your garden. Relationships with people such as,

  • Families you’ve served
  • People who have attended a service
  • Clergy
  • Hospice and hospital workers
  • Emergency workers
  • Even other Funeral Directors

Those relationships can become future at-need calls or other valuable leads, but only if you plant seeds, nurture the relationship, and be prepared to harvest when the time comes.

Last week’s topic was Google and how they are changing the game again. Click here if you missed that one.

Google is a tremendous tool for connecting with at-need families and winning the call. But are all of those calls truly up for grabs? No.

As I said last week, 50% of people searching Google already know the name of your funeral home; they’re just looking for your phone number. Another 25% are reminded of your name once they see it and immediately decide to call you. 

That means only 25% are truly up for grabs. The other 75% of searches are from families in your garden. It’s a call you would win eventually; you just didn’t know when.

Discount cremation providers fight over every at-need call and win the call by lowballing the price.

But successful funeral business builders build relationships, nurture those relationships, and are ready to serve when a death occurs. In other words, they treat relationships like a garden and plant/nurture/harvest.

Funeral home owners are almost always relationship-focused people. In the past, they joined churches, clubs, and charitable organizations to develop relationships.

Today, relationships have moved online. The person you used to meet at a church social now spends much of their free time on Facebook and Instagram. If you want to build a relationship with that person, it begins online.

Many funeral home owners have invested heavily in social media. They’ve hired expensive/disruptive social media management companies and have thousands of followers online. But despite investing a lot of money, they see little or no return.

They see no return on the investment because the social media management company understands how to plant relationship seeds but does nothing to nurture or harvest them.

Other owners outsource their Facebook page to a preneed company that will often do the work for free if they get the preneed contract. Unfortunately, they tend to burn out your hard-earned relationships by overwhelming them with preneed messages. They might harvest a handful of preneed contracts but they annoy the rest of your garden.

Yes, you can harvest preneed from a social media-based relationship garden. But you can also harvest things like

  • Near need calls – the person whose parent is in hospice and they’re starting to explore funeral options
  • Event registrations – getting people to attend your local events like Veterans Appreciation Day
  • Workshop registrations – fill your preneed live event with people you connected with online
  • Aftercare program signups – helping those who are struggling with grief
  • Job candidates – struggling to find employees? They’re online, and you have to meet them there.

The key to leveraging social media and finally getting a return on your investment is to treat it like a relationship garden. You have to plant the right seeds based on what you want to grow, nurture them so the plant grows, and then harvest when the time is right.

Can you harvest preneed leads from your garden? Absolutely.

But you can also harvest many kinds of leads if you know what to plant and how to nurture them.

We manage the social media for most of our clients. Over the next month, we will upgrade them to our new Social Leverage™ program. We used to focus just on planting seeds and growing the audience. Then, we shifted to nurturing those relationship seeds. Now, it’s harvest time!

If you have invested in social media and haven’t seen much of a return, our new Social Leverage™ program might be a good fit for you. The starting point is for us to evaluate your garden and determine whether it just needs some weeding and watering or do we need to plant new seeds and start fresh.

We’ve created a multi-point Social Media Assessment that will help us determine the health of your garden. We will be busy upgrading our current clients this month, but I’ve reserved time to do up to five Social Media Assessments for subscribers to this newsletter.

If you’d like to see an ROI from your social media, request a complimentary Social Media Assessment by replying to this email with a link to your website and Facebook page. I’ve reserved time to do five assessments this month, so if you want one, reply today.

Remember, you can fight over every at-need call or use social media to create a garden where you plant, nurture, and harvest local relationships. I recommend the latter. 

Until next time


PS: You don’t have to like Facebook to leverage it! You might personally hate Facebook (I get it). But if we can use it to generate preneed leads, near-need calls, workshop registrations, and new job candidates….how would you feel about it then? 

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