We have been asked this question many times. The answer is now!
We need to think about our marketing in the same way that we prepare for our classes. If we taught only one class to students, we wouldn’t expect results right then and there – even if it was a great class. Marketing, I have learned, is the same way. It’s not about running one ad or putting out a few flyers. It is developing a plan to put into action for the growth of your business. I can tell you right here and now that there is no magic bullet or ad that will be the one that will change everything. There is, however, a plan that you can develop that will make a big difference to you and your bottom line.
To start, you need to try many different things. What works best for one may not work that great for the next. One thing is for sure: you need to make your clients an offer they can’t refuse! We will get more into the offer later. For now, let’s focus more on the plan.
We have found that the best time to focus on our advertising is as follows:
1. May and June, or five months prior to the start of your new semester. This is the best time to focus on getting both new and returning students to register for your program. If they are leaving their former school, this is when they will be looking for another school, and you can lock in returning students.
2. August and September, the month before or when your new semester starts, as we know this is the time many new people come in. During this period, offer free trial lessons or placement classes for new and returning students. If the schedule is filling up, make sure you have it posted with the words “class closed” across it.
3. October or the month following the start of your new semester. By this time the people who have forgotten or not made time to find an activity for their child will be in a panic. Also, soccer season is coming to an end. Your ad will help them to find a good solution.
4. December. Make a holiday gift package offer. We have found that these are the times we have had the best bang for the buck!
Are you stuck inside of your studio?
You may have the best classes, choreography, faculty and facility, but if you don’t get out and promote it, it will be the best-kept secret in town!
Here is the good news!
It does not have to be really expensive to market your services to your local community. Think about it – since your target market is close to where your business is located, you do not have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to get the word out. A continuous flow of advertising to the right markets in different media will do the trick. Best of all you can personally get out to spread the word. Who else will have the kind of passion that you have for your business? Join local clubs, and go to the meetings. You will be surprised, no matter how long you have been in business that many people do not know who you are. Think about this: wouldn’t you much rather do business or recommend a business of a person you know? Help your community to get to know you and watch your business grow.
For more essential studio success tips, make sure you attend Dance Teacher Web LIVE this summer, hosted by the amazing team of Steve Sirico and Angela D’Valda Sirico. A four-day event that caters to dance teachers and studio owners, DTWLive will take place at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, August 3-6. DTWLive will include an expo of the world’s top dance merchants, movement classes and business seminars. Make sure to come and meet the Dance Informa team there!