Marketing can get expensive in a hurry! Through the years we have looked for ways to market our studio on a budget. Most small businesses have a limited budget to work with and we are always on the look out for inexpensive alternatives. I have heard from many studio owners that they would love to market their studio but they feel they don't have the money to do so. The reality is that it doesn't have to be vastly expensive to be effective.
We have an advantage over big businesses because we have one area to hit and we can use guerilla tactics to get to our prospective clients. We can go where big business won't. Reach out to find out where people go and how you can get them to see your message. Try to develop relationships with as many organizations as possible. Once people get to know you they are more apt to work with or do business with you.
So now that you are ready let's plan our attack.
1) Get a referral program in place using new and existing students. Let your customers help build your business for you.
2) Join your local Chamber of Commerce and get involved in their events. Some chapters may even waive their fees if you donate some time and become visible in the community.
3) Perform at local events. Let your students do a short performance at a charity event, opening of a store or town festival.
4) Pass flyers around town to try a free class at your studio, make 100 flyers for about $10.
5) Work out a promotion with your local dance wear store.
6) Door hangers, cheap to make and easy to distribute.
7) Co-op your advertising with like business, for example, karate studio, daycare, kid's hair cuts and music studios. We will go into this more in future articles. This is a great one that works wonders!
8) Give a free class at a local school or daycare center. Get out in the community and let them see what you are all about.
9) Hold an event at your studio, art exhibit, chamber event or fundraiser for local charity.
10) Bring a friend day, Students bring a friend to try a class and let them see how much fun it is!
11) Have a field trip to your studio. Get a local school or private club to come to your studio and give them a free class. Give out a parting gift that has an offer for them to come back again real soon!
12) Get involved with a mom's club. Have a free preschool class in the morning at your studio. Serve coffee and bagels, and cookies to the kids.
13) Invite your local girl's soccer organization to have a season ending dance party at your studio. If you can get them to do a group lesson, like a hip hop that would be great. We did this and when the parents came to pick up their kids they ended up signing up younger siblings for classes as well.
Ok, now go get them! These are effective and inexpensive ways to attract new customers. Try them and let us know how they work for you.