The holiday season is a great time of year to market your services to the community by creating gifts of dance sold at your studio. The idea is to target not only the parents, but also the grandparents of pre-school children. After all, grandparents can’t resist the thought of their grandchild dancing on stage in a tutu and being the center of attention. Part of your marketing to parents is to let them know dance gifts are a great idea to suggest to grandparents who are looking for a meaningful gift for their budding superstar.
Create fun and eye-catching prepackaged dance gifts. Dance gifts can and should be more than certificates for classes. We like to create dance packages that include a certificate for classes plus any combination of the following ideas: a tutu that you can buy inexpensively in bulk at any discount dancewear company; a tiara that can be purchased at either a dancewear store or a dollar store; a leotard, slippers and tights from a local dancewear store that you can team up with to save on your costs. The amount of classes you sell with your gift certificates is up to you. We usually include all the classes until the end of the season. Times and days can be worked out with the parents after the holiday.
You may even find that you'll need to put additional preschool classes on your schedule, but that’s a good problem to have! You could offer different packages such as one that includes a private class once a month, but I recommend that you don’t offer too many choices. The key is that, whatever you decide on, your packages are all made up and ready to go by the time your promotional efforts hit. Make sure that your staff is onboard.
Of course, the easiest way to market your dance gifts is to have a group of the prettiest bags lined up on one side of your reception desk. Be certain everyone on your staff, especially those who greet parents in person and on the phone, knows exactly what the offers are and what the individual packets cost. When you meet with your staff to go over the offerings, start your talk with them by telling them you have an exciting new way to promote the studio that will get their attention! It does not give a good impression to callers if the person dealing with them is unsure, unenthusiastic and uninformed about the promotions. Get everyone at your studio involved.
Market your dance gifts throughout the community. Get the word out through every medium: in newspaper ads, flyers, postcards (to a target market) and through any organization that helps retirees. Create an ad and/or flyer that is specifically targeted to grandparents. One effective concept is to show a picture of a young dancer in the arms of a grandparent with one of these captions: *Give the gift of dance for memories that will last a lifetime! *Grandparents know how to make someones day! *Your grandchild is the star and you are their biggest fan! You can and should target an ad/flyer to the parents as well. Using the same theme, you can also describe how easy it is for them to stop by your studio and pick up a prepackaged gift. Parents love time- saving shopping during the holiday season. Just make sure that you have plenty of gift packages ready to go. If you run out and someone comes in to buy, offer to deliver it to their house!
Creative legwork will also help you spread the word. Here are some of the successful things we’ve done. Visit preschool, nursery and day care facilities and ask if they will put your flyer in with literature that they send home to their parents or offer to contribute to the cost of the postage on their next mailing if you can add your flyer to it. Go to your local Chamber of Commerce or other community organization or charity and ask them to hand out flyers. Offer to make a donation or, if you have a performing group, give a free performance at their next benefit. Find out if there is a local newspaper or publication that targets retirees and put your ad or flyer in it. Chances are your community has a senior center you can stop at to distribute the flyers, too, maybe with a plate of cookies or a box of fancy tea as a thank you. These are easy ways to spread the word in your community. Every time that we have used these ideas and promoted our business through local events, we’ve had a surge of new students.
Remember that if you are not seeing the response you desire, it is probably not being seen by enough of the right eyes.
Here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!