We have all heard stories about marketing. The most common one that I hear is when a studio owner uses a newspaper ad, post card, self mailer or any other marketing tool one time and is not happy with the results. If you do anything in marketing once, the chances are you wont be happy. There is no magic bullet, no one thing that you do that will bring in a huge influx of new customers. One of the most important things you can do for your business, and bottom line, is to develop a marketing plan. If you are someone who read the above statement and thought, Oh, I dont have time for that or I dont know how to do that or maybe That sounds like a lot of additional work. Relax! Its not going to be tough at all. As a matter of fact, once you follow through with your plan, you will be thrilled with the overall results, which will give you more students and profits!

We have all heard stories about marketing. The most common one that I hear is when a studio owner uses a newspaper ad, post card, self mailer or any other marketing tool one time and is not happy with the results. If you do anything in marketing once, the chances are you wont be happy. There is no magic bullet, no one thing that you do that will bring in a huge influx of new customers. One of the most important things you can do for your business, and bottom line, is to develop a marketing plan. If you are someone who read the above statement and thought, Oh, I dont have time for that or I dont know how to do that or maybe That sounds like a lot of additional work. Relax! Its not going to be tough at all. As a matter of fact, once you follow through with your plan, you will be thrilled with the overall results, which will give you more students and profits!

Here is one thing that I can tell you for sure! Do not stop advertising in October and November. We get a lot of new and former students to sign up during this period. Most studios stop advertising after September so if you do you wont have much, if any, competition. Last year alone, we had over one hundred new students sign up in those two months. Yes, that is new students not returning students! Add another thirty five returning students who forgot to sign up on time and you can see why I recommend you do those advertisements in October and November. This is not a one year wonder type of thing either. The results have been comparable over the last five years. The fact of the matter is, not everyone lives and breathes dance. Taking dance classes is far removed from their radar. Then, all of a sudden, their child is looking for an activity and dance becomes an option. If they pick up a paper that has your advertisement in it or get a post card, flyer or any other tool you use, they will call you first.

Remember you need an action plan. Thoughts lead to plans, Plans lead to actions, Actions lead to results! First, set a budget. If you are tight for cash then you may need to be a bit more creative and find a way to distribute your message in a way that is cost effective. Think about where your customers are and how you can reach them. You may try a post card to families with children ages two to five. This message will be for your preschool program only. Want to build your teen recreational classes? Give an all day free dance party. Have classes in hip hop, jazz, tap and musical theater. Get the message out by distributing flyers to your local soccer team, Girl Scout club and other organizations where teens may congregate. The point is the sky is the limit. This is where creative thoughts will lead to creative plans. Sit down alone and then with your staff and faculty to brainstorm.

Once the plan is set, put it into action! This is the area where many people get stuck. They do one phase of the plan then decide whether or not it is a success. BIG MISTAKE! It could be that the next time your message goes out it hits the possible customer at the right moment, timing is everything. Think about this, have you ever seen an ad and thought oh that sounds good and then the phone rings, you get busy with something else and you forget all about it. Then a month later you see the ad again and say to yourself, Aha! and pick up the phone to buy or make a reservation. Remember that you will build more credibility with your prospective customers if they have seen your name in a variety of locations.

Now for the fun part, your actions will lead to results. You will have a true measurement of how you accomplished these results if you do a three month marketing plan. It will give you time to view all your statistics and just make sure to track your results. This is as easy as asking a few questions to new customers and then writing the results down in a book. Also track how many students you have now and how many you have there months later. See what worked best and what was not as effective. Keep in mind that some people may say that they saw your ad in the newspaper but it may be that the ad was the last thing they saw in a series of marketing tools that pushed them into taking action. It is more than likely that the post card or flyer they got first laid the ground work for them to be open to the last message. I can tell you that this type of plan has worked for us every single time! Yes, some have been better than others but each one has delivered results. And thats what marketing is really all about.