The New Years celebrations are over and, hard as it may be for you to believe, now is the time to start marketing on your summer programs. Parents like to get their children signed up as early as possible so that they are able to make their vacation plans and know that their children will be involved in activities during their other weeks off from school. If you want the best possible summer enrollment at your studio, its important that parents receive your information in January. Getting the word out early also means that you are able to stay steps ahead of your competition timewise.

The New Years celebrations are over and, hard as it may be for you to believe, now is the time to start marketing on your summer programs. Parents like to get their children signed up as early as possible so that they are able to make their vacation plans and know that their children will be involved in activities during their other weeks off from school. If you want the best possible summer enrollment at your studio, its important that parents receive your information in January. Getting the word out early also means that you are able to stay steps ahead of your competition timewise.

Developing A Menu of Summer Programs:

 If you currently have a small preschool program, your studio will definitely benefit from your scheduling anywhere from 4 to 7 weeks of Fantasy Ballet programs. If you currently have a good-sized preschool program, running these programs will enable you to further increase your enrollment. We have found that one-week programs work the best, and we schedule each one for Monday through Friday from 10 am to 12 pm. Parents love to have that two-hour block of time to themselves, to do whatever they want.

We also provide programs for dancers ages 8 to 12 from 1 pm to 3 pm. These programs incorporate different styles of dance based on movies and Broadway shows and are not for the most serious or advanced students. The main focus is FUN! As studio owners, we need all types of students to run a viable business. For the greatest success, you want to appeal not only to the serious students, but also to the recreational ones.

One of the benefits of these two programs is that they can run one after the other, even if you only have one studio available. Another benefit is that you can either keep yourself or some of your teachers working for at least part of the summer. Both of these programs are a great way to generate revenue during the summer months and attract new students to your studio.

Our third summer program is for serious students only. We require our company and performance group, or competition dancers, to take this intensive, so immediately we know we are guaranteed a certain number of dancers and we gain new students through advertising and good old word of mouth.

Marketing Your Summer Sessions:

 Here is a checklist of ways that we use to get out the word about our summer programs.

Design a brochure detailing all of the summer programs you are offering; if possible include photos from both classes and performances to make your programs come alive. Mail them out to all your clients (of course, keep a stack on hand at your reception desk, too). Make sure that you offer an early bird special and give definite deadlines. You want to know ahead of time how many students you will have. Create a sense of urgency! As a follow-up, send an email blast to all your clients a few days later. Repeat that sense of urgency!

Contact your local online service for mothers with young children. These websites are a wonderful way to publicize your preschool programs. Since families may have children of all ages, publicize all your programs. Ask the web master to put your programs on their calendar as special local eventsparents are always looking at these calendars to find ways to keep their children occupied. These sites are also usually very inexpensive to advertise on, and well worth it. Ads in children-friendly local newspapers and publications are also a good idea. Find out from your local papers when they are running their summer camp inserts and make sure to reserve space. If you are worried about the expense, talk to your advertising rep about last-minute remnant space, a terrific way to save money and still be able to advertise.

Press releases are still a good way to go, though now they tend to be emailed rather than snail mailed. Most local newspapers will run a press release as long as they have the space and it has something of local interest to make it appropriate for their community-based audience. These days, most papers want all communications emailed to them; some wont even look at a press release if it doesnt come via the internet. Write yours as though you were writing the actual story just as you would want it to appear in print. Newspaper staffs are getting smaller all the time, and few editors have the time to call you for more details so include all pertinent facts. Lead off with a catchy headline and use bullets to make the key points easy to find. Take the time to develop a relationship with your local editor, and send a thank you every time you get coverage.

Have a bring a friend open house at your studio so that present students and their friends can come and sample a typical day of your summer programs. Offer simple refreshments, and make the atmosphere fun and upbeat. Make sure every guest leaves with one of your brochures.

These ideas will get your marketing efforts into high gear and help spread the word about all of the great summer programs that you have to offer. Whether your budget is large or small, youll soon be able to see positive results.