Marketing is the key to building your business. You know that and so does every other business. The question is how do you cut through all of the clutter to reach your target audience? Below is our top ten list of marketing ideas that we have used and continue to use. Best of all they work if you are consistent with your message. Don't do something once and expect an avalanche of new leads.

Marketing is the key to building your business. You know that and so does every other business. The question is how do you cut through all of the clutter to reach your target audience? Below is our top ten list of marketing ideas that we have used and continue to use. Best of all they work if you are consistent with your message. Don't do something once and expect an avalanche of new leads.

1.     Build your referral program. You know that the best advertising is word of mouth. Do you have a plan to encourage your clients to refer you to people often? If not then you are missing a golden opportunity. Now I understand that people are probably recommending you without you doing anything in return but if you have a reward system in place your customers will appreciate it and some will even go the extra mile because of it. Most smart big companies do it for their customers not because they need to or have to but because they know that if they do so it will reap even more referrals!

 

2.     Keep marketing to your current clients. You may have read this in other articles I have written but this is the key to building your bottom line. Why keep always looking for new fish when you have a readymade clientele ready to buy more from you if only you lead them? Plus it is the most cost effect advertising you can do. You can do this through emails, flyers sent to their homes or direct mails.

 

3.     Create your own pay per click campaign. It is easy to do. You can set it up within thirty minutes. Facebook and Google are the ones I recommend. Once you set a budget you are able to adjust up or down depending on what kind of visibility you are receiving. Keep in mind that when you set it up you want to be as localized as possible. For example, our school is in Southern Connecticut but we will not get people to come from way up north. So we do not want to market in those areas and have people click on ads. You can be and should be very specific on where those ads show up. 

 

4.     Set up a series of post cards that you can send out to a specific list. You can purchase these lists from various companies such as, InfoUSA. You can craft a message for preschoolers, preteens and teens. You can offer them a free trial for any class during a one week period. Always include the words, 'space is limited' and give an expiration date that the offer will expire on.

 

5.     Put an insert into your local paper. This will be a pull out that you see used by many local grocery stores. It does not have to be high gloss or color but it goes to a lot of homes and you will stand out because you fall out of the paper.

 

6.     Advertise in the local yellow pages online. There are many different types. You can decide what works best for you. Some are pay per click and others are a contract for x number of months, usually a year for a certain price. Forget the hard book yellow pages. I don't care what the ad rep tells you the books are only used now as a door stop!

 

7.     Place an ad in a local business directory website. Find out if your area has a website that is geared for moms. Once you find it you may consider placing an ad on it. Most sites have banner or button ads or maybe you can pay to do an email blast to their list with a special offer included in the ad.

 

8.     Always carry a business card with you. This one seems too easy but I cannot tell you how many I hand out. Give them to everyone you know. Craft one that is catchy and has an offer on it for a free class. Also make them for your staff. Don't be shy, when you meet someone, tell them what you do and give them a card to encourage them to try out a class. It works!

 

9.     Teach a free class somewhere other than your school. Local preschool facilities love to have dance schools come in and do a demonstration class. Just make sure that you arrange for them to hand out your literature to their parents of the students.

 

10.     Get out of your building and meet people. This is where those business cards will come in handy. The reality is that people would much rather do business with people they know. Network and build your circle of friends, acquaintances and supporters!