There are 3 types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened
To build your business you have to make things happen! If not, you will get what comes your way. Don't base your marketing plan on what your competition does, do what you think will help your business grow, period. Nowadays, the key to continued growth of your business is to keep marketing year round. Sounds simple enough but you are probably not doing enough to get the word out not just to new customers but to your exiting customers. Do you market to the clients you already have? If not you are losing money each year.
That is why it is so important to reach out to your customer base with diversity and regularity.
People like to feel important, and they love it when you make them feel that they are special. Really, anything that you can do as a business owner to that end is going to benefit your business. People also like reminders. I know myself that I often need reminders because it is so easy to get caught up in the daily rat race, that without a reminder, even things I want to do just don't get done.
Making your studio a welcoming place is as important as outside advertising for the continued growth of your business. Keep current customers aware of what is going on. Advertise in-house by using posters and flyers of the interesting and important events going on at your studio. Make them aware when the studio receives accolades from an outside source, for example, winning Best Studio at a competition or high point scores, write-ups in the newspaper of your students' success, or testimonials from people who have attended your shows or recitals and are giving you rave reviews. Make them feel that they are part of a large family, and invite them and their friends to customer appreciation events that cost them nothing. They will love these events and will not only keep coming back for more, but also will tell all their friends about them. What better way to stay connected to your customers! How many other studios in your area give their customers this kind of attention?
The key is to give everyone an incentive to come to your studio and to stay. If someone leaves, try to find out why. Make it your business to always follow up when you hear about positive, as well as negative, experiences. Be approachable without becoming unprofessional. Make your rules clear for both students and parents. The more you make your customers aware of how much you care about them and the proper running of your business, the more they will respect you and have a longstanding relationship with your studio.
As you know, times are a changing. If you are not using online resources you are missing a big target audience. We have found that these two are the most cost-effective forms of advertising and have generated some great results for us.
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 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, and we will not get people 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.
Remember that marketing trends are constantly changing, and over the next twelve months, there will be more change and new opportunities. The key is to keep your eyes and ears on the lookout for new ideas. Your area may offer a unique way to promote your business to your specific customers. I also recommend that you contact your local Chamber of Commerce or other business groups, and see how they can help you!