One of the top areas of concern for studio owners is free marketing. Paid advertising is also extremely important but that’s a discussion for another day. Free marketing is an untapped resource that too many studio owners ignore. The main reason it remains untapped is confidence. We’re not trained to go out there and hustle for our businesses.
I want you to take that concept and pop in right in the bin. Free marketing needs to be the focus of your business right now. It costs nothing and you can’t beat the ROI with free marketing. What have you got to lose?
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Go analogue
Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are important places to be these days, especially if you have tween to teen classes at your studio. However don’t discount the effectiveness of analogue advertising. Print off some flyers and posters and hit the pavement. Ask your local cafes, restaurants and shops if you can leave a stack of flyers and pop up a poster. Stick a poster up on a community noticeboard. Ask a non-competing studio if you can do a flier swap. If you do cross fit style classes, ask your local yoga studio if they want to cross market. Check with your local council if you’re allowed to letterbox drop and do a big walk around the neighborhood. Get some stickers made and pop them up on street lamps or on public toilet doors (again check with your local council if this is okay!). Analog free marketing is a powerful resource that is chronically under utilized.
2. Offer freebies
Here are a few ideas for bringing in new enrolments.
- Bring a Bestie Day – have a dedicated class where students can bring their friends along to try your classes. Bookings are essential and make sure they sign up to your email list so you can target them later.
- Bring a Sibling Day – It’s the same deal as the bestie day but you bring a sibling! This is a fantastic way to build brand loyalty in local families. A family is far more likely to enroll a sibling at the same studio where an older sibling attends classes.
- Have a Show Case/ Open House that’s open to the public – If you do concerts in your studio, put on a mini show for people who might be curious about joining your studio. If you run a fitness studio or do something like reformer pilates, have an open mini class that people can watch. Never assume that people know what goes in your classes. Many people are intimidated by studio classes so if you break down that barrier and welcome people through the doors you’ll have a bunch of potential students waiting to enroll.
3. Sing your own praises
Don’t be shy! If you run a studio, tell people about it. If you’re out for dinner with friends of friends, tell them about your pilates studio and offer them a free class. If you are at your kid’s swimming carnival and another parent sits down next to you, tell them about your dance studio for under 12s. Offer tours, invite them to watch a class, get their email address. Never be shy about your business, it might be just the thing they’re looking for.
4. The workhorse – mine your email list!
If you’re not sending regular updates and opportunities for people to join your studio by email…stop reading and go schedule a few emails now! If you have a regular email cadence, that’s great! Now think of some ways to add in a few more direct asks into your existing email stream. And create a few flash promotions. All you need to do is think of a hook – it can be around a holiday, a season change, the studio “birthday”…get creative, reach out and get more people through your doors.
There are two things to remember with free marketing.
- Never pass up an opportunity to talk about your studio business
- Always get their email address so you can contact them later
If you want more strategies for growing your studio business, why not book in for a Mini Studio Review?
A Mini Studio Review is an opportunity for you to talk to one of our brilliant Community Coaches on the next steps for YOUR business.
We’re not into one size fits all approaches for studio owners. You are unique and so is your studio business – we’re here to help you with the things that matter most to you.
When you book in for a Mini Studio Review you get a dedicated chat with an expert in studio business. There’s no obligation after the call, it’s just a recalibrating chat to help you take the next steps in your studio evolution.
All my best,