Back to School: Last Minute Secrets for Attracting New Students

backtoschoolBy: Julia Hilliard, Relationship Manager

As a dance studio owner, it can feel like the summer months take center stage one day and chassé into the wings the next. This happens, in part, because summer is a very hectic time of year—between wrapping up recital season, coordinating summer classes and trying to rest and rejuvenate, time can slip away!

But do not fear; there is still time to prepare your studio for a successful fall registration.  As parents start to select extracurricular activities for their children, use the last few weeks of summer to successfully market your studio’s unique brand to your community. Here are a few ways to do so:

Nurture Existing Relationships

Happy parents and dancers are your greatest advocates, so it’s important that they remain loyal and happy. To ensure their satisfaction, ask for their feedback. While you will likely receive some feedback throughout the course of the year, by distributing a formal survey, you can solicit specific feedback and show parents and students that you value their input. To maximize feedback, consider offering a participation incentive. For example, when a parent fills out a survey, enter their student into a drawing to win a back-to-school prize package.

Additionally, make it as easy as possible for students to return to the studio for another exciting season. You could do this by offering early registration incentives or special class promotions.

Boost Social Media Efforts

If you’ve dabbled in marketing, you’re aware of the power of social media. Showcasing your studio’s personality and culture via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other channels is an effective way to reach both dancers and their parents.

However, collecting enough content to maintain numerous social channels can be time consuming and impractical for your busy schedule. To help divvy up social media responsibilities, consider selecting a handful of your loyal, senior students to act as studio reps. You can organize your rep program in a number of ways. For example, you may ask that each rep be responsible for submitting five photos a month for your studio’s channels. You could also encourage your reps to positively promote the studio on their personal channels. Just be sure to have a conversation ahead of time about what kind of content may be deemed inappropriate.

For additional content, don’t forget to share your studio’s news! Did you just make a big impact in your community through a volunteer effort? Did your students just win big at a local competition? Whatever the story may be, make sure you’re sharing it with your social media community.

Emphasize Curriculum

Help parents understand why they should choose your studio over others in the area by emphasizing your curriculum in marketing efforts. For example, if your studio really prides itself on classes for preschoolers, make sure parents know that. Alternatively, if your studio is a better fit for serious ballet students, make sure that is clear, as well. This will help ensure that you are the right fit for a particular student and vice versa.

If you are finding that your curriculum is not attracting as many students as you had hoped, consider adding unique classes to your fall lineup like “acroyoga” or “rhythm tap.” Additionally, to help show parents and dancers that you’re tuned into the last dance trends, don’t be afraid to talk about conventions or trainings you attended over the summer to stay fresh and current.

Any tips are tricks for recruiting new students at the end of the summer? We want to hear them! Comment below.

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