We have talked about several digital strategies you can use to market your school. From establishing your Facebook page and running ads to claiming your local listings, there are several things you can do online to help your school gain attention and ultimately drive new students.
Today we are going to focus solely on how to get your name in front of school-aged students in your community. You might already be doing some of the things we’re going to suggest, but hopefully, you’ll get a few new ideas and a renewed excitement about connecting with elementary and middle school students in your community.
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best ways to get in front of the school-age kids is by volunteering your time with them. By giving back, you’ll gain the trust of parents and those that work with kids and be rewarded with community support and name recognition.
Start by reaching out to your local schools to meet with their PE teachers. These teachers will be able to invite you to teach special classes at the school or introduce you to people like Cub Scout leaders or PTA members who can provide other opportunities. You can also work with your local community centers, YMCA, library or City Parks and Recreation centers to hold one day, special or introductory classes.
Share Your Knowledge
Besides volunteering to teach students, you’ll also benefit from doing some public speaking. Once you connect with local teachers or school officials, you might even be invited to speak at elementary school assemblies and in the classroom. As you know, self-defense, safety and bullying are important topics that need to be talked about time and again, and you’re the authority on them.
Sponsor and Support Your Community
If you’re not already doing so, consider sponsoring a few of your local youth sports teams. With a contribution of just a couple hundred dollars, you can expect to get your name on uniforms and in front of parents. Another option is to support schools buy purchasing a table and exhibiting at their events. Events like a fall festival or spring carnival provide a great opportunity to meet lots of students and parents. You can also advertise in school yearbooks and event programs, as well as donate classes or a private party to a school’s silent auction.
Involve Your Team
Your employees are one of your best marketing assets. If you don’t already, print and give them referral cards to hand out when they’re out and about. Make sure the cards entitle the bearer to a free class, and consider giving your team an incentive bonus for each card they hand out that comes back to your school. Something as simple as a $5 bonus per card that’s returned would go a long way towards motivating your team to talk people they meet in the community.
Involve Your Students
Encourage your students to help you connect with their friends. Launch a referral program and put plenty of “bring a friend” classes on your schedule. Reward students who participate with a one-time membership discount or free school branded clothing.
Do Some Reciprocal Marketing
Other local businesses like dance schools and tumbling and gymnastics gyms have lots of kids and parents in and out each day. Those businesses also market to the same demographic. Consider working with some of these business owners to do some reciprocal marketing. Something as simple as a sign in each other’s lobby or waiting area would drive name recognition for parents and siblings.
Getting your name in front of school age kids in your area isn’t hard, but it does take constant work. With these tips and ideas, you should be well on your way to filling your classes with the kids in your area.
For ideas on additional ways to to recruit more students in your neighborhood, get your copy of our free Insider’s Guide to Student Recruitment.