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Whether you have hit your goals or whether you feel like you aren’t quite there yet, we all can be using these tips to kind of keep growing, right? If you’ve already hit your goal, I would say set another goal and set a higher goal. Why not? It’s more beneficial to set a retention goal rather than the number of students because it’s just going to give you that much more confidence and less stress when it comes to summer. If you can exceed your goal, you can start putting away some of that money for summer, an expansion/renovations, a trip for you and your partner, or a retreat for you and your staff members. If you hit your goal, congratulations, keep going! If you aren’t quite there yet, no worries there’s still plenty of time. And we’re going to talk about some things that can hopefully get you closer to it sooner rather than later.
So, thinking about enrollment…in the Facebook group this week, I asked a lot of questions about growing enrollment. What are your pain points? Some people had mentioned that enrollment is kind of frustrating them right now. They’re maybe struggling a little bit and so what I encourage for studio owners is to not forget about your mindset. Mindset is crucial! You attract what you focus on. If you’re only focusing on the people that haven’t returned, the people that aren’t there in your classes, or the money you’re not making, you’re going to attract more of that into your life. That’s the law of attraction principle - something I really preach on!
So when you are thinking about all of the things that aren’t there, I want you to try to distract yourself from that. I want you to try to be grateful for what you have: for the money that is coming in, the teachers and students in your studio, the space you own/rent, the opportunity to be running your own business, and doing something that you love. So, think about that shift if to gratitude…if you can’t think about all of the things that might be coming your way, shift your mindset to gratitude. It’s an easier shift and automatically puts you in a better place. And the whole concept with law of attraction is that a negative thought is so much more powerful than a positive thought. So it makes it come even faster when all you’re doing is thinking “negative-negative-negative-negative”, right? So focus on the positive, focus on gratitude, and you’ll see that things will start to shift. Focus on what you know: you know that money is coming in, you know those students are calling you, you know that they’re seeing you on social media, and they’re going to be coming your way when it’s time.
Visibility and consistency is super-duper important when we’re building momentum. Visibility on social media, visibility in your community, consistency in daily, weekly, monthly communication…whatever you’re doing, be consistent about it! If you’re going to do a promo every week or a Facebook Ad every month, start planning it out, mapping it out, and scheduling it. You don’t have to make a whole new Facebook Ad from scratch every single time! You can be setting one up and then just changing the image out or changing the copy a little bit. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single time!
7 Tips to keep building enrollment momentum
Try it free
You could host a “try it for free” week; offer free trial classes year round or maybe you have a free dance day event. If you’re not doing trial classes all the time, I definitely think you need to do one of the other options. Whether it’s a free dance day; a “try it for free” week…whatever it is where you are attracting more people to come in risk-free and see what you’re all about. Yes, you’re going to have to pay your instructors; yes, you might have to pay for a Facebook Ad or snacks or something to make it a little bit more special. But, it’s all going to be worth it! You’re asking people to make a huge investment and commitment to your studio, so give them a little bit and it will go a long way, trust me!
So “try it for free,” whether it’s a week, a day, whatever!
2. Have a “Back to Dance” party or a “Second Chance” open house
Having this occur three or four weeks into the season is the perfect time as you are still getting a ton of calls, a ton of people coming in to try classes and simply wanting to sign up for your studio.
So why not have some sort of party/picnic/second open house where people can come in and maybe try a class, order shoes, etc? Maybe you want to have some special deals going on where if they register that same day/by the next day they get some sort of deal. This could be some sort of gift, discount, some sort of “enter to win something” which could be a tuition credit, costume, or something like that. It could be similar to your open house, maybe just a little different format, a different feel. Maybe it’s a less about them registering and more about them scheduling a trial lesson or “entering to win a contest” so that you can get their contact information for later and follow up with them.
3. Run a Facebook or Instagram Ad
You can even drill down Facebook/Instagram Ads to target specific age groups or specific classes that you’re trying to fill. Maybe you’re trying to fill your performance ensemble, your preschool class, or some pre-professional program. Reflect what you are wanting to fill in your copy and in your image. You can also target parents of those age groups, that way you’re not wasting money on everybody in your community. You’re just targeting parents of 3 year-olds if you’re trying to fill a 3 year-old class, you’re just targeting parents of school-aged kids if you’re just trying to fill a ballet one class that’s for 7 year-olds, and so on.
Don’t completely write off Facebook Ads. They’re still the number one way that we market everything that we do at our studio. It’s the most economical, it’s the quickest, you do it and it’s done, and we can turn it on and off whenever we want. It’s been the best thing for my studio recently. I’m going to be a fan of Facebook Ads for now until there’s something that comes along that works better.
4. Mini-session or sampler classes that starts halfway through the semester
This would be the perfect chance for people who have adjusted to their school schedule. Maybe soccer has ended? I know my kiddos are getting ready to start soccer and they’re ready to pick up another activity. Maybe it’s not a full-year class but let’s at least offer these families a 6-week class, 8-week class, or a 10-week class so they can try something. This allows them to get to know our studio. Towards the end of that class we can present them with some sort of offer to join a full-year class or join in time for the winter concert or whatever we’re doing in December. Sometimes – like I said – we’re asking people to make a big commitment and a big investment. Sometimes a mini-session is all they need to try it out for 8 weeks or 6 weeks or whatever, before they’re ready to officially join. They know that their child is going to be interested in it and they know that their child is going to be ready to take on more of a commitment.
Tip: Mini-session or sampler classes is another thing you could run Facebook Ad for and really do well with, we’ve done it before!
5. Flash sale (I talk about flash sales a lot!)
Run a flash sale over a weekend…some of you might be wondering, what is a flash sale? Think about Black Friday In-the-Door-Busters (which I absolutely hate that word! But that’s what they use all the time), flash sales’ similar to that. It’s like a 48-72 hour sale or special promotion, usually I recommend doing it over the weekend. You can promote it through email or Facebook Ads, and what you can do is create the special offer. It could be a discount or a “buy a month, get a month free,” it could be a free costume/shoes/leotard package…whatever you want! If they register within that certain timeframe, they get the special deal. This incentive will sometimes get people moving. You know, the ones who procrastinate or maybe couldn’t afford it before but they’ve felt like maybe it just makes it more justifiable to them if they’re not paying for the leotard or they’re not paying for the costume, or something like that.
Phone reach out to past students or lost opportunities. There is a software that allows you to send a mass voicemail message to a bunch of numbers, leave them a generic message that says, “come back, we have this class that would be a perfect fit and we’d love to have you! This is the number to call if you have any questions, otherwise here’s the link to go ahead and register.” And you could send voicemails by age group, you could do that to everyone who was enrolled last year who maybe haven’t returned; you could send it to lost opportunities…the sky is the limit!
One of the softwares that I like to use is called Slybroadcast. We use that all the time, it’s very-very economical compared to having someone physically make a hundred or two hundred phone calls. Slydial gets it done in 5 or 10 minutes and we find that people respond better to those than emails even any more – which we talk about people being kind of overwhelmed with emails now, they get so much email…so much email…so much email! Or maybe your emails are going to their spam. Phone doesn’t go to the spam, they’re usually going to check it if they see that that’s a studio number or a local number, they’re usually going to check it.
7. Offer a bonus month for current students in an additional class (nurture current customers while encouraging to add an extra class)
If your goal is to increase income, you need to start by increasing your unit numbers. Maybe you feel like it’s going to be easier to get your current customers to add a class than it is to get a completely new person? The cost of acquisition sometimes is a little bit high for a new student because you’re running Facebook Ads, maybe you’re giving them a special deal when they join, or you’re giving them some folders or some swag, etc. Having a current student join another class is a little bit easier because they’re already familiar to you. You don’t have to spend the money on the marketing. You just offer them to take an extra class for a month for free. You can even recommend that class. It could be the class that’s immediately before or immediately after their current class. Let’s say they’re in jazz one. You could offer them to take ballet one and then at the end of that month follow up and see if they’re ready to join. Or maybe you can offer them a special deal if they join! Give them something else…give them that leotard; or give them a pair of tights or something as a thank you.
This process is two-fold. It is generous because you’re giving them an entire month of a free class. It’s nurturing them and allows them to feel super grateful to try a month for free rather than just trying it out for a week. It gets them interested in something else and gives them time to see if another class can work in their schedule - not just for a week but for a month. So then they’ve tried it for a month and got it work into their schedule. They’re probably not settled into their classes quite yet and so adding this extra class is not going to be a huge change to their schedule.
So those are all of my 7 tips! Try it free, whether it’s free trial class, try it week, free dance day. Have a back to dance party, or a second open house, run an ad on social media. Maybe offer a mini session or a sampler class that starts later in the semester, try a flash sale, try that phone reach out through Slybroadcast, and maybe have a bonus class month for your current students to see if they want to add an additional class. Try to get them to add. If they have one class, get them to add a second, or if they have two classes get them to add a third. Now it’s going to be all beneficial to you. It nurtures them and also potentially increases your income with fewer students.
Have any questions for me? Leave them in the comments!