Top 3 ways to bring in some money right now. Because I know a lot of us have enrollment for the year because of recitals, and costumes and this and that and I’m here to say that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be generating revenue and being creative about how we are bringing more students; more money.
My name is Alicia Jonas; I am a studio owner, I call myself a dance studio marketing strategist. But, what I do can also be applied to yoga studios, music studios, fitness studios, ballroom studios. It’s not just about children’s dance studios. All of these techniques, and trainings, and strategies that I’m using can be applied to really any business. But I just happen to be a studio owner so there’s where a lot of my context comes from…
So, 3 ways to bring in money now…Like I said, a lot of us including my own studio we just stopped enrollment March 1st for most of our classes. We still have some other little things going on that we’re enrolling for. But, many of us feel like we’re kind of like at the mercy of the costume company. If we didn’t have the costumes to deal with and then we didn’t have recital, we would probably want to keep enrolling. We don’t want to turn people away. I think there are ways to keep generating lots of interests. Maybe you have your summer schedule just came out so you can apply these ideas to that, as well. Just be creative with this, these are the three ideas and I think all of these are at least a thousand dollar ideas, if not more. They might be $5000, $10,000 ideas. I don’t know!
3 Ways to Bring in Money Now:
1. Flash Sale – a flash sale would be like some limited time, maybe 48 to 72-hour promotion. It’s like a special rate; a special deal where there‘s no registration fee; or they get a free gift; or something like that for joining something.
So, we happen to run it for our summer programs. But, you could run it for anything: you can run it for a flash sale for buying recital tickets; you could run it for flash sale for your fall enrollment for special camp; you could limit it to certain age groups or certain class. Wherever you want to try to build up interest, you know, maybe you have this one summer camp that is almost sold out and maybe you have 10 spots left, you could run a flash sale to fill that last 10 spots. It’s totally up to you! You can be creative with this.
But people, something about the idea like term “flash sale” gets people kind of moving when it’s limited time, or limited quantity it gets them going, so 48 to 72 hours. I like to do this over a weekend, so I like to start it on Friday and end it either Sunday night or Monday. Send out an email on Friday; send out a reminder on Saturday; maybe send another reminder or another post on Sunday about it and then you could send it through Monday night if you wanted so you could have one more chance, it’s up to you.
One thing about this is when you decide how to market this; first decide, is this going to be open to the public? Is this like a public promotion for everybody? Or, is this for current customers only? Is it kind of like unpublished promotion where you’re just inviting certain group of people? Or, is it something you’re going to post on your Facebook page; or going to put on Instagram; you’re going to email your whole email list; you’re going to possibly run an ad…something like that; or is it, if it’s for your current customers it might be fine just to send out an email. Like, that’s what we did. We just send out an email to our current customers and to tell them about the special thing, cost us nothing just a little bit of time to create emails, that was it!
Your who, who you’re marketing to will determine how you’re going to market it. If you’re doing the public thing, it’s definitely going to be a little bit more involved and might even cost you a little bit of money to market. But you might get a better response. So you could experiment with both ways: maybe you could first try it with your current customers and then see how that goes; and then maybe two weeks later you could open it up to the public or something like that, no rules!
But I definitely think, flash sale great place to start; great place to kind of generate a little bit of money if you’re a little short on cash or you’re trying to generate excitement over something, that’s a great way to do it!
2. Bundle or Package – create a bundle; create a package to encourage people to buy maybe a little more. Then they would’ve, or to get going. You could combine this with a deadline or a certain timeframe.
This would be kind of a special thing; maybe it’s not always available on your website; maybe it’s not always one of your options. Some ideas of things that you could create; maybe you could create a recital bundle or package; summer camp bundle, you know, “buy 2 camps get half of the third camp” or “buy 2 camps for the price of one”, or something like that.
I don’t normally like discounting things too much. I want people to understand the value of what we offer. I don’t like discounting too much. I wouldn’t do like, “10 for the price of 1”; I don’t like unlimited tuition, I don’t like doing things like that. Some private lessons; maybe you could bundle a private lesson package together, you know, they schedule 20 and then they’d get an extra 3 for free, or something like that. Maybe you could bundle some merchandise; maybe you could create a leotard tights and shoes bundle where they save just a little bit of money by buying it all from you rather than going to target down the street and buying that tights or that leotard. Maybe you could make a bundle that’s a class, a leotard, tights and shoes; that is really, really good to go with my next idea, so keep that in mind! You can get totally creative with this. Maybe they sign up for a summer camp and they get some special goody bag that has summer things like bubbles and stickers and sidewalk chalk, like a summer fun pack, or something like that.
What you want to do with these bundles is you really want to highlight the value. So want to talk about what everything is actually valued at and what they’re paying. Like, if I said, “this package is valued at $200 you’re paying $175 or $159 or whatever.” That reminds them that they’re getting a really good deal. They need to be able to compare it to what the full price is. That’s kind of like when we go into a store and they say 40% off, well they don’t go through and cross out all the price they just have the sign there so you can see what the original price was.
And you know, in Kohls – do you guys know Kohls, the store? – where they always say, “you saved $120” and they circle it on your receipt reminds you, it makes you want to go back because you’re like, “Oh, I saved more than I spent! Oh my gosh, it’s so amazing!”
But…with this bundles and packages, you do want to make sure to give it an expiration date. You don’t want someone coming down looking for that especial package. You want to have some sort of a deadline on it. It doesn’t need to be like a flash sale, it could be. But make sure they have to buy it within the next month, or they have to buy it within the next two weeks or whatever.
Same thing with this, you want to decide who it’s open to and market accordingly. Maybe it’s just an internal promotion for your current customers and you can market it very simply using email; using flyers; using notes passed out in class; whatever it is, think about that.
3. Mini-session or Mini-team – remember how I talked about maybe bundling a leotard, tights, and shoes with this next thing, this would be an idea. So maybe you want to do a mini session or a mini team. Now hear me up, I know a lot of you are like, “Oh, I can’t put them on recital!” I’m not saying…don’t do recital with this guys. Don’t do recital, or if they do recital they get a special costume that is very simple; in stock; or they do a showing in their class. Like an informal thing where you bring the parents in, they get to show but they don’t do the big show. Think about that!
A mini-session or some sort of a mini-team; maybe you want to run a program that is very popular that almost all your classes are full, you’re getting calls for this all the time and you’re turning people away. That’s the program you want to run. Like for our studio right now almost all of our kindergarten age classes are full, there’s like a spot here and spot there. So we’re getting ready to start another session of classes for that age group because right now someone calls: a.) we showed off enrollment; b.) even if we did, there would be no place for them to go.
Popular program or you could try a new program. Maybe you’re thinking of doing rhythm works; or maybe you’re thinking of adding tumbling; or cheer; or whatever it is to your studio. Maybe you could do a little mini session of that particular program so it kind of gage interest, it’s going to generate excitement…if you’re going to keep it for the next session, it’s going to generate excitement for that next session because you can start promoting it and getting the word out. And then maybe you’ll have a base of students that could start and continue to build that program from, kind of like your foundation.
I talked in my email in my messages to you guys, I was talking about this little live stream that I was going to tell you how to make it irresistible so you don’t have to market it a lot.
Here are my tricks, these have always worked for me, maybe you have other tricks and you can feel free to let me know. Here’s what I do to make the sort of thing work:
It can’t just be like, “ballet and tap for kindergarten” it has to be a cutesie name; maybe it’s a name that is not something you’re already using; maybe it’s something brand new and fun, super memorable that really demonstrates and it’s clear about what they’re getting. You want it to be like, “baby ballerinas” that’s very clear. It’s for the babies and they’re doing ballerinas. That’s not super cutesie but it rolls off your tongue, right? And they know what they’re getting, so just an example.
Enticing price point
Try to keep it under $100 if you’re more in a city like mine, I always try to keep things like this under $100, I usually like to do like $95. If you’re in a smaller town where your tuition is lower, maybe you want to keep it under $50 or under $75, so think about an enticing price point. you don’t want to not be smart about it and be losing money on this. You definitely want to make a profit.
But, what’s an enticing price point? For us, $95 for 8 weeks is a really good price point and that’s still nearly what people are paying for the 30-minute class when they just come once a week. That’s still nearly the hourly rate that they’re paying anyway.
There’s just a Google form that they use to fill out and then you follow up with them later to get their payment information. Or maybe they don’t have to login to your studio directly, they just have to fill out this form; this PDF form on the website. Make it simple! Don’t make them read through a bunch of policies or all throughout your recitals that doesn’t even apply to them.
No registration fee; no uniform or a super relaxed uniform code; no shoes. Not a lot of upfront cost is what I’m after here. They register for many sessions, my student they pay $95 and that’s it! No registration, they don’t have to pay the extra fee on top of their $95. They’re coming for 6 or 8 weeks they don’t need to pay that whole thing.
They don’t need a uniform, many of them come in leotards anyway even though we say they don’t need it. They just need a removable stuff. And I don’t require shoes, I just have them do class where they can do a bare foot, I don’t usually do tap or anything like that as a mini-session.
So those are my tips:
Enticing price point;
Easy entry (low cost of entry)
How do I use this and leverage it into the next session?
Basically, it’s simple… it’s almost like a no brainer. You reach out to those families in the middle of the session who are enrolled and you give them a special offer to join whatever program it is that would be appropriate for them before their current program ends. Maybe it’s a little bit of a discount; maybe they get a no-registration fee again if they enroll in summer before the session ends, or if they enroll in fall before the session ends, or if they enroll the next round mini-session. You know that mini-session goes so well that you want to start another one right after which would be great, that’d be a great idea. Have them jump into the next session. Maybe it’s a little bit of discount on their second round.
Like little gym and stuff like that, that’s kind of like how it was. It’s like we enrolling constantly, you keep re-enrolling and as long as you keep re-enrolling you don’t have to pay all the extra stuff.
Remind them, ask them to do that and then a couple of days before that deadline email them of call them again and say, “I was just following up, so if you wanted to re-up for the next session. If you’re interested of that, we can take care of that right now over the phone; you can stop by the front desk next time you’re in, whatever is easiest for you. But I do want to remind you so that you could take advantage of the special deal that we’re offering.” whatever you want to say. Just making it super easy and convenient for them to continue. We don’t want to have them have to login to their portal and do it themselves or have to fill out an entire new form. We want to make it as easy as possible for them.
I don’t do the flash sales monthly. I just do them when I want to kick-start some things. So you could do a flash sale maybe right now going in to summer; you could do one in July or August going in to your fall; and then maybe you could do one in December going in to January, or in January. Kind of when people are calling a lot or when I’m trying to start to fill some things is when I run them.
Additionally, when marketing for a flash sale would have a better response to internal marketing as compared to public, honestly. Just because it takes Facebook ads a while to go, to kind of get rotated and with the flash sale, they’re so quick that it’s hard to do that. You could’ve run it and say…and it wouldn’t be quite a flash, so maybe it could be like a 2-week sale if you’re doing as a public thing. And you might have better luck if you’re running Facebook ads.
I would just say, if you’re doing a public flash sale I would probably start an ad on like a Thursday nights so that the flash sale run like Friday-Monday and do it that way and be really targeted…if you really targeted in on your area and on parents, and things like that. So that you’re hitting your people.
In mini-sessions, we just take down their name and number from now on until you get one in place. And you could do it super simple, you don’t even have to put…send them through your studio director or jack rabbit if you don’t want to, you can do it simpler. Just have them pay by check for the whole…like…
This is the other thing is that with mini-sessions, we don’t charge monthly for mini-sessions. We just say, “pay the whole now upfront and you’re good to go!” that way we don’t have to get the credit card on file; we don’t have to get the, whatever; get them to sign the monthly waiver and all that stuff. So we just say, “pay the $95 and you’re good to go!” so that’s another way to make it simpler.
Hope these tips are helpful! Have you tried any of these tactics? Let me know your results in the comments below!