This school year is barely half way over, but school teachers and administrators are beginning to actively plan next year. High school students are completing course registration, human resources are in the early stages of hiring staff, and school year calendars are starting to become finalized. Are you waiting until school’s almost out to market your school dance services for next year? (Certainly, you’re not going to wait until next fall, are you?!) NOW is the right time to begin your marketing efforts towards schools to book their dances for next year. By acting early, you are more likely to earn consideration from a school that is currently hiring your competition because you’re showing them what you can offer before your competition locks them in for another year. Your schedule can potentially become filled with events through June of 2013, nearly 18 months out! So what exactly can you be doing now to kick off your marketing efforts for next year?
Direct mail – I am firm believer in direct mail as a means to market to schools. Names and addresses of schools are free and easy to come by and direct mail is still relatively cheap. In addition, in an age where people are communicating digitally more frequently, old-fashioned mail gets more attention than it used to. Don’t expect to mail out a flyer to 50 schools one time and see huge results. Direct mail is most effective when you cast a broad net and you follow up with repeat mailings.
Set a “Kick Off” Date – I announce one specific date when I open my calendar for bookings the following school year. This helps to create a sense of urgency for my clients to get their dates in before our availability is taken. I would never decline a booking that is requested before the date, but for most of my clients this marks the beginning of my booking season. Be sure to announce this date in your emails, newsletters, and direct mail pieces.
Understand that some schools AREN’T ready to lock in dates for their dances next year, so don’t give up on schools you don’t hear from right away. However, make sure your materials are what your prospects see first and most often, so when they are ready, you’ll be the first call they make.
Filed Under: Business, Exclusive Online News and Content, School Dances
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