Whether you’ve just started a children’s activity business or are a seasoned expert — sometimes it can be difficult to promote your activities to new families in your community. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, how do businesses get the word out to local parents?, you’re in the right place!
One of the most important aspects to consider when marketing your children's activity business is reaching parents of the age range that you teach. Parents book classes and activities that inspire them and feel valuable to their families. Of course, value means different things to different people, but generally, parents are searching for enrichment education that allows children to learn a new skill, make friends, or simply have fun!
Read on for 4 ways to promote your activities to parents in your community.
1. Offer free classes and free trials
In 2020, the Sawyer team found that parents were excited to try free classes from educators. Roughly 30% of registrants who took a free class became a paying customer!
What does that mean for your business? We’re glad you asked! By offering free classes and free trials to potential customers, you can let parents try your offerings without forcing them to commit. Once you acquire a free customer, you can re-market your activities to them — encouraging them to book with your business again and again over time. Free trials are also a great way to spread the word about your business. By offering a trial or free class, you can reach more parents and get them excited about the activities you offer!
Planning on offering free trials or classes? Learn how to convert free customers into paying customers.
2. Advertise with local newspapers and magazines
If you’re focused on acquiring new customers in your community, consider traditional advertising in a local newspaper or magazine. This can be a great way to reach your customers at home, in doctor’s offices, or other community spaces.
When opting to advertise in local media, consider the following:
- Relevancy: What about this publication is relevant to your target audience? Do your research to make sure that the content and other ads align with your business.
- Distribution: How and where is this publication distributed? Can you find it at local businesses? Do you get it delivered to your home? These are all important — you’ll want to make sure that your ad is distributed to the right audience!
- Content: If you’re teaching kids, you need to be mindful of what content you are advertising near. Research family publications in your area to make sure parents are interested in a magazine’s content before you start advertising.
- Response tracking: When considering advertising with a magazine or newspaper, make sure you have a way of tracking new customers who come from it. Consider adding a special coupon code to your ad or an exclusive offer!
3. Work with schools to reach families
Parents and schools just go together! Working with local school districts to market your classes can be a great way to reach more parents in your community. You can reach out to your local school board to see if they have partnership opportunities for extracurricular providers.
If you have trouble reaching someone at the district level, you can reach out to schools in your community directly. Consider asking school administrators to distribute leaflets and fliers on your behalf or consider sponsoring a local school fundraiser to increase the visibility of your business.
4. Join local parenting groups
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a powerful tool to reach new families and customers. While focusing on your business’ social media is important, you can use your social media to join parenting groups in your community and advertise your business. Be mindful of group rules — some parenting groups only let you advertise on a certain day each month and have strict policies around posting.
To join local parenting groups, follow the steps below:
- Search “Parents of [Your Town]’ or ‘Parents of [Your Neighborhood]’ — these will help you find groups with families near you
- Request to join these groups
- Be mindful of community guidelines around posting and advertising
- Search for posts from parents looking for camps of children’s activities
- Respond to parents, even if posts aren’t recent
- Ask parents in your community to post about your business in local groups — this often won’t be seen as advertising, but rather a recommendation
Feeling inspired? These are just a few ideas to help you reach more families. For more strategies to increase enrollment, check out our series on getting more customers for your children’s activity business.