Starting a new business can be tough. When starting as a new Pilates instructor, you will need to get the word out that you are now open for business. As with all new businesses, cash flow can be tight. That is why cost-effective ways to advertise your pilates class can be valuable. Here are 5 ideas marketing tactics won’t cost you anything. Applying them could be the difference between a fully enrolled class and a slow start to your new business.
Ok, this may seem scary at first, but hear me out. Videos are a great way to sell your service. If you are a social media user, you may have noticed a growing trend. More and more videos are appearing in your feed. That is because brands, both big and small are seeing results with them. Don’t take my word for it, this post gives 8 reasons why video is so effective.
Once you get over your fear of posting a video of yourself (if you have one!), you will see that there is nothing to be afraid of. The video is a great way to show off your personality. This will help your prospective students to get familiar with you. You don’t need any expensive equipment. Use your smartphone on selfie mode. Speak as if you are speaking to one person. Describe your new pilates class and who it is suitable for. Make sure you tell them the date and times of the class. Most importantly, sign off by telling your viewers how to enrol in your class. Once you are done, upload it to your social media profiles.
As Emma Boylan once pointed out to me, if you don’t create a video, absolutely nobody will see it. And as a result, absolutely nobody will become a client as a result of your non-existent video. But if you do create it, you are opening up the possibility of plenty of people in your area learning about your new pilates classes.
At the other end of the technology scale to video, old fashioned notice boards are still effective ways of marketing your new pilates course. Personally, I can think of 3 supermarkets in my area that allow clients to post notices on their notice boards. All three of these locations have a huge footfall. This means a large number of people reading their notice boards. Aside from supermarkets, may sports clubs also have notice boards. Given how Pilates can enhance performance and help prevent injury, sports clubs likely have plenty of your target market.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you speak with the manager first. Managers like to know what is on their notice boards. If you don’t get their permission, your notice will probably not last too long on their notice board.
Contact Your Previous Clients
If you previously taught pilates and are now resuming after a break, this is a must. Alright, it may be a few years since your last class, but your previous students may not have found an alternative. Once upon a time, they valued your expertise enough to pay for it. They will do so again. Send them a text or a private message on Facebook. They may not be interested, but then again they might be.
If you have taught pilates in the area before for another business, you probably have built up a rapport with students in the locality. If you have their numbers or have connected on social media, let them know that you are now accepting enrollments for your new term. Of course, you will need to consider how your previous employer will feel about this.
In either case, you should be aware of data protection and retention laws. I strongly suggest that you only make contact if you have a legitimate reason for having the person’s contact details.
ASK Your Friends To Spread The Word
This may seem trivial, but it is likely the most effective of all five suggestions. You may think your friends will spread the word automatically. Some of them will, but most of them won’t. We all have a lot going on and have so much on our minds. It is hard to think of what our friends are up to. However, if asked, most people are only too happy to help. It makes them feel good. You are giving them the chance to help you and feel good! So send a quick message to your WhatsApp groups and ask for their help.
Pro Tip: Make it easy for them to spread the word. Type out the message that you want them to circulate. Then they just have to copy and paste it. It makes it so easy for them to get the warm feeling of helping you out! Something along the lines of:
“Hey, guys Joanna here. I am starting a new Pilates class in the town hall on May 8th. It runs for 6 weeks and costs €45. It is a great way to recover from injury and regain lost flexibility. Spaces are limited so please do XYZ to register”
Get in touch with your local radio station and newspaper. Yes! they often let people advertise for free. There is a catch though.
Both radio and newspapers have airtime and column inches to fill. To do so they need content. If you offer to create content for them, they will be open to the idea. It won’t be enough to tell them you are starting a new term of pilates classes. You will need to think of an angle.
For example, if your local paper as a health section, offer to write a short article on the benefits of Pilates to new mothers. At the end of the article, you can include the details of your new class.
The same for radio, offer to speak as a subject matter expert on postnatal fitness. By offering free content to these mediums, you will get a chance to spread the word about your new classes.
These five ideas are not guaranteed to sell out your pilates class. What is certain though, is that you will have a better chance of filling your class if you get the word out there. I hope you find at least one of these ideas worthwhile.