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Marketing ideas

CheerDirectorCheerDirector subscriber Posts: 4
edited October 2006 in Marketing
I run a youth cheerleading and dance program.  Once upon a time, we could put flyers in public schools advertising our classes.  That was our primary means of marketing classes.  However, schools no longer allow for-profit entities to do this.  So, we have gotten around it by partnering with not-for-profits to offer our classes and then are able to market the classes to students via schools. 
As I am looking to continually grow our program, I have been trying other avenues.  Does anyone have any ideas?  We already advertise in local newspapers (which has been GREAT for us). 
Last, I am considering having several of our coaches in uniform visit area parks and hand out flyers to parents.  Is this predator-scary?  Thoughts?


  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    I can only say I would not appreciate being approached in the park, but way to think outside the box.
    Your website is a bit befuddling. It is more than a little outdated. Sorry, but I am betting you knew that already. You may want to pull it together with one theme throughout and a more up to date look.
    Have you thought about using your site as a link for other services? The house cleaning service is in the homes of people with the cash to pay for your service. How cool would it be if they dropped off a flyer the next time they did some cleaning. If you gave them a link it is a great trade off....Think dry cleaners with delivery, carpet cleaners, house cleaners, restuarants with delivery services.
    The images on the site need some touch up. They are way too dark. Also think about a better presentation....Here is something I am working on...I love this gallery presentation.....It is not done quite yet, but you`ll get the idea:http://www.e3bistro.com/gallery.htm</A> 
    Rather than sending coaches out to parks, have them walk the nice neighborhoods with flyers wearing something with your name and web site. They can get a flyer on every house and adults can approach your people as they want to.
    I love that you do not have the kids names on the site!  Way to take care of them and still let them see themselves on the WWW!
     have fun with it!
  • CheerDirectorCheerDirector subscriber Posts: 4
    Thank you for your candid comments.  I am working on revamping my site, but have been unsure.  I still get comments from people on a regular basis saying they love it. 
  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    I am not sure if Daniel is fumbling inspiration or he has just had a few too many mocha lattes today.
    My perspective would be that Kindra is doing a lot of local things. I think she needs to build on it with local promotions. People in their homes in "Rich People Areas" are where the kids are who can afford her service.
    Going into the park is not a good idea. In this day in age I am not sure of the wisdom of a stranger approaching people in a park. I think it is a set up for someone to misunderstand. If that were to happen, it would do great harm to the business.
    I am always amazed by the people who like outdated websites; I find these people fall into two groups, the technically unsavvy, and the technically savvy people. The former group is always growing smaller and, Kindra, you will see that group dry up in the next few years.
    I am surprised by the differences in the generations....Even as a web designer I find my 24 year old often criticizes what some of my clients see as my best work. I think you will find people who like the site, but keep in mind there are still people who are amazed by this internet. I am also not saying it is a bad site, I am saying it could be a lot better...I bet you have told more than a couple of kids that they are doing okay, but you know they can do better.
    I think if you want to climb to the next level, you actually have to climb to the next level. Am I wrong?
  • rossbrossb subscriber Posts: 5
    Kindra -If the local park gets good traffic, then don`t completely write it off.  Just don`t send your coaches out to scour the grounds.  Find a good corner, get the right approval from the parks department and set up some kind of a "Cheer" demonstration on the weekend.  Let your coaches and kids show off their stuff to the local community.  This would make for a great human interest Press Release and maybe even a great article for the local paper in the "Local" section.  Get your press release into the right hands, with the right information about how this builds kids confidence and teaches them teamwork and discipline, etc...Then have fliers on hand to pass out to all who "choose" to come and watch your demonstration...Regarding your website, I think it`s OK.  I agree with Rob that it could be better, but still, it`s OK...  Something you`ll probably want to work on, but I wouldn`t worry about putting it high on your priority list.  It suits your target market for the time being...Hope this helps...R-
  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    I think your comments speak for themselves, Daniel...And your "take my ball and go home" behavior only shows your motivation is not to brainstorm and offer constructive conversation. That is too bad.
    Having been a parent and foster parent to lots of kids I can tell you I would not be happy with anyone setting themselves up to have my kids come up to them...Sending people to the park in uniform may not be the best idea.I would be less happy with someone interrupting my family time to sell me something. I am not sure I represent a majority of people, but most of my friends feel the same way and something like this would at least be remarked on, and not positively in the circle I travel in.
    My balance is to send people into neighborhoods with flyers to go on mailboxes or doors. It is clear what the coaches are doing and if adults approach them that is great. At the same time the coaches are getting the message out to everyone.
    I think my suggestion gets the information to more people and would be seen as less intrusive. If the coach is stopped it is because they were stopped by someone. The potential customers are just looking for more information.And finally, it is less uncomfortable for the coaches...Just my perspective.
  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    AHHH! Kindra saves the day with a terrific idea.
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    I reviewed your site and did not see the dark photos as mentioned above. Might just be his monitor or something. I thought your site was cute and conveyed your message very well. Is it an award-winner? Probably not. But all sites don`t have to be - really depends on the audience. It worked for me.
    You are requesting marketing ideas. I`ll throw out a few for your consideration.
    Direct mail marketing. You can purchase very specific mailing lists. In your case, you probably know the ZIP Codes of your target audiences - out in the burbs. A nice tri-fold, 4-color brochure could tell your story well. You should be able to do a piece like this, including mailing for under a $1 each (or less). This is very affordable advertising and reaches a very targeted market. I suggest including as many testimonials from satisfied parents as possible. When people call for more info, I would also attempt to have several clients who are willing to take phone calls from potential clinets to give live testimonials. You can reward these live testimonials in many ways for their participation, if necessary. Of course, this piece should include your web address.
    Neighborhood associations. Many associations have monthly meetings or regularly scheduled meetings. Many are seeking businesses like yours to make short presentations at these meetings. It doesn`t get any better than to speak to an audience where you are invited. If you do get in at these opportunities, you might include a few of your girls as "spokeswomen" for your business and do a short cheer and/or dance presentation. I think parents would love it..
    Other speaking engagements. There are lots of groups that seek speakers on many subjects. Hone your public speaking skills (maybe they are great now - all the better). I can see where you could speak on the many residual values of your service. How cheerleading builds self-esteem, confidence, group building, etc. I`m sure you can come up with a huge list of the benefits of cheerleading and dance. These speeches can not be just about selling your services. These audiences want to hear the benefits. Your business is the soft-sell. But they will remember you and your company if the speech is done well. Plus, it`s face-to-face with the opportunity in many instances to have direct conversations with potential clients. Public speaking scares most people - I understand this. But the more you do it, the better you will get. Plus, there are groups like Toastmasters that can teach and train you to become a great public speaker. Many successful business people are also good public speakers. The benefits are far-reaching. Try it.
    Hope this was helpful and good luck with growing your empire!
    R@keycon2006-9-8 16:0:17
  • rossbrossb subscriber Posts: 5
    R@Neighborhood associations, great idea!R-
  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    Keycon has a point, but I think it dilutes the message. Direct Mail is nice, and very expensive...And lots of it gets tossed.
    The dar pictures...Page one. The girl on the left is easy to see the one on the right is not. Those pictures can show all the girls better and the image can be crisper. The images on classes page are also not terrible crisp. All that can be cleaned up substantially.
    I hope Keycon does not mind a bit of good natured picking...He makes my earlier point. There are many people who look at websites and say, "That is great" who are not as up to date as other people. They are almost alway impressed if only because the Internet is still relatively novel to them.
    In Kindra`s case she is going to be dealing with lots of younger parents. People for whom the internet is second nature. They`ve grown up with it in schools and they are going to see the current site as sub-standard. As time goes on Kindra is going to more and more sophisticated people.
    We recently redesigned a website. The owner had it up for 8 years and it never changed. He was getting lots of orders with the older site. With the new version traffic and orders have increased about 10% over the previous year. Now he was doing good before, and we did not increase the sales by 100%, but would you accept 10% more if you could get it. On 900 visits a month that is not a bad deal....
  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    Can`t agree with Ross B....I clean lots of windows and clean them for lots of rich folks with kids.
    It is the older folks who create and go to Associations, not so much moms and dads.In the busy life of a parent there is little time for such things and in many of the McMansion communities where you will find dancing kids with parents willing to spend cash you are not going to find parents involved in this kind of thing. It is the older folks who get involved with this kind of thing in older communities.
    Gotta get out there and meet the people. Why avoid it guys????????
  • CheerDirectorCheerDirector subscriber Posts: 4
    Kindra -Find a good corner, get the right approval from the parks department and set up some kind of a "Cheer" demonstration on the weekend.  Let your coaches and kids show off their stuff to the local community.  This would make for a great human interest Press Release and maybe even a great article for the local paper in the "Local" section.  Get your press release into the right hands, with the right information about how this builds kids confidence and teaches them teamwork and discipline, etc...Then have fliers on hand to pass out to all who "choose" to come and watch your demonstration...
    Great idea!  Thank you for being helpful.
  • RetiredMember2RetiredMember2 subscriber Posts: 0
    Nice ideas all, but what can Kindra do today to grow her business? And tomorrow, and the day after that? Find something that gets you in the client`s home today.
  • cascadejimcascadejim subscriber Posts: 0
    Another idea, talk to your local cable company about running a local advertising campaign during televised cheerleading competitions. I am not aware of costs, but I have to imagine that this reaches your target market perfectly for your area. It doesn`t hurt to call and ask for advertising rates for those specific events and additionally, what typical production costs are for an advertisement.
    The park exhibition idea brought up earlier is excellent, by the way.
  • CheerDirectorCheerDirector subscriber Posts: 4
    I agree, we are pursuing the park exhibition idea for the last Saturday in September.  I will keep everyone posted.  If it goes well I owe RossB a cookie! CheerDirector2006-9-12 14:29:16
  • rossbrossb subscriber Posts: 5
    I like chocolate chocolate chip with macadamia nuts!R-
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