Is your business going great except for one small thing: enrollment? If so, you need to get the word out that you’re seeking new Pilates clients. Before you start worrying that this will require a huge advertising budget, understand that marketing is so much more than that. And much of it happens organically. The following Pilates marketing ideas cost you little to no money to implement.
Serve and educate
Well-served clients can be your best tools for marketing Pilates classes. Make sure current students are amazed with the instruction they receive. “Amazed” may seem like a tall order, but a basic good experience is all it takes:
- Work to make your studio a place that is warm, reassuring, inspirational, and educational.
- Take time to teach in ways that allow students to completely understand all the benefits of Pilates.
- Practice good communication skills in and out of the studio.
- Make sure all clients get the information on everything from exercises to upcoming schedules.
Happy clients are willing to spread the word about their experience. Ask your clients if they will write a recommendation for your website and “Like” your Facebook page. You might also provide a discounted class rate to anyone who brings in a friend.
There is no harm in mixing it up in social events and talking shop. You don’t even have to go out there with a pitch; just profess your passion. When you share genuine enthusiasm about what you do, this will draw people in. Let people know you are excited to have them take Pilates and come to your studio. When conversation comes without the pressure of a sales pitch, it opens the opportunity for prospective clients to come by and check it out.
Additionally, step up your professional networking by attending events where you can provide others with information about your business as a whole. Find local chamber of commerce events, small business organizations or other groups in your community. The more people know about you and what you do, they can share information with others. Never under estimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Listen and be relevant
Many instructors and studio owners don’t think of this aspect of Pilates marketing. However, successful businesses know that when they become problem solvers for each interested person, that potential client will be won over. The trick is to take time to listen to what individuals need and look for ways to fulfill those needs.
There will be potential clients who completely understand Pilates and what you offer. Yet, it is best to assume that the bulk of the people you encounter likely will not know anything and have questions.
Be patient, take time to listen to these questions and gather information on their needs. Do not jump to the conclusion that Pilates will be a great fit for them. First learn about them, their physical concerns and goals. This will help you be relevant with your answer.
Remember, each person is different. That doesn’t mean Pilates can’t work for them, it just means you have to relate the benefits to their interests, abilities or even their finances.
Create specialty classes
Forget the competition. Don’t worry about the other studios or instructors out there. You don’t need to compare and contrast. What you do need to do is focus on being the best at what you do. This is where you have the opportunity to break from the pack.
Take time to understand what you well and find your strongest skills. Get inspired! This may mean attending a Pilates conference this year. Then teach your specialties. Providing unique offerings allows potential clients to quickly see how you are unlike other places across town. Before creating a specialty class, see what’s out there and look for opportunities to meet needs by filling the gaps in the community with some of the following:
- Mat classes
- Small groups
- Private sessions
- Barre Pilates
- Classical Pilates
- Contemporary Pilates
- Clinical Pilates
Increasing your enrollment doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Dedicating yourself to your business and putting forth time and energy toward promoting all that you are will get you far. Remember, if you don’t have a good product or service, all the promotion in the world won’t help pull people in.