Get Wellness Clients with a Back-to-School Special!
One of my favorite childhood traditions was crackin’ open my brand new school-bus yellow box of Crayolas on the first day of school! Do you remember that smell?!
Nowadays I have a different tradition – my annual Back-to-School Special! Before the start of every school year I offer this promo to school administrators, teachers, support staff, coaches, parents and students. Not only does this seasonal marketing attract a rush of new clients for a few weeks, many of them continue long-term – for months or years!
“Fall marketing?! It’s early August! What’s the rush?” you may be wondering! Well yes, exactly! It’s August, and the new school year has already started in many areas. So it’s time ensure that your schedule stays full over the next few weeks and months, and a Back-to-School Special provides you with an ideal opportunity to tap into a client-rich environment for your wellness practice!
Whatever your wellness modality, your Back-to-School Special can customize your fall marketing for school personnel, students and parents. It’s a great way to support the health of these valuable members of the community who are crucial to our children’s future! It’s actually a huge target market – every town has schools!
As you may know by now, I’m a big fan of “systems.” Here’s a system to create your Back-to-School Special:
– First of all, make room for marketing! Get out your calendar and schedule a few hours of specific Back-to-School Special marketing each week for the rest of the summer. Start now – go get that calendar!
– Make a list of schools in your area. Start small with what you can manage for now. Then each year as you recycle your Back-to-School Special, widen your circle to include individuals and agencies that serve students, such as counselors, social service organizations and after-school programs.
– Design and print your marketing materials – brochures, rack cards, flyers and voucher coupons. Make sure your wording focuses on the client’s challenge and the results and benefits people can expect from working with you.
– Develop a social media campaign for your program. Get the word out on Facebook and Twitter, in your ezine or newsletter, website and blog!
Save time and stress with our Done-for-You Magic Marketing Templates that you can re-use every year for your annual Back-to-School Special! Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org with DFY in the subject line.
– Make a promotional kit that includes: your brochure, flyer or card, business cards, Introductory Coupons or vouchers, and small low-cost healthy gifts (product samples, tea bags, granola bars, etc. – things that can be stapled to a biz card or coupon).
– Networking. In a structured networking setting, such as BNI, be sure to announce your program in your weekly meeting and ask for referrals to specific school personnel – principals, counselors, teachers, support staff and coaches. And don’t forget about casual networking with people you encounter in your daily life. Most parents know a teacher! Examples: “If you know a teacher, principal or coach, please give them these vouchers for my Back-to-School Special.” Or: “I would like a referral to the principal of ABC School.”
What to Offer
– Voucher Coupon. Use a coupon or voucher to draw people into your practice with a Back-to-School Special offer. The wording on your materials should be targeted to the specific needs of teachers, coaches or whatever group you’re marketing to. Do not call your offer a discount (you don’t want people to think of you as the Walmart of Wellness!); it’s a special fee, one-time offer, introductory special etc. Contact the school administrative staff in advance and arrange to deliver your materials to be placed into teachers’ mailboxes during the first week of school.
Who to Target
– Teachers have stress and physical complaints (computer, standing all day); give them a coupon/voucher, with a small low-cost gift such as a product sample, tea bag, etc. I like to give an apple for the teacher – with my little logo sticker on each apple! Give coupons to your children’s teachers as a Back-to-School gift.
– School counselors are a perfect back-to-school target if you’re a health professional who deals with behavior, such as a psychologist or clinical social worker.
– After-school programs are eager for new activities for their students. This could be an ideal setting to offer small workshops. You may get paid little or nothing for the workshop – think of this marketing opportunity as an investment that will pay dividends later!
– Workshops in your modality can be offered to classrooms, teams, community centers, families, after-school programs and more! Examples: a nutritionist could teach students and/or families to make easy healthy snacks; a psychologist could teach positive mindset for academic or athletic success to students; a massage therapist could offer a foot massage lesson where students make foot reflexology socks. Because many schools have a limited budget for outside programs, this is more successful in attracting clients if you give a free workshop, letting your expertise and your coupons bring in clients and income, rather than counting on the workshop as a primary income source. Get creative and have fun with it! What could you teach to help draw clients into your practice?
– Volunteer in a classroom. It’s a great way to meet teachers, staff and parents. What people do for a living often comes up in casual conversation, giving you a perfect opportunity to educate them about your work.
Sports programs are a big part of the fall season and the school year – and now you can be part of it too!
– Coaches will be interested, both for themselves and their athletes. Examples: bodywork for muscle strain, fatigue and injury; nutrition for better sports performance; counseling for a winning attitude. Gift ideas to attach to your coupons for coaches and athletes are: pain relief gel sample; granola bars; ice or heat packs. What promo gift would be appropriate for your practice?
– Community teams. Many towns have fall sports leagues such as soccer, rugby and football. If you or someone you know is on a team, it’s a great place to start offering your Autumn Athlete Special! You could also consider becoming a volunteer coach, which will further boost the trust factor between you and your local sports community. Have your business sponsor a team to get your name on their uniforms and printed materials.
– Offer your services on the sidelines for bumps, bruises, fatigue and mild muscle strain, if you do bodywork, to promote the value of your work for sports conditioning, injury treatment and prevention and improved performance. Parents of athletes can be another source of clients for you and the sports field is where to meet them! Seeing you in action will spark their interest and inspire their trust faster than words on a brochure!
Brownie Points: Give each person 2 coupons – one to use and one to share!
Who to Contact
– Pediatricians perform school physical exams during the summer prior to each school year. So they should be the first group you target in your Back-to-School Special marketing campaign. Call the doctors and ask to meet with them, to explain the benefits of your modality for their patients. If you do bodywork, talk about the benefits for sports injuries. Give them Intro Coupons to share with their patients. Even just one doctor can help boost your biz!
– Dept. of Education. In some towns, you may have to go through channels such as Dept. of Education or the local school board to work within the public school system. Start early to establish these contacts, talk to key personnel, and schedule meetings. Bureaucratic wheels tend to turn slowly, which can make this a challenging part of the process, but your hard work and persistence will pay off because you can return every year – once you make connections with key people and set up this repeatable annual system.
Brownie Points: Be sure and give some coupons to your DOE contact person!
– Public schools in small towns, are more casual and you can contact the school administrators directly, bypassing the DOE. It is helpful to know someone who works there or get a referral from someone you know, such as a networking partner or your child’s teacher.
– Private schools often have more flexibility and less red tape than public schools, so they may be more receptive to your program. Call the administrative office and ask who you need to contact, or consult their website for contact info. The human resources department is often a good place to start.
– Local school boards and private school boards of directors often welcome concerned and committed community members into their groups. Getting involved and serving your community as a member provides a networking opportunity that can lead to many on-going referrals.
At the beginning of the school year, with new hopes and promises, everyone is eager to make a fresh start and learn new things. Make sure your work is one of those things – so they can start the school year with a clean slate, a new box of crayons and better health!
Please share your Back-to-School Special ideas in the Comments below!