Get New Clients with a Back-to-School Special!
OK, this is gonna be kinda long – but so worth it! So go make a cup of tea and settle in for a bit…
One of my favorite childhood traditions was opening my brand new yellow box of Crayolas on the first day of school! Do you remember that smell?! Nowadays I have a different Fall tradition – my annual Back-to-School Special!
A Back-to-School Special targets school personnel and events. It’s a great way to support the health of these valuable community members who shape our children’s futures! It’s actually a huge target market that you can tap into – every town has schools!
Here’s a step-by-step 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 marketing each week for the rest of the summer. Do it now – book a few appointments with yourself for marketing your business!
– Make a list of schools in your area. Start small with what you can manage for now. If you have kids, start with their school – teachers, staff, parents, coaches. Each year as you repeat your Back-to-School Special, widen your circle to include more schools, individuals and agencies that serve students, such as counselors, social service organizations and after-school programs.
– Design and print your marketing materials – brochures, business cards, 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!
– Make a promotional kit for the school office. I use a 2-pocket folder that includes: brochures and/or rack cards, business cards, Introductory Offer vouchers, and low-cost healthy promotional gifts – little things that can be easily stapled to a coupon or biz card – tea bags, lotion samples, etc. Have fun getting creative with little promo items that relate to your specialty!
– Networking. In a structured 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. Example: “I would like a referral to the principal/school nurse/PE teacher/soccer coach/etc. of ABC School.”
And don’t forget about casual networking with people you encounter in your daily life. Here’s a mini-script for when someone asks about your biz: “I’m so excited to tell you about my new program! If you know a teacher, principal or coach, please give them these vouchers for my Back-to-School Special.”
What to Offer
– Voucher Coupon. Use a coupon or voucher to draw people into your practice with a Back-to-School Special offer. Contact the school office in advance and arrange for your materials to be placed into teachers’ mailboxes during the first week of school.
Who Gets Your Coupons?
– Teachers have stress and physical complaints (computer shoulders, bending/standing all day); give them a coupon/voucher, attached to a small low-cost gift or… an apple for the teacher!
– School counselors are a perfect back-to-school target – especially 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 of your time that will pay money dividends later!
– Workshops for classrooms, teams, community centers, families, after-school programs. Examples: a nutritionist could teach how to make healthy home lunches; a psychologist could teach positive mindset for academic success. Because many schools have a limited budget for outside programs, this works better for attracting clients if you give a free workshop, using your expertise and your coupons to bring clients to your office. What could you teach or share to help draw clients into your practice?
– Volunteer in a classroom and attend PTA meetings, to meet teachers 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 and motivate them to call you.
School sports programs are a big part of autumn 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: Pain gel sample; protein bars; mini cold/heat packs.
Community teams. Many towns have fall sports – a great place to offer a Special, such as Autumn Athlete’s Advantage! You could also be a volunteer coach, to meet more people. And for even more exposure – sponsor a team and your business name will be on uniforms and announced at all games!
– Offer your services at practice, if you do bodywork, for sports conditioning, injury treatment, improved performance and preventive maintenance. Seeing you in action will spark interest faster than words on a brochure!
– Parents of athletes can be another source of clients for you – and the sports field is where to meet them! I got lots of parents as massage clients from handing out small cold packs to my son’s teammates for soccer bruises. (My kids are now in their 30s and some of these parents are still my clients!)
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 this 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. If they’re too busy to meet, offer to drop off your info/referral folder.
– Dept. of Education. In some towns, you may have to go through channels 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 set up this repeatable system.
Brownie Points: Be sure and give some of your BTSS Coupons to your DOE contact person! The administrators of schools I’ve worked with have used coupons as incentive or thank you gifts for their personnel.
– 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 and charter schools often have more flexibility and less red tape than public schools, so they may be more receptive to your program. Call the office and ask who you need to contact, or consult their website for contact info.
– School boards and PTAs 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 to your wellness business.
At the beginning of the school year, 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 and better health.
And don’t forget your shiny new box of Crayolas!
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!