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We all know about using good PR and marketing to bring students into our classes, but what about PR inside your school?

Sounds weird doesn’t it, but t can pay great dividends in long term retention.

It is known in marketing that it costs six as much to recruit a new student than it does to keep a current one. In addition to that your current students are far easier to sell to than complete strangers. Your students are obviously your raving fans and are completely open to new courses, seminars and products that you may produce.

When I have discussed this with instructors some are repelled by the idea of “selling” to their students and so was I initially. It was only after I began to study marketing I started to gently enquire how it would be accepted by my students. To my surprise they were very enthusiastic at the prospect of being informed about all of our new ventures. They wanted more and were prepared to pay for it. I got the distinct impression that they would have been a little annoyed if I had not kept they briefed on what was on offer.

Remember you are not “selling” your stuff to them, just keeping them informed. If you are enthusiastic about what you are doing, it will sell itself.

How to Keep Your Students Informed

We use a weekly ezine delivered to their inbox every Friday, you might also think about a few physical copies to go on your notice board as well. In each addition we give links to the blog posts we have done that week, nutrition tips, upcoming events and general news about the students. It is then easy to publicize all of the new events/products you produce. If it is a new product you might think about having a raffle or competition with a preview copy as the prize. You could then ask for a review from the winner which would then go into your next ezine. There is nothing like a good testimonial from one of your own to encourage new buyers, it is called in marketing social approval. People always feel more confident in buying something when others have already done so successfully.

The mood visible lifts inside your school when students know what is going on, it also gives them something to look forward to especially in these hard economic times. People want to belong to something, where they feel a part of it, connected and surrounded by others just like them.

Story of the knockout

I was once at a big Kung Fu full contact competition where they were holding the traditional stage fighting. In each corner there were a mass of students from each school cheering on their fighters (obviously completely against the rules).

The fighter closest to me was getting a real hiding from a more experienced competitor, but his supporters were still roaring him on. Eventually the underdog was knocked out to groans of disappointment from his fellow students.
However instead of complaining thirty odd fellow students picked up their fallen colleague, placed him on their shoulders and walked out laughing and cheering to the bar to celebrate.

Wow I was impressed, this tight knit group of friends, all of different colours, religions and persuasions were family and just enjoyed being together. That is what we all want in our classes that sort of commitment and belonging. If you have it nurture it every day. It you don’t, what are you waiting for? It will not only make everyone happier but can also make you richer.

Have a great week.

Kind Regards,

John Hine

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Attracting new people into your school has always been the number one problem that most school owners have to overcome. This is especially true during downturns, like the one we are experiencing now. People will hold onto their dollars a bit tighter during these times, but an irresistible offer can put them in a more receptive mood. Having plenty of testimonials from satisfied students on your website/s can help to make the decision to join you that much easier. However, there is a simpler and more effective way to bring new people into your school.

Student ReferralsThere is no greater accolade than someone who is already in your school, and loving it, telling the world about it. All the natural barriers are broken down when joining a school if you know someone in the school, who is already happy with the teaching. New students can enter your school with confidence, knowing that you are not going to rip them off, are not sleazy and that great things happen from your teaching.

Set Up a Referral ProcessIf you have been reading my stuff for any length of time you will know that I am a fan of creating processes. Processes become automatic and engrained in the way you run your school and need little supervision once they are set up properly.

To create an effective referral process you need to offer to your current students a tasty reason for telling each and every person they meet, how great you are. You could offer a finder fee discount on their monthly fees, private lessons, products and so on. Find out what is of value to them. Now, calculate how much it costs to acquire new students and how long they generally stay. This is what is known as the LTV (Life Time Value) in marketing. By knowing the life time value of your students you will be able to work out how much the finder’s fee should be your current students.

How Much Are Your Students Worth to You?In order to know this you will need to establish the average lifetime value of each student. It is a fairly simple formula to work out the average lifetime value of your students. There are many ways of measuring Life Time Value I have chosen a simple one to illustrate the point.

Formula
How long does the average student stay in your school? Simply look through your books over several years to get the most accurate figure.
How much do they contribute financially? This includes not only their fees but also seminars, books, DVD’s etc
Advertising/Marketing costs. Add all of your costs together and average them out over the same period

For simplicity I have removed extras like seminars, books, DVD’s etc, but you should include them in your calculations, as they may prove important in the figures.

E.g. Average students stays 3 years (36 months) paying $100 per month, which is 36 x 100 = $3600

Total costs in acquiring (Advertising/Marketing costs) in this example it is $250

Therefore life Time Value of average student is
$3600 – $250 = $3350.00.

With figures above you could be quite generous with the finder’s fee discounts or gifts you could offer to your students.

Don’t be stingy or they will not do it!!

You could strike a gusher of new students if you get your referral process right and your students will love you even more!

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