What Are The Best Ways To Market Swimming Lessons?
It’s a Mixture of Physical and Digital Marketing
Whether you’re looking to start a swim school or you’re already set up and looking to increase class registrations, marketing is going to be a priority for you. We have a lot of good news for you. First, it’s relatively easy to increase class registrations if you start appealing to different age demographics, and there are a lot of effective ways to advertise your swimming classes to your local community.
We’ll explain the many different ways you can advertise your swimming lessons and emphasize the importance of both physical and digital advertising in your marketing toolbox.
Figure Out Your Demographics
First, you need to determine your primary target demographic or a secondary one if you’re looking to increase your current business. The primary demographics you’ll have access to are:
- Professional Swimmers
Who your business should target is ultimately up to you, but if you currently already appeal to one of these groups, that might influence your secondary choice. For example, if you primarily teach young children, you might want to consider teenagers or seniors, as professional swimmers might cock an eye at some of your advertising aimed at children. At the same time, if you appeal to professional swimmers, normal adults are an easy secondary market to focus on that doesn’t conflict.
Advertise in Your Local Area
One of the nice things about having a local business is that it not only allows but demands that you interact with your local community. You can interact with schools, churches, clubs, and other groups to reach a large number of people at once. There are a lot of fun, inventive, and passive ways to market to your community, many of them cheap, some of them easy!
As with all advertising, there’s no guarantee that all of these marketing tools will work for you in your area, but they’re all worth giving a shot. Try them all at least a few times to gauge their usefulness before deciding to forego them, as sometimes it can take some fiddling before you figure out how to get it just right.
Though the number of people subscribing to a local newspaper is shrinking, this is still a legitimate advertising method that reaches people, and it’s generally pretty cheap. Try taking out ad space for a few weeks to see how effective it is for you. If you don’t see any tangible results, you can always shift your focus to other methods.
Flyers & Business Cards
There will never come a time when physically greeting people and showing them your product won’t be an effective advertising method. You should always keep a set of business cards on you wherever you go in case you meet interested people, but you can also be active about it.
Going to public spaces like a local mall or an active park and handing out flyers is a great way to get your name out there. People that are actively having fun will be more receptive to handouts, and if you really want to grab people’s attention, attach a limited-time discount to the ads.
Hold Events and Show up at Events
A great way to attract younger swimmers is to hold special events, and you can get really fun with these. The best time to hold these is typically during the Summer, but if you have an indoor pool, you can run these events whenever you want.
Think of ways to gamify these events, be it bobbing for underwater Santas or racing after jack o’lanterns full of candy. If you’re primarily trying to attract adults or professional swimmers, you could offer something more tame, like a free lesson.
An incredibly easy, passive way to increase awareness of your swimming services is to buy and plant yard signs around your community. These shouldn’t be anything complicated since people will only see them briefly while driving. Just write what you do, “Children’s Swimming Classes,” throw in your phone number, and anyone interested might give you a call.
In today’s age, digital marketing is just as, if not more important than physical. Even if you’re only trying to appeal to a single city of people, that’s potentially tens of thousands of people who might not see your physical advertising. There are many ways you can digitally advertise your swimming services, though the most important thing you can do for yourself is create a website. We’ll get into why in just a bit.
Facebook is a safe, obvious place to advertise your services. Most people have one, and Facebook allows you to focus your ads on people within a specific geographic location. Mileage may vary, however, so just like the newspaper ads, we suggest you give this a few tries before deciding whether you’re going to heavily invest in or quit it. Just remember to heavily target your ads to your targeted demographics, so you’re not wasting money on views from people outside your market.
Instagram is another great resource for creating awareness, and as long as you’re doing something related to your business every day, it’s easy to keep up with. Take pictures of ongoing classes, championships you’re attending, student achievements, preparations for events, anything and everything you can think of. As long as you’re posting every single day, you should gain some traction. Best of all, it costs nothing to post.
Something else you can do is include a location tag in your photos, so people know where your images took place. If you put your website in your bio, people will find your services easily.
Email is another great way to reach people, but you need to be more careful with how you handle the messages you send out. Unlike other forms of advertising where the more you do it, generally the better the result, emails are touchy because it’s easier to irritate people with them. Ensure that you’re not emailing people any more than once a week, and unless you’re emailing current clients with a newsletter, you better have something to offer them.
Every email to a potential customer should have some kind of discount, like a free class or discounted month’s worth of classes. Even if you aren’t making as much money as you should from all the early discounts, you’ll be getting your foot in the door and dramatically increasing your chances of retaining full-paying clients. If you don’t offer a tangible reason to entertain your email, you’ll likely end up in a spam folder and never reach those people again.
Create a Website
Creating your own website is more critical than any other kind of digital marketing you could get involved with. The bad news is that it will be far more labor-intensive than any of the previous options we’ve mentioned. The good news is that if you do it right, it will reach much farther than any of the other options we mentioned previously.
Search Engine Optimization
The reason you need a personal website for your business is due to search engine optimization (SEO). What does that mean? Good SEO is how easy it is for people to find you using search engines like Google. It doesn’t mean anything to you if someone outside the country finds your services, but anyone looking up, “Swimming lessons in (name of your city)” will now be far more likely to find you.
Using your website, you’ll take advantage of something called “Keywords” which are words or phrases people type into search engines to find relevant information. You can do this by including a blog section on your website and creating short articles once a month filled with desired Keywords like, “Swimming lessons in (name of your city),” “Swimming lessons for kids,” “Olympic Swimming Training,” etc. Slotting these Keywords into article metadata, paid ads, and article and page titles is another great way to get the search engines to notice you.
You’ll also want to put the name of your area into the site’s domain name. That way, if anyone looks up, “Swimming lessons in Sandyberg” for example, Sandyberg Swimming Lessons will likely be the first option to appear.
Improving the Registration Experience
With the daily use of computers in our lives, many people have grown more accustomed to signing up for services online rather than calling a phone number. By creating a registration page on your website, you can remove the mental block from some customers who might prefer not to call a number. That might sound silly, but removing any potential blocks to entry, even if they seem small, is key to earning more business.
In that same vein, allowing for a diverse payment process by including online payments with debit or credit cards will go a long way toward retaining customers that don’t want to pay in cash every month.
You can also use your site to help build legitimacy. New customers are almost always going to look for proof of your existence and ability to accomplish your advertised service. If you can convince customers to leave reviews of your services, you can place them on the site for the proof other customers will need.
You can further improve the legitimacy of your business by including a media page filled with photos of your classes, events, happy customers, etc.
Where You Can Make a Website
The good news is you don’t need to earn a degree in coding to build your own website. There are plenty of services out there that offer an easy drag-and-drop modular design service, like Squarespace or Wix. If you’re okay with learning some small level of coding, WordPress is another fantastic tool.
Remember that you’ll need to make your website mobile-friendly to make it work as intended on potential customers’ phones. Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress are all capable of making your site mobile-friendly.
Make Deals With Other Schools
Finally, there’s nothing that says businesses can’t work together to create a better experience for their customers. If your swimming school is geographically close to another, but your targeted demographics are different, you might be able to work with one another.
For example, if you want to specialize in swimming lessons for adults and you find a school that focuses on teenagers, that school could send those teens to you when they become adults. In exchange, if any of your students have children, you can send them right over to the other school.
Get Out There and Increase Class Registrations!
And there you have it. Whether you want to know how to open a swim school or increase your current numbers, these tips will send you down a successful marketing path for your business. Whenever you’re running a local business, interacting with your local community will always be a winning strategy.
Just remember not to forego digital marketing strategies like social media and having a working website. Marketing is an educated guessing game, and when you don’t know what works, you try everything!
So get out there and market swim lessons!