Using multiple methods has worked great for my studio so far. A website linked to your social network sites (facebook, blog,..) and craigslist ads are a good start, but nothing beats meeting people face to face and showing value in your service. So, local chamber of commerce meetings, networking with physical therapists, other trainers, or people in grocery stores. Depending on your studio location, having a street-visible sign, tall flags, and windows so people can see what’s going on inside helps. People are naturally curious. Hope this helps and best of luck to you in business!
I am an Ambassador for my local Chamber of Commerce, it’s a great way to let other businesses know about your studio and to be involved with what’s happening in town.
Always have cards/flyers with you.
Host an open house at your studio, or a grand opening event and give away classes.
Also renting your space out to other trainers/dance classes, or as rehearsal space is a great way to make extra money and promote from within.
There is no magic formula to answer this question. I believe having a complete knowledge of the demographic and market you are targeting is the first step. Then utilizing the internet is key. How are you getting your name, services, and location out to the public? Social media is a must these days. Word of mouth is also huge. Ask long time clients for recommendations and possibly offer referral rewards.
Lastly- if you can handle the volume, sites like Groupon or Living Social could also help. With this last option be very careful. You will need to be very very specific in that service discount you are offering, the start/end date, cancellation policy, and restrictions. Also, don’t give away the farm with these deals. You are looking to entice them to you, but you also want them to stay and pay your regular rates after the deal is done. Don’t be surprised if you only retain 2 or 3 clients from this option. Most people who use discount sites like Groupon for fitness “chase the deal”. It’s not a bad thing, because it will get your name out there.
#1-Social Media is THE WAY to market today. Study it, learn it and utilize it effectively and constantly!
#2- Get to know people in the business as well as professionals you can cross refer with.
#3-Do not take “no” personally. Press on and stay with it for the long haul. The more times people hear your name, the closer you are to opening the floodgates one day!