This school year is barely half way over, but school teachers and administrators are already beginning to plan for 2013, so don’t wait until school’s almost out to market your school dance services for next year.
NOW is the right time to begin. By acting early, you are more likely to earn consideration from a school that is currently hiring your competition because you’re showing them what you can offer before your competition locks them in for another year.
Your schedule can potentially become filled with events through June of 2013, nearly 18 months out! So what exactly can you be doing now to kick off your marketing efforts for next year?
I am firm believer in using direct mail to market to schools. Flyers and postcards are still relatively inexpensive, and names and addresses of schools are free and easy to obtain. In addition, in an age where people are frequently communicating digitally, old-fashioned “snail mail” gets more attention than it used to.
Don’t expect to do a one-time mailing and see huge results. Using direct mail is most effective when you “cast a broad net,” and follow up with repeat mailings.
Set a “Kick Off” Date
I announce one specific date when my calendar is open for bookings (e.g., May 1, 2013). This helps to create a sense of urgency for prospects to book my services before my availability is taken. BTW, I would never decline a booking that is requested before the date. Be sure to announce this date in your emails, newsletters, and direct mail pieces.
All of the above being said, it is important to understand that some schools AREN’T ready to lock in dates for their dances next year, so don’t give up on schools you don’t hear from right away. However, if you make sure your company’s materials are what your prospects see first and most often, when they are ready, you’ll be the first DJ service they call.