I recommend to my customers that announcing your training dates 6 months in advance of the start is a good idea. This gives you ample time to start spreading the word about your training and enough time for students to learn about you/your program and to plan both their time and finances for it.
Before you start marketing, though, it’s a good idea to have the bulk of your training materials complete and your registration approval from YA (if you plan to register as an RYS), or at least have it underway.
- Announce dates and pricing on your website, in your newsletter and on your social sites. Put up posters with training dates at your studio. Announce training in your classes.
- Write a blog post about your training describing any topic emphasis or other specifics that make your training unique.
- Complete any paper work with Yoga Alliance that may still be pending.
- Contact any guest teachers you’d like to have at your training and schedule any on-staff teachers you plan to use as well.
- If you advertise online, start using this now. Google AdWords has worked well in my market as have Facebook Ads. Something different may be more relevant in your market. Everyone’s budget for advertising is different, but even a small budget works!
- Post any Early Bird Special you are planning. An EBS is not required! I have offered them and not offered them. The best results I’ve had is when my training starts early in January and I’d like people to not forget about signing up as the holidays approach…so, my EBS may end by Dec 5, for example. At the very least, posting the date will encourage people to think about training early even if they don’t sign up early!
- At this point, you may not have had any calls/inquiries about your training. Never fear! Especially if your program is new, people may not be aware of your training (even your studio students may not be ready to ask about it yet.)
- Keep posting new information and/or graphics about your training on your social outlets and in your newsletter. It’s generally said that we need to see something (an ad, a post, a newsletter) at least 7 times before we act on it. Your job is to give people plenty of opportunity to see it!
- Firm up contracts/scheduling for any guest teachers and on-staff teachers. If you’re planning for guest teachers, you can add their workshops to your marketing.
- If you started with a small online ad budget, this would be the time to increase your spend here, if possible, but have a plan and know what you want to do with it. For me, this is the time when I make adjustments in my Google AdWords keywords to reflect which ones have been successful so far. Seriously, for my first training, my starter monthly Ad budget was $50. That included both Google and Facebook. If you’ve got a bigger budget – awesome! But, get some good advice on how to spend wisely! It may not take as much as you think when used in combination with blog posts and newsletter announcements.
- Keep posting on your social channels and announcing in your newsletter. Tip: You can use the same posts on your social channels many times. Sometimes, it’s better that way. If your post is seen a few times, people begin to recognize it…and it sticks. Don’t feel like you need to re-create the wheel with every post. Familiarity is a good thing here. The same goes for your newsletter. If you’ve got links/announcements on a sidebar, they can be repeated or reused. That article you wrote about training back at the 6 month mark? Add a link to that, too. Chances are, only a fraction of your audience saw the newsletter or post the first time…give them another chance to see it.
- Okay…things are taking shape. You may have gotten a few calls/inquiries by this time. In my experience though, it’s still early for most people to sign up. Unless, of course, you are offering an Early Bird Special. As I noted above, sometimes the EBS just gets people to think about training earlier. If you’ve been talking about training (and sharing your excitement!), you may have students ready to jump in! All good!
- Keep up with your posts to social and your newsletters and keep up with your advertising. If traffic is light, increase your activity. Add a quick video of you and/or your teachers talking about training. Write another post about teaching yoga.
- You are likely getting more calls/inquiries. Again, for new training programs, traffic may still be light, it just depends on your market and the work you’ve done on social/newsletters/ads. Keep it all going and be available to respond to emails and calls about your training.
- This is when you may start seeing more students sign up. You may also be getting more calls/emails, too. With your start date getting close, keep up your awareness campaign. It may seem redundant to you at this point, but I promise, no one has seen all your posts/newsletters. To them, it won’t seem redundant. They’ll just know the start date is getting close and may be paying attention! On to Step 6!