Last month I wrote about starting a kids program at your gym and stressed the importance of making the parents as happy as you make the kids. But let's go over a few tips on how to market a kids program.
1. Pay attention to the school year
Most kids’ schedules are ruled by the school calendar, so you’ll want to schedule your kids' classes around it. During the school year, cluster your kids' programs in the after-school hours and on weekends. Parents will be more willing to sign their children up for classes that don’t interfere with their own work schedules.
2. Always be planning for summer
Your kids' programs can expand and grow during Summer when school is out. But remember that, while the kids may have more time, many of their parents still have work. So while scheduling kids classes during summer days may be an effective way to bring in revenue, continue to offer classes outside of traditional working hours, too. Also be sure to start marketing your summer classes early, so parents have time to plan.
3. Schedule adult classes at the same time as kids classes
Remember that kids will likely need to get a ride from an adult to come to class. Perhaps the adult will choose to simply wait while the child is in class, but maybe they’d be interested in taking a class too. When marketing a kids fitness program, also advertise the adult classes that are being offered during the same time slot. You might even offer a package deal that saves your client money if they purchase an adult/kid combo.
4. Offer special events that mix kids and their parents
Most of the time you’ll want to separate kids and adults into age-appropriate classes. But there are also opportunities to offer special classes for kids and their parents. This is a great way to market to your existing clients and introduce kids to fitness. A kid who takes a class with their parent might be more open to taking another class that’s just for them. Make sure your instructors are talking about your kids' program during these special events, and have a sign-up form available immediately.
5. Take advantage of a referral program
Parents are constantly on the lookout for new activities for their children. Set up a referral program for your existing clients that rewards them for recommending your business to a friend. Your clients are the most powerful marketing tool you have, and other parents are likely to listen to recommendations from their friends.
6. Safety, safety, safety
More than anything else, parents worry about keeping their kids safe. In every piece of marketing material you distribute, emphasize that your programs are fun and safe. Your instructors should be well-trained in the differences between adult and kids fitness, and able to create and run age-appropriate classes. The only way your kids' program can succeed is if the parents trust you with their children’s safety.
7. Don’t take the fitness aspect too seriously
Every parent will agree that fitness is important, but it’s also important to them that their kids be, well, kids. The point of a kids fitness class is to get the kids moving while having fun and teaching them the foundations of exercising safely. It’s not about creating an army of tiny bodybuilders. So when marketing your kids' programs, make sure the class titles and descriptions sound like fun to a kid. The goal is to have the kids want to take your classes, so build them to be more play than work. Then, as the kids get older, their interest may shift to some of your more adult classes.