High Expectations: Whether you are just opening a new preschool or are looking for additional students, there are a number of methods to market your preschool, many of which are inexpensive or even free. By building relationships with other businesses in your community and using the power of creativity, you can increase enrollment in your school.
Advertising Using Conventional Methods
Design a memorable logo that will appeal to parents and kids. Use primary colors and a friendly-looking font, and include a unique design element that will stand out, like a drawing of your building or a catchy slogan. Use this logo on all of your promotional materials as well as your social media pages and website.
- If you’re not artistic, hire a local graphic designer to design your logo for you. To save money, try to find someone who’s still in school or just starting out!
Create eye-catching business cards and flyers. Choose bright, bold colors featuring your logo for your business cards and flyers. Keep a stack of business cards with you at all times so you can give them to people you meet, and pass out flyers at kid-friendly events like a summer fair or a meet-and-greet with Santa.
List your school in local preschool directories. Look online or check with your Chamber of Commerce or local Small Business Association (SBA) office to see if there are any local directories for preschools. Having yourself listed in these directories will make you seem more legitimate, and it will help new clients find you more easily.
Advertise during the spring and summer months to boost enrollment. You’re most likely to attract new students at the beginning of the school year. Create a targeted marketing campaign that will begin around March and run through the beginning of the fall semester. Take your flyers and business cards to places where parents are likely to bring their small children, like public pools, the local community center, or summer day camps.
- As you’re advertising, emphasize what makes your school unique. Do you have a special program for teaching kids to read or a state-of-the-art playground? Think about what parents or kids will like the most about your school and include it in your ads and flyers.
Take out ads on local radio and television stations. Target parents of small children by taking out an ad that will run during the same time slot as a popular children’s show, or on a local radio station that plays kid-friendly songs. With the rise of digital media, many smaller radio and television stations have lowered their advertising rates in order to stay competitive.
- Get your staff and students involved by having them participate in the ad. Record a few of your students (with their parent’s permission, of course) sharing what they love about your school. Ask some of your teachers to participate as well.
- If you don’t have any experience with recording equipment, you can hire a professional to direct your radio or TV ad.
Get a vehicle magnet to promote your business wherever you go. Vehicle magnets are an inexpensive way to get a lot of exposure for your preschool, especially if you drive a lot. Include your logo, phone number, and website info so people will know how to reach you.
Host an open house. Plan an event where you invite the public to visit your school and tour the facility. Host your open house during the summer and have sign-up sheets available in case parents want to enroll their children on the spot.
- Take out a new radio or TV ad several weeks before your open house to spread awareness so you’ll have a good turnout.
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Advertising Your Preschool Online
Create a quality website if you don’t already have one. Having a professional website is vital to attracting customers. When potential customers search for preschools online, they’ll visit your website to get a quick impression of your school.
- Even if you’re not especially web-savvy, there are a number of easy-to-use templates to create a beautiful, professional-looking website. Check to see if your internet service provider (ISP) offers any templates. If not, a quick search online will turn up a number of options. Make sure you use one that is optimized for mobile sites too.
- If you feel really intimidated by the idea of trying to build your own website, hire a local web designer to do it for you.
- Include a strong call to action on your website, such as “Contact us today to learn how to enroll!”
List yourself on the major search engines. Many parents will search online as they’re researching preschools. Create a business account with major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. You should also claim your free Google My Business account to ensure you will be listed in Google searches as well as maps.
- Optimizing your website with relevant keywords and updated content will help improve your search engine rankings.
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Establish a strong social media presence. Create a social media page that you can use to promote upcoming events, enrollment dates, or special recognition your preschool receives. Update your social media pages regularly with interesting content to create awareness for your preschool. Parents of young children who see their friends share these posts might be more likely to enroll their children in your school.
- In addition to posting your own content, share posts that relate to your business, such as studies which are relevant to child development and cute viral videos of children.
- Avoid posting pictures of the children in your school on public social media. Use pictures of your facility, your staff, or children’s artwork instead.
Create a blog and post high-quality content. It will take a little time to build up a following for your blog, but it will pay off in the long run if you stick to it. Regularly posting fun articles like “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Crayons” will not only attract readers, it will also cause your website to be ranked higher by search engines.
Keep in touch with parents through email. Although this is aimed at your existing customers, don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Keeping in touch with parents will help them feel more secure about leaving their children with you every day, and they’ll be more likely to refer their friends to you.
Partnering with Other Businesses
Team up with local businesses where parents take preschool-age children. Look for places near your school like indoor play parks, arcades, and children’s museums. Contact the marketing director at these places and ask if they’d put up a flyer for your preschool in return for you posting one of their advertisements in your building.
Build relationships with a few other quality preschools in the area. Call up the heads of other preschools in town and see if they’d be open to a referral exchange. Offer to refer parents to them when your preschool is full.
- Not all preschools in your area will be keen to cooperate with their competition, but if you can find 1 or 2 who are willing to team up, this can be a great way to get free advertising.
Contact the local newspaper to write a story featuring your preschool. Your local paper isn’t likely to give you free advertising for no reason, but if you can suggest a good story, they’ll probably be happy to include you in the article.
- Do you have any specific education or training that makes you an expert in your field? Offer to share your professional opinion on a recent study regarding preschool or early childhood education. Invite the journalist to observe your business to follow up on the study.
- Suggest an article about the types of things children learn in preschool, offering exclusive access to observe your class.
- Stage an event, such as a parade or rocket launch to market your preschool. Invite the press a couple of weeks ahead of time to take pictures and observe.
Sponsor a charity event or Little League team. Getting involved in local events is a great way to make business contacts and find new students. For instance, sponsoring a Little League team is a great way to spread awareness about your school among parents of small children, and it can build goodwill in your community as well.