Promoting Your Classes

by Sara Naumann

Youve done the projects. Youve developed the class. Youre ready to teachbut how do you get the word out to scrapbookers? Having wonderful classes is only one part of developing a teaching program. Promoting your classes is vital!

Promoting consists of two parts: Promoting the class to customers, and promoting the teacher.

Promoting Classes to Customers

Best Advertising Vehicles

  • Store newsletter
  • Store website
  • Newspaper editorial
  • Store signage
  • Fliers
  • Handouts/ bag stuffers

Best method: Word of Mouthto the Mavens

Always include at least the current and next months classes in the store newsletter (three months of classes are best). This doesnt mean the classes must be completely planned out three months in advance; just have the topic, date and teacher assigned.

One Illinois retailer says she can always tell what day her newsletter arrives at her customers homes; about two days after, the phone starts ringing.

Planning in Advance
Post the classes up on a wall of the store (the best place for this is usually behind the register). Try a Month-at-a-Glance calendar; fill out the class information, then decorate the calendar with stickers, die-cuts and markers to catch the customers eye. Post an original of at least one of the class projects in close proximity.

Make flyer-size copies of the current and next months class calendar to keep by the register or use as bag stuffers.

Sample Projects
Display a sample of the finished project(s) next to the class schedule posting so customers can see what will be created in the class. Many retailers ask their teachers to decorate a bulletin board with samples, a brief written description, and other information about the date, time, and materials students need for the class.

Promoting Yourself to the Store

  • Your scrapbookfilled with class examples, photos of signage, etc.
  • Video
  • Offer to demo
  • Testimonial from students

Build a reputation, promote the reputation!

Whats Your Hook? (What is it that you do that makes your classes unique and specialand different from the teacher across town?) One teacher gives each student a passport thats stamped once for each class she takes. When the pages are all stamped the customer has earned 15% off the item of her choice.

Other retailers give discounts for groups of customers who sign up together or customers who bring a number of friends. Many stores will offer a Bring three friends and save 10% special.

One teacher provides students with an unused pizza box to take their samples and supplies home in. Check your local pizza place for unused pizza boxesmost places will charge about 25-50 per box.

Small candy packages are another nice way to say thank you. One creative teacher bought plastic film canisters from a photo developing store, then decorated the outside and filled them with candy.

Other ideas: music playing, teacher dressing up, Wall of Fame of teachers, promote the instructors teaching style (high-energy or zen?)

How to Work with the Store
Wrap up your class session by telling students about future classes you will teach. Note: If you are a freelance instructor who teaches at more than one scrapbook store, DO NOT use one stores class as a vehicle to promote another stores class.

Always include a call to action: Pass around a sign-up sheet for the next class

Both teachers and retailers should designate the class promotion responsibilityin most cases, both retailer and teacher will be involved in promoting the class. Be sure to have each persons contributions outlined to avoid confusion.

If you work in the store:
Cross-merchandise class information to attract the most studentssimply post little notices about the class next to the appropriate merchandise. If your class is on tea bag folding, post a sign to advertise the class next to the tea bag folding books and papers.

And retailers, dont forget to tell each customer about upcoming classesespecially if she is buying a complementary product. For example, if a shopper is browsing the tea bag folding papers, tell her about your upcoming class on tea bag folding.

Promotion Checklist:

  • Decide on class topic (general)
  • Decide on product line
  • Date and time confirmed-double-check that the date wont conflict with major events for your customers (first day of school, etc)
  • Project designed & approved by retailer
  • Product ordered by retailer
  • Write class description for newsletter & website
  • Send email/card/phone call to previous students or store VIPs
  • Monitor sign-up process
  • Store sample and storyboard on display

Enjoywell see you at the next CKU!