Get More Gym Leads with Nurses and Teacher Appreciation Week

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Get More Gym Leads with Nurses and Teacher Appreciation Week

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Nurse and teacher appreciation events are two of my favorite guerilla marketing events of the year. Teachers are recognized during the first week of May, and nurses enjoy an entire month of celebration. My studio was full of nurses and teachers, and I think part of the reason was our targeted campaigns to reach both populations. What I love about this one is that you can create it once and then recycle and refresh the campaigns year after year with just a bit of upfront coordination.

Let's start with a quick refresher on Guerilla Marketing:

I've detailed guerilla marketing in a previous blog, but if you're new to the idea, it's categorized by unconventional, inventive, and budget-friendly advertisements that grab attention and keep people talking. These campaigns succeed because they're creative and outside the box and usually engage the target audience in unique ways. Everything comes together to leave a lasting impression, and although it may not result in immediate sales, it should stick in the potential client's mind. 

Guerilla marketing ventures beyond traditional digital or signage-based ads, and if it's done really well, you can't always tell it's an advertisement at all. The goal is to get your message or your brand to your ideal audience when they're not expecting an ad and, therefore, don't have their marketing defenses up. The best part? Guerilla marketing is usually low-budget, so it's perfect for studios with a tight bottom line. It's how I kickstarted my studio when we first launched, and it's a blue ocean of opportunity for most studios stuck in an ad-spend hamster wheel.

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Are you convinced to try guerrilla marketing? Let's dive into the nuts and bolts of Teacher/Nurse Appreciation campaigns:

What Is It?

There are countless different ways to run this campaign, but here's how I do it. Studio clients or staff who are also teachers, admin, nurses, or health care workers bring baskets of treats with business cards attached to them and leave them in the staff lounge. The cards include a QR code for a free week (or any other free/low offer) for the staff as a thank you, and your studio gets in front of a new audience it wouldn't usually have access to. Let's break it down. 

1. Identify Your Targets:

Start by identifying schools or health centers within a reasonable commute radius of your studio (usually 15 minutes). Make a list and consider reaching out to their administrative staff for approval; although rejections are rare, it's better to be safe than sorry so you don't waste your time.

2. Mobilize Your Ambassadors:

Reach out to your community to enlist their help as ambassadors. Anyone who is connected to the education or medical field—teachers, nurses, administrators, PTA members, etc. and is willing to deliver a basket should be added to a spreadsheet with their school/workplace, the location, and any other important details so you don't have duplicates. In return for delivering your thoughtful gift baskets to their respective workplaces, offer them a $10 studio credit for every teacher or nurse who redeems their voucher. This turns your basket-bearers into enthusiastic advocates, spreading the word about your studio within the school or hospital. I usually throw in a free branded sweatshirt to sweeten the deal, but the volunteers are always excited to participate. 

3. Craft Your Cards:

Get creative to stand out. Remember, it's guerilla marketing! Include a QR code leading to a landing page where recipients can claim their free week pass by providing basic contact information. Make sure to highlight your studio's unique selling points, speak directly to your audience, and encourage recipients to follow you on social media so you can maintain their attention. 

4. Assemble Your Baskets:

Head to the dollar store because these baskets probably won't be making a return trip. Jazz them up to catch attention, and attach your flyer, logo, and maybe a photo of your clients to the front or top. Don't forget to emphasize your studio's WHY statements—what sets you apart and makes you worth trying. Include a QR code for easy access to your landing page.

5. Delivery Time:

Your ambassadors will deliver the baskets to the staff rooms, armed with a brief pitch about your studio and the benefits of redeeming the vouchers. Remind them of the $10 credit incentive and express gratitude for their assistance.

Bonus Step: Incorporate a Contest:

Consider adding a "Nominate a Teacher" or "Nominate a Nurse" contest to engage your community and drum up excitement. May is a tough month for boutique fitness, teachers, and moms, and this guerilla campaign is a vendiagram of those people. To capture attention, encourage nominations in the studio, on social media, and via a landing page on your website. Offer a reward, such as a free month at your studio, for the chosen recipient. This not only fosters goodwill but also helps expand your email list.

Advertising Note:

While I typically steer clear of Meta ads, this campaign is an exception. It's an opportunity to market a free event, which tends to succeed from a cost-per-click metric and does well with Meta audiences. Post a ton of organic social media posts, and consider running targeted ads to drive traffic to your landing page. Remember, conversions may start slow, but each new sign-up is a potential long-term client.

The Big Picture:

These appreciation events coincide with the end of the school year, making it an ideal time to introduce special offers tailored to teachers. Consider building a studio campaign promotion that starts mid-May or June and collects any teachers who come in for their free week. I love a summer challenge that includes a discounted membership or special class packages to capitalize on their interest in staying active over the break.

Final Thoughts:

Guerilla marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Often, studio owners give up on this style of marketing because it can be slow to show results, but guerrilla marketing is all about the number of hooks in the water. The goal is to build awareness and leave a lasting impression. Even if potential clients don't immediately take advantage of your offer, your studio will remain at the top of their minds and 

Once the month is over, review your notes to identify which schools and health centers yielded the highest return, recognize standout ambassadors, and pinpoint areas for improvement. The better your notes, the easier it will be to rinse and repeat next year. Good luck!

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About the author:

Niki Riga
Industry Expert
Limitless Studio

Niki has been a client, a studio owner, and a coach in boutique fitness for over a decade, and she can’t think of an industry she'd rather be in. Her favorite part about coaching and studio ownership are the same: she loves supporting clients as they push past their limits and achieve their goals. Niki became a coach because she was regularly asked, “how did you do that!?” by other studio owners who were drowning in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership but didn’t have the support to grow their studio to its potential. She created Limitless Studio to partner with owners who have a vision for their business and are ready to implement systems to build the studio of their dreams.