You could be the best swim coach in the world, but it won't generate any clients unless you advertise your services. How you go about selling yourself---especially in a town with a lot of competition---will make the difference. There's no need to get gimmicky. There are, however, ways to highlight what makes you valuable as a swim instructor. You'll need to take an inventory of your skills and experiences and then highlight them. Knowing the needs of the community when it comes to swimming interest could make you stand out.
Things You'll Need
- Coaching certification
How to Advertise Swim Lessons
Target your age group. If you wish to teach older adults, give a talk and put up flyers at a retirement community. If you prefer to teach children, see if you can arrange to speak at an elementary school and invite parents to come.
Join the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) and meet the organization's coaching certification requirements. There are five certification levels based on education and experience. That will validate your services and make you appear professional to potential clients. Mention that you're ASCA certified on business cards and advertisements.
Tie swimming into current events to encourage interest and buzz for taking lessons. For example, if the Olympics are coming up, ask people if they want to become the local Michael Phelps in advertisements. Have fun with the flyers and newspaper and radio ads.
Stress your own success as a swimmer, as well as your clients. If you were a college swimming star, mention it. If you coached a swimmer who went on to become a high school state champion, mention it.
Emphasize the health benefits of swimming. That could attract people looking to stay in shape who never considered taking swimming lessons. The American Heart Association said that swimming is especially beneficial when done regularly.
Offer a free lesson. If the people like you, there's a good chance they'll come back and pay for lessons.
Know where the swimmers in your area hang out and what they read. In some towns, a YMCA is used for lessons and the center has a newsletter. In other towns, a community pool owned by the town is used. Many states have their own swimming organizations that have web sites. All are perfect places to advertise your swimming lessons.
Tips & Warnings
- Become a volunteer assistant coach for a high school team, even if you can only attend practice a few times a week. Most head coaches would appreciate any extra help. You'll be able to make contacts with the swimmers and their parents, who in turn might hire you for private lessons in the off season.
- Master a specific stroke or distance. There are five strokes in the Olympics---backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle and the individual medley. Plus, there are sprint and distance events. You'll want a working knowledge of all these strokes. However, if you become an expert in a certain area, people will seek you out for help.
- Offer to give lessons in a person's own pool, even if it's above ground. Sometimes a YMCA or a community pool hires their own instructor, so make yourself accessible to clients.
- Individual and group lessons are often given early in the morning before the pool opens for the public. As a coach, you might have to wake up around 6 a.m.