Marketing Tips from Susan Nardi who owns successful tennis coaching business ‘Mommy, Daddy and Me Tennis’
Good morning Susan, as a well known tennis coach and ambassador for PTR, USPTA, and MTM, you also have a good reputation for having great marketing skills, please give us a few tips.
Thank you for your kind words. 1. Know your brand. Are you a high performance junior coach, Adult coach, TAUT coach, beginners/development coach…etc. 2. Make sure you know who your market/clients are. Are you in a club/home owners association where you have a captive audience? If not, where can you find those clients that fit your brand. 3. Make sure that you have a plan. I have my degree in Recreation and Leisure Service from Radford University. My professors were huge into having clearly define mission statement as well as goals and objectives on how we were going to get this all accomplish. I am always working off of this. Make sure any activity I am doing (even something that I am volunteering for) is progress towards achieving a goal.
You own the tennis coaching business ‘Mommy, Daddy and Me Tennis’, how did you market this business, what mistakes did you make along the way, and what would you do differently if you were setting up the business again?
I taught classes at Parks and Rec departments, homeowners associations, pre-schools, Montessori schools, corporate day care facilities. public school and private schools. I got involved with the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce. It was key for me to network on opening up new locations, getting clients and having access to retire SBA (Small Business Administration) retired executives to help give me solid business advice. Even though what I was doingwas a bit different, I was still running a franchise business and their guidance was key to my success. In addition, I became friends with several different people in the chamber who were marketing wizards (One ran the marketing for the biggest radio station in LA and the other was creative marketing at a movie studio). I always had friends to brain storm with to come up with effective creative solutions to develop more core customers. If I had to do it all over again I would have gotten involved in the Chamber of Commerce the first week I started my business off. It was the valuable and worth every penny I spent. I got 10 times the return in business and exposure than what my membership cost.
What are Susan Nardi’s key tips on marketing your tennis coaching business?
As coaches we all love to be on the court teaching and coaching. However, remember that we own a business and we need to treat in like a business. Set time each week to work on how you are going to grow your business. This time is non negotiable and is a set appointment in my calendar. Make sure you have a plan on what you want and how you are going to do it. I wrote my numbers out and gave myself a deadline of when I need to hit it….I got my numbers every time.
How important is it as a tennis coach to maximise your business potential by marketing your business efficiently?
Extremely. I only have a set amount of time to use a week. I try to get extra time, but that isn’t easy with my schedule. Since I know my brand and market well, I make sure that I have all my ducks in a row. For example, having business cards with me at all time, looking at the local community/club event going on that I need to be at to gain exposure, what can I do to get involved in area that can help me open up to new markets or clients…etc.
What social media and other marketing methods would you recommend for somebody just starting out on their coaching career / business?
Beyond the basics (which are Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter), coaches need to have some sort of website or web page. For most coaches setting this up is a time consuming task. I found that your Social Tennis site offers a great solution that is easy to manage. It allows my clients know a lot more about my background, where I am at, what programs I am doing at the club (I have a link to a PDF file there) at a very reasonable price of a cup of coffee a month. My club currently doesn’t have much on their web site about our programs or anything about the pros there. So I created this page so I could build up my brand at the club. I happen to get a 50% off discount on Vista Print and updated my business cards to add my personal page on there. www.sportsprosconnect.com/susannardi/ I am picking up more lessons by having program information on my page! A Social Tennis coach page would be a great thing for any pros whose club website isn’t helping them promote them, high school coaches, parks and recreation instructors….etc. In my view it is one of the most cost efficient tools out there.
Do you have any books or famous quotes which you would use as your ‘bible’ in your daily routine and how do they help you?
I am a huge Coach John Wooden fan, so I have read all his stuff. The great thing is when I read it, a part of me can still hear his voice say it to me. I actually read a lot more than most coaches know and have a good size library of books ranging from tennis, communication, marketing, business, sells, psychology, learning and fitness. My biggest thing is am I “working the plan.” I always have a clearly defined mission statement and goals and objectives I need to hit to make that mission statement become a reality. So, I spend the first 20 minutes of every morning planing out my day. What tasks need to be done and what areas am I working on to get me closer to my mission statement.
2017 is fast approaching, what are your ambitions and goals for 2017 and beyond?
I have a several big projects I working on with the WTCA that I’m really excited about. Love working with Sarah Stone and Ann Grossman. The WTCA is a great group of women that are making a huge difference in getting more women involved in coaching as well as improve the quality of education and opportunities for those that train female athletes. I have a few other projects out on the horizon, but waiting for things to be finalized before I can publicise them.
Please check out Susan’s achievements on her web page here… https://www.sportsprosconnect.com/susannardi/