I need ideas for advertising my CWL class......

I need ideas for advertising my CWL class......

This is a discussion on I need ideas for advertising my CWL class...... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've done the paper, handed out hundreds of cards, posted on Craigslist and have the outside of my office plastered with signs. What more can ...

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Thread: I need ideas for advertising my CWL class......

  1. #1
    Member Array ccroom's Avatar
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    I need ideas for advertising my CWL class......

    I've done the paper, handed out hundreds of cards, posted on Craigslist and have the outside of my office plastered with signs. What more can I do?
    "You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." - Admiral Yamamoto


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    • Contact all of your local churches and suggest a class for the ladies of the church;
    • Contact any local homeschooling groups and suggest the class for their high school seniors (they won't be able to GET a permit for awhile, but they'll be more likely to know with a weapon);
    • Post on all of the local bulletin boards (you know, with the tear-off phone numbers).
    • If you're in a rural area, be sure to post at the feed store and Village Mart.
    • Coupons for "$20 off if you bring a friend" or the like?
    • A flyer that gets attention: "Your Mother Needs Firearms Training" or some such?
    • College dorms?
    • Sorority Houses?
    • Rec Centers?
    • Local colleges sometimes offer Administration of Justice majors: chat with the prof and see if he or she will mention your name... or give extra credit for successful completion of your class?
    • See if you have a want-ad paper in your area (here it is the 'Trading Post') - often they don't even charge for ads.

    I would think that pitching a 'ladies only' class might be good. Many women are seeing the need, but are intimidated (or disgusted) with the typical gun crowd. And while many of the guys who want a permit would have already gotten theirs, but they all have a 'significant other' who they would LOVE to win over to carrying. You might even have fun with it - advertise "High Tea and Weapons Training" or the like: just be sure you have good coffee and scones!
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  3. #3
    Member Array ItsMyRight2's Avatar
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    Internet forums,ad in back of gun mags..

    Maybe find a local gun shop that doesn't offer the classes themselves.They could recommend you to customers.
    When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    - Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array PointnClick's Avatar
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    I have been in the advertising/marketing game for a long time... lemme tell ya, for any small businessman, the best 20 bucks you will ever spend is for a book by Jay Conrad Levinson. His Guerrilla Marketing series is simply stellar... a must have, IMO. They are not so much books on marketing; rather, they are books designed to make you think about how you market your product or service. Best of all, he teaches you to think in terms of a guerrilla... a little guy with limited ammo and resources, and how to "take on the big guys" on a limited budget. I've got at least 6 of his books, and let me stress again, I think his stuff is critically important.

    I got 20 bucks that says Paymeister has read them... his suggestions are excellent, and are right out of Levinson's books. If he hasn't read them, he is an intuitive guerrilla... a very rare breed.

    Not all of his ideas will apply to you and your situation... but he makes you think about how you could alter an idea to make it work for you. In one of his books, he mentions a salesman that noticed in a customer survey that an inordinant number of his clients drove BMWs. Buying an expensive general mailing list and doing a huge direct mail campaign wouldn't have been smart for his business. But by buying a specific mailing list (a list of BMW owners) and targeting those people, he broke the bank.

    Levinson's website is Gmarketing.com... free newsletter and resources there, as well as his books...

    Let me just add something my Grandfather told me as a child... it took me a good 20 years or more to understand how profound it truly was...

    "Poor people should take rich people to lunch... and listen."

    PM me any time...
    "Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Avenger's Avatar
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    I offer discounts for returning "students." Dont call them customers. Also discounts for the ladies, getting a larger group of ladies in your class is very good. They tend to gossip more than guys and giving them a discount will attract any woman who has a "shopping" mind and likes to hit the sales. Dont tell them this, tell them its because women are more of a target or something with stats in it.

    Discount to students, military, LE, etc.

    I guess what I am getting at is the more discounts you have, either be it 5% or 50% off what you would normally charge goes along way.

    Tell you a little secret. I have never advertised anything more than a sign in the shops where I work, and casual conversation. Its all word of mouth. The better instructor you are and the more people take advantage of your "discounts" the better off you will be. People are drawn to save money, and when they save money they talk. They talk about how much they saved and how much they liked the instructor(s) and how much they learned. Then they bring their friends, and their friends, etc. Next thing you know, you are working in 14 different shops in 3 states and getting offers to teach high-end business type "retreats" and job offers from major schools around the world.

    Word of mouth is a wonderful thing. Keeps me busy anyway. I had to cut back this year because I was never home. I never accepted those job offers because I dont believe in charging someone $1200 for a two day class and figure I am doing something right already. Only been doing this for 5 years, never spent a dime on advertising.

  6. #6
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    I'd like to see your current ad copy. Maybe it could be worded differently.

    For instance, skip the acronyms - what is CWL anyways? It's so different state by state. I assume it's Concealed Weapons License.

    If you just come right out with a leader like "Would you like to legally carry your firearm in a concealed manner"? or "Did you know you have the right to carry your pistol concealed"....etc. The whole concealed weapons permitting thing is relatively new (I am old) and there are probably people who would like to enter into this activity but just don't know anything about it. (like me)

    How about making an offer for current permit holders to attend for free (as a refresher) if they bring an applicant and new student? This would now mean two people to spread the word about your offerings.

    How about a class on the second of each month where the first two people to sign up are free? (in honor of second ammendment).

    Do you give a short survey to your classes for feedback, and do you alter the class according to reasonable feedback? Gimmicks to start are ok, but in the final analysis, it's the content and quality that fill classes.

    Is your venue comfortable? If it is not a place that is pleasant to spend 8 hours, you might kick that up a notch and find a better place for the classroom part.

    How about tapping into the Tea Party people (maybe this is a generalization but this mindset of people might be more interested than other groups)

    Good luck, and thanks for letting me get my talking out for the morning.
    Last edited by cammo; February 25th, 2010 at 11:36 AM. Reason: more thoughts, this was fun, thanks

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Rob P.'s Avatar
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    You need to focus on your desired customers. One place you aren't looking is for professionals.

    Lawyers and judges carry firearms. So do LEO and security folks. So, find the organizations that these folks belong to and market there with small ads.

    For instance, most lawyers belong to a local County Bar Association. You should be able to buy an ad in their monthly newsletter for a small fee. Ditto for judges - they often read the same newsletter and have to have the renewal training just like regular folks.

    I'm thinking that Security and Leo require direct F-to-F marketing. But a flyer mailed to them might get you some contacts. A letter to the chief might get you more places to market as well.

    You have to do more than what the other guy is doing. And you have to market where he isn't. Otherwise you're just another face in the crowd.

  8. #8
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    You DO know that you can post up-coming classes on the NRA site, don't you?

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