Something in the world of floating have you stumped?
Graham and Ashkahn give their perspective on the pros and cons of giving free floats away for teachers. Giving out free floats is the Float On way and giving them to a specific group of people who could really use them sounds like a good idea.
The guys break it down and address some of the concerns any float center may have about running a program like this.
Listen to Just the Audio
Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)
Ashkahn: Howdy doo dah.
Graham: Another day another podcast as we say.
Ashkahn: We do actually that.
Graham: We’ve said that few times now.
Ashkahn: That’s an actual saying that we say. Unlike our other sayings which are mostly …
Ashkahn: I have been saying howdy doo dah pretty consistently.
Graham: Like on the podcast or outside of the podcast as well?
Ashkahn: Yeah, I guess I have to be saying it on the podcast for it to …
Graham: Maybe in your sleep.
Ashkahn: Sleep doo-dah-ing?
Graham: Our question today-
Ashkahn: My name is Ashkahn.
Graham: Oh, I’m Graham, sorry. I’m sorry. Our question today is “I’ve seen some campaigns by centers who are giving free floats to teachers for a week or two leading up to school starting. Thoughts?”
Question mark, yeah, they put it in there.
Ashkahn: I think it’s cool.
Graham: Badass, yeah. I saw this on Float Collective and I saw Dan Larsen posting it up about OlyFloats.
Ashkahn: Like a couple weeks ago at this point.
Graham: So I guess it’s probably yeah, it’s bad timing on our part, but good question, nonetheless. I’m not sure if Dan’s the one who came up with that idea, that actually giving away teachers free floats, not even discounted floats, or if you got that somewhere else, but I’m going to credit him for it on this podcast because that’s where I saw it first if I’m wrong-
Ashkahn: Future float historians will look back on this podcast as there is an empirical proof-
Graham: “What are these people doing? Why would anyone listen to this?” But then I saw people posting up that they were doing the same thing as well and trying it out. Every post that I saw about it was positive, I didn’t see anything negative about the experience of giving teachers free floats leading up to it. I think-
Ashkahn: What could be negative about it?
Graham: Let’s talk about fear. Let’s talk about fear because I think that people are afraid that if they’re just giving something away for free that other people won’t want to pay full price or that too any free people will be coming in and they’re taking spots from people who would be paying them full price or the deluge of abusers.
Ashkahn: I thought that the downsides would be like teachers will come in and start giving the float staff homework or … you know what I mean? Sending people to the principal’s office.
Graham: Going back too relaxed to class. I think that the impact on the bottom line, just giving out a bunch of free floats I think is what deters people, and in case you have never listened to us talk about marketing, that’s very much not what we believe, we’re big proponents of giving out free floats.
It’s kind of no surprise that this is something that we’re actually in full support of.
Ashkahn: We usually go one extra step and kind of ask for some creative thing back from the people we’re giving free floats to, oftentimes. We’ll try to figure out something, or the teachers kind of do this when they come in or, yeah, give them a little homework. Have them send it in a couple days and grade it. Call their parents. It’s also just an excuse to be able to give them free floats-
Graham: A good example of that might be just having them write a little 300 word mini essay on how there float experience was.
Ashkahn: Like actually giving them homework. Yeah and you could just say, “Hey, would you mind writing something for us to throw on our website or put out on social media or something like that”.
Graham: One of the nice things is even if you never used it, it addresses one of those points of fear that people have, which is that people getting free things won’t want to pay for them in the future, or other people will see that and will feel like they should get free things and if it’s A) for teachers who almost everyone acknowledges they have a pretty undeserved job and don’t make enough money, then you’re off the hook a little bit for that, and B) if they had to earn it some way, like if they were writing something. Hopefully there’s this sense of exchange going on and it doesn’t just feel like every time they come in they should be getting free floats. They’re like, “Oh, wait, it was the beginning of the school year, there was this special and I had to write a tiny little blog post or something”.
Ashkahn: Things being topical can be justification in themselves. Like a lot of holiday discounts work, but-
Graham: middle of the week discounts?
Ashkahn: In the case of this, I think it makes sense, you’re trying to do this cool thing as a float center and it’s act of kind of generosity and charity and because it is so limited by time and for a specific group of people, I think it does kind of avoid the idea of kind of devaluing your floats.
Graham: For sure, and for a lot of people, going back into fall is still a light time of year, the summer slump is really real and even beyond just summer, it really does seem like June and September are two of the really light times of year for even summer time. It’s kind of like school ending and starting and-
Ashkahn: It’s like mid September is when things start to kind of pick back up for us and it’s not really until October that things are back into their solid swing.
Graham: As far as timing, it’s a great one. I’d say January would be the worst time of year to run something like this because you have all of your December floats that are just rolling in but end of summer capitalize … I’d be shocked if the people running this free floats for teachers didn’t have empty tanks, they were also trying to fill. That was probably the impetus is they’re looking at their schedule, it’s a little light, they’re looking for a group where they can do some good and use the float tanks and just get people in there and teachers came up. In that sense, I think it’s a brilliant! Using your float tanks at the beginning of the school year to show appreciation for teachers and give this group coming in who influences the youth of our country, I mean talk about powerful use of the float tanks for brainwashing, you know what I mean?
That stand up at the beginning got me going, I’m just bang!
Ashkahn: The other nice thing is that I feel like targeting very specific groups like this is useful too, because they’re very likely to share it with other people. Teachers is a great example, because they’re about to go into a school full of other teachers and hanging out with them in the teacher’s lounge and telling them “Hey, check it out, there’s this float thing and just because you’re also a teacher, you can go try it”, so it’s a really natural, powerful word of mouth engine right there too.
Graham: Which is exactly what you’re hoping to get out of free floats, right? Almost never have I seen it go any other way. You give out a ton of free floats, your schedule is really packed for a week or a few days even, and the next few days or the next week are packed with paying customers. Just that act of getting people into the tank creates this virtuous cycle of referrals and word of mouth. Sometimes when you schedule’s light, I mean this is our favorite go-to, is just finding some group to give away free floats to, and we’ve never done it for teachers like this, and maybe we will next year, honestly. It’s truly not a bad idea.
Ashkahn: Or we give out a bunch of free floats and people don’t come in and use them and no harm, no foul.
Graham: You get a ton of credit for being awesome and giving out free floats.
Ashkahn: At this point, it’s little slips of paper you gave people as gift cards, you never really lost anything.
Graham: Yeah, there you have it, we think it rocks. Good work, whoever thought of that, Dan Larson, I’m looking at you but I’m ready to be redirected somewhere else.
Ashkahn: If you want us to teach you anymore lessons in the future, a little bit of homework for you is to go over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast–
Graham: That was a A+ outro, Ashkahn.
Ashkahn: Thank you. Yeah, write us a question, it’ll be fun. You’re probably thinking about it right now, like, “Oh, I’m probably not going to do that”, but no, you’ll have a really good time doing it.
Graham: We’ll give you extra credit points too, it’ll give you that much closer to getting the A on the final, even if you didn’t deserve it.
Ashkahn: We’re looking at you, you’ve been slacking off this entire time.
Graham: No copying podcast questions from whoever’s sitting next to you, either.
Ashkahn: Alright, this is getting out of hand. That’s it, that’s it. We’ll talk to you later.
Graham: We love you.
Ashkahn: Yeah. Yeah.
Recent Podcast Episodes
Graham and Ashkahn kick off the New Year by discussing the things to consider when adding a float tank to an existing business. This is a fantastic episode to start with if you’ve already got a service-based business or are a practitioner looking to start up on your own and looking for ideas.
The boys talk about logistical considerations, the built-in advantages to adding on to an existing practice, as well as how nice it is to have a meatball sandwich after chilling out in a sensory reduced environment for an hour (Ashkahn has a serious one-track mind).
Graham and Ashkahn round out the end of the year by talking about all the naughty and nice things about having business partners.
It’s a shorter compilation today, which gives you plenty of time to talk to your own business partners about what you think about them!
The holidays are a busy time for float centers and it often means lots of new customers asking questions. This means it can be a really great time to brush up on the facts about floating. Fortunately we’ve formed a folio of fantastic studies for you to fancy. Feliz Navidad!
In every service business, there’s a running joke that someone likes that’s usually somehting along the lines of “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the customers!” (*cue laugh track and uproarious applause*), well, the boys have not shied away from talking about the difficult sides of running a shop like ours. We’ve got episodes about handling negative Yelp reviews, customers too intoxicated to float, and even what to do when it’s time to 86 a problematic client.
You can tell this episode was recorded a little while ago, really close to after we all got back from the Conference. The boys are a little tired today, but they still have lots to talk about.
Grashkahmn share their initial reactions to the Conference now that it’s being run by the industry as a non-profit. This is a nice episode especially if you’re looking for some insights on their behind-the-scenes perspective on this big industry event and how it has changed this year.
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