Get started on marketing early. Like, 6-12 months before beginning, if possible.
I got on the leaders’ website and downloaded the flyers and posters and bulleting announcements right away, but I waited until the week before we began, with the church bulletin deadline coming, before I submitted the blurb. So, now I am playing catch-up, and hoping folks don’t mind that we already passed the introduction video and we’re supposed to have coursework done in a few days.
Now I am in a full-on marketing drive, passing out flyers, talking up people on the street, speaking at the Masses, and generally making a spammy nuisance of myself. My predecessors provided three pages of sign-ups from the Revelation study, so all I had to do was pick out the names I recognized as showing up for that class, and calling them to say hey, we have another one. I enjoyed many positive responses.
This is costing me a fortune in laser toner and paper. My suggestion is to make sure you have a good multifunction printer/copier/scanner/fax. I have chosen to make a lot of handouts (well, two two-sided sheets and 30 copies of each). Flyers I pass out at Mass go like hotcakes. Make sure to clean up after yourself as people drop them back on the ground. Use a color printer for the premade posters, and then write in your date/location/registration info in the blanks.
All these hints and more are actually in the leader’s guide, which is like 30 pages long but it is worth reading thoroughly. The leader’s guide includes a 3-page Small Group Facilitator’s Guide, of which I printed out enough copies to cover all our small groups’ leaders.
If your parishioners are savvy to the web and social media, use them!
And may God bless you abundantly as you pray with Holy King and Prophet David.