Leverage Your PR Without Breaking Your Budget

Knowing what public relations is will make a BIG difference to your bottom line. It is the relationship your school has with the outside world. That includes everyone-friends, relatives, customers, future prospects, competitors and employees (if you have them). While the relationship you create with the public can have a profound effect on your business, all these people will not immediately make a purchasing decision or change their minds by seeing something only once. It takes a consistent and recurring message.

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Marketing & Sales-Part I

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The Top Seven Marketing Ideas for You Dance School!

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Your Marketing Plan For 2018

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3 Easy Keys To Your Marketing Plan

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How to sell at your front desk

Your front desk needs to serve a variety of purposes. As a result it is important to train anyone who is working at your front desk to be a reflection of you and your philosophies.

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Marketing…That Works!

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Marketing and Sales Part II

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Pay-Per Click Ad Campaign: Easy How To For The Studio Owner

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Advertising Ideas on a Small Budget

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Give The Gift Of Dance!

Check Out These Great Tips To Get Your Customers In The Holiday Spending Mood!
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Goal Setting, Marketing and Tracking!

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4 Strong Marketing Trends

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Strengthen Your Brand’s Visual Presence

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Marketing: Your 8 Month Plan!

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Questions That Will Make Prospects and Customers Read On!

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Marketing Your Dance School All Year Long

 

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Improving Your Sales Pitch

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The Top Ten Marketing Ideas

Marketing is the key to building your business. You know that and so does every other business. The question is how do you cut through all of the clutter to reach your target audience? Below is our top ten list of marketing ideas that we have used and continue to use. Best of all they work if you are consistent with your message. Don't do something once and expect an avalanche of new leads.

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Social Media & Marketing…Being a Tech-Savvy Studio Owner

As a new year is upon us, the infiltration of all things relating to social media and the latest technology seems to be evolving quicker than we can finish our last Tweet. As dance studio owners, keeping on top of the trends, latest social networking sites and technology applications will undoubtedly keep your business current; while reaching a whole new demographic of potential clients that would not have been as feasible a number of years ago.

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Where Are The Best Places To Advertise?

This question has been asked of me many times. I have always believed in the shot gun approach. The more you do the better the results. Some may find that one thing works better than others and yet another business owner may find something else works. Below is a list of media outlets and forums that we have used. Not all have been big winners but I would not stop you from trying them out to see if they work for you.

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Now Is the Time to Market Your Summer Program

As the days become shorter and the cold weather brings ice and snow to us it is hard to think about what is going to happen in the summer. Now is the time, however, to start putting your plans together to get the word out about your summer programs. People really do plan ahead and if you can get all of your information into the hands of not only your current customers but also other families in your area before your competitors do, you will definitely have an advantage. Many people start to plan their summers in January and February because they want to be sure of vacations and that everyone has something positive to do.

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The Structure of A Press Release

What follows is a highly effective set of guidelines that will make your press release writing simple and straightforward. Just follow these simple rules:

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Getting The Word Out About Your Studio Through Press Releases

Tens of Thousands of small businesses start up every year putting little or no thought into their Public Relations (PR) and Marketing strategy. Millions of small businesses go through each subsequent year with almost no PR or Marketing direction.
 

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Marketing With Free Events

Whenever we market our business we are always striving for one thing and one thing alone, to build our client base and to do so by getting people to come in to our business. If you can get interested individuals to walk in the door and you have something good to offer them as far as product you stand a good chance of converting them into clients. Years ago we did a survey with our clients and I can tell you it was quite an eye opener! We were sure that the most important thing to our clients was the quality of the education that we were able to give them. So we were quite amazed when we got the surveys back to discover that the quality of the education was not even in the top 5 and that other things were far more important to them especially initially. They wanted it to be convenient, for the kids to have fun, to make friends and the closer it was to schools the better because then the children could walk right to the studio. These were just a few of the things that were mentioned but it really helped us to change our marketing strategy.

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Expert Tips: Emerging Trends in Online Marketing

Here’s how small business owners can take advantage of the ever-expanding range of online tools to advance their marketing goals.

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The Benefits Of Listing Your Kids Activity Center In An Online Directory

It is no surprise to learn that, if you are running one or more of the many kids’ activity centers in the United States, there is a massive amount of competition on the Internet. In fact, as of November 1, 2010 a search on Google for the term ‘kids activity centers’ generated about 347,000 results. This poses the question of how you are going to gain business over the other thousands of direct competitors. The answer is quite simple: list your kids’ activity centers in an online directory.

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Attracting Boys

No matter where my son, Julian, has danced, most often he has been one of just a handful of boys—if that. Dance studios seem to have a difficult time attracting…and keeping…young male dancers.

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Where Are The Best Places To Advertise?

This question has been asked of me many times. I have always believed in the shot gun approach. The more you do the better the results. Some may find that one thing works better than others and yet another business owner may find something else works. Below is a list of media outlets and forums that we have used. Not all have been big winners but I would not stop you from trying them out to see if they work for you.

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To Create A Great Headline, Give Reasons!

If you want your ads to pull more, look at your headline. It may be that you are not getting your reader to be interested in your ad simply because your headline is not pulling them in to read more. One easy way to create a compelling headline is to give reasons. Reasons involve readers with your ad. To learn more, they have to read the rest of your copy. The trick to making this work is in targeting your prospects. If you are an accountant, give reasons that tie in to your service. If you're a baker, give reasons why your food is better. For Dance school owners give reasons why they should do business with you!

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10 Laws for Writing Letters that Get Results

Have you ever written a sales letter? If not, you may want to consider writing one. Send your letter to a customer that has not returned, to prospective customers who have called for information or to a list of your target audience. Check out ways to write a killer sales letter – the ten essential tips.

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The Ten Most Important Tips For Successful Email Marketing

If you are not using email marketing for your clients and prospective clients you are missing out on a great opportunity to not only build better lines of communication with your customers, but also to continue to sell to them. When a prospective client calls your school, getting their email address is one of the things that your front desk staff needs to do. Let prospective clients know that you will be sending them information, updates and special offer.

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Building Your PR Campaign

Don’t Stand In The Way Of Your Own Best Efforts

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Your 6-Month Web Marketing Plan, Part II

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Cost-Free Marketing Strategy: 43 Ways To Use Publicity To Create Awareness

YOU are the most successful ingredient in your marketing campaign. If you don't believe in your product or service, it will fail. No matter how small any event or accomplishment your school achieves, get the word out about it. Here’s how.

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9 Ways To Build Excellent Telephone Technique

For most dance schools the first contact with your customers is via the phone. Make the most of it or pay the consequences. The key is to train all of your staff to answer the phone with a technique that will be uniform, pleasant and professional.

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Ramping Up Testimonials

Gathering and utilizing authentic customer testimonials is a great way to a) get closer to your customers and b) offer proof that your dance school delivers results. People can be very motivated by the comments of their peers.

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Your 6-Month Web Marketing Plan Part I

Below you'll find six ideas to drive qualified leads to your website over the next half a year. I will be doing another article later in 2010 on the remainder of the year. The key is to have a plan and follow it through. If you devote just a bit of time you will see a big difference. Don’t let it scare you off because it is online marketing. It is easier than you think and, best of all, you can set a low budget to start and adjust it as you see fit.  If you are still not sure about how to proceed I recommend that you contact your local college and hire a student who is computer literate to help you set up your account or see if there is a parent who is willing to work this for you for a discount on tuition.

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Eight Reasons Why Direct Mail Is So Powerful

Direct mail is perhaps one of the most powerful marketing mediums in use today. Few other marketing tools can deliver your message with exact precision at such a low cost. The amount of mail in your mailbox every day attests to the effectiveness of this medium. If it didn't work, your mailbox would be empty!

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Sales 101: The difference between marketing and advertising

I have received several e-mails from members about different ads they ran and how successful they were. What struck me the most is that many people confuse marketing with advertising and vice versa. While both components are important, they are very different. Knowing the difference and doing your market research can put your dance studio on the path to substantial growth.

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Marketing On The Cheap!

 

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Underground Marketing That Works Get Targeted, Get Strategic, Get The Word Out

As I have preached many times, one of these most important parts of your business will be how well your marketing works. It will determine how well your business is perceived by the public and whether you will get the attention of new customers. Without it your business cannot grow or sustain that growth. Yet for some reason most people take out one ad, look over the results and decides from that one effort if their marketing was successful or not.

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Make An Offer They Can't Refuse

When trying to attract new customers, the key is to find a way to make your studio stand out from the rest. The best way to do this is to create an introductory offer that no one else is making. One that will make you stand out in the crowd. And the more of a crowd around you, the more creative you have to be. 

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Early Marketing For Your Summer Programs

The New Years celebrations are over and, hard as it may be for you to believe, now is the time to start marketing on your summer programs. Parents like to get their children signed up as early as possible so that they are able to make their vacation plans and know that their children will be involved in activities during their other weeks off from school. If you want the best possible summer enrollment at your studio, its important that parents receive your information in January. Getting the word out early also means that you are able to stay steps ahead of your competition timewise.

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Promoting Yourself and Your School

I remember when Angela and I first started our studio twenty two years ago. We knew a lot about teaching, something about business and very little on how to promote ourselves. We even knew of dance teachers who thought that it was somehow sleazy or uncouth to promote what they did well. If you think that you are in someway selling out or if you are concerned about being looked down upon, forget that thought! I know that some people may think that promotion is beneath them. Some feel that if people are interested in what they have they will automatically find them. People may hope that clients are going to seek them out but the market place is crowded with a lot of services, like dance schools, and even though theirs may be the best, without adequate promotion no one will ever know! Anyone who believes that promotion for their business is unnecessary will be forever trying to make ends meet and they will most likely never be able to reach the level that they hoped for with their business.

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Marketing For Results!

We have all heard stories about marketing. The most common one that I hear is when a studio owner uses a newspaper ad, post card, self mailer or any other marketing tool one time and is not happy with the results. If you do anything in marketing once, the chances are you wont be happy. There is no magic bullet, no one thing that you do that will bring in a huge influx of new customers. One of the most important things you can do for your business, and bottom line, is to develop a marketing plan. If you are someone who read the above statement and thought, Oh, I dont have time for that or I dont know how to do that or maybe That sounds like a lot of additional work. Relax! Its not going to be tough at all. As a matter of fact, once you follow through with your plan, you will be thrilled with the overall results, which will give you more students and profits!

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Reaching Out To Your Past Customers

As we start a new season you will be looking at where you are in terms of student count. Each year we evaluate where we are this year compared to last year. If everyone has not yet signed back up for classes dont panic! If you have been doing this long enough you know that this will happen each and every year. Many times it has nothing to do with you. It may be that the student is now involved in some other activity that will engulf most of their free time. Some of these activities are only for the first few months of the season and after that these students will be looking for something new to do. Here is a formula that we have used over the years that has helped us keep our attrition in check. I recommend that you try this simple and effective approach.

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The Best Resources for Your Online Marketing Dollars

This is the time of year that we, as studio business owners, spend most of our marketing budget. I am sure that most of you do newspaper ads, postcards, flyers and door hangers just to name a few. In previous articles I have discussed how important the statistics are that we have gathered over the past five years. Many people nowadays go online to shop for things that they are interested in buying and they are not only interested in items but also in services. Our statistics show that during the months of August, September, October and November, that people finding us through search engines or other online resources have increased over ten times in the last five years. We are reaching our super pages PPC (pay per click) budget every one of those months. As a matter of fact, because of that we have increased our budget for those months. Last year alone we had seventy seven new students find us through this one source.

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Competition Will Keep You At Your Best!

All businesses are subject to competition. How you feel and react to your competition is really the key. Competitors want to get business just as much as you do. They will fight, tell stories about you, they will undercut you, will play dirty and go to any lengths to get a student, especially yours! Our job is to get our current and new students to do business with us and to maintain the highest standards in our business. We can do this by out-thinking, out valuing and out performing the competition.

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Do-It-Yourself PR for the Small Business Owner

One excellent FREE source of advertising that small business owners can take advantage of is a press release. What makes it different is that it should not look or appear to be an advertisement. It is helpful to know what the editors are looking for and how to get your story in the paper. There is a blanket formula that you can use that will increase the likelihood that your press release will make it to print. If you have done a competition, are presenting a show, hiring a new instructor, building or moving to a new facility, plan on doing a fundraising event, holding a master class or any other newsworthy story, then you have a possible opportunity for a press release. Do not take it personally if it does not make it to the paper. However, it is helpful if you can build some kind of relationship with the editor. Send them a thank you note or some other kind of gift when you do get your story published so that they remember you.

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How to Get and Use Testimonials

One of the most powerful forms of advertising is the use of a testimonial. Most people are much more impressed and find it more credible when one of your clients says something good about you than when you say how good you are. Let's face it the best form of advertising is word of mouth. So if you can get some good written and video testimonials they will have a similar effect. What has more impact? An ad that has us spouting off about how great we are and how we are the best or one that has several customers saying how great you are and how you are this and that. By getting testimonials it provides proof that your product or service is what you say it is. It builds credibility and reputation. It also builds a loyal bond between you and the customer in the ad.

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27 Marketing Tips

Practice a few of these must-know marketing tips every day and build up your guerilla-marketing muscles. Part of the guerrilla marketing mindset suggests that you should be thinking about marketing all the time. Not just quarterly, not just monthly, not just weekly, but every single day. Really, it's not as hard as it sounds--there are quite a few ways you can incorporate marketing into your daily activities. It's often said that doing anything for 21 days in a row will eventually turn into a habit for you. And a marketing habit is a great thing for any business to have. So what I'm going to suggest is that you choose three to five things every day that are related to marketing for your business and do them at the beginning of the day before you start fighting the daily fires--and forget all about your planned tasks. If you work on this developing a marketing habit--and the proper marketing mindset--every day, you'll soon find that you're going above and beyond your "three to five things" limit. You'll find yourself talking and thinking in terms of headlines or talking, listening and thinking in terms of your customers and prospects' benefits. And the more you think marketing, the greater the chance you'll accomplish your marketing and overall business goals.

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DVD Brochure

About two years ago we introduced a DVD brochure at our studio and have been receiving great reviews from prospective clients. In our recent teleseminar for studio owners we gave a brief description of what we did and how it has worked for us. We have had a lot of interest in it and have had requests to do a story on the exact "how to" of it. Below is an outline of what you will need to create one. The best thing about the DVD brochure is that you can highlight the USP (unique selling proposition) that makes you different from your competitors. Think of it as a five to seven minute infomercial. When prospective clients come in to your studio and you hand them a DVD it is very unique and a powerful tool. When you mail them your literature and you include a DVD brochure you know that you are providing them with something different from everyone else. Furthermore you can give them a look at your studio, so when they do come in, they feel like they already know you and are familiar with your facility. You will need someone who can edit video. You will also need a video camera or to hire a videographer. Let's take a look at where to start and what is needed.

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Your Online Presence

 We have noticed an interesting trend over the past couple of years. More people are using online services to find local businesses. This has impacted our advertising budget and where we need to spend the more. If you do not have a website then it is the first thing you should add this fall to your marketing campaign. It does not have to be that expensive to create one at first. You can go online and create your own website tonight with no experience or computer knowledge. Once you get going then you can see about adding more to your website and consider hiring a web designer.

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13 ways to market for next to nothing

 Marketing can get expensive in a hurry! Through the years we have looked for ways to market our studio on a budget. Most small businesses have a limited budget to work with and we are always on the look out for inexpensive alternatives. I have heard from many studio owners that they would love to market their studio but they feel they don't have the money to do so. The reality is that it doesn't have to be vastly expensive to be effective.

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Creating ads that pull without pushing

 Ad writing is always a challenge. Finding the right words that will attract the right customers is what we all strive for. We don't need to appeal to everyone, just the ones that will be good for our business and will appreciate what it is that we offer. So the first thing that we need to identify is what it is that made some of our best customers come to us in the first place? The best thing to do is just ask them! You can do this by calling them or asking them to participate in a survey. Asking the right questions will be the key. In later articles we will work on ideas for creating and conducting your own survey. Try to get testimonials while you are at it.

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Marketing Your Studio

We all know we have to do it, we all know that we should do it but who has the time to do it! If you feel like this sometimes, join the club. If you want to take your business to the next level this season the marketing plan you implement could be the most important thing you do. To get better at this I have read numerous books, have had a business coach, have gone to many seminars and am part of a master mind group lead by Sam Beckford. I have had many teachers say to me that they ran an ad and it didn't work. That they tried a few things but the dance studio business is different, well if that is the approach then you are doomed!

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