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.

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.

Promotion is the key for your business to grow and expand. You may not be interested in having a big school and that is fine if that is what you want, but wouldnt it be nice to have the exact amount of students you want and to have a long waiting list? Talk about peace of mind! Every event you do, no matter what the size of it is, gets the word out to individuals in your community. Here is an important fact, first and foremost, you must fully believe in what you are doing. Keep in mind that if you believe that your business is providing a great service for your community, then you will be passionate about everything you do. That passion will be contagious and you will be excited to promote yourself and your school. Here are some ideas on how to promote yourself and your studio:

 Make up a press release. Ok, everyone knows about this one, but how many studio owners do not take full advantage of this simple and useful tool. This probably happens because many people are afraid of writing a good press release. If you, yourself, do not feel confident enough to do this then it is important to find someone who does. Even if you do not believe you have great writing skills you need to create press releases on a regular basis. It may be that one of your parents is good at writing and you can do an exchange for services. You could give them the details and let them write up the releases.

Try to do some kind of event, activity or promotion at your studio every four to six weeks. Not every one of these releases will make it into the paper. It is important to develop a relationship with the person who works in the local news division and let them know that you will be sending them a lot of terrific newsworthy articles about events happening in your community. Create posters about your event. Making posters is a whole lot easier nowadays. You can create the art work on your computer or take it to a business like Kinkos and they will do it for you. You will need to give them all the content you want included and it is important to have some kind of message about your event. Whatever you are going to do, create a headline, a call to action and then the where and when.

Email blast. If you have created an email list of names you can and should let your clients know what is going on all the time. If you have not been building a list now is the time to get started. It is easy to get your current clients emails by letting them know that you will be doing special promotions and notices via email only. You can compile these names into an email service like icontact.com and then you can set up emails to go out. Here is the best part, you can sit down in one day and plan, write and set delivery dates for months in advance.

Ok, now what can we promote? We all have the usual ones like master classes, showcases, recitals, competition results and any other performance or activity you are involved in. But if you want to differentiate yourself from the competition you will need to think outside the box. Hold a fashion show for childrens wear at your studio. You could get together with a local children clothing store and do a cross promotion. We have done this exact event and it brought in a lot of new people to our studio. Hold a special Halloween event at your school. I know of some studios that even do a haunted house one night and get a great turn out. Sponsor a fund raising event at your studio! Find a cause and make it a mission for your school. Do a pre holiday party. You can do it on a Sunday, include arts and crafts, create a simple dance to jingle bells or let is snow. Make a DVD of the event and send it out to the attendees in a holiday card saying thanks for coming and wishing them a great new year! We do all of these kind of events free of charge, this way it is easier to get the local papers to do a release. We recommend that you have a pre sign up for all these events so you have an idea of how many people will show up. Any new potential clients that call make sure that you get all of their contact information.

Remember, that you may be doing the greatest thing ever but if no one knows about it what good did it really do you? One of the greatest showmen who first developed a traveling show was P.T. Barnum. In his book, he commented that while he was known as a showman he considered himself really a promoter. And what a promoter he was! Back in the day before television he was getting the word out about his show from city to city. He believed what he was doing was important and you should think the same about what you do! Spread The Word! If you dont, no one else will!