If you want an impossible way to do business, it’s to never mention it.
Your first priority in a dance business, whether you are advertising private lessons, group lessons, or performance availability, is to put the word out.
Then repeat it.
Whether you a performer looking for work, a dance teacher looking to organize a class, or a studio owner looking to fill their classes, you need to learn to spread the word that you’re there–ready, willing and able to fulfill the needs of students or theaters.
These days it’s cheaper than ever to target your market with online tools, and even more important to keep track of which tools work best for your target market. Traditional print advertising is expensive and untargeted, you don’t have the budget of Coca-Cola and you don’t want to emulate their marketing strategies.
People look to Google to find local classes, events and performance artists, not your local classifieds section anymore. Location-dependent networks like Yelp.com showcase businesses of all types within specific neighborhoods and cities, are you listed?
Putting the word out is really about hanging out your shingle for everyone to see.
Tell everyone you know that you are teaching dance classes, looking for teaching opportunities, opening a dance studio, putting on a performance or looking to perform at events.
It rarely hurts to ask, it never helps to remain silent.
Services to Get The Word Out
This is Google’s local business index that comes up in Google searches before even the the top ranked websites. It’s incredibly easy to add your business to Google Local, all you have to do is go here and they walk you through the process.
One of the most trafficked location-based index of businesses, Yelp.com is a great way to add your business to your local digital map (you’ll have to create an account and tag your business). Yelp includes ratings and reviews, so it helps to get a few current customers to jump on Yelp and give their feedback.
Creating a Facebook following allows you to tap into an existing and very active online community. You can create a Page for your business and create events that users can share with their entire network with the click of a button. A great way to take word of mouth to the next level.
While not a location service, Twitter is an incredibly vibrant and active information network. Local communities often employ hashtags to post local events and happenings which can help spread the word about your business. A word of mouth information network that can spread swiftly.
If you don’t have a website for your dance business, you’re missing out on business. The internet is #1 when people look to find dance classes usually, and if you don’t have a website it’s very unlikely they’ll go to you first. There are some exceptional and affordable options out there for basic website creation that let you easily manage your own content. If you need a website created, I offer basic services to that effect – just e-mail me.
In this day almost everyone has an e-mail address and collecting them is even better than collecting phone numbers. Creating a mailing list of individuals who have attended your events, and classes, gives you the opportunity to easily reach out to them again. And former customers are often your best customers.
Flickr photo by Caveman.