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Great Idea of the Month | January 2010

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GreatIdeaPhoto opps make good marketing

Contributed by Brandan Newman, Fitness Arts Center, Madison, Alabama

I’m a new school owner, just having opened last June, and I also moved to a new state knowing not a single person. So getting the word out about my new school has been a challenge, with an essentially nonexistent marketing budget. Then I had this idea, which will help in my marketing and branding.

Everywhere I go, I see photo cutout boards where people can poke their heads through an opening where the face should be and have their picture taken as a moose, or a farmer, or a mermaid. But I’ve never seen one of a dancer, let alone an Irish dancer. So I decided to create one. I took it one step further by adding my business name and logo at the top so that every picture that is taken will advertise my school, with no effort on my part. And people love to share goofy pictures of themselves.

I finished this project to coincide with my school’s “Bring a Friend to Dance Class” week. I took pictures of all the kids and printed them on the spot. My students and their friends loved it and were so excited to show their pictures to their moms and dads.

I plan on taking the photo board with me to fairs or festivals where I have a booth so that anyone who stops by can be photographed as an Irish dancer. I’ve already come up with other designs, since Irish is not the only style I teach, but I feel this particular board is unique. The materials cost me less than $20. (I was fortunate to find my school colors in the clearance paint section.) Everything was done by hand, and it took me around 20 hours to complete.

Perhaps this idea can benefit your school. I hope you enjoy it!

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