Mindful Marketing

October 2016 | Mindful Marketing | From the Heart

“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. Please take a moment to turn off all cellphones, and for our dancers’ safety . . .” All of us hear words to that effect at every show we attend, including recitals. For studio owners, that little recital speech is a perfect marketing opportunity. Where else can you address your entire clientele, plus potential new clients, all at once, in an atmosphere of excitement? It’s a time when your students and their families feel most invested in your school—and that means it’s a good time to reinforce those feelings with a positive message about the value of dance training in general and your school in particular.

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July 2016 | Mindful Marketing | “Sell” Your Studio at Holiday Events

My school, Perna Dance Center, does many holiday-related performance events and participates in community and charitable activities throughout the year. For each holiday, a troupe of volunteer dancers is assigned to perform at events. All these occasions are good marketing opportunities for the school, but they require some marketing of their own.

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November 2015 | Mindful Marketing | Yes, You Canva

Social media marketing can seem daunting, with no one-size-fits-all solution. Facebook’s cover photo size and ratio differ from Twitter’s and Instagram’s. The ideal size for a Facebook post is different from that for a Facebook ad. Recommended sizes don’t remain constant over time. And not everyone can afford to hire a graphic designer.

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September 2015 | Mindful Marketing | Rethinking Tradition

When I vented my frustration to my non-dancer husband, he asked why we did it this way. Stunned, I stared at him and said, “But it’s always been done that way.” Wrong answer. Clearly everyone else’s old ways of doing “it” weren’t working. We needed to change “it.”

The first thing I did was eliminate the words but and always from my vocabulary. Then I began finding solutions.

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August 2015 | Mindful Marketing | Teen Talk

Attracting teen beginning dancers is a wonderful way to grow your studio. Here’s how to market beginning programs in ways that will capture the attention of teens and get them talking, posting, and texting about your school.

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July 2015 | Mindful Marketing | Creativity Makes the Most of Nutcracker

The Ballet Company of East County (BCEC), in Brentwood, California, has been producing a Nutcracker for 10 years. In that time we have tried many different internal and external marketing techniques, including the expected ones like newspaper articles, local parades, farmers markets, flyers, and posters. But we like to come up with new, fun ideas.

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May-June 2015 | Mindful Marketing | Instagram: Do It Your Selfie

Instagram is a fun (and free) way to engage your students and increase your school’s visibility. This photo-based social media app is very popular with tweens, teens, and young adults, and it’s easy to use—you simply upload photos you take with your camera or smartphone to your account. With a studio Instagram account, you can post pictures of classes, publicize studio announcements and student achievements, promote your registration days, and so on.

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August 2014 | Mindful Marketing | Registration Know-How

When I opened my dance studio 17 years ago, registration opened shortly before classes started in September and closed in November. Over the years, however, I lengthened the registration cycle, and now enrollment happens nearly year-round.

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May-June 2014 | Mindful Marketing | Target Audiences

Your biggest competition isn’t the studio down the street; it’s the other activities that vie for our students’ attention. With a vast array of afterschool activities available to most kids, it’s more important than ever to create a sense of urgency and excitement about your dance studio’s registration season. Delivering unique messages to different target audiences can move potential clients from inaction to action when it comes to registration and commitment.

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February 2014 | Mindful Marketing | Make It Mobile

When parents and kids walk into the studio, you can count on them to have their smartphones at hand. Outside of the studio, you can bet that other parents are sitting in the carpool line at their kids’ schools, passing time by searching the internet. Some of those parents might even be searching for a dance studio on their phones.

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January 2014 | Mindful Marketing | Power of Perks

School owners are always looking for new and exciting ways to market their businesses. But for most of us, many opportunities already exist in our studios’ perks, programs, and other offerings. In marketing our current studio offerings as something special, we save money as well as time and creative energy.

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December 2013 | Mindful Marketing | Online Integrity

Social media’s popularity has given studio owners a bonanza of (free!) marketing opportunities. But because social-media platforms are so easy to use and because they feel informal, it’s also easy to forget that your studio’s reputation is on the line with each word you type and each photo you post. Don’t let missteps get in the way of your efforts. Keep your online integrity intact with these tips.

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November 2013 | Mindful Marketing | HootSuite’s Helping Hand

If you’re like me, everything you “have” to do with social media makes your head spin. Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, Vine, and Instagram, it’s impossible to keep up with posting, responding, and evaluating how each positively impacts your studio’s image and enrollment.

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October 2013 | Mindful Marketing | Social (Media) Savvy

Most studio owners say they use social media. But there is a big difference between being on social media and using it as an effective marketing strategy. The idea is to get your audience involved, share value-added content, and get friends and followers to share your message.

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September 2013 | Mindful Marketing | Campus Connections

Every fall in and around college and university towns, thousands of new students arrive, many of them planning to dance. Those who are not studying dance on campus and dance majors who want to supplement their college classes might not know where to go for classes. If your studio is near a college campus, making your presence known among the college set can bring new students to your door.

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August 2013 | Mindful Marketing | Beyond Open House

What is better than getting 50 potential students to stop by your studio for an open house? Having 50 families engage with your programs and staff for an entire afternoon! That’s what can happen when you market an interactive open house—what I call “Festival of Friends”—in such a way that children and parents alike won’t want to miss it.

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July 2013 | Mindful Marketing | Blogging Basics

School owners, like anyone who owns a business that involves “face time,” understand the importance of good communication, and most of them put it at the top of their priority list. But if you’re like most school owners, you probably don’t have a chance to talk with every person who walks into the studio, and you might not have time to have a long conversation with each new parent. You certainly don’t get to chat with every person who clicks through your website. But there’s a work-around: blogging gives you the opportunity to have these conversations virtually.

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March-April 2013 | Mindful Marketing | Tempting Adults With Tap

Adult tap classes are a great way to boost enrollment and build your studio’s presence in the community. Whether you aim for a recreational program or an expansion of your company, adult tap dancers will bring enthusiasm, dedication, and long-term support to your studio’s programming.

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December 2012 | Mindful Marketing | Tumblr Talk

Tumblr. You may have seen this word online and wondered what it was. “What’s with that silly name,” you probably asked yourself, “and why can’t they just put that e in there where it belongs?”

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November 2012 | Mindful Marketing | A Birdie on Your Shoulder

As it so happens, there is a little bird that can help keep your customers informed and do much more—Twitter. As you probably know, it’s a micro-blogging social network whose logo is a bird, and the messages exchanged are called “tweets.” But have you thought about it as a marketing tool for your dance studio? Twitter can reach your customer base and beyond, giving your school a connection to prospective customers, your customers’ family members and friends, and other dance organizations.

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October 2012 | Mindful Marketing | Getting Connected With LinkedIn

For many people, the word “marketing” drums up colorful images of advertising: print and television ads, brochures and flyers, websites and blogs. But that’s not all marketing can be. For dance teachers—and studio owners in particular—marketing must go above and beyond common, passive forms of advertising to showcase the value of our skills and services and build and sustain positive relationships.

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August 2012 | Mindful Marketing | Using QR Barcodes

QR barcodes are starting to show up everywhere. Everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the U.S. government is using these square, two-dimensional barcodes in their marketing. Easy to use, they can help you rev up your studio’s advertising with a bit of interactive fun. And creating them costs you nothing.

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May-June 2012 | Mindful Marketing | 10 Tips for Great Newsletters

By Melissa Hoffman With the development of new technologies and media for “getting the word out,” email newsletters are emerging as an integral part of any dance studio’s communication with current dance families and as a tool for gaining new clients. Constant Contact’s email marketing program has proven successful for my studio, although other equally…

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October 2011 | Mindful Marketing | Pinpointing Preschoolers

A strong preschool program indicates a bright future for a dance school. By offering a quality curriculum and hiring teachers with experience in preschool education, school owners can inspire this age group to make dance a part of their lives for the next 15 years.

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July 2011 | Mindful Marketing | Welcoming Websites

By Rhee Gold Do you want to become savvy at marketing your school? Welcome to our new department, which will present various marketing concepts and how to implement them. Today’s marketing options are plentiful. Whether your budget is small or large (or nonexistent), you can get the word out about your school. In particular, the…

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