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Simple Steps to Market Your Dance School


01  Find a ‘unique selling point’. What makes your school different or better than your competitors’? Perhaps you have the widest variety of dance styles in your local area, or perhaps your school also has a gym, or maybe you take a different and unique approach to teaching? Whatever your unique selling point is, flaunt it.
 02 Make sure your website is up to scratch (and up-to-date!). Not only does it need to look impressive visually with captivating photos and great content that is both informative and interesting to read, you also need to think about the ‘customer journey’. This means making it easy for your current and potential dance students to find their way around your website and find the information that they need. Straightforward navigation and simple headlines can help. Furthermore, you must ensure that you have clear ‘calls to action’ (a text or an image that prompts someone to click on it to register for class, sign-up for an email, comment on a photo or take some sort of action).
03

The ‘About us’ section is where you want to tell your story. People expect to see a more ‘human’ aspect to business, so your school certainly shouldn’t be any different. Here’s your chance to write a warm and personal story about your dancing career. This will help people connect with your school on a more personal level. Don’t forget to include information about your qualifications and training, as you also want parents and students to feel confident that you will provide the best dance training for their students. 

04 Another useful marketing tool is cross promotion with similar or local businesses, especially if your school is new to the area. You could cross promote with leaflets, flyers and posters or even run a competition in conjunction with a local business like a dancewear shop.
05

A picture paints a thousand words, so make sure you choose the right photos for your website and promotional materials! You should carefully select photos that tell a story. A smiling child, posing in her ballet tutu makes a very pretty photo and implies happy pupils. Or a photo taken mid-class of children with their teacher can offer a real picture of what classes are like at your school.  

06

Think of other ways you can use your own expertise. Perhaps you could write for local newspapers and websites as the ‘Dance Expert’ and drive more people to your website? The arts editor may give you the chance to feature your dance school if you write regular articles and if your article is related to something particularly newsworthy such as a danceathon for charity.

07 Now that your website is well designed and laid out, to spark further interest in your school, think about the content. You could offer valuable free information such as a breakdown of each dance style and its history along with biographies or current news about your teachers and past pupils. Perhaps you could add daily articles with helpful tips such as nutrition and wellbeing advice? You could even invite guest speakers to speak to your students about these topics at an event and advertise this on your website.
08

Everyone loves a promotional offer, so why not look at attracting new students with something special? Maybe you could have a 10% discount for students who register online. Or if they sign up five friends, they could receive some dancewear or a larger discount off their class fee. Referrals, ie recommendations from friends and family, tend to result in a more loyal customer type, so offering treats and discounts to current students can work well too. 

09  Drive prospective students and their parents to your website from social media, blogs and other websites. The more often you post news and blog online, the higher up your website will appear in search engine rankings, so more people will visit your website. Social media is a great way to communicate with your current and prospective students in a friendly and informal way. You can also use social media to promote videos or photos from classes and competitions, as well as post useful information for your students and encourage them to give you feedback. Photos and videos tend to work particularly well on Facebook and will generate lots of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ for your page. Help your students find you on social media by posting a sign in your studio and including the website links and social media logos on your flyers, leaflets, brochures etc, as well as on the footer of your emails. 
10

Think about how easy it is to find your school online. If your dance school has a name that is easy to misspell, potential students and their parents may have difficulty finding it. To avoid this, it is possible to buy secondary domain names (website addresses) through a trusted domain name company and then redirect these websites to your actual website address. For example, if your school is called ‘Dancing en pointe’ at www.dancingenpointe.com then it might be an idea to buy the domain name www.dancingonpoint.com for those who misspell the school’s name. This is an easy fix for about £10 a year. 

11 Are you using email marketing effectively? Why not send a welcome email to new students with the invitation to try a different taster class for free, as well as an introduction to the school and what it has to offer? Or send an email to students who haven’t attended classes for a while to encourage them to come back with a promotional offer such as 30% off if they book 10 classes in advance! Are you adapting your email newsletter to your target audience? If it’s just for dance parents, then the more informative the better. However, if it also targets young dancers, then include some fun quizzes, games and competitions to keep them interested. 
12

Plan a social event at the end of summer to get your students and their parents excited about coming back to classes after their long summer holiday. This event could be something as simple as a picnic or a barbecue, or if you ran a summer school, students could showcase the routines they learnt as a performance for their families, friends and neighbours. This is a good way to get new students excited about joining the school,  as they see the training and talent, as well as meeting the friendly teachers and students.

 

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