Mary Beth Koenigsberger fell in love with dancing six years ago. She quickly realized that she was talented both as a dancer and as an instructor. Today, she runs a successful dance studio, Dance Vision Studios of Fulshear, Texas, which is a Dance Vision franchise.
Mary Beth’s studio offers a wide range of dance classes to adults. This includes latin, competitive, and ballroom dancing. In addition to dance programs, Mary Beth and her team host themed dance parties that they promote both online and off. “We do a themed party every month,” she said. “We also cater food and drinks, and we get students excited by providing non-traditional dance lessons. Students also get the chance to practice their dances in the practice parties we organize, with music and a spacious venue.”
Needless to say, building a successful dance studio requires a ton of marketing to get the word out. Mary Beth said she accomplishes this with a go-to marketing strategy that she swears by. It’s a multi-pronged approach that leverages multiple platforms to reach current and potential students.
Wondering if what works for Mary Beth might work for your business? Read on to learn what marketing techniques work best for Mary Beth.
Create great designs
“People like pictures,” said Mary Beth. This is why the promotional content she creates has as many colorful visuals as possible.
Wherever she can, Mary Beth uses images of people dancing in studio and competition settings. “Basically what we’re doing is showing people exactly what it is that we’re promoting.”
Maintain a strong website
“We run a franchise-supported website and an independent website. This is how we reach prospective students,” Mary Beth said. In order to keep it fast and easy to create web content, Mary Beth uses PosterMyWall. She said the templates make it super simple to create professional graphics in no time.
Mary Beth uses her website as a home base that allows new or prospective students to see what kind of teaching and services are available to them. At the same time, it enables existing students to stay up to date on events and classes. This makes the site a one-stop solution for any and all questions anyone might have about the studio. She publishes separate web pages for the dances that she teaches, the techniques she uses to help her students learn, images of her studio, places where students can showcase their dance skills, wedding dances, how to rent out studio space, benefits of staying active, and her events.
Maintaining separate pages allows Mary Beth to streamline her promotion, and at the same time, help viewers navigate the site more effectively. The site also gives students an accurate picture of what to expect from Dance Vision and thus, the website has become a very important tool for online marketing.
Hand out flyers
Mary Beth uses free flyer templates on PosterMyWall to design calendars that promote upcoming classes and events. “We have special classes for each day. And special dance events like parties and socials,” she said.
She posts the calendars on the walls of her studio and prints out lots of copies to give to students as take-home fliers. The idea is to encourage existing customers to sign up for more classes to keep them engaged and coming back. Active participation by students allows the studio to grow and flourish as a vibrant community center. “Handing out flyers has been our most effective tactic for maintaining a relationship with our current clients,” she said.
Handing out flyers works for Mary Beth, because she makes the effort to get them in the hands of her customers.
Although Mary Beth doesn’t do this, other businesses have found success by also handing out flyers in highly visible spots such as public spaces. Just make a list of places you want to target, for instance, malls and parks, and create a schedule.
Mary Beth suggests that you make your flyers as colorful and eye-catching as possible. Add pictures and limit the amount of text you include. Only add the most necessary information, for example, name of the event, date, time, venue, and a brief description of what to expect. “Don’t make it too overwhelming for your reader, keep it simple and straightforward,” Mary Beth said.
Send out emails
Mary Beth also uses email marketing to let students know what events and classes are coming up.
“In our emails, we provide images and fun graphics so people can see what’s in store for them if they show up,” Mary Beth said.
She also said that while fewer of her students keep informed by email than respond to the physical fliers she hands out, both tactics are important. Different people like to communicate in different ways and by reaching out through a variety of media, Mary Beth is able to reach every customer in the way they prefer.
Post on Facebook
“We also post our calendars and events on Facebook,” Mary Beth said.
For Mary Beth, social media has performed better in terms of reaching existing students than it has in attracting new students. Although she’s not as active here as she’s on her website, she still gets enough traction so the effort is worth her time. “Social media has comparatively lower activity. But we have a number of dedicated followers who use it to stay updated on class schedules,” she said.
Mary Beth is careful to schedule her posts to go live when she thinks they’ll be most effective.
“We post the class calendar a day before the new month begins. The weekly class reminder goes up Sunday night. For parties, we post the morning of, or around midday,” she said.
For other types of posts, Mary Beth continues to experiment and note what times and days she gets the best response.
A study by Hootesuite showed that the best time to post promotional content on Facebook is between 8 am and 12 pm. The best days for doing this are Tuesdays and Thursdays. A good practise is to experiment with posts between these times until you find the time slot that delivers the most engagement, just like Mary Beth did.
For other social media sites, ideal posting times may vary. For Instagram, the best time is 11 am on Wednesdays. And for Twitter, it’s 8 am on Mondays and Thursdays. The key is experimentation and after that, it becomes easier to get a general idea of what time works best for engagement.
Manage your time effectively
Mary Beth describes PosterMyWall as “A brilliant tool for new businesses who don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on marketing.”
“PosterMyWall templates are awesome. I used to do everything from scratch. When I discovered PosterMyWall, my production time got cut by more than half,” Mary Beth said.
Sometimes Mary Beth starts with a pre-made template and other times she creates her own designs from scratch. “With PosterMyWall, I can complete a complex design in less than an hour–and that’s when I’m doing a ton of customizing. Simple designs only take a few minutes,” she said.
“With the time I save, I can do so much more around the studio,” Mary Beth said.
Mary Beth’s multi-pronged marketing approach has helped her business grow immensely. “Just being completely available, and using social media and our website so people can reach out to us directly, have really contributed to our growth,” she said.
Mary Beth’s immediate plan is to keep her marketing going at her current pace. “Of course we’re going to try new things, but when you have a system that works, you keep working on it,” she said.
We wish Mary Beth the best of luck as she continues to grow her dance studio!