#FinanceYourDance: How To Turn Your Passion Into Profit (Part I)


“Your brand must deliver a solution that people will pay for, respond to, and refer.” ~ Marshawn Evans


Last night on our weekly #LetsTalkDance Tweetchat, our topic, based on our new #FinanceYourDance series, was “How To Turn Your Passion Into Profit”. In order to turn your passion into profit, you must first know and write down the answer to the following five questions:


  1. What is your mission?
  2. What is your value proposition? How does your brand add value to people’s lives?
  3. What is your elevator pitch?
  4. What makes you unique, and different from others who are doing the same thing, or something similar?
  5. How will you inspire people to invest in your brand?

We discussed the first four questions on our Tweetchat last night, and ran out of time before we got to #5. So if you were on the chat last night, please write your answer to question number 5 in the comment section below. If you weren’t on the Tweetchat last night, feel free to answer all five questions in the comment section below. I will post a brief recap from last night’s chat in a separate blog post.


Wanting to create and make art is a beautiful thing, and it certainly makes the world a more beautiful and interesting place. But you have to understand that money is an emotional currency. People spend money because they get some sort of emotional reward or gratification from it. So if your brand’s marketing message doesn’t connect with people’s emotions, then you’ll always be struggling to make ends meet and survive. This goes for personal brands and corporate entities as well. When in doubt, look to those who have already done it successfully, take notes, and learn.


Here are a couple of examples:


Let’s look at Lady Gaga.


Lady Gaga’s brand is built on the foundation of being unique, outrageous, courageous, and loving, accepting, and celebrating yourself, no matter what other people think. She empowers individuals to stand tall and be proud of who they are, even if society may shun them, or look down upon them. She is loved and admired by many men, women, girls, and boys, all over the world as a result. But isn’t she just another female recording artist? Yes and no. She has successfully used her product (her music) to complement her brand’s overall mission and message of loving, accepting, and celebrating yourself, while selling millions of records. She has done this in some very unique, quirky, and even outrageous ways, wearing outrageous clothing, but the message is the same: Celebrate your uniqueness, don’t worry about what other people think of you, and don’t change for other people.


Whether you’re a fan of Lady Gaga or not, the point here is:


  1. You know who she is.
  2. Her brand message is clear (outrageous yes, but clear).
  3. Her name evokes an emotional reaction.

This is really what marketing and branding is all about. If you can accomplish these three things with your brand’s target audience, you are truly on your way. Remember, emotions motivate people to spend money.


Here’s another great example of how big corporations focus on emotion-based marketing to connect with you, the customer, and motivate you to go out and spend money on their product.


There’s a napkin company that has a commercial out right now that caught my attention from the first time I saw it. Now you might think, how interesting can a commercial about napkins be? You’d be surprised. When your focus is emotional marketing, there are so many different angles to sell any one product.


In this commercial you see a mom with her husband, and two kids, in the kitchen, making breakfast. Everyone’s happy, enjoying some quality family time together, and the tag line for the napkins is, “wipe on a smile”. So, by using these napkins, you will smile and feel happy, and your family will too!


Do you like to feel happy? Do you like to see your spouse and your children happy? Well then I guess these are the napkins for you! It may sound silly to you right now as you’re reading this, but I bet you that this commercial is increasing their sales. They wouldn’t spend so much money to advertise on tv if it wasn’t.


Next time you’re watching tv, pay close attention to the commercials you see. Take notice of what the product is that they’re trying to sell you, and then pay close attention to who’s in the commercial, what they’re doing, what type of emotional feeling they’re expressing in the commercial, and also how the commercial makes you feel. What you’ll begin to see is that it’s all emotional marketing, whether it’s a commercial for a car, tampons, kid’s clothing, or napkins, it all has the same base. Emotions drive us to spend our money.


So my question to you is, how are you inspiring people in your target market to spend money on your brand? What emotions are you tapping into in the heart and mind of your customer? Why should they choose to spend their money on your brand, instead of another brand who’s doing almost exactly the same thing as you?


Once you’re able to answer these hard questions, take time to then ask your (non-dancer) friends, and your colleagues who are dancers what they feel when they visit your website, watch your videos, or read your blog. Are they inspired, do they feel motivated to spend money on your brand?


Although we are artists, we must remember that dance is an art form, and a business, as it takes money to create and share our art form with the world.


Please share this post on Facebook and Twitter, and help to empower other dancers to turn their passion into profit.

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