How To Teach Your Dance Business To Market Itself (Inspired by The Referral Engine by John Jantsch)

The Referral Engine by John Jantsch

What has your marketing done for you lately?

Or maybe I should ask…

What have YOU done for your marketing lately?

Everyday people come to me asking for help or advice on how they can better market and promote their dance business or brand, and get the results they need. Some of you need to get the word out to more of your target audience, some of you are looking for more funding, or supporters,  while others want to get your current customers sharing  your info online and sending you more referrals.

No matter what your marketing goals are, there are some things that are highly effective for every brand/business, and I’d like for you to use the checklist below to find out if you’re taking full advantage of some of the most effective marketing strategies out there. If you’re not, today is a great day to start. If you already are, today is a great day to improve upon your current efforts.

“Always improve your marketing results by increasing what’s working and removing / improving what’s not.” ~ Ronald Skelton

In the awesome relationship marketing book, “The Referral Engine” by John Jantsch, he talks about what he calls the “Ideal Customer Lifecycle”. This cycle has 7 parts to it: Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat, Refer. Let’s talk about how your marketing can help bring your customers successfully through this process.

#1  Know What’s the point of having an awesome dance company, dance studio, dance product or service, if know one even knows about it. Getting the word out about your business/brand is one of the most important steps in this process. But before you begin the process of spreading the word, you first need to figure out who you want to know about your business. Who is your target audience? Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get started with establishing an effective, personalized, intriguing, and  consistent presence in the key places where your target audience is. We’ve coined the term E-P-I-C marketing. You can learn more about this specific marketing method, it’s definition, and how it can catapult your brand to the next level through our Marketing Masters membership. As your customers are getting to know you, provide them with the specific information, images, and solutions that will cater to their needs and interests. Be specific, and be sure to highlight what makes your brand unique, and different from others in your field. How are you currently doing this?

#2 Like Whether you realize it or not, people choose to do business with people that they like. People’s choices on how they spend their money and their time, are directly connected to their emotions, period. If you, or your brand evoke a positive feeling, and they like what they see and feel when your brand comes to mind, then that will lead them to take positive action. What methods are you using to help your prospective customers, clients, students, or donors get to know you and your brand on a more intimate level? Do you have a blog? An e-newsletter? Online videos? In order for people to like you/your brand, they need to have an opportunity to know what you’re all about. Don’t have a dead, lifeless presence online, where a person can’t really connect with you or your brand in a tangible way, and a way that makes them feel something positive. How are you currently doing this?

#3 Trust Trust comes as a direct result of people liking you, and seeing your consistent, solid, open, and honest presence online, and in real life. What kinds of opportunities have you created through your brand, to nurture your customers through the very important “trust” phase? I find that online videos are the best way to build trust with your potential customers. They can see and hear a real person, talk about their real experiences. It doesn’t get much more powerful than that. Are online videos a part of your dance brand’s marketing strategy?

#4 Try There’s an experience that I love, and I think everyone else does too. It’s called a “free sample”. Who doesn’t love a free sample of something? It’s a guilt-free, risk-free way of trying something out to see if you like it, and see if it’s actually something that you would like to commit to buying or investing in over time. Again, an online video demonstrating how your product works might help with this, but a free sample is even better, or a money-back guarantee. If you own a dance studio, a free class for first-time students is always great. Get creative, and find ways to offer your customers a risk-free way to get their feet wet with your product or service, that will encourage them to take the next step.

#5 Buy For many people this is the end-all be-all. This is how they determine whether or not they’re marketing efforts have been successful or not. But in reality, this is just the beginning, and where the real work starts. This is where the customer experience really counts. Once a person has made the decision to invest in what you’re offering, it’s your job to provide them with an outstanding experience, and deliver even more than what they expected, in order to build a relationship, customer loyalty, and nurture them into the next phase. How are you going above and beyond to create a unique and powerful experience when someone buys your product or service?

#6 Repeat One of the best ways to get repeat and loyal customers is by keeping the lines of communication open with them, asking them about their experience with your product or service, and even asking them for suggestions on how you can improve it. Show them that you care, make improvements where necessary, and demonstrate your commitment to excellence. If you own a dance studio, check in with your students, and their parents quarterly to see how things are going. If you sell a dance product, follow up with your customers to see how it’s helped them in their dancing or dance experience. Have a dance company? Share the back story of how you choreographed the pieces in a particular show, and also what you’re working on for your next performance, to keep your audience coming back. How are you encouraging repeat customers in your dance brand/business?

#7 Refer This is where all your hard work begins to pay off! There is nothing like word of mouth referrals. This is the point where your dance business begins to market itself. This is when people begin writing articles, blogs, or Tweeting about your business. It’s fantastic when someone comes to your business or brand, already excited about connecting with you because of what they’ve heard from friends or family, or read in reviews online. Take advantage of this stage by making it easy for people to refer your dance brand or biz to their friends. It’s always great to reward your customers who send you referrals as well. How are you saying thank you for your referrals, and highlighting all of the wonderful things your current customers have to say about you?

These are just some things for you to think about as you approach your marketing efforts for your dance brand online and offline.  I highly recommend reading “The Referral Engine” by John Jantsch for some awesome, practical advice to help enhance your marketing efforts.

Have a marketing question? Leave a comment below. Did you find this post helpful? Please share it on Facebook and Twitter.

Want more help with marketing and promotion for your dance business? Check out our Marketing Masters membership, and our other Marketing and Promotion services HERE!

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