Is your studio using media or losing to media

Is your studio using media or losing to media

For an industry that made its big names and subsequent popularity on new trends in music, dance and the middle class social lifestyle of the twentieth century, I am amazed on how few of these same businesses fail to incorporate new trends in television, dancing and most importantly media in their business models today.  These same businesses that are holding on just like Sears and others will likely lose even more business to trendy competition and new marketing.  Some will survive if in a lucky environment.  Others will fail to adapt and adopt and have no chance of helping the multitudes of people that could enjoy the fun of just holding on, the feeling of the wind through their hair, the connection of hands, arms and feet or the couple that needs to reconnect before it is too late.

I have remarked before how many “professionals” in the dance business fail to be interested in the two big dance shows of our time, So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars.  This is rarely true of the many students I have spoken with at events or in studios.  Students almost always know of the shows, often remark about their favorites, certainly know of the competitors and have strong opinions about them all.  Oddly it seems to me, the interest does not seem to be larger or smaller dependent upon the student’s experience or ability, but merely coincides with an amateur’s affection of all things related to their avocation.  This is the equal to why golfers who will never shoot par still want to watch professionals and others who do it regularly.

This disconnect is likely attributable.  One reason may be that the hour of the shows often corresponds to prime teaching time.  Few businesses of any type will allow staff members to use work time for television viewing and since the evening hours are prime time for studios this makes complete sense.  This means that teachers with a desire to stay in the know, have to be able to record or save the show and then have the interest to replay it later in the week.  Another reason may be envy or disdain for the star performers with the belief that given the right opportunity they should be on television instead of the actual performer in place and therefore no support should be given.  This assumes the selected participants are members of some secret society that selects only its own members.  In fact, luck is when knowledge and opportunity meet, and though the knowledge may be held by many, the opportunity once given, would have been taken by anyone in that position.  Resenting other peoples good fortune serves neither you, or your studio, nor the possibility to use the show’s popularity to maximum benefit.  Of course another reason may be that most professionals don’t like the spotlight, and are shy reserved creatures with no desire to be recognized in public, drive fancy cars or add their names to the many sponsors of unhealthy or inferior advertised products for vast sums of money.

What most intrigues me is that so few studio operators are interested in taking advantage of the possibilities.  I always recommend that businesses and companies utilize all avenues of exposure, whether through internal advertising, namely guests and referrals, external advertising, the internet, social media or public media to promote new business.  Today’s consumer requires and expects quick answers to searches and inquiries and looks for places to get them.  Successful businesses recognize that providing meaningful content on the web, on a blog, and to the media are the first steps to being recognized as the expert in the area.  If consumers know that you have the answers when they “google” they will be sold on your site, your name and your brand whatever it is and will not have to go elsewhere when the time comes to try it themselves.

Studios are losing business and kidding themselves if their web site does not actively discuss, link and explain the various dances from the shows.  The sites can and should elaborate on the difference in style between social connection between partners dancing socially and the glamorous TV style they see on the shows.  Your site can be the one to showcase or link to local dance venues, local bands and DJ’s and highlight different salsa, country, hip-hop or ballroom locations.  This includes your studio, where these dances can be seen and enjoyed in a social atmosphere.  This might also include places for kids to learn, exercise locations featuring dance if not already done at your location and of course announcements of upcoming professional shows and events featuring dancing.  Once the consumer can rely on your site they will also depend on your services when the time is right or for when a referral is asked.

If you think you are the leader in the area now, it is easy enough to find out.  Send someone to 10 or 12 local businesses, first in your immediate shopping center or area, and then progressively farther away, and ask a local clerk, salesperson or customer, “I watched the show, _So You Think You Can Dance or Dancing With the Stars_ (make sure to use one that is actually on) last week and had a question about one of the acts.  Who should I call in the area that knows about dancing?”  Then you will know how far your influence really goes.  If it does not go far enough you can improve your position in the market with some strategic activity and the desire to become the trusted source in the market.  If not, recognize the next generation uses media much different than the old and if your marketing is not up to date, they will assume your studio is also out of date.

Michael Reichenbach


Vol. XXXV! No. 22

August 22, 2014

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