Years ago, building your brand wasn’t as important as it is today. You had more to worry about getting a space for your dance classes and paying the bills for that space. All you had to do was tell a handful of your friends that you had started offering dance classes and you would build a client base simply through referrals and word of mouth. Things were pretty easy then, right?
Nowadays, it’s a different case. With the explosion of technology, you have to create a brand for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or you have been in the business for 30 years. At this, you may say, “Hell, ain’t nobody got time for that!” If this is you, well, you’ve got another thing coming. The world we live in today is based online and trying to downplay the importance of social media in whatever industry is very backward thinking.
Of course, for some people, their businesses have gone viral without much input from them. They do not plan it but by some “Hail Mary” they made in into the social media scene. Well, you have two choices here. You could wait until the same thing happens to you – In which chances are less than slim – or you could simply plan your branding strategy with these simple steps:
- Determine your target audience
When you are building your brand, you have to define who will use your services. You may say that anyone can join your dance classes but from experience “anyone” is rather ambiguous. Try segment your client base either in terms of age or in terms of skill or better yet, both. Do you offer dance classes for kids, teens, adults, senior citizens? Do you teach beginners, intermediary level dance or professionals? Of course, at this point, your skills and experience come to play.
- Define your motivation
Why did you start a dance company? What is your driving force? What was your moment of realization? This speaks to your core as a dance artist and who you want to become. It touches on your values not only as a person but as a dance company
- Find your differentiating factor
Find out who else if offering a similar service. Scope out the competition. After this, find your differentiating factor. Sometimes, finding what makes you different may be a tad difficult because almost every other dance school is offering the same thing in terms of course content. They may offer the same genres of dance too. Do not be discouraged by this. Sometimes, the differentiating factor does not have to do with your core offering. It may be that you have exceptional customer service, or that you offer a personalized dance plan for each of your customers. Find what is lacking in the service delivery of your competitors and run with it.
- Define your value proposition
Articulate your message. How does your service/product add value to people’s lives? How will it change their life for the better? Do you have success stories? Clearly define what people should expect when working with you and coming to your performances. Get them excited about working with you because of much more than your skill. People buy with their hearts, and rarely with their head.
- Be visible
This is by far, one of the most important steps. The icing on the cake, If you have all the above written on a paper and stashed somewhere on your desk, it will not benefit you or anyone else for that matter. You need to let people see who you are and that you are a real person. Create social media accounts. Give your opinions about the industry so people can trust you. Humans are very visual creatures.
With these, you are well on your way to creating the perfect dance brand.