Let’s talk blogging.
I know what you’re thinking…. “I’m a dance studio owner, I don’t have time to blog”, “I’m better with my feet than my words”, “I don’t have anything to blog about” or “I can’t think of anything worse than sitting at my computer and trying to think of something to write every week.”. The fact is, blogging doesn’t need to be a painful experience. It doesn’t even need to take you a long time – anything between 200-400 words per article is a perfect amount for your followers to read on the go.
Firstly, it’s free if you already have a website. Even if you don’t you can use your social media pages to facilitate your blogging, or free platforms such as WordPress or even Tumblr. But more important than zero-cost is the benefit of using your blog to build your brand, increase exposure, and establish your studio as an authority in your field. Psst…that’s the type of publicity that money can’t buy – just ask Dance Studio Owners Association member and RPA Studios‘ owner, Rhiannon Johnson. Last week Rhiannon put her thoughts into an innocent little facebook post that she thought her students and their parents, as well as some dance teacher friends might appreciate.
Since posting, Rhiannon’s ‘Is It OK To Cry?” has generated close to 1000 comments on Facebook. It has been shared over 4200 times. Her studio has increased their ‘likes’ by 10% AND Rhiannon has been approached by international media outlets to be interviewed about her piece.
“I absolutely can not believe the response to the post. I wrote it intending my dance families would appreciate it and hopefully get something out of it, I had no idea I was putting into words something so many studio owners were also feeling.”
Rules for writing a Blog for your studio
Like we said earlier, blogging for your business doesn’t need to be scary or time consuming – the main thing is to write what you know in your own voice, then once you get started the words will flow. PLUS the more you do it the easier it gets, and your newly honed writing skills will only benefit your studio when the time comes to update your website and write your newsletters. Stick to these rules and you can’t go wrong.
1/ Know your audience
You need to take into account who will be reading your blog, and think about content that appeals to them. If your customer base is recreational dance students aged 5-12, then writing about starting a career as a dance teacher may not hit the mark. Think about the following guidelines for some topics to cover in a blog:
The dreams of your reader
Your dance parents may have joined or considered joining to help their child build social skills and confidence, so why not write about “The social benefits of dance class for preschoolers”
The fears of your reader
Do you notice people using the price of dance classes as a barrier to them committing? Address it! Perhaps “The true cost of a dance lesson – what is your money really buying?”
Everyone loves a good old throwback, so a fun article along the lines of “Throwback Thursday – our favorite dance moves from the 80’s!” is a great way to get people clicking.
This is almost guaranteed to get your readers clicking, commenting, tagging and sharing. Try something like “Why dancers make the best wives ” or “The 10 superpowers every dance dad has”
Regardless of whether or not your readers are members of your studio, you want them to feel like a part of your community. No dancer will resist a blog called “You know you’re a dancer when . . .” You can even go a step further and ask for contributions or create a hashtag around this to leverage it even more.
This speaks for itself. After all, who can resist a good list? “The five things nobody told you about your first pair of pointe shoes” or ‘The top 10 apps for dance teachers”
2/ Have a plan and stick to it
Set a time in your schedule every week to write your blog, and stick to it. To save time thinking of a topic, plan them out in advance. You’ve probably got 20 ideas floating around in your head already, so write them in a list. That’s 20 weeks’ worth of ideas done and dusted already. Frequency is important, so aim for once a week and make sure to keep your website up to date with your blog entries.
You can even recruit your staff to write a blog around their area of expertise or passion – they’ll love seeing their name in print and what a great addition to their portfolio! Even take it one step further and ask for parents to contribute a piece from their own perspective about a certain aspect of being a dance parent – not a testimonial about your studio, but something about their unique experience. “Swapping the soccer boots for ballet slippers” for example. There are endless opportunities, but the main thing is to keep it personal to your studio and your perspective. You don’t want to hire a freelance writer with no dance experience to do this for you – they may have the words but it won’t have the same soul.
4/ Make it valuable and interactive.
Please don’t write a blog about the benefits of dancing at your studio. That’s what your ads are for – your blog is to provide value to your readers, and let your expertise speak for itself through the content. Give them something they can’t get anywhere else. Also make sure to allow comments and shares, and post each blog to all of your social media channels weekly. Nurture and grow your blog like you do your studio, and the results will come.
Oh . . . and make sure to include lots of pictures 🙂
For more effective strategies on growing your brand and business, join our global community of like-minded studio owners at the Dance Studio Owners Association today!
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