It’s Website Wednesday, and all it will take is a few minutes with Dance Studio Growth Coach, Kristy Ellis to get your website standing out from the crowd!.
Check out Kristy’s #1 Tip For Your Studio’s Website.
Have you ever heard the saying first impressions last?
Well, today we’re going to chat about photos and why professional images are so important for your studio and how you can do it on a budget.
When I bring this up with studio owners they usually roll their eyes and think they just can’t afford it well, you can, it is more affordable than you think. Whether it be integrating it into an event budget such as your recital or as part of your normal yearly budget.
Firstly we’re going to chat about your website: appearance is everything.
As human beings we are visual, our first impression is formed within seconds and will tell the consumer what type of product you have to sell. If you are an experienced ballet teacher your photos should represent the quality of your teaching. You want your website to stick in a customer’s mind as professional and credible. Our brain deciphers images instantly while language takes more time to process.
Let’s be realistic – when was the last time you read through an entire website?
If you’re anything like me you just don’t have the time. You’ll check out the photos, maybe read a little bit of content but it’s mainly the photos that will decide whether you continue reading. Images transcend language and allow for a great understanding of whatever is being discussed, they need to catch our attention.
In order to stand out from your competitors avoid using stock images wherever possible, as so many studios are using the same images.
It is important to find something that is a true representation of your classes. Professional images capture the authenticity of your studio. Customers want to know that what they’re seeing on your website is what is actually happening within your studio. They show not only what you can offer a customer but also want them to act. If they see some kids having a lot of fun in class as a professional image and high quality service they’re going to want to send their kids to your studio. This makes you the go to studio.
Setting up a photo week at your studio is something that has worked really well for me. A simple way to start producing professional photos is to gain quotes from photographers in your area.
You are looking for some key factors here.
- The photographer must be personable and able to deal with kids and noise, probably the most important part.
- They must understand the importance of a candid photo not a posed one.
- You need to ensure they hold necessary credentials such as ticking all the child safety policies.
- Treat them as a contractor. Ask for a daily and a weekly rate.
- Organize a week that your studio will be full of energy, (usually try to avoid the beginning of the year or the beginning of a new session. You don’t want that chaos in the photos.)
Try to ensure your students know the photos are happening and to dress appropriately. Let the parents know the photos will be available to them after they are made public. This is a great way to ensure everyone is on board and excited about getting some free professional photos of their child.
Make it very clear that you’re not promising an individual photo of each child rather you’re trying to capture the essence of the studio and so they will be class photos.
Once your studio makes this a regular thing, parents will get excited about seeing new photos of what’s happening at the studio and will be proud to show them off to their family and friends.
Top Tip: Instead of hiring a professional dance photographer for everything we would order a backdrop and some lights, then hire the high-quality camera so that we were able to really capture our students having fun and enjoying being in their studio uniform and in their costumes.
Create photo packages for your families. You can hire a professional photographer or even better, if you have a family member or friend who is great with photos. If you have the backdrop and the lights it’s very easy to ensure your photos look high quality.
Because you know the students best photos tend to be more relaxed and can actually be a lot of fun especially for the senior students at your studio. Sometimes I would give the seniors the camera to shoot their friends, and the photos I received were priceless and captured the fun of concert week. We did it for an entire week generally at the end of every class.
The students would do a rehearsal then put their costumes on and we would set up the backdrop and they would go to town, they would have so much fun with their photos and at the end of the week being our concert a professional photographer would come in and capture our recital photos.
Studio owners forget how important it is to photograph a recital.
So much time, effort and expense goes into such a detailed event. My best photos for the year came at our end of year performances.
I really encourage you to start looking for a photographer that will come to your studio regularly and you can create a really nice professional relationship with and I really encourage you to start putting these photos on your website and social media rather than your general iPhone photos whenever you get a chance to step into the studio.
Try and plan around it, make it part of your marketing plan for the year and most of all, capture the fun in your studio.
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