Here is a very simple referral strategy you can immediately put into practice, and it costs absolutely nothing. Here’s the scoop:

If you want referrals for your dance studio, give referrals to other businesses.

You most likely know and love a few non-competing but complementary businesses in your target market, such as your local dancewear supply store, a hairstylist your dance moms might like, or even an excellent restaurant in the neighborhood of your studio. Where appropriate, start giving these businesses your support – offer testimonials and recommend them to your dancers and their parents when you feel they could provide benefit.

To make this work, you must “announce” your referrals to the companies in question. Call up you’re the owner of the hair salon, for example, and say, “Hey Beth, just wanted to let you know I was talking with a group of dance moms today at rehearsal and heartily recommended your salon to them. At least three of them are planning to call for appointments… take great care of them when they come your way!”

Once you begin referring others, many of them will naturally reciprocate without even being asked to do so. Start asking new students (if you don’t already) how they found out about you, so you’ll be able to thank the referrers when next you see them. Small businesses helping other small businesses… a simple and powerful concept!