As individuals, we are marvelously unique. Unfortunately, even though dance studio owners are one-of-a-kind, it’s often difficult to differentiate one dance studio in a community from another. Not standing out from your competitors can be a huge problem, resulting in lower enrollment and less loyalty from existing students. Here’s what to do about it!
Set Your Studio Apart from the Rest:
What is the one important and compelling reason why someone should take classes from your studio and not your competitors’? In the advertising, sales and marketing worlds, the answer to this question is called your Unique Selling Proposition (or USP). It is, in essence, a sentence or phrase that sets your studio apart from your competitors. Your ability to attract and retain new dancers greatly increases with your understanding of what makes your studio unique.
So how do you come up with a Unique Selling Proposition for your dance studio? Start by taking a few moments to consider your studio from an outsider’s point of view. Be honest about what your studio’s strengths are. Perhaps it’s your own personal experience that brings students to your studio. Maybe it’s that you offer a wider range of classes or have instructors who are particularly well trained.
Is it difficult to step away from your studio and look at it with a fresh eye? Ask some of your current or past students’ parents why they chose your studio.
To get you started, here are some examples of Unique Selling Propositions. Your USP could be related to:
- The fact that you’ve been in business longer than any other studio in the area – Arthur Murray’s USP, for example, is “Since 1912 we have been teaching the world to dance”. For Regency Dance Academy in Richmond, VA, it’s “Celebrating 25 Years of Dance Excellence!”.
- The professional results your students have had after years of training at your studio – One studio, for example, features the fact that “Many former students have pursued performing careers appearing on Broadway and National Tours including Footloose, A Chorus Line, Cats, Smoky Joe’s Cafe, 42nd Street, Beauty and The Beast, David Copperfield World Tour, Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, and Saturday Night Fever.”
- Your focus on childhood education – If arts education and the development of the “whole child” is especially important to you, you may choose a USP such as: “Providing quality dance education in a nurturing atmosphere and developing in students a sense of belonging and self esteem.”
- Your having received an award or some special recognition – Have you been recognized for outstanding community leadership or a life-long dedication to preserving and promoting dance in your community? A USP based on this fact will increase the trust your customers and prospects have in your studio.
- Your emphasis on a certain type or style of dance – Hop to the Beat Dance Studio provides a great example of this. First and foremost on their website they state, “We are based in the Boston, Massachusetts, USA area and specialize in Lindy Hop”. Their niche is obvious, and their customer prospects are clearly those who live in the Boston area and are interested in learning how to Lindy Hop.
Each studio has its own strengths, with potential for creating a powerful competitive edge. By focusing on and emphasizing what is unique about your studio, you give customers a reason to choose you over your competitors.
I’m interested — what’s your studio’s USP? Let me know in the comments below!
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