Like so many others, I find myself glued to the television during the Olympics. Being of a performing arts background, I honestly don’t have much interest in beach volleyball, track, or downhill slalom (whatever that is). What I DO have interest in, and what has on occasion kept me watching until midnight, are the stories of the athletes. Time after time I got caught up in their histories, the challenges they had overcome, their hopes and goals, and what the medals meant to them.
In thinking about it, I began to recognize the correlation between the stories of athletes and the stories of successful businesses. For example, I recently had the opportunity to hear Scott Harrison of Charity Water speak about his transformation from a Manhattan night club promoter to the founder of a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
The owner of a gluten-free bakery here in Portland called Dessert Labs started out as a theater technician in New York, one who loved to eat pasta, pizza and bagels. The discovery that he was gluten-intolerant lead him to enroll in culinary school, determined to show the world that gluten-free pastries could be as tasty as those made from wheat flour.
These are the types of stories that make me more likely to do business with a company, and the same is likely true for your dance studio’s customers and prospects. In fact, a thoughtfully worded marketing story is a tool that can serve any studio trying to gain new students. Learning about you and your reason for dancing, teaching, and owning a studio can help people in your community relate to you at a deeper level.
It’s great to have information about your dance flooring, ‘Top 7 Reasons to Choose Your Dance Studio’, and descriptions of various dance styles on your website. To connect with other real people, though, to make them comfortable to call your studio or enter the doors for the first time, a background story goes a long way.
If you’re not really sure what your own story is (or how to distill it into an interesting tale), start by asking yourself these questions.
- What about your childhood shaped you for this profession?
- What has been your greatest achievement and/or disappointment as a young dancer, professional dancer, dance teacher, or studio owner?
- What made you decide to open a dance studio in the first place?
- What keeps you motivated to continue?
- What is your favorite story of one of your current or past dancers?
- What is your secret wish (or greatest fear) for your studio, or for the arts in general?
Jot your answers down and form them into your personal story (which will also double as your studio’s marketing story). Keep in mind that a good story usually contains some sort of conflict or challenge overcome, with the main character (you) learning or growing as the problem is being solved. If writing is not your forte, it’s perfectly fine to ask someone you know who writes well to help you fashion your answers into a cohesive piece.
Once you get a good grasp of your story and what you think will help people connect with your studio on a more personal level, add the content to your website (your About Us page or Studio History page is a natural fit). Add the information to the About tab of your Facebook page. Make mention of it, when it feels natural to do so, in your studio newsletter, or even in your marketing materials. Especially when there are so many choices of dance studios out there, sharing your personal story can help you to make connections and rise above your competition!
For anyone interested, my own story and how I got into creating websites specifically for dance studios, can be found on this page of the Studio of Dance.com website (1/2 way down the page)!
So what’s your story?
Take care & best wishes,