I’ve recognized recently that although I am outgoing in many situations, I also have a shy streak. That shy streak could potentially keep me from a collaboration that is marvelous both personally and business-wise, and so I’m actively practicing getting shyness out of my system.
For me, that means going to conventions and actively participating, seeking out other people who are also running their own businesses, and being more open (read “vulnerable”) in my newsletters and blogposts. It’s my version of living on the edge. Ha.
While it can be uncomfortable to reach out and communicate with other small business owners, doing so can result in benefits for you both.
For example, do you want a great way to reach your target market and bring new dancers into your studio? Try teaming up with other small businesses and forming marketing partnerships (aka: “Buddy Marketing”). To determine those that are a perfect fit, look for businesses that don’t compete directly, but serve the same audience.
Use your imagination to find fun ways to cross promote services. For example:
- Keep menus from a nearby café on your front desk, in exchange for the café promoting your new salsa class to its adult customers.
- Offer coupons for a nearby yoga or pilates studio, who can likewise display flyers for your studio. There is always a chance that moms taking a yoga session may be considering dance classes for their young daughters.
- Are you pleased with your photographer or videographer? Offer their brochure on your front desk, in exchange for their handing ‘free class’ coupons out to their clients. Your businesses are complementary, not directly competing, and so both can benefit from a partnership.
If you’re cross promoting with a company, it makes good sense to also exchange website links. The additional online exposure is nice, and the link can also raise your dance studio’s search engine standings.
Of course, cross promotion with a dance supply store is ideal, if a little hard to come by. Try approaching a local dance supply store owner with a suggestion to share advertising, co-sponsor an event, or run a contest together.
These tactics can expand your market reach and considerably cut down the cost of business promotion.
Collaboration. Partnerships. Alliances. Call it what you’d like – it pays to partner with another company that targets the same audience!
Have you done any “Buddy Marketing”? Please share! You can post comments in the section below.