A great way to expand your dance studio’s reach and gain access to a whole new set of prospects is to plan and carry out business promotions with complementary businesses. This technique, sometimes called ‘buddy marketing’, can considerably cut down the cost of business promotion, while allowing each business to use techniques that might be too expensive to implement alone.
Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Some good examples might be a restaurant in the vicinity serving tasty, healthy food, a photographer who does wonderful portraits of children, or a nail salon in the same block as your studio that can manicure a mom’s nails while her daughter is in ballet class.
It’s best if you are a customer of the businesses you partner with, as you’ll feel confident and happy to recommend them, and to some extent, your reputation is tied to your referrals. Also, it is more likely you already have the name of someone you can contact at the businesses you frequent. And you’ll have a higher success rate partnering with people you already know.
The general idea is to publicize products or services of another business to your dance parents, in exchange for the business publicizing your services (dance classes) to their customers. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few to get you started:
- If you send out brochures, you can include a flyer and/or business card of another business, one that has agreed to do the same for you.
- You can use shared advertising, or run a contest together. Pairing your studio with a neighborhood dance supply store in such a promotion could be an excellent fit.
- Give a discount to the customers of your Business Buddy to draw them in, in exchange for the same. Your dancers and their parents would appreciate a coupon for a ‘Buy 1, Get 1 Free’ fruit smoothie, while the smoothie company could offer ‘First Class Free’ coupons from your studio.
There are many other businesses just like yours searching for new ways to connect. Both companies can benefit by reaching a whole new pool of potential customers. It’s a Win/Win/Win (you, your Business Buddies, and your customers)!