How To Get MORE Out Of Your Dance Studio Photos

Great advice for dance studio owners on photos for their website.

When is the last time you thought about the pictures on your website? If your answer is more than a year ago, it’s time to check them out. You know how the saying goes right? A picture is worth a thousand words. Well, for many prospective customers, that is TRUE! The pictures on your website, social media, and marketing are SO important. For many of your future customers,  they are a glimpse into your dance studio and the story they tell is very revealing. As a studio owner, you have to ask yourself: are the pictures I am putting out into the world a true reflection of my studio and my brand? I am here today to help you sift it all out and of course, get MORE out of your dance studio photos. We have included our photoshoot checklist below so make sure to grab yours!

First things first, does your studio use stock photos? Stock photos are a great resource for building great looking marketing materials. They are high quality, very inexpensive (or free), and there are so many different options to choose from. If you are a studio who is just starting out, this can be the perfect way to get the word out about your new studio. If your dance studio is established, I recommend making an effort to stay away from stock photos.

Now I know what you may be thinking: Hiring a photographer is expensive! I don’t have time to get pictures taken! People don’t know the difference, so who cares! Yes, on some levels you may be right. BUT. In a few moments, I will take you through a couple great budget (and time) friendly ways to get your own photos.

First, the why not. Like I mentioned earlier, your future customers want to see inside your business as they shop around. By using stock photos you are missing a huge opportunity to show off the BEST parts of your dance studio and what makes it unique. When a potential customer does come to see it all in person, they will feel like they already know you and feel confident that what they saw online is a true representation. What a better way to start a long-term relationship, right??

So now that we have taken care of the stock photo issue, the second part of all this is making sure the pictures featured are the right kind of pictures. Below I have listed several qualities to consider:

  • Are dancers following the dress code in your photos?
  • Is the space clean and clutter free?
  • Are the photos sized correctly?
  • Are the photos high resolution?
  • Does your studio look the same now as in the pictures?
  • Are you happy with the lighting in the photos?

If you answered no to any of these questions, it is time for some updates! I know the task can be daunting and sometimes can come with a cost. But I wanted to list out a few ideas so you can be resourceful about this change. Keep in mind all these photo ideas can be used on your website, social media accounts, marketing materials, and more!

  • Use your posed recital pictures. This will only work if you select a backdrop that is a good representation of your brand. We love the idea of using a plain white or black backdrop like Prestige Dance Studio (located in Cedar Rapids, IA) has done with the photos in their slider. Both options make her dancers pop and when placed on a white or black background, the photo backdrop seems to just disappear. If you know you are going to be using these photos for more then just parents, get a little more creative with posing ideas. I also recommend having the photographer get a “teachers and staff” shot as well so you can throw it on your faculty page. Have your teachers wear a studio t-shirt or decide on a color/formality theme and you guys will look great!
  • Take photos at dress rehearsal. Meg and I would always do this at our studio. We would take turns snapping pictures of the kids on stage and in the audience while the other was working. I recommend assigning this job to someone that does NOT have official recital duties. Definitely do it during dress rehearsal as well because you don’t want to be stuck in the same spot. Try finding someone that has an interest in photography (and has a nice camera) or has a good eye. For a few years we had one of our photographer friends come and take photos. In exchange for their session fee we allowed them to sell their photos to our families. The families LOVED having these action shots. If you don’t have anyone to take photos for you, try calling some local photographers! Make sure to grab our handy shot list below so you can make sure to get all the photos you will need!
  • Book a photo session at your studio. This does require an investment however, I think it is so worth it! Invite a few age groups to take pictures for the studio. They should be dressed in dress code (or in whatever you select) and look like dancers (hair clean and off the face). Get some posed shots of students at the barre along with candid moments of them taking class. We love the idea of having this photographer do headshots for your teachers as well. If you are trying to save some money, reach out to parents of your students or alumni dancers who may be pursuing photography! You could also ask for a discount in exchange for selling the photos to your families. As mentioned earlier, you may want to check out our shot list for dance studios before taking on this project. You can get it by filling out the form below!

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I am not saying you need to do all 3 options this moment but maybe tackle 1 or 2 of them. At our studio, we took the photos at our dress rehearsal and brought in Meagan’s nice camera every once and awhile to get class photos. With that, we were able to have usable photos all year long. It doesn’t take much on your end but will make a HUGE impact on your future customers.

Did you grab your free shot list yet? It will really get your wheels turning thinking about what photos to consider for your website and marketing materials. It is also a wonderful thing to hand to a photographer so they understand your expectations. You can get it by scrolling up just a hair!

Do you have a photographer that you have worked with and LOVED? Let us know in the comments!

Great advice on photos for dance studio owners! How to get more without spending a ton!

How to Get Your Dance Evaluations DONE! Video Demo in Google Drive

Use Google Drive at your dance studio

Last week we shared one of our most popular blog posts all about dance evaluations. Today we wanted to dive a little deeper and make sure you actually get this DONE this year. We put together a video demo detailing how we use Google Drive and Google Docs to make the process a little easier.

In this video, you will find actionable tips to get your teachers on board. We also detail how we set things up to minimize our workload later.  Using google drive makes it easy to keep evaluations on hand for reference. All changes in Google Docs are saved automatically, so if you need to make changes it is an easy process.

Below we have also included a Google Doc copy of our evaluation form as promised:) This should make it even easier to get started and start customizing the form for your studio. When you are directed to the form you will need to “make a copy” to start editing the form.

So go grab our freebie, watch the video, and get to work!

Grab our FREE Google Doc Evaluation Template


Use Google Drive at your dance studio

Say Hello To Our Giveaway Sponsors!

We are hosting an amazing giveaway for dance studio owners!

We have reached a HUGE milestone here at Resourceful Dance (can I get a Heck yes!). Our Facebook group, The Resourceful Dance Studio Owner, now has over 1,000 members!!! We could not be more thrilled to have so many smart, creative, supportive, dance studio owners all in one place. Meagan and I are so thankful to see studio owners from all over the world come together in a positive way to achieve their goals. For that reason, we are hosting a giveaway! We have put together an AMAZING studio owner care package for 1 lucky member of our group! You can sign up for the giveaway by joining our group and following the link in the pinned guidelines until November 25, 2017.

Trust me, you will LOVE LOVE LOVE this care package. Meagan and I are throwing in a couple extras here and there along with some super ridiculous (like in a good way) items from our giveaway sponsors! We wanted to share a bit more about our sponsored items because they are seriously, that good. So go check out their websites and if you aren’t the randomly selected winner, go and treat yourself anyways!

2018 liveWELL Planner® | Flex Aquamarine from inkWELL Press

What an incredible sponsor for our giveaway, any dance studio owner would LOVE to have this inkWELL Press planner!

You guys, this planner from inkWELL Press is the ultimate planner! Last year I was feeling so overwhelmed and disorganized that I bought this same planner for myself. I can honestly say, I feel so much more on top of my game JUST because of this planner. Not only is it adorable, sturdy, and easy to use, it is also is perfectly suited for a business owner just like yourself. It makes tracking meetings and tasks FUN. Also, at the beginning of every month, there is a whole section dedicated to goal setting and habit tracking. I have loved taking the time to fill up those pages with my hopes and dreams for the month. It has allowed me to refocus my energy into accomplishing my goals month after month.  If all that isn’t enough to convince you to give inkWELL planners a try, they also include a series of productivity-boosting videos with your purchase. Like I said, my year was transformed by this planner and I know it will do the same for yours!

Move Society Lifestyle Hoodie From Crewtique

Crewtique lifestyle hoodie. Great team apparel for dance studio owners! If you sell apparel at your studio, you NEED to know about Crewtique! They are Move Society’s team apparel line. They have such high quality, fashionable, and customizable products that I know you will love! The Lifestyle Hoodie that you will get if you are the lucky winner is beyond soft. I totally want a whole uniform made of the inside fleece material (kidding but not kidding hehe!). You and your dancers will move with confidence knowing that your clothes will move with you and not against you. Crewtique apparel has tops, bottoms, jackets, bags, and REALLY cute hats. Their products are for both men, women, and kids. Their sample box allows you to see their products in person and KNOW your students will love what you choose. If you thought it couldn’t get any better, guess again. Crewtique is throwing in a MAJOR discount for the lucky giveaway winner if they order some gear! Talk about win-win!

 

Glitter Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle From StrongHer

Perfect water bottle for dance studios!

If you are anything like me, you don’t drink water unless you carry a water bottle with you at all times. Well, I have found MY water bottle and this is it! StrongHer Boutique has created the most fabulous water bottle I have seen, maybe ever! Not only is it sturdy but it will actually keep my cold beverage cold which is a must after a long night of teaching. StrongHer Boutique can also customize this water bottle (or any others on her site) for your studio. Add your studio’s name or your favorite quote, your dancers will LOVE them as much as I do! Who knew staying hydrated could look SO good?!

 

Marketing Worksheets From Amy Jacobus Marketing 

Amy Jacobus Marketing is GREAT for nonprofits, arts, and creatives! We promise these marketing worksheets from Amy Jacobus Marketing will get your wheels turning! Amy asks the tough questions to help you discover your target audience. Then she helps you navigate your messaging to make sure your values are being delivered in a way that makes sense. By working through these sheets, you will learn so much about yourself and your company. Amy has been a friend of mine since college (Go Hawks!) and I have been AMAZED at what she has accomplished ever since. She has a passion for the arts, is beyond smart, and has a way with words. Combined, this makes one heck of a marketing machine! Amy works “to help arts organizations, nonprofits and socially conscious entrepreneurs tell their stories with impact, elegance and intention. Especially in the one place every potential fan, audience member, donor, volunteer and customer has access to: the web” (Amy Jacobus). I know you will love getting to know Amy Jacobus Marketing by going through these worksheets, you may just get to know your own company better too (hehe!).

Isn’t this an AMAZING list of products?! So what are you waiting for?! Go throw your name in the hat! Remember you will have to join our group to get the link to enter (in the pinned post). I know what you are thinking, it IS a little sad we are only choosing 1 winner at random for our giveaway. But you could ALL be winners by going and getting yourself hooked up with these great products/services, you will not regret it!

Again we want to give a big THANK YOU to our amazing group members. Keep supporting each other and setting big goals. We will be there cheering you on!

 

Get Creative with Community Partners and Reach New Customers at Your Dance Studio

Reach New Customers at Your Dance Studio

Before a potential dance family can make a decision about your dance studio they need to know your studio exists. Partnering with businesses and organizations in your community can be a very effective way to reach new customers at your dance studio. Partnerships can bring NEW customers into your studio, increase the awareness of your studio in the community, and also provide MORE value for your current families.

We recently had something pretty cool happen to us at Resourceful Dance. We are hosting a giveaway in our Facebook Community (we are taking entries THIS week.. so join if you haven’t already!!!) and reached out to several businesses asking if they would be willing to gift us items. In return, we will feature their company in a blog post and share a photo of the item on Instagram. We choose companies and products that we were familiar with and knew our audience would love. We were fully prepared for crickets. Ha! Do you know what happened?? We had several companies say “yes”. Easy peasy! They were excited to work together and shipped the items promptly. Most companies WANT to make relationships and work to figure out ways to work together. Sometimes all you have to do is ask!

Here are a few things that set us up for success:

  • We focused on THEM! We made it clear that we were fans of their company.
  • Our requests and what we could provide in return were very clear. People are busy! Respect their time by getting to the point.
  • Provide numbers. We included detailed information about our audience and reach.

In this example, partnering with other businesses is enabling us to give back to our community in a way that we may not have been able to do if we were to buy these items on our own. It is also going to help create even more credibility within our brand. If bigger brands are wanting to work with us we must be doing something right! Ha! We are also laying the groundwork for a continued relationship moving forward. Finally, by working with these companies we are able to get our brand in front of new groups of people and bring more awareness to Resourceful Dance. They are NOT required to, but there is a good chance some of our content about their products and our giveaway will be shared if they like what they see!

The good news is you can absolutely take advantage of these strategies in your dance studio! Our freebie today is a good one:) We have included an email template for reaching out to potential sponsors and partners. Save a copy of the document and then start plugging in your information!

Grab your FREE sponsor email template!


When you are thinking about potential community partners, start with what you are looking to gain. Are you looking for physical items? Portions of an event paid for? Enhancing an upcoming event at your studio? Getting in front of a new group of people?

How community partnerships could look at your dance studio:

  • Ask a local grocery store or restaurant to donate snacks for your open house. The Costco in my community used to be very willing to come out to local businesses!
  • Ask a local expert to come speak at your studio. Doctors, nutritionist, physical therapist, yoga instructors… these type of professionals may all have something to offer your community!
  • Think about creative places where you could teach pop up classes. At my studio, we started a program where we taught a dance class at the library once a month. The library helped promote our programs and allowed us to reach new families in the area.
  • Printing programs or advertising materials.
  • Face painting, a balloon artist, or some other FUN extra at a studio event.
  • Items for a giveaway or contest.
  • Could you co-host an event with another local business? Maybe an informal holiday performance at the local coffee shop? A family dance party with an area daycare? Try to think about businesses that have similar target markets to your studio but are not direct competitors.
  • Could you partner with a local business to support a non-for-profit in your community? Coming together to do some good is a GREAT way to begin a partnership.

Once you have focused in on what you are looking for, think about what you can provide in return. Why would it be beneficial for other businesses to get in front of your audience? Can you share about their company in your newsletter, in a physical sign at your studio, or on social media? What can you contribute in some way to a future event that they are hosting? Is it possible for them to “sell” to your audience?

Your partnership arrangement should feel equal. The business or organization you are reaching out to is much more likely to say “yes” when it feels fair. Reaching out to a potential sponsor or partner is a little scary, BUT getting a “yes” feels really good:) This is a marketing strategy that takes a little work and creativity. We think it is worth it! Consistently putting yourself out there and making an effort to expand your reach WILL pay off in the long run. When you reach new customers at your dance studio you are increasing your brand awareness. As we said above, families have to be aware of your studio before they can become customers!

Go grab our freebie and start brainstorming about future collaborations. Let us know in our Facebook Community if you are already doing this at your studio. Does anyone have success stories about reaching out to sponsors? Community partners that have brought in NEW customers? We would love to hear!

Reach New Customers at Your Dance Studio

The Importance of Branding at Your Dance Studio

branding at your dance studio

I’ve got branding on the brain! We are in the midst of rebranding at Resourceful Dance. Going through the process is a great reminder of the important role branding plays in any business.

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. source

If you haven’t thought about your branding recently (or ever, it’s ok!) this blog post is for you. We have collected some GREAT resources to help you get started as well as a fun freebie, our branding questionnaire. Sitting down to write down a few ideas is my favorite way to get started. This is also how we start with all of our clients!  So grab your freebie, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and have fun going through these resources. Hopefully, they get your wheels turning!

Join our Mailing List and Download our Branding Questionnaire


Why you need branding. Love this article that breaks down WHY you need branding. For dance studios, your brand is a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors and communicate what makes you and your studio unique. When you are super clear, you attract MORE of your ideal studio families to your studio.

Getting to know your brand. This is a GREAT overview of the whole branding process. I especially like the section on all the work that comes before the fun stuff (logo, colors, fonts). You need to know your brand. What is the vision? Where are you going? What are the things that make you unique? If you have been in business awhile- you may know all of these answers. I encourage you to write it all down. Share it with your team and make sure your current materials really reflect your values and your unique offerings.

View fun examples of branding.  This designer has a series on her blog where she reveals the branding of businesses she is working with. It is really cool to see how she translates their mission, values, and personality into visuals.  A great example of how so much can be communicated through your logo, colors, fonts, photos, and patterns!

Interject YOUR personality into your business. I wish I would have done more of this with my dance studio. I was very concerned about coming across as a professional and pleasing the masses. Those feelings held me back. People want to support businesses run by people with real stories and real feelings. People want to know YOU! There is a great series of questions in this article to get you thinking about your brand story and WHY you started your business.

Play with colors. Warning, if you are anything like me you may lose 30 minutes of your life playing with this free tool! This is a fun way to pick out colors for your studio. If you already have colors, it is also a helpful tool to figure out some complimentary colors that look nice with your current scheme. You can pick from various color rules or choose custom and then go to town! Set one color, and then play with the rest. The hex value of your color appears at the bottom. Once you have settled on something, write these down! You can plug them into your website, Canva, or hand them off to a designer. Your colors will be consistent everywhere.

Use Pinterest to gather some visuals. I am assuming you are already using Pinterest in some capacity, but Pinterest can be a very helpful tool for your branding. Take all the information you have collected and your color palate and start pinning! Pin images that speak to you, inspire you, and remind you of your dance studio’s “personality”.  Colleen and I recently did this in preparation for our rebranding. It sounds a little out there, but it was surprising how quickly we gathered images. It doesn’t take long to start to see some patterns emerge! I started by typing in a color followed by an adjective into the search bar. After that, I went down the Pinterest rabbit hole:) It really helped us to get clear on the look and feel we are going for.

These resources are really just the beginning of the process. We have barely touched on the creation of the design elements and deciding how to use those elements! It is a lot. I would focus first on getting clear on what makes your studio unique and what your core values are. I would then solidify or revisit your mission statement. Who do you serve and what do you provide? In other words, grab our freebie and take a few minutes to reflect:) Regardless of how long you have been business, I think it is ALWAYS a good idea to check in and make sure your values are being reflected in what you are putting into the world. Things change as you and your business evolve. Your branding has to change too!

We are excited to share our new branding with you! For us, it has taken a good year of being in business to really pinpoint what exactly we do and what we want to be doing. Are you ready for our mission statement?? We help dance studio owners use technology to work smarter and stress less. Boom! We would LOVE to hear your dance studio’s mission statement. Pop on over to our Facebook group for dance studio owners and share!

Branding at your dance studio

What You Need At Your Front Desk

Perfect article for any dance studio owner. Front desk organization is a must! A great resource!

Take a good look at your front desk right now. Is it meeting all your needs? Can you find things easily? The front desk is an important part of your studio. Sadly, it doesn’t always get the attention that it deserves from dance studio owners. We get it, there are a thousand other things to worry about and the front desk is low on the tottem pole. I am here to today to change that! Wouldn’t it be great to get more organized this year so you and your office staff can be more efficient and free of the chaos?

For some it may be the only dedicated work space and for others it may be the “work home” for a staff member. For all, your studio’s front desk is the place where your customers come to interact with a representative of the studio. You, your employees, and your customers shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the sight of the front desk. It should be an inviting place for all. The desk should also contain everything you may need to help customers and do the jobs that are done there.

One of the best things we did at our studio was to have a front desk cheat sheet posted. We kept it hidden from customers but easily accessable to our front desk staff. It contained basic information that you use all the time like the studio contact information, login info, etc. Over the years it saved us SO MUCH time from looking up silly things up over and over. You can get our FREE printable front desk cheat sheet below and start using it today! Just make sure to update it as needed : )

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So what else do you need at your front desk? This varies studio to studio but we have put together a basic list to get your wheels turning:

  • Studio computer
  • Printer/photocopier/fax
  • Printer paper
  • Phone
  • Credit card processor
  • Cash box and change
  • File box for recipts
  • Basic office supplies (pens, stapler, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.)
  • Shipping supplies (stamps, envelopes, labels, etc.)
  • Teacher contact information (email and phone number)
  • Messaging system
  • Small calendar
  • Current and updated schedule
  • Parent/student handbook
  • Any current handouts for students
  • Operations manual and employee handbook
  • Student emergency contact information (you should have hard copies in addition to digital)
  • Business cards
  • Small first aid kit (bandaids, gloves, alcohol wipes, etc.)
  • Extra hair bands and bobby pins
  • Small sewing kit (saftey pins!)
  • Access to studio documents via Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

To make sure you have ALL your bases covered, start by making a list of all the tasks that are regularly done at the front desk. Then expand on what things you need to get that particular task done. Most of those items should live at the front desk. Remember, every time you have to run to the back or check another computer, you are wasting time!

Next up, is making sure it all looks neat and tidy. We had a filing box, storage pull-out container, printer stand, and binders to keep it all organized. The desk at our old studio kept all the storage hidden from customers so we were able to buy whatever was cheap. If you have an exposed desk, it may be worth it to buy something that is both asthetically pleasing and functioning. Try to keep the clutter at bay by keeping the desk surface simple. Less is more. If you don’t use it multiple times a day, it shouldn’t be on top of your desk.

To keep your front desk looking sharp, have your office staff (or you) tiddy up at the end of every day. Using the last 2-5 minutes to organize the front desk for the next day will make EVERYONE happier!

Did we forget anything that you couldn’t live without at your front desk?? Let us know! Better yet, send us a picture of your AMAZING front desk! We may feature it on our Facebook group for studio owners!

Perfect article for any dance studio owner. Front desk organization is a must!

3 Ways To Prepare For Competition Season

Great resource for starting competition season. Includes a free competition master spreadsheet for dance studio owners!

Hold your hats and get ready because competition season is approaching. I realize that some of you studio owners have already attended a few competitions this year. For you guys, I may be a month or two behind BUT it’s not too late to streamline your competition season even if it has already started. Back in my studio days, our company didn’t start competing until early spring. Meagan and I would generally start ordering costumes and registering for competitions around October.

Whether your studio’s competition season has started already or will start in a few months, I thought it might be handy to have our 3 favorite ways to prepare so you can breathe a little easier whenever it gets going.

As an upgrade, I have provided a FREE competition master spreadsheet for you to get organized, I’ll talk about what is included down below. If you would like to skip the reading and GET THAT SPREADSHEET, look for the button below! hehe. 

  1. Create an email template. For anyone that attends more than one competition a year, it is essential to create an email template for yourself. I’m talking about that email that you send before EVERY competition. You know, the one where you tell families what time to be there, links to the schedules, details about the performance, etc. Have you ever found yourself writing that SAME email time and time again? Guilty party here! Save yourself, literally, hours of time and create a canned response or email template. Instead of writing the whole email, you will just need to fill in the new information. Not sure how to get this set up? Watch this tutorial on creating canned responses in Gmail.
  2. Have a competition bag fully stocked and ready to go. If you have ever had a baby, you can think about this like your hospital bag. You buy everything that you need ahead of time, pack a bag of your choice and let it sit there until you’re ready to go. As a studio owner, you are going to need a lot of stuff. If you are anything like me, you will forget half of it and you will also be running late. Save your sanity and do it beforehand. I would maybe even keep it in your car. Just make sure to re-stock the week after use. Not sure what to bring? Here is a quick list of the basics, if you have anything to add please let us know in the comments!
    • Make up for touch ups
    • Hair supplies (bobby pins, hair spray, brush, hair net, etc.)
    • Sewing kit
    • First Aid kit (this one is crucial, we have been to a few competitions where they did not have any first aid supplies when we needed them!)
    • Music back up
    • Water bottle (or 2!)
    • Snacks
    • Extra phone charger
    • Sweater for cold theaters
  3. Create a master competition spreadsheet. You could go crazy with all the information you need to keep organized! Measurements, birthdays, who’s in what piece, etc. You have to know it all and will have to pull from that information time and time again. Take the time to type this information instead of keeping it on the 50 pieces of paper it’s on right now (hehe, don’t worry we were ALSO guilty of this). Having this spreadsheet on something like Dropbox or Google Drive will make it accessible from anywhere with internet which can be nice when you want to work from home. If you are needing some inspiration with your spreadsheet you can use mine! I have created a sheet on Google Drive to keep track of pieces/dancers along with one to track all the costume information. It really saved us during competition season and will definitely help you get organized this year! You can get it below.

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Well, are you feeling pumped and ready to get organized?! I hope so! Competition season can be STRESSFUL. Taking the extra time now to get organized will help ease that stress come Spring so you can have some fun!

Do you have a competition hack that could help other studio owners? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

 

Great resource for starting competition season. Includes a free competition master spreadsheet for dance studio owners!

Identifying your Strengths and Weaknesses as a Dance Studio Owner

Strengths and weaknesses as a dance studio owner

I have been a business owner since age 25! Immediately after college, I headed to NYC to pursue dancing professionally. I have had LOTS of odd jobs but have never had the pleasure of being asked this classic interview question, “Can you tell us about your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace?”

If your story is similar to mine and you haven’t had to prep for a traditional job interview, I want to encourage you to take a little time today to think about your answer. It is SO important as a business owner to know where your talents lie and where you need to fill in the blanks.

Bonus alert! Be sure to grab our freebie today. We’ve outlined the 15 roles you need to fill in your dance studio. Make sure your bases are covered! 

I found this article from Forbes very helpful. The author broke down four workplace strengths and gave examples of characteristics of each strength and the types of tasks required in each. Are you a visionary? Do you love figuring out the logistics? Do you take the plan and break it down into actionable steps? Do you love energizing your team and talking with your customers?

I am not a visionary. HA! I have LOTS of ideas, but it isn’t too long after thinking of a new idea that I jump immediately into starting to figure out the logistics. There is a (self-inflicted) limit to my “big dreams”. My husband has accused me of being a dream killer a few times… I blame my very practical mom:)

Ready for a dance studio example? Props! Unless my dancers could carry them, we NEVER used any props at my dance studio. Even if I thought it may compliment a dance or enhance the performance, I just could not get past the logistics. Who would make them? Who would have to transport them? What would the expense be? Took all the fun right out.

I shine in figuring out how to make it all happen. The article refers to this as “design strength”. I love talking through the process and thinking of ALL the details required. I am a strong communicator and love helping move a project from an idea to a finished product.

Want to know where Colleen is a rockstar??? She is amazing at taking all the information and breaking it down even FURTHER! Colleen is a natural “builder” based on the descriptions in the article. The work gets done thanks to her actionable lists and assigned tasks. When we are working together, I talk and she writes. My planning stops with a few pages of notes and random post-it notes. She will take my gibberish and turn it into a plan.Our favorite project management tool Trello was MADE for people like Colleen.

Over the course of working together, we have learned that we are MUCH more productive working together and that our strengths complement each other. We also can see that in the near future, bringing in someone like a business coach or a mentor might be beneficial. Colleen and I are good with the details but sometimes struggle to see the big picture of where we are going and in taking risks. Someone with more of a “big picture” perspective may be able to help us grow our business. We are missing a visionary on our team!

Did any of the strength descriptions resonate with you? Think about working with your team at your studio or group projects in your past. Who have you really clicked with? What skills did they bring to the table that complement your weaknesses?

When you REALLY know where your strengths lie it can take a lot of the guesswork out of hiring and knowing what kind of support you need to move your dance studio forward. We all know this, but dance studio owners wear a lot of hats within their businesses. You cannot do it all and it is unrealistic to think you are going to be good at everything. Focus in on what YOU are good at and what you enjoy.

Our freebie outlines the 15 roles that you need to fill within your dance studio. What roles are you currently filling? Do they utilize your strengths? Maybe you have people already on your team that could take over certain roles, and possibly even fill that role better than you do! A tough one to swallow I know:)

Even if you are a one-woman (or man!) show at this point, it is still a good idea to think about what the first few hires will be and what characteristics those people should have. Colleen and I have an on-going list of tasks we would LOVE to delegate. It is never too early to start documenting the process for those tasks so that when the time comes you are ready.

I want to know what YOUR strengths are. Visionary? A builder like Colleen? What is your team missing?

Roles you Need to Fill at Your Dance Studio

 

Setting Your Teachers Up For Success

Great advice for dance studio owners to lead a team. Free resource for studio owners included!By now, most studios have started back up with their new sessions. We hope you all have full classes and happy customers! A couple weeks ago, we went over how to get your staff on board with your vision (you can read it here if you missed it!). Did you set aside some time to get together with your teachers before the start of the session? If you did, I’m sure they started off the year excited and motivated. All to represent YOU in the best way possible.

Now that classes have gotten started and the hustle of the first week has passed, it was time to switch it up. We thought it might be the perfect time to talk about how YOU can help your TEACHERS be successful this year.

BONUS ALERT: We included a download of are our 5 favorite things you should share with your teachers this fall. You can get it in the form below!

To get us started here, I think one of the best things you can do for your teachers this year is to communicate with them, easy right?! Have a new student trying class? Shoot that teacher an email or catch them in the hallway BEFORE class starts. Your front desk staff out sick today? Send your teachers a quick message telling them what they should do if anyone has questions. Did a parent come to you with an issue in class? Set a time to talk to your teacher about it ASAP.

You get the idea right!? It is REALLY important to keep your teachers in the loop with things that affect their classes, students or job in general. Some teachers are great with rolling with the punches and being able to make changes quickly. Others are not. Last minute changes can cause some teachers to become anxious or frustrated. Teachers put a lot of time into planning and to throw that all away can be hard for some to swallow. Unfortunately, things happen and sometimes changes can’t be avoided. Communicating as fast as possible will help your teachers make the adjustments faster and help them get ahead of the game. They will feel in the loop and know you respect the work they put into class BEFORE they actually teach.

Another thing that will help your teachers be more successful at your dance studio is by creating a positive relationship with them. Get to know your teachers! You don’t have to know everything about them but feel free to make conversation before and after class. Although it can feel weird or awkward at first, establishing a relationship with your teachers will help them be more comfortable with you. It will also build that all important trust.

By getting to know your teachers, they will feel more comfortable talking to you about problems or struggles they are having in class. They will also be more open to hearing feedback knowing that you are coming from a  positive place. Establishing that positive relationship from the beginning will make the whole year much more pleasant for everyone, studio owners included!

We all want to have successful, full classes and your teachers do too! The last piece of advice I can give you to make that happen is to listen. When your teachers are struggling with a student, listen. When your teachers are telling you they need more support from you, hear them out. Like most employees, teachers will need something from you from time to time. That could be anywhere from additional help with a student or maybe a pay raise.

As their boss, it is important that you take the time to address their concerns in a positive way. If you can do that, your teachers will most certainly do all they can to teach the best classes for you.

By communicating, building positive relationships, and listening, you will be doing your part to help your teachers succeed this year! If that wasn’t enough,  we have included a download of our 5 favorite things to share with your teachers this fall. You can get it in the form below. Take a few moments to think about your preferences and shoot over a quick email to your teachers. They will appreciate the transparency and you will feel good knowing your expectations have been clearly laid out. Win, Win!

Learn What To Share With Your Teachers!

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3 great ways to make sure your teachers are going to be successful at your dance studio this year, Great for dance studio owners.

 

 

Studio Tours that Convert Inquires into Studio Families

dance studio tours

Every time a potential studio family walks into your studio there is a HUGE opportunity to make a sale. When you have a family in front of you, you have the opportunity to be crystal clear about your offerings, cater the conversation to what is important to them, and seal the deal! It is much easier to make a positive impression in person than over the phone, through email, or through interactions on your Facebook page.

Giving dance studio tours that present your studio in the best possible way and convert those inquiries into studio families should be a priority. It is something that you as a studio owner should give some thought to and practice! The next step is to make sure everyone on your team knows the process and just how important these first few moments with potential customers can be.

We have created a SUPER helpful freebie for getting your team on board. Be sure to grab our studio tour checklist. I would print it out (laminate it if you are feeling super ambitious) and have it at your desk for reference!  Pop in your email below to jon our mailing list and get your checklist. 

The goal of a positive first impression and a successful studio tour is gaining a new studio family and making a sale. Sales can feel awkward. You may not like it. Heck, I don’t always like it! But unfortunately, the moment you decide to be a business owner it becomes one of the most important roles you take on.

Practice makes this easier. It also feels more natural when you are confident. Something I have learned over the years is that it is much easier to sell when you feel 100% about the services and programs you are offering and have taken the time to get specific about the value you can provide. When you take the time to really listen to what people are looking for as part of your sales process, it doesn’t feel slimy or gimmicky at ALL. You are giving people what they have been looking for.

We have outlined the process for a very effective dance studio tour below. ADD this to your routine. It will make a difference. People want information and they want to get to know you and your studio. When potential families visit your dance studio, that is probably the best chance you have to convert them into studio families. Take full advantage!

  1. Welcome them to your studio. Add a smile, greeting, and eye contact. This should be obvious- but thinking about the businesses I visit it doesn’t always happen!
  2. If they are new, ask what you can help them with. If you knew they would be stopping in, address them by name and let them know you were expecting them. Put them at ease! Take the lead. Identify what type of classes they are interested in and what they are looking for in a studio.
  3. Give a tour. Show them the studios, the bathrooms, the changing areas, the lobby. Paint the picture of what it would be like if their child danced there. Where does their dance bag go? Where do parents watch?
  4. Sprinkle in the highlights of dancing at your studio. What are your studio values? What would their class be like? Tell them about your background and their potential teacher. Anything unique about your facility? Explain the progression of the year, when students will perform, opportunities available, and how they are evaluated. Reference what THEY mentioned they are looking for.
  5. Explain the registration process and address any questions.
  6. ASK for the sale. What class would they like to enroll in?
  7. If they need more time, offer to email a current schedule and your parent handbook. Let them know when you will be sending it. Keep the conversation going! Ask to add their email to your mailing list.
  8. Schedule a time to follow up. Put it in your calendar to follow up a week after they are in if they haven’t registered. Possibly the MOST important step! 
  9. Thank them for coming in and let them know just how excited you are to see their dancer in class. 

Once you feel really comfortable with the process, it is time to get your team on board! Everyone at your studio that assists with registration should know how to give effective tours. They should also understand how important dance studio tours and visits are to enrolling more students at your studio.you

The items above may seem really intuitive to you- but most likely they are NOT obvious to your office staff. Taking the time to communicate how you would like them to give tours and making sure this is consistently being done at your studio is going to result in more registrations. Give them all the information they need to make it happen! Go through the list above and practice. Provide feedback. Give the front desk staff a tour. Make a video.  Print out our free checklist for reference. Taking the time to train your team is only going to benefit your studio!

Once you and your team get into the habit of giving studio tours whenever a potential family walks into the studio it will become second nature. Everyone will get better at it and find their own rhythm. More people will register on the spot. Because you have created a system for following up on inquiries, you are also keeping the door open to for the future.

If you haven’t done so already, gryourour freebie! Take few minutes and identify what you really want perspective studio families to know about your studio. Make sure your team knows what these highlights are and feel confident going through the process we have outlined. Taking the time to really impress every family that walks through your doors WILL pay off.  Families will feel extremely confident in their decision to enroll at your studio. A win for everyone!

Join our mailing list and get your checklist!

Dance studio tours that convert inquires into studio families. We've also included a handy checklist!