Your Success Is Our Mission
What’s keeping bellydance teachers up at night? I asked loads of professional dancers on social media groups and conversations at dance festivals and the message was unanimous: how can I get more people in my classes?
Yes. I feel you. Offering classes WITHOUT having a system for filling your classes is super stressful. I’ve been there. Things changed once I started to examine my business from a strategic perspective. Yes, there is a system to building a student base and using expenses as investments that deliver results instead of pouring money down the drain.
Here’s a truth smack before we go any further. A lot of people stress about filling classes, but unless you’re taking home the bulk of the revenue, why are you knocking yourself out with marketing? If you work in a studio with a flat rate, offer the studio marketing materials like pictures and class information, but beyond that, just focus on teaching an incredible class.
If you have higher financial aspirations than that, take note. Before you start marketing, examine which class on your schedule could generate the most revenue. Focus on promoting that class first! Pour your energy, intention, and marketing dollars into the class that could deliver the highest return. (And be open minded. You might make more from occasional workshops for beginners, not a regularly occurring class!)
SharQui Instructor Laylianah Mahasin of North Carolina has seen the shift after she joined our intensive mentoring circle. Previously, she was sweating over trying to fill all three of her classes. Once she realized only one of her classes had the potential to pay more than a flat rate, she shifted to marketing that class first. Once she decided to focus on growing the class that would pay her the most, things started to click.She still promotes all classes, but the added focus has really helped. Be strategic!
Once you’ve identified the classes or special events that have the highest payoff potential, here are some questions to ask yourself that can help improve your marketing results:
Are you doing cost effective outreach? We all know that the only way to guarantee eyes on your posts is by paying Facebook and Instagram. It’s great to add $10 here and there to boost a post, but are you tossing money away? What if you focused on building your clientele strategically and ran your campaign with 1 year goals in mind? Ask all your current and former students how they heard about you? Social media, newspaper ad, a flyer? Pick the top three and spend your time and money exclusively there.
Are you consistently building your mailing list? Email newsletters are still the #1 way that people maintain a relationship with your business. Bring a clipboard or notebook anywhere you have an opportunity to collect email addresses! Always add email addresses from class or event registrations to your list. Offer an incentive to sign up for the mailing list on your website and facebook page. SharQui instructor Carol Tandava Henning of NYC, does this really well. She uses an app that’s both a sign-in and a way to take payments that automatically captures emails and puts it into a mailing list. But this is not the end of it! She then sends out a weekly newsletter letting them know what’s to come for the next class. Brilliant! You don’t have to email that often, once a month is minimum, but more contact is better! She excites them, the students talk her up to others and now she has packed classes with a waiting list. As you can see there are several ways to build your mailing list but the point is that email addresses are precious!
Do you keep an eagle eye on expenses? Staying lean is a must when you are first starting out and need to generate revenue. You won’t move forward if you dig a hole for yourself. So examine what tools you REALLY need to make your business run. I forever paid for an expensive location which I later realized took half of my revenue! My teaching was what made people come to my class and once I switched to a cheaper location that wasn’t as beautiful, I realized that I didn’t need all that fluff. That savings meant I could put money where it matters, training & advertising.
When it comes to building an enduring, rewarding, and lucrative dance fitness career, remember that above all, consistency is key! That’s our golden rule at SharQui. SharQui focuses on incremental, predictable success over time by delivering effective marketing and transformative mentoring. Determining what’s needed for success in our industry is not rocket science, but implementing the activities that lead to success can feel insurmountable. In reality, all it takes is a good team. If you’re ready to take your bellydance or fitness business up a level, let’s talk.