Building a Buzz for Your New Street Fit® Class

You’ve got your license, done your research, chosen your venue and fine-tuned your choreography – now what?

It’s time to get the word out and generate some buzz. If you invested in Street Fit® membership, you may have already made use of some of the powerful marketing materials at your disposal (specialty logos, business cards, etc.). Here are some other tips to ramp up the interest.

Build a reputation

It’s never too early to start building buzz. In fact, a common mistake is to assume that your promotional material needs to hit your market in the last few weeks before launch. Not only does this put incredible pressure on you, it also risks coming across as insincere.

Consider starting a blog or vlog (video blog), where you give out plenty of useful information about street dance, fitness, business or some other area linked to your career. There are plenty of free platforms to host your blog on, and you can link each post to your Street Fit® web address (available to all members).

Set up a web form to collect email addresses, and start building an email list. Invite your friends and local contacts to join by emailing them or sending them a social media message.

If you are a keen writer, you can build your reputation by submitting topical articles to one of the many article directories on the internet. Commenting on other people’s blogs and forums will also spread your name, although you should be careful to read and observe any forum rules. For example, many forums limit commercial material to a specific thread or to placing a link to your website in your signature.

Use multiple platforms

Presumably you will already be talking to your friends via your chosen social network, whether that be Facebook, MySpace, Google + or something else. Explore the other options open to you, and see how you can link them together.

For example, Pinterest, launched in 2010, is designed like an online pin board and allows users to organise material by theme (e.g. fitness). If you operate in a city and have an open door policy, Foursquare might be worth investigating. This free app enables mobile users to search the local area for things to do, and you can advertise special offers to entice them in.

Street Fit® as a brand is very visually strong, and members have the right to use all of our promotional videos to sell their classes. Host them on your blog and consider setting up a YouTube and/or Vimeo channel.

Don’t forget there is also a world outside to communicate with. Hosting a party is a classic way to build buzz (how about an old school hip hop party?)

An offer they can’t refuse

Special offers are usually part and parcel of building buzz. Whether you are offering a free taster session or a discount for advance or bulk booking, it is a good idea to offer something as a sweetener. You could consider offering discounts/free sessions to loyal members for recruiting newbies.

Create a launch plan

Whatever strategy you decide to use, organise it into a launch plan. Decide where you are going to promote and how you will measure results; this will help you fine-tune your marketing for the future.

To build excitement, plan to intensify your online and offline activity in the last few days before your doors open. With a little technical knowhow, you can install a Java-based countdown timer on your blog. If that seems too challenging, there are Facebook apps that can be installed to do the same on your Facebook page.

Your mind’s the limit

Once you get into the promotional mindset, you might find your creative juices start running. There are countless ways to build interest in your classes; some haven’t even been thought of yet. Feel free to embrace the hip hop culture of freshness and spontaneity when marketing your classes!

Give Them What They Want

According to industry leaders MRS, market research is the ‘collection and analysis of information about markets’. Put simply, it means gathering information from prospective customers and working out what that all means for your business.

Perhaps you have a choice of two venues: a large city centre based gym, well positioned but with a lot of competition from other fitness centres, and a smaller, less central community centre with no other health facilities for miles. Which should you choose?

There is a myth that an entrepreneur would just go with their intuition and risk making the wrong choice, but most successful business owners believe in calculated risks, not recklessness.

Market research is the only way to test your ideas for viability and is an important tool in a Street Fit® Instructor’s kit.

Isn’t Market Research Expensive?

Professional market research is pretty costly, usually reaching into four figures. That’s testimony to how important it is to know exactly what your customers want. However, for all but the most serious, established Instructors, the cost is simply too great. Professional market research is really for those with huge budgets at stake, where a 1-2% variation in the market demand can make or break a product.

The simple alternative, suitable for the new business owner, is to do it yourself. With a bit of basic grounding, there is no reason why you can’t get all the information you need to set up a profitable operation.

Two Types of Research

The first distinction to be aware of is that between primary and secondary research.

Primary research is conducted directly with the market. It comes from tools such as face-to-face interviews; telephone or internet surveys and focus groups (small structured groups focused on one issue/topic).

Secondary research comes from reading the results of previous market research studies, including those compiled by government agencies and interest groups.

While secondary research is easy to come across, and is usually nicely summarised, it is wise to remember that the goals of pre-existing studies would probably have been different to yours, and that the information is likely to be dated. Secondary research can also be misleading if it has been conducted on a different demographic group from your local one.

Primary research is often more time-consuming and requires more effort but, as with most things, the results are worth the extra work as you will be collecting data that is fresh and relevant.

How to conduct market research

A great way to carry out effective market research is to get out and among your potential members. Not only will you be able to gauge interest on the street, you can also combine it with PR, generating a buzz in your local community.

Creating your own focus group is easy too. All you need is a free or reasonably priced venue to host it, some refreshments and a list of discussion points.

The advent of social media has made peer surveys a lot easier to conduct. Simply spread the word via your favourite social network and ask for feedback. Some networks even enable you to host free polls which are ideal for simple either/or decisions (e.g. would you prefer a morning or evening class?)

Whatever method, or combination of methods, you choose, ensure you include as many people as possible (maximise your sample size), and try to contact a variety of different people within your target market.

Be Creative With the Results

Market research should rarely be used as an excuse to give up on a cherished idea. Instead, try to use the results to fine-tune your plans.

For example, if hardly anyone is interested in your evening class, because they’ve got children, consider providing a crèche facility.

Finally – Don’t Ask the Family

While it is fine to ask family members for their opinion and support, it is unwise to base your business decisions on their advice (unless one of your parents happens to be a successful entrepreneur).

Most parents fall into one of two categories: those who will say anything to please you, and those that will be overly sceptical because they don’t want you to be hurt by failure.

By carrying out your own market research, you will have given yourself the best insurance against that risk, and started building the foundations of a successful street dance fitness business.

Street Fit Online Members

Becoming a Street Fit Online member will give you the confidence and backing of Street Fits Marketing might! If you are looking to have a helping hand or get ahead of competition becoming an online member will really give you the boost you need!

Street Fit online members are the most dedicated and prepared of all Street Fit® Instructors. Some of the benefits include the following:

  • Latest Street Fit music
  • New choreography received every quarter
  • Training via the online members’ area of SFTV, the member-exclusive online video platform that
    provides an array of choreography, music and marketing tips to support and enhance
    instructors’ skill sets.
  • Marketing and class templates – letters to clubs and clients, waivers, health & safety forms, letterhead/business card templates, speciality logos and more.
  • Strategic marketing support from one of the largest fitness companies in the world.
  • An online community-oriented forum featuring round-the-clock support, feedback, tips and
    leads from fellow Street Fit members around the world
  • The ability to have your own ‘Street Fit’ web address
  • Discounts on attending Street Fit Events
  • Discount on future training and products

In addition to the existing course materials we will now pass on what we have learned from taking extensive courses on SEO and Online Marketing:

  • How to grab an extra income every week
  • How to make sure you get paid whether your clients turn up or not
  • How to attract new members that you have never met or talked to
  • How to give your clients fast results they need quickly and easily
  • Learn to make money while you sleep
  • Priceless shortcuts and online information that would take you YEARS to figure out by trial and error

Just as importantly, the monthly online membership keeps you in touch with other Instructors and the Street Fit team, expanding your network and helping you feel supported and well-connected.

All this additional support is provided for one reason: to make it easier for you to promote yourself and earn more money.

If you have yet to attend one of our compulsory Street Fit Instructor Training Courses, you will have the opportunity to sign up for club membership on the day. If you are already a certified Street Fit Instructor, just give us a call and we will be happy to upgrade you.

Is Street Fit® the Real Deal?

Any investment in your future needs to be carefully considered, and we understand the need for caution before trusting any company with your money and time. Dance fitness programmes like Street Fit® are revolutionising our relationship with exercise, but what are the benefits in joining our family?

Please Read the Small Print…

We don’t claim to be the only successful dance fitness company out there, but we do like to think of ourselves as one of the most generous. We also like to keep things simple, with no hidden costs or nasty surprises:

The initial Street Fit Instructor’s Training Course, including the license, costs just £285 and is renewable annually, with no need to attend another course; the workout DVD and Street Fit® Volume One music is provided free. Monthly online Street Fit membership, though highly recommended, is optional and costs just £12.50 a month. Membership is worth its weight in gold with regular choreography and music releases to inspire you, and our valuable marketing and corporate support at your service.

Our structure is also refreshingly simple. We don’t create hierarchical networks of franchisers and managers, instructors and substitute instructors. Street dance is about being free to live, dance and express yourself, with no unnecessary restrictions. You get your license; you run your own classes.

We Create Our Own Celebrities

We could have invested a large proportion of our capital on attracting celebrity endorsement, but we prefer to create our own celebrities. We don’t want to have to charge our members four figure initial franchise fees (plus compulsory monthly fees) to cover the costs. The dancers you come across in the Street Fit® promotional videos might not (yet) be household names, but they are talented, accomplished professionals who have come through a rigorous selection process to become the faces of our brand. They have just the right blend of charisma, attitude, fitness and technique that we demand of a Street Fit® role model. As long as you find them inspiring, that’s all the celebrity we need.

Hip hop is Happenin’

Dance styles move on, and what was popular in the Nineties, and even the early years of this Century, have fallen out of favour with the masses. Obviously, if you are looking to maximise attendance in a dance fitness class you have to provide what’s popular, and right now that’s hip-hop/street dance. Whereas some dance fitness companies choose to mix elements from different dance styles, and even non-dance disciplines, we provide pure, undiluted street dance. That way, we can help you build up a loyal, devoted customer base with committed dancers who know exactly what they’re getting each week.

Our History Tells Its Own Story

If you still need convincing that Street Fit® is not just another flash in the pan, just take a look at our legacy. Our parent company, CreativeVolt, has plenty of experience in running street dance workshops for schools and corporations up and down the country, and is well-positioned to lead the field in this exciting new fitness phenomenon.

Stop Struggling With Time

One of the main issues that newly self-employed people have to contend with is how to manage their time effectively. With so many tasks to get through, from answering members’ questions and filling in paperwork to devising new dance routines and finding suitable venues, it can be hard to remain focused on building your business.

It is sometimes claimed that only about 5% of your daily activities go towards driving your business forwards. To improve that ratio, something has to be done to tackle the mountain of other tasks that hold us up.

One of the marks of a successful entrepreneur is the way in which routine work is out-tasked, outsourced or automated.

Out-tasking is the delegation of particular tasks (e.g. invoicing, writing, designing, ironing) to another person or company, whereas outsourcing is the delegation of entire business functions (e.g. payroll, IT communications). Automation involves finding and employing solutions (often software) which can take over manual tasks. For example, auto responders trigger a series of emails when new members join a mailing list. Once you’ve written the initial messages and set up the schedule, you can let the software run on autopilot.

One of the biggest benefits of becoming a Street Fit® online member is the amount of time saved in this way. In effect you will be outsourcing much of your marketing to us, with branding, website building and business card and flyer design taken care of. We even provide you with regular, fresh choreography and music to free up even more hours.

A useful first step in identifying inefficient use of time is to write down every task you perform throughout the week. Be systematic and do it while you are actually working, as it is easy to miss off tasks if you try and do this from memory. Include everything that takes up at least half an hour of time: if you walk the dog, note it down, if you wash the dishes, note this down too.

When you have compiled your list, go through it and identify opportunities for out-tasking, outsourcing or automation. For example, you might consider hiring a cleaner for your home or making more use of your telephone answering machine.

Ultimately, to maximise your earning potential, you will need to be spending more time working ‘on’ your business than ‘in’ it.

A Journey Starts With a Single Step

Of course, you may prefer to spend more time leading your own classes and settle for a modest income rather than a lucrative one. The beauty of Street Fit® is that you can work towards your own vision of success – not somebody else’s.

Whatever your goals, it is highly recommended that you make long-term plans to provide a focus for your actions. An effective strategy in goal setting is to start from your ideal vision and work backwards. First, picture the life you want to lead in fine detail. Include every aspect, not just material things, and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to achieve it (twenty or thirty years is often a good time period). Indulge your fantasies, but try to keep within the realms of possibility.

Now work out a step-by-step plan for moving from where you are now to where you want to end up. The trick is to spread the steps evenly over the chosen time period, so that each year brings you progressively nearer to your dreams.

This process should give you a clear idea of what steps you can already take this year, for example achieving your Street Fit® license and starting up your first class. Bear in mind that your goals may change as your life progresses and that your plan should be a guide not a rigid timetable.

By optimising your relationship with the clock and setting clear plans for the future you will be setting yourself up for a happy and successful future.

What’s Holding You Back?

Starting life as a dance fitness instructor sounds a great idea on paper, doesn’t it? For starters there’s the increased earning potential; then there’s the chance to meet exciting new people; the knowledge that you will be gradually honing your body with every workout and, top of many people’s lists, there is the increased freedom.

There’s the freedom to choose when and where you work, what routines to teach and how many sessions to run to meet your lifestyle goals. Best of all, there is the freedom that naturally comes with earning a living doing what you have a passion for.

But the concept of freedom is elusive. We know when it has been deliberately taken away from us (just ask any grounded teenager), but there are less obvious forms of restriction. We may feel held back by the opinions and attitudes of others; for example, we may feel restricted by our sex, weight, racial background or socio-economic class. Alternatively, we may feel weighed down by the presence of technologies such as CCTV, or even the social obligations of keeping our Facebook profiles updated.

Then there are those shackles that we impose upon ourselves: our addictions to certain behaviours or substances; those insecurities that tell us we’re not good enough and the excuses we use to back them up.

What has all this got to do with Street Fit®?

Starting up a new business is one of the most life-changing experiences anyone can make, and often brings up feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure. We may also come up against some of societies prejudices as people tell us why we shouldn’t pursue our dreams. Street Fit gives you the opportunity to have your own business within the street dance fitness industry and allows you to make the positive change you need to.

Pushing the Envelope

If you’re stuck in an unfulfilling life situation, you need to understand why before you can start to move forwards again. Is it really your mean employer who is holding you back in life? Is self-employment really only for those with plenty of money to get them off the ground? Or are these excuses designed to keep you in your comfort zone?

Pushing the envelope feels uncomfortable. As you approach the unknown, your anxiety levels increase. Your hands may start to sweat, your heart rate increases and you may get sleepless nights. The easy option is to avoid the situation and go back to our usual routines but the price is mediocrity and the frustration that we are missing opportunities to improve ourselves and our circumstances.

Increasing Your Comfort Zone

Although you will probably never completely overcome your fears, it is possible to increase your threshold by setting yourself constant little challenges. If you are uncomfortable with talking to people directly, try using the telephone instead of email every now and then. If you’re socially awkward, make the effort to talk to a stranger every time you leave the house, even if it’s just to comment on the weather. Just as in the gym it is those last few reps that do the most good, those small daily efforts will be an ideal preparation for facing the bigger challenges ahead.

Freedom is the greatest reward you can get but, like all rewards, it needs to be earned. As leadership advisor Robin Sharma puts it: “It’s risky out on the limb, but that’s where all the fruit is.”