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!