Kaeli Coleman and Forrest Rain Olivers, Dancers Photo Rachel Neville
Keys to Good Networking
Kaeli Coleman and Forrest Rain Olivers, Dancers Photo Rachel Neville
Ok, let’s get started!
There are many elements of good marketing. Most companies think about their print, social media, Google ads and product placement, just to name a few. How does all of this translate to dancers?
Does it feel a little overwhelming?
Let’s begin by defining the question of how marketing relates to dancers in a different way.
For good marketing all the gurus out there talk about having in-depth knowledge of your product (in the case of a dancer, that’s you) and who your target audience or ‘ideal customer’ is.
Today, let’s take some time to explore the first part of the equation: knowing who you are. As dancers we often live in a world of negative comments, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘she’s so much better than I am’ – the constant stream of daily corrections and judgment.
Please take that hat off now. Right now. Sure, those can be productive conversations to have, within context, to drive you forward and achieve your goals. However, those kinds of conversations do not serve you 100% of the time and now is one of those times. Put that little man on your shoulder to rest right now, you do not need his whisperings here.
Dancer: Sophia Bovet, Photo: Rachel Neville
Sit down and write a list of your strengths, all of them. Personality traits, dancing strengths, cool things you are interested in, quirky or unique characteristics, why your friends love you, why you are in love with beetle bugs… whatever it is, put it all down.
Now, sit with this for a day or so. Come back again with fresh eyes and really see who you are on paper.
What are the areas that light you up?
What do you love?
What are the types of pictures, comments, articles, hangout places, cookies, performances, companies, that interest you and motivate you?
These are the things that help your audience get to know you. Through your dance marketing, you will set up your ‘locker wall’ – your presence.
Think about the right time to start marketing yourself as a dancer. There are some schools of thought that it’s better for young dancers to focus on their craft, to have life experiences and wait until they are older and really have something to say before making themselves heard and putting themselves out there.
Dancer: Mikayla McKean, Photo: Rachel Neville
There are other thoughts that run the exact opposite, that one should start super early. Indeed we have all seen the Instagram accounts run by ‘mom’, with run-of-the-mill posts that don’t have the voice of the dancer.
I don’t have all the answers here. I do know that dancers on a pre-professional tract need to start their personal marketing when they are a couple of years away from getting a job. I’m also a mom of two young girls and I cringe at seeing kids under twelve on social media, particularly with questionable pictures of backbends and crotch shots.
But I certainly don’t think, in the world we are living in, that you want to wait until you are a soloist in a company before you start sharing your voice, and your value.
Do you want to distract from your training and life by becoming obsessed with your marketing? Certainly not. Please do not take these marketing tips as an excuse to take foot selfies between classes.
Dancer: Georgina Pazcoguin, Photo: Rachel Neville
Do what feels right, a little bit at a time. And do consider the added value to your company when you are hired if you have a following that will buy tickets to come see you.
Do think about the workshops or classes that might add to your income in your off season if you have a number of followers. We are here to disband the myth of the starving dancer, right?
Read the first post in our Marketing for Dancers Series.
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We are excited to announce that we are heading back to San Francisco this summer… and we’re bringing our studio with us!
You heard that right, friends, we will be making the trip across the country with props, fabrics, outfits, outfits and more.
Dancers left to right: Lauren Aureus, Kaeli Ware, Emilia Sandoval, Noelle Lee
This adventure is all about unleashing your creativity and we are making sure to make that possible.
Rachel Neville Photography will be shooting in San Francisco Friday, August 25th through Monday, 28th.
To book a shoot, drop us a line and we will send you the info!
Marketing. It’s a vague, distant word for many dancers, something that companies and corporations do, right? Not any more.
So many businesses and dance companies fail every year (the statistics are pretty depressing so we won’t go there). I have a hunch that often this has to do with more energy and resources allocated to producing, only leaving the left overs to marketing. I have first-hand experience with this.
I came to New York City ten years ago with $5,000 dollars in my pocket, without contacts, family, or even a job. I thought, like everyone else, that if I just worked really hard and put my best work out there, that I would succeed, that somehow, people would find me and want to work with me. If I just kept getting better, somehow just putting that energy out there would get me jobs and allow me to pay my rent. Yeah… no.
I got smart after my kids were born. I got a business coach. I started working the marketing. I hustled like I never thought possible (yes, while being sleep deprived and changing diapers, too!). I learned as much as I could about business. I got help. I read and I talk to other business owners about marketing strategies. And slowly, over time I built a business.
Dancers and dance companies are not any different.
I have come away after the last many years of being a pro photographer, appalled at the lack of business classes offered when I was in college. There were certainly none offered to me as a dancer and dance student.
But today is different. We are living in the world of social media.
Let’s face it, dancers don’t make a ton of money. I’ve been there. I know what your world is. So I’m committed to dancers and dance companies who need to maximize the hard work, time and investment you have spent getting to where you are.
How can I help?
I’m going to start posting on this blog resources for your own personal marketing. Let’s make it easy, let’s make it a little bit fun, and let’s keep you all moving toward success.
Today, I want to introduce you to important marketing ideas while helping you to maximize your time while you are focused on your day-to-day demands and responsibilities with some easy-to-listen-to podcasts that start the marketing conversation.
There are tons of marketing podcasts out there if you just take a minute and these are good ones to get you started.No, none of these are geared specifically toward marketing for dancers or dance companies. But listen closely for those little take-aways that can help you on your path. You never know where the good ideas will come from, and the more you are in the conversation, the more things will start rolling.
Make sure to sign up so that you don’t miss any of our coming conversations on this topic, I know you’ll want to get in on this!
Here are some marketing podcasts to help your personal brand or company brand:
Social Media Social Hour
Tyler has several podcasts that are interesting, have a look at his list before downloading to find the best marketing tips for you.
Social Media Marketing Podcast by Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner
Michael Stelzner is the man!
This American Life
This feed is about storytelling, not so much marketing. It’s a crucial tool used in marketing.
More on marketing for dancers and dance companies coming soon!
We have been so busy in the studio and want to take a few moments to share some of the work we have been doing in the past few months for dancers, dance companies and more.
Today, we are taking a look back at the marketing campaign that we helped to create for Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Last year I had the pleasure of working with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and crafting their marketing campaign for the upcoming year.
We worked with Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson on a concept, deciding to highlight the strength, authenticity and artistry of the company’s dancers through the lens of Americana.
We worked with fashion stylist James Sanders, to put together a bold yet vintage look and the results were incredible. So excited to finally share these images from our shoot!
We just wrapped up our first group photography workshop for dance photographers this past weekend, and I can truly say that I think we all had such a wonderful time!
Did you attend our Dance Photographer Workshop? Give us your feedback and remember to stay connected for more!