What Being a Dancer for 19 Years Taught Me About Running a Creative Business

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So I don’t talk about my personal that much on the blog—like the fact that I used to be a dancer and wanted to open up my own studio once upon a time. AND let me tell you there’s a lot of tea I could spill when it comes to all-the-things dance studios—BUT this is about running YOUR business so…TL;DR Dance Moms wasn’t terribly inaccurate when it came to dance studio culture. I’ll leave that there.

But if you’re not a brick-and-mortar dance studio there’s still a lot you can learn about running your creative business—even if you’re based solely online.

What Being a Dancer for 19 Years Taught Me About Running a Creative Business

What I Learned from Dance Studio #1

You Need to Get to Know Your Customers

Let me set the stage for you—imagine you start a conversion with a designer who just built your website. And immediately when you start talking to them you can tell that they have literally no idea who you are even though they just did your website 2 months ago. <<< You probably be either really irritated or sad depending on the day. Now imagine that a similar scenario happened after you’ve been a devoted student to a dance studio for almost 10 years…yep.

So if you offer 1:1 services make sure to get to know your clients. You by no means need to become their best friend—but don’t be so removed from the process that you can’t even remember their name.

Now obviously if you sell courses or products and don’t get to work 1:1 with a client this concept of getting to know your customers is harder. Because quite frankly you’ve probably never met or even interacted with some of the people who buy your products. But there are little ways to remind people that you care like sending personalized automated email broadcasts after someone makes a purchase or sending them a physical card after they’ve purchased a specific product from you or spent a certain amount at your shop. It’s the little things that add up. <<< AND all of this can be automated and still feel very personal.

Care About All of Your Customers—Not Just the Highest Paying Ones

Are you to naturally spend more time with your higher paying clients? YES. Are you naturally going to get to know your high-ticket 1:1 clients better than someone who purchased a $27 digital product? YES. Are you going to have devoted fans of your free content who never spend a dime on one of your paid offers? DOUBLE YES.

BUT that doesn’t mean you should act like someone who buys one of your cheap products is less than someone who hands over 10k? Uh…ABSOLUTELY NOT!

People who spend more money are not inherently “better” than someone who spends less. AND you should never treat them like they’re less than others just because their budget isn’t as big.

What I Learned from Dance Studio #2

Create Systems for All Your Repeated Tasks & Events

Having systems in place will not only make your customers more happy and easier to work with—but it’ll also make your life more peaceful. There’s peace in having a process ESPECIALLY if you have a type of business like a dance studio that has the same type of events over and over again. <<< But even if you don’t it still applies to your online business. AND people are more likely to buy something that they can understand easily aka. if you have an easy-to-understand process for working with you you’re most likely going to see an uptick in bookings if you’ve got systems and processes in place compared to not having any at all.

Have a Clear Menu for Your Offerings

Clarity will always win over clever because clever is usually confusing. All of your offers, products and services, should be easy to understand. And if your offer low and high ticker offers it needs to be clear the difference between your offers so that someone can self-select what they need from your offer ladder

What I Learned from Dance Studio #3

Your Core Values Should Match Your Reality

It’s highly beneficial to write down your core values internally and you can also show them externally to you customers. BUT your core values need to actually match the experience someone will have when they interact with your brand.

You can’t say that one of your core values is building community but in reality, your starting a cult and expect your customers not to see thru to what’s really going on—it just doesn’t work like that.

It also doesn’t work to say that you’re building community but in reality, you also segregate all of your students into different clubs based on whose paid you the most or whose in your VIP community.

(I told you there was a lot of tea ;P)

Don’t Have Too Many Miss-Matched Offers

Everyone’s got a different opinion on niching your business down (myself included) but I think we can all agree that everything your business has to offer (services, products, free content, etc.) should generally fit under the same umbrella of these things go together. For example, photography and videography go together and are compatibility services. Or website design and brand design make sense to be offered by the same person. Or even social media marketing and brand photography kind of complement each other. BUT dance classes and a restaurant…uh not so much.

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