It truly is a strange time we live in at the moment. As a Dance Instructor, you must be worrying about how this crisis will affect your business, financially and in general. Instead of giving in to worry and panic though, let’s make a plan together.
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING RIGHT NOW
This isn’t time to hide. In a time of crisis, we will be judged by our compassion and individual act of kindness. This is the time to be out there and fully present, supporting our community. We need to overcommunicate with our team and students, making sure they know that you’re around for them. When this crisis is over (and it WILL be over), your community will remember how you handle this situation, how much you care about them, and how you rise up to the challenge. Let’s turn this difficult time into an opportunity to build your reputation and earn their trust.
- Offer Online Classes. You can download our ebook Keep Calm & Go Online to get you started. This will help keep your students active during the physical distancing period, as well as keep your cash flow going. Further reading: Helping your social dancing scene in the time of social distancing.
- Keep posting content on Social Media. Remember the 3 Es of Social Media: Engage, Educate, and Entertain – your post should be written with one or a combination of all these three objectives in mind. Reach out to your audience and be present (but never spam people!).
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING DURING DOWNTIME
If you’ve never done this before, now it’s a good time to start to work on your business rather in your business. We normally get too caught up in the day-to-day running of the business, we put admin and marketing tasks at the bottom of our to-do list. This needs to change.
- Improve your Website. You can download our ebook 5 Things Your Website Should Include and start turning your website into a powerful tool that can convert your web visitors into paying students.
- Plan your Finance. It’s important to check your books now and see how long you can sustain your business in current situation. Don’t panic, focus on the things that we can do instead:
- Reduce cash outflow (eg. cancel non-essential subscriptions) and increase cash inflow (eg. offer online classes, gift vouchers, special rates for future classes).
- Debt control (eg. don’t take on new debt) and debt planning (eg. avoid credit card debt).
- Strategic planning (eg. focus on serving loyal students and superfans) and growth planning (eg. amplify marketing)
- Write your Marketing Plan. Use this downtime to write down your Marketing Plan so that you’re ready to start strong for when everything is back to normal again. We have a whole course regarding Marketing, which you can find here, but here are the steps as a guideline:
- Build Awareness
- Create Engagement
- Inspire Decision
- Maintain Retention
- Encourage Advocacy
- Have a system in place. Always aim to make it easy for your audience to become paying students. Smoothen the process: from the moment they find your website to sending you an enquiry email, from attending a trial class to booking and paying for a course. Plan out your students’ journey and take all of the frictions out of the way.
At a time you’re in need of a distraction from all the stress you’re feeling right now, learning new skills is one of the best ways you can do to focus on something positive. You can of course continue with your dance training, but also look out for other skills.
- Setting up online classes. Always been a technophobe? This might be slightly out of your comfort zone, but think of the extra revenue stream you can get, even after this situation is over. Use this opportunity to try out different online platforms (many of them offer free trials) and find what works best for you. Experiment with teaching in front of a camera and perhaps even learn about video editing. Getting online will open up a whole new world of opportunities for you.
- Marketing Skills. This is so important. You need to learn how to attract and keep students the right way, because basically, if you have no students = you have no business. Plenty of choices out there where you can learn modern marketing. Or you can do our own Marketing Course for Dance Instructors which, as the name suggests, is specifically designed for Dance Instructors like you.
- Learn Effective Teaching. At the time of writing this article, we’re still drafting our online course for Effective Dance Teaching. It is, however, available now for pre-order at its lowest price. Even if not for now, make sure you come back to take a closer look at this when you’re back on your feet again. Quality Teaching, as well as great Marketing Skills, are the keys to a successful and profitable business for dance instructors.
We really hope this action plan can somewhat help you. Yes, this is a difficult time for us all, but please please don’t give up. Your community needs you! Now more than ever, we need to dig deep, find our resolve, work together, and get online! We all need to keep going so that you and your students will have a place to go back to when this is all over. If you’re really struggling, please reach out – to us, to the whole dancing scene, to relevant authorities – don’t suffer on your own, we’re all in this together.