The History of Positively Ballroom, LLC – Chapter 4
Advertising and marketing are true art forms. Companies pay millions of dollars to have their brand become a household name. So how does a business owner, who only has an initial starting budget of $300 dollars for marketing supposed to do?
In my previous previous Martial Arts business I was responsible for creating all of our print advertising. Luckily my studio was part of a national organization who provided us with standardized logos and ad templates. I did not have to create everything from scratch, just simply modify certain content that pertained to my area. In my new business I had none of those things and would have to do it all myself. from scratch.
I thought that a logo would be the best starting point, so that I might draw inspiration from seeing my business represented in art form. I have an artist friend, Marius James, that does exceptional work, so I contacted him and we sat down and brain stormed ideas about what I wanted to convey as a brand.
I wanted to have a couple dancing as our main clientele would be couples, however I did not like the stylized logos that you see represent most dance companies. Being a Latin dance competitor for most of my dance life, I want to emote that sense of energy, but in a classy way. Did I mention Marius was exceptional? He took our ideas and had a rough outline for me to review in about two weeks. I told him to run with it and within a short time my Positively Ballroom logo became a reality.
The next step was to come up with a “tag line”, something that would describe my business in just one easy sentence. For this piece I went back to my reasons for starting a dance studio. What were the things that I wanted to convey to clients? First, I knew that social dancing would be something that I wanted people to relate to us. Teaching people how to interact with others in a positive way was also important. Lastly, I also wanted to relate how my teaching style would make the difference in the learning process. After much though and many revisions, I came up with “The Art of Social Dancing – One Step at a Time”.
My brand was born!
I have heard that some people come up with their branding very easily, while others take years to find what fits. For me it was a two month journey of discover that helped me truly realize what I wanted this business to visually represent, to myself and to my clients.
It was time to start creating some of the advertising for my business. Putting some of my old desktop publishing skills to use, along with a fantastic program called Microsoft Publisher, I created business cards, brochures and even a website. After finalizing my content and layouts I went to Office Depot and had 100 color brochures printed for distribution. I then started handing them out to friends, family and co-workers. I had learned from my previous business how to run a marketing campaign on a shoe string budget, but in today’s electronic world, I was still unsure how effective some of the old techniques would work.
There is a reason why it is strongly recommended that you focus your first bit of advertising on people that you know. Most often you will find that they will refer you to someone else, which helps to solidify your legitimacy. In this way a co-worker, who did not know I was a dancer or teacher, discovered me and inquired about my services. Soon I had my first client and we were off and running.
Check out Chapter 5 to see the next step in the History of Positively Ballroom.