With dance recital season upon us, and my free time about to be sucked up by the theatre, I thought I’d pick apart all the marketing skills acquired from over a decade of dancing. While the skills appear worlds apart, they share many of the same principles. Marketing is, at the end of the day, performing for an audience. You have a company vying for the attention of customers, and you want everybody’s eyes on you. Your marketing is how you generate that attention.
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1- Everything Builds
Starting off in beginner classes can be slow, frustrating, and not all that impressive. However, as you stick with it, the movements get more complex. You start to use the technique you’ve built into your body and mind. While all the endless practice seemed pointless at first, now that you’re leagues ahead you can see where all your practice was important.
In marketing, you’re often starting from 0, or close to it. You’re learning basic principles that sound like you can do in your sleep— like S.M.A.R.T. marketing goals— and you often feel like you’re going at a snail’s pace. You want to do the skills you see larger companies implementing.
However, until you learn the basic skills, and practice them until they’re second nature, you won’t be able to perform at the same level as more advanced marketers.
2- You Get What You Give
Dance requires a certain amount of commitment, and not just time wise. Mentally and emotionally, the best dancers lay their heart out on stage. If you start to resent the time commitment and physical toll, then your performances suffer. People who skip practice or only give half of what they’ve got don’t do as well. They get passed up for roles, don’t advance past mediocrity, and generally stay in the shadow of more passionate dancers.
Marketing requires similar commitment. If you don’t put your time into really utilizing the tools to their best advantages, developing a strategy, and generating prime content, then you lose out. Readers can tell when your heart’s not in it. And when they start to notice that, they will simply pass you by.
3- Be a Performer
There is a large debate in dance: is it better to be a performer or technician?
Ideally, you want to be both. The best of the best blend technical perfection with an emotive performance, rendering the audience enthralled because both their hearts and minds are captured. However, most people lean one or the other. A technician will create a masterful display of skill, but will almost always be passed up for the much more emotionally enchanting performer. Somebody who neglects the actual performance will end up with a soulless piece.
Marketing is the same. People are more likely to forgive improper technique than they are to forgive not connecting with the company. Maybe you didn’t hit the suggested practices every time, but you believed in what you produced and it showed. That will get you much farther winning the crowd than forgetting the bottom line of marketing: you want to connect with your audience.