Aside from web development my other business is a pole dancing studio that I run in the evenings called Luxe Studios. From the beginning having a strong online presence has been the cornerstone of marketing and promoting this business, almost all new clients come to us either via our website or our Facebook page.
One of the unique challenges of this website has been integrating it with our booking system, MindBody Online. Originally conceived for use in yoga studios, it is now commonly used by gyms and other dance and fitness facilities to manage class registrations. There is a free app that our students can download onto their smartphone and connect to their account so they can manage their bookings through the app. It’s wonderful for me as a studio owner/administrator as I had previously had to manually manage registrations and this has almost entirely automated it for me. The advantage of working with a big company like MindBody Online is that they provide several integration tools for their clients to use on their websites so that students can book without ever actually leaving your website and you do not have to worry about encryption or processing payments. The only drawback that I’ve really come across so far is that it does not accept Visa Debit or certain types of credit cards, as they have a higher processing fee. In the case that a student’s card is not working I just have them send an e-transfer and process the payment manually.
The main objective for this website is to provide prospective clients with information about our classes and parties, our schedule, and how to register. I’ve been running the studio for 3 years now, and after much trial and error I have set up landing pages for our ad campaigns to link back to. I mostly advertise our Trial and Level 1 classes and direct prospective clients to a landing page with more detailed information, the upcoming schedules for those classes, as well as registration methods. I get very few questions via email and Facebook about pricing, schedules, and how to register anymore. In the future I’d like to include a video ‘commercial’ about our Level 1 pole courses so that students can see what the classes are like. Very few people coming to our Level 1 courses have ever pole danced before and I think some people are hesitant to register as they are not sure exactly what they are signing up for.
All of our ad campaigns are run through Facebook, I find Facebook by far to be our cheapest and most effective form of advertising with students telling their friends about us as a close second. In the future I would like to set up a refer-a-friend program where students can get credit they can use for classes and memberships at the studio, as we have that capability through the MindBody booking system. In the past I tried running ads in local print media (newspapers, magazine publications, and inserts handed out to brides) and not only were they very expensive, I did not see any results. One of the nice things about advertising on Facebook is that you can see detailed reports of how many times your ad was shown, how many people clicked on the ad, and what your average cost per click is. I can also just see the results in my business’ revenue, when I’m running a Facebook ad we make sales with my doing very little outside of the initial setup. The other great thing is that I can get very detailed with my target audience, so I’m only showing the ads to the people who are the most likely to click on them.
If you run a local business and are struggling with getting your website up or just don’t know what to do with I’d love to help! I know how hard it is to run a small business and budget is always a concern, so we can work within what you are able to spend. I’m also able to consult and provide training on how to set up Facebook advertising, or I can manage it for you as well. Get in touch if you’d like to talk about your small business website and social media presence!