“I could NEVER do that”. Oh if I just had a dollar for every time I heard that from a “potential” client. I have been to hundreds of networking events. Ten years ago I would say I teach pole fitness and people would either giggle, roll their eyes or have no clue what I was talking about. The nice thing is that today when I say I teach pole fitness I mostly hear something to the effect of “that’s awesome” or “I have a friend who loves that”. . . . BUT 9 out of 10 times it’s followed by “but I could never to do that”. Doesn’t it make you crazy?? You KNOW that they can and that they would probably love it, but how you talk them into it during a 2 minute conversation? It’s tough to convince women that they don’t have to be young, skinny, coordinated, sexy, strong, etc. to try a class. They are just plain misinformed or scared most of the time. It’s our job to get them through the door, but most women take a LOT of convincing.
I think that sometimes in our LOVE for pole, we shoot ourselves in the foot with our marketing efforts and trying to reach out to the average woman. The average woman is not walking around thinking “damn I’m so hot I should go try pole dancing”, or “I’m so strong I think I should start doing some of those crazy tricks I saw”. YES, there ARE women out there that come running to our classes, but there is a greater percentage that have heard of pole dancing but think it’s not for them. And I can see why by what we put out to the world on video, social media and websites. WE love pole, we want to show how badass we are, and so we Instagram tons of pictures of iron x’s, we post tons of videos of the world champs on our facebook pages, and we are in great shape so we put pictures of our hot abs on our websites. If I was new to pole and looked at these things I would be scared too!! And believe me – I’m just as guilty of doing some of these things. So what can we do to attract the average woman? Here are a few suggestions:
- Attend a lot of in person networking events. If all you do is place print ads and use social media marketing, then you never get a chance to have the one on one conversations with women. You have a much better chance of convincing someone to try it if you can LISTEN to their fears and ADDRESS them.
- Start posting the “normal” pictures. The ones of just regular pole poses and spins. The ones of our clients that may be a little over weight. The ones of new students just doing a fireman. The ones where you at least have a tank top on instead of a itty bitty sports bra! And if you want your friends to come try your new passion – be REAL with them. Share your not so great videos on social media. Tell them that you are bruised, and that you kinda sucked at the new spin but that your classmates cheered for you anyway!
- Use video! The one thing that I do have on our website is a video of a real class of students doing the level 1 beginner pole routine so that ladies can see what we actually do in level 1. The other thing we did was to create a video of our real clients doing their real spins and tricks. It has their age and occupation next to their name. That way ladies can see that there are ladies of all different ages and sizes and abilities in our studio.
- Bring a traveling pole to an event. Ladies are STILL going to be hesitant to try it, but if it’s free and right in front of them you may just convince them to take a minute to learn a fireman spin. And once they do it and see that it’s possible, you may just have a new client.
- Let your clients market for you. If you are doing a great job keeping your current clients happy then they are certain to go tell their friends about the studio. Of course their friends will still be skeptical, so give them a chance to invite a friend to something. Hold a free open house where your client can show off what she has learned, and her friend can learn a fireman spin.
- Stress and promote the things we love about the pole world. Do you love pole JUST because you get a good workout or because you can do a handspring NO! I see all your facebook posts – we love the friendships that the pole world creates! #polemoms #polebabies #polefriends, etc. Make sure that you are posting those things on your website and in your marketing: fun pics of the students laughing in the waiting room, out for drinks after class, etc. If you are a studio owner, create events that are open to new clients but that show off how much fun your clients have together. Open houses are great for allowing current clients to bring a new friend and allow the “newbie” to hear the current clients laughing and supporting each other talking about their latest achievements in the studio. There is not a pole trick in sight in this pic, but it sure shows how much fun our students are having!
- Make sure that your intro or beginner class is truly for beginners!! If you finally get someone through the door and they are in a mixed levels class where they see ladies doing things beyond pole intro they are going to be intimidated all over again and possibly too embarrassed to return. A pole intro class should be ONLY new ladies doing ONLY basic things that make them feel accomplished and let them have fun.