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What Does It All Mean?

I’ve taught you everything I know about how to succeed in the business side of dance. We have discussed marketing in person, online, branding, and social media. You’ve learned a lot, but what does this new information do for you exactly?

I hope that you choose to go use it. The main goal of this blog was to show dancers that they have the power to make things happen for themselves outside of the studio. The actual dancing is important, but everything I wrote here is equally important.

Dancers no longer have to sit on the sidelines waiting for someone to “pick” them for a job. They are capable of making themselves known to others and creating their own opportunities. All thanks to the variety of technology available to them.

I’ve enjoyed every second of writing this blog for you and I hope you enjoyed following along. Please take these ideas and use them. Who knows where it could lead.

Matter, J. (Photographer). Sylwia Wiesenberg [Photo]. Retrieved online from http://blog.jordanmatter.com/2011/03/how-to-prepare-for-dance-shoot.html

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My Thoughts

Ok everybody, I’m back. If you’re looking for a refresher on the research I did and what I discovered check out my findings page to get caught up.

Now onto today’s post…we’ve seen what each of these dancers do on average for one of their videos, but what can we learn from it?

You may have noticed that all three dancers used a sort of “countdown” method, posting several days before their video releases and continuing a daily post until the day of the release. This is effective because it builds anticipation for the video. The more people hear about it and the closer it gets to coming out, the more excited your followers become.

Another thing all these dancers did was link their tweets to Instagram pics. Most of the pics were behind the scenes shots or screenshots from the video. These pictures work like a movie trailer does. Seeing a little clip of something makes you want to watch the whole thing.

Looking at the research, Kyle Hanagami stands out because of his big number of retweets. I think there are pros and cons to using this specific method. Hearing about how much everyone else loves his video only increases the excitement and his credibility, since he’s not the only one talking himself up. However, I can tell you firsthand that it can get a little annoying scrolling through your Twitter feed and seeing 31 retweets of how awesome Kyle’s new video is. We get it. It’s good. I don’t think you shouldn’t retweet people’s praise of your work, just be aware of the amount to make sure you don’t annoy your followers.

The last piece of research that stood out to me was the fact that Brian Friedman created his own hashtag for his new video. This is a smart and effective idea. Using your own hashtag makes it easy for all Twitter and Instagram users to find information about your work. It also makes your followers feel connected and engaged with you and other fans. They can respond to you or mention you and use the hashtag themselves. Or they can interact with other people who admire your work as well. It’s a win-win situation.

Since I was so impressed by his creation of a hashtag, I thought I’d show you all the video he made it for.

Friedman, B. [Brian Friedman]. (2014, Apr. 18). Christina Perri – “Human” – Brian Friedman – @brianfriedman @christinaperri @timmiligram [Video]. Retrieved online from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDnZjMoUI24

Here It Is – My Findings

I’ve gone out into the social media world and am coming back to you guys with lots to report. Like I said before, I chronicled the social media use of Kyle Hanagami, Ian Eastwood, and Brian Friedman. All three are dancers, choreographers, and teachers who utilize their Twitter and Instagram accounts efficiently to gain press and promotion before they post a new choreography video to their YouTube channels.

Let’s begin with Kyle Hanagami; one of my favorite choreographers EVER. His biggest and most popular video he has released on YouTube is his choreography to Beyoncé’s “YONCE.” With it being such a popular song and all of Kyle’s efforts to spread the word, there was a lot of anticipation.

Three days before the video he began a “countdown” posting “And the countdown begins…3 days till my new video. J” (Hanagami, 2014, Jan. 20). Naturally the day after he tweeted, “Only 2 days till my new video!” (Hanagami, 2014, Jan. 21). I bet you can guess what he tweeted the next day…”New video coming out tomorrow!!!! So excited for this one!” (Hanagami, 2014, Jan. 22). Finally, on the day it came out, he tweeted about it four times throughout the day. He even followed up the day after to remind everyone to watch it.

He also retweeted 31 people who had praised his new video. Additionally, he linked each tweet leading up to the release to a “teaser” pic on Instagram and then to the video itself on the day it came out.

Here is the video that created so much conversation.

Hanagami, K. [kylehanagami]. (2014, Jan. 23). YONCE – Choreography by Kyle Hanagami [Video].

Next, let’s talk about Ian Eastwood. At only 21, he’s received an extreme amount of success as a dancer and choreographer. I believe it’s partially a credit of his self-marketing through his social media. I looked back at his first video he posted of 2014 to see how he advertised it.

Two days before the video debuted he tweeted the ever-cinematic phrase “Coming to a YouTube channel near you 2.24.14” (Eastwood, 2014, Feb. 22). He followed up the next day saying, “Dropping my 1st dance vid tomorrow” (Eastwood, 2014, Feb. 23). Finally, on the day it came out he tweeted three times throughout the day to continue to spread the word. He continued two days after with reminder tweets stating “If you missed it…” with a link to the video (Eastwood, 2014, Feb. 26). Of course on the days it was finally available on YouTube he linked both posts on his Twitter and Instagram accounts to the video’s location on YouTube to give his followers easy access to all of the excitement he generated.

The last dancer I’ve researched is Brian Friedman. His video that I’m profiling is very recent and what he calls his first ever “concept video.” Brian built some curiosity by posting to Twitter eleven days before the video came out “I’m in LOVE with my dancers!!! The best ever Xoxo” (Friedman, 2014, Apr. 7). Several days after that he tweeted about how his new video rekindled his love for dance saying, “Today’s shoot reinspired me and solidified my love for dance!” (Friedman, 2014, Apr. 10). The week of the video’s release he tweeted several times that the release is “coming soon!” “April 18th on YouTube” (Friedman, 2014, Apr. 14). Two days before the video released he posted an official time by tweeting, “Official release in 41 hours April 18th 3pm PST” (Friedman, 2014, Apr. 16).

Each one of his tweets had either a link to his Instagram for a picture from the set of the video or a link to his YouTube account where the video would be posted. Something special that Brian did was create his own hashtag. The song he choreographed to was called Human by Christina Perri. He used the hashtag #HUMAN every time he tweeted something related to the video. This lets his followers find all of his related tweets in one place and allows them to help him spread the word by using the hashtag.

Check back soon to hear what I have to say about my findings.

Eastwood, I. (February 22, 2014). Coming to a YouTube… p. 1

Eastwood, I. (February 23, 2014). Dropping my 1st… p. 1

Eastwood, I. (February 26, 2014). If you missed it… p. 1

Friedman, B. (April 7, 2014). I’m in LOVE with… p. 1

Friedman, B. (April 10, 2014). Today’s shoot reinspired… p. 1

Friedman, B. (April 14, 2014). The release of… p. 1

Friedman, B. (April 16, 2014). Official release in… p. 1

Hanagami, K. (January 20, 2014). And the countdown… p. 1

Hanagami, K. (January 21, 2014). Only 2 days… p. 1

Hanagami, K. (January 22, 2014). New video coming… p. 1

Hanagami, K. [kylehanagami]. (2014, Jan. 23). YONCE – Choreography by Kyle Hanagami [Video]. Retrieved online from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TZYvud_ngY

 

My New Research Project

The next few posts are focused on research I’m doing here at Marketing On Pointe. I have chosen three dancers/choreographers/teachers I think have done a great job of using marketing and social media to get their ideas and dancing out there. I plan to follow them and see just what they’re doing and share it with you guys.

So I’m sure you’re probably wondering “who are these dancers?” I’ve decided to profile Ian Eastwood, Brian Friedman, and Kyle Hanagami. These dancers each have things in common, but they are all dancers with extremely different styles. Their styles show through in their posting.

Most dancers who utilize YouTube to showcase their choreography usually post more on social media on the few days leading up to a new video being released in order to gain lots of attention. Because of this, I have chosen to analyze Ian, Kyle, and Brian’s uses of Twitter and Instagram the two days before and the day of a new video posting.

I will share their tweets and the captions to whatever photos and/or videos they share on Instagram to help portray their efforts to increase their following right before they drop a video. This is a similar tactic for all areas of the entertainment industry. Think about all the press tours that happen right before movies premiere or new records debut; this is just the dancer version of that.

I’m off to do some research but will return with information to share with you all soon.

Read my findings post to see what I learn.

Matter, J. (Photographer). Tenealle Farragher [Photo]. Retrieved online from http://blog.jordanmatter.com/2011/03/how-to-prepare-for-dance-shoot.html

Making Connections: My Personal Experience in the Twittersphere

I am very pro social media. At first I was very reluctant. I didn’t even get a Twitter account until a little over a year ago and was one of the last of my friends to finally give in and get a Facebook account my high school sophomore year. Over the past few years, I have definitely grown to love it. Not only is it exhilarating to see your likes, views, and followers increase, but it’s an extremely cool way to document your life.

What I love most about social media is being able to connect with dancers. I follow all of my favorite and most inspiring dancers on both Twitter and Instagram to see what they are doing in the dance world every day. I am fascinated by their careers and love that I get the opportunity to peek inside the life of a real professional dancer through social media. If you’re feeling a little skeptical about whether or not people can actually make connections through it, I’ve got a little story for you.

A little over a month ago I was OBSESSED with this new John Legend song that had just come out called “Made to Love.” I tweeted about how much I liked it with the hashtag #madetolove. The next day checking my feed and connections I saw that someone I’d never heard of had tweeted at me. Someone named Dominic-Lawrence tweeted that he loved the song too and had choreographed a dance to it and provided the link to the video. To be honest, I was a little skeptical. Really good dancers wouldn’t actually reach out to me on Twitter, right?

I was wrong. I watched the video and loved it. It was amazing; which is exactly what I tweeted back at Dominic. He responded saying thank you and favorited and retweeted my original response to him. Because of this initial interaction through a random connection on Twitter, I now follow him on YouTube to see what other pieces he’s choreographing and working on.

Here is the video he introduced me to, if you’re curious.

Lawrence, D. [Dominic Lawrence]. (2014, Feb. 6). “Made To Love” – John Legend – Official Choreography by Dominic Lawrence [Video].

This is exactly what I’m talking about folks. Using social media to make people know your name and your work as a dancer. It worked for Dominic and it can definitely work for you.

Lawrence, D. [Dominic Lawrence]. (2014, Feb. 6). “Made To Love” – John Legend – Official Choreography by Dominic Lawrence [Video]. Retrieved online from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90psTDN_OZM

 

YouTube: A Dancer’s Best Friend

YouTube. Probably the greatest idea. Ever. Think about how many hilarious videos or inspiring mini-documentaries you watch weekly. Think about the thousands of “vlogs” that everyone follows. YouTube is a great way to become well known in whatever you are doing. Seeing as dance is a visual art form, it can do wonders for aspiring dancers.

The number one thing thing a dancer can do to advertise themselves is to have a dance reel somewhere online (Holleran, 2013; Patterson, 2014; Wozny, 2011). A two to three minute video showcasing your dancing or choreography is a great way to market yourself to employers (Holleran, 2013). It’s like a movie trailer for your dancing.

Below I’ve included a reel of a famous choreographer.

Luam. [blocnyc]. (2013, April 24). Luam 2013 Choreography Reel [Video].

Catchy, isn’t it?

The most accessible and best places to post your dance reel are YouTube or Vimeo (Holleran, 2013; Patterson, 2014; Wozny, 2011). An online reel allows you to easily send the link to potential employers and helps them put a face and image to your name. This can be handy when directors recognize you from your video at auditions (Holleran, 2013). It’s also important that your reel be sent to employers online rather than on DVD. As Sarah Slipper, artistic director of Northwest Dance Project, said “I much prefer getting web links from dancers to DVDs in a package” (Wozny, 2011).

Still need another reason to make a dance reel? Nowadays, many companies use dance reels as a “preliminary” round of auditions. If you send them your reel, they could invite you for a callback to live audition for their company (Wozny, 2011).

These reels are easy to make and probably the biggest asset a dancer can have in terms of easy marketing. Grab a videographer and make yours today.

Holleran, L. (November 2013). Take 5 for Your Career: Market Yourself. Dance Magazine, Retrieved online on 2014, Feb. 18 from: http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/November-2013/Take-5-for-Your-Career-Market-Yourself

Luam. [blocnyc]. (2013, April 24). Luam 2013 Choreography Reel [Video]. Retrieved online from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWzAUz1kCE8

Patterson, C. (2014, March). Personal Communication with G. Haverty

Wozny, N. (February 2011). Working The Web. Dance Magazine, Retrieved online on 2014, Feb. 18 from: http://www.dancemagazine.com/issues/February-2011/Working-The-Web-

Take Your Dancing Social

The abundance of social media apps and programs out there have surely impacted most readers by now. I assume each reader has at least one account, most likely Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. You probably have the hang of it by now and know how to get people to “like” your posts, but did you know that these new media outlets can do more than just help you interact with your friends?

The infographic below shows just how popular different channels of social media have become…

(Taylor, February 17, 2014, e-Strategy Trends).

You can utilize social media to gain followers specifically for dance and to gain job opportunities. The keys to succeeding in social media are to share, teach, engage, and promote. Sharing content about your dancing or your studio is the easiest way to market and brand yourself. It’s free, and anyone can see it. You don’t have to hire anyone to do your marketing and advertising for you because it’s all right at your fingertips (Gerety, 2010).

It’s important to engage and connect with other social media users, especially those in the dance industry. Comment on others’ posts and link to your own social media sites. You’re not just talking to people online, you’re networking with future employers. You need to promote yourself as a “product” that they want to hire (Gerety, 2010).

The most important thing to keep in mind when using social media however, is consistency. The more people see your name, face, or logo, the better (Gerety, 2010).

Though many people still use Facebook, the social media world is gravitating towards Twitter and Instagram (Heffner-Hayes, 2014; Patterson, 2014). Twitter can be popular and helpful, but for dancers, Instagram is where it’s at.

The best way to promote and advertise dance is by showing it. Instagram is the easiest and most popular visual social media. You can now post both pictures and videos, which works to dancers’ advantage. Being very artistic and taking advantage of your surroundings, lighting, and your individual talents creates some very captivating images. Several dancers profiled in an article from Dance Spirit Magazine have had their Instagram accounts lead directly to teaching opportunities, collaborations with dance clothing brands, notoriety and recognition (Holmes, 2014). There’s an entire hashtag called #tilttuesday made just for dancers where you can post a picture of your best tilt extension.

Don’t go thinking it’s just the teenage and “tweeny-bopper” dancers that use social media all the time. Real dance companies use it, too, and reap the benefits. Many ballet companies have recently become active on not only Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but on Pinterest. Pinterest allows them to “pin” photos from professional shoots, performances, and rehearsals. One advantage dance companies have over individual dancers, is the number of people and amount of funds. The current abundance of social media outlets available right now makes it difficult for an individual to manage on their own. However, companies often have the opportunity to hire someone as a marketing and social media manager (McAlpine, 2013).

Be sure to stop by next time to learn about my very own dance social media encounter.

Gerety, S. (February 10, 2010). S.T.E.P. Your Way To Social Media Success. Dance Advantage, Retrieved online on 2014, Feb. 18 from: http://www.danceadvantage.net/social-media-success/

Heffner-Hayes, M. (2014, March). Personal Communication with G. Haverty

Holmes, K. (January 2014). What Your Agent Needs You to Know. Dance Spirit, volume(18), 43-47.

McAlpine, A. (January 18, 2013). Digital Media and the Arts: Ballet Companies Seeing Importance in Social Media. 2 Pointe Social, Retrieved online on 2014, Feb. 18 from:  http://2pointesocial.com/2013/01/18/digital-media-and-the-arts-ballet-companies-seeing-importance-in-social-media/

Patterson, C. (2014, March). Personal Communication with G. Haverty

Taylor, M. (February 17, 2014). Social Media Users In 2013 By Network [INFOGRAPHIC]. e-Strategy Trends, retrieved online on April 18, 2014, from: http://trends.e-strategyblogcom/2014/02/17/social-media-users-in-2013-by-network-infographic