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January 27, 2007

Comments

Cheryl S.

Around here, some of the bookstores and libraries have corkboards to post flyers about things like that. Might be worth a try.

Good luck! Love to try it myself, but TX would be a liiiiiiittle bit of a commute.

Tim

Jimmy,

What type of demographic are you looking for? Young, middle aged, senior, single, married, divorced, parents with small children, empty nesters?

You need the answer before you should do any kind of marketing or promotion. A sign that would attract seniors would turn off young people, so choose your target before you choose your weapon.

Call it the "Square Dance Match" and make your own "Match.com" website for it. Advertise it as a place to find your future mate.

You might get some people this way.

Karen

Maybe posting flyers at bulletin boards in these places: Rec centers and gyms, college entertainment centers (I know people who attended a Catholic college and really got into square dancing), military establishments, and any local western-themed bars and other venues where live music and dancing is often already featured.

Karen

Also, music shops (the kind where they sell instruments, not CDs). There are probably a decent amount of western musicians in your area who'd either also enjoy square dancing or pass the info on to people who they know, who do.

Ann Margaret Lewis

Post the flyer at senior centers, libraries, YMCA, and ask churches if they'd be willing to put it in their church papers for a couple Sundays (usually they're hungry for items of interest).
--Ann

A. Williams

I would bring a card table to the nearest public (or even private) college campus you can find. BEG! for permission from the proper authorities and set the table up at a little before lunch time, preferably close to an ATM machine with long lines. Make a suitable advertizement from cardboard and tape it to the front of the table. There should be some Communist or Gay/Lesbian/Bi tables there also, so you can get an idea on how to set up the table from them.

Then don't be afraid to open your mouth! Use your apologetics skills and preach to those standing in line. They have plenty of time to listen, and are in a positive frame of mind waiting for their money! If your 'pitch' is really fun they'll believe you! You can also hand out your carefully crafted flyers while talking to them.

This works very well with Catholic promotions. In the Legion of Mary we did it all the time! However, because we were advertizing religion, we always prayed the Rosary, standing at the table, with a little 4" statue of Mary on it..and the Catholic students were drawn to us like flies to meadow muffins!

However, even though this isn't religious, it should still work. It's good for preaching or teaching almost anything! But you need a pardner to go with you.

And if you can't find an ATM machine, look for a long line where they are buying snacks(the lines are why you want to go at lunch time!). And also walk up to them while they're eating. You wouldn't believe the positive response you might get. Your enthusiasm and belief that you are doing them a favor, by inviting them to the fun lessons, should be very attractive to them! And don't forget to get their telephone numbers! Without this you are wasting your time.

Some days, on 1 of 3 campuses we went two, we got the names and numbers of over 15 interested students who wanted to join the local "Neuman Center" or 'bible/rosary/ saint study'. And this in less than 3 hrs. at lunch time.

Good luck and I hope you have a large campus nearby! And...don't forget yer cowboy hats!

Jordan Henderson

I'd second (or third) the recommendations about rec centers and gyms. Perhaps put together a flier that emphasizes the health aspects of dancing. If you do it right now, you'll catch a lot of people who have made New Years resolutions and are getting sick of their boring exercise regimens that to which they have committed and would be open to something like this.

Mark Wyzalek

As an old contra dancer I don't think I want to share those secret tips with squares.... :)

joe

You may get overun by big families--haha--but what about contacting leaders of any homeschooling associations in the county. I live in wiscosin and we have our fair share, especially around the larger cities. They are always looking for wholesome activities to engage the families. Plus, most, I would imagine, know who you are and would be a bit excited at the possibility of square dancing with their favorite apologist.

bill912

If I were Richard Gere, I'd suggest that you and all your club meet on a cliff overlooking the ocean on a night when the moon is full and project your thoughts to the people you want to attract. (But that would be silly!)

Tod


The best advice is to pick up Jay Conrad Levinson's book, "Guerrilla Marketing for Free".

Tod


P.S. Aside from the above book recommendation, here is what I would do. I am a ballroom dancer, so the same marketing techniques should work in square-dance (SD):

1) Make sure your SD night is listed on every local SD web-site/calendar/forum/eZine/newsletter. As you know, some dancers make the rounds of different locations each week. Make sure yours is on everyone's route.
2) Determine what day of the week is not covered by another SD, and consider having a dance on that day. You'll get all the folks, say, who want to dance on Wednesdays, but no one is doing one at that time. Then of course if they like your dances better, they'll come on the other days also.
3) Hire away (or negotiate for free publicity) the most popular DJ (or in SD is this called 'a caller'?) that local SDers like most for a quarterly dance. This will pull all this DJ's large following to your event. This has the potential for a large increase in attendees. And of course, if they like your quarterly dance, they will start coming to your other weekly events.
4) Find a hook! A unique selling point (USP). What can you do at your dances that no one else is doing to completely stand out in the SD community! Think Seth Godin and his "Purple Cow" book.

Tod

5) See if you can bring in a professional, award-winning SD couple to give a lesson at the top of your next three dances (pro-bono). People are attracted to celebrities. Celebrities pull dances!

AnonnyMouse

What would attrack me? Babysitting. Sounds like a lot of fun, but considering we are WaY DOWN SOUTH....we won't be able to make it. :0)

Staci

Try using your local freecycle? www.freecycle.org Join one of the ones in your area and post "offer: free square dancing lessons."

AnonnyMouse

ooops. I mean attract not atrack...that is what I get for typing with a 2 year old on my lap.

StubbleSpark

Use your computer to print out some iron-ons and advertise via T-shirt.

Slowboy

Post a video on youtube of the group dancing .

Mary Kay

Is there a local Catholic radio station and do they do a listing of things to do?

Most city newspapers have an "upcoming events" section.

A Williams - what a meadow muffin?

David

I'd be sure to post flyers at other local dances. Find out where people are doing contra, folk, scottish, ballroom, swing etc and see if you can put up a notice.

Dano

Try an obnoxious chain letter... alright, I'm kidding. Seriously, though, if you can get a hold of the e-mail addresses of a few people or a group of people who might like that sort of thing, and ask them to forward your (preferably short and non-obnoxious) message along to anyone else they think might like it...

Blaise

Music prof.s at colleges somtimes offer extra credit for attending music events. Of course, you probably want people who want to be there.

Mary Kay

A Williams, um, never mind about the meadow muffin. I just looked it up. Okay, so I'm out of the loop about new phrases.

Randolph Carter

Convince a local judge that square-dancing can have a positive, rehabilitative effect on today's troubled youth, and get him to sentence every single juvenile delinquent to MANDATORY SQUARE-DANCING. Not only will this fill out your square-dancing class, but it will also act as an effective criminal deterrent.

This actually reminds me of one of those Hollywood movies, where the only thing troubled inner-city youths need to get their lives together is an eccentric educator willing to go out of his way to touch eat and everyone of their hearts. If it was a math teacher who used square-dancing to reach his students, then we could call the movie "SQUARE-ROOTS".

kathy

If you promote it as a heart-healthy activity, you might be able to get some free publicity from your newspaper. Sometimes it works best if you send them a digital photo and a press release.

chris-2-4

Just avoid UPSELLING it...

A.Williams

"A Williams - what a meadow muffin?"

Mary Kay, you'll have to hike through a pasture full of cows to really find out!

Have fun! ..And if I were you I'd bring a few Kleenex with you....could come'n handy! :)

Laura

I loved the college campus ideas already posted. Along that same line, if the campus Numan senter has peer ministery, like they do at my parish you could contact those guys. The peer ministers give anouncements at the end of our evening mass just like your offer of free SD lessons.
HTH

bill912

I remember reading about a politician who should have brought Kleenex with him. A young guy was running against an older incumbent. The young guy ran a commercial where he was walking through a cow pasture on a beautiful day. He was looking at the sky, looking off into the distance, while the voiceover was proclaiming his ideas and great education. The older incumbent was asked about this commercial. He replied: "I may not be as educated as young -----, but I have enough sense to know I should look down when I'm walking in a cow pasture." He was re-elected.

Anand

I like the idea of defining your target segment first (students, old people, geeks) and then launching a brainstorm at an online brainstorming site and emailing your target group of friends to add ideas.

Chester

an easy way for some publicity though no guarantees is invite your local news, tv and paper to do human interest pieces on the SD club. things like this make good assignments for newer people. no guarantees they'll take you up on it though.

A.Williams

About the college campus advertizing, I would like to recommend to any reader here to try teaching the Cathlic Faith in with the same method as described above.

Sometimes when doing this evangelization work, either for the Nueman Center or with the Legion of Mary, we ended up having our card table set right next to a 'planned parenthood' type table. So too, the Communist 'Sentinal' Paper was only a few feet farther away. And having the little statue of Mary on top of the table, and also other holy literature and pictures,(rosaries and miraculous medals, too), we really made quite a contrast to the others.

So too, we were happier than the others, and students would gather around and talk about the faith and many were amazed that Catholics were on campus. And yet just 3 feet away, they were advertizing abortion!

Sometimes I would even talk to those looking at the planned parenthood material, and say something like.."after you're finished there, you should take a look at some of our material!"..and often they indeed would brouse our holy items! I often thought how great it was to have this balance, and not to leave such evil without any sort of 'counter offer' or competition!

So, I think every campus in the world, if possible, should have such a devout Catholic presence, to provide the witness, apologetics and good holy literature capable of countering all of the evil propaganda being likewise promoted there!

Why should the devil's disciples be so much more zealous and hard working in evil, than the Lord's disciples, zealous and hardworking, in spreading the love of God??

Karina Fabian

Jimmy--find the homeschooling groups and 4-H clubs in your area and send them an announcement.

Karina Fabian
Homeschooling Mom
editor, Infinite Space, Infinite God
Catholic SF from Twilight Times Books

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