Club Leadership Notes:

Selling the benefits of Square Dancing

by Bernie Coulthurst, editor of Club Leadership Journal
(reprinted with the permission of American Square Dance Magazine)

Selling the benefits of square dancing is our weakest link in the overall marketing plan. We talk about lessons lasting many weeks. We talk about beginner classes. We talk about mainstream dancing. We talk about Plus dancing. We talk about square dance attire. None of these subjects refer to the benefits of square dancing.

I have seen flyers with the following headlines:


What is wrong with these headlines? They are not positive. They are not truthful. They do not mention the benefits of square dancing.

Let's look at these three statements in a little more detail. They are not positive because they use two rather negative words, namely LESSONS & CLASSES. These two words remind people of their childhood days of going to school which most did not enjoy. When you use these two words in your flyers and in your sales pitch you will turn off a large percentage of your prospects. They simply had enough lessons and classes in their younger years. We prefer to simply call them NEW DANCER DANCES! Why? Because that is exactly what they are, dances for new dancers.

The headline has to be an attention-grabber so the prospect will continue to read the details in your flyer or ad. Headlines should be very short - sometimes only one word. The headline should be a sentence. It can be a statement or a question. Whatever you come up with, it needs to get the attention of your targeted reader. We like to use headlines that are three words or less.

Here are some examples:


As you can see, these headlines are attention grabbers. Once you get their attention you can then get into more detail about the benefits of square dancing, namely FUN, FRIENDSHIP and FITNESS set to music! The entire flyer needs to pass the AIDA test. It must get the ATTENTION of your reader; it must generate INTEREST so your reader will continue reading your flyer or ad; it must generate DESIRE to learn more about the benefits of your product; and most of all, it must motivate your prospect to take ACTION.

If you wish to learn more about the inside details of marketing, we suggest you go to your local library and check out a book or two about marketing. Another great idea is to simply study the ads in magazines and newspapers. Test the ads for AIDA. Let's start using more effective ads.

Bernie Coulthurst, e-mail

This article may be reprinted with no further permission from the authors and/or publications.  Permission has been granted in advance for the reprinting with the stipulation that credit be given to the contributing author/publisher.