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Question added to topic MarketingJuly 21, 2008

Where do we turn for creative ways to grow our business to the next level?

We have owned a successful rehearsal studio in Hollywood for the past two years. Professionals and celebrities frequent our space. However, we don't know how to take the business to the next level. We charge a fee to rent the space, and we charge celebrities the same rate as everyone else. We are looking for creative ways to build other sources of income for the studio. We also want to know how to get more exposure for our business, and we are seeking ways to capitalize on our celebrities without exploiting them.
What an exciting business you are in! Happily, there is SO much you can do to boost your business.

First is to reach out to several of your celebrities. I'd suggest coming up with several different offers that are fine-tuned to meet specific hot points: a boost to their ego, their need for some privacy or thirst for attention. In exchange for different levels of endorsements, you could offer short-term rehearsal time for a reduced rate or charge the same rate covering a longer period of time (i.e., "We'll give you three months of preferential studio time for the cost of one month.")

In terms of the different kinds of endorsements--an easier sell may be just the use of their name (or mention of the movie they were in for privacy seekers) in your marketing materials. Next up would be use of a quote and their name, with the best level (with a higher giveback on your part) allowing use of  their head shot, name and quote.

To juice things up even more, you could sell one or more celebs on doing a short 30- or 60-second video testimonial for you, which you can post on YouTube. Of course you should also ask for specific airing rights to post on your site and to use in e-mail blasts. While it will take a small investment of their time (and of course the video team's fee), you can use this to help brand your firm and sell your services in so many online and print spaces.

Also, since most actors are looking for new ways to get in front of more people, an online video testimonial serves their own purposes.

Another sales plus for video: You can hyperlink the video back to your site and then hyperlink their name to their own site or a site of their choice, another way to promote their talent or unique interests.

Of course the celeb endorsement is one tool to use in an overall strategic marketing plan and multiple campaigns. Suffice to say that a strategic use of social networking spaces, online ads, SEO-enriched tect on your website, strong coding on your site, networking, direct mail, special events and PR can help you supersize your revenue stream.

Best of luck!
Pattie Simone

As president of Pomona, N.Y.-based marketing-advantage and founder of WomenCentric, Pattie Simone empowers ambitious women, companies and entrepreneurs worldwide, sharing smart new media, client engagement, entrepreneurial and communications expertise as a techpreneur, consultant, speaker and video blogger.

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