Doing the Public Relations Dance with Fred Astaire Studio Owners

Yesterday I spoke to a packed room of the best-dressed business owners I’ve ever met: Fred Astaire Dance Studio franchise owners from around the country, gathered in Atlanta to enhance the way they run their businesses.

It’s an interesting world we live in, where a livelihood can be derived from one’s passion. So many of the franchisees are themselves incredible award-winning dancers – evidenced by the poise with which they sailed through conversations and the high-fashion they presented as they graced the conference sessions.

While the world of dance is one I haven’t inhabited in years (rectify that!), I can easily relate to their desire to make a good living doing what they love.

Yesterday, I spoke about relationships and storytelling – and how the two are intertwined and the only real authentic ways of building business. I took them through how to craft their story, how to stay consistent with messaging, and whom to tell this story to, in what ways.

Many are the ways we send our message out to the marketplace. And when it comes with a genuine desire to connect, person to person, a business is golden.

It’s easy when you own a business borne out of passion and hobby. If you personally like to dance in competitions and with partners, if you can appreciate the ease of gliding across the parquet and the rush of adrenaline that comes with learning new steps and dazzling crowds, then it’s an easy sell. If you sell from the heart.

That’s the thing about business today. It has to come from the heart. There is no other way, in an economy where everyone has what they need … except connection.

The more distantly we connect (think social media, email, websites, smart phones), the lonelier we become. And the lonelier we are in our everyday lives, the more room there is for someone to care.

Businesses today must care about their customers. Otherwise, they’ll lose them to someone who does.

I didn’t stumble off the stage in my pretty heels yesterday (thankfully, as I was speaking before the nation’s most graceful business owners!) but I know that I connected with many amazing people. And that’s what being in this business is all about.

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