Social Media Savy
As some of you may know I've done my fair share of social media sharing. Pretty much that has been my number one job for my daughter's and the studio. If you have seen some kind of advertisment, video or instagram post more than likely that was created and pushed by yours truly.
How important is having a Social Media presence this day and age in the competitive world of Dance? Honestly it's not just important it's essential in building a community around your DANCE STUDIO BRAND. That's what I have developed for us a unique Dance Studio BRAND that focuses on our low costs, fun family atmosphere and very low time commitment for amazing participating events. Basically we design the way we promote our studio to be open to anyone interested in a RECREATIONAL level dance program but with COMPETITIVE STUDIO participation. For the person who knows nothing about dance or the competition dance world this can sound like a foreign language. In simple terms we provide for our small town dance families the chance to compete at a Novice & Intermediate level without the extensive dance training time and finances required by most other studios. We expect and require our dancers train at the minimum 4 hours a MONTH! Not a Week but A MONTH! for our first level of dance competition. That's almost unheard of in other studios!
Because of our limitations on when we can get our dancers in the studio for training and choreography times - I felt there was a demand and need for us to find ways to BRAND our studio philosophies and structure so that we found our own lane of legitimacy. Here is the other conflict we deal with on an almost daily or weekly basis - SMALL TOWN REPUTATIONS AND RESPECT FOR OUR SERVICES - When you live in a small town sometimes that can help your business but in some other cases it can also tarnish it. If someone doesn't like you or say you had a falling out with another small town family member or even worse one of your family members creates local chaos or conflict for your families overall appearance to the community in general - this can be a harsh situation to either correct or disconnect from. NOT GONNA LIE - OUR FAMILY IS NOT LIKE ANY OTHER - ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO OUR DANCE FAMILY .... In the past 8 years we have been in business we fluctuate between being a Dance Studio that the communities we live in either Love and appreciate or being the studio ran by the reputation of "THAT" Family. UGH! That boils my blood at times! Seriously?!? Do I support local business or communities or teachers or sports teams or performing arts programs based on reputations?! Well - Honestly WE ALL DO!!! So because of this I've decided to take the REPUTATION BULL BY THE HORNS so to speak.
Watch our daily vlogs of my so called "THAT" Family and judge for yourself - View our Weekly dance studio vlogs and decide if you think our skills as dance competition trainers is weak or above the bar for the time we are allotted for training - Check out our daily posts on our Instagram and see if we really love doing what we love in this dance competition world! It's all about being real and honest. And for some people they just don't want to know the world and the people in it don't have white picket fences all around them. For me though I like TRUTH not fiction. I appreciate HONESTY and circumstances for those who RISE FROM THE ASHES of life struggles. That can laugh and smile and find the happiness in life's most harshest conditions. THAT VALUES THAT FAMILIES ARE NOT PERFECT BY ANY MEANS AND THAT WE ALL HAVE OUR CROSSES TO BEAR SO TO SPEAK.... (oh and please do not judge me by my spelling - I am terrible and do not care to spell check.) .... That's what being SOCIAL MEDIA SAVY means to me. No one wants to see your fake hyped up numbers or awards won - they want the REAL STRUGGLE - the honest MISTAKE RECOVERIES and they want the REAL YOU. Some may not like you for it and others will just love you more for it. But unless you feel COMFORTABLE in your own skin with the honesty you present to the world then it doesn't even really matter. Let's be honest we all post up on FACEBOOK pages and INSTAGRAM posts pictures of our greatest moments from Graduations, to Birthday Celebrations, to Wedding Extravaganza and in a sick way it's a way of I guess looking at yourself in the mirror saying "DANG GIRL YOU LOOK GOOD!" especially those who love to take those smoldering selfie pics. For me I'm not the smoldering or makeup beauty guru myself - Most of the time you will see me in T-Shirts, messy bun hair and barely to no makeup on. But my face expressions never reflects that I'm insecure or embarrassed by my looks - it's more of matter of I'm just too LAZY to focus on the matters of my outside appearance to be that much of a concern when it comes to my social media posts - That's my personality - That's who I am and that's who I will always be. I've had social media experts and consultants tell me to spiff up my image but honestly nah! that's not for me. I don't have the money or time to put into that Botoxing fake me up with hair & makeup - You don't like the real me then click off my social media links!
I guess as a woman I've never put the importance on the outside being what was most important. It's always been the inside, the heart and the soul of a person that has the deeper meaning with me. Do I like some pretty things? Yes! I love pedicures and manicures when I got the time or money I go all out on those must haves. And my girls would tell you the obsession I had at one time over the "DONNEY & BURKE" purse collection I had going on years ago but other than that I drive simple cheap cars, I live in a modest home and our dance studio is pretty much the what we can afford look. Same goes for our social media presence. It's me, down to earth and raw... Hate me / Love me I don't care - but one thing is for sure - what you get is REAL!
Why YOUTUBE? Why the heck not? I've been obsessed with the film industry for years. Many of you would be shocked to know that I actually produced movies, tv shows, documentaries, music videos and pretty much anything film type related for years. I have an IMDB page with actual credits listed under my name and I would consider myself a real YOUTUBER - Am I famous one? Nope. Will I ever be? Probably not. But again I don't do it for the views so to speak. Don't get me wrong I like views - like anyone else - I enjoy sharing my vlogs with the world and getting those thumbs up buttons but am I obsessed with I gotta have a million subscribers? No Way! Coming from small towns I didn't expect to have more than a couple thousand subs with a couple hundred views if that from every video we upload. Some videos have had some viral growth and others not so much. Some of our youtube videos are greatly shot, edited and shared other's are literally just a camera and my goofy mug! I love YouTube. I love that I can save memories from our crazy adventures and wished I had started this when we first created the dance studio 8 years ago! I will never stop uploading vlogs and videos of our studio life or my personal life until YouTube either shuts down or kicks me out of their platform completely - and that I don't think will ever happen.
Instagram has become my new obsession - I absolutely love Instagram. I post on their pretty much on a daily basis. It's my go too place to find amazing dancers and choreographers that I love to watch on a daily basis. It's also become a great place for me to find ways to connect with other local dance studios and their teachers. I love sharing each other's stories, liking and giving them some love when they post up some great accomplishments or have met an amazing goal. I feel connected to their stories and I honestly fan girl many of our fellow dance competitors so it's super cool to see them at competitions and be in a standing line up with some of our favorite studios.
Facebook - Well.... Courtney has told me for years she felt like FACEBOOK WAS THE DEVIL - and honestly there are some amazing things about facebook but then again there are the dark sides to that social media channel that you can't control - When someone has a FACEBOOK WAR like we call it - I just can't deal with the drama! I don't want to see everyone's PLEASE PRAY FOR ME circles of despair or I don't care who you POLITICALLY LEAN TOWARDS! I just want to see pictures of your families and hear how your doing - maybe catch a few cool youtube vlogs (since I'm friends with quite a few youtubers) Watch some inspiring Dance videos that fellow proud teachers/coaches post or see how my personal family is getting along. However; I do love food but I particularly do not enjoy it enough to see your millions of posts of recipes and dear lord will someone please ban those disgusting posts of things coming out of your skin or spiders crawling around! EEEEEWWWWW!!!! Not for me!!! I do love the promotional aspects and connections we can have with our Dance Spot Families on Facebook and it has been a great resource for us in finding new clients! It has been also a great determent to us. When our family went to appear on the DR PHIL SHOW back this past December - I had to remove myself from seeing the enourmous amounts of negative and degrading comments that were made about our decision to go or why we did it or how we were on the show - it just became almost comical how low and hateful people were hiding behind their computer screens posting their opinions about what they thought of our family. Sadly - I turned to Dr Phil for help with my family struggles and unfortunately I didn't realize what a potentially damaging aspect that was going to be for our family and our studio reputation. Again back to that I TRIED TO BE HONEST AND REAL and it backfired on us. So now here I sit months later and you would think after that fiasco I would have hung up my social media spotlight forums. But no. I embrace it. Your opinion of me or my family doesn't define me. It's the memories I capture the things I want to promote or publish for the world to see that defines me. I am not a bad mom, I don't have bad kids and I don't live a bad life - I have made not so good decisions at times but I've also made some amazing ones. I've accomplished and done things others would never have the guts to do regardless of the outcomes - the risks were worth the opportunities that also came from those experiences. I don't let demographics or finances or orientations or religious choices or gender status ever hold me back or keep me from fulfilling what I set out to do. I have taught my kids HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY they are all amazing kids with tremendous talents and hearts. I teach them to never let limitations stop you from your dreams and nothing or nobody can stop you but you! I teach them to be REAL AND COMFORTABLE in their own skin - to hold others accountable for the rights and wrongs they do to you and to hold yourself even more accountable for the rights and wrongs you do to others! I tell them NEVER HAVE A VICTIM MENTALITY and that every dog has it's day! KARMA is real and those who wrong you will have their day in court (so to speak). But that also means that if you are on the other end of that spectrum you must be willing to suffer the consequences of your actions and take responsibility for the decisions you have made. Everyone gets a fair shake and second chances but there is nothing wrong with letting go of those who don't understand that with forgiveness comes truth acceptance and if others can't accept the truths of who they are and what they have done then they are not the type of people you want to be associated with. LOYALTY is deeper than anything you possess in life. If you can be LOYAL to the honest truth of who you are and those you choose to keep in your world then you will find pure happiness. Finally LOVE & UNDERSTANDING is the only thing that makes this world go round. Respect and love for yourself and others means more than anything else you will ever learn in your life.
(Well that went on a strange turn of thought)....
To wrap it all up - my final thoughts on being social media savy - you have to have a little yes to all the questions listed below
Do you have the desire to seek fame (popularity) even on the smallest to largest scales?
Are you willing to promote your business, yourself or your family?
Are you willing to reveal the real you for the world to see?
Are you ready for scrutiny, criticism and thoughts on how others see you?
If you say yes to any of those questions - then you got what it takes - Your Social Media Savy. Now get out there and Instagram or YouTube Vlog your life away - make memories post your accomplishments or moments of despair - share with the world - engage conversations and controversies - share laughter / share tears / share joy / share anger - BE REAL - BE HONEST - BE YOU! That's what people want to see - the rest of it - fake! Foreign and just another Kardaishan fiasco waiting to implode!
GIVE ME TRUTH!!!
GIVE ME HONESTY!!!!
GIVE ME THE REAL YOU & I'LL FOREVER BE YOUR BIGGEST FAN!!!
What ever social media path you take in life - just remember it's for the world to see how you present yourself - what you engage in and what you choose to share with the world - never regret the bad and embrace the good! - Best of luck in your social media journey!
I'll be seeing you on the internet!
- Coach Mickey Fridley