Resource Share: Free Online Modules through Google

Screen Shot 2021-02-27 at 7.53.01 AM

I am always on the lookout for webinars, podcasts, courses, and articles free and easily accessible online about marketing. Today I want to spotlight the Digital Marketing content through Google. I just did a module this week called "Make sure your customers find you online." Check it out if you are wanting to learn more about:

  • Fundamentals of digital marketing
  • Online advertising
  • Connecting with customers through mobile devices

I appreciated the bite-sized segments with short videos.

Screen Shot 2021-02-27 at 7.13.26 AM

Resource Share: Rebranding


Resources for Rebranding

Are you considering a rebrand for your organization or company? Here are some articles to support your journey and decision making process, including communication strategies:

How to successfully rebrand: a strategic and tactical guide

Gibney Dance Unveils New Space, and a New Name

Brand work for the Atlantic Theater

Rebrand Your Business Without Losing Your Audience

New name, new challenges: how to successfully pull off a rebrand with a name change

How Dropbox is making their rebranding work

Our New Name: Learning for Justice



Marketing for Online Performances, Festivals, Workshops, and Panels



Today I wanted to share a few marketing and outreach ideas on my mind right now. Some ideas might feel an ounce obvious, but hopefully reading and reflecting on this list as a whole will spark new ideas and actions as you plan for your upcoming event, whether it is a dance performance, online film festival, or panel discussion.


The past year has necessitated and challenged many artists, teachers, and organizations to consider pivoting to online presentations and projects. For many, this is the first time offering online programming. Truth is, the online format can be a marketing and outreach blessing. Your reach and impact could be beautifully expanding in ways you have not considered in years past.



Most of our past marketing efforts for shows and events was hyper local. Who can make it to the event? Who lives within an hour? While marketing to your loyal base is still very important right now, sketch out what it would mean to expand the engagement and audience to people in your state. And, how would you reach them through social media, asking colleagues to post information, and such?

Additionally, what efforts will reach a national audience for your event?

Consider drawing concentric circles on a large paper and noting who are your local, state, and national potential audience members.



If you are running a performance, festival, workshop, or talk, can it only be experienced in real time? Will it be live, and then people could access it for a limited time via recording? Or is it recorded and available for an extended amount of time? Tease out this key detail.


Family members

Online activities are an incredible way to invite and engage family members and in-laws who might be new to your work! This is one of the most beautiful gifts of the online platforms.


Alumni networks

Events online are a perfect opportunity to engage with your alma mater, and also the alma maters of your collaborators. This can be a high school, college program, or graduate program. It's a great moment to rekindle connections.


College courses

I cannot express this enough! There is so much potential to reach out to college professors, to use your performance, exhibit, or talk as a component of a college course. Consider a list of 5 professors to reach out to, whether locally, regionally, or nationally.


Sliding scale fees/NOTAFLOF

Understanding the financial reality of this moment, are you able to offer your event sliding scale for maximum access? Consider your budgetary goals.


High touch/personal touch

If you have the time and bandwidth, select 12-20 people you will personally reach out to about your event. The extra effort cuts through the noise of social media and a cluttered email inbox. Consider texting a colleague, sending a personalized Facebook message, or picking up the phone.


Enlisting your collaborators

Related to all of the ideas above, you might consider asking your artistic team (for example, the 4 dancers in your show) if they would consider helping with some marketing and outreach work during the coming weeks. This will require clarity about hours involved, plus a stipend or hourly rate for the work. This is not free labor! But, this is such a great way to maximize the connections for your particular project.


After reading over this list of marketing and outreach ideas, it is time to articulate your GOALS.

  • How many viewers/participants do you want for the event?
  • How many viewers over the course of the project (considering the link might be accessible for a few weeks or months)?
  • What is your income goal?


Best wishes with your new project!




Spotlight #2: Tori Duhaime of the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company

SelfPortrait_April 08  2020_Duhaime

Self-portrait photo by Tori Duhaime

Name: Tori Duhaime

Current Location: Richmond, VA

Job Title: Marketing Director and Event and Patron Services Manager, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City, UT

How did you learn about marketing, informally and formally?
I fell into marketing simultaneously with photography very informally. I used so much of my modern dance degree to translate ideas to selling dance itself. Choreographic elements assisted heavily in my design and photographic work, and being engaged with the digital world especially helped me teach myself what does and doesn't draw me into an experience. I truly learned by doing and a lot of googling.
What is your job title? How many hats do you wear? How many hours a week do you work on marketing?
My official job title is "Marketing Director and Event and Patron Services Manager." I often joke that I work 5 jobs for the price of one which is just the nature of non-profit arts work. I do everything from graphic design, event management, photography, social media, office management, web design, workshop management/communications, organize volunteers, customer service. and copywriting. It's very much a jack of all trades role.
I have worked 40 hours a week for the past 2.5 years year-round and just moved to a 3/5 time contract now that I am working from Richmond, VA and some of the work load will be passed off to a colleague.
How do you define "marketing?"
Marketing is such an umbrella term, particularly when talking about the arts and furthermore, dance. It really is about selling the experience but also telling a story. Not everything is to bring in patron dollars but to share what the dancers and directors are doing in the world of education and outreach, what the company is doing to improve x,y,z within the company structure. Seeking dollar data as a marketing director in dance isn't going to look the same as a clothing brand because the numbers will never really uphold a company the way development will. Engagement and new audiences seem more valuable than the dollar in this work, though that's not to say that pressing for ticket sales is not a critical part of my role. 
Marketing as a creative endeavor:
To reiterate the idea of storytelling, marketing can be and frankly requires deeply nuanced efforts. It is a highly creative role in my mind and admittedly I get far too hung up on design elements than community development with fellow businesses. I look at designs as choreography. If I know how to move people around a stage in an effectively artistic way, then I should be able to guide an eye around a piece of paper or screen similarly. The relationship that is created between the featured artists on a poster and the accompanying words can make or break how much information is consumed or if the eye even processes the image especially as the consumption of imagery is so overwhelming in the age of social media. There are of course whole theories on this ideology by trained designers but I believe translating it to dance requires an understanding of the art form being solicited to best support the outcome. Certainly, not everybody will agree with this and it is rare that I get to really run with this offering for fear that the information isn't effectively delivered. Marketing is a financial gamble, and taking bold design choices sometimes means letting go of how past generations have engaged with ads and images.
I believe creating intrigue is the most powerful approach to marketing vs a tell-all these days. A dancer's body itself doesn't actually have to be present anymore to communicate movement. To maintain and grow dance audiences continues to be a difficult task so I frequently question how we get somebody onto the website or box office itself before anybody knowing dance is involved. There is so much space in marketing to bridge industries and interests to welcome in new eyes and audiences but such requires those financial gambles that go outside of the usual approaches, and that can be difficult for any artist or director to have faith in. I get it and I don't offer that as a criticism, rather a recognition of why I have proposed ideas rejected often, especially as a one-person team.
On the topic of "influencers:"
I'll speak to influencers because I think it is something that won't be going away no matter what social media platforms we are handed and is a very new kind of marketing. In contrast to my work with Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, I also work in the outdoor industry as a freelance photographer and I'm the Content Producer for Ravel Media, meaning I handle many of our brand sponsorships for both audio and visual assets. As a photographer and for the sake of building relationships with brands, I myself have taken on partnerships that resemble an influencer relationship with only a smaller following. I've watched outdoor brands utilize ambassadors and sponsored content for years and invite in more lesser-known individuals and diverse representation (which, of course, has immense growth to still be had on that topic) and I'm still waiting for dancers to get that same opportunity. Sure, you have the big-name entertainment or ballet artists who are getting deodorant and Nike partnerships but it's the freelance, up and coming artists who need visibility and support. I want to see small brands get a whole project-based group or small company decked out in some needed gear in turn for some social media shares or paid to market that go-to pair of pants a dancer swears by. I want to see differently-abled dancers and non-western concert dancers influencing for ethical brands. Influencer media is a way to better communicate consumer needs to brands, gives brands feedback from the sponsored individual, and can really elevate the visibility of an artist. It's creative marketing on both ends quite frankly and I think dancers (save for the entertainment industry) are wildly under-utilized. I think as marketing directors, we can and should be trying to build more of this kind of relationship for our clients and directors starting with local brick and mortars all the way to corporations. Learning to write pitches to brand ambassador teams and finding companies that align with artistic values is always worth the outreach.
The same can go for shows and companies reaching out to ambassadors to bring in patrons. People trust other people and getting endorsements from influencers could really support audience development. There's a part of me that shudders at all of this as it fuels a capitalistic structure which in return, doesn't always give back to the arts, but I think there is also an opportunity to rehumanize arts by getting that sort of "word of mouth" marketing that is simulated by influencers.
With marketing, I want to learn more about...
Data. I came into this position from being a choreographer primarily before. I've never been a numbers person and work best with the right side of my brain, but data is very important and yet something so difficult to seemingly acquire when referencing the arts. Throughout a season, we can have such a wide range of repertory being produced, a show with more experimental work, a show designed for kids, and a show that pleases the masses, so getting data for a season to reflect that always feels slightly counterproductive to the breadth of art itself. This year alone, we've seen how our data can be shifted by all sorts of events as art is felt by both people and economics. I absolutely want to better understand how to track and utilize data in a way that supports the continuation of creation, rather than solely the continuation of selling creations, and where those intersect for sustainability.

On Customer Care and Retention: A Few Musings with Polly Hancock

Screen Shot 2020-12-12 at 8.52.42 AM

On Customer Care and Retention: A Few Musings with Polly Hancock

The other day I got to sit down and talk with my beloved hairdresser, Polly Hancock. Polly is a successful hair stylist and co-owner of the New Florence Salon in Emeryville, CA. She is also the co-owner of the popular Prizefighter Bar, also in Emeryville.

Polly Hancock is a great example of business success. She co-owns two thriving businesses. With her hair clientele, including yours truly, she no longer needs to advertise. Her client list is at capacity, and has been for years. So, I expected our conversation to be about her take on social media and advertising to build a business. But, as you will read, Polly wanted to emphasize customer retention, another key aspect of marketing work. For sure - it is one thing to get someone in the door, but another thing to keep a customer for 10-20 years and counting. Here are some takeaways from our conversation.


Personal touch

Customer experience

Great service

Polly noted that she has clients who have been with her for 20+ years now. “They have grown with me.” This is a beautiful sentiment about the shared journey together as client and business owner. The business is active and evolving: growing, maintaining, streamlining, and reprioritizing. The business and the relationships remain dynamic.

Polly strongly emphasizes a personal touch. “To me, it is about paying attention. It’s caring.” 

You get to know people. You remember their personal interests, family, and work lives. It is about an ongoing dialogue, and ongoing business together.

Speaking about the bar she co-owns, the Prizefighter, Polly mentioned the community of employees. As one of three co-owners, they have strived to create a home with a professional vibe. Making a work environment that is good and fair to employees translates to people being a part of it. “That vibe and camaraderie translates to the customer experience.”

Polly then elaborates on the idea of the “customer experience.” What maintains a customer? What creates staying power? What makes a customer want to be “a part of it?”

“Customer experience goes farther than anything else.” She talks about the idea of the whole - the whole package and the whole experience which includes the environment, the conversations, the service, and the products. 

And - always - the service. “I couch it in the service term.” Polly - at both of her businesses - is all about excellent service. It is what she admires in other businesses, and it is one of the values she holds so high. Most of all, she lets her artistry speak. As a devotee myself, I concur. She is ultra talented and consistent as a hair stylist. And, indeed, she is warm, funny, present, and engaged each time we are together. She remembers my life, and asks about it. I too keep coming back year after year for the great haircuts, the friendly vibe of the salon, and being in the company of a caring person.


So - to take a few cues from Polly Hancock, spend a few moments and reflect on these potent words and phrases:

Owners and customers growing together

Personal touch

A work environment that is good and fair to employees

Customer experience





Today's post riffs off of a post from 2017 on my other blog, Life as a Modern Dancer. The post was called "The Verbs of Arts Administration" and included this graphic designed by Jenny Lederer for the piece:

Arts Administration Verbs by Jill Randall

Text by Jill Randall of Life as a Modern Dancer Blog; graphic design by Jenny Lederer

Whether you are running a dance company, boutique store, or online magazine --- what 1-3 words describe your core work with the business right now (during the COVID-19 pandemic)? Sad to say that we need to mention words not in the graphic above, but they are very real and relevant to this moment:

  • Paring down
  • Pausing
  • Cancelling
  • Streamlining
  • Furloughing
  • Postponing
  • Reducing
  • Consolidating

So - what are the 1-3 words you choose today?

No need to beat yourself up about these words or make judgements; today's post is about reflecting and articulating...then seeing how this affects your publicity and marketing going forth.

Even if you are cutting programs and pausing projects, what will be conveyed and shared with your customers, readers, donors, and community members? What are the pros and cons of sharing the details?

If you are running a business or organization with newly reduced staffing and smaller budgets, how are you maintaining your current customers and possibly even gaining new customers? And back to marketing - is this a moment to ask a board member for support or find some pro bono marketing help in your community? (Likewise....can you offer any marketing and cross-promotional support to colleagues right now?)




Resource Share: Articles about Instagram Marketing and Brand Ambassadors


A colleague and I were just reading some articles together, and thought you might like to join in as well. Yes, numerous ideas are repeated throughout the pieces --- which is important to note as a trend or worthwhile concept to consider.


18 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Marketing Strategy (

7 Marketing Tips to Help Grow Your Brand on Instagram (

50 Instagram Marketing Tips for Small Businesses in 2020 (

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing in 2020 (


Plus an article on brand ambassadors:

How to Turn Your Consumers into Brand Ambassadors (


What articles are you reading this week? Please share links in the Comments section below. Thank you!



Spotlight #1: Mary Anne Bodnar of Movement Research


Photo: Jeanne Donovan

Name: Mary Anne Bodnar

Location: New York, NY

Job Title: Media & Communications Manager, Movement Research


How did you learn about marketing, informally and formally? 

I fell into marketing through an internship placement at Movement Research (MR) in 2017. I had applied for a role with their publication Critical Correspondence, but during my interview was convinced to take on the role of Marketing Intern. My formal training came from my supervisors, then Managers José Rivera Jr. and Kat Galasso. They taught me the basics of email platforms, website backends, and social media schedules. I enjoyed the satisfaction of getting tasks done, but my progress was bolstered by how trusted I was by the Managers. They gifted me the responsibility of sending out our “Weekly” Sunday e-blasts to a listserv of 10,000 people. Enter my informal (yet robust) training: trial and error. While the emails were reviewed by all Managers at MR, I still felt responsible for any mistakes – and in the beginning I made a lot of them. Name misspellings, location errors, mis-linked photographs, etc. I was coming from a college dance program where occasional errors like this were inconsequential. At MR, not a single one went without notice. If I capitalized an intentionally all-lower-case name, I received multiple emails alerting me to this error. I was frustrated at how insulted the informants sounded, until I realized that caring for these details was the job. Anyone can paste text into an email, but effective marketing means maintaining a careful and protective eye on every detail of communication across all platforms, all the time. It means consistent yet creative clarity and care. In an effort to do well at my job, this level of attention to detail has become a small obsession. I take pride in how I review materials, but I also continue to trust this trial and error process as an ongoing informal training throughout my career.

What is your job title? How many hats do you wear? How many hours a week do you work on marketing?

My job title is Media & Communications Manager. I oversee two Associates, and we collectively oversee nine interns. We all work part-time, so maintaining clear and open conversations around our capacity is important. I usually work 23 hours/week, and most of that time is dedicated to planning, delegating and executing our marketing calendar. I additionally help administrate our two publications (Movement Research Performance Journal and Critical Correspondence), and coordinate all media and communications involved with events such as our seasonal Festivals and annual Gala. Teamwork is integral to the functioning of organizations like Movement Research, and I’m grateful to have a great group of co-workers and interns. My internship was an important portal for me as a dancer and worker, so I take the responsibility of mentoring and overseeing interns seriously. I’ve taken to frequently integrating check-ins about an intern’s experience into their weekly work sessions. It’s my goal that they aren’t just acquiring skills, but using our conversations as a platform for discussing and processing how arts nonprofits function.

How do you define "marketing?"

Marketing involves clearly and comprehensively educating audiences or consumers on how an experience or product could fit into and hopefully enhance their pursuits and goals. It creatively utilizes a variety of physical and digital channels to reach out to and communicate with consumers.

Marketing as a creative endeavor...

In my experience creativity thrives on (loose) structures. I commit to a certain amount of marketing support for each artist or event on our Calendar, and then I let my knowledge and intuition get to work shaping how it will unfold within those guidelines. I like to feel hyper-organized around a marketing plan, but I’ve learned to accept and quickly act when things aren’t so orderly. If requests or updates come in within days (or hours) of an event, I’ve learned to not dwell on how well I could’ve done if I had had enough time. Perhaps that’s just learning how to be a worker, but it’s worth mentioning since this flexibility has helped me feel like I’m a supporting member of a team.

It’s also helped me in my role to be clear about where I’m adhering to a self-imposed structure, and where I’m being creative. For example, I rarely paraphrase an artist’s class description in promotional materials, but I’ll regularly pull full-sentence direct quotes from it. The creativity is choosing which quotes to pull for specific posts or materials. It can seem limiting, but it’s one of the ways that I’ve used to clarify how my work is a vehicle for an artist’s work, rather than my interpretation of it. 

On the topic of "social media:"

When I started in my role as Manager, I was so intimidated by social media that I built out a separate role for someone else to do it. I had an inferiority complex that other organizations’ social media presence was smarter, faster, and cooler than what I was planning to do, and I couldn’t visualize how to effectively and authentically serve artists through this platform. After about a year I took back this responsibility and tackled it the only way I knew how: be simple and also okay with being a bit uncool. I wasn’t going to let perfect be the enemy of good. And guess what? It all worked. I created timing and content structures for daily posts about classes and opportunities. They don’t creatively integrate the latest visual options on the platform, but they’re frequent, clear, and reliable. Our engagement numbers responded well to the formats, and it became clear that this specific use of social media, albeit a bit boring, was exactly what our artists needed to connect with our programming. Social media is a tool, and it helped me to evolve an understanding of why exactly we were using it.

With marketing, I want to learn more about...

I’m interested in learning how other marketing leaders successfully delegate to workers or interns who don’t (yet) have the institutional knowledge or background to support a detail-oriented marketing eye in the organization. I connected last Winter with marketing workers in large companies, and they cited this as a challenge in their environments, too. I’m curious if anyone has strategies for delegating in a way that workers feel invested, useful and successful at their contribution to a larger marketing picture, and also understand the consequentiality of getting those details right.


Our Training, Our Plans: An Informal Survey of the Field


How did you learn to market a show or market your business?

Did you study marketing in school?

Do you follow a marketing plan or organically make a plan when a need arises?

Is your focus on a marketing plan or "marketing strategies" right now based on the size and scale of your organization?


These are common questions that many administrators and business owners wonder but are a bit timid to ask! So - I took a chance and reached out to ten colleagues around the country to ask them the questions. (Please note that I reached out to a small pool of colleagues at predominantly modern/contemporary dance schools, companies, and festivals.) This small sampling aims to open the window into a larger conversation and through-line on the blog about training and marketing plans.


On training. Here's what these 10 marketing professionals shared:

The group of 10 hold titles as marketing/communication associates, managers, and directors.


When asked about their training (college degrees, graduate degrees, internships, workshops, etc):

  • Only 1 out of 10 had an undergraduate degree in business, marketing, or arts administration
  • Only 1 out of 10 had a graduate degree in business, marketing, or arts administration
  • 20% of the group engaged in a marketing-related internship
  • 80% participated in continuing education workshops and conferences in recent years related to marketing

When asked, "Did you 'grow' into your marketing position through having a prior job at your organization/school?":

  • 6 of 10 arts administrators talked about internships or prior positions at their org before their current marketing/communications role

When asked, "What informal ways ways you have developed as a marketer over the years?" the 10 administrators surveyed shared:

  • Learning by doing
  • Learning from colleagues and supervisors
  • Webinars, LinkedIn Learning Courses, and YouTube videos
  • Online resources and articles
  • Books
  • Americans for the Arts Conference
  • Following other marketers on social media
  • Working with a marketing consultant
  • Transferring personal experience from being a choreographer and producing my own shows into my current job


On Marketing Plans. The 10 administrators surveyed were equally split between "project-based plans" and "yearlong plans." While doing this survey, I also stumbled upon this great article about marketing plans: How to Create a Crystal Clear Marketing Plan (+ Templates) by Katrina Balmaceda .


Let's keep the conversation going! Please add below your thoughts and questions about training for marketers and about marketing plans.


Resource Share

Book photo

Each month on market to market, I will be sharing books, articles, podcasts, and upcoming webinars and conferences.


READ (book): In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs - by Grace Bonney (2016)

While this is not a marketing book per se, it is fabulous and inspiring nonetheless. Pick it up over the course of a few weeks for inspiration and ideas by colleagues all around the country. Bonney's short interviews are about career paths, lessons learned, and what "success" means. Essential ideas related to marketing - growth, sales, and scaling up - are common threads in the interviews.

READ (article): I am Not Your Negro: Radical Solutions for Dismantling Racism in Marketing - by Khalilah Elliott

WATCH (panel discussion/recording): Anti-Racism And The Arts (ASL-interpreted): Marketing Leaders Respond! - presented by Howlround on August 19, 2020

ENGAGE (upcoming virtual conference): Boot Camp 2020 through Capacity Interactive, October 22-23, 2020

SUBSCRIBE (mailing list, FB, IG): Speaking of Capacity Interactive, do you know about this organization and its incredible offerings about marketing? Time to join the mailing list, like the FB page, and follow on IG. I just did! So much to learn and take in -


Please share your current readings and resources below in a Comment! Thank you.