Kizuna Dance Case Study:

How Making a Marketing Plan Equals Less Stress & More Impact

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Whenever I ask creatives about what they struggle with in digital marketing, the answer is usually some form of: “Finding the time to do it all.”

I totally get that.

When you work with small teams and limited resources, your marketing and communications can start to look like putting out fires and scrambling to finish last-minute tasks.

After hearing this same struggle many times over, I tested out a series of quick and easy planning sessions to help erase this stress. Last fall, I led seven 45-minute calls with artists and entrepreneurs. Together, we created 3-month communications plans, covering everything from when to promote upcoming events and offers, to what kind of content to share and how frequently to post on social media and send news out to email subscribers.

I’ve been impressed by much of what I’ve seen happen since! And I wanted to share with you a slice of Kizuna Dance’s excellent execution of planning for their season.

Meet Cameron McKinney: Choreographer, performer, and artistic director of Kizuna Dance.

Cameron came to our call with TONS to talk about. This is something that stands out to me in general about working with creative, driven clients. There is always something to share!

We talked through everything on the dance company’s calendar: his upcoming touring season, a premiere of his new work, a crowdfunding campaign, and an annual fundraising party to support the tour.

I helped Cameron sort out what channels he should prioritize to communicate with his fans and followers, and importantly, how to ease people in to hearing from him more frequently. When there’s a lot to share, my clients tend to hold back because they don’t want to annoy their subscribers and followers.

But here’s the thing: people who already support you want to see you succeed! So they want to hear about that success.

You can avoid “annoying” them by giving them a head’s up that you have a lot to share and that means keeping in touch more frequently to share it. Setting up expectations is key.

I asked Cameron after our call what he felt about preparing in advance and how we laid out his marketing schedule.

The Impact

Amy: Do you feel you have a better handle on what to prioritize in your marketing for the next 3 months?

Cameron: DEFINITELY. I could tell that you took the time to try to understand my company’s history, message, and goals. You came with questions of your own that helped us cut through to the core of what really needs to happen next in a short period of time. I also appreciate that you followed up with a schedule of communications, This was incredibly helpful and for someone untrained in making marketing plans, this is also a template for future campaigns.

Amy: It’s important to me that my clients learn to enjoy marketing. Are you looking forward to putting your plan into action?

Cameron: Yes I definitely am. Feeling less like I’m always playing catch up and more like I am consistently preparing for the future definitely makes it less stressful!

Amy: What else did you find helpful?

Cameron: I feel like very few people my age know what they’re doing in every aspect of running a company. Having a consultation with you helped my understand administration from a different perspective.

I was lucky enough to see Cameron’s premiere of a new piece, KOBITO, “a dark and emotionally-driven ensemble work about chaos and missed connections,” at Triskelion Arts this January. Cameron kept me informed about the development of the work and the company’s plans for the few months leading up to the show, and I was ready and excited to cheer them on.

You can learn more about the Kizuna Dance tour, see Cameron’s work and sign up for his excellent newsletter here.

Bottom Line: planning works wonders.

When you take the time to plan first, you end up with clarity in your communications, way less stress and way more impact.

Ready to start your own MARKETING plan?

It’s never too late to get organized in your approach to email, social media and content marketing. Contact my team to learn more about our consulting sessions and strategy work.

I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.

Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.