For Parents

Fundraising for your Studio with Affiliate Marketing

12:01 PM

Affiliate marketing is an amazing thing! More teachers and studio owners should absolutely use this method to fundraise and earn for their studio. Imagine getting a check every month for anywhere from $100-1k that you can then pour back into your studio to use for costumes, upkeep, special events, a booster club, a scholarship, etc.

In this post, I'm going to break down how it works, and how you can use it to earn for your studio!

Thanks for visiting! Just so you know, my blog contains affiliate links, which generate commission for me off your purchase. All reviews are 100% my own opinion. Any item featured may have been received free in exchange for promotion or review, but does not in any way affect my review.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

An affiliate means you are connected to someone or a company in some way. Affiliate marketing means you promote someone else's product, and that company pays you a commission when someone you referred buys from them.

Say, for instance, this cute graphic:

When you click on it, it'll take you to an Etsy shop that I'm a huge fan of. Etsy has given me a special link with a tracker on it, and if you make a purchase anywhere on Etsy (not just from that shop) I'll get a 4% commission off your sale (so you buy a leotard for $30, I'll get about $1.20).

Now $1.20 isn't much, but $1.20 X 30 people is $36. That's more like it! And I didn't have to work that hard for that money. I didn't have to stand on the street and try to sell leotards. I didn't have to buy product and re-sell it. I just told you where to buy, you used my link, and now I have $36.

Maybe you buy a leotard for $30 but you also browse Etsy for some other fun gifts and accessories and end up buying $100 worth of product. Now I'm earning a bit more.

Multiply that by however many people need to buy dancewear for their kid for the beginning of the school year... you see where I'm going with this?

What are some ways I can use these earnings for my studio?

There are a lot of things your earnings could go to, but here are just a few ideas:
  • A booster club
  • A scholarship fund
  • Buying shoes for students who don't have them
  • Travel/Expenses for the competition team
  • New mirrors/floors/barres/mats etc (in fact some places will pay you in product or gift cards instead of money so you can get a great deal on equipment). 
  • Directly to you as a teacher, because we all know we do it for the kids!
Keep in mind, people are more likely to intentionally buy through your links if they know where their money is going! 

How can dance studios use affiliate marketing to their advantage?

There are a few different ways you can utilize affiliate marketing, but a web-page with recommended products is the easiest.

Here are 2 great example web pages on how to set this up.

Web page 1 - a simple straightforward list of items and links, and a classy disclaimer on the top.

Web page 2 - a more visual, enticing page of recommended products and services. This is a bit more work but allows you to gain more traffic from other sources, like Pinterest and Twitter.

You can also do something like my affiliate page, where I list all my affiliates, encourage people to shop through me, and keep my coupon codes up to date (many affiliate companies send out emails with coupons every few weeks, so you would have to keep up with the expiration dates and enter the new ones!)

Some companies even have a handy tool, such as ShareASale's Make-a-page, and Amazon's Influencer's program.

Once you have your webpage set up, here are a few extra ways to promote your page:

  • Pin the graphics on Pinterest, which will lead people to your page who are outside of your studio. You will still get commission even if they aren't your students!
  • Share the page to Facebook, and encourage parents to support the studio by shopping through your link
  • Add a line to your emails or newsletters to remind people to shop through your link
  • Ask relevant affiliate companies for special deals or coupons for your studio (Blue Apron, Graze, Naturebox, Bulldog Yoga, TRX, etc) For instance, I have a deal with Level UP Dance Supplies, who gives me a percentage any time someone uses my unique coupon code. This helps my dancers save money, and helps me earn. 
  • If you're like me and have copious amounts of free time (not really) You can make graphics like the ones below, pin or share them, and use your affiliate link.

Affiliate Marketing - Compliance Matters!

In order to use affiliate links, you must agree to the client's terms. For instance, Amazon allows you to use affiliate links on web pages, but not in emails or e-books (so a document with a link printed out is not ok, or a pdf with a clickable link is not ok) so you would need to find a way to put your links on a webpage or blog post, and then send an email with a link to that blog post in order to be compliant.

Another example is deep links, or links to a specific product. Some clients allow this, others do not. Make sure you check the terms!

The most important compliance rule is disclosure. Ever wonder why I have that fine-print phrase at the top of every single blog post? The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has a rule about advertising, and if you're getting paid per article, or being paid to promote a product, you absolutely have to disclose that fact.

This is why a webpage with a disclaimer on the top is the easiest option for studios, websites, and blogs.

How do I get started? Which programs do I join?

Here is a great list of programs and companies to join that are somewhat relevant to dance. For some of these programs, you have to sign up for a "network," and then join individual programs from there. My top recommendations would be Amazon, Danskin, Danzia, Dancewear Solutions, Etsy, Stretch Strength, and KD Dance. This is enough to get you a well-rounded list of dance-related affiliates. The rest of the partners will depend on your studio or team, and what kinds of products they buy. 

For instance, do you have a lot of teenagers who love makeup? Join some makeup affiliate companies and add them to the list of suggested brands. Do your students go nuts over fashion leotards and handmade dancewear? Etsy is a great option. Are they big into nutrition, hydration, and pre-workout products? There are tons of affiliate companies in this category. And yoga pants? Oh, don't even get me started on the yoga pant companies and subscription boxes.

CJ - 

Shareasale - 

Another great option is to simply join as many programs as possible, and link them all to one page, and ask all studio members to visit your site and click those links rather than going to the site directly. Again, people will be more intentional to purchase through your link if they know it's for a good cause.

There is also one other affiliate marketing program, that, unfortunately, is a lot like fight club... you can't talk about it on the internet. If you'd like some details and want to discuss how to make it work for your studio, let's chat. 

A note for dance moms

Affiliate Marketing can also be a great way to earn money independent of your studio. Set up a blog or simple free website, and ask your friends and family to visit your page before shopping on Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, or your other partners. Same rules apply, simply add into the disclaimer that the funds raised go towards your child's dance training. Then, start pinning, sharing, and tweeting! But don't forget to be compliant!

Want more help on affiliate marketing? Leave a comment or send me a message!

Would you like me to promote your store on my blog and social media? Please get in touch with me! 

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All content (except where otherwise noted) is copyright Haley Mathiot. Feel free to quote, but please cite appropriately and notify immediately if any information that appears on this site is copied or quoted.