664
8 min 37 sec

Ballroom Dance Enthusiast Triples Side Income with “How-To” Guide

After an initial attempt at baking scones fails to rise, a client services manager combines her passion for ballroom dancing with publishing guides for fellow dance students.
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What It's About

A side hustle that helps a corporate employee feel like dancing again.

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Ballroom Dancing & Writing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

In both dance and business, Katie says that you should be prepared to work hard for whatever you're trying to accomplish. She says that it's important to stay true to yourself while still respecting the craft.

Fun Fact

This year Katie won the World Champion title in her ballroom dancing division. She did so in spite of not fitting the “ideal” look for a competitive ballroom dancer. She refuses to cover up her full back, tree of life, tattoo.

Notes from Chris

Episode 664
Katie Flashner needed a creative outlet. Something that helped her escape from the drudgery of her corporate day job of writing and reviewing indoor air quality testing reports. She first tried starting a homemade pastry business called “Katie’s Scones.” She soon discovered, however, that even though she loved baking for others, she didn’t love the exhausting, constant cleanup.

Then she found a new activity and passion. You could say it made her feel like dancing again. These days, after Katie leaves the office, instead of heading home, she goes to the dance studio where she spends her free time as a competitive ballroom dancer. And she doesn’t “hang up those dance shoes” after leaving the studio. She also writes about ballroom dancing, earning a side income from the sale of books and guides.

She first began blogging as a way to process all of her new experiences with dance. Her blog grew into a place where other amateur ballroom dancers could get an honest perspective from someone relatable.

She had the blog, but wasn’t sure what kind of paid product she would offer. As she discussed her options with her fellow entrepreneurs and that mentor, they kept suggesting that she teach a course or offer some kind of coaching program. She started getting swept up in the others’ enthusiasm. But Katie never had a strong urge to teach. For her, writing a guidebook was her obvious choice, because she’s a writer. Looking back, she realizes that the biggest challenge came from trying to do what she thought she was supposed to do—instead of staying true to herself.

Katie learned from her coach the concept of creating a free offer to collect an email list of potential customers and then using that list to market paid offers. She followed this model for The Solo Practice Guide for Ballroom Dancing. The guide is more than just a book to read. Katie created worksheets for dancers to record and track their practice. She also created a few videos to better demonstrate the ideas she describes in the book.

She promoted it on her blog, The Girl With The Tree Tattoo, and social media pages, and after a while, she started marketing her beta offer to that list. The beta offer was the next step—and she hadn't even written the book yet!

To move forward, she’ll need to increase the number of prospects—people who are interested in learning about ballroom dancing, and who might be persuaded to purchase the guide. But so far, she's been able to triple her income.

So what is in this Dancing Queen’s future? Katie is reaching out to dance shops and dance studios to partner with her so she can get her guide into as many ballroom students’ hands as possible. At this step in time, her dance card is full.

 
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Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"I don't have a huge following, but my audience is full of ideal clients. Sometimes, there are more important things than numbers."
—Katie Flashner #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau