We are starting a series of interviews with business owners, marketing professionals, and influencers in order to open these gates for you.
We find a successful case study and tell all the details, you learn and apply all these tips on your business, or with your clients.
One extremely chilly but sunny morning we met with Julia Oravisto
in her "BAY" pilates and yoga studio
, situated in the old red-brick district by the port near Katajanokka to discuss HOW to create hype around your product, HOW to promote reformer pilates in Helsinki, HOW to get sponsored by Reebok and HOW to run delicious stylish business in the center of the Finnish capital.Julia is welcomingly sitting back in the studio
telling us how she left her 6-year-long adventurous life in Australia while studying and teaching pilates to return back home and start not only her own business but a well-branded studio with a special approach to yoga and pilates, pleasant for both clients and teachers."This is my business, but I had a lot of help from people around me", tells Julia about her friends who were developing their skills in Finland and the friends that she made in Australia.
Here is the essential list of people that can help you on the early stage of the business development, considering Julia's experience:
- start-up consultant
- graphic/web designer
Continuing with the marketing SIDE OF THE BUSINESS. "I realized the importance of marketing and I really wanted to create a hype around business before I opened in October." For that reason it was decided to hire a PR agency, what actually most of the small businesses in Finland are not considering on the early stage of the business development — HERE IS one of THE key POINTS of BAY success — realising how important it is to have contacts and to know the people, to have professional insight of what is actually going on Social Media scene.
IMPORTANT MARKETING TRICKS:
- contact bloggers/opinion leaders → cooperate with them on the terms of barter or some other — to get more visibility
- prepare a strategic plan and content plan for your social media channels, creating a high quality and relevant contact for your customers
- reach out to bigger brands that cover the same target group for collaboration
HOW TO GET SPONSORED BY FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL SPORTS BRAND
Julia strives on how important it is to have the courage to approach companies for collaborations as it works both ways. "I just CALLED Adidas if they could provide some peace of clothing for a photoshoot, and they said REEBOK was looking for a brand ambassador in Finland for yoga and pilates, so they became our sponsors, providing clothing for Bay's instructors."
The peculiarity of BAY
- everything is in English (from classes to Social Media)
- BAY is a real international brand for fins and not only that
- The expected HYPE worked — classes were filled up every day from the opening day and the positive problem was there was no space for people
- the challenge was to communicate what the reformer pilates is, but the cool part was to be the pioneer in this field
"It takes a time to realise of what your business is and what you want it to become in the future — in my case, it was creating a brand not to be too spiritual, just because it's about yoga, but neutral space for men and women."
We were extremely delighted to meet such an inspiring woman that runs successful business and, what is more important, shares same values and UNDERSTANDING OF THE IMPORTANCE of marketing for promoting your business.
What advice can you give for someone who is starting/running a business in order to make it successful? "If you want to stand out — Marketing is a good investment, with time, money and everything — it's even more important than your website."
We thank Julia and wish that BAY keeps prospering. If you are interested to get more insight from the most interesting places in Helsinki, make sure you follow updates on our website and get notifications from our Instagram.
NOTE We are looking forward organizing a series of lectures where business owners, marketing professionals, and influencers will teach you marketing techniques, social media tricks and you will have a chance to apply all that knowledge during the workshop.
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