Never truly given the opportunity to tell her story, 30 year old Elizabeth Barry, president of Elizabeth Barry and Associates (a premiere strategic marketing firm for the dance industry) is dancing her way up the entrepreneurial ladder fast. With nationwide clientele in the dance, fitness and entertainment niche markets and an on line magazine, Gendance, acclaimed as the leading voice of the next generation of dance she is ready to let the world know who she is, where she’s been, and where she’s taking the dance industry.
FBE: What influenced the launch of your firm and the on line global weekly dance magazine ? EB: I have owned the first strategic marketing firm for 3 years in the dance niche. I also worked as a sales director for every dance publication before launching my business. I left and later launched EB & A. As for the launch of gendance; we create an ad story and direct response mechanism for advertising clients within the first email magazine for performing artists. Advertisers get it all and don’t have to lift a finger! Plus, they get to have their own URL to keep promoting the ad after it’s published online. The influence? Doing it right for advertisers, and creating a cool new vehicle for the new dance niche that makes an emotional impact on a weekly basis on all levels. As a marketing firm, we make sure we help everyone and make it look significant. Our work is behind it.
FBE: Do you work independently or with other people and what are their significant roles? EB: I have an assistant, an amazing Web Director that helps me create miracles that are beautiful both technically and design wise, and I have one of the greatest graphic design teams that actually cares and goes beyond for clients. I can’t ask for a better group behind my mission.
FBE: Do you have any formal training in dance? If so, where and how has it assisted in the production of your magazine and your firm? EB:I was a dancer since the age of 4. 24 years as a dancer, dance teacher and choreographer. Most significantly at UMASS, Amherst 5 college dance program. The influence that dance has had is that I grew up with passion and respect for it. I graduated with a communication/marketing degree. My first job was in publishing. If you’re good to others and to yourself; good things come. It’s natural.
FBE: What would you say makes your firm and magazine unique? EB:There is no other in the industry yet! We’re the first and only strategic marketing firm, ad agency and PR firm combined. We’re recognized as the “Jerry McGuire” of the dance niche. We go in the ring with the clients and become their #1 fan. Personalized service, understanding of needs and sincere collaboration is our forte. (other agencies just care about money or if they’re designing, they’re just robotic. Words/images. Done) we build lasting impressions with care. As for the magazine, we are the FIRST weekly trend-zine for dance. The unique factor is that it works like a website from your inbox. Every ad has it own URL so advertisers can promote it forever. It’s also archived. Every article has its own URL so those that are written up can promote it forever. The forward-ability of the machine, excuse me, magazine, but it works like a porshe… is unbelievable. It’s the first beautifully designed, personally written, engaging technologically sound product in the dance niche.
FBE: What type of people do you typically serve? EB: I particularly serve launch companies. You know, the ones that have a white sheet of paper and an idea. Those are my favorites. We really do a great job with them. I also serve small to mid size companies who need a fresh start again. I love helping them re-brand. For the larger companies, I bring them the ideas and the smaller creative companies to collaborate with to keep their competitive advantage.
FBE: So tell me who or what personally inspires your work? EB:Results inspire my work. When I was on the red carpet for the premiere of In the Heights; there was little white sheets of loose leaf with Channel 9, Broadway world, Broadway.com “Elizabeth Barry & Associates” I thought “wow”. Then, when I was interviewing David Hyde Pierce and other celebs on a mike, I knew it was real. When I land my clients 20 sponsors, or get them featured in newspapers, on TV, on major NYC parade floats; that inspires me. When I go to Broadway and I see my friends on stage and know that they look to me for answers and promotion, I cry in excitement and personal joy. When I get little emails back from clients and colleagues after each weekly magazine issue or from our work that says, “OMG, I LOVE IT!” or “THIS IS HOT” it keeps me going and lets me know everything’s gonna be ok.
FBE: Has your firm or magazine been affected by the recent economic setback? If so, what have you implemented to derive from it? EB: Actually, we’ve been the company helping folks get creative out of this storm. I’ve lowered my monthly retainer rate for clients a lot to help them stay with us longer period of time to fully employ their campaigns. We’ve also been offering the first advertorial free in our weekly magazine to help clients test this new vehicle and way to advertise.
FBE: I see you know some pretty important people in the entertainment industry. Who else have you worked with? EB:YES! Luis Greenfield is featured on my website and her photography appears in every weekly issue of gendance as our branded character. We just put unique patterns over her figures. Lots of Broadway stars; Luis Salgado,(In the Heights) Michael Balderrama,(Movin Out) Gabriela Garcia,(CHICAGO) Geo Hubella, (dancer with JLo, N Cync, Pink) Jonathan Urla (Yogilates) Courtney Galiano (SYTYCD) Phil LaDuca (LaDuca Shoes) Cheryl Cutlip (Rockettes)
FBE: Do you have any exciting upcoming projects in the works? EB:My campaign, www.ILoveStanleyNYC.com is currently all over NYC streets. Wild Postings with Stanley, the spokes-child for Cystic Fibrosis are on hundreds of corners. We built the site and we do so every year for his campaign to raise funds. His parents are the chairs of the CF chapter in NYC. Our website is also featured in Times Square on the Toys R Us jumbotron. You will be able to see it live in the next 2 weeks. We’ll be on TV with Lonni Quinn with the family the morning of May 17th for the CF walk and our logos appear on the back of the t shirts as a sponsor. We’re also looking to help build the first Latino Choreographers Festival; My clients are going to be in a NYC parade on a float on TV in June, and for gendance, we’re looking to build a program to visit all the NYC theatres and build a documentary style interview segment on why the theatres are named what they are. People often overlook who Richard Rogers was. Who was he anyway and what did he do to get that beautiful spot named after him? The answers could be quite intriguing and could inspire our readers.
FBE: Have you been featured (or published) on television or any other media? EB: We’ve been published in a few magazines in our industry with quotes. I’ve been on TV in segments that we’ve attained for clients, but I’m waiting to get on Ellen or Oprah for my work as a young woman entrepreneur.-or to be featured in what you’re doing. That would be fabulous!
FBE:What would you say your biggest accomplishment thus far? EB:I have to say my creative “firsts”. Since I’ve launched, I’ve created: The first wholesale website for sequins as well as the first nationwide non-profit campaign within the dance niche raising $28000 for cancer research. See here. The first music magazine for dance, the first mineral based stage makeup company, the first online dance magazine, the first interactive micro-site for dance (www.danceworldgotgame.com)
FBE: Who or what keeps you motivated? EB: My clients motivate me. Working with good people who get it and are appreciative of our work motivates me to do more. People who say “Thank you” and “I appreciate you” get me fired up. We work beyond our limits. It’s my style. I can’t help it; so when clients are appreciative and we land them deals; I keep going.
FBE: Where do you see your magazine and/or firm in the next five years? EB:I see us being the chic agency that’s the most sought after for companies that want to sell to the dance niche. I also see us being the hub for corporate companies that want to break into this niche and engage dancers with their products and branding. As for the magazine, I see us hiring a staff of writers and doing more video interviews and documentaries. We’ve launched with the aim of being People magazine meets Entertainment Weekly for dance-online-in your inbox. I see the integrity being kept and being the NEXT generation of dance magazine that paves the way for the young performers and their parents; helping them keep inspiration and linking them with job offers from the corporate companies we represent.
FBE: How can FBE viewers contact you?
FBE: And lastly, what advice do you have for young entrepreneurs? EB:Beleive in the messages that the universe sends; be open to them. Surround yourself with a good stable of people that positively impact your life and business. The minute you feel that someone may not be out for your best interests; it could possibly be true. It’s ok to make the same mistakes over and over again as long as you finally learn why you shouldn’t do them at some point. Don’t blame yourself. It’s a process. You never know what can happen on any given day. Just try and wake up and go to sleep every day saying to yourself “I’m going to have a great day today and do my best, or go to sleep saying I know that out of everything today, I did my best and the best is all I can do.