How to Keep Your Studio Full by Thinking Like an Entrepreneur…with a little help from this brand new handbook.
As of last month, my studio was booked solid. I was teaching literally every minute of my after school hours. I felt like I had more students than I knew what to do with. I had two more planning on starting in January. Everything looked good.
And then. Dun, dun DUN… Two of my students quit. Goodbye, grocery budget. And those two planning on starting in January? They decided to wait until the summer. Things are looking pretty grim.
When I saw that Bree Lewis-Fennell (of The Thriving Music Studio) had published a handbook on marketing for music teachers, I thought, I don’t need that! My studio is booked! Well, when I lost these students, I thought I should check it out.
I was a little put-off by the price, I rarely spend $45 on books, but I thought I would give the free chapter a try to see what I thought. Well, as soon as I read the free chapter, my decision was made. I bought the whole thing. I have read some business books, and I really enjoy that genre, but Bree’s handbook just went straight to the point. This was for me. For my violin studio. It is the perfect Marketing 101 for Music Teachers.
The connections were made for me. When I’ve read other marketing or business books in the past, I had to stretch a little to figure out how things really applied to my studio business. In “Marketing Strategies for Music Teachers,” everything was already geared toward my studio business.
One of the most helpful exercises in the Handbook walks you through imagining your Ideal Customer Avatar. (Your Ideal Customer Avatar is the caregiver of your dream student, the person that needs to find you.) I realized that I’ve not been marketing in a way that would attract the students I really want. I highly recommend at least downloading the free chapter of the book and completing this exercise for yourself. Think about what kind of students and parents you want in your studio, and then brainstorm—where do they hang out, where do they go to school, where do they shop, and focus your marketing efforts there.
Another mistake I realized I had been making was failing to use testimonials anywhere on my music studio website. I have lots of students who really love me and their violin lessons, and would probably be happy to write a quick blurb about me for my website or other marketing materials. That’s on my to-do list now!
I consider myself to be pretty savvy about social media and all that stuff, but Bree’s chapter on “Utilizing Social Media” really opened my eyes to some of the things I could be doing to better represent my studio online. If you are wanting to increase your studio’s online presence to attract more students, she has some really great suggestions and guidelines.
More than ever, if you don’t have a significant online footprint, potential customers will pass you by. Based on Bree’s recommendations I am going to be overhauling my website design, starting a youtube channel, and changing up my Facebook marketing approach.
Here’s the big lightbulb moment. Bree really strongly recommends sending out an email newsletter to anyone who has ever emailed you about lessons. (Even if they didn’t end up starting lessons.) This is very easy to do through an Email Marketing Service like Mailchimp. (This is what I use, and it is very user-friendly and free/cheap.) In the past, if a student decided not to begin lessons with me (or never emailed me back about scheduling a trial lesson) I just forgot about them. This was a huge mistake!
Since reading Bree’s book, I scoured my email account for some emails from potential students who never started, and I sent them all an email about my studio’s upcoming Christmas performances. Well, one of those people emailed me back that day and asked if I still had openings. Yup. Pretty sweet.
Of course, I didn’t agree with every marketing idea in the book. (I am quite opinionated and would probably not agree with everything in any book.) I would probably never offer any sort of deal on Groupon or an Introductory Special Offer. I found that deals like this don’t usually bring in my “Ideal Customer Avatar,” but rather people just looking for cheap violin lessons. That’s not what I offer, so I don’t want to attract those customers.
I did wish that some of the marketing ideas went into further detail, but I suppose that’s what Bree’s individual coaching program is for!
If you are wondering if you would like “Marketing Strategies for Music Teachers—88 Free and Low Cost Ways to Book Your Studio Full,” you can download the first chapter for free. That’s what convinced me. (Even just that first chapter has some great nuggets that will help you get your studio marketing plan up and running.)
Some of the ideas were things that I already knew I should do, but it did give me the push I needed to finally get a move on and get some of those things done. It may be the push you need too!
Like I said before, I don’t usually spend $45 on a book, especially an ebook, but I can write it off as a tax deduction. To be honest, at $45 if I get even one student using these ideas the book pays for itself pretty darn fast. (And I imagine I will get HEAPS of new students using these ideas.) I bet my studio will be back at 110% in no time flat.
What about you? How do you market your music studio?
Since I thought you guys would love this Handbook, as soon as I finished reading it I asked Bree if I could be an affiliate seller of her book. This means (at no cost to you) if you purchase the handbook, I receive a percentage of the sale. This money goes towards the cost of hosting and maintaining this website. Thanks!
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