Welcome to June's expert roundup focusing on business growing tips. As you know, this month we are exploring everything to do with Studio Business and Marketing.
So, I gathered some music business experts and asked them what is the one critical skill they focused on to grow their music business.
There's a range of hints, tips and tricks in this post, which I hope resonates with you.
If you'd like to see last month's expert roundup on pop piano teaching, click here.
In April, we asked piano experts how to organise fun piano recitals. You can check that one out here.
Good customer service. Organic growth has been achieved by providing a great, customised experience to each student.
Build your own website, focus on creating a great customer experience that reflects your studio. Facebook and other sites are great for extended reach but they own the content. If you don't have anywhere to drive the traffic to then it is just a stab in the dark.
By focusing on having a great (even if it is simple) website you are creating a space where you can share your studio. It also help you automate some of the administrative functions of your studio.
You can visit Carly's website here.
Student focused learning. For me, that meant making lessons fun. Remember, 35% of new student enquiries comes from friends or families of existing students.
Facebook! Make a page and promote yourself.
Paul is involved with Forte Music, read more here.
Sales and persuasion.
I've invested study time, money, effort, and practice time in to honing the way I talk about my studio business. I saw all of the "important" numbers in my studio increase as I focused on this skill.
The number of inquiries I received each month. The number of folks who agreed to begin lessons. The length of time students stayed with me. The amount I could charge for my main lesson program and special programs. The participation rates in festivals, judged events, and recitals. Everything improved - and continued to improve as I put more time into mastering persuasion in speech and print.
My website, GrowYourMusicStudio.com, has heaps of helpful ways you can improve your business.
One of the most critical means of growing my studio during the past several years has been understanding the specific needs and goals of my students and their parents, and knowing how to meet those goals in efficient and relevant ways.
One of the most significant goals I have for my students is that they become independent musicians from the very start, which increases their self-confidence not only in music, but in other areas of their lives. This is crucial here in the heart of Appalachia. Familiarity with many styles of music and the fundamental skill of reading lead sheets and chord charts fluently allows my students and I to jam with friends or sub in a band on stage or in church on a moment's notice, which is a natural and welcome part of life here.
Your own website!
Nothing can market for you better than having your own site with professional photos of yourself, personalized and up-to-date studio information, and beautifully-edited, current photos of what's going on in your studio. I've been enrolling more and more students (three this week alone!) who have discovered my studio website during an online search for piano lessons in our area. The easy-to-access information, updated photos of my students, and professional look of my site are a huge part of what motivates them to sign up immediately.
You've probably heard the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words". That's a huge reason why my website is there. It is a visual representation of my studio, myself, and other aspects of my music business, and it speaks on my behalf before my potential clients and I have the opportunity to speak in person. I can't imagine not having my own website. It has been, and will continue to be, a tremendous marketing tool.
Check out Melody's website here.
Social media has been big for me. Especially when I advertise or share pictures of a fun and unique group class.
Advertising group classes helps me grow my studio in a way that optimizes my time (and the classes are super fun for students!) Ads and shared pictures of fun group classes catch people’s attention.
So not only do I get students signing up for the group classes, I almost always get inquiries about private piano lessons as well.
My website's business page has lots of resources for helping piano studios grow. There’s a big emphasis on first mapping out the “big picture” for your life.
I know piano teachers who’ve grown so much and in a way that leaves them feeling way over-scheduled and stressed out. Sure, now they’ve got a great income, but they aren’t happy. So on the website there are resources for helping teachers not only market their studios, but also grow in a way that helps you achieve the lifestyle you want.
Have a look at Kristin's website here.
Finding students who I felt were a good match for me.
The best thing you can do for your business is to fill your studio with students who like you and what you have to offer. You don’t have to do everything. What do you really like to do? What do you do best?
One key thing is to interview each prospective new student. Even if you’re at the stage where you’ll be accepting each and every student, it’s still best to meet them before that first lesson. I charge for this service because it takes my time and energy.
It gets easier the more you do it, but it helps to have a few basic principles in your mind.
There's a thorough (and free!) questionnaire here that might help you clarify what your ideal studio might look like.
You will become a part of this family system. Does this relationship seem healthy? Is this a family you feel comfortable with? Do you like the parents? Do the parents let their child speak for herself? Do they interrupt or speak on their behalf?
My website! Explore the rest of my site at dianehidy.com.
Learning how to do basic copy writing. This will help you write effective ads and market your studio business better.
You can peruse my website which will be able to help you with your business.
What did you take away from these music business growing tips? Did you find them useful? What is one critical skill you have focused on for your music business?
Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.
If you'd like some more expert help for your studio, this post might be for you.