This post isn’t so much a list of marketing ideas (although there are some of those) as it is a list of studio promotion principals or lessons I’ve learned over the years of promoting my own music studios and other small businesses.
If you can’t figure out why your marketing hasn’t gotten any traction or you’re just feeling timid about promoting your studio, read on!
Be on the lookout for lessons you feel particularly challenged by.
Studio Promotion Lessons
Lesson #1 Invite people you know to share the experience
If one of your friends was opening a coffee shop or releasing an app, you would want to know about it, wouldn’t you? Even if the coffee shop wasn’t in my city or the app was for something obscure that I had no interest in, I would check it out. I think most of us have curiosity that verges on nosiness in this regard. 😊
Your friends and family already love and trust you. They may never take lessons from you, but they probably want to know what you’re up to and can become some of your best referrers. Let them know that you’re starting a studio!
Lesson #2 Promote actively
Building a website is a form of passive promotion. It’ll be a source of leads long-term, but to build your studio faster you’ll want to incorporate some active promotional techniques.
Think about things that get your studio in front of your audience without them having to go and search for you: posts on local social networks, personal networking, yard/car signs, etc..
Lesson #3 Don’t be afraid to spend money
You can do a lot with free marketing, but if you’re not getting the buzz you want, try investing in paid advertising.
My podcast guest this week, Tasha Locke, shares how she used Google AdWords to send traffic to the website of her brand new studio. She got her first student in only one week!
Lesson #4 Doing something is more important than doing the “perfect” thing
This speaks to my personal weakness: spending a lot of time thinking about all the things I could do to market and then letting perfectionism get in the way and not doing anything. I’m always reminding myself of this lesson!
My suggestion to teachers: pick the first marketing idea that excites you and implement it as quickly as possible. Learn from the results and adjust from there.
Lesson #5 Focus on your niche
Don’t worry about appealing to everyone. Instead, focus on marketing that will speak deeply to your target student. If you’ve done your job really well, your marketing may even alienate everyone else. (That’s OK!)
Let’s say your studio caters to middle school students. Did you know that moms of middle schoolers experience even higher levels of stress about parenting than new moms? How might that influence your marketing messages?
Having insights like this one about your target market will help you speak directly to them.
Lesson #6 Make personal connections
Building your network online and offline will boost any career plans, plus it’s just plain fun!
Posting an ad in a local Facebook group can bring in students but going the extra mile to participate in group discussions will endear you to the members and build powerful trust. Soon group members will come to know you as the music teacher and will recommend you whenever the topic comes up.
Getting involved in a local business owners’ group is another way to expand your network. Don’t worry about not fitting in because you’re “just a music teacher.” (Throw that mentality out the window right now. You’re an awesome music teacher!) People LOVE talking about their kids and their own childhood music lesson experiences, so you have an automatic conversation starter, even with high profile business people.
These are the studio promotion lessons I find myself repeating over and over again to myself and to coaching clients. Was there one lesson you resonated with?
I find that if I’ve identified an area of weakness I can better recognize when I’m falling back into unhelpful patterns or habits. Setting specific goals (like setting a timer for 30 minutes and challenging myself to create the most “perfect” ad I can in that time limit) has helped me build positive habits to replace the unproductive ones.
What areas challenge you as a studio promoter?
What other lessons you have learned about studio promotion? Respond in the comments below.