Transcript 102 – Andrea Miller on Weekend Launch Plan for a New Music Studio
Transcript: 102 – Andrea Miller on Weekend Launch Plan for a New Music Studio
Today’s episode was prompted by questions I get from newly-graduated or soon-to-be graduated music majors who are just getting ready to launch their studios and want to know how to get started from nothing. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
But first a reminder that the $1,000 studio launch grant is still open, but that window is closing soon! Applications are due May 15 and I’ll share more details about that at the end of this episode.
OK, so we’re talking about launching a studio from nothing.
There is so much you could do in the very beginning stages of launching a studio, it can be overwhelming. But today I’m going to give you a quick list of 5 things to do at the very VERY start – like in the first week after you graduate.
This is not at all meant to be a comprehensive business startup list that takes weeks or months to complete, including beautifully-crafted studio policies and branding and lessons packages – that’s the stuff we cover in my Business Building 101 course.
That stuff is super important, but it’s not what I’m talking about today. The list I’m going through today acknowledges the reality that a lot of new grads find themselves in.
This is the “I need to get revenue flowing NOW to pay the bills next week” kind of list.
So with that understanding, here are the 5 things:
- Build a simple website – When I say simple, I mean SIMPLE. One page.
It should include a header that says the instrument you teach and the city you teach in: like “piano lessons in St. Louis, MO and online”
It should include a video or picture of you
It should include your contact information
And a single paragraph that says something like “Hi, my name is Andrea and I teach piano lessons from my home studio in St. Louis and online.”
It doesn’t matter what website platform you use because this is NOT your long-term website solution. This is simply to establish your credibility and assure prospective students that you are a normal human.
- Set up a Google My Business listing – this may not generate students for you right away, but it’s another step to legitimizing your business, especially if you plan to teach locally.
- Contact your personal network – email or text friends, family – anyone you know – to announce that your studio is officially open for business and you are accepting students. Personal reach outs are most effective, but you can also supplement with posts on your personal social media channels.
These first students you get, may not be the dream students. That’s ok. Remember, this is not our long-term strategy for a successful studio. This is a short-term, pay the bills strategy that we will quickly replace when finances are stabilized.
- Join neighborhood groups on FB and Nextdoor – these groups often allow occasional promotional postings. If it complies with the group guidelines, share a simple post introducing yourself and sharing a link back to your website.
Next, search the groups for posts where people previously asked about music teachers and reply to those posts, even if they’re old, with your information.
- Set your rates – We talk a lot about the art and science of pricing in my Business Building 101 course, but I don’t want you to overcomplicate this decision and give up weeks or months of income just because you haven’t decided on a long-term pricing strategy.
I also don’t want you to set your rates super low just to get students in the door and then realize your numbers are unsustainable and have to do a big price increase right off the bat.
As a starting point, to settle on a number quickly, I suggest looking at pricing for the franchise-type music schools in your area. They usually have a good handle on the economics of running a studio and their prices tend to reflect what your local area will consider “average.” You can decide relative to “average” where you want your studio to fall.
If you find yourself getting stuck on this decision – remember you’re only making this decision for the immediate future. You can even introduce it as Summer 2022 pricing.
You can and should fine tune this as you figure out the rest of your studio vision and financial plan and plan to update pricing in the fall.
If you really want a gut check – schedule a mini session with me at musicstudiostartup.com
That’s it. Those are the five things I would do the week after graduating to start a studio from scratch are. To recap, I would:
- Build a simple website
- Set up a Google My Business listing
- Contact my personal network
- Post to neighborhood groups on FB and Nextdoor
- Set temporary but sustainable rates
If we’re focused and determined, we could reasonably knock out this entire list in a weekend.
Obviously there are other things we’ll want to have in place to build a strong business, but this gets us through the very first weeks and sustains us while we figure out the next steps, like the Business Building 101 stuff.
And if I can add a bonus item to this list, it would be to apply for the studio launch grant!
If you are just graduating or have launched your studio in the last 3 years, you may be eligible for this incredible prize package that includes a $1,000 cash grant, $600 in gift cards for instruments and teaching supplies, teacher trainings programs and tech consultations and enrollment in the Business Building 101 course.
All these prizes have been generously provided by Duet studio management, Alamo Music, Cascade Method, Dynamic Doodle Co, and Steve Hughes’ Virtual Piano Studio, and of course, Music Studio Startup.
The deadline to apply for grant is this Sunday May 15 and you can find all the details at musicstudiostartup.com/grant or in the show notes for this episode at musicstudiostartup.com/episode102.
That’s all for today. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next week