Recently, the Kansas City Music Teachers Association began a forum for teachers. Jennifer Fink of Pianimation.com is the president and explains:
“KCMTA has just launched an online “Tip of the Month” forum, designed to connect teachers and share the wonderful wealth of knowledge that exists among us in a centralized, public place. Over the course of the year, we’ll be talking about all kinds of topics that affect independent teachers – studio business & marketing, student motivation, literature, pedagogy and more.
The best part? Thanks to the web, you don’t have to be a member of our group to join in the discussion. We’re excited to have the opportunity to share with and learn from colleagues all across the country (and even around the world).
This September, we’re hosting a discussion on studio marketing. Are you a business and marketing-savvy teacher who consistently has a full studio? We’d love to hear your tried and true methods, or creative ideas for keeping your roster full. Do you need some ideas to fill your last few slots for the year? Come on over… you just might find something that will help!
You’ll find us on the Tip of the Month page of the KCMTA website. If you’d like to keep up with the conversation and be notified when comments and/or new posts are added, you can sign up to receive email notifications (on the left sidebar of the site), or RSS notification (on the top right menu bar). “
After hearing about this, it got me thinking about what tips I would share to those who are looking to fill a studio. In no time, I had a blog’s worth of ideas. I’ll limit them to 10 (that was hard to do!) in no particular order.
1) Focus on Your Current Families: Your best customers are the ones already on your bench so make sure to keep them happy. Your present students may have siblings so consider offering a special tuition break to any family who enrolls a brother or sister.
2) Offer a Bonus for Referrals: Again your current families are perhaps THE best marketing tool. If they like you, they’ll spread the word so reward them with a tuition discount, a free book, etc.
3) Launch AND Maintain Your Online Presence: Thanks to MusicTeachersHelper.com, a studio website is possible for anyone who may be fearful of this 21st century studio essential. If need be, pay someone to help you set up a simple site, you won’t regret it. My favorite feature of the MusicTeachersHelper.com website is the Student Registration Page. I direct anyone who is interested in lessons to complete the form. Once registered, the student’s name appears on my wait list and when an opening occurs, there is a pool of students from which to contact.
I’m guilty of not updating my studio site as often as I should and I know the content could use improvement. The innovative David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician, provided friendly critiques of current websites here. I will be implementing a great deal of his enlightening suggestions, you might want to do the same.
4) Deliver the Goods: At your initial interview, it’s all about selling yourself to the potential student/family. What is promised at the interview (ex: concert pianist level playing in 2 years) better match what the student experiences. Determining, posting and sticking with a specific mission statement is crucial to customer satisfaction, student retention and referrals.
5) Stay Current with Technology: Even if you choose not to teach with the latest tech tools, an awareness of technological advances and the mobile generation will show your sensitivity to those warming the bench and quite honestly, the “real” world. Taking advantage of technology will only enhance your instruction. As many of my previous blogs suggest, I’m a tech fan and will be releasing a book this month, The iPad Piano Studio, highlighting my favorite device.
6) Plug into the Daytime Student Pool: Home schoolers, Pre-K peeps and Adults are available during those “off ” hours. Wendy Stevens of ComposeCreate.com offers her advice for marketing to home schoolers Read more…