Most readers of this blog–like me–have probably gone to a lot of trouble to advertise your studio. When I first moved to Wisconsin, I paid for a huge ad in the paper, stuffed mailboxes with coupons, and hung flyers at every business in town that allowed them. No one called. After a few months of this, I put an ad on craigslist. In a few short weeks, my studio was full and I had to begin a wait list.
We are definitely living in the digital age.
Studio owners today must learn to use the tools we have available to us online if we’re to be successful in marketing our business and communicating with our clients.
Maintain a Website
New students at my studio fill out a form upon enrollment. One of the questions asked is, “How did you hear about my studio?” The majority of the time, the student has discovered me via my website. This makes sense–when I think about how I look up my information, whether it’s dance lessons for my daughter or a local mechanic, I do it all online. Studio Helper and Music Teachers Helper make maintaining a website simple and affordable. Because I am so confident in the template and professionalism of my website through Music Teachers Helper, I always make sure that potential clients who are considering lessons with me have seen my website. More often than not, a client who visits my website follows up with registration forms.
In addition to making sure your website is up-to-date and professional, make sure it is also easy to find. If you teach violin lessons in Chicago, include those terms on your homepage so that someone who types the words “violin lessons Chicago” into a search engine will discover your website immediately.
Maintaining a Blog
A blog is a free and easy way to market your studio. According to Google Analytics, my studio blog receives anywhere from 5-10 hits a day–mostly from locals but also from cities all over the world. That’s 5-10 people reading about my studio each day at no additional cost to me. I link my blog to my studio webpage–and vice versa–so that potential cliets can have a great deal of information about my studio at their fingertips. By the time I meet with a student for an interview, they usually know a lot about my programs and upcoming events and are ready to sign up for lessons. I try to write a new post every week or two so that I am always attracting new interest and potential clients can see that I am an active teacher. Adding links to other local arts-related events and programs within your posts will also increase traffic to your blog.
Maintaining a Facebook Page
I live in a college town, and pretty much every local business has a Facebook page. I have noticed since opening a studio Facebook page that people become a fan on Facebook around the same time as they begin to inquire about lessons at my studio. It’s one additional way they explore and discover new information about a potential teacher. Studio Helper and Music Teacher Helper allow you to install a Facebook “like” button on your website, encouraging traffic to your Facebook page.
Don’t bombard your studio’s page with constant status updates or your fans may grow tired of seeing your studio on their feed all day. Try to post on your studio’s wall a couple of times a week, letting potential customers (and current students) know about exciting upcoming events at your studio. Post links to any new post on your studio’s blog to your Facebook page so that you’re always cross promoting.
You’ve got ’em–so now what? Next month’s article will focus on using the Internet to ensure that your new clients will be long-term customers…