A few months ago I wrote a blog post about ways to communicate with your customers. I will now focus on specific ways the Internet alone makes contact with our clients simple and effective. I firmly believe that keeping the lines of communication with our business contacts open not only results in a long-term relationship with our customers but also a more pleasant and effective relationship for all involved.
The Internet makes it simple to keep customers up-to-date on everything happening in your studio–events, continuing education, performance opportunities. Using the Internet to frequently communicate information lets customers know that you are an active and involved teacher.
Perhaps the most obvious and easiest way to update clients about your studio is to send them an e-mail. I have recently started using a service called MailChimp that allows me to design a quick newsletter template. I try to send out these newsletter updates twice a month, and include a paragraph or two on such topics as practicing tips, upcoming performance opportunities, or links to musical events in the community. The ability to design a more colorful template and insert pictures makes these newsletters professional and attractive and I love the way it presents information to my clients in an organized way. I also have found that sending a newsletter directly to the inbox of a parent rather than sending it home with a student is a better way to make sure this information gets into the parents hands!
As I said in last month’s post, a blog is a simple and free way to advertise your business. More than a marketing tool, it is also a great way to communicate information to current clients and expand on the snippets of information you’re sending out in your newsletter. For example, your newsletter might tell your clients that you attended a conference and what workshops you took part in; but your blog can include a more detailed description of information you learned during these presentations. Or you may expand on additional events in your community and maintain some sort of online directory. I have found that using my blog to encourage my piano students to attend symphonies, concerts, and musical theatre productions has helped make music relevant in their lives, ensuring a longer future for them in piano lessons at mys tudio!
Facebook is yet another way to keep in touch with your clients. I use it to remind parents of upcoming recitals, schedule changes, and other calendar events at the studio. Linking blog posts and copies of your newsletter onto your wall is also another way to make sure the information is getting into the hands of your parents. One of the other great things about Facebook is it allows your clients to communicate with you in little ways. After a recital last week, I had several parents post on my studio facebook’s wall about how much they enjoyed the recital. One parent even posted a picture of her daughter and me playing a duet from the recital. I also use Facebook as a way to post links to other articles about information I find relevant and important for families of piano students. If I read an article in a publication about the correlation of music lessons and higher SAT scores, I’m quick to post the link to my studio’s wall. Reminding clients of the benefits of music lesson is one more way to guarantee that music lessons remain a priority in their lives!