Are you looking for more piano students? Are you wondering how to effectively market your piano studio?
This question comes up all the time in piano teaching communities. When student numbers are low, it can effect your finances, job satisfaction, and stress levels.
If it’s time for you to try something new, you’re certain to find some new advertising inspiration in these 11 ideas to market your piano studio.
First though, a very important note.
The Key Marketing Ingredient
Before we get to all those methods to market your piano studio – we need to look at the way you’re going to do it. What are you going to say?
I’ve talked about this a little in The Ultimate Guide to Getting Smarter with Your Piano Studio Business. But let me reiterate it here.
You need to be different.
Don’t say what everyone else is saying. Don’t put up posters touting: “piano lessons for all ages and stages”. Be specific. Be different. Be memorable.
Pick out a speciality and a specific target persona for each marketing effort. Write a few bullet points about who you’re looking for and what they would want from piano lessons with you.
This doesn’t mean you can’t ever teach any other types of students – just because you put up a poster for retired adult students doesn’t mean you can’t teach preschoolers. It just means that the retirees will be more likely to pay attention to your poster.
Traditional Music Studio Marketing
Putting up posters and leaving out flyers might seem old hat – but it does still produce great results in some areas. As with all of these other ideas to market your piano studio, you need to test it in your neighbourhood.
I got my very first piano students by dropping leaflets into houses in my neighbourhood. This really doesn’t work very well in my city anymore, people have become desensitised to it. But it might work for you.
You can also try putting up posters in local libraries, daycares, schools, colleges, recreation centres, community centres or local shops. You may even be allowed to put up posters in public areas – just check what’s permitted where you live.
If you perform regularly make sure to take business cards or small flyers with you. You never know who might be there that has always wanted to play piano.
Public student events are another great way to spread the word. Some teachers have recitals in shopping centres, parks or other public spaces. Display business cards and lesson information at any event that you host.
This works especially well for those in small towns. Try to highlight any interesting stories from your studio and send press releases to local newspapers or magazines.
Did your studio raise money for a dog shelter? Did your student win a national award? For a small local newspaper, this might be just what they need to fill an empty spot.
4. Local paper/magazine/radio advertising
This is, in my opinion, a marketing option that’s dying off. Advertising like this is a scatter gun approach. You’re paying to serve your ads to tons of people – many of whom it will be completely irrelevant to.
Having said that, if you live in a small community and an ad in the local paper is super cheap, go for it. Just see the last section of this article about tracking your results, and only do it again if it works.
5. Studio Swag
Swag can double up as a bonus for signing up to lessons while spreading the word about your piano studio.Think about what your students and parents are most likely to use – and, more importantly – use in public.
I print new t-shirts for my studio every two years. The kids wear the t-shirts around and about which is great, but my favourite part about this swag is that it looks great in studio photos.
My current studio shirt says “I play piano – what’s your superpower?” which is a great message. Who would want to quit a hobby that gives you superpowers? 😉
6. Referral Incentives
Whenever this question does get asked, many teachers will answer that word of mouth is the best marketing for their studio. But what can you do if this ball isn’t getting rolling fast enough?
Giving your students an incentive for referring new families is one method of encouraging this key way to market your piano studio.
- Give a free month of lessons to the referring family once the new family has been in lessons for a certain length of time.
- Waive the registration fee for the next year as a referral credit.
- Use some kind of gift card as an incentive such as a local ice-cream shop or an Amazon voucher.
Whichever of these you consider, I encourage you to first just ask. In my opinion there’s no sense giving this incentive away if you haven’t tried simply asking your current students to consider referring you to others.
A simple mention might be all they need. If not, try one of the options above, or come up with a creative solution that fits your studio.
Online Music Studio Marketing
Do you have a studio website yet? If not, get one. If you do, make it better.
I recommend getting a WordPress self-hosted site. In fact, I’m currently putting together a course for Tim Topham’s Inner Circle that will help teachers do just that.
Whatever platform you choose though, make your site easy for parents to read and navigate. Your website should welcome new piano parents with a smile, otherwise they will bounce right off to the next site.
Do’s and don’ts of a great studio website
- Do make the site look modern and professional
- Do use lots of photos of your students enjoying their lessons
- Do write in a clear and friendly manner
- Do include plenty of testimonials
- Do use a presentable photo on your about page
- Don’t use music terms that parents won’t understand
- Don’t list your achievements and rewards dispassionately without explaining them or why they’re important (parents don’t know what MTNA or EPTA is!)
- Don’t write big walls of text – break them up with images
Website best practices could be a whole other article, but the main thing to bare in mind is to put yourself in the prospective client’s shoes. What would they think? Would they understand what that means? What would they want in a piano teacher?
8. Online listings
There are many listing sites such as golden pages, yelp or gumtree. Make a listing with a link to website wherever it’s free to do so.
I wouldn’t advise paying any money for listings – most people really aren’t searching these directories anymore. However it is worthwhile to leave a free link to your website in the most popular directories.
9. Facebook Page
Your piano studio needs a Facebook page.
No your Facebook profile will not do, businesses need a page.
Put together a professional looking page and fill in all the details in the about section. Add a presentable looking photo for your profile and cover picture. People will look you up on Facebook, and you want to make a good impression.
Invite your current piano parents and students to like your studio page. Then make a plan to post regularly. Consistency is key.
You can write about events at your studio, student achievements and other related events you’re attending. Schedule posts out (you can do this right on your page) so that you don’t have to go in there every day just to post.
10. Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are tricky but they can be very effective if you learn how. This is a complex topic but here’s a few tips if you want to experiment:
- Don’t just “boost” your posts.
- Set your targeting carefully and choose the area you live in and the likely demographics you’re looking for.
- Set your budget to the lowest possible ($5 per day) and monitor carefully as it runs.
- Choose a great photo. Think about what would catch your eye as you scroll through your Facebook news feed.
11. Google Adwords
This is easier to set up than Facebook ads. It’s also a little less targeted however, as you can’t choose who they serve your ads to.
For Google Adwords, you pick a specific search term and place a bid on that term. So if you have a music school in your town with a big marketing budget, it might be hard to out bid them. It’s definitely worth a try though – just monitor the results and adjust as you go.
Track Your Results
Please, please, don’t do all this stuff without keeping track of what’s working. Every single location and teacher will get different results from the various marketing options.
If you don’t write down what you’re doing and what the results are – you won’t learn anything for next time. You’ll have to do all of the same stuff again, even though only some of it might have mattered for your success.
Find a way that works for you, whether that’s a notebook, excel sheet or an evernote notebook. Write down all the marketing you do, what date you do it, and ask every student who enquires how they heard about you.
You might surprised at the things that you can skip next time. But you won’t know unless you track!
11 Ways to Market Your Piano Studio
Let’s run through all of those ideas again.
- Local paper/magazine/radio advertising
- Studio Swag
- Referral Incentives
- Online listings
- Facebook Page
- Facebook Ads
- Google Adwords
There is no one size fits all approach to market your piano studio. Go with your gut and pick out the first few ideas that appeal to you. Craft a really targeted message, track your results, then return to this list and try a few more.
That is, if your studio isn’t bursting at the seams by then.
Do you have more marketing ideas for piano teachers?
Share them with us in the comments below or in the Vibrant Music Studio Teachers community on Facebook. I’d love to hear what’s working for you, wherever you are in the world.