Real Talk: I don't want to help Music Teachers solve problems as they come up...
If you're not getting students, it's because you're not being consistent with marketing.
If you're constantly having to fix mistakes your staff and teachers are making, it's because you didn't properly hire or train them to do what you NEED them to do.
If your teachers are leaving and poaching your students, it's because you didn't build a community in your studio and take the proper measures and policies of preventing teachers from taking over.
If you're constantly chasing payments, it's because you didn't set up autopay or stick to a stern payment agreement between you and your students.
the list goes on...
I know I sound harsh, but fixing this stuff is NOT why I decided to go into the business of helping Music Teachers...
I want to help Music Teachers and Schools like yours PREVENT problems from arising in the first place.
Listen, I know FIRST hand how difficult and complicated this is.
I KNOW how much easier it is to eat junk food than to go on a specialized Keto or Whole 30 diet.
I KNOW how much easier it is to hire people you completely trust to do a job... then accidentally give them MORE tasks than they can handle and end up turning an ally into an enemy... AND have to clean up the mess they made.
I KNOW how scary it is to say "no" to a parent and end up giving away tons of make up lessons and constantly have to ask them where their tuition payments are.
When money is TIGHT, I KNOW how much more convincing it is to try and DIY problems than pay for help.
But Music Teachers: NOT preparing for things will cost you MORE money, time, and headaches than "putting fires out" as they arise.
Did you ever watch that TV show Lost?
Remember that part where Charlie know he was going to die to help save his friends? As he was reflecting on life on his last days, he wrote down a "Best Hits" list of his life.
I'm not dying or about to quit my job or anything, but lately I've been reflecting on The Studio Challenge and the people I've been able to really help...
I'm so honored to have seen and walked with TSC Member Courtney from being on the verge on bankruptcy in 2020 to having this amazing, BOOMING music and arts studio in the small town on Silva, NC.
Or, how about member Whitney who lost her full-time gig on cruises to COVID, then pivoted to teach piano lessons full time... and went from 0 to 95 students in 7 MONTHS?!?!
Or, Chelsea, who shared with me the story of how she was frantically dealing with parents and problems in her studio WHILE SHE WAS IN LABOR with her first child? Then I got to work with her while she was pregnant with baby #2 and this happened...
And I'm happy to report she had baby #2 and did NOT work while in labor! :)
Music Teachers, please, PLEASE don't wait until it's too late to fix things in your studio.
Actually, here are 4 things I want you to go ahead and do to help PREVENT the most common problems I see in music schools...
1. Be FIRM with your policies.
Parents and students WANT to know and be clear on the rules and regulations of taking lessons with you! If they're frustrated, it's because they're confused.
Make your payment policy CLEAR. Make sure they KNOW your make up policy! Make sure they sign a contract agreeing to your policies.
2. Make your studio about YOUR STUDIO, not people.
What's the vibe of your studio? What do you think students should be learning in your school? What jobs do you need teachers and staff to do?
One of the things we have a lot of our overly stressed members do is write out EVERYTHING they do and that has to be done in the studio.
How can someone you hire do the job if the job isn't clear? KNOW what tasks you need teachers and staff to do so they KNOW what is expected of them. (And if they're killing it, don't keep adding on tasks. This always causes them to burn out and leaves you frustrated!)
Also, make your studio MORE than just a place students come to take lessons and go home. Have kickass recitals. Create a "Karate Belt" type of level system students can graduate through. KNOW what your teachers are teaching and make sure it aligns with what you expect.
3. Be CONSISTENT.
Have more students than you need? Build a wait list! Because students are GOING to leave.
Not getting students? How much advertising did you do?
The average person has to hear about you AT LEAST 7 TIMES before they even consider doing business with you! And they won't see EVERY ad or email you send.
You HAVE to put together an advertising plan and doing it on a REGULAR basis in order to bring in students.
4. Have an emergency plan and let others know about it.
Things happen! Some things you can know about and prepare for ahead of time, but some don't.
What if you end up in a car accident or end up in the emergency room on a teaching day? What if one of your teachers has to leave in the middle of the school year?
Have plan B's for EVERYTHING and let others you trust in on the plan.
What do you need help with in your studio?
Feel like you're missing something or could do better?
Need accountability and a clear path to achieve your studio goals?
Fill out this form and we'll schedule a zoom call!
Hey Music Teachers...
It's that time of year!
Don't freak out too much if you're losing students right now but having a hard time gaining...
Parents and kids are getting adjusted to their back-to-school schedules right now.
They want to get situated BEFORE they reach out to you for lessons.
In the meantime, let's get rolling on getting those who ARE ready in your studio, as well as keep reminding everyone else. :)
These are some of my tried and true methods for consistently bringing in students.
We didn't pay for advertising our studio for the first 4 years we were open (outside of the road signs you’ll read about below) because our organic advertising was so dialed in.
I want to give you a fairly comprehensive list of different ways that you can market your studio and bring in more students for music lessons.
All of these are going to be either FREE or fairly inexpensive.
There are 5 different ideas here ranging from Social Media to Local Marketing and everything in between.
1. Schedule FB and Instagram posts promoting music lessons at your studio.
Let’s start simple.
You hopefully already have a Facebook and Instagram page and already post on it.
We are going to schedule those posts so that you can focus on other things.
If you can post on your Facebook page, you can schedule posts. There is a little button next to the post button that looks like a clock. Push that and then select the schedule.
If you need help figuring out what to post, grab the Music School Facebook Calendar.
It will tell you exactly what to post on your Facebook Page 365 days a year.
Scheduled Facebook Posts Quick Tips:
2. Advertise music lessons in your local FB Community Groups.
While it will depend on your area, most places have Facebook Community Groups that you can post in for free.
You want to search for these groups on Facebook.
Type in your city and then select ‘groups’ from the tabs at the top. But don’t stop there.
Type in surrounding cities. Type in your counties or other areas.
Personally, we have dozens of Facebook groups in our area.
I think there are 60+ that we can post in regularly and they are a great source of regular inquiries!
Almost all of ours are business friendly, but some only allow businesses to post once each week or once each month.
Make sure that you check out the rules and follow them.
If you don’t have Community Groups or they aren’t business friendly, you can either start one for your area or focus on Facebook ads.
If you just starting your studio, a new type of music class, or moving to a new area, this is a GREAT way to get some new contacts! Simply do an "I'm thinking of..." post.
"Hey small town! I am thinking of starting a piano school! What do you think? Would this be something you or someone you know would be interested in?"
"Hey! I'm Maddie from Maddie's Music in Smithtown. Our school is thinking of offering a music class for newborns - 12 month olds! Interested?"
(Don't forget to post pics of yourself in these!)
Facebook Community Group Quick Tips:
3. Put videos of you teaching or showcasing your music school on TikTok.
This one is often overlooked by Music Teachers, but you need to re-think this one!
TSC Member Matt is a pro at it and did a workshop for Music Teachers back in June.
You can purchase the workbook and replay of the TikTok Workshop here.
While Facebook and Instagram's older audience is growing (ages 45 - 65) Millenials and Gen Z are scrolling less and relying more on the platforms for the messenger app...
That means if your ideal students are school aged, those kids AND their parents (early 20's - 30's) are on TikTok.
TikTok Quick Tips:
4. Email your CURRENT Music Students.
Nothing will EVER beat word of mouth in our business. If you have a studio full of happy and engaged students (and I’m sure that you do, because YOU ARE AWESOME) then you have a network of people ready to help you.
Your students have:
So, it’s time to use this!
On the simplest level you can just send an email letting them know that you are looking to grow your studio and wanted to see if they knew of anyone interested in lessons. Make it easy by extending an offer or flyer for them to give to friends.
Emails to Current Students Quick Tips:
5. Email your FORMER Music Students and ALL of those who have EVER inquired about Music Lessons!
You want me to reach out to the students that quit?
AND those who never responded to my emails or told me they weren't going to sign up?
Absolutely I do.
Students often quit because they plateau and get bored or because something interests them more, like soccer.
Some parents who ghost you after inquiring about lessons are STILL interested too! They just got busy...
But kids change their mind ALL THE TIME, and parents need to be REMINDED that you offer lessons and have availability.
For former students you can send a nice email checking in to see how they're doing, but the "9 Word Email" is GOLD to send all former and potential students...
Is Student still interested in music lessons?"
Emails to Former and Potential Students Quick Tips:
Want more info or help?
1. Start gathering more potential students/parents on your mailing list with this lead magnet.
2. Grab the TikTok Course and FB Music School Calendar!
Social Media changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with what to post, and how to advertise you and your studio.
Click here to learn how to grow your audience and get new students on TikTok.
Click here to grab the FB Music School Calendar to attract more followers on your FB and Instagram pages, and draw them into lessons.
3. Get Personalized coaching for YOUR Music School!
We're now accepting new one-on-one coaching clients and TSC Members!
Get help growing and simplifying your music school NOW.
Apply now for a free consultation.
Like most music teachers, I'm cheap and spent many years trying to save money by doing everything on my own.
I manually managed my own schedule in an excel doc.
I only accepted cash or checks from students. (These were the days before Venmo or Cash App.)
I figured out my own teaching curriculums through years of trial and error.
I was dirt poor, had a ton of stress, but I was proud of myself for doing these things.
But I wasn't happy then.
And I was working overtime for very little money.
In 2017 the National Academy of Sciences published a study where they found people who purchased things that saved them time were SIGNIFICANTLY happier than those who didn't.
And it makes sense, right?
In the last year my wife and I have made the following lifestyle changes that have significantly improved not only our personal lives, but also gave us MORE time to focus on The Studio Challenge:
We no longer have to spend time cleaning our home. We no longer have to go shopping for clothes. We no longer have to spend time meal planning and grocery shopping.
So... what does this have to do with Music Teaching?
This is a scarcity mindset, and I TOTALLY get it.
I couldn't afford all of these luxurious time-saving services back when I was teaching full-time.
In fact, when I opened my studio in 2014 I was teaching 70 students 6 days a week and I was only taking home $20k a year! Shauna was taking home $0 but working full-time at the front desk of our studio. AND we were trying to adopt our son.
What if you can't afford NOT to?
What if your efforts to save money are actually COSTING you money? And happiness?
I've been coaching music teachers for about 5 years now. The ones who seem to be the happiest and reap the most success purchase these 5 time-saving things...
1. They pay credit card fees.
I see so many independent music teachers avoiding credit card services in an effort to save money on fees.
And I agree, those cc fees can add up!
However, by refusing those cc services you are actually losing money...
If you are teaching music lessons for money, then you are a business! Treat yourself as such.
And remember, if those 2-3% cc fees add up, then you SHOULD be able afford them because you're booking a lot of students at that point! If not, then you need to raise your tuition rates to pay for them.
It's the cost of doing business and it's worth the cost for your time, student's convenience, and happiness.
2. They pay for their website and scheduling software.
Look, if you have 3 students and you don't want to grow, then by all means keep managing your own schedule through your online calendar or an excel doc.
But if you want to grow? These freebies WILL NOT work.
You'll accidentally overbook a student. If you have multiple teachers, you'll overbook a teaching room AND students!
Your business THRIVES on the happiness of your students.
And the #1 thing they expect from you? Their lesson and their scheduled lesson time.
Most music teachers use either MyMusicStaff, Fons, or TeacherZone.
We signed up for MyMusicStaff because at the time they had the best software for managing a multi-teacher studio. But we really liked the customer service and owner of Fons. We have some teachers who are happy with TeacherZone.
Look into them and pick one. I think all of them will give you a free trial!
They're worth it guys.
As far as website goes,
When you're just starting, buy your domain name.
Website services like Weebly will give you a free website that ends in .weebly.com, but honestly? Who's going to be able to just remember that and plug it into a search engine to find you?
If you want to establish yourself and grow, just buy the domain name.
As far as the website layout goes, I'll be honest and say spending the time to Storybrand your own website can be more of a timesaver and headache than finding someone to do your website for you.
The website designers I know who produce great websites tend to be over-booked. The lesser-known ones can charge you thousands and give you a really crappy, unusable website.
It is 100% worth it to put in the time and research of designing your website, and paying a business coach to help you edit it.
3. They have a business coach!
Obviously I'm biased about this one, but even I hire business coaches to help me improve my own business coaching.
As a Music Teacher and Studio Owner, you can be TOO CLOSE to your business to see it's flaws.
This is the scariest purchase because it can be the priciest.
However, if you are a hard worker, willing to take advice and find a good business coach, you'll make SO MUCH MORE money. You'll save time too.
My #1 goal as a business coach is to help Music Teachers grow and live amazing lives.
I thrive on this as much, if not more than I used to thrive on seeing my students improve their music skills.
The business coaches I have working with have helped me immensely as well!
The first coach I hired helped me start and grow The Studio Challenge Membership.
The second business coach helped me better organize my programs and improved my social media presence.
My most recent business coach helped me systemize everything, cut out tasks that were costing me time and money, and improve my sales funnel.
I learned how to grow my music school the hard way and I can't help but wonder...
If I had hired a business coach from the beginning, how many mistakes could I have avoided?
How much better could my studio have been?
4. They hire help.
Whether you're a solo teacher or multi-teacher studio, it's worth systemizing what you do and having people in place to help you with your students and school when needed.
If you have a commercial studio, it's absolutely worth hiring an administrator to answer the phone, schedule students, and be available for walk-ins and to answer questions!
The better systemized you are along with good admin and teachers will allow you to focus on the more important things.
Oh! Don't forget cleaning and maintenance services too!
Unless you really like cleaning toilets at your school... it's totally worth hiring someone to take care of these things for you so you can focus on doing what matters most in your studio!
5. They pay themselves.
The basic idea? You should get paid for your work!
Don't undercharge for lessons, or put all of your income back into your studio because it will result in you battling feelings of resentment.
Sure you can help students out from time to time.
Charge your worth on lessons, and save money to give scholarships to well-deserving students!
You should absolutely put money back into your studio to improve it.
But you should absolutely pay yourself because YOU deserve it.
You're not a slave to yourself.
In the membership group we talk a lot about profit first.
I absolutely recommend you read the book, but the idea is to reward yourself for your hard work.
A lot of our members practice "Profit First Lite" where they put 1 - 5% of their income into a savings account. At the end of every 3 months, they take half of that savings out and deliberately spend it on fun things.
Joseph is our biggest proponent, and he's purchased epic overseas trips, and engagement ring, and other epic things from his profit account!
Shauna and I just started doing this in December and last quarter we were able to renovate our kitchen with our profit distribution.
Paying yourself for your hard work MOTIVATES you!
Again, you're not a slave. You don't have to sacrifice your time and happiness.
Pay for the thing you enjoy! Pay yourself!
YOU are worth it.
Want to be a part of The Studio Challenge Membership or receive some one-on-one coaching?
Fill out this form!
Like many of you, I did not graduate college intending on having a full-time career teaching Music Lessons.
I intended on becoming a music teacher for a school!
The opportunity to teach private music lessons just kind of fell into my lap, grew, and all of the sudden I found myself the proud owner of a music school where I taught lessons full time, and managed other music teachers.
All of my years in college trained me on how to become an AMAZING musician and even teacher.
NONE of my teachers or classes taught me the business side of owning a music school, and as a result, I almost lost my music teaching career before it even began.
Pictured above is one of me with one of my absolute favorite students, Patrick.
Patrick began taking drum lessons with me when he was about 6.
You know how parents of younger children will sometimes call you and try to convince you that even though most younger kids do not have the attention span to take lessons, THEIR child is "Special" and needs to be the exception to your age restrictions?
Yeah... Patrick actually WAS an exception.
He genuinely LOVED playing the drums. Practiced daily. Worked HARD. And his parents pushed him to be diligent without diffusing his passion.
Like other kids, Patrick also had other extra curricular activities he was involved in, as well as siblings with other activities and a busy mom.
I had a opportunity to be Patrick's teacher early in my music teaching career!
As a result, I was eager to please.
I was smart enough to have payment and make up policies students and parents agreed to when taking lessons with me, but was naive enough to allow parents to break those policy rules.
Enter Patrick again.
Patrick had a scheduling conflict with one of this lessons, and I agreed to schedule a make-up during my free time, even though my policy stated there were free lessons already built into each semester's lesson schedule. (This was also a dumb policy that I learned from, but that's another story.)
So, I broke my own policy rules and scheduled a make-up lesson for Patrick... and I FORGOT about the make-up lesson.
At this point in my life, I was teaching Monday - Saturday, AND leading worship for a local church on Sundays. I was BUSY. I was OVERBOOKED.
So, Patrick's make-up lesson came and I was in the middle of another commitment. Patrick's mom called me and was LIVID.
I apologized profusely, but I could tell she was contemplating dropping Patrick from lessons and finding another teacher.
I was freaked out because Patrick's mom was a VALUED member of the church I taught lessons through. If they received word of her being unhappy with me, they could have fired me.
Fortunately she gave me a second chance and I got to see Patrick become one of the most talented drummers I know.
I also learned the hard way that my policies not only exist to protect me, but to set boundaries for both me and my students that keep the lesson experience strong.
Music Teachers: Follow your studio policies!
Despite what your heart is telling you about giving that one student an extra make up lesson during your personal time, or allowing that parent to pay late without a late fee is actually hurting more than helping.
Just as kids are actually happier and more behaved with boundaries, adults are also happier and more sane with consistency.
After I missed Patrick's make up lesson, I became more confident about telling parents "no" when they asked for me to bend my policies.
CRAZY thing happened... Parents respected me and my time!
Parents actually started apologizing when they missed, and I stopped becoming the easy way out.
Actually, I had less skips and more students who were dedicated to their lessons.
Respect your students and parents' time just as much as you respect your own.
Boundaries are essential to all good relationships.
Do hard things, Music Teacher friends.
It's worth it.
Music Teachers: Stop Overbooking Yourself!
You don't have to eliminate make-up lessons completely, but there are 3 options that can significantly help alleviate the stress.
Grab the free guide and let us know if you have any questions!
Music Teachers: Your website has too many pages!
Or not enough.
It’s Goldilocks Syndrome.
Too little or too many.
But don’t worry, we’re going to show you the pages your website needs.
Follow this guideline and your website will be just right.
As a music teacher, your website has one purpose: get people to sign up for music lessons.
Anything that is not serving that purpose needs to go.
Keep reading and we’ll tell you the 5 pages every music teacher should have on their website.
As a music teacher, your page is NOT about you.
Your about page is NOT about you.
Read that again and really let it sink in.
Here’s the hard truth about teaching and life in general.
For the most part, people do not care about you.
They care about what you can do for them.
Almost every private music teacher website looks the same:
“My name is John Smith and I have a BA in Tuba Performance from Really Good Tuba School. I also have an MA from Even Better Tuba School. I studied with Dr. Frank Furter, Julius Caesar, and Dr. Tuba McGee. I have been teaching for 8 years and I enjoy teaching students of all ages and strive to make tuba a fun and enjoyable experience.”
Sounds a little ridiculous written out like that, right? But that’s what most parents will read because they don’t know any of the people that you studied under and don’t really care what your degrees are or what school that you went to.
They already assume that you are a skilled and trained music teacher.
You don’t have to lay it out for them.
At least not in explicit detail.
Instead, music teachers need to talk about their studios and students.
Talk about how happy and engaged your students are and how your studio helps them to get there. This is where you get to quietly brag about yourself and your studio through telling people how awesome that your students are.
The entire point of this page is to help parents to picture their kids in your studio.
Don’t talk specifically about lessons (that comes next), but about what makes your overall studio unique and why students and families should want to be part of it.
Make sure to include testimonials and lots of pictures.
[ONE NOTABLE EXCEPTION:
If you are only trying to attract the highest quality students, then you should talk about your pedigree and what separates you from other highly skilled teachers. But this will be a VERY small percentage of music teachers. This is only for the music teachers that are working with students that are winning national competitions and getting into top music schools. For the rest of us, focus on the students and families.]
Music Teachers need a “Lessons” page on their website.
This is your information page that talks about what you offer.
Do you offer private lessons?
Talk about them here, but keep it brief and include lots of pictures and a testimonial or two.
Use bullet points, not paragraphs.
If you confuse your audience, you will lose your audience
Most teachers do well on this page because it’s where we get to talk about what we DO.
Don’t go into crazy amounts of detail but go for a sales pitch.
What makes your lessons unique?
What do you do better in your lessons than ANY other studio in town?
Music Teachers should have a “Pricing” page on their website.
This is one of the first questions that people will ask.
If you put your pricing on your website, I bet you'll stand out from the competition simply because your competitors probably don’t list their pricing!
We want to be transparent and give all of the information that we can so that people will want to contact us and sign up.
I have had a commercial studio for 5 years and I still don’t know how much some of my competitors charge. And it’s not for lack of trying.
Short of sending over a spy, I’m not sure how I could ever find that information.
It’s not on their website.
It’s not on their social media pages or any other directories.
People want to know how much things cost.
Make it simple for them.
(If you’re afraid to talk about prices, you need to check out our blog post about pricing!)
Lay out your pricing simply but this page isn’t just about pricing.
This page is about VALUE.
Not only do we proudly display our pricing information, but we get to brag about what an incredible value it is.
What is included in your pricing?
Access to apps and games?
Free student concerts?
Swag bag on signup?
Access to the teacher to ask questions during the week?
It may seem odd but, as an exercise, write down EVERYTHING that you do for a student that isn’t physically teaching them the lesson:
Lesson prep, student concerts, communication through the week, access to music apps, lending library, videos for students to watch, etc.
When it’s all written out it looks pretty impressive, doesn’t it?
That’s the point.
We want to drive home the value that they are getting for the price.
Can you believe that you get ALL of THIS for only this small amount of money each month?? Wow!
State your pricing cleanly and then drive home the value.
Make sure you include pictures and testimonials, even on the “boring” pricing page.
Make sure that they can see why they want to be part of your studio while they read over the business stuff.
Music Teachers need a “Contact” page on their websites.
Put all of your contact info on this page: phone number, email address, physical address.
Put a Google map.
Include a simple contact form with 3 fields:
You can personalize that a bit if you like but keep it extremely simple and don’t ask for extra information. You want them to send you a message and you want to make it as easy for them as you possibly can. Don’t complicate it.
Also, you guessed it...include some pictures and testimonials here.
Let them look at pictures of happy, smiling kids and read about how much Kate LOVES piano lessons as their finger is hovering over the ‘send’ button.
Music Teachers need a “Sign Up” page.
Keep this page simple and uncluttered.
Just the form...and maybe a picture and testimonial.
Make it very easy for them to Sign Up here and get the information that you need without getting too much extra.
I like to get information like student name, age, instrument, and experience so that I can have an informed conversation with the parents about signing up their kid for lessons.
I don’t like to go in blind, so this gives me a little bit of information.
One of your goals should be to run the most efficient studio as possible.
Similar to the Call To Action, you need to teach people how to contact you and what information you want them to give you.
If your main type of contact on your website is an email address or a phone number you are missing out on a great way to save yourself time and get more inquiries. Most emails or phone calls are either generic requests for information (“I’d like some more information on guitar lessons”) or woefully lacking in information (“I have a nine year old that would like to take piano lessons. How do we get started?”)
The first request means that your website is probably a bit confusing or lacking information because they couldn’t find the information they needed. Or, that they just don’t read and want someone else to do the work for them. Let’s be real. That definitely happens.
The second request gives you more to go on but still leaves so many unanswered questions. Is the nine year old a beginner? Any prior experience? What style of music do they like? What days and times are they available? What kind of piano lessons are they looking for? You are going to have to ask all of these questions and more through emails, phone calls, or in person. Unless it’s through email, you probably won’t have a written record of the information either.
BONUS: All of your pages should have a Call to Action!
Throughout the page and at the bottom tell them EXACTLY what you want them to do.
Public Pages Music Teachers Should Never Have On Your Website
Those five pages are sufficient for most music teacher’s websites. But what about all of the other pages that you may be thinking of? Let’s look at a few…
We have helped THOUSANDS of music teachers revamp their website so that they can convert visitors into paying clients.
This is what we do.
And we’re doing it again in our next Music Teacher Bootcamp!
If you’re frustrated with your website, you need our Music Teacher Bootcamp!
During Bootcamp, we’ll look at your:
- landing page
- sign up form
- improving the look, function, and results
- search engine optimization
We’ll also be covering your:
- social media.
AND we’ll be doing a 5 day challenge to get as many new students as we can.
Click here for more info on our Music Teacher Bootcamp.
Music teachers aren't charging enough for Music Lessons.
That's a pretty bold statement from someone who doesn't even know how much you charge, right?
Every music teacher I've ever talked to has priced their music lessons too low.
The number one question music teachers ask in online forums is,
"How much should I charge for music lessons?"
Everyone comments an amount without knowing anything about you and your personal situation.
Here are 5 things music teachers should factor into their pricing...
1. Music teachers should factor their geographical area into their pricing.
What is the local demographic like?
What's your town's population?
What the average household income?
Knowing this information will help you get a good price range for what to charge. Keep this info, we'll use it to get more specific.
2. Your availability.
How many new students can you take?
Do you have a waitlist?
If you only need a handful of students, that's a sign that you can charge more than what you're charging. If the demand for your services exceeds your available spots, then you should consider raising your rates for music lessons.
3. Your competition.
It's always a good idea to know what your competitors are charging.
However, don't get stuck charging what they are.
You don't have to have the same pricing as everyone else. But it's good to know what other people are doing so that you know where your music lessons compare.
4. What you offer.
What makes your music lesson experience different than your competitors?
Do you offer group lessons?
A convenience for parents?
Do you offer a practice lab?
Those are all things that make you unique and allow you to charge more than your competitors.
5. Know your worth.
I'm not talking about your degrees or qualifications here.
You have goals. A family to take care of and spend time with. All of that needs to be taken into account.
Honestly, your worth should be the BIGGEST factor when determining your prices for music lessons.
It doesn't matter if you don't have a music degree or if you're new to teaching...you need to charge what you're worth.
What amount feels good?
What dollar amount would make you "show up" 100% for your clients?
Instead of dreading your lessons and resenting underpaying families?
Chances are, you're probably still really hesitant about raising prices.
You're worried all of your families will quit.
We hear you.
That's why, during Week 3 of our Music Teacher Bootcamp, we hash out ALL of this stuff together in a group coaching Zoom call, worksheets, and support via our Facebook group.
And that's just one week!
By the end of Music Teacher Bootcamp you will have:
- a policy that serves you
- pricing that excites you
- a website that converts
- social media that attracts
- new student challenge
"Shane gave me excellent feedback on my website and encouraged me in establishing my price point...I highly recommended Shane and The Studio Challenge." - Kim O.
Come join us and we will support you and figure out what price point excites you!
Studio policies aren't sexy.
Music teachers either set their policies once and forget them.
OR, they start teaching without a policy.
Guess what? Music teachers NEED a policy for their music studios.
How many times have you had to argue with a parent over your tuition policy?
Or the parents that get mad when they want a makeup lesson, and you don't have the time to offer one. These conversations usually lead to conflict, and they're not fun. But that's exactly why music teachers need to have a policy for their studios.
Miss Congeniality said it best, "People care about people who care about themselves."
You want to show parents that you're an actual business.
You want to answer their questions, establish boundaries, and have guidelines to fall back on when you're caught up in the moment and don't know how to handle a certain situation.
We're going to tell you the basics that every music teacher should have with their studio policies.
1. Every Music Teacher Needs a Written Policy.
You need one. Bottom line.
It can't just be the policy you've made up in your head either. (Parents will bother and annoy you if they don't understand what the expectation is for make ups, payments, etc!)
It has to be written either on paper or electronically.
This makes you look more professional than those music teachers who don't have studio policies. It also shows your parents that you take music lessons seriously.
2. Music Teachers should make their Policies Easy to Understand.
Your policy for your music studio should be very clear.
Too many words, and your parents are going to be confused or they won't read it at all.
If you confuse people, you lose people.
Music teachers should make their policies less than one page long.
They should be easy to read with bullet points and as little text as possible.
3. Your Policy should be Accessible.
You want a nice clear system on making sure that the parents in your music studio get the policy when joining. You also want to make sure that they can get back to it easily if they ever need to reference it.
When a student joins, how do the parents get your policy?
Is it printed?
Part of their new student packet?
Is it on your website somewhere?
Make your studio's policy easy to get to!
4. Music Teachers need to Uphold their Policies!
At the end of the day, your policy exists to serve you.
If you don't stick with it, you're likely going to end up being very frustrated and losing money. So make sure you're sticking to what your policy says. If your policy says that your studio doesn't offer make up lessons, then you should stick with that. If your policy says that there's a charge if tuition is late, stick with it. Of course, it's your business and you can bend any "rules" you want for whoever you want. But remember, your policy exists to help you live the best life.
These are the very BASICS of what a music teacher should consider when creating or redoing their studio policies. Writing a studio policy can be overwhelming and often times, gets shoved to the back of our to-do lists. It's not fun. We get it.
If you need help creating or revamping your Music Studio's Policies, we are helping music teachers with that in July's Music Teacher Bootcamp...
We spend a whole week talking about everything policy-related and will work together to ACTUALLY write it!
We also cover a TON more like:
- social media
AND at the end of our 6 Week Bootcamp, we do a 5 Day New Student Challenge to get you five new students in five days!
What are you waiting for?
There is one really simple way you can reach more potential students!
And it's completely FREE...
Use LEAD MAGNETS to get more, well, leads!
Lead magnets are free items or services given away.
For you as a Music Teacher, it can be anything from a coupon towards music lessons, to books or articles that parents and students might find helpful.
Whatever your lead magnet is, the idea is you would offer it in exchange for the other person's email.
Here are two "lead magnets" we've created and used in the past:
To create these two lead magnets, I did some simple research and created an infographic for each of them in Canva.
As a Music Teacher, you don't have to create lead magnets that are geared towards Music lessons!
What you want here is something you think parents and/ or students would find beneficial!
Think about the types of students and parents you have...
Are they busy? Overbooked?
Maybe you could research and create an infographic on ways to make scheduling after school activities easier!
Are you a music teacher who tends to attract students who come from broken homes, or maybe struggle with depression or anxiety?
Maybe you can do a lead magnet about "5 Ways Parents can help their kids overcome depression and anxiety." (You can just use google to research some things kids can do that are therapeutic. Don't forget to add one about Music Lessons being an outlet for kids to express their emotions!)
You get the idea.
As a Music Teacher, you can also create lead magnets that are not infographics!
You can offer a coupon for "Free Registration" or "Free first music book when you sign up for a Piano Lab Class!"
With any of these offers, make sure it's something that would be valuable to parents and students, but cost you little to nothing.
Music Teachers: Would you like to receive instructions on how to do Lead Magnets?
I'll also send you a lead magnet you can use for FREE!
When trying to get new students, most music teachers put all of their time into advertising on social media.
BUT... did you know you'd have a 3800% BETTER return on email marketing than social media?
Here are 4 reasons why music teachers and music schools should do email marketing on a regular basis...
1. Music Teachers who do Email Marketing get New Student Inquiries to sign up.
Did you know the average person has to hear about you AT LEAST 7 times before they even consider signing up for lessons?
Think about all of the purchases and commitments you've made over the years.
There is a "dating relationship" that goes on. Once a parent hears that you do music lessons, they become curious. They ARE NOT ready to openly commit to you yet! They need to get to know you. They need to get some sort of feel for who you are and the type of studio you run.
This is where email marketing comes in! By sending routine emails this parent gets to see the types of lessons you offer, what your students are doing or saying about lessons, etc.
Then, after they see your awesomeness a few times, they'll be ready to sign up. You've just got to get them there!
2. Email Marketing reminds busy parents and students to sign up for Music Lessons!
Our music school in Alabama had a COMPLETELY different crowd in the Summer than the Fall and Spring.
The local school systems were extremely hard on students and sports were basically a second religion so we had a ton of students who wanted to take music lessons, but couldn't because of school pressure and sports during the year.
So, we'd keep these students on our email list and update them on our new classes and camps in the Summer. MOST of our new students every Summer came from our email marketing campaigns.
Likewise, we had students who preferred to pack their schedules with extra curricular activities during the school year, then take the WHOLE Summer off from lessons! They were still interested in signing up for lessons, but we had to keep emailing them about when each semester was beginning and what openings we had.
Students and Parents CONSTANTLY thanked us for these emails! They wanted lessons, but knew if we didn't send those emails, they'd forget and never sign up.
3. Music Teachers get more students through Email Marketing than Social Media.
This one's kind of obvious, right?
For one, when you advertise on social media, you're speaking to a crowd of people who are JUST hearing about you. They don't know you yet... but they'd like to!
Second, if they're on your email list, it's because they are HOT leads! They already are, or have been interested in lessons.
People who receive an email campaign are twice as likely to sign up for lessons than those who click on your social media or google ads.
4. Students prefer to hear from Music Teachers through Email.
A lot of your social media posts will get buried, and people don't want to hunt for information.
For many nowadays, Facebook and Instagram are strictly used to keep up with family and friends!
In fact, according for MarketingSherpa, 70% of people prefer to be contacted by email.
(Old school teachers: Less than 20% want to receive a phone call or text! Time to catch up with the times.)
The majority of music teachers are not using emails to sell music lessons.
Or if they are, it's very basic and it's not where they'd like it to be.
Email marketing is important for music teachers because it's so underutilized. Chances are, other music teachers in your town aren't using email marketing either.
We get it. We've been there.
You get caught up with email subject lines.
You can't stay organized or get ahead.
But the one complaint about email marketing that we hear most from music teachers is that they have NO clue what to write about.
What if we told you that it's SUPER EASY for music teachers to come up with email marketing content?
We're going to help you come up with a year's worth of email marketing.
1. Music teachers need to look at frequently asked questions from parents.
Go back through your old emails, social media messages, and social media comments.
What are parents asking? What questions keep coming up?
Most music teachers are frequently asked things like:
- How much are lessons?
- Who is the teacher?
- What age do you start lessons?
There's three email subjects right there!
You could write an email about all of the value kids and parents get from your lessons and tell them how much lessons cost.
You could do a whole email telling parents about the different teachers you have in your studio. (Fun things, not just their accomplishments and degrees!)
You could write a whole email on what age your studio starts lessons and why you choose to work with that age range.
2. Music teachers need to check their reviews.
Go to your Facebook and/or Google reviews.
Read through them and look for some keywords or themes that keep coming up.
One of our Studio Challenge Members, Whitney Maxwell, has a TON Of reviews where people mention her Musical Therapy Dogs Charlie and Henry. The parents in her studio clearly value her Musical Therapy Dogs and that gives her an entire email subject to market her music lessons.
3. Music teachers can use some of these questions to help them brainstorm ideas for email marketing...
What do you want to talk about, teach, share?
What do you stand for in business and in life?
What difference are you trying to make for your customers, community, or the world?
What do you find valuable or worthy of having a deeper conversation about?
What do you want to spotlight in your industry or your own story?
What results do parents want for their child?
How can you help your parents and students?
What frustrates parents about extra-curricular activities?
What do parents need to understand that they don't know to ask about?
What information would help parents?
What are some fears that parent's might have about music lessons?
These are all great questions to brainstorm when trying to come up with email marketing subjects. Read through them and really sit with each one. Just remember to think of this as your ideal parent, not what YOU think the parent wants to hear about.
4. Make a list of every idea that pops up.
As you go through the first three steps, make a list of any and every idea that comes to mind. This is part of the creative process. Write it ALL down, no matter how silly they might seem. The goal is to come up with 40-50 ideas.
After you've come up with about 40-50 ideas, circle 12 of the best ones.
Ideas that you know you can write a lot about and you can provide valuable information about.
Congratulations! You now have one email per month for your new email marketing campaign!
This is a great start for music teachers who are just getting into email marketing.
Now it's time to get to work writing those emails! Write your emails and get them scheduled on your favorite email marketing program. Then, if you're feeling like it, you can start adding more.
We've made a cool printable for you to organize your email marketing subject ideas as you go through this blog post.
Get it here.
We've also created a list of A Year's Worth of Email Marketing Subjects for Music Teachers you can grab here.
P.S. If you need more help with copywriting, marketing, and growing your music lesson studio, Music Teacher Bootcamp is now open!
Go sign up!