Meet one of TSC's founding members, Kaylah! She's awesome...
Kaylah is the owner of Harmony Project Music Learning Center in Wyoming. Her studio has two locations in Wyoming, the first of which she opened in the small town of Wheatland.
Though Kaylah's studio is growing and she's done amazing things for her community, her journey has been ANYTHING but easy.
Here's her story...
My parents made the decision to start driving.
Every week for the next decade we drove 140-160 miles each week for my lessons."
Kaylah said the sacrifice her parents had made for her sparked her desire to give kids in her hometown, Wheatland, the same opportunities given to her without having to make the same kind of sacrifices.
"So, I decided to pursue a music education degree and start teaching private lessons," she said.
Kaylah said when she decided to officially launch her studio, her biggest struggle was transitioning teaching into a full time job.
"There was a lot of stress the first year that I moved the studio out of our house because of the fear of the unknown and the potential instability of being completely dependent on lessons for my primary income — especially since I had no formal business training and my husband was constantly in and out of being employed! There was a lot of pressure that I HAD TO succeed!"
Kaylah has come a long way in the past few years!
Today, her studio Harmony Project has 2 growing locations, over 100 students and 6 teachers between them.
Kaylah has not only fulfilled her dream of providing the kids in her small town the opportunity to take violin, but thanks to her, they can now also take lessons in multiple instruments (everything from piano and guitar, to violin, harp, flute, etc)!
The last 2 years have been the most challenging for Kaylah...
Since 2018, Kaylah has had to work through:
(Kaylah said she was actually in the middle of launching her second location when her brother passed!)
"The fact that I am still standing and still have my business . . . and honestly, any sanity left . . . is nothing short of miraculous!
However, I have to say that I WOULD NOT trade any of the events of the last 2 years because they have ALL caused me to grow!
Spiritually, physically, emotionally, as a business owner, as a friend, as a musician, as a person in general, I've grown all across the board! I am so thankful to have a faithful core of students who have never given up on my studio because they know me and they trust me, but I am also thankful for our numbers starting to climb again after a pretty dramatic drop due to Covid!
All in all, I am incredibly blessed to get to do what I love every single day and to share that love of music and of people with a pretty spectacular #MusicFam as a way to make a living!
Things can only go up from here, and I am really excited to see what God does next!"
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1: 2 - 4
We want to send a HUGE thanks to Kaylah for sharing her story with us this week!
We are truly inspired by her grit, and cannot wait to see what awesome things the future holds for her. Kaylah is a fighter and bound for success.
If Kaylah's story resonated with you and you'd like some help and support with your music school, check out TSC's Silver Membership.
No matter what you teach or where you're from, we're here to help you achieve YOUR studio goals.
Your website has ONE purpose:
Get people to contact you and sign up for lessons.
Anything not serving this one purpose needs to go.
Most websites have WAY too many pages.
Or too few.
It’s a total Goldilocks syndrome.
Let’s talk about the main pages that your website should have.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t have additional pages.
Just that they shouldn’t be prominently displayed.
Also, you probably shouldn’t have a need for much else than these.
Ready? Here we go.
The 5 Essential Pages for a Music School Website:
Let’s break them down, shall we?
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 assumption is that you are skilled in trained in what you do.
You don’t have to lay it out for them.
At least not in explicit detail.
Instead, you need to talk about your studio and your 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 teachers. This is only for the 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.]
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.
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?
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 Facebook or social media pages or any other directories.
People want to know how much things cost.
Make it simple for them.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Pages You 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…
Let us help!
Our #1 goal here is to help you grow your studio without overworking yourself.
Check out our budget- friendly options and join the tribe!
As always, success is a journey and growth takes time.
However, sometimes you CANNOT wait for that growth.
You need to pay bills NOW and if you can't pay rent this month, your studio's future success and growth is irrelevant.
Here are my go-to ways to get new students in the door ASAP:
1. Contact your current students and ask if they know if anyone that would like to take lessons.
Your students love you and want to help! Just ask them.
Your reach is only so big, no matter how much you market and advertise. However, if you tell 10 students to spread the word, and then they each tell 5 of their friends, then you’ve reached 50 PEOPLE by only sending a quick email to 5.
2. Think about siblings AND parents as potential students.
Having a whole family taking lessons with you is amazing! Especially if you have a multi-teacher school or groups, see if you can add a family member at the same day/time or into a current group.
If they’re already at your studio, they may as well take lessons! Just ask them. You can send them an email that says something like,
"Hey! Would Jason's brother be interested in taking drum lessons?" I think he'd really enjoy it, and we can get him scheduled at the same lesson time as Jason!"
Even if they initially say, "no," they might surprise you and say, "No, but what spots do you have open for piano lessons?"
3. Contact your Old Inquiries and Former Students.
Try the Nine Word Email. It is GOLD.
“Hey [Student]! Are you still interested in lessons?”
That’s it. Done. You will get more responses from an email like this than most finely crafted emails with tons of information. Seriously, try it!
4. Scarcity Marketing.
If you are advertising generic lessons it’s hard to have any urgency for people to sign up.
“Only 3 spots left!”
“Registration closes in 4 days!”
If you want them to sign up NOW, you have to give them a reason to sign up NOW and not push it off.
5. Post on Social Media and Facebook Community Groups.
Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business. Post there. Post regularly and frequently. Be specific with what you’re looking for but get the word out.
All out media blitz.
6. Open Day.
Take a Saturday or evening and do Free Intro Lessons.
Get them started and excited and then be ready to close the deal and sign up students on the spot.
SC Member Paul Andrews has some great stuff in the Membership group and on our Podcast about his Open Days. Hear more about his success through his podcast episode here.
You have enough to worry about as a music teacher and studio owner.
Let us worry about the marketing!
When you enroll NOW for Music School Marketing for $9 (offer expires THURSDAY, 9/24!), you get the Music School Facebook Calendar ($59) for FREE!
This is your chance to STOP wasting time worrying about what, how, and where to post to get new students and student inquiries.
We've all been there!
Whether it's the car salesman that tried to manipulate you into buying an overpriced lemon, or the guy that came to your house trying to scare you into buying a security system for your new home...
You know you have to "sell" music lessons, but you don't know how to go about doing it because all you know is this:
You don't want to be THAT guy.
Is it even possible to sell without coming across as a slimy, greedy salesman?
I feel like most of us music teachers HATE selling lessons and here's why:
We CARE about people, and we want the BEST for them.
When I get my feelings hurt I try to convince myself that I hate people. But the truth is at the end of the day, I find myself constantly concerned about being a genuine person, doing the right things, and wanting to not wreck the lives of those around me.... ESPECIALLY kids.
We know how slimy salesman make us feel, and we DO NOT wish that on any student or parent that comes in our door.
I was listening to someone talk about sales this morning, and something the guy said really struck me.
“When you sell from the heart, it becomes serving. It’s about inviting people to join you so you can serve them at the HIGHEST level.”
Thank about that for a minute!
So... what's the difference between YOU and those slimy salesman that wrecked your perception of sales?
You CARE about serving YOUR students at the HIGHEST level. You want nothing but the BEST for them.
Slimy salesman don't care about anything but themselves and making money.
You care about making money too, but NOT at the risk of hurting someone else!
Sales has nothing to do with you.
It has everything to do with helping others.
- Helping your students make progress in learning to play.
- Helping them become better musicians.
- Helping them become BETTER.
So, how can you sell music lessons without sounding slimy?
Speak from your heart!
Share stories of success.
- Of students who achieved results.
- Of students who you love to teach.
- Of Students who love to come to lessons!
Here's the cool thing:
When we share stories, we generate more students!
Those who love lessons with you tell their friends.
You share through email or social media something awesome they did or said.
Then other people see that and come to you for lessons.
THEN, your new students have new stories to share and bring in MORE new students!
It's a wonderful cycle.
Start by sharing reviews from your students. If you don't have reviews (or students) yet, share YOUR story! Tell the world WHY you love teaching. Let everyone see your heart.
When they do, they won't think you're slimy in the least.
They'll see YOU and want to support YOU.
You've got this!
If you need help with your marketing, check out Music School Marketing for $9!
Subscribe by FRIDAY (9/24/20) and get the Music School FB Calendar for FREE!
For some reason, when I begin working first thing in the morning, I get this overwhelming feeling of stress.
(TSC MEMBERS: We have a few Live Chat recordings available to help you with Productivity, Organization, and improving Mental Health. Check them out here!)
The weight of my responsibilities as consultant, dad, and husband can be so overwhelming at times.
I can get bombarded with tasks and expectations.
The worse part? When I get overwhelmed, I completely shut down.
Which means I get NOTHING done, snap at everyone, and allow myself to become completely useless.
As a studio owner, I know you get overwhelmed too.
You have a lot of weight on your shoulders!
But we need to keep ourselves together.
We want our studios to thrive, our teachers and students to be taken care of. We want everything to go well.
Here's ONE MAJOR way we can keep our sanity and prevent stress. Ready for it?
I have started doing this first thing in the mornings, and it has been a HUGE help.
I was recently introduced to the book "The Miracle Morning," and while the title is SUPER cheesy, this book is amazing. Meditation is part of the "Miracle Morning" ritual and it involves sitting still and just BEING for a bit. I have also found Visualization (visualizing yourself doing a great job and thinking through situations BEFORE they happen) and Affirmations to be extremely helpful.
For Affirmations, my mind is often filled with negative thoughts about myself.
It's like my default mode.
Maybe it's a musician/creative thing?
I started by writing out a handful of Affirmations that I tell myself each morning:
I'm a great dad,
A great husband,
I work hard,
I am successful...
I know, it sounds silly and cheesy... but try it.
Seriously, this is NOT the type of thing that I normally do. I typically cringe at this type of thing.
But it's making a difference.
It's all about the little steps.
Getting 1% better each day.
And this is helping me to do that.
We NEED time to ourselves, and we need to take care of ourselves.
Put your oxygen mask on FIRST... remember?
Take care of yourself.
Allow yourself to breathe.
This work we do is NOT easy and our load is NOT light.
Just do it. You won't regret it!