Hey Fellow Music Teachers, can you relate?
You get your studio up and running smoothly.
Lessons are going AMAZING.
Students, parents, and teachers seem happy.
You're ready to bring more students into your studio family!
So, you start advertising.
You ramp up your emails, FB marketing, and work harder than ever...
But as you're pushing to get new music students in the door, your current students start DROPPING!!!
You've been working so, SO hard to make your studio better.
You've been working so hard to take your studio to the next level.
You might even start to push even harder to get even MORE new students in the door to make up for those leaving.
You get tired and burned out.
You wonder if God and the universe are out to get you.
You start to doubt yourself...
It could be because you don't have a "student path" to motivate your students to keep moving through lessons.
It is VERY COMMON for students to leave because they don't see the point in continuing lessons after they've learned the basics!
It could be because, as a Music Teacher and Studio Owner, you've shifted from doing what you enjoy to focusing on making more money.
Shane and I slipped away last week to our favorite beach to recharge.
On the drive there we got to talking about how some of our favorite businesses are becoming less enjoyable...
Of course all of these businesses, like all of ours, were hit HARD by Covid.
Changes had to be made to keep them from going bankrupt!
But an "ah ha" moment hit me when Shane said,
"I think when businesses shift from focusing on the product to focusing on money, they lose it all."
It makes TOTAL sense! BUT...
What do you do? You HAVE to Make Money in order to keep your Music School running!
I think this is something every single music teacher and studio owner out there will have to work through.
I also think it will happen more than once in the lifetime of the business.
When Shane and I opened our studio in 2014 we had over 70 students.
Shane was teaching ALL of them!
In 2015 we hired a few teachers and started pushing HARD to get new students. We ended the year with about 110 students!
BUT... Shane and I were STRUGGLING financially because most of that tuition was going toward paying our teachers and studio bills.
Oh! And retention SUCKED.
We were getting 5 - 10 new students in each month, but losing 40 - 50 students every 6 months.
We had to learn a lot of lessons the hard way. We had to make a lot of hard changes to fix our retention and the lesson experience.
When we focused on retention we were getting less new students!
However, that slow, steady growth gave us better quality students who stuck around for longer...
Which meant we didn't have to scramble as hard to get new students in the door.
It is a CHALLENGE to find the balance of growing your studio while not losing sight of the reason you got into this job in the first place.
Here are 4 ways you can keep your Studio running well while actively trying to get New Students:
1. Take Breaks.
Spend some time alone each day to meditate and reflect on life.
Turn off your phone unplug AT LEAST one day a week. Go on road trips!
It's the same reason we need to sleep every night in order for our brains to work every day.
Our bodies were designed to work AND rest. You need time for reflection.
Time to oversee everything you are doing.
To see what works and what doesn't.
To remember WHY you work hard and keep that motivation going.
2. Stick to a schedule.
This one is hard, but essential.
Write out EVERYTHING you do and make yourself a strict schedule.
What time of day do you work best?
What hours are you teaching?
How long do you need to do general admin work for your studio?
How long does it take you to advertise? WHERE are you advertising?
I work best in the mornings and my brain and body are DONE by like 9pm every day.
Here's my rough schedule:
7 - 8am: Get up and do admin work. (Check the schedule, emails, overview daily tasks, etc.)
8 - 10am: Schedule emails, social media posts, and update website.
10am: Get ready for the day
Noon - 5pm: Homeschool Josiah, work on furniture and t-shirt businesses.
5pm - 9pm: Dinner, family time, bed time.
Shane's schedule is similar, but with active zoom consults between 9am - 3pm every day.
(You probably teach between 2 - 8pm.)
You get the idea.
Your time and energy are LIMITED each day so you HAVE TO take advantage of it!
Be efficient so you can run efficiently and continue to do so.
3. Be fully present in each moment.
When you are advertising... put all of your focus in writing up the best ads to reach the best students.
When you are teaching, allow yourself to be fully concerned and present with each student.
- What do they need from you?
- How can you make their lesson the best it could possibly be?
When you are sitting at the front desk, be fully present with those in your waiting room.
- How are you students' parents doing?
- How are students doing?
- How are teachers doing?
If you see or remember something at an inappropriate time (ie: Having to email Sally's mom about new teacher while teaching Henry's piano lesson), write it down and refer back to it later when it's the right time.
People can sense when you're not being present with them!
Your students might not be able to tell that your mind is in a different place while they play that music piece for you, but they can sense that something is off.
People can tell when you ARE invested in them, and when you're not.
So be present in each moment!
Be strict with your time and be where you are, when you are where you are.
4. Accept that Students are going to Leave.
The students you have are not there for a lifetime!
You can do so much to keep them around for months and even years, but at the end of the day, this is just a chapter in their lives.
You're also going to make students unhappy.
You're not perfect and neither are they!
All of the greatest leaders you know have offended people, and been disliked by someone.
To be great, you cannot please everyone!
BUT, you can have the GREATEST impact on that one kid who does value your studio and lessons when you pour your energy into them.
When you grow your studio, some of your students will be so excited for you!
But you'll also have the occasional "Karen" mom who will give you her unpopular opinion of the way you do lessons.
Just be confident in your strengths and focus on what is BEST for you and your overall studio.
You've got this.
Are you trying to grow your studio?
Schedule a free discovery call with Shane and I to see how we can help!