Imagine that I give you 20 NEW students TODAY.
No sales calls. No talking them into signing up.
They are 100% ready to go and you just need to get them into your studio.
The more you grow, you HAVE to have an onboarding system in place that isn’t personalized and doesn’t take a lot of thought and effort on your part!
If you don't have these things in place, you will overwork yourself and look unprofessional.
...But it needs to make the students and parents feel awesome, appreciated, heard, and excited to join your studio.
Most studios don’t have this.
You probably get phone calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, walk-ins, or online forms.
You then probably go through the process of individually calling or emailing all of them.
You go through roughly the same thing with each of them but it takes a LOT of time and effort.
Some will sign up.
Either way it takes TOO MUCH of your time.
Time that you could be using to do other things.
Your Onboarding Process is NOT about closing the sale or having to convince someone to sign up for lessons. That’s the Sales Process.
Your Onboarding Process is about what happens when someone is 100% ready to go.
Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit, shall we?
Do you have a simple and foolproof way to get them easily and quickly signed up?
That is what the Onboarding Process is.
Your Onboarding Process consists of 3 Distinct Parts:
First, you need all of their information into your system. You need their names, contact info, etc. We need an easy way to capture that information.
Then, you need their payment info. You need to get paid and it needs to be effortless.
Lastly, you need to get them on your schedule so you can begin lessons. This goes LAST because you need to make sure to have their information and get paid BEFORE they take up a spot on your schedule.
Let’s talk about them in a little more detail...
First, decide what information that you absolutely NEED.
Keep this part as simple as possible. You probably already know the basic information that you need, but here are a few suggestions:
- Parent’s Name
- Student’s Name
- Age/Grade (you don’t need both)
- Email Address
- Phone Number
Do you need their mailing address? If you plan on sending them something in the mail (postcards to students are fun!), then absolutely. If you don’t plan to mail them something, then it just takes up time and space.
Look at everything on your current registration form and make sure that it is information that you actually need.
Now, how do we collect that information?
You can either have a physical form for them to fill out or an online form. If you use something like My Music Staff, there are widgets that you can install into your website to take care of this.
***QUICK NOTE: A Sign up form and a Registration form ARE NOT THE SAME THING. A Sign Up form is really simple and just gets you some basic info to get in touch with them about lessons. A registration form is what they use to actually register to become a student. Don’t use your Registration Form as the Sign Up form on your website.
The idea is to make this as simple as possible.
You need to accept payment or a deposit for their first lesson.
I recommend doing this BEFORE they show up to their first lesson so that you don’t get flaky students and no-shows.
Our studio had a simple Square checkout setup on our website where people were directed after they filled out the signup form. This took care of their $50 deposit and then we added them to our schedule.
As for getting them setup for recurring payments, I highly recommend autopay. You can send them the login info to add their card info, call them to get their info over the phone, or do it in person at your first lesson.
This can be the hardest part because of the amount of back and forth that inevitably happens.
Here are two things that helped us IMMENSELY.
1. When we still offered Private Lessons we made people give us time RANGES, not time requests.
They couldn’t ask for 4pm on Tuesdays. They had to click a box with a range of 4pm to 6pm on Tuesdays. Everyone wants the most popular spots. Ranges give you an idea of what is available.
We also asked that they select EVERY available time slot. Of course, some of them just pick the ones that work the best for them. But, it still gives you something to work from.
Assuming a fairly regular teacher schedule, I recommend setting your ranges as:
Before 4pm (before school lets out)
4pm-6pm (after school)
6pm-8pm (after work)
Obviously you can tweak those a bit, but most people will fall into one of those general ranges.
2. We changed to only offer Group Lessons for beginning students.
It was the only option to take lessons in our studio. It made things simple. We just listed the available Group Classes on the Sign Up form on our website or sent the link to people who emailed us, or quoted the class times during a phone call or in person. It was all in one simple place that was updated as we signed up students.
This was the simplest because there was no back and forth. It was literally…
”This is all that I have available. What class would you like to sign up for?”
It cut down on most of the back and forth and the special snowflake parents that asked for something else received a kind, but canned response that we only had available what was posted and they could choose from those or get added to the wait list.
You already have some version of this for your studio.
I want you to look through and see what causes the most stress and the most time.
Where are the bottlenecks? Meaning..where do things get stuck?
Do you have to call EVERY new student at some point in the process?
Is there a lot of back and forth on scheduling or chasing the initial payments?
Remember, the goal here is to be able to sign up 20 new students instantly...or at least within an afternoon.
So, what part of it will take you the longest?
THAT is what you have to fix and streamline before we open up the floodgates on bringing in new students.
Signing up and paying should be the absolute easiest thing people can do in your studio.
So, If I give you 20 new students today, are you ready?