The Secrets of Marketing Your Music Studio Without Feeling Pushy or Seeming Desperate.
A guest post by Rebecca Tall Brown of TrilineMarketing.com
If you stand at your local craft store, as I was doing last month, you’ll witness the pull-down, put-back of product — reflective of people in that space who are thinking about starting projects.Yarn they’re contemplating turning into a scarf. Paint and canvas. Candy molds.
Here they are, in a store – which, by definition, is a physical place to facilitate sales – evaluating. Evaluating whether the new thing will fit into their current reality. Evaluating if that’s what they really want. Evaluating it against the long list of other things that are a priority.
Lots of people headed to the register with their items, but several people walked away empty-handed.
Does the person behind the counter panic when someone walks away without making a purchase? Do they loathe themselves?
Nope. They’re trained to ask the customer if they need help. Oftentimes the customer is “just looking” — they’re gathering information around whether (or not) they’re ready to take on something new. It takes a ton of effort to start something new.
As you’re approached by prospective students or parents, remember that it takes time and space for them to evaluate if they’re ready to commit to lessons – because like the yarn, it’s about the internal commitment to themselves, amid all of the other commitments they already have.
Here is the secret to marketing your music studio authentically and with heart: One of the most gracious (and successful) ways you can cultivate more target students into your enrollment funnel is to give them attentive space.
Attentive space is like pleasant attention-without-obligation that the craft store employee shows through simple acknowledgement, simple checking in with the customer. It’s a mindfulness, an awareness, with neither cajoling nor ulterior motives.
When and How to Give (Attentive) Space
As potential students come to you, give them what I call Attentive Space: the freedom to “just look” around and ponder. They need to do this whether or not you give them the space. They’re going through a complex decision making process. Do they want to start a commitment to lessons? Do they have the energy to manage their child’s daily practice routine? How badly do they want to develop themselves or their children into musicians?
You don’t have a giant store where people visit and consider. People are “just looking” when they visit and reading your website, your blog, or by looking at or picking up your fliers. All the while, they’re evaluating whether or not you’ll fit into their current reality, and their desired future reality.
Ensuring that you have a presence for them to “just look” is the first step.
Let Them Know When and How to Inquire
Everyone provides the opportunity for interaction via a website contact page.
But if you really want to know if and (better yet) how to help, make sure that your contact page truly reflects the fact that you care (and will get back to them!). There’s little more ridiculous than a contact page that’s neglected and boring… when all of the other parts of a site are well developed. It’s like asking “How can we help?” and walking away, directly, before the customer can form a sentence.
Plus, if people are looking for help, don’t assume they’ve yet made up their mind. One of the best things you can offer future students is the permission to not know.
Not sure if you’re ready for lessons or what lessons are right for you? That’s okay. We’re here to help.
Schedule a call with us (555) 555-5555 and together we’ll decide whether we’re ready to make your musical dreams come true. And if we aren’t the right fit, you can be sure we have fantastic references to support you in whatever direction you’d like to head.
By providing a real, frank, and honest call to action, you’re giving your leads and prospects permission and safety to let you help guide them in their decision process.
As leads are making their decision process, during this time, they’re also being interrupted. At the local craft store, interruptions appeared in many ways: tugging children, buzzing phones, and obnoxious overhead PA announcements.
Your customers have emails, text messages, and calls arriving. They may be waiting for their turn in line at the DMV, reading more about you and your process.
This is where consistent marketing pays off: by having subtle, elegant, graceful and most important, consistent messaging going out, your target will have more to aid them in making their decision.
Remember, it takes about 9 times hearing about you or your name for someone to finally be ready to make the call, engage in the transaction, or begin to work with you. Rather than loathe the fact that yes, this marketing things takes time and effort, turn it into a game to see just how clever and delightful your messages can be.
Then monitor how effective they are.
Your future student’s family has a process. Even when they show up at the place of conversion (i.e. when they contact you), they may still not be ready to buy. No one runs around with their credit card above their head, ready to swipe.
Your ideal students and their families are gathering information. I want you to become masterful at giving customers the Attentive Space to learn, to gain more information, and to ultimately make the decision that it’s you and only you they want to work with.