You don’t want to be just another studio claiming lessons for “all ages and levels”. You don’t want to be thought of as just nice.
Find your unique awesomeness in this episode. Make your marketing different, stand out and get noticed!
Click on any word to jump to that point in the audio. 🙂
Vibrant vibrant vibrant music teaching proven and practical tips strategies and ideas for music teachers.
This is Episode 16 of the vibrant music teaching podcast. I’m Nicola Cantan and in this episode I want to help you find your uniqueness and show it off in your marketing.
Well hello wonderful teachers. I want you to go on a little journey with me first today and just imagine something I want you to imagine that you’ve been thinking about taking up some form of martial art. You’re thinking about it because you’ve heard about the fitness benefits. It seems like a little bit more interesting way to spend your time than on a treadmill at the gym. And you’ve heard that judo would be a good fit for the goals that you have. So you’re walking down the street and you see a poster and the poster says martial arts for students of all ages. Best price in town call us to find out about classes at our studio. OK so do you call them? Probably not. And why wouldn’t you call them. Well it doesn’t really seem like the right fit for you however. Imagine you were walking down the street and you saw a sign that said judo for adults with a subtitle that said Get Fit in an environment that’s fun and supportive. Great for beginners. Well now that sounds like a perfect fit doesn’t it sounds like it’s designed just for you and the thoughts that have been going around your head about how to get fit in a fun environment. So there’s a lesson in there for us music teachers. We don’t want to be a commodity. We don’t want to be the same as everyone else around us because that’s when parents come to us and ask just about price or compare solely based on price or even just asking about it.
But that is all they’re taking into consideration because both you and all the teachers around you have said that you offer lessons that are fun effective and that you can teach all ages and all levels. So what’s the difference. There isn’t one and I’m sure there actually is but there doesn’t appear to be one from the outside whereas if you take our judo example if you love teaching adult students that could be the perfect point of difference for you. And yes it does mean that maybe the parents are going to walk by that poster although they might still call and just check if they’re really looking for a teacher about whether you also teach children. But if you were an adult prospective student you would stop and you would definitely feel like it was talking to you. Many teachers get kind of nervous about this type of approach because it feels like you’re narrowing down your options right but you’re not what you’re doing is honing in on the students that you want to find and you may get other ones too and you may take every student that comes your way. If you’re just starting out or you’re building up your student numbers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t seek out your ideal students and speak directly to them so that they know your studio is for them.
Now that doesn’t have to be a demographic like adult students or preschoolers or anything like that but we’ll talk more about what types of points of difference you might use in your studio. First I want to do a little exercise with you that will help you to hone in on what this is for you and I call this the three threes we explored this in the studio business cleanse a little while back. For those of you who participated in that so you’ll be familiar with it. The first of the three threes is three words you want and that’s three words that you would like people to use to describe you. Your teaching and your studio. What would you like people to think of. What three words should come to mind when people think about your style of teaching. Is it fun. Is it enriching. Is it friendly. Maybe but I’d like you to choose words that are a little bit more specific. So really have a brainstorm. Think about all the words that come to mind when you think about your studio and what you want to represent in your community. Write down everything just completely free associate and write everything on a big scrap of paper and then look at it and see which three jump out to you as being the most important. What do you really want people to think of when they think about your studio.
Now once you have those and you may want to pause this podcast to write them down or you can do all of this later. But once you have those three words that you want people to describe your studio as. Now it’s time to get really honest with yourself and write in the three words that they would use if somebody said to a piano parent or a student in your studio Oh hey I hear you take lessons at Miss Smith’s studio. What are lessons there like? What would they say? What do you think they would come up with? and do you think it would match the three words you want? Try to be honest with yourself and this isn’t the whole picture because these are students who know you. So this isn’t about your marketing so much as is this what you’re really doing. Studio are you achieving what you set out to because you want your marketing to convey what it’s genuinely like to be part of your studio. So you need to get honest with yourself about what people are thinking when they think about you and the last three in our three threes is three feelings what three feelings do you want students to have when they walk at the door. They get into their mum or dad’s car and they sit down. How do they feel?
Do they feel empowered. Do they feel relaxed. Do they feel giggly. It could be anything but write down the three words that you most want them to feel OK. So now you’ve got your three threes. You’ve got three words. You want people to use to describe your studio. You’ve got the three words that they probably would use if you’re really honest with yourself and you’ve got the three feelings that your students should have when they walk at the door when they leave your studio. How should they feel. Now all of this might have sounded a little bit wishy washy when we’re trying to talk about marketing and specific words and images to use in your studio marketing and advertising materials but this stuff really informs your marketing because this is how you figure out what makes you different. There are many ways to differentiate yourself such as the demographic you teach. It could be preschoolers or adult students like the example we gave before it could be that you teach a lot of special needs students. It could be that you teach only retired adult students you could get even more niche but it doesn’t have to be just demographic. I feel like the demographic one is given a lot in examples because it’s simple to explain and to show how it would be different in marketing. But it’s not the only way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Another way would be in your creativity. So perhaps you’re the only teacher in your area who includes improvisation composing and those sorts of skills in your lessons. If you are if other teachers around you are not doing that that could be one of your key points have different or your USP haven’t been using the term USP so far because I feel it’s a little bit overused. But for those of you who don’t know it’s unique selling proposition and it is a useful way to think about things. But I think it kind of blends into the background. So I prefer to talk about your unique awesome ness or your point of difference so creativity might be yours but it doesn’t care if everybody around you is doing it too right. Another point of difference might be gamification. So the fact that you use games to teach a lot of things like a lot of VMT members will do and like I certainly do and using games and games library as one of your points of difference can really fit in. If you came up with words during the three theories like fun engaging full of laughter full of laughter is one word but let’s put some hyphens in there and pretend it is so gamification might be one of your points or difference but going a completely different way maybe excellent exam results are now I have to put a big caveat here because if you’re listening in Ireland.
I don’t think that’s a point of difference and possibly in the UK and in Australia as well because it’s used so commonly. That is not something that’s different. One of the most common signs that I see around says the typical you know piano lessons for all ages and any level use exams or not exams that kind of thing they always mention the exams and that they’re open to either or but most of those students do exams so they will use the high achievements of their students. As a point of difference and it’s not really one because most people who are advertising have excellent results from their students in their exams and it doesn’t really make them stand out from the crowd. So I would caution you against that. If you’re in one of the countries where exams are so prevalent that it’s probably not something that’s different about you. But if you’re in the US or something maybe it is maybe no one around you does exams and you’re a studio that does and prides yourself on the achievements of your students so that’s great if that’s you.
Another thing you might use to make yourself stand out from the crowd is revolutionary recitals. So I ACTUALLY HAVE A webinars and recitals coming up this week so if you’re listening to this as it goes live you can go to sign up at Vibrant music teaching dot com slash. OMG because it’s called recital O M G but maybe as it already stands your recitals are revolutionary enough and that can be something that really is so different from everyone else around you that you do recitals with a full band so that students can play along with them or you do recitals every single month or you hire a massive concert hall and do a full formal recital and no one else does that. There’s one thing that you’ll notice about all of these points of difference and of course there are many other examples and many other ways you can make yourself stand out. But there’s one thing I don’t want you to use and that’s your price. Never ever ever make that thing that makes you different to the people around you that you’re the cheapest. That is not how you want to be perceived. People should not take lessons with you because you’re the best value and yes value is a term that may be used in a different way but it too often used to mean cheap.
In my opinion. So I would even steer clear of that word. Take some time today to brainstorm what your point of difference might be after doing the three threes exercise. Have a think about what is different about you. What do you want to be known for. Just make sure it’s never ever the price once you know what it is you want to be known for that you want to stand out for you get to show this off in your marketing. So this can be different depending on what you’ve chosen of course. If it is the demographic that’s easy because as I say you just advertise piano lessons for adults learn in an environment that specially designed for you etc. or preschoolers or whatever. If you pick a certain type of people it is very easy to target your materials towards them. But what if you picked gamification. Well that could mean that you show lots of photos of your students playing games and giggling their way through theory on your site. It could mean that you show a video tour of your games library on your website or on your Facebook page.
It could mean that all of your posters have smiling children holding up fun music themed games so you still get the music in there it’s clear what’s going on but people get the message without you having to spell it out for them. If big composing projects are your thing then maybe you show photos of students holding up their own compositions. I made a book of my students and pieces last year and that would be a great thing to put on my website. Picture of my student with their book showing their composition and I could use that on Facebook I could use it wherever as long as I have permission of course from the student’s parents. So no matter what the point of difference you always can find a way to show it. The most important part of this is that when you’re looking at something when you’re looking at your site when you’re looking at your Facebook post when you’re looking at Facebook and when you’re looking at a poster or a business card or anything. Ask yourself What three words would people bring to mind when they looked at this. What would they think. My studio represents what would they think it’s like to take lessons with me. And if the answer is I have no idea if the answer is they’ll just think that I’m a piano teacher or that I’m a violin teacher then your marketing is not doing its job because it’s not making it clear what’s different about you. I hope that the exercises I’ve given you today will help you to define your awesome and to convey that in your marketing.
I would love to see what your also is or your three words area 3 3 if you like in the vibrant music studio teachers group on facebook it would be great to see what different people come up with and how different people sound right how different each studio stands when we really hone in on what makes us vibrant and what makes us special. You also want some input on whether this is showing in your marketing. Perhaps post a screenshot or a picture of some marketing materials of your website or a link to your Facebook page. Anything you want ask people to check it out. I’ll create a thread in the group for this. Ask people to check it out and tell you what three words come to mind. This could be a really interesting exercise if you’re brave enough to go for it. I know it could be a bit nerve wracking for you but it would be so valuable and I promise that everyone in the vibrant music studio teachers group will be kind and helpful and constructive. Otherwise they will be kicked out. So don’t worry about that. Just to remind you before you go that you can catch the show notes for this episode at vibrantmusicteaching/16. That’s 1 6 for Episode 16. You can also sign up for the recital. OMG webinars that on this week though so if you’re into this a little bit late you might have missed it if you are listening to it on time go to vibrant music teaching dot com slash o m g to sign up for that. And lastly next week is actually going to be another Q and A special member question episode. So if you’re a vibrant music teaching member you can go into the VMT club has right now and let me know your questions that you want answered on the podcast. Next week. You can also write to me an email if you’re not on Facebook. Thanks so much for listening guys. Bye for now.
If you want a bank planning your next recital just that little bit easier. and you’re a VMT member you can catch the recital program template inside the library right now. If you’re not a member yet you can sign up to get those immediately. At VMT.ninja I’ll see you on the inside.
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