Making the Clockwork Work

Automation Can Be Very Human

We run extremely human businesses as music teachers, so I would understand if you felt some trepidation at the idea of automating some of your communication with potential and current students and their parents. 

But here’s the thing: You (a human) are going to write these messages, and you’re going to write things you truly mean in your own voice. The only thing you’re going to be relying on the robots for is sending it at the right time.

And this is where the robots excel. Humans are human, after all. We get distracted by amazing newspaper stories and let cakes burn in the oven, we think it’s Tuesday on Wednesday and show up at closed dance studios, and we forget to send emails because we have a bajillion other things on our plate. Lines of code don’t forget or get distracted. 🤖

Let the robots do what they do best so that you can do the emotional labour and human work that we only YOU can do.

Impressions in an Instant

There are multiple layers to the first impression a business makes on a potential customer; it’s not just the first first impression.

Have you ever filled in a contact form on a website, only have the information sort of…vanish when you click the send button? You then wonder if it went through so you go to your email to check and there’s nothing there. So, you assume it wasn’t sent and (mildly irritated) go back to the contact form and retype your message, only to have it vanish again when you click the button. At this stage, if you’re anything like me, you stop trying and promptly forget about this annoying company. 

That’s not a great first interaction with a business. Even if they reply to your message a few days later, you’d probably still be a bit peeved.

It is so easy to set up an automatic reply from any contact form you use on your site or studio admin system. Make sure people hear from you straight away so they:

  • Know the message went through
  • Know when to expect a reply
  • Start to get to know and like you a little bit more

You can use the draft in our Essential Email Templates series as a starting point.


The experience after the first meeting is all wrapped up together in one package in your new music family’s minds. You need to make sure this box doesn’t include the words scatty, forgetful or disorganised, so make sure you email them to follow up and send any information that was discussed in the meeting.

The simplest solution to this is to always schedule slightly longer for the meeting than you’ll actually need. For example, if you usually take about 15 minutes for this initial chat, leave another 15 minutes after it in your schedule so you can email them straight away and provide the perfect refreshing after dinner mint to wrap the experience up in a neat bow.We have templates to use for the post-meeting follow-up in our Essential Email Templates series, too, so it shouldn’t take long to fire off a thoughtful message.

More to Explore

One of my favourite business authors, Mike Michalowicz, has a wonderful book called ‘Clockwork’ which inspired the title of this lesson. It’s about systematising much more than just marketing but is definitely worth a read (or listen – I love the audiobook version) if you’re interested.