It stands to reason that improving music studio enrollment is always a top priority for successful owners.
So how do the best studios keep those classes full?
I believe the first thing to recognize is the difference between enrollment and re-enrollment. Re-enrollment is the best way to keep classes full, and it does not take a lot of technology or marketing savvy. It's really all about customer service. Sure, you want to be able to track it (see my recent blog) and make it easy to re-enroll with online registration etc., but the bottom line is about providing a great experience in the studio for the student, and the caregiver where appropriate.
So what about enrollment - new customers?
This is where some marketing savvy and marketing tools come in, and it is also where things can get quickly out of hand if you are not careful. Here are a few of my do's and don'ts based on our experience, which have influenced the design and features of our YourVirtuoso service:
- A professional, SEO (Search Engine Optimized) friendly website design. It does not need to be complex, but the page title and content need to include very specific search terms including, most importantly, your location. (e.g. "Flute classes in Boise")
- A website that generates customers and prospects/leads. The website should work for customers who are just browsing, or who know exactly what they want. It should lead them step by step toward a "contact us" form where they become a prospect for future emails, or toward the all important "Register" button.
- A blog on your website, where it can also help with SEO. Of course you will need to be creating blogs at least weekly to benefit from this.
- Regular emails to your prospects. Not just announcing that online registration for the next session is available, but also letting them know about interesting articles (include your own blogs of course)
- Print Advertising: Well, this is a tricky one. In most markets, yellow pages is no longer worth the investment, but there are a few print ad options that still make sense. My advice would be to test them, starting with local publications, parent magazines etc. Just be sure you have a process or system in place to track the source of your new customers, or you will never know what works.
- Online Advertising: Again, this needs to be tracked carefully, all the way to conversion to customers. It is often worthwhile, but just make sure you use geographic targeting, and geographic keywords to keep your campaign costs in control.
Fortunately, there are tools available to help. From your studio administration system to Google adwords and analytics.
Good luck, and keep those classes full!
If you are interested in how the studio administration features in YourVirtuoso can help, please feel free to browse the rest of our website.