Attract More Music Students With Your Website
In part I of How to Get More Music Students With Your Website I talk about making a strong first impression on website visitors. In part II I discuss how to create an emotional journey for your website visitor. An emotional journey that will inspire them to click your call to action button and begin the sales process.
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Buying is Emotional
Buying is an emotional experience. We rationalize our purchases later through logic. “Yeah, I know that music school’s a little bit expensive. They’re more expensive than the other ones, but I really want to give my child what’s best, and this music school really speaks to me. They seem to really understand me.”
The moment of purchase is always emotional. It’s when excitement kicks in. When your customers are handing over their credit card information to you, they’re dreaming of what their child’s future will look like. They’re perhaps fantasizing about their house being full of music. They’re dreaming about watching their child on stage performing. So like I said, your homepage really should have an emotional arc to it, just like a movie does or any story.
Create An Emotional Arc
Think of the homepage of your website as creating an emotional arc. There are four ways to create this journey for your customer. One is when they land on your website, you want them to have the reaction of, “Now, this is what I’m looking for.” You want to signal to them that they’re in the right place. You want to build intrigue and curiosity. You want them to think, “Not only am I in the right place, but this really sounds good. This really sounds like an experience I’d want to give to my child.”
Let Your Customers Sell For You
You want to provide your website visitor with social proof. You can make all the claims you want about your music school, no one’s going to believe you. Why should they believe you when you say your music lessons are great, that your music teachers are caring and passionate? They don’t know who you are. There’s no level of trust yet. Social proof or customer testimonials, allows your customers to do the selling for you.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Ultimately you want to create a sense of urgency. That urgency really begins to settle in for someone when they feel like, “Okay, this is too good for me to pass up. I know I’ve been looking at other music schools, but this is the one we’re going to. I know this music school might not be as close to me as the other two that I’m looking at, but I really like how they’re making me feel.”
Make a Billboard or Movie Poster
Let me go into a little more detail about how to create this emotional arc. When people land on your website or your homepage, they initially land on your above-the-fold. Think of your above-the-fold as a billboard. It’s really an advertisement for the rest of your website. You’re not trying to make the sale in your above-the-fold section. Think of it as a movie poster. When you see a poster for a movie, or you even see a trailer for a movie, they don’t reveal the plot. They give you a little taste of what it’s about. Whenever you see a movie trailer at the movie theater, I don’t know about you, but I always turn to my wife and I either say to her, “That looks terrible.” or, “Wow, that looks interesting. Maybe we should see that.”
“This is What I’m Looking For”
Your above-the-fold should do the same thing. When people land on your website, and they see your above-the-fold, you want them to think, “Now, this is what I’m looking for.” So how do you trigger this reaction? You do it with an image and a headline. Your photo should be a single image that’s filling up the entire above-the-fold frame. That image should be a child looking happy, playing music. You want it to be an image where a parent can use their imagination and insert their child into the image. You want the parent to think, “I’d love to see my kid doing that.
Keep it Clear and Simple
Your headline needs to simply define what your service is, and it should trigger a sense of desire. Your headline should mirror what the customer’s thinking. So what’s the customer thinking? They’re most likely thinking, “I want to find some music lessons that my kid’s really going to enjoy.” A headline such as, “Music lessons kids love,” gets the job done. It’s defining the service, music lessons, and there’s an emotional trigger, your kid’s going to love this. Danny Thompson on his website for his school The Music Factory in Orange County, he’s got a great headline.”We help people learn to play music.” Talk about simple and direct. There’s nothing poetic about it. They’re positioning themselves as helpers. We help people. Parents are looking for someone to help their child. They want someone to help their child learn to play music. That headline mirrors the thought that a parent might have, or is likely to have.
What Does Your Website Visitor Want?
I actually came up with a headline that’s based on this headline. The headline is, “We help kids learn to play the music they love.” I’m infusing the emotion of love there. I really want to drive home this point that your headline in your above-the-fold should mirror, it should reflect what a parent is likely thinking. Don’t put the word “Welcome” as your headline. Don’t put your music school’s name on your headline. By mirroring or echoing the parent’s thoughts, you’re likely to generate a response in them of, “This is what I’m looking for.” So as you scroll down past your above-the-fold, as you scroll down your website, you come into your second frame. Think of your website as multiple frames. The first frame is above-the-fold. You scroll down, you’re now in the second frame.
In the second frame you want to begin to build some intrigue and curiosity.If someone’s coming to you through social media, or a Google search, they’re most likely not ready to buy at this point. They scroll down, and then the second frame, here’s where you want to lay out some sales language. You want to keep it short. When people are on your website, they’re not likely to read a lot, but they’ll scan your text. Look at your own behavior when you’re on a website, when you’re checking out a business. You read the headlines. You may read a little bit of the sales copy. You most likely read the first sentence or so. How likely are you to read the entire paragraph? This is important to keep in mind as you’re putting your sales copy together.
A Classic Formula
I encourage you to use this classic sales formula.
I wrote some sales copy for this episode. Actually, the formula I use is
- Amplify the pain
“A lot of people have bad memories of childhood music lessons, strict music teachers, hard-to-play music, and battles with mom over practice time. We make playing an instrument fun and easy and focus on teaching music kids love. This helps children feel good about themselves and excited to grow as a person and a musician.”
The Power of Pain
Notice how the writing is all about the child. I’m not talking about my music school or my music lessons, I’m talking about the kid. I open on a statement that’s shocking, that’s unexpected, that takes the reader to a dark place. “A lot of people have bad memories of childhood music lessons”
Amplify the Pain
Why would a music school say that? Why would a music school seemingly shoot themselves in the foot saying something negative about the product that they’re selling? And it’s true, a lot of parents have bad memories of their childhood music lessons. I amplify the pain through storytelling, “strict music teachers, hard-to-play music and battles with mom over practice time.” I’m Pouring a little salt on the wound. My hope is that this really hooks the reader, and the reader feels compelled to keep reading on and the reader feels like, “This person gets me. This music school understands exactly what I’m worried about, what my fears are.”
I’m creating tension. I have to resolve that tension somehow-and I do. “We make playing an instrument fun and easy and focus on teaching music kids love.” Hopefully, the parent now is thinking, “My music lessons weren’t fun and easy, and I want my child’s music lessons to be fun and easy.” The idea of them learning music that they love as opposed to music that they’ve never heard of, or is really not relevant to their generation, that’s appealing.
What Kids Dream Of
Children have fantasies about what it’s going to be like when they play music. When mom tells her 10-year-old daughter that she’s going to be taking piano lessons, perhaps she’s fantasizing about being like Lady Gaga, sitting at the piano, and singing this great pop song. When she goes to her lesson, her teacher’s teaching her Mozart. She doesn’t know who Mozart is.
“We focus on teaching music kids love.” I’m building desire. I’m building hope for the parent. Then the last statement, “This helps kids feel good about themselves,” that’s what parents want. That’s why they’re signing up for music lessons. They’re not that interested in music lessons unless they themselves are a musician. I’m going to guess that over 90% of your customers aren’t musicians. They want an activity that’s going to help their child feel good about themselves. I close on this statement, “…and excited to grow as a person and a musician.” Notice how I put “person” before “musician”.
Don’t Talk About your Music Lessons
Parents seek out music lessons, dance classes, gymnastics, and other extracurricular activities because they feel like these activities will help their child grow in ways that school doesn’t allow them to grow. The school focuses on academic growth but these extracurricular activities are where a child’s sense of individuality can blossom. That’s what parents are looking for. Talk about that in your sales or in your marketing. Don’t talk about your music lessons.
Speak to Your Website visitor
So many music schools write like this, “Dave’s Music School has been teaching quality music lessons since 2005. Our highly trained teaching staff is passionate about music and helping your child achieve their musical goals.” The last statement in that really is the only thing that’s of interest to a parent when I say, “And help your child.” And I see a lot of music schools talk about helping kids achieve their musical goals. I’m not a fan of that statement. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work, but the problem with that is that’s assuming that children have musical goals. Most eight-year-olds don’t have musical goals. Maybe adult students have musical goals. They want to learn to play the guitar so they can get together and play music and sing with friends.
Your Customer is The Real Hero; Not You
Many music schools position themselves as the hero in their marketing. They write their sales copy like a resume.”This is who we are. This is how long we’ve been around. This is how great we are.” Let your customers do that for you. You can rely on social proof to define the quality of your music lessons. Social proof can be established with testimonials and trust badges.
Not All Testimonials Are Created Equal
We all know the value of testimonials, but it’s important that you choose testimonials that reflect the sales copy that people have just read, that reflect your headline and brand promise. If your headline’s about how fun your music lessons are and your sales copy is talking about helping kids feel good about themselves, helping kids grow as a person, your testimonials should reflect that. If you need testimonials, survey your customers.
Send out an email maybe with the question, “What do you appreciate most about music lessons at our music school?” Or, “How would you describe us to a friend?” Your testimonials should only be just a couple of sentences. You want to at least feature three testimonials. With three you establish a pattern. To have even more impact, show a photograph of the parent who’s making the testimonial. It could even be a family photo.
How to Build Trust
Another form of social proof is trust badges. Trust badges are logos or seals of approval from organizations that have recognized your music school. Perhaps a local newspaper did a story about your school. Maybe Channel 5 came out and did a piece on you or you won a “best of award”. These forms of recognition help website visitors feel more confident in your ability to deliver a quality experience.
It is common to position your trust badges horizontally across this frame of your website, it could say, “As featured on Channel 5 News, the Beechwood Gazette, Best of Cleveland” Three trust badges, like testimonials, is ideal. If you can get more, even better. Trust badges show people that you’ve been around for a while. You’ve been recognized by other organizations for your accomplishments. The combination of testimonials and trust badges establishes greater trust. Establishing trust is essential in any relationship or business exchange.
Make Your Own Promo Video
A promotional video is a powerful selling tool. Your video could be a 1 or 2-minute video. You could make this yourself. You don’t need to bring a professional in necessarily. That’s great if you can. If you can come up with maybe $500 or $1,000 to bring in a pro, that’s great. Creativity wins the day. There’s no reason why you can’t make it yourself.
Keep it Short
Google “how to make a promotional video for my business.” Perhaps your promotional video opens up with you talking about your music school. You’re using some of the same sales language that you use on your website. Maybe it shows you for just a few seconds, and then it video cuts to kids playing music while your audio continues on. Then it cuts to a mom talking about how her daughter’s life has changed ever since taking music lessons at your music school.
Video Brings Your School to Life
Maybe just five seconds into her, it cuts away. We still hear her audio, we can still hear her talking. In the background, we hear some low-volume music playing, but we see more shots of kids playing music. Kids in a recital or a concert. You can use this promotional video to bring your brand to life. Up to this point, people have been reading about your music school. They’ve seen some photographs, but now they’re really experiencing it in a much more visceral way.
Repurpose Your Video For Social Media
This video can also be used on social media. You can edit it down to 30 seconds. Even better, you can turn that into a Facebook ad. At this point, the person should be ready to buy. They’ve landed on your website. They saw your above-the-fold. They saw that photograph. They saw that headline, and they said, “This is what I’m looking for. I know I see this button that says, ‘Start Today.’ I’m not ready to start today. I’m looking at some other music schools as well. Let me scroll down.” They read this really short sales copy that addresses their concerns, that talks about how you avoid their concerns. It talks about the transformation their child’s going to happen. They scroll down more and horizontally going across your website are three very short testimonials. Each one’s maybe two, maybe three sentences at most. A photograph of the parent who’s providing the testimonial.
They scroll down more, they see these trust badges. You were on Channel 5 News. You were in this local newspaper. There’s a logo for this county fair that you all always attend and that you have a booth at. They scroll down a little bit more, and there’s this 45-second video. They hit Play. Everything that you’ve claimed so far, everything that your customers have claimed about you has now come to life in this video. Then right beneath that video is a ”Start Today” button again. At this point, the customer’s probably ready to buy.
Make it All About the Parent
All internet traffic leads back to your website. Your website’s your digital storefront. Your website is where impressions are formed. When people are comparing your music school to another music school, they’re going to the websites. They look at your website, they look at your competitor’s website. Why are they going to choose you over your competitor? Make your website all about the customer. Don’t talk about you and your music lessons. Make it all about your customer. Make it all about the child and the impact that you hope to have in their life.