The Most Powerful Marketing Strategy
The most powerful marketing strategy has nothing to do with advertising, Facebook, or websites. In this episode, I read a section and comment on John Jantsch’s marketing classic, Duct Tape Marketing. This stuff is sticky.
If you only focus on the music lesson, you’re failing to realize the full potential of your business.
Uncover Your Uniqueness
Music studio owners often will ask me what’s the best way to grow their music teaching business. I can say without hesitation, the most powerful marketing strategy has little to do with advertising, direct mail, websites, or referrals. Before any of those things will really have any impact on your business, you’ve got to uncover and communicate how your music studio is different from every other music studio. Once this is accomplished, you then must create a core message that allows you to quickly communicate the difference between you and your competitors. If you’re unable to define what separates you from your competitor you will never be able to break from the grip of what I call the commodity business.
What Makes You Different From Your Competitors?
Most prospects think that one music studio is essentially like the other, a commodity. The problem with being identified or thought of as a commodity is that your prospects can’t identify some specific way in which your studio’s unique. If they can’t identify how your studio is unique, they’ll default to the only thing they can measure-price. Offering to simply exchange what you sell for a set price is one of the weakest marketing offers.
you’ve got to uncover and communicate how your music studio is different from every other music studio.
Cheaper Music Lessons Can Actually Hurt Your Business
Price, as I suspect you’ve learned is a terrible place to compete. There will always be another studio willing to go out of business faster than you. Find something that separates you from the competition, become it, and speak it to everyone you meet.
Doing the Unexpected
Quality isn’t it. Good service isn’t it. Fair pricing? not it. These are all expectations your customers have of you. You have to deliver on these expectations, of course, but the difference needs to be in the way you do business. The way your studio looks, the way it feels when you’re inside the studio, the way you sell your lessons, the fact that you send cookies to your students, the fact that you occasionally send a postcard to your students with a note of encouragement.
Music lessons are just a part of what your business is.
It’s Not All About Music Lessons
Music lessons are just a part of what your business is. If you only focus on the music lesson, you’re failing to realize the full potential of your business, the full potential of your business lies outside the music lesson. It’s the way your studio looks the decor the way it makes people feel when they’re walking through your studio. It’s the experiences that you provide that are beyond what the customer’s expectations are.
When you interview one of your students for your podcast, you are exceeding the expectation of what it is that they thought their music lessons would be like. You exceed expectations when you create experiences in your music studio, that brings people together. For example, a concert or a recital or a summer camp creates a communal shared experience. You’re now building culture. Creating a music lesson experience that also creates culture is certainly beyond the student’s and parent’s expectations.
Using Culture As a Marketing Strategy
By creating culture, you create a community. By hosting events at your studio that has nothing to do with music lessons. A Friday night movie night, where kids bring sleeping bags and spend three hours at your studio, eating popcorn, watching movies, meaning new friends, having a good time, building their own unique community. This helps build an emotional bond with your studio beyond the music lesson. Your music instructor helps facilitate that musical bond with the student, but the experiences you create outside of the lesson helps build an even deeper bond and connection with your music studio.
The Secret to Summer Retention
The parent will see their child building this connection with your studio and they will feel that way as well. If you spend the whole year, all fall and all of the winter nurturing that relationship, creating experiences, building culture, creating a community, a sense of belonging, a sense of family. Your students will be that much more likely to stay with you during the summer. Your summer retention will be so much better if your customers value the culture and community you create in your music studio.
Are You Just Another After School Activity?
When parents tell you that, yes, they’ll be in town for most of the summer, but they just want to take a break from afterschool activities. They’re telling you that you have failed to create a culture and an environment that they want to immerse themselves in and that they categorize you in their mind as an afterschool activity. Since school is out for the summer there’s no need to continue on with after school activities.
If you can be more than just an after-school activity, if your music studio can feel more like a second home for kids, if your music studio can feel more like an elite club just for kids that love music; you will be in a much better position to have a positive impact on kids lives.