Make a Promo Video Without Spending a Dime | EP 215

Videos are proven to be one of the most effective ways to convey your message, and people enjoy consuming content through this medium. So having a solid video marketing strategy for your school is super important.


There are different types of videos I recommend including in your marketing arsenal, but the most crucial one is a general promotional video for your music school.


The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In this episode, I share how to create a promotional video without spending a dime.


Promo Video Six-Step Framework

A 30- to 60-second-long video might be super short, but think about where this video is going to reside. It’s going to be embedded on your website. Asking somebody to devote two or so minutes to watch a promotional video would be a big ask, but a 30-second video should be an easy and quick watch.


Marketing group programs present various challenges, and having a dedicated promotional video can be highly effective. Here’s the consistent framework I’ve used for creating successful promotional videos over the years:



This six-step framework on how to create a promotional video can work well for your school in general, and it is equally effective if you want to promote a specific program.


1. Create Your Sales Message

Open with a two- to three-sentence sales message. The sales message should define a problem, a solution, and an outcome.


The problem may simply be a desire your ideal client has. The solution is your music lessons at your music school, and the outcome is your brand promise, which you will state in two to three sentences.


Anyone can create a brand promise for their music school, but it becomes much more powerful and persuasive when mirrored or echoed in how parents talk about your music school.


2. Write a Script

Writing the script is truly the most challenging aspect of this entire process. Before you begin, it’s important to identify who your ideal clients are. Understand their hopes and fears so that you can amplify their hopes and eliminate their fears.


Know Your Clients’ Hopes and Fears

For instance, some of their hopes might include the belief that music lessons will enhance their child’s overall emotional well-being. They may anticipate that playing an instrument will contribute to improved intelligence, social skills, and confidence.


Conversely, their fears may center around concerns that their child won’t enjoy music lessons, will want to quit, or will find them boring. If that’s the case, the parents’ hopes may never be realized.



In this promotional video, you want to avoid discussing the details of your music school, the quality of your music lessons, or the qualifications and background of your music instructors. Instead, you want to focus the entire video on the parent and the child.


Here’s a script I wrote for this podcast, and much of this language is what I used in my music school. My opening sales statement is as follows:


“All kids love music, but not all kids love music lessons. The problem isn’t kids. The problem is how music lessons are often taught. At Dave’s Music School, we make playing an instrument fun and easy, which helps kids feel more confident and successful.”


Important Points to Consider

Start With An Agreeable Statement

I open with an agreeable statement, which is “All kids love music…” Most parents are going to agree with that.


Tap into Parents Concerns

Then I say, “…but not all kids love music lessons.” This taps into the parent’s fear. What I’m expressing is essentially the reality of what I’m trying to sell you—we understand that not all kids love music lessons.


This transparency and honesty are designed to build trust in the parent’s mind as I speak directly to their fear.


Provide Reassurance

Then, I offer reassurance by stating that the problem isn’t with kids; rather, it lies in how music lessons are often taught. This provides insight into the reality of music lessons, and I stand by that statement 100%.


Shift to the Solution

I’ve stated the problem, and now I’ll transition into the solution: Dave’s Music School. We make playing an instrument fun and easy—that’s the solution.


State Your Brand Promise

I then state the brand promise, or my brand promise, aiming to instill confidence and success in children. When a parent hears this, they often respond with, “That’s what I want. That’s the outcome I desire.”


3. Showcase Testimonials that Support Your Brand Promise

Now, I’m going to cut away to some video testimonials from parents that will echo my brand promise. They’ll discuss the enjoyment of the music lessons and share how it has positively impacted their child’s confidence.


How To Collect Testimonials From Chosen Clients

Hopefully, your website is already well-optimized, and your marketing and sales language are already dialed in. Then, all you have to do is go to your website to find that script.


a. Identify Four Parents in Your Music School

Now that you have your script, identify four parents who genuinely love your music school—parents whose kids have excelled at your school and clearly enjoy playing an instrument. Choose four parents with whom you genuinely enjoy conversing, individuals you wish you had more of in your music school.


b. Seek These Qualities

Consider their personalities and how much you enjoy working and communicating with them. Look for people with qualities that would resonate with other parents when they watch the video. You want viewers to think, “Wow, this person is someone I can relate to. I can see aspects of myself in this parent talking right now.”


c. Confidently Reach Out To Them

So, you reach out to these four parents and say, “We’re creating a new promotional video about the music school, and I was wondering if we could hop on a 10-minute Zoom call. I have three questions I’d like to ask you. I will record the call and use it as a part of the promotional video.” I’ve never had a parent say no to me. The hardest part thus far has been writing the script.


Establish a Pattern in Your Testimonials

You aim to feature four parents. You might not include all four parents in the actual video, but it’s preferable to have—at the very least—three. Having three different people sharing testimonials establishes a pattern. If there’s only one parent, it might be perceived as expected that they could find one parent. The same goes for two parents; it doesn’t convey as much. However, if you can showcase three or four parents, that clearly establishes a pattern.


How To Craft Questions Aligned With Your Brand

The second hardest part is coming up with the right questions to ask parents. You want to frame questions in a way that their answers provide the responses you’re seeking—honest, genuine, and authentic, while also aligning with your brand promise. In my case, the brand promise revolves around music lessons that help kids feel confident and successful.


Question 1

So, one question I’ve written is, “How has playing an instrument impacted your child’s emotional well-being?” I’m hoping this question will prompt them to mention the word ’confidence’ in their answer.


Question 2

Another question I love asking, and I particularly enjoy conducting these interviews right after recital season or a big performance at school—ideally, the week after when everyone is still on an emotional high.


The question is, “What was it like for you as a parent watching your child perform last week at the concert?” Hopefully, you’ll get a parent to paint a picture of what that experience was like. They’re likely to also share how their child felt in that moment.


Question 3

The third question that will help me gather responses in line with my statement about the life skills that children learn at my music school is, “What life skills do you feel your child has learned by taking music lessons at the music school?”


You don’t want to ask any more than three questions.


A Question-Answer Guide: Make Parents Provide Effective Testimonials

When posing the question, aim for the parent’s response to naturally include the question, as you’ll be editing yourself out. A quick tip to keep in mind during your Zoom interview is to turn off your camera. It’ll make editing the video much easier to edit when you’re done.


Response 1

You want them to reframe the question in their response. For example, with the first question, “How do you feel playing an instrument has impacted your child’s emotional well-being?”


Instruct the parent to begin their response by saying, “Playing an instrument has helped my child,” and then elaborate. This approach makes editing easier, ensuring clarity for the video viewer in understanding the response.


Response 2

So the question, “What was it like watching your child perform last week in the concert” You want to say to the parent, “I want you to start your response with, ‘Watching my child last week or watching my child perform on stage made me feel…’” You could even give them two or three different phrases to start with.


Response 3

For the question, “What life skills do you feel your child is learning from playing an instrument?”, I would encourage the parent to start by saying, “Not only is my child learning how to play an instrument, but she’s also learning about or how to…” So, that covers the testimonials.


Transcribe Zoom Interview Videos

Interview four parents, and now you have four videos. What I like to do next is use a free transcription service to transcribe the videos. Create a Google Doc with all four videos transcribed, including the name of the parent at the beginning of each section. Now, you have your scripted sections ready.


Now, you’re reviewing the Google Doc with the transcribed testimonials. Your next step is to begin identifying a storyline. Aim to use just one sentence per testimonial video or video section. My approach is to read through the transcriptions and bold sentences that effectively reflect the brand promise I just made.


4. Expand on Your Brand Promise

Next, I’ll either elaborate on my brand promise or paint a picture of what the outcome looks like. In this example, I decided to go ahead and elaborate on my brand promise:


“All kids love music, but not all kids love music lessons. The problem isn’t kids. The problem is how music lessons are often taught. At Dave’s Music School, we make playing an instrument fun and easy, which helps kids feel more confident and successful.”


Painting the Outcome Builds Excitement

Painting a picture might look something like if you were to say, “Imagine how your child’s going to feel stepping out onto the stage, performing to a cheering crowd.”


It paints a picture of the final outcome, providing an excellent way to hook parents and build their excitement.


Elaborating on Your Brand Promise Forms a Connection

My brand promise is that my music lessons help kids feel successful and confident. I’ve written, “Not only will your child learn how to play an instrument, but he’ll learn valuable life skills such as problem-solving, goal-setting, and perseverance.”


Now, I’m addressing directly why parents sign up for music lessons in the first place.


Discover the Parents’ Deeper Why

Parents aren’t just interested in their child playing an instrument. While the sight of their kids making music at home is appealing, what parents truly care about is the impact that music will have on their child—how it will provide them with a competitive edge in life or teach them skills applicable to different areas of their life.


5. Support Your Claims With Backing Videos

Next, I’ll cut to more short video testimonials supporting the claim I just made — that we’re not only teaching your kid how to play an instrument but also teaching them skills like problem-solving, goal-setting, and perseverance.


What you’ll do is elaborate a bit more on your brand promise with another scripted voiceover section. This is followed by additional testimonials that further support or reinforce this elaboration on your brand promise.


6. Provide a Clear Call to Action

Next, I’ll provide a clear call to action. You want to instruct people in the video on what to do, and it’s important to be direct. Avoid phrases like “If you’d like to learn more.” Instead, be confident and say something like “Visit Dave’s Music School to enroll your child today.” This direct approach conveys confidence.


You sound more confident when you directly ask for the sale, as opposed to a softer ask such as, “Visit us online to learn more or to schedule a call.” No, be direct. Ask for the sale.


Your call to action is the last piece, but it won’t actually be in the video. Instead, it will be a thumbnail that you’ll use on YouTube—something that works in harmony with the design on your website.


Enhance Your Promo Video With Additional Elements

Next, let’s discuss how to actually shoot the video. If you do it yourself, it might not come across as pro compared to hiring someone to assist you. However, there’s no reason why you can’t create a very effective and persuasive video without spending a dime.


But if you’re willing to spend a little money to give your promotional video a more professional look, I’ll also share some ways on how you can do that.


a. Capture Short Clips

I recommend using your iPhone or having someone on your staff pop into different teaching rooms to capture one- to three-second clips of kids playing their instruments.


b. Infuse Emotion into Your Shots

You want to capture the kids’ smiling faces, and parents specifically appreciate that. Avoid showing the back of kids’ heads or just the hands on the guitar fretboard, as there’s no emotional value in those shots. Instead, focus on showing a kid in the lesson actively playing and smiling.


c. Film with Proper Lighting

Be sensitive to the lighting in the room. Natural light is ideal. If you have windows in your teaching studios, that’s awesome.


d. Capture the Full Music School Experience

But you want these videos to truly capture the entire experience at your music school—kids in lessons, kids in the waiting area, a child hugging their mom after their lesson, and kids performing.


How to Put Your Video Together

I’m going to show you how to do it without spending a dime. Also, I’ll share with you how to put this video together if you’re willing to invest more than a dime.


What I do is gather about 30 to 40 of these short clips. I have a video editor who makes my videos, and I literally pay $10 for it. However, you can also do it without spending a dime.


Here’s what you have so far: your video script, your scripted Zoom testimonials, and the bolded sentences that you like. You have those Zoom videos just sitting in a folder, along with the short clips that you’ve captured.


Here’s what to do next:


Pick Your Background Music

Now, you need some background music. Look for something inspirational. Even if my school is a rock school, I didn’t choose rock music as the background music, and it’s okay.


I chose uplifting music, not intending it to be a musical statement about my business, but rather music that would positively impact the viewer of the video.


You can even get on YouTube and look up “license-free music”. You can also pay and get a subscription somewhere and pay something like $40 to $60 for music. You’ll have a lot more options there.


Record Your Voiceover

You could record the voiceover yourself. If you don’t have a microphone, you can use your phone, but make sure to record it in a room without an echo. A carpeted closet with clothes in it will give you great audio.


Angle the microphone on your phone so that when you say a ‘P’ sound, it doesn’t pop into the microphone. Ensure you’re close to the microphone and remember to smile as you read the script during recording. Your smile will help energize your voice, and people can feel it when you’re smiling.


You could also go to Upwork and find a voiceover actor or actress. It may cost you around $80 to $100, but you’ll get a professionally sounding voiceover. So, record your script.


Highlight The Strongest Points from Testimonials

Highlight the strongest points parents made in their testimonials. In the transcript, identify and set those key points mentioned by parents in bold.


Get Quotes That Support Your Claim

Start working with those testimonials and choose the top four or five quotes that you’ll feature in the video. If you interviewed four different parents, the likelihood that at least three of them provided good content is very high.


Make Your Video Short

It would be great if you could feature all four parents, but three is certainly good. I find this part challenging because you want quotes that support your claims and brand promise, but they need to be short since time is of the essence.


You’re aiming to keep this video within a 30- to 60-second range. If a parent makes a great point but takes 45 seconds to express it, it may not work well for the video.


Help Parents Express Ideas Concisely

Sometimes if a parent says something really good that I feel could be featured in the video, I’ll ask them to rephrase it. I might say, “Can you say that again but shorten it?” For instance, you shared this idea about how nervous your son was before the recital, and then how you saw him come to life on stage and become so proud of himself afterward.


Perhaps you could guide them by suggesting a different way to express it. You don’t want to put words in their mouth, but you can take their idea and help them articulate it in a single sentence. Redirect them to express it more concisely.


Check the Length of Your Quotes

Once you find the quotes you like, check their length in the video. I like to time them. If a parent pauses while talking, you can edit those out, but I also begin to put timestamps on the testimonials I plan to feature.


Edit Your Videos with Video Editing Software

Now that you’ve identified your testimonials, bring your video into your video editing software and start chopping them up, trying to create one to two-sentence videos.


I work with a video editor I found on Upwork. He charges me $10 an hour, and he’s from India. He does great work, and it would probably take him less than an hour to complete something like this.


Select The Best Clips That Tell Your Story

But this is where there’s going to be a lot of work—getting these testimonial videos short, tight, and concise. Hopefully, you have too many good ones to work with, so you need to pick the best ones.


Next, go through your short two- to five-second video clips showcasing life around the school. Identify the ones that convey emotion and truly represent your school well. Begin piecing your video together, with inspirational music playing in the background.


Add Your Call To Action

Finally, at the very end, include your call to action: “Visit us online to enroll today.” Ensure your website link is visible.


Create A Thumbnail

Once your video is complete, create a thumbnail. You can use Canva, but ensure your thumbnail reflects the design of your website. Design it with your website in mind, as that’s where the video will reside.


Ensure the thumbnail shares similar colors and fonts with your website. Include a headline that sparks curiosity and compels parents to click the play button. Avoid generic titles like “Promo Video.” Instead, consider using a quote from a parent, such as “My son looks forward to his music lesson every week.”


Watch My 37-Second Promo Video

I wanted to share with you an actual promotional video I made for my group piano class, Piano Jam. It totally follows this format.


I’m going to come out and start with a hook or a pain point. My brand promise is simple, fun, and social. Then, you’ll hear different parents backing up what I just said.


They’re going to brag about my program, not me. I won’t talk about the quality of it or how amazing it is; I let the parents do that for me.


Notice, in the second part of the script, when I say, “Imagine your child playing on stage,” I paint a picture of that. I follow it up with a parent talking about seeing her daughter performing on stage.

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