How to Create a Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy | EP 225

Unleash the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective and budget-friendly way to attract new students. It’s likely your top method for gaining fresh enrollees. However, surprisingly, many music schools overlook the importance of having a solid word-of-mouth strategy.

 

Redefining Referrals

Personally, I’m not a fan of dangling discounts as a referral reward. It can come off as paying for recommendations, which doesn’t sit right with me.

 

 

People love referring businesses to their friends because it builds social equity and is a statement of their taste. 

 

 

When someone recommends your music school and their friend loves it, it’s a win-win. That friend sees them as a go-to for reliable recommendations.

 

Have you ever referred a musical artist to a friend and they end up loving the music and becoming a fan? Sure it feels good to refer but it’s a stamp of approval on your music taste. You don’t need a financial incentive to share with friends something you love, right?

 

 

Families will refer others if they believe it’ll strengthen their reputation as a trusted source.

 

 

Gratitude Speaks Louder Than Discounts

Showing gratitude goes a long way in fostering strong relationships. Personally, I’m all about sending a heartfelt thank-you gift—maybe a generous Amazon gift card. It’s a small gesture that shows genuine appreciation for their support.

 

How to Master the Art of Subtle Marketing

Here’s the deal: the best marketing moves are the ones that don’t feel like marketing at all.

 

 

It’s all about staying on people’s minds, whether they’re current or former students at your music school.

 

 

1. Stay Top of Mind Without Being Pushy

Just because someone dropped out of your school it doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause. They can actually be a referral source by staying on their radar. 

 

 

Referrals can come from unexpected places, like a casual chat or a friend asking for music lesson recommendations.

 

 

So, how do you stay on their radar? It’s simple. While they’re still part of your school, pay attention to what they’re into. Whether it’s rock climbing or running marathons, knowing their interests opens doors for meaningful connections.

 

2. Personalized Gestures Keep Connections Alive

Sending an email or mailing an interesting article might seem small, but it goes a long way in keeping the relationship alive.

 

 

It’s not about selling; it’s about letting them know you’re still thinking of them.

 

 

3. Stand Out in a Crowd of Competitors

Remember that old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind”? Well, it’s true. But by reaching out every now and then, you’re more likely to be remembered and talked about. And trust me, your competitors aren’t doing this.

 

4. Nurture Relationships, Watch Referrals Flourish

By focusing on building genuine relationships and showing interest in their lives beyond music lessons, you’ll stay top of mind without being pushy or invasive.

 

 

Just be yourself, be helpful, and watch those referrals roll in.

 

 

5. Seize Every Opportunity for Connection

You might have a student who mentions they attend Hebrew school regularly—indicating they’ll likely have a bar or bat mitzvah soon. Make a note of their special day and send them a thoughtful card when the time comes.

 

6. A Personal Touch Goes a Long Way

Similarly, if a family mentions they’re heading off on vacation, like to Jamaica, take a moment to find an article or blog about must-see spots in Jamaica. Send it their way via email—it’s a small gesture, but it shows you care.

 

7. Smart Marketing Starts with Generosity

Being generous isn’t just about being kind—it’s also a smart marketing move. For instance, if someone contacts you about violin lessons (even if it’s not your forte), refer them to a competitor who specializes in violin. Then, follow up a few weeks later to see how it’s going. Parents always appreciate this extra touch.

 

8. Simple Gestures, Lasting Impact

It’s the little things that count, like reaching out with a short email or letter showing you genuinely care about their child’s musical journey. And let’s be real, we both know the impact music lessons can have on a kid’s life.

 

9. Efficiency Through Strategy

Sure, extreme acts of kindness make a lasting impression, but you need a plan in place. Consider delegating tasks to an assistant to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.

 

10. Diversify Your Referral Strategies

Whether it’s a yearly check-in or tailoring messages based on their interests, having multiple word-of-mouth strategies is key.

 

 

After all, if word-of-mouth is your main source of new business, you want to cover all your bases.

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