With late Summer and early Fall comes a return to school for children, and during that time parents are starting to organize their new schedules. Unlike the Summer months, where both student families and music teachers alike have vacations and travel, the school year creates a more consistent and expected routine. This time of mental scheduling and organization presents an opportunity for children’s music studio owners to re-establish connections with students, while prospecting new students as well.
Reaching out to Present Music Student Parents
This may seem like a no-brainer, but as music studio owners prepare their classrooms and curriculum for new fall classes, they sometimes overlook the “low hanging fruit.” The school year is a time of transition for children and parents alike, when they both weigh what commitments they want to make and what they want to leave behind. As children grow, parents want to give them more and more power to make decisions over their lives.
“Do you want to play soccer this year?”, or “Do you want to continue with music class this year?”, may be some of the questions asked when preparing for school. To make sure that your music studio is top of mind with parents, here are some tips:
Tips for Keeping Your Children’s Music Studio “Top of Mind”
- Reach Out – Just before the school year begins, provide a schedule of your fall classes. Do this by email, phone call, text, or ALL THREE! If you use more than one “touchpoint” method, spread them out over a few weeks before your enrollment. Parents have different preferences for receiving information, so using several is a good idea both for initial touch as well as multiple touches.
- Reiterate the Benefits of Music – Remind parents of all of the benefits of music for children, including social skills, mental acuity, creativity, and physical dexterity. Also emphasize how loss of both public and private school funding for the arts has become even worse during the pandemic, especially for music.
- Provide Options – The regular school day of 8 AM to 3 PM is a thing of the past for many parents. Provide several class options at different days and times in the afternoon, so that parents can find what suits their new schedule best. For infants and toddlers, morning classes often provide the best options. Think about a classes that are just after average school drop-off or pick-up so that parents can combine trips with younger children and older siblings.
Reaching Out to New Music Students
Most children’s music studio owners understand that it costs much less to retain current customers than to attract new ones, but they also want their business to grow. With the new school year comes new opportunities to gain new students to the children’s music classroom. Here are a few tips to leverage the school year to gain new students:
- Join and Support Organizations – If your music studio classes are occupied by students from one or two main schools, get involved with those schools through both time and monetary support. If you do not have a child in the school and cannot join the PTA, support them through sponsorships. With elementary school funding diminishing every year, PTAs, clubs, and sports organizations are always finding new ways to raise money through business sponsorships. These printed publications, signage, and apparel sponsorships are often much less expensive than traditional advertising channels, and much more focused on your target audience. Think about offering an incentive to encourage first time parents, such as first music lesson is free, a discount on first course, etc.
- Offer Referral Programs – Parents talk, and WOM (word-of-mouth) advertising is one of the best forms of marketing your business. Offer existing parents a discount on classroom materials or course fees if they refer a friend to your music studio. Make this program known through the same communication methods listed above, as well as handouts after classes. You can also provide a discount for two new parents that join the class together. Be creative with your referral promotions!
- Offer Classes to Pre-K – Many Pre-K administrators are looking for creative and enriching ways to fill their student’s days. Consider approaching these centers and offering a single introductory session with babies or toddlers in exchange for the administrators including your marketing offer in their communication with parents. While you may have to create a different kind of class than normal for a classroom with just a few teachers instead of parents, it is a good way to network with the pre-K organizations. Teachers talk to parents about what their child enjoyed that day, and your music could be a part of it!
Above are just a few examples of how to leverage the new school year to grow your children’s music studio. As parents settle into a new routine, they are looking for some extra-curricular activities for their children throughout the school year. Music and the arts is an important part of balancing a child’s healthy growth in mind, body, and spirit.