It’s the start of a new academic year in the studio & which means I’ve been working at building excitement for lessons that are starting just around the corner! Whether your lessons have already begun or they are oh-so-close to starting, building excitement in those weeks up to AND after lessons have begun is crucial. Everyone is settling into a new routine & if something is exciting, it’s talked about.
Welcoming families new & returning
I use monthly newsletters to communicate with my families. Some families choose not to read them but quickly realize they are missing out. Not only do I cover what is going on in the studio & important dates, this is where parents get the links to register for group lessons, studio events, & so much more. They learn, if you don’t read, you don’t get the days/times you want for registration.
Each year, I make sure there is a cute welcome message on my studio Facebook & Instagram pages. Not only do parents see it, but there is a good chance they will be showing their kids. For new clients, I make sure the August newsletter has a prominent button to follow our studio social media & let them know this is not to be missed.
Some teachers send out postcards to their students before lessons begin to welcome them back. It’s a great idea & can be really special for new students to know you are thinking of them & are excited to see them.
What’s your focus this year?
Another way you can build excitement for lessons this year is to let piano parents & students get a peek ‘behind the scene’.
- What is going on in lessons? (warm-ups, challenges, etc.)
- Practice strategies that you have covered in lessons
- Celebrating with everyone the achievements & milestones of students
One of my favourite over-the-summer social media series is a set of infographics on student reflections. It’s the highs & lows from the previous year … & it’s perfect for keeping the studio top of mind while we are on vacation. Look at what you will be doing in your studio this upcoming year. How can you share your vision with your clients? How can you make them eager to go on this journey with you & be a part of your studio community?
Build excitement with images
Build excitement by letting your families know what your focus is this upcoming year. Not in a dry memo, but with vibrant images they can share. Research has shown that information that contains images is much more likely to be remembered. Use that to your advantage as you create a year-long story for your clients that draws them in & eager to stay a part of the community you’ve created! I’ve created 2 social media images for you!
- Welcome back students: If you are already back into lessons, it’s also great for back-after-the-holidays
- Active listening: This is a big focus in my studio &, I’m sure, yours as well. With a cute bunny, it will be sure to be a big hit with students & parents alike.
Ideas For Those First Weeks
There are so many ways to welcome students back to the studio. And, they can be as simple or as complex as you would like!
- Send a welcome packet in the mail
- Onboard your students & clients: find out how here
- Have a studio kickoff party
- Play a game that relates to your theme
- Introduce a fun practice strategies tool, like 5 Ways
Whatever you choose, take the time to build on the excitement you’ve set up before lessons start. It would be a shame to spend all that time & energy before lessons start to let it fizzle out.
Follow Up With Clients
Have you ever experienced this? A company spends time answering your questions, following up with you, perhaps giving you a deal … & then ghosts you? Once you’ve paid, if there are issues you have to figure them out on your own. It doesn’t feel great, right?
We may not realize that we have inadvertently ‘ghosted’ our clients when we don’t have systems in place to keep the relationship going.
After the first lesson, it’s a great idea to follow up with clients. Regardless of whether a client has been with you for years or is brand new to your studio, it’s important to check in with how things are going. This can be as simple as a quick message via text message, email or phone call. “I had so much fun with Samantha at her lesson! One of her goals was to set up a practice routine this week. How is that going? If you or Samantha have any questions or concerns, please just let me know. I’m here to support your family.” Whether a family gets back to you or not, it lets them know you are there to support them.
When students have a break from music lessons, building excitement in the weeks leading up to & including when lessons start is so important! By taking a little time, we can make the transition after the holidays easier for everyone. What are you doing to build excitement in your studio this year? NOTE: This article was originally published on August 31, 2018. It has since been updated with even more ideas for building excitement in your studio!