Whether you teach in a home studio, commercial space or in student’s homes, the registration season always brings its own unique juggling act. Yet how to handle studio registration online, when in-person interviews are not possible, does not need to be complicated.
Move over Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo has inspired multiple generations to look at organizing belongings in a new way. There is a lot from this philosophy that we can bring to our registration process.
Joy vs. function
The Kondo method encourages only keeping the things that bring you joy.
I will admit that my old tax binders, previous client information & legal documents do not bring me joy. But, they are a necessary part of running a business.
While you may not be able to go completely minimalist in your registration approach, you can make it more enjoyable for your current & prospective clients.
The Kondo method also encourages putting like with like.
The same goes for registration in your studio. Place all registration & interview documents in the same spot.
And since you will be moving your studio registration online these documents should be there as well. This doesn’t mean they have to be publicly available. They can be in a private folder that only a current client can access.
3 Steps to Move Your Studio Registration Online
Going back to our Kondo method approach, we want to make your studio online registration as streamlined & intuitive as possible.
A family should not have to go to multiple places in order to fill out documents. They should not wonder what the next step is in the process.
Step 1: Pull it together, man!
(I always thought that was a funny phrase so I hope you’ll excuse the gender-specific reference.)
Pull together the documents you need from a legal perspective.
Think about what is necessary from a legal & business standpoint. At its simplest, you need a way to:
- Contact your clients.
- Get paid on time.
- Comply with local & federal laws.
- Enforce your studio policies.
And, yes. Your studio policies are part of that. Whether you choose to take a delinquent client to small claims court is immaterial. You must have a contract that is signed & dated by both parties to protect your business.
Step 2: Let’s get digital!
Get all those lovely studio documents in a digital format. In order to move your studio registration online, everything needs to be in a file format.
Make it easy for clients to fill out & return the forms.
I have tried multiple ways of giving registration packets to clients.
- In-person at lesson
- Online storage that only that client can access
In-person tends to get lost. Emailing gets lost in the hundreds of other emails.
However, a shared folder online has been the winner!
It is easily accessible, regardless of where the client is. This means fewer excuses for filling out the documents whether it is on the computer, tablet, phone or printed off.
If your client uses their smartphone or tablet, they can easily add digital signatures to everything.
A digital signature is still legally enforceable so it makes it a good option for clients that want this.
A picture of the signed & dated documents works just as well for clients that are a little tech-challenged.
Step 3: Invite the newbies!
Even if you are unable to interview prospective clients in-person, there are many options for moving this process online.
Use any of the following streaming services to “see” your potential students on the screen:
- FaceTime (only iOS)
- Google Hangouts
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are always new companies coming up that improve upon the services offered before.
Whichever option you use, make it welcoming for the student.
- Start building the relationship right from the first moment.
- Put everyone at ease by guiding them through the interview.
- Give them a glimpse of what lessons will be like with you.
- If you use technology regularly in lessons, be sure to incorporate an aspect of this in the interview.
- Make time to answer questions.
- Be sure the client knows how & where to find studio registration documents online.
- Give a deadline for when these should be returned. Or, what the consequence will be for delaying the return of documents.
When live video is not an option
What do you do when you are unable to use the above options?
If your wifi or your prospective clients’ wifi connection is spotty, a hybrid approach may be necessary.
- Hold the entire interview over the phone
- Ask for videos that are sent separately from the interview
Studio Registration With a Few Tweaks
Moving your studio registration online should not be an onerous process.
In fact, I would recommend it mimics the best parts of your studio registration process.
Make it easy.
Make it welcoming.
Would you like help to create your studio policies … & would like to avoid the hours upon hours of research I had to do when I first began?
“Policies That Work For Your Studio” is the course I wish I had had when I first began. By the end of this course, you will have policies that:
- Create balance for you
- Serve the needs of your studio
- Include win-win solutions for everyone
This course also has an appendix of HOW to word each section of your policies.