It’s that time again.
The start of the school year is rapidly approaching, and you know it’s the perfect time to crank up your marketing and find parents who want music lessons for their children.
I’m aware that the ‘back-to-school’ season is one of the most exciting times for music teachers to find new students. But I also know that more than half of the people reading this will be facing a financial problem, and wondering how they’re going to make it through those “slow” months…
Let’s face it. No matter how great you are as a teacher, students come and go all the time. So you need to have your marketing campaign set up to prevent your pupil numbers from plummeting.
Read on and find out why it’s so important to keep that marketing machine ticking along all year round.
#1: You Reap What You Sow
Here in the UK, school starts in the beginning of September.
I usually start my Back-to-School marketing from early-August until the end of September. However, I don’t expect great results until about the third week of school.
Because parents are too busy with everything else to think about extra-curricular activities until then. After all, some children may have just started a new school, or some just want to get settled into a routine.
So why start hammering the marketing so hard now?
Because the more often people hear your name and see your ads, the more likely they are to respond.
Here’s an important point about advertising…
Most people don’t respond to ads the first time they see it…it typically takes multiple exposures to get new pupils to sign up to your studio.
Marketing is like sowing seeds in a garden – you might not see the results for weeks, or even months, but if you don’t plant those seeds at the right time and maintain what you planted, you’ll NEVER get to enjoy the rewards at all.
#2: You May Not Get Results Until Months From Now
Related to the previous section, I know a lot of music teachers crank up the marketing around the end of August, and will be until October. They know from past experience that they’ll enroll a lot of students during the late summer and early Autumn.
However, many of those same people will be contacting me later on in the school year that their numbers are dropping off.
Why is that?
Well, it’s because they see marketing as a one-shot deal.
For some, it’s something they only do when they think it’s a “good time” to do it. So, they’ll market hard for the next few months, enroll the bulk of the students they’ll get this school year during September and October, and then they’ll stop marketing in November and December because “nobody enrolls during the holidays.”
Then, in January they might do a little marketing, just to see if they can attract some new pupils. But mostly, they’ll just ride on the back of all the enrollments they got during the back-to-school rush.
And then, come May, they’ll start contacting me in a panic saying, “Martyn, can you help me pick my numbers back up? I just can’t figure it out; I was doing great for a while, then all of sudden I lost 5 of my students.”
Well guess what?
Remember what I said about marketing being like planting seeds? Every farmer knows that if you want to harvest corn in the autumn, you plant in the spring, and if you want to harvest wheat in the summer, you plant in the autumn
Same thing goes with promoting your music teaching business– what you do now is going to greatly impact your numbers 6-8 months from now, and here’s why:
You will almost always have students who will stop lessons throughout the year.
Some will stop because there are too busy with academic work, or they have too many extra-curricular activities. Some will stop because they don’t enjoy lessons any more. And some will stop because they’re in their final year of school and are about to attend college.
So, if you enroll a bunch of students in the autumn and your income jumps way up, then you sit on your hands for the next six months, guess what’s going to happen when summer rolls around? That’s right, you’re going to be scrambling to boost your cash flow because you didn’t plant the seeds (marketing) in order to have a summer harvest (tuition)!
So, Now You Know…
Based on what you’ve just learned, you should have the foresight now to know that you need to plan ahead and think about more than just the immediate future when it comes to marketing your teaching business
And that is why I continually talk, like a broken record sometimes, on the fact that marketing is an all-of-the-time thing… not just something you do a few times a year.
Of course, in this article we’ve only talked about school pupils, but you should come up with marketing plans for teaching other groups of people; the retired, professionals, homemakers etc..
So, the ball is in your court. This year, you can do what you’ve done in years past, marketing hard from August to November, and then slacking off and wondering what the heck happened come May…
Or, you can keep your marketing machine purring away, all-year-long.
The choice is yours.