As I talk to my music teacher coaching clients, I’ve heard many of the same questions. One of these questions is, “What do I say on my website?” Or “What should I put on my profile?
Once upon a time you could make a simple poster, put them up around the neighborhood and voila, students would appear!
Those days are long gone. Nowadays, most students are seeking teachers through their smartphone. Whoever lands at the top of the search engine wins. Or at least they get a look. And when they get there, they want to read something.
To do this, let’s first think through the strategy behind the web page or profile.
[box] Note: This post is a sneak peek inside our weekly Office Hours, which is included in our Musicolor Method Online Course. As many of our teachers are running their own studio businesses, marketing is a big issue. [/box]
My first website for teaching was just a single page. It was a letter from me to parents of young children in my neighborhood. I wanted readers to feel reassured. I wanted them to feel I shared similar values as a parent. In other words, I’m just like them and have the skills to help their children learn an instrument. And then, directions to send me an email or call me to discuss your child.
This can be deeper than you think. When most people think of a coffee shop, they think the problem solved is a cup of joe, a jolt of caffeine. But Starbucks saw themselves as solving the problem of space. They were a third place – not home or work – where you could relax with an excellent cup of coffee like in a European cafe. By redefining the problem they were solving, they stood out miles ahead of Dunkin Donuts where the entire experience is aimed at getting you coffee and donuts fast. Most of us would never want to hang out there!
The same kind of thinking can apply to the business of teaching.
The problem I solve at Park Slope Music Lessons is to train children in skills necessary for success in life through the vehicle of music lessons.
We may believe we make logical decisions. But, it really comes down to emotion. How do we feel about buying this product or service? Later, we justify it logically. I needed that new iPhone because of my business. Really? Well, it does make me feel pretty cool and cutting edge. Plus, it’s sooo beautiful! And it’s water resistant and has an amazing camera that I can use in my lessons and…
There you go justifying it.
So by putting in a few personal details, you can really help to convey an emotion.
For a music teacher website, I would suggest emotions like:
Fun, Trustworthy, Honest, Caring, Compassionate, Patient can be very effective.
Here’s an example I just made up.
Welcome. My name is Samantha and I teach guitar to children in Burlington, VT.
I love working with children, and have three of my own, and a cute poodle named Buffy. I am a patient, kind, and loving teacher with a great love of folk, pop, and classic rock. Give me a call so I can learn more about your child.
In this profile, I’m using a first person narrative, meaning I’m writing to you as Samantha. Now take a look at this one written in third person.
Welcome. Your teacher’s name is Samantha and she teaches guitar to children in Burlington, VT. Samantha loves working with children, has three of her own, and a cute poodle named Buffy. She is a patient, kind, and loving teacher with a great love of folk, pop and classic rock. Give us a call so we can learn more about your child.
Both are basically saying the same details. But the first feels like you’re talking to Samantha directly, where the second feels like a big company has hired Samantha. This may be useful for those of you who are uncomfortable to brag about your accomplishments. But I do feel it’s a bit colder.
Do you see how even just listing the qualities of patient, kind, and loving has made you feel a certain way?
What you are trying to do from the start is to qualify your customers. This is just a fancy business way of saying, choose the right customers for you. That’s one of the reasons we mention the three kids and and the dog. Small little fun facts can help you stand out. They can help you attract the customers you most want to work with.
We are looking to build rapport with the audience immediately. Parents will likely feel a resonance with another teacher who is a parent. Dog lovers will love knowing about Buffy. Cat lovers or people averse to dogs will go elsewhere. This is fine! They probably wouldn’t want to come anyway as they may be afraid, allergic or not comfortable with dogs in the area.
This is where you tell them your process.
Example: Weekly 30 minute lessons in your home, packed with fun and real skills. Lessons are $30 per half hour.
Keep it simple but engaging. Don’t go deep into the theoretical or drop the names of all the teachers and conservatories you studied with. How are you going to help the client with their problem?
Example: I teach kids 6 years old+ to be future rock stars / leaders of the world! We have a beautiful upright piano in my home teaching studio located conveniently at ___. The cost of the lessons is $40 per hour and lessons are payable in advance in monthly payments. The first two lessons are trial lessons where we determine whether it’s a good match between student, teacher, and instrument.
Everyone has a superpower. It’s the thing they do better than everyone else. Quite often, they don’t even realize that it’s a power. It’s so easy and obvious, they will often ask, “But doesn’t everyone know and do this?”
No! Whatever comes so easily and naturally to you is often the very thing you are not valuing. Because it’s so obvious. But for other people, they would gladly pay you to do that.
A Strange Question
If you are not sure of your superpower or powers, try this experiment.
Send a quick email to 5 people who know you well. They can be friends, colleagues, former colleagues, neighbors, people from the community, and maybe family. Family quite often have no idea because they, like you, are too close to the subject.
The subject line of the email is “a strange question.”
Then you tell them, something like this.
I’m taking part in a course and need your help.
Can you tell me what my greatest strengths are? What is my superpower?
I need an answer by Friday at 10pm. (You need to give a deadline)
Thanks so much!
I did this experiment a few years ago. It was incredible. Though I knew many things about myself, there were a few things that did surprise me. It also just feels incredible to know that all these people would share their love of you!
So as you write your bio summary statement, you can list some of these superpowers.
My students and clients have told me many times that I’m a great listener who just seems to get what they’re saying even before they say it!
I can relate to just about anyone. I am especially good at reading people’s feelings. I have a high EQ.
I’m super creative and can pull in all kinds of ideas into a lesson. I’ve used stories from my life, pop culture, and folk stories to help illustrate a point.
In marketing, they call this the Call to Action. What is it they should do next?
For most of you, that would be either an email or a phone call. You want to engage the client in a conversation to see if they are the right fit, they understand your pricing, and how you work.
By the time the client calls you, they should already have answers to these questions, but they usually want to be reassured by talking to you, that you will be a good fit.
Think of this acronym: KISS. Keep it simple and smile. It will all work out in the end!