Fifteen Steps For Finding Clientele for Your Voice Studio
Whether you are new to teaching or have recently relocated, growing your studio can be a daunting challenge. Today I want to share a few tips that my wife and I have used in the past to fill up our studio within six months to a year. I have shared this process with other teachers, who have found it helpful and I hope you will too. If you have additional ideas, please share them in the comments section below.
Good Luck! ~Matt
- Think about your brand and come up with a unified message for all of your materials. Examples: “Studio Bella Voce” (http://www.studiobellavoce.com), and Sing Like a Star Studios (http://www.singlikeastar.com). Jonathan Flom’s “Act Like it’s Your Business” is a detailed guide to discovering your brand that could be useful during this step.
- Once you have a brand idea, head over to one of the stock photo websites such as iStockphoto.com and find one or more graphics and/or photos that fit your brand. You may have to purchase these, but the cost is well worth the benefit of presenting a polished, professional image. You’re going to be using this/these on your website, flyers, postcards, and business cards.
- Purchase a Magic Jack (MagicJack.com) so that you have a phone number exclusive to your business. You can also request a personalized phone number, one of our previous numbers was 313-SING.
- Find a website company (my favorite is Wix.com) and build a website that matches your brand. Most students are more interested in what you do for your students than what you have done yourself as a performer. So try to keep the content student centered and be sure to highlight former students’ successes more than your own.
- Visit VistaPrint.com and create a two-sided business card. On the front side, have your headshot, name, qualifications (degrees, certifications, etc.), and contact info. On the back, list your website and a quote or two about your teaching.
- Visit Fastcolorprinter.com or a similar website and order at least 1,000 4X6 postcards that match your business card.
- Develop a snail mail list of every school (public and private), church, theatre, dance studio, and private studio that teaches instruments other than voice in your area.
- Create a 8×11 flyer that matches your business card, post card, and website and print enough copies for your mailing list.
- Write an introductory letter, no more than one page to include in your mailing packet. This letter should state that you have relocated to the area, what you were doing previously, the type of clientele you have experience with, some of your students’ successes, and end with an offer to do a free master class and an invite to take the teacher/owner out for coffee or lunch.
- Stuff large envelopes with your introductory letter, one or more flyers, a handful of business cards, and fifty to one hundred postcards and mail them to your snail mail list.
- Sign up for online advertising sites such as LearningMusician.com and MusicStaff.com. Also be sure to list yourself on NATS, Classical Singer teacher directory, and any other sites in your geographical area. I’ve had good success with Craigslist, others have not. I think it really depends on what part of the country you live in.
- Start a Twitter account and follow every radio station, school, theatre, and performing artist that you can find in your geographical area. Try to post once a day, even if it is just a re-tweet or share a website or news article you found interesting. Staying active will get your name out there. The sooner you build name recognition, the better.
- Go to every local business in your area that has a bulletin board or space to share business materials and drop off flyers/postcards (try to use the larger sizes first and reserve your business cards for person to person contact).
- Consider offering the first lesson for free until your studio fills up. I know some people are against that idea, but I can tell you it has worked incredibly well for many teachers. A lot of people have no idea what happens during a voice lesson and they are not willing to spend money to find out. If you give a lesson away for free, they will give it a try and in my experience, 99% of the time they sign up for more.
- Consider substitute teaching while you are building your studio. When you substitute teach, students will usually ask you about yourself and what you do. By briefly sharing your story, you become a walking advertisement for yourself with direct access to one of the biggest marketplaces for your services. If you eat lunch in the teachers lounge, you will get to meet a lot of new people and will have the chance to talk about your voice studio. You will also more than likely get a call to sub for the music classes at some point, which will give you direct access to local choral directors. It’s also a great way to supplement your income while you are building your studio.