If you have a roster of piano students chomping at the bit to find a place in your piano studio you know the feeling of security that comes from having students waiting in the wings; because with a waiting list of piano students your feeling of financial security skyrockets.
If you only dream of having a piano studio waiting list, you may think this post doesn’t apply to you… but did you know that you most likely do have a waiting list but just don’t know it yet?
How To Find Your Piano Studio Wait List
You may be thinking “How can I have a waiting list when my timetable isn’t even full yet?!” Fair question! However, it is a valuable business practice to 1) consider every single person who has ever inquired about lessons at your studio as being “wait listed” and 2) consider every single student who has taken piano lessons but stopped at some point as also “wait listed”
1) You spent valuable advertising dollars and time to get that initial inquiry from a potential client. The intent was there at one point, which means there is the potential for rekindled interest, a change in availability or a positive turn in their financial situation. Never consider an inquiry “gone” just because they didn’t immediately sign-up. Always collect email addresses of those who inquire.
2) Even if a piano student has discontinued lessons with you (and as long as you parted ways on good terms) also consider them and/or their immediate family members to be potential future clientele. It is not unheard of for piano students to return to lessons, or for siblings or even parents to become interested.
Now That You’ve Got A Waiting List, Here’s What To Do With It
To simply keep a list of people in your records for the occasion that you may need to fill a space is akin to keeping your retirement savings under a rock in the back yard; it may or may not be there when you do eventually need it, and it certainly isn’t going to generate any interest! Your waiting list needs to be nurtured. Here’s how:
1. Just Look At What You’re Missing!
People on your waiting list should be just as well informed about the goings on of your studio as are your current students. We’ve blogged before about the importance of marketing to your current clients; you should include your piano studio waiting list in this as well. Create a studio e-newsletter and send it out regularly with news about your upcoming events, your latest student achievements, mini videos showcasing your brilliant students, fun tidbits of information about what’s happening in your studio… basically anything that you can consider to be interesting and news-worthy. But don’t just send out this newsletter to your current students… send it to your waiting list as well!
Students on your waiting list who are desperate for a spot will be even more invested in hanging on for that coveted place if they can see just what they are missing. They’ll be less likely to give up hope and look elsewhere if they have their heart set on your studio; ongoing contact is the best way to set their heart in your direction. Always give the option (at the bottom of your emails) to unsubscribe and if people ever aren’t interested in what you have to say it’s simple for them to remove themselves.
2. This Will Be You One Day!…
Be sure to send out invitations to students on your waiting list to every one of your recitals or studio performances. Not only will this make them feel as though they are already a part of your studio, but they will also get a glimpse into what “will be”! This also generates more word-of-mouth advertising for your studio (and adds to that growing waiting list!) as people discuss their attendance with their social networks.
3. Be My Guest!
Maintain interest and begin to build a relationship with your waiting clients by hosting piano parties that are not performance-based. Plan 1.5 hours of music-related fun that doesn’t necessarily require them to have piano skills (learn about a composer, about rhythm etc. etc.) and invite the kids on your waiting list to attend either separately or along with your current students. Plan 3 per year to maintain contact and interest. You can even charge for these events and make some extra pocket money!
Nurture Your Safety Net
Protecting the safety net that is your piano studio waiting list should be one of your top priorities as a piano teacher. We have all been in the position where piano students moved away, became too busy with school or any one of the myriad of reasons piano students quit. Fretting about open time-slots and scrambling to advertise to new people can be a thing of the past. With a well-nurtured waiting list you can feel secure in knowing your schedule will always be full.
Searching for news-worthy items to include in your studio e-newsletters? How about sending out a picture of your students playing a brand new piano teaching game? Showing potential clients just how innovative and fun you can make piano practice is a sure-fire way to keep them chomping at the bit for a spot with you! You can find the most professional and innovative piano games for just $8 per month at www.pianogameclub.com