When it comes to studio marketing, piano parents are your greatest ally. There is simply no better way to grow your studio than to have parents sing your praises to everyone they know. So, it just seems natural to tease out a few glowing referrals with some sort of incentive program. You know the“one free lesson per referral” kind?…
But if you’re like me, asking for referrals or offering some sort of incentive probably makes you feel a little…. awkward. Which leaves you with three options:
- Abandon referral marketing (bad choice)
- Suck it up (… wish I could)
- The Ninja Referral Marketing System
The Ninja Piano Warrior
In feudal Japan, ninjas were stealth warriors; accomplishing their tasks while leaving nary a trace. I’m going to show you how to be a ninja… a piano marketing ninja… a stealth marketer who gains referrals, without resorting to awkward and pitchy hype.
Piano Ninja Strategy 1: My First Gigs
Several times throughout the year, enlist a local coffee shop as your venue and throw a mini-recital for 7 – 12 students. Encourage each student to bring two family members and one friend. It’s as simple as that! Your students rock the recital, their friends witness your piano studio awesomeness, their friends’ parents are naturally intrigued about what just went on… Bam! New students coming your way!
Piano Ninja Strategy 2: Friends Help Friends
Want to kill two birds with one stone? Enlist the help of friends when encouraging piano practice. Instead of sending your piano students home with a boring old practice sheet… try sending them home with a practice task that requires the help of a friend. The possibilities for this are endless, but you may want to do a “friendship” variation of the following printable from our practice resource.
Your kids will come back the following week all practiced up and you will have gained some pretty unique exposure for your studio.
Piano Ninja Strategy 3: Throw a Piano Party
Kids are social little creatures who love to hang with their friends. If you have the energy to “hang” with some pre-teens for an hour or so, consider having a piano party for several of your students and their friends. Think up a bunch of musical-themed games that don’t require piano skills (but do teach basic concepts), whip up some snacks, throw in a craft or two, and just have blast!
Piano Ninja Strategy 4: Performer of the Month
Harness the power of viral videos and showcase a piano student performer-of-the-month on your studio YouTube channel. Parents will be chomping at the bit to share a video of their son or daughter performing a perfected piano piece. Before you know it, uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas, friends, dentists, teachers, and hairdressers will all be raving about your piano studio.
Piano Ninja Strategy 5: Bring-A-Buddy Day
Bring-A-Buddy day is a great opportunity to spread the word about your piano studio. There are a couple of ways you can approach this task: 1) have your piano students “teach” a lesson to their buddy OR 2) have your piano students and their buddies play some fun little duets.
If you’re a PianoBookClub member, sometime before the summer we’re going to be releasing a book-of-the-month that will make Option 2 verrrrry easy 🙂
And Finally… Let Your Studio Speak For Itself!
All of the marketing in the world will not help a dull and lifeless studio. Focus on building something that is unique… something that is creative… something that is a ton of fun! You shouldn’t have to sell your studio, it should sell itself. And if it does sell itself, then it’s just a matter of using your super-ninja powers to showcase it to the world.