January is always a good time of year to advertise piano lessons and if your efforts are paying off… your phone is ringing, your email is dinging, your schedule is filling… then you’ll want to make sure you WOW your new families right from the start.
It’s been said that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and it’s true; you have just once chance to amaze piano families who are entering your piano studio for the first time.
So, whether you’re new to teaching piano or have been running a studio for 30 years, it’s always good to do a bit of an audit on your “first impression” status… and in today’s post we’re helping you do just that!
5 Ways You Can Make A Great First Impression
Chances are, if you have a new student you’ve already on your way to making a great first impression… after all, they signed up for lessons with you! Now it’s time to keep the goodness rolling by attending to the eight details below:
1. Your “New Student” Orientation
Any time parents enroll their children in extracurricular activities they expect to receive information. Therefore, once your new student enrolls, they should be emailed an “orientation package” that will make their new lesson experience easy to navigate and will eliminate any discomfort they might have felt should they have had to ask for the information.
Make a great first impression by ensuring materials accurately and professionally project the “feel” of your studio. Be consistent with your use of graphics, fonts, and colors in all studio materials.. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, there are many email template programs you can use (often for free).
Typically, parents expect to be informed of: 1. Your schedule (with important dates), 2. The way your studio “works” (your policies), 3. How to pay you, 4. What their children need to bring to class, 5. What’s expected of them as a client, and 6. How to best communicate with you. This is standard across most extracurricular activities and should be a natural part of your “new student orientation”.
2. Your “First Lesson Welcome”
The first piano lesson is a milestone in young children’s lives… so recognizing this experience in a special way will make a great first impression. Consider:
- taking a photo of your new student using one of our free photo props and emailing it to Mom or Dad
- posting a “Welcome Poster” in your waiting area, making your new student feel immediately at home (free designs are found in our WunderKeys Facebook group!)
- following-up afterwards with a carefully-crafted email to the parents (find mine here)
- mailing a card before the lesson occurs with a “Can’t Wait To Meet You” message
3. Your In-Lesson and Take-Home Materials
The materials you use are a direct reflection of your studio. Make a fabulous first impression by selecting resources that are visually engaging, professional in design and educationally valuable. Break free from the book (even during the very first lesson) and engage your new students with hands-on, off-bench activities that immediately communicate how fun their lessons are going to be.
If you charge a registration or materials fee you may want to consider sending your students home with a beautifully-outfitted piano binder that immediately portrays an air of organization (use our printables here to create one!). Adding a colorful parent-student piano game or activity page to their binders is a great way to engage parents in home practice from the beginning.
4. Your Availability For Communication
Building a bond with piano parents begins at the very first lesson. Start off on the right foot by clearly communicating your desire to stay in touch, to be available should they have questions, and to work together as a team to help their children.
You can give this impression to new parents by immediately connecting them to your studio through your Facebook page, your website blog and/or your email list. Offer at least two different ways they can contact you should they need to (and be sure to respond in a timely matter when they reach out to you).
5. Your Interest In Your Piano Students
Of utmost importance to most families is a teacher’s willingness and ability to connect with their children. Make a lasting first impression by remembering sibling names and greeting them warmly, asking questions about your new students’ activities and interests and communicating your new students’ first lesson successes to parents immediately.
And Be Sure to Double-Check…
With your first impression meter set to “WOW” you’ll be set to turn your new piano student into a raving piano fan. But before you do, double check these five “small things” that can have the opposite effect on a great first impression:
- a cluttered or messy studio/waiting area
- difficult or confusing parking and/or entry to your studio
- a “late start” to a first lesson
- missing or disorganized materials and/or books your students need
- a loose pet (introduce studio pets only after you know your new students are not afraid)
Looking For First Impression “Gold”?
We love creating piano teaching materials that will make a fabulous impression on your piano families! WOW your new students with our creative supplementary piano repertoire from PianoBookClub or our exciting new WunderKeys Method Book Series.