How can we, who have a website, possibly hope to engage with our audience and encourage them to want our services? There are some basic marketing techniques that can help our virtual “shop window” look attractive and encourage potential customers to “step inside.”
Put Your Feet in Their Shoes
The most effective way to present ourselves is to consider what information prospective clients want to know. Give them this information quickly and easily and their experience on your website will be satisfying. What do they want to know?
What instrument/s do you teach? Where are you located? How much do your lessons cost?
Think for a moment how frustrating it is when you look at a product for sale that doesn’t have a price tag, you can’t work out where a company is located or what exactly it is “they do!” You can see how important it is to clearly state your
fee, location and instrument on your website.
The “Look of Love”
Modern internet users are used to looking at websites that have cost a lot of money to be designed and maintained. If our website looks amateurish they will presume that we are too! One of the many benefits of a MTH (Music Teacher’s Helper) subscription is the included website which has lots of contemporary designs that you can choose from to bring your presentation up to “scratch.” My previous article dealt with the basics of using this excellent provision.
Which major website designs do you like? What is it about their presentation that you like? Can you use some of those ideas in your own website?
A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words
I’ve noticed that my favourite websites use lots of professional photos and videos. I think it helps potential clients to see a recent photograph of the music teacher that they might employ especially as the relationship with pupil/teacher is so personal. I have a rather amateurish video on my website where I briefly introduce myself and what I teach which does two things I feel. It saves the client reading lots of text and also lets them see a little of my personality which hopefully puts them at ease! This is an area where I would like to improve further by including some professional videos across my website in which I can explain directly what it is that I have to offer.
Keep It Short and Simple! Short sentences, short paragraphs and short pages really are the answer. Avoid ambiguous phrases and unnecessary words. What does the potential customer need to read? Less is most definitely more!
Don’t write text using BLOCK CAPITALS; it takes more time to read and is quite frankly off-putting!
Hold the Door Open!
When a potential customer is deciding whether to take up lessons with you or not they’ll need some gentle encouragement to help them make the next move. Why not“hold the door open for them” by offering the first lesson free or some other incentive. That way they’ll feel comfortable that they are under no further obligation and “what is there to lose!”
What is your Unique Selling Point as a teacher? Why should a student come to you instead of another local teacher? How can you make this clear on your website?
We humans can be very egocentric at times hence it is really important to us to be able perceive when we look at a website, how the product or service will BENEFIT US. They won’t care too much to trawl through paragraph after paragraph about the teacher’s family life and the career they had twenty years ago etc.! They want to know how will this benefit them or their child in the here and now?
Have you noticed how many websites like Amazon display customer reviews? It can be very persuasive to read positive comments from customers about products or services. Why not ask your existing students and parents to write a review that you can post on your website. These endorsements will really encourage potential pupils.
A popular quick and easy way to present information on a website is by means of a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. When pupils enquire about lessons, what are some of the common questions that they ask you? Can you think of some additional questions and answers that might help reassure them and heighten their interest?
How about displaying videos or recordings of pupils performing? Choose carefully so that a variety of ages, abilities and styles are represented to show what your students are achieving and the fun that they are having!
Constant Maintenance and Development
The worst type of website is the one that hasn’t been updated for ten years! The design needs to reviewed from time to time to make sure it looks current and fresh and content needs to be constantly added and removed. Another obvious website sin is to display inaccurate information. Every time your fee or your phone number/address changes, updates need to be made. But more than that. Updating your content frequently gives repeat visitors something new to see making them come back again and also helps your website appear higher in search engines like Google.
Lots of small pages are much better than a few really long-g-g pages! If people need to start scrolling down then maybe some brutal editing is needed or split the page into two.
Getting family and friends to proof read and offer suggestions is a great idea. Often they can spot something that you’ve over looked and offer a fresh third party perspective.
The old saying goes: “Success is a journey not a destination.” This is so true of running a successful website. We should never be content but constantly look for ideas to improve our virtual “shop windows” so that new students are inclined to “step in.”
What tips could you share with us to help improve our websites? By all means take a look at my site at www.reubenvincent.co.uk by way of comparison (even if it’s case of how not to do it!?!)