Professional Development, Studio Business, Technology

Studio Marketing: Communicating Value Through Your Website

Have you ever visited a website and been completely overwhelmed with the amount of information, ads, links, and CLUTTER?  Have also you ever visited a website and been impressed by the graphics and the ease with which you could find information?  This post is going to offer some tips for organizing and effectively communicating value through your studio website.

Studio Websites: A Necessity

Having a website is an important part of studio marketing.  In a world where the internet is now the first place parents turn for business information rather than the phonebook, teachers need to maintain an online presence.  The good news is, it’s a pretty affordable and easy way to market yourself as a piano teacher (see the resources section below) — definitely more affordable than an ad in the Yellow Pages! 

Effective Website Communication

We’ve already discussed the importance of creating value for your studio — now it’s time to discuss communicating that value through your website.  Studio websites should be easy to navigate, organized, pleasing to the eyes, and most importantly — they should communicate a clear message.  You must go out of your way to be relavent to your viewers, show the value of your piano teaching services, and the benefits of your services.

Make sure your website communicates your value in multiple places.  Even the first page should contain something brief about your value.  Then on your Studio Information page, you can find the room to go into detail.  If you have a FAQ page, add a question that asks “What is unique about [your studio name]?” or “Why should I study piano at [your studio name]?”  These are questions that your viewers would be most definitely interested in.  Make it foolproof that anyone who visits your site receives a clear message about how your studio is amazing.

Appearances Are Everything

I don’t know about you, but when I come across a really confusing website, I run.  :)  I go back to google and find a cleaner website that will give me the information I am looking for!  A website’s visual appearance speaks volumes about you and your business.

Here are three things I like to see:

  • Simplicity.  Avoid long sections of text.  If you do have a lot to say, break things up with headers and bullet points to help organize information and make it easier to scan.
  • Elegance.  Be tasteful.  Choose a few colors and fonts and use them consistently across your website.  Be sure to include some photos — after all, “a picture speaks a thousand words.”
  • Organization.  People should be able to easily navigate and find the information they are looking for.

Sample Websites

Here are some examples of business websites that I find to be cluttered, confusing, and difficult to navigate.  Hopefully this will give you some laughs.  :)

And now here are a few examples of websites that are a pleasure to visit.  Within just a few seconds on the site, you can easily tell the company is and what the service is.

Now go to your studio website and evaluate yourself: how do you rate in the three areas of simplicity, elegance, and organization?  Does it communicate a clear message about the value of your studio?

Want to share your studio website with the rest of us?  Leave your link in the comments!  I’m sure we’d all be willing to offer friendly advice to anyone who asks for it.  :)

Resources:

  • David Cutler’s advice regarding studio websites.
  • Weebly.com is an easy way to create your own website.  This is what I’m currently using for my studio website.
  • I haven’t tried it myself, but I hear that yola.com is another great site for creating your own a website.

20 thoughts on “Studio Marketing: Communicating Value Through Your Website”

  1. Looking at the “good examples,” the phrase that kept popping to mind from my old journalism days (when we did layouts on light tables, not computers) was “effective use of white space.” It’s one of the things that bugs me with blogger – the templates often put page elements too close together. Great post!

    1. Hi Laura! Do you consider pianolessonmn.blogspot.com to be your main studio website? It wouldn’t hurt to make it a little more clear as to where potential students/parents should go if they happen upon your site. Maybe a tab called “Studio Info” or something. I would also challenge you to add another question to your FAQ page…”Why should I take lessons at Laura Music’s Studio?” Elaborate on the kinds of fun and unique things you bring in your teaching! Make it specific to YOUR teaching – don’t say things that could apply to just any teacher out there. See if you can identify what is unique about you and use that as a selling point. I love the theme you have, and you have a lot of great information already — just throwing out a few suggestions. :) Good luck!

  2. What a fantastic resource Joy and SO funny looking at the websites that need help! I just finished my website built from iweb but it doesn’t seem to render well with all browsers. I also ran into quite a bit of trouble creating drop down menus using iweb. I wish I found out about weebly before starting out on iweb. Perhaps it might still be worthwhile recreating it on weebly since I love designing :)
    My current studio website is http://pianoescapades.com
    Would love your feedback as well:)
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and resources on building websites, LOVE this post!

    1. I used iWeb for awhile as well — I like some things about it, but found certain other things difficult to manage. It’s easy to create a login on Weebly and to create a test website to see how you like it. But anyway, I do really like what you have right now. You have lots of wonderful photos! And all the content is both informative and interesting. Great work!!

      1. Thanks Joy, I really appreciate your comments. I did take a look at weebly and decided that it isn’t for me at this point. I really like iweb’s flexibility with design and arrangement of photos/text although it doesn’t appear to be as full featured as weebly. Hopefully iweb has more to offer in the next release…or perhaps I should learn all that html and css :) Thanks again!!
        BTW, I LOVE your new website!!

  3. Great post!! I agree with this 100%! In fact, I recently completely revamped my website and blog to reflect my new “brand image”. You are so right in saying that a studio website is a MUST for any piano teacher in today’s “social network” world. I think your criteria of simplicity, elegance, and organization are spot on – a website’s look will generate someone’s first impression of you – and I truly believe that if we show that we have put in the effort to make our online “presence” unique, approachable, and accessible, it will demonstrate the effort we will put in to making our students education a fulfilling one.

    1. Your new website is BEAUTIFUL, Mariel! I really wish I knew how to create my own website with code from scratch! But since I don’t, I’m stuck with the templates that sites like Weebly and Yola offer. Someday maybe I’ll take a class and learn that stuff. :) Anyway, great colors and M’s logo design – it all looks fabulous.

      1. Aww, thanks, Joy! It all started with just learning basic HTML and CSS to edit my Blogger templates, and then I just kept searching online for various tutorials to learn how to write all the code. If I could do it, anyone can!

    1. Looks great, Tanya! Adding some photos wouldn’t hurt — of your students (with written parental permission, of course), your studio, yourself, your piano, etc. And I think you have a great start on talking about your value on your homepage. Could you go a step further though, perhaps? What can you say about your teaching and your studio that no other teacher in your area can say? If you can clearly identify your edge, potential students/parents will have trouble finding a reason NOT to take lessons with you!

  4. I use yola.com and really like it. I haven’t tried the others you mentioned. You can view my website at http://www.musicstudystudio.yolasite.com I would love for you feedback! I also have started a blog, hoping to give back a little to the teaching community. That address is http://musicstudystudio.blogspot.com and I would love your feedback on that as well! Thanks for posting this Joy! It really makes me think about what my websites look like!

    1. Hi Lacy! Your websites look great!! For your studio website, I would recommend adding some photos. Ideally, they would be photos of your students playing — but ONLY post them if you have written parental permission to do so. You could also post a nice headshot of yourself by your bio. And perhaps some photos of your teaching studio or even your piano’s keys, to use across the other pages. I like the theme you chose — very professional! Your blog is nice too — I’ll have to feature you in my July Blog Roundup post. :)

  5. Thanks for all your helpful posts on websites. I decided it was time to re-do my website from scratch & did it with Weebly (as you recommended). Very easy to do & easy on the eyes. My own domain name was < $20 for the year.

    http://www.bethtadesonmusic.ca

    My next goal is creating a twitter following & building up my facebook presence. Lots to do!

    Love your site, Joy! Keep up the great work!

  6. I just posted our website last week and I want to make sure that it’s user friendly and will help us to receive more interest in our studio. Any ideas?

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