– Hey everyone, it’s Daniel from growyourmusicstudio.com. And in this video I’m going to tell you the entire truth about how I grew my studio to the size that it is. Up to this point over the last year, I’ve written a number of blog posts, released a number of videos, written guides, and really in every way tried to be as honest as possible about what I have done to grow my studio to the size that I have. Here’s what I haven’t told you. This is where the other penny drops. All the skeptics out there that say, “Oh, this is too good to be true.” The skeptical people that say, “Oh, that would never work for me.” I’m going to be completely and 100% honest with you.
A bit of background first and if you’ve read the blog long enough, you know a little bit about my background but I started teaching piano in 2004, I graduated from college, started my own studio, and over the next year fell into a little bit of a funk as I realized that growing a studio to the size that I wanted was not going to be as easy as I thought it was going to be. My goal at the time was to get to 50 students. I graduated mid-semester at the end of 2004 and I thought I’m going to have by the new year, I’m going to have a full studio. I’m going to be at like 40 to 50 students. Well, reality hits you hard, and by the end of the year I had three students. How does that apply to you? What can you take away from this video? Let me tell you about all of the failures that I had because on the blog I have tended to focus on the things that have worked. Let me tell you about what didn’t work, okay? The very first thing that I did, the very first risk that I ever took as a 22 year old or 23 year old, I can’t really remember now how old I was, I think maybe it was 23, the very first risk that I took was that I risked my time.
I started posting and back then, it’s almost defunct now, but back then I posted in Yahoo Groups then I tried to find homeschool groups. Really didn’t have a lot of success there. Moved on from that. The very next thing that I tried was running little ads in small local newspapers, not like the city-wide newspaper but little township newspapers or community newspapers. Guess what? Almost didn’t get any response from that. The very next thing that I tried, because I was at that point almost a year into teaching, I only had I think around 10 to 15 students, tried postcard campaign. Got a business credit card, got approved for a business credit card, and spent almost $4,000 on a postcard campaign. Literally was almost sick to my stomach when I thought about spending that much money and I was thinking about all the things that would have to go right to make this work. Went ahead and did it anyway. Spent $4,000, put it on a credit card, had no idea how I was going to pay it off if it didn’t work out.
Sent postcards to 3,000 houses in my immediate area. Used smart demographics, tried to focus on high income homes, tried to focus on homes that had proof that children were present, and out of that I ended up getting seven students out of those 3,000 homes got seven students. Therefore, it took me, those students came on they joined at the current rate that I was at, it took me almost a half year to pay off the business debt that I incurred because of it but it ended up being a good thing for me because those students came on, it gave me some confidence. It forced me to think more carefully about my marketing of what I was actually going to put on that postcard that got sent out, so it started me thinking. And those students ended up referring more students to me so when I tally it up all told I got another four students out of those relationships for a total of 11 because of that postcard campaign.
That’s a good thing. There were other things I tried. I tried running bigger ads. I tried running ads in parent magazines to varying levels of success. Some things completely failed. I sponsored a baseball team one year, totally failed. And over the course of those first three to five years, I just tried so many different things. The vast majority of them quote didn’t work. Just no response whatsoever. Here is the ultimate point and what I think you could really take away from this is that don’t compare my 2017, my year 13, my year 10 to your year one or your year three or your year five. If you have not advertised before and you’re 20 years into your career and you’re just starting now, if you have not advertised in a big way, if you’ve not tried to grow a big studio, don’t compare your first year of serious effort in advertising to my year 10 or my year 13.
It is just not a fair comparison. You have to go back and look at all the things that I tried that totally and completely failed and look at all those failures, all that money spent that I got no return on, so to speak, you have to compare my beginning to your beginning. And the truth is, just two thoughts here at the end, is that one I didn’t have someone like this, I didn’t have a video to watch about how to grow a piano studio successfully. It is very possible that you could learn from all my mistakes.
You can learn from the mistakes that have been made by people in the piano teacher groups on Facebook or people in your local chapter of MTNA. You can learn from those people and perhaps your growth curve can be accelerated much higher than mine. There is a particular person that I worked with last year, I wrote about her on my blog, she came to me, she had 22 students, and she blew up to almost 50 students in 12 weeks because we took all the knowledge I had and applied it to her situation.
Here’s what I’m getting at. If you follow the advice of this blog or follow the advice on other blogs, marketing blogs or other blogs that talk about how to grow a studio, if you join programs that are out there that are support groups for piano teachers where you’re really getting serious about growing your studio or growing your music school, it is possible that you don’t have to wander around in the desert for three to five years like I did at the beginning of my career and have all those failures. You can cut straight to the thing that works. I didn’t have that advice, I didn’t have those voices in my life. They just didn’t exist on the internet back then. All you could do was go out buy a book, take the advice and hope it worked. Hoped what you were doing was correct. Now there is so much support. You could come to me. You could come to people in Piano Teacher Central. You can go to other bloggers who might be willing to help you.
Say, “Hey this is the advertising campaign that I ran.” “It didn’t work.” “Why do you think it didn’t work?” They might be able to tell you. I didn’t have that kind of voice. Focus on what you have. Focus on what you’re doing. Stay committed to it. Love the journey. Love learning about how to become a better business owner. And the long term effect of that, the long term effect of that patience is that you’ll have incredible success. Have a good day and I’ll see you in the next video. .
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