*******If you missed Part 1 of the Money Woes series, you can find it here.******
I wish we could sit down and have a cup of tea together. It would be fun to chat about our students. Our victories. Our challenges. All of us are facing different obstacles and it's hard to toss suggestions out there without knowing your specific situation.
At the end of the day, all I can do is tell you what's worked for me and what steps I would take if I needed to increase my income. Hopefully I can offer a fresh perspective - even if the idea I toss out is one that you've heard before.
Each post in this series will cover 2 aspects of making more money. A "Mindset" section and a "Get Serious" section.
Let's get started!
MINDSET TIP: FOCUS ON THE NEXT STEP
Do you ever fall into this trap? You've got a great idea for your studio. Maybe you're thinking about adding a group class. Or a lab. Or maybe you want to raise your rates because you know it's way past time to do that.
But instead of doing the NEXT thing, your mind races several steps ahead and you wonder "How will my parents react?" You might even jump straight to the END step "What if all my students quit?"
Before you know it, you've decided again that "new thing" because you skipped ahead and worried about something that may or may not happen.
I remember when I decided to write my book, 101 Piano Practice Tips. Now it's in paperback, but originally it was only available as an ebook. When I started that project, I was so tempted to think several steps ahead. "How do you format a book for Amazon? What's the approval process? How do I create my cover?"
I never would have finished the book if I had worried about all those future issues. All I had to do was think about the NEXT step.
You need to do the same thing! Whatever it is that you decide to add to your studio - or maybe you want to stop doing something (No more makeups?) Just focus on the next step.
Try it! I promise you'll be less stressed AND more productive!
GET SERIOUS: MASSIVE REFERRAL CREDIT
If I needed to get more money, the first thing I would do is enlist the help of my current families by offering a referral credit. Parents are busy. They won't rush to pass your name around unless you give them a really, REALLY great incentive.
And I'm not talking $10. I'm not talking $25. I'm talking massive. I would offer my families......drumroll.......an entire month of lessons for free. Maybe even TWO months. Yes I would!
Before you freak out and say it's impossible - let's do the math.
The last time I tried this was a couple years ago. My monthly rate was about $80/month and yes, I offered my families an $80 credit if any of their friends registered for lessons. The new student would bring in a minimum of $720. Subtract the $80 credit and I still made an extra $640.
If 2 families did that - and they did! - I made $1280 MORE than before. Even if I had offered 2 free months of lessons in exchange for a referral, I still would have made $1120 more.
That's huge. And totally worth every penny of the credit referral. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
A couple rules:
- The new student had to tell me the name of the family that referred them.
- If the new parent mentioned 2 families, I split the credit between the both families. (That did happen to me once and everyone was pleased with dividing the credit.)
GIVE IT A TRY!
The goal is to get others pushing your name in the background and that won't really happen without a BIG incentive.
Tell your families:
"Great news! I have XX open slots for fall and I'm offering referral credits for a limited time. If your friend registers for a year of lessons, you'll get 2 months of FREE lessons as a thank you! ($160 credit)"
Get brave! You can do this! If you're serious about needing more money, you have absolutely NOTHING to lose! (You didn't skip over the math section, did you?)
One Warning - NOW is the perfect time to do this! Fall will be here before you know it!
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