Oh boy. I had no idea what I was getting into when I decided to finish my Suzuki training, start a studio, and also create a summer camp in one summer. For all of you musicians that have no idea what the future holds, I hope that this post will save you blood, sweat & tears. This will be the first post in a series that will document the makings of my new studio, Queen City Suzuki Violin.
Photo cred: (found it here: http://blog.adigo.com/bid/325887/7-Ways-to-Make-Brainstorming-Meetings-More-Productive)
I had been brainstorming how I would start my studio for years... and knew I needed to do a little bit of everything. Facebook marketing had not appeared to work-- at all. It gave me 200+ likes on my page.. but cost roughly $100. A few years ago, the book SEO 2015: Learn SEO Optimization with Smart Internet Marketing Strategies was too good to pass up at a mere $9.97 on amazon. This book opened the enigmatic codes of the jumbled inter webs to a coding novice like myself. My website was slowly flourishing in the dashing town of 241, 218, Winston Salem. As we embarked to Charlotte, I just KNEW that it wasn't enough to sustain the competition in a growing city.
Contacting a marketing agency and establishing a brand and logo were now on the top of my list. I assumed that this would be my largest investment and would take the most time to pinpoint.
Currently, the yard signs, flyers around the neighborhood, and word of mouth have been more successful than all the digital marketing (my) money can buy! Who would have thought! I had heard this exact story from marketers that I previously interviewed. In fact, to paraphrase.. Many businesses put too much capital into digital marketing early on and eventually run out, leaving nothing left for years to come.
If I did it all over again...
Disperse Resources. Digital marketing would be done in small amounts over a long period of time. Perhaps, I could have even found an agency that was willing to help me categorize and schedule when and where these allotments would be used. I can't say that we've hit rock bottom, but this was the steepest learning curve yet. I was too hasty to find a marketing agency and was too busy to find one that was willing to take on a small business.
Start Earlier than you think. Start any Summer Camp planning early in December/January the year prior (maybe even in the Fall). Luckily, the Recreation Center that the camp is being held at was gracious enough to talk the county into letting our camp use the space because it was offered late into the summer. The declines for camps are usually in February! (My applications was submitted in March and finalized at the end beginning of May.)
Don't do it all at once. Training is important to me.. to keep the skills sharp, find yourself challenged, and overall-- to better one's own teaching. Additionally, the Suzuki website graciously showcases the training that each teacher has taken. I confess that I thought this could be yet another area that would help my Suzuki page standout or even standup within the large scope of teachers in Charlotte. I have Books 1-3, but will now be undertaking Book 4, 6-10, and a class on teaching advanced students. Surely, I am neck deep.
Photo cred: This is featured on multiple blogs and I'm not sure who the original source is. If this is a picture you took or someone you know, feel free to contact me!