As a musician, you are a natural creative. A phrase I often hear from music teachers when they are becoming excited about designing a website is: “I want to do something different. Something artistic.”
A lot of people also jump right into “what platform is best for building a website?”
Starting with this thought process is not the best way to approach building a website for your music studio. Getting hung up on minuscule aspects of “design” without goals and a structured plan always ends up with websites that are difficult to navigate, visually unattractive, and don’t perform well.
So what DO we begin with before we design a website for our music schools? We begin with INTENTION: Start with WHY.
(It’s important here to make the distinction between the deeper “why”, which is why you’re doing this career in the first place – although that comes into play later on as it’s equally important to the process of marketing!)
Start with honestly answering this question:
1.Why are you building a website for music lessons?
If you’re a music school or private music teacher building a website, your answer probably was one or more of the following:
- “I need more music students”
- “I want to sell an online music lesson course”
- “I want to have information available for my current students”
- “I want students to be able to book appointments online”
- “I just need to have a presence online”
As music teachers, we can generally break our website needs down into two categories:
- Promotional: Marketing a product or service with a specific intention of making or raising money.
- Informational: Educational/informative: for sharing information
Most music teachers and schools need a website that combines both promotion and information in order to serve the best needs of their potential students and current students.
2.Who are you building your website for?
After you have determined why you’re building a website, you have to decide who you are creating it for. The structure and design you end up initially choosing will be greatly affected by your desired audience(s) because each age group interprets the internet in a slightly different way.
Who do you want to enroll in your music lessons?
- What age are they?
- Where do they live?
- What kind of students are they?
You may find that you have a combination of audiences in terms of who you want as a student, and that’s OK!
Who is paying for the music lessons?
The person visiting your site is likely going to be the one responsible for paying for lessons and deciding if they want to risk trying lessons with you. This means that if you’re trying to get preschool music students, you aren’t going to make your website appeal to preschoolers. You’re going to make it appeal to their PARENTS.
Some things to consider:
- Geographic Location
- Income Bracket
- Musicians or Non-Musicians
- Ages of potential students
3. How do you want this audience to interact with you?
Once you’ve determined your audiences and your goals for your website, take a moment to determine how your systems will work when someone finds your website and is interested in lessons. After years of working with website clients and building sites myself, I can confirm that building a website is a lot less stressful if you have this step outlined BEFORE you begin designing and writing content.
How do you want customers to contact you?
On your website, you need what is called a “Call to action” on EVERY page. This is when you tell the customer HOW they can contact you to get started – and you make it EASY for them to find this and go through with the action. There are many ways to create call to actions, and they can be buttons, links, or even just a brief line of text telling them what to do.
- A Phone Number
- An E-Mail Address (or e-mail form)
- A button that takes them to a mailing list form
- An embedded form on a page
- A booking calendar where they can sign up right away
You maybe tempted to experiment with more than one method of contact. Just keep in mind that the more options you choose from the above, the more complicated it becomes on your end to manage leads. For example, if you are never available to answer the phone, then encouraging customers to call you may not be the best CTA! Take a moment to really think about the process that will be easiest for both you and your potential customers – you want to reduce friction as much as possible in all of your systems!
Designing a website for your music lesson business means considering WHY you are building it, WHO your target audience is, and HOW your audience will interact with it from the moment you begin.
Once your clearly and honestly answer these questions, THEN you can begin the web design process!