As the holidays approach and parents and students time is pulled by so many other activities such as holiday parties, family gatherings, special events, and shopping, many children’s music studio owners view the time between Halloween and New Years as a lull in their business. While it may feel like the perfect time to take a break and plan for next year, savvy studio operators know that the Thanksgiving and Christmas season are the perfect time to grow your studio.
The holidays are a critical time for retailers, accounting for up to thirty percent of their annual sales. Most of this spending around the winter holidays will be in tangible goods such as toys, clothes, and electronics, but there are ways to take advantage of this surge in spending that will benefit your studio over the holidays and the coming new year:
- Think Like a Retailer – A mistake that owners of music studios often make is thinking of themselves as something other than a retailer. Many don’t consider their studios as a “brick and mortar” retail store because they often do not have tangible products on their shelves, or that they are part of the education sector instead of retail. While some of this is true, music studio owners should look at their services as something that a large part of the public would benefit from buying. Imagine that your music lessons are products on a shelf, and “present” them as any good retailer would.
- Window Dressing – It’s extremely hard to compete with all of the big retailers out there who “deck the halls” with lights, garland, wreaths, and sparkles. Keep in mind that they know a thing or two about presentation. A recent study shows that up to 90% of shoppers plan to do at least a portion of their holiday shopping in traditional brick and mortar stores this year. While retailers understand that making the in-store experience festive helps to both draw customers in as well as persuades them to purchase more product, successful music studio owners know that the holidays is a magical time for children, and their parents melt seeing the wonder in their child’s eyes. Decorations around the holidays not only evoke a joy in people’s hearts, but also have a psychological effect on purchase habits.
- Music for the Season – It should go without saying, but don’t neglect to make great use of the large repertoire of holiday music in your lessons, whether sacred and/or secular. Most children have been hearing traditional holiday music since they were infants, whether it is sung by their parents, friends, at events, in stores, or on the radio. The familiarity of popular holiday songs that are also public domain such as Up on the Housetop, Jingle Bells, and Deck the Halls are fun for children and parents to sing together. A holiday themed party help children remember singing as a happy experience, and just think of all the wonderful songs that can be accompanied by sleigh bells! A field trip caroling activity with children and parents can be great fun for everyone while marketing your studio in surrounding neighborhoods.
- Gift Wrap Your “Products” – Make it easy to give the gift of music! The winter holiday season offers music studio owners a great chance to provide their lessons and/or materials in a gift format. Consumers are always looking for a unique gift that will stand out, and music lessons are perfect for parents who want to participate in fun activities with their child. Create a holiday themed gift certificate or card that parents can purchase as gifts. Make your gift cards or certificates a dollar amount, so that they can be given to parents of various age children. While these are good ways to grow new customers, don’t forget to offer some value to your current clients as well. Holiday specials on musical instruments such as jingle bells and drums can increase your bottom line while serving as great stocking stuffers.
- Don’t forget Cyber Monday – Don’t underestimate the power of Internet shopping. Digital spending over the holidays is expected to grow over 14 percent over last year, and a great deal of that online shopping will be from young parent aged Millennials and GenXers. If you have the means to provide an online option for purchasing a studio gift certificate, provide that as an easy way for parents to get some easy shopping done from home. Grandparents may also want to provide more music lessons as a gift to parents and grandchildren alike. If you have an email database of current and past parents, send an eBlast with a “holiday sale” on lessons for 2020, while making it easy to share or gift it to others. It’s important to try and get this eBlast done well before Cyber Monday, so that it does not get lost in their inbox along with all the other online retailers.
While the noise of retail shopping and activities over the winter holiday season might seem to drown out your childhood music studio marketing efforts, just jump into the stream and go with the flow! Successful retailers know that while it’s a virtual jungle out there, the holiday season offers many great opportunities to grow your studio and future business for 2020.