September is Classical Music Month and National Piano Month
365 Days of Marketing by Elizabeth Kraus
If you think about it, our community is made up of many hundreds (if not thousands) of mini-communities. These groups are comprised of people connected by family, friends, common interests, hobbies, entertainment, sports and many other circumstantial means, including music. As someone lucky enough to have been a pianist and vocalist, I’ve had the opportunity to mix and mingle with these music sub-communities throughout my life. And since this is a niche that I especially love, I want to suggest that there are actions you can take to support the music arts community that will also help build your business.
And if you’ll forgive the pun, these ideas should be music to your ears!
Extend a special offer to independent vocal, piano and instrumental music teachers and to the employees of music stores. Why? A single music teacher likely has dozens (and may even have more than a hundred) current students. A music studio, comprised of several teachers, will have even more. And all of these students have parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. By attracting these influential people and then delivering on the experience you provide in your business, you have the potential to generate a significant amount of word of mouth marketing and referrals.
Create special offers that music teachers can pass on to their students and to the families of their students. Let them know about products or services that you provide that relate to music, practice or performance.
Make suggestions to your customers about the products or services you provide that would make great thank-you or holiday gifts for their music teachers, band and choir directors, etc.
Partner with local music teachers and music stores for a cooperative marketing event. Invite one or more local music teachers to give your patrons a demonstration or introductory group lesson (maybe even held at your business) to introduce your customers to local music instruction options or connect them with instrument sellers. Ask local teachers to donate certificates for introductory lessons that you can give away in Facebook contests or in-store drawings.
If you offer fashion, styling or makeup services or products, create a menu of services and/or offers that local students and professional musicians might want to utilize prior to recitals, performances or competitions. Add post-performance de-stressing massages, manicures, pedicures or other services to your menu.
Host or sponsor after-parties or post-performance get-togethers for the band, choir or musical cast of your local high school, for community or church choirs, for amateur or professional chorales, orchestras or other music groups.
Support local performing arts organizations like choirs, orchestras and ensembles. Attend concerts. Give concert tickets away in in-store drawings or Facebook contests. Place ads in programs. Display posters in your business and include announcements about performances on your social media pages, in your e-mail newsletter or on a local events portion of your website.
Donate to the music programs of local schools. Establish a scholarship program to subsidize the lesson cost for one or more youth in your community. Contribute toward school music program fundraisers or allow students to hold fundraisers or sell tickets or booster cards on your premises. Donate instruments, music stands, music or other needed equipment to local schools. Write press releases to help document the good that your business is doing and to encourage others to do the same.
Feeling really brave? Volunteer to help assist with local concerts in areas such as set up or take down, helping to produce programs or in other areas.
Host a forum or roundtable, inviting music teachers and leaders from your community to participate with the goal of advancing music arts in your city.
Feature live music at your business and invite local musicians of all ages to participate. Invite local church and school choirs to provide music at your business during the holidays. Give away albums of local musicians in your contests and drawings.
Engage online: Hold Facebook and other social media trivia contests or post classical music or piano-related trivia on your social media pages, in your e-mail newsletter, on your website, or on point of purchase, table-top or other in-store displays.
Hold a contest or drawing and solicit nominations from your patrons of the best local private music teachers and/or school music staff. Reward one or more of these teachers with a gift card or another special gift, such as a music-themed gift basket, iPod or other audio equipment, or gift cards for pampering salon, spa or massage services.
(By the way, contests and drawings are a great way to help build your marketing/contact database! Be sure that your entry form asks for the contact information of the person making the nomination as well as the nominee, and indicate that contact information will be added to your database, or provide an “opt out” check box for database exclusion.)