Good advertising copy is a vital element of in building a successful music school. Good copy informs and inspires your students and potential students, and is allows you to build connection and enrollment virtually, when you can’t have an in-person conversation.
In this blog post I’m going to talk about one of the most common mistakes that music school owners make when they are learning to write advertising copy to advertise music lessons or classes.
I call this the “support the music mistake”. We sometimes see it when a friend is telling us about a show they are about to play. They sound out an email or message along these lines:
“Hey, Rancid Pancake is playing this Tuesday night–so come on out and support us–because the club wants at least 20 people to come, and we are counting on you to come and help fill some of those seats. Please help us! Come support us. Please.”
Sound fun? Ugh!
That’s like somebody asking you for a date by saying:
“Hi, I’m lonely, unattractive, and feel deeply unworthy. I am sure you have better things to do, but as an act of pity, will you please go to the dance with me on Friday? I promise to not make eye contact with you!”
How romantic does that feel? Wouldn’t you rather stay home and wash your hair!?
Unfortunately, as music school owners, we can feel so much fear and concern about business survival, or so much insecurity about the value of what we are bringing to the world, that we can forget what a gift we are giving to people by providing a structure and pathway to reach their musical dreams and becoming their best self. When that happens, we get desperate, and we write copy that subtly reflects these insecurities, like:
“We hope you will consider signing up for lessons.” (When the truth is, if the student signs up for lessons they will have a new hobby, a new identity, and will be on stage playing in a few months! That’s crazy! Our real concern should be hiring and training enough quality teachers to meet demand.)
“Come to the student show and support your fellow students.” (When the truth is, it is actually the spectators who will be supported–because when they see what students just like them have accomplished, they are going to be so excited and inspired that they are going to go straight home and start practicing!)
Save charity calls for charity.
Music schools are not helpless organizations with no options and we do not need to ask people to do us a favor and support anything we’re doing–because we are delivering massive value! Yes, they are giving us a gift with their business, for which we should feel deep gratitude. But aren’t you giving your students a gift by delivering knowledge, learning results and an experience which is far more valuable than the money they spend with you? Of course you are! (And if you’re not sure of that, then your advertising copy is not what you should be focusing on! Make sure you’re proud of what you are offering, and then offer it!)
In copywriting, let’s focus less on ourselves and our needs, and more on our students and their needs! It is NOT their job to take care of us! It is OUR job to take care of THEM!
Here are two examples of copy in a hyper focused email blast written by one of our Student Experience Coordinators. (A “hyper-focused e-blast” is one targeted to a small number of prospects who are perfect students for the class or lesson.) See if you can notice the subtle school-centered, “support the music” phrases in this initial draft:
This is fun, and friendly, and informative. But did you notice the subtle lines like “we would love to have you join this class” and “we are so proud” which are centered on us, rather than the student? Now, check out the next draft–which is shorter, punchier, and more student centered!
You’re awesome! You’re bringing amazing value to the world…but you don’t need to tell anybody that. Instead, just show potential students how awesome THEY are and how THEY can make THEIR dreams come true, have MORE FUN, and GROW as people and players simply by joining your school.
No more “support the music!” From now on, stick to supporting the student in your copywriting.
On to Greatness,
Founder, NYC Guitar School