Our Favorite Websites of Spring 2019

As a musician, how do you stay inspired?

As a teacher, how do you inspire your students?

As creatives, inspiration is vital to our drive to create, learn, teach, and grow.

When you think of working on your studio website, you probably look at other music studio websites for inspiration. And there are some great websites to draw inspiration from.

But one thing I’ve learned as the owner of a music studio: it’s imperative to my perspective that I also draw inspiration from beyond my own world.

So today’s blog post will show you some fantastic inspiration in the world of web design.

You’ll see websites from a wide range of industries and professions (although - confession - they all have something to do with the arts), and you’ll see how each one can inspire your work on your own studio website.

Enjoy, take notes, and steal the ideas you love!

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Pass the Cake: What We've Learned About YOU in Our First Year

Happy birthday to us!


We launched Studio Rocket Web Design one year ago, and it’s been an exciting ride.

We’ve all heard that the first several years of a new business can be...well, rocky. The last time I truly launched a new business was more than twenty years ago when I started teaching piano.

So we didn’t know what our first year would involve - other than a lot of hard work and the ability to be flexible.

But this first year of offering web design for music studios has exceeded our expectations - in so many good ways.

Our clients have been wonderful, our conversations and connections with you have been meaningful and rich, and we’ve enjoyed some exciting collaborations with some superhero teachers (among them this podcast, this blog article, this other blog article, and this guest blogger’s stint that resulted in this memorable rockstar feature).

We have learned so much through conversation and working together.

[Cue “Getting to Know You” from The King And I.]


Want to know what we’ve learned about you?

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How Much Should I Spend on My Studio Website?

What does a great studio website cost?

When you think about the cost of building an excellent website, what comes to mind?

Is it many dollar signs?

The world of web design can feel complicated and expensive, and you may not know where to start - or what’s a fair price to pay for your website.

The truth is that you can spend almost any amount you can imagine on a website - from $0 to beyond $10,000.

But what do you NEED to pay for a great website? (hint: it’s probably not $10,000) The answer primarily depends on what you are willing to invest, and that comes down to time and money.

This blog post will:

→ Lay out the three primary options for building a website

→ Show you a general price range for each option

→ Give you a realistic picture of the pros and cons for each option

→ Help you decide what is the best fit for you and your studio goals


Here’s a look at what you can plan to invest in a studio website:

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Quick Tip: 3 Things You MUST Do Before Launching Your Website

So you’ve invested many hours of your life building a beautiful new studio website that you are tremendously proud of.

Or perhaps you are in the middle of updating your website so that it reflects where your growing studio is headed.

Either way, there are 3 things you absolutely must do before launching your website. They will ensure that your website is ready to represent you well - and are quick to implement.

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How to Get a [Great] Domain Name

Want to know what WON’T be a hot topic at your next dinner party?


Domain names.


It’s easy to forget about the importance of your website’s domain name, particularly if it’s one you’ve had for a long time.


But in 2019, you could easily print your studio business card with just your domain name - forget your phone number and address - to connect with potential studio families.


If a local parent is chatting with another local parent about their child’s fantastic violin teacher, they won’t have to say more than “Westmont Violin Studio.” Their friend can easily remember that, and will Google the studio name - or simply type in “www.westmontviolinstudio.com.


And, just like that, the potential studio parent is able to view and learn about your studio.


Here’s what you need to know about how to choose a fantastic domain name - and where to buy one.

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Worried About the Economy? Protect Your Studio by Doing These 4 Things.

Are you worried about the economy?

How did the last recession affect your studio?

The current rumors of another economic downturn instantly bring feelings of anxiety for many of us.

Here’s the bad news: the economy will take another hit - and then recover again - because that’s what economies do. And the internet isn’t doing much to calm our fears about it, either.

Here’s the good news: the internet will make it easier for you to attract a steady stream of students through the next economic downturn.

How?

Through your studio website.

Here are 4 things you can do to get your studio ready to thrive through the next economic downturn:

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Your Studio Website in 2019: Update or Start Over?

What year did you build your first studio website?

Did you build it yourself? Did a family member or friend build it for you? Did you hire a web designer?

I built my first website on Squarespace in 2013.

It was both overwhelming and thrilling. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment when it was finished, and received frequent compliments on how modern and professional it looked.

I wish I’d taken a screenshot of that website; you would think it was anything but “modern” now. Ironically, while our 4-year old kitchen remodel still looks on-trend; my 6-year old website design would look ridiculously dated.

That’s because website technology and online design trends, in particular, change at lightning speed now.

It’s important that your website is connecting with parents, and many of these parents are millenials.

Keeping your website relevant and relatable to parents in 2019 means updating the look - and performance - of your website regularly.

But how do you know when to update your website and when to start over with a new website?

Here are 3 quick ways to know when it’s time to start over with a new website:

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Will Your Studio Website Get Lost in 2019? These 3 Changes are Essential.

Happy New Year!

Is your website ready for 2019? Things change so fast online that it can be hard to keep up.

Today’s post contains the 3 things you must do to be sure your website is 2019-ready. These changes are absolutely essential if you want your website to continue to work well for you.

Everything on this list can be checked quickly, so let’s dive in and bring your website up to speed for the new year.

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Expert Roundup: How Your Favorite Teachers Use Social Media

To round out this series on staying connected with your studio, Megan Desmarais and I have teamed up to interview a few expert teachers on how they use social media.

We asked each teacher three simple questions about what they use, what goals they are able to achieve, and how they stay consistent on their chosen platform.

We received some fantastic answers - including a few we weren’t expecting!

Here’s what Marie Lee, Sara Campbell, Amy Chaplin, Nicola Cantan, and other experts had to say:

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Studio Blog + Social Media: What's Right for You? pt. 2 with Megan Desmarais

As a music teacher, have you ever wondered whether you should keep a blog for your studio? Have you tried to decide whether a blog - or Facebook, or Instagram - is worth the effort?

Last week, long-time piano teacher and blogger Megan Desmarais shared her blogging experience with us.

This week, Megan steps you through how to choose the very best option for your lifestyle and goals.

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Studio Blog + Social Media: What's Right For You? with Megan Desmarais

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll dive into a hot topic for many teachers right now: blogging and social media for your studio. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of blogging and social media - how to decide what’s the right fit for you.

This week and next week feature guest blogger Megan Desmarais. Megan is an expert in the field of studio blogging and has kept a long-time blog for both students and other teachers at Very Piano. Megan’s blog is filled with high-quality content, and she shares with us from her wealth of experience.

If you’re teaching music lessons in the 21st century you need some sort of online presence; whether it’s a studio website, social media accounts, a blog, or all of the above.

 

People are so connected online these days that if you’re ignoring all of these forms of communication you’re hiding from nearly all of your current and future clients.

 

While blogging definitely has its place in many successful businesses, it’s not for everyone.

 

If you’re trying to decide whether a studio blog is right for you, keep reading.

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Why Photos Make or Break Your Website, pt. 2

Happy holiday season!

How has 2018 been for you and your studio? Have you achieved your goals for the year?

How has your studio website served you this year? Are you happy with the job it’s doing to keep your studio full and running smoothly?

If your website isn’t yet consistently helping you meet your studio goals, this is the perfect time to give it a big upgrade by taking new website photos. Holiday group classes, recitals, and all of the music that happens during this season provide rich photo opportunities.

So how can the photos on your website help you meet your studio goals?

I’m so glad you asked. Let’s take a look at how parents engage with your website.

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Why Photos Make or Break Your Website, pt. 1 + GIVEAWAY!

A studio website follows a simple formula if you break it down:

Images + written content + contact method = studio website.

But it’s not as simple as a formula, is it? Just having images, copy, and buttons that lead to a contact page do not equal a great website.

It is vital that these elements are crafted to work together to capture a parent’s imagination, tell the story of their child’s experience in your studio, and lead them to contact you.

This post will show you why the images you use on your studio website have a huge amount of power.

And, to help you get the very best studio photos for your website, we are excited to share a gift with you: our downloadable “Guide to Getting Stunning Website Photos.” This guide is a collection of our very best pro tips for getting photos that will make your website stand out.

So let’s dive in. Why do website photos matter so much to your success?

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Why I Love Squarespace for My Studio Website

What’s your studio website platform?

Wordpress?

Weebly?

My Music Staff?

These are common website platforms for music teachers, and there are benefits to each one.

When I built my first studio website in 2013, I chose Squarespace as my website platform.

Prior to that, I had attempted to start a website with Wordpress and eventually gave up in frustration. Like most teachers prior to 2013, I knew very little about website-building. I needed something that I could figure out with relatively little frustration.

My husband Jeremy (who is now the website designer for Studio Rocket Web Design) told me about Squarespace. He liked their business model, their values, and their goal to make the website-building process simple for everyone.

So I took my laptop to our local brewery for several afternoons. I spent a total of about 20 hours sipping half-pints of dark beer and building my first studio website on Squarespace.

When my studio website was done, I was proud of it. It wasn’t perfect, but it looked modern (for 2013!) and I received frequent compliments on it. And the process was almost fun!

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10 Web Design Terms You Need to Know to Keep Your Website Relevant

Do you ever feel like people who talk knowledgeably about websites are speaking a different language?

Do you wish you understood more about your website and how to make sure it’s up to date?

In the next five minutes, you will learn ten web design and technology terms - and why they’re important for your website and your studio.

Here’s your web expert cheat sheet:

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Own a Large Studio? Make Your Website Simple + Powerful.

Do you own a mid-size or large studio?

Do you offer several different programs or employ other teachers?

If so, you have a lot of important information to share with parents on your website.

Bad news: a large studio website with a lot of information will easily overwhelm parents. Unsure of how to quickly find what they need, they will leave in search of a clearer, simpler option.

Good news: by putting a little time and effort into your website layout, you can make sure that everyone who visits your website knows exactly where to go - and how to get there quickly.

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A Superhero Website in 5 Steps

Do you have a studio website?

If so, picture your homepage.

How does it make you feel?

Are you proud of how it represents your studio? Is it helping you reach your goals? Does it consistently bring you new students?

Is your website your studio superhero?

Just a few years ago, your website was probably a fancy online business card. It let parents know that your studio existed in their town.

Website technology has come a long way since then. Now your website can easily be your most powerful tool for studio growth - and even has the potential to help you manage your studio.

If your website is not actively helping you reach your studio goals for the year, it’s time to invest some effort in improving it.

If that sounds a little overwhelming, don’t worry; we’re about to break it down into 5 simple, achievable steps.

Grab a cup of coffee, silence your phone, and get ready to amp up the power of your website.

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