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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Why We Won't Build a Website For You (unless you're a music teacher)

When building Studio Rocket Web Design, we made the conscious decision that we would only work with music teachers.

Are you a cool local band? We wish you well - but we won’t build your website.

Are you an artist with a growing Etsy store? There’s a great web designer out there for you; it’s just not us.

Are you a creative family photographer? We aren’t the right fit for you.

Are you a music teacher with big goals to grow and manage your studio? Let’s talk!

Curious about why we refuse to work with anyone else? Here’s the scoop:

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Your Website: Business Card or Power Tool?

A few years ago, your website was likely a simple online presence that listed what you offered and how to contact you - a virtual business card.

Today, though, you can expect far more from your website.

It's a powerful tool for attracting new students, educating parents about music lessons, sharing your policies, connecting with new families, and showcasing the unique qualities of your studio.

Your website is also capable of helping you manage your studio with ease. You can offer tuition payment options, scheduling, enrollment, interactive calendars, and share parent resources.

In this blog post, you’ll see how a teacher in Southern California used a website reboot to prepare for huge studio growth by taking her website from business card to power tool.

You will learn how to use these same techniques to increase the power of you own website and make your job much easier.

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Meet Your New Administrative Assistant

Ever wish you could wave a magic wand and have an administrative assistant?

For those of us who have just begun the new teaching year, this is a season full of creating lesson plans, enrolling new students, collecting tuition, and educating families about studio policies.

Do you find these tasks to be time-consuming and energy-draining?

Particularly if you’re introducing new programs to your studio this year (group lessons, anyone?), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the administrative tasks that are necessary.

Meet your new administrative assistant: your studio website.

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Leila Viss + 88 Piano Keys

Are you are active in online piano teaching communities? If so, you probably know of Leila Viss.

Leila is known for helping teachers infuse their teaching with creativity. For example, she literally wrote the book on using the iPad in your piano studio. And Leila is a primary reason why piano students everywhere are hooked on bucket drumming.

Leila also heads the 88 Creative Keys Workshop in Denver each summer, along with Bradley Sowash, which is the most inspiring event I’ve ever attended as a teacher.

Leila wears many important hats in the field of piano pedagogy, including teacher, clinician, blogger, and consultant.

We were excited when Leila asked us to build a new website for her, and can't wait to share it with you.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this post:

→ How we created a clear path for Leila’s website

→ Why it’s vital that YOUR website has a clear path

→ How to build that clear path for your website visitors

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Want a Stunning Website? Use Photos.

What’s your favorite website?

Why is it your favorite?

Chances are very good that it’s visually stunning.

A great website is well-organized, easy to navigate, clear in communicating information, and has strong SEO. However, those aren’t enough to wow your audience.

The “wow” factor in your studio website begins with your photos.

In this post, you’ll see what that “wow” factor looks like in a Colorado teacher's website.

You’ll learn how to get great photos of your own, and you’ll learn how to use them to build a website that parents can’t forget.

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