Power Your Website With Photos
What is your most powerful tool for attracting new students?
Is it word-of-mouth?
An incentive program for referrals?
Potentially, the most powerful tool at your disposal is your studio website.
In this post, I’ll show you one of the most important steps in making sure your website is attracting students for you.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
-I’ll show you how photos can immediately engage a parent and help them see their child in your studio.
-I’ll also show you how to get those great photos for your website.
A Tale of Two Websites
Imagine that you are a parent who is interested in piano lessons for your third grader. You’ve heard good things about two local piano studios, so you look them up online.
You arrive at the first studio website. There’s a small picture of a piano teacher, along with a description of the studio and the teaching philosophy. On another page you find several photos from a recital in 2014.
You aren’t sure what the first step is, so you look around the website until you find an email address listed in the upper corner of one page. It’s not clickable, so you decide to come back later when you have time to copy and paste it and then write the teacher an email.
Next, you visit the second studio website. You are greeted by a large, full-color image of kids laughing while playing the piano, and a brief welcoming paragraph.
You scroll down the page and see three clickable options that will take you to programs for preschool, grade school, or adult students.
This website is clear, concise, and engages you immediately. You can easily imagine your third grader playing the piano with those laughing kids - and having a great time.
You are ready to contact the teacher, so you click on the big button that says “Learn more” right in the middle of the page.
By the end of the day, you’ve scheduled a trial lesson with the second teacher and are excited to meet her.
You haven’t emailed the first teacher.
You are very busy. Running a studio is a full-time job and, since you’re both teacher and business owner, you often work long hours.
Your website requires a lot of precious time to build and maintain, and it’s a challenge to keep it up-to-date.
How can you maximize the impact that your website has for your studio growth? How can you be sure that you have that second website visited by the parent mentioned above?
Since having a great website does require an investment, let’s make sure that your time is spent where it counts.
Photos Trigger Our Imagination
This is a photographer in my area (her family is part of my studio). I absolutely love the image on her home page, and how the clean text works perfectly with the image. Every time I visit her website, I want to explore it.
More importantly, I immediately want the experience that a beautiful website promises.
As music teachers, we offer a meaningful, joyful experience for children. Our websites need to clearly reflect that to parents.
When you use large, beautiful photos on your website, you are capturing the imagination of the parents by showing them the experience that their child will have in your studio.
A parent who is able to picture their child having a positive, affirming experience while learning to play the piano in our studio will be motivated to reach out to us. The images on your website will spark the imagination of that parent.
How to Get Great Photos
Let’s talk about how to get great images for your website.
My favorite way to do this is to work with a talented studio parent. Talk to one who owns a real camera (not just an iPhone), and arrange for them to visit several different classes.
Hire them (if they’re a professional photographer), barter with them, give them a nice gift card if they refuse payment, give them credit for the photos (if they’d like credit). Treat them well!
Be specific about what kind of photos you want, and ask them to take a bunch.
Aim for as much natural light as possible. Colors pop best in natural light.
Ask your photographer to take primarily landscape photos, rather than portrait photos. Landscape (horizontal) photos tend to work better on a website than portrait (vertical) photos.
The very best photos you can get are of you and your students making music together.
Always Get Permission:
Be sure to get permission from parents prior to using photos of students online. It’s important to respect parents’ wishes in regard to their children’s privacy.
I typically email photos to parents prior to posting, asking for permission to use them online. Parents are usually happy to allow me to use photos, as long as I don’t use student or family names.
Getting high-quality photos for your studio website takes time and energy. However, good photos make a huge difference in how well your website performs for you.
If you’re willing to invest in your website, you’ll start to see a big difference in the power that your website has to help grow your studio.
What’s your favorite website to visit, and why?
If you’ve used large pictures on your website, what difference have you seen them make for you?
Do you have any questions about using images on your website?
I’d love to hear from you.