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
Your Website, Your Home
When a parent arrives at your website, the first thing they see is your homepage. Your homepage is your website's front door.
Your homepage is where parents form their first impression of you. It's where they decide whether or not they want to learn more about your studio.
It's vital that your homepage is warm, welcoming, and engaging.
From your homepage, parents will look for more information about your studio. Where do you want them to travel next?
This is where you want to put some careful thought into a parent’s path through your website. Often we approach our studio websites with a body of information that we want parents to know about our studios - programs, policies, enrollment procedure - and we lay it out in a way that makes sense to us.
But parents may not know anything about music lessons when they arrive at your website. It’s up to you to make their entire enrollment experience - from first click to first lesson - one that's easy to understand.
When organizing your content into pages, think about your studio from a parent’s perspective:
Once they have seen your "front door," a parent will probably want to know more about what lessons are like. They may have never seen a music lesson before, so lay it out clearly and include a great photo or two of your lessons. Let parents "see" the energy of a music lesson in your studio as they read about it.
Next, a parent might be curious about your teaching philosophy and about you as the teacher. They might want to get to know you a bit before reaching out to you. Leading them next to your teaching philosophy and bio will give them the confidence that you are professional and trustworthy.
After they’ve learned about your studio, they will probably have questions. You can answer these (and save yourself some time spent emailing back and forth) on an FAQ page or in a page about your policies.
Finally, make it very, VERY easy for them to contact you - or even to enroll right there on your website!
I wrote about how your studio website is like a house on Leila’s blog earlier this spring; it will help you create a welcoming experience for parents for your website.
Leila’s Apartment Building
When Leila and I spoke about the new website she wanted, she laughingly said that her website was more like an apartment building than a house. And it’s true!
Leila maintains a private studio, is part of the 2-person team behind 88 Creative Keys, and keeps a separate website for her blogging and online teaching resources. Her main website is a central hub for information. Both teachers and families visit her website regularly, so it needs to be an easy, quick process for each visitor to locate relevant information.
When planning Leila's new website, we started by mapping out where each of Leila’s website visitors might need to go. We helped Leila put names on each of the different hats that she wears, and then designed her navigation bar - and homepage - around those hats.
There are two main ways to find information about what Leila offers:
1. By clicking on the drop-down menu in the navigation bar
2. By scrolling down on her homepage.
It’s a great idea to give your website visitors two ways to find the information they need. This ensures that they have a good experience on your website and don't spend time hunting for a piece of key information.
Take a few minutes and look around Leila’s new website. Is it easy to find the information you might need?
Leila just wrote about her new website, so you can read her thoughts about the experience and how it helped her. She also shares helpful information about getting a photographer to take high-quality photos for her website (great photos = great website!).
Want a Website as Clear as Leila's?
When you arrive at your own homepage, do you see a clear path for parents to travel through your website?
Does your website layout lead parents to contact you and enroll in lessons?
A great way to test out your website is to share it with a friend who has no music lesson experience. After they’ve had a few minutes to look around, ask them if they understand how lessons work in your studio. Ask if they have any questions.
Take notes! Then see if there’s a way to re-organize your pages so that parents are easily able to find the information they need.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about creating a clear website path.