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.
This series features 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.
Let’s think through the pros and cons of having a studio blog:
Pros of having a studio blog
→ A blog is a one-stop shop for where you can post all information pertaining to your audience, whether it’s your current students, potential clients or other piano teachers.
→ A blog can serve as your creative hub. If you enjoy composing or arranging music or creating teaching resources or games, a blog would be a great spot to organize and share your creations.
→ You can monetize a blog by selling products, advertising or earning commission by recommending products.
→ It’s an easy way to show potential clients the scope of what you have to offer and allows them to get to know your through your writing and pictures. (Although it’s not the only way to do this!)
→ Blogs are very user-friendly and easy to update. You have complete control over how things look and you aren’t subject to algorithm changes that affect social media channels.
Cons of having a studio blog
→ A blog can seem out of date and irrelevant very quickly if the author isn’t actively updating it. A lot of work can go to waste if you don’t stay on top of it. Being consisting is a must!
→ It’s hard to get eyeballs on a blog. People are already looking at social media sites, so if you choose to be active on social media, you’ll have a natural audience.
However, people have to know to visit your blog independently, or they have to be enticed to click over with compelling headlines and content. While clicking a link and visiting a site away from social media really only takes a matter of seconds, most people aren’t willing to do it.
→ The standard of blogging has raised significantly over the years. 10-15 years ago, blogs were very informal and conversational. They were intended to be an open journal and there were the easiest way to share pictures and let people take a peek inside of your life or your studio.
These days, many blogs are treated as a business. They are often run by a team of people. The quality of the aesthetics, content and message of many blogs are very well executed. It’s hard to compete with this caliber of work unless you’re all in.
So, blog or no blog?
Let’s circle around to our original question: Should you have a studio blog?
My answer would be to skip it if you’re considering blogging strictly to communicate with your studio. As I mentioned earlier, going straight to people’s inbox with no fluff has been the most reliable means of communication for me.
I am able to give potential clients an adequate snapshot of how my studio operates through the use of pictures on my studio website and through a consistent social media presence.
However, if you’re feeling a nudge to start blogging, here are some things to ask yourself:
Do you tell good stories through pictures and a few words? If yes, Instagram is probably best suited for you.
Do you like to find all of the most clever videos, memes, cartoons and quotes from the Internet and share them with people to make them laugh or brighten their day? In this case, stick with a Facebook page.
Do you envision yourself sharing little nuggets of your own wisdom, funny happenings from your daily life, or helpful advice? These topics are probably best suited for people who already know you, your personality and your situation. Sharing them with your Facebook friends and family would probably get them to the right audience.
All of these types of content that we just listed were once best suited for a blog, but that is not the case today.
However, you might think about starting a blog:
→ If you are thinking about expanding your teaching business by selling a product or your ideas. (Ebooks, online courses, compositions, arrangements, teaching tools and lesson plans are all highly sought out resources.)
→ If you have very unique approach to teaching that you would like to share with others.
→ If you hold special credentials or knowledge or if you have a mission to education people about a certain topic.
→ If you want to wear the hats of a graphic designer, an author, a technical guru, a creative, a marketing specialist and more, all at the same time.
If this type of work sounds intriguing to you, then blogging might be what you’re looking for. Blogging is definitely the type of thing where you have to put in a lot of upfront work before you see any payoff. You have to keep your eye on the prize and constantly remind yourself of your personal vision and motivation for blogging.
And, ideally with blogging, you’ll want to ignore your friends and family. This might come as a surprise to you because you can probably think of specific people in your circle who would benefit from your blogging. But, the most successful blog will attract the right people to it. You want people to read your blog who are looking for what you have to offer.
You don’t want to be writing to your mom, your best friend, or even to that one super engaged studio parent. You can maintain all of those relationships away from a blog. A blog has the power to reach anyone in the world and your focus should be to get your information in to hands of people who need it and want it the most, not just the supportive people in your life.
Keep in mind: maintaining a blog is a huge commitment and a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you’re ready to start a blog, be sure to have a clear vision of what you have to offer and do your research for the best ways to start and run a blog (start with this helpful post).
If not, stick with emailing and social media.
And, whatever you choose to use, have fun with it!
Do you have a question for Megan? Thoughts about blogging or social media? Please share below!
Megan has created an early childhood music curriculum, “Teach Preschool Music,” where she mentors teachers as they gain confidence in working with their littlest musicians. Megan loves using technology to reach everyone who wants to learn to play the piano. She’s created an online piano course just for adult beginners.
Megan is married to Brian and they have two kids, Sophie and Paul.