Lately I have become obsessed with social media and how I can use it to better and more efficiently communicate with my clients. In my case, I run a music school in Brooklyn, NY (www.BrooklynMusicFactory.com) and so I am in regular communication with about 60 registered students and parents. Let’s review briefly the traditional ways of communicating:
- In person. Networking by being where your clients like to be; coffee shops, clubs, playgrounds, school functions, conventions, etc.
- By phone. Calling regular clients to ‘check in’ or cold calling potential customers.
- Snail Mail. Sending out cards or even hand written notes announcing events, thanking loyal customers, reminding new and old customers of what you offer.
- Email. Essentially the same use as snail mail, with the additional benefit of attaching media files.
The question we, as studio or school owners need to ask ourselves is how effective are these forms of networking and communicating. Are they resulting in an expanded network that is blossoming into a larger client base? Or as my brother, a studio owner in Nashville, TN, pointed out, often it feels as though he keeps running into the same people at every party he throws (his main form of promotion/networking). His client base is not expanding through the channels that seemed to work only a few years ago. The traditional forms of networking can and still do work for some (my connection to and participation in my children’s school is still the strongest networking tool I have), but times are changing and our clients are turning elsewhere for advice and guidance when choosing teachers, studios, schools, etc.