3 Steps to Building a Client-Centric Social Media Marketing Plan


Sara Campbell


MTNA Business Digest, Volume 1, Issue 3

April 2022


Overwhelmed with using social media to market your studio? You’re not alone. The social media world is constantly changing, and it can feel downright frustrating trying to keep up with the trends.

Spoiler alert: This article isn’t about the newest, latest or greatest social media trends.

Those trends might give you a boost here and there, and they certainly can be useful when you already have an established social media presence. However, if you’re just dipping your toes into social media, or if you’ve been struggling to gain traction, I implore you to read the rest of this article.

Let’s set aside trends and focus on what’s really important: connecting with current and potential clients so that running your studio’s social media is well worth the effort. It’s time to have a discussion about the foundation of good marketing.

Good marketing is about establishing trust with potential clients. One of the simplest and most effective ways to do this is to focus on client-centric marketing.

Before you can gain their trust, potential clients need to know who you are, who you serve and how you serve them. They want to know about the transformations clients experience when they join your studio. That’s where social media comes into play. Used wisely, social media platforms can give us endless opportunities to increase what social media experts call “KLT” for our businesses.

What does that mean? Here’s a quick-n-dirty break down:

  • People have to know you in order to like you.
  • People have to like you in order to trust you.
  • People have to trust you in order to work with you.

With this simple explanation in mind, let’s examine how we can use client-centric marketing to increase your studio’s KLT so when a client is ready to enroll in lessons, they think of your business first.


Tip #1: Make it Easy to Find You

When a potential client searches for “___ lessons near me” or tries to look up info about your studio, it should be easy for them to find you. Let’s look at three scenarios where clients are searching for music teachers:

  • Scenario #1: A parent uses Google to for “violin lessons in Your Hometown, USA”
  • Scenario #2: A student, having heard of your studio through a friend, searches for your studio name on a popular social media platform.
  • Scenario #3: Another parent heads to a social media forum and asks the question “Who do you recommend for piano lessons in the ____ area?”

In all three scenarios, having social media business accounts can be extremely useful. Every social page or account is another “touch point” where clients can learn about you. The more touch points you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to show up in results.

Before we proceed, let’s make one thing very clear.

You don’t need to use all the social media platforms out there.

At the risk of “shoulding” all over the place, I’ll take it a step further. You probably shouldn’t use all of them. Why? First, it can be time consuming to run lots of business accounts with consistency. Second, not every platform has your ideal clients on it. This second point brings up an important question.

Which platforms should you use?

The answer is: use social media platforms where your ideal clients hang out. Not sure where those places are? Ask your current clients what platforms they use and where they go to find information about businesses. This will give you a good starting point.

If you’re opening a new studio and/or if you don’t have clients you can ask, here’s a bit of general advice:
Most K–12-serving studios can find parents hanging out on Facebook and Instagram. Another place that’s useful, although not technically social media, is Google My Business. If you’re trying to attract teens, you might want to spend more time on Instagram and TikTok. Looking for professionals? Try LinkedIn. There are so many possibilities out there.

Once you’ve set up your social media business accounts, it’s time to start developing your marketing strategies.


Tip #2: Focus on Client-Centric Content

If you’re using business accounts to run your studio’s social media, you’ve probably been encouraged to “boost” posts or create ads. Paid advertising can be useful to increase post views and drive customer acquisition, but without a good marketing plan in place, ads are often a waste of time and money.

As a studio owner, marketing coach, and someone who has run social media for multiple businesses, here’s what I’ve learned:
Marketing isn’t about crafting the perfect copy or spending lots of money on ads. It’s about knowing how to connect with the needs, desires and hearts of your clients.

The key here is to create engaging, client-centric content. To illustrate this point, let’s examine two scenarios:

  • Teacher A posts regularly on their social media accounts. The majority of their content focuses on promoting studio offerings: directing clients to check out their website, call for information or send a DM to get started. When a potential client looks at Teacher A’s page, all they see are repetitive messages of “sign up for this thing.”

Because Teacher A’s posts are primarily focused on sales, their content rarely gets engagement (comments, likes, etc). This low interaction tells the platform that people aren’t interested in the content and Teacher A’s posts get very little organic traction and are pushed to the bottom of the newsfeed.

The result: Teacher A thinks that “marketing” on social media doesn’t work.

  • Teacher B also posts regularly on their social media accounts. Instead of sales posts, they focus on creating engaging content. They celebrate current clients, show what’s happening behind the scenes, and tell stories that demonstrate their passion for teaching.

Because Teacher B’s marketing is client-centric, their posts get engagement from followers (and friends of followers), which signals to the platform that people are interested in seeing their content. Subsequently, their content gets more organic traction and ranks higher in the newsfeed.

The result: Teacher B is able to connect with current clients and gain the KLT of potential clients. They get inquiries from followers and are able to convert some of those into paying clients.

The takeaway here? If we focus solely on content that promotes our products and services, we miss out on the opportunity that social media provides us: to connect with other human beings.

When you find yourself wondering what you should post, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What would make my current clients feel appreciated?
  • How can I help potential clients see the magic that happens inside our studio?
  • What do my ideal clients need to believe about themselves, me, and the process before they start their own musical journey?

By focusing on both current and potential clients, it becomes easier to create content that will resonate with your entire audience.


Tip #3: Create Trust Through Social Proof

Social proof is important. Consumers use it to help determine whether or not they want to try out a new business. Whenever I hear about a restaurant I haven’t tried, I immediately hop on Facebook to see what other people are saying about their food and service.

Your potential clients are doing the same exact thing.

When a prospective client asks about piano lessons on social forums, we want them to be blown away by the great things people say about working with your studio. When they look up your studio on Facebook or Google, we want them to see positive reviews.

Sounds simple, right? For some teachers, yes. They have testimonial processes in place and are comfortable asking clients to leave reviews on their socials, website, etc. To those teachers, I say: Keep asking for those testimonials and share them regularly!

For others? This might not feel so simple.

Over the years I’ve worked with many teachers who struggle with asking for client feedback. There’s a level of vulnerability involved in asking for reviews, and our imposter-syndrome-laden brains love to tell us false narratives about why we shouldn’t ask people to say nice things about us. (Zero judgement here. I sometimes struggle with this too.)

Without diving deep into belief/mindset work, I want you to know two very important things:

  1. Social proof isn’t just about 5 star reviews or glowing testimonials.
  2. Your clients love working with you.

That second point is crucial to remember, so I’ll say it again: your clients love working with you, and they probably share things with you that demonstrate this point on a regular basis.

“I got cast in the musical! Thanks for all your help!!!”

“Mia played the piano for grandma today. It was so lovely!”

“Here’s a video of Greta playing in the talent show! We’re so proud of her!”

Positive notes, texts, emails, videos, and photos from clients are what marketers refer to as user generated content. Messages like these can be a powerful form of social proof IF we can do the brave thing and ask to share their words.

The next time a client sends you a little note of thanks, consider this your formal invitation to do that brave thing. Thank them for their kind words and ask if you can share them on your socials.

(Trust me. You’ll be glad you did, because they’re gonna say yes.)

Remember: your current clients are your most powerful marketing champions. No one in the world is more qualified to create content that appeals to prospective clients. After all, they were prospective clients until they started working with you!


Final Thoughts on Client-Centric Marketing

If you’re not accustomed to sharing client-centric content, this type of KLT-based marketing might feel strange at first. Getting comfortable telling your story, the stories of your clients, and allowing yourself to lean into what makes your studio unique, these things take practice!

Here’s a bit of parting advice: Make it easy for yourself to curate client-centric content. Have your phone handy and keep a little notebook nearby during lesson times.

When you experience those magic moments (big or small!), take the time to celebrate with your client and document the moment. The material you gather will not only be valuable from a marketing perspective, but also from a customer relationship perspective.

Ultimately, my hope for you is that you’ll experience what my client Ella did when she started creating client-centric marketing—that your relationship with social media will become more of a joyful expression of what you love rather than a source of stress.


Karen Thickstun

 

Sara Campbell is a business strategist, marketing and mindset coach for music studio owners and online experts. She’s helped hundreds of teachers create branding, business, marketing, and social media strategies.

 

 

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