Hey there, everybody, Daniel from Grow Your Music Studio.com. In this video I want to talk to you about how to allocate money for marketing in your studio. Now there’s such a thing as “good spend” and “bad spend”, we’ll call it that. There are expenses that are worth making and there are expenses that are not worth making. And I want to go through that. Now, here’s what’s prompting the story today. I was at a gathering of friends yesterday. There was quite a few people there. There was almost two dozen people at this gathering.
I was talking to this young guy and he’s kind of an acquaintance. And he has just started a business. And he’s talking about some expenses that he has coming up. But I began to ask about them and he had been proposed by a marketing company, a huge branding campaign and writing and all these things. And as I listened, I was kind of horrified because he’s this young guy, he’s just started his business, he doesn’t have a lot of customers yet. And what I heard was things that I heard early on when I was first starting out.
So whether you are a brand new studio owner or you’ve been in business for 20 years, whether you’re a small studio or large studio, what I want to talk about today. .. It’s so fresh in my mind. I just had to throw this camera up so I could do this video. But no matter how experienced you are or how long you’ve been in business, when I’m about ready to talk about is hugely important and even reminded me and kind of got me thinking about where I’m allocating marketing dollars to and where I am spending money.
So here’s the deal. I want to tell you three decisions that I had that are an example of a bad way to spend marketing dollars, okay? So number one: I had my website redesigned a number of years ago and I went to an SEO company. And this company that was specializing in SEO – if you don’t mind, it isn’t really that important. It is kind of a new attraction technique, okay? This company pitched this huge deal to me where they were going to, you know, make my piano studio website so visible. Everyone’s going to see this. And I asked them how I knew that would happen.
And what they said to me was that, “Well, you know, this is the technique we specialize in and if we do all of these things, it’s going to make your website be the most visible if someone types in the word “piano lessons” in your area.” And I asked him what the ongoing costs of it would be and exactly how many visitors I could expect. Now here’s the thing, they could tell me exactly how much it was going to cost, but they could not tell me what the outcome would be. They couldn’t tell me how to measure whether the strategy was working or not, other than general platitudes. Okay, so that’s the first one. The second one: Another time I went to a designer and asked them to help me rebrand my studio. And this designer did all this work. He was even going to bring in other people to work on the job. And once again I asked him, “How many sales is this going to contribute? How am I going to know if this is working or not?” And he said, “Well, you know, branding is just the thing you have to do. People have to know who you are.
People have to know you’re out there. You’ve got to make a good impression when they see your site. You’ve got to look professional. This is how you’re going to make sales.” I say, “Yeah, but how will I be able to measure it?” He couldn’t tell me. Okay, you might see where this is going. Third: Many years ago, before I really got my digital advertising working for me, I actually contacted Google. Google themselves built me a Google Ads account. And they set me up with an ad specialist, and this ad specialist built my account for me for free. And we got to the end of it and we were going over the settings. He was explaining some things in the settings and I knew just enough to know that some of the settings there were going to really cost me a lot of money, but they weren’t going to have a big return. And I don’t think the guy was trying to scam me. I don’t think Google was out to do the worst for me. I think that the advice is probably true for most businesses. What he was trying to tell me I should do is true for most businesses, but it wouldn’t work for a business like ours.
And I kept insisting that I didn’t want to do this, that it was going to cost me literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars, and I wouldn’t see any sales. I wouldn’t see any return from the spend on the advertising. And know said to me? You’re going to love this. I said, “How do I know this is going to turn into customers or how do you know?” He says, “Just trust me. I know what I’m doing. I built a lot of accounts from people. Just trust me.” So here’s the thing, here’s how to waste $10,000 marketing your studio. Talk to people in marketing who are trying to sell you services, who can’t tell you exactly how you’re going to get sales, who can’t explain to you – down to the numbers – how you know whether the strategy is working or not. I see so many studio owners when it comes time to build a website, the first thing they say is, “Well, who can build me those beautiful websites?” Now, website builders …
Unless they’re focused on sales – which I found the majority of them aren’t – website builders are really good at building websites. They’re not good at making you sales. Logo designers are really good at building you logos. They’re not good at making you sales. Do you see where I’m going with this? This is how you waste a lot of money when you work with people in marketing who cannot tell you the exact pathway and cannot help you measure and cannot tell you – in the numbers – whether or not the strategy is working.
At best, they’re just, you know, recycling platitudes. They’re doing what they know how to do best. At worst, they’re out to get you, so to speak. Your worst fears have come true. What I found is most of the time people who are doing this, they have your best interest at heart, but what they’re really good at doing is building you a product. They’re not good at helping you make sales. And here’s the thing, okay? This is the lesson to learn from all this. And it leads into the lesson that I want to teach. And it’s this: In a business, cash flow is king. Unless something is directly contributing to your bottom line, it’s an expense and you have to be very careful with expenses. There’s all kinds of tools you can buy. There’s all kinds of ways that you can spend money. But unless it’s directly contributing to cash flow, it is an expense and it should be looked at with suspicion. So if they cannot tell you how it’s going to directly impact your cashflow, if they cannot tell you, if they cannot falsify their premise, if they can’t say, “Here’s how you know it isn’t working,” you can’t …
You have to go into that with your eyes open. It might not be the best strategy to be following. Now, one extra tip tip here, okay? And this is a little to the point. If you decide to DIY your marketing, if you’re doing your marketing and YOU can’t explain how the marketing technique is going to help you, you are the problem. You might be a danger to yourself, okay? And I love to read the comments right below. Have you done some sort of marketing technique? I know it’s a little bit exposing but hey, I’m exposing some bad things I’ve done here too. Have you gone and bought Facebook ads and see no students from it. And then said, “Oh, Facebook ads must not work.” Or you know, if you’re being honest, “Oh, well I guess I don’t know how to make Facebook ads work.” Well, the reason is you didn’t know how to measure whether they’re gonna work and if you had known how to measure, you probably would’ve gotten a result from it.
If you had known the metrics to be looking for, if you’d known how to know whether beforehand it was going to work or not, you probably would’ve gotten the result you were looking for. And the same thing goes with these contractors I was telling you about a little bit earlier. Okay, so here is the number one, what I’ll call “expense” that you should have in your studio business. The number one “expense”, alright? And it’s really not an expense because in reality, what you should be doing, the way you should be thinking about marketing is not, “Oh, I’m going to trade some money for a website,” or “Oh, I’m going to trade some money for a logo,” or “Oh, I’m going to trade some money for a consultant to come in and tell me what I should do.” And I mean, right there exactly what Richard just said: “I know the person that spent a thousand bucks and they got likes, but no conversions.” Okay, here’s the number one expense you should have, and it goes right along with what Richard just said there.
You don’t buy a website, you don’t buy marketing, you don’t buy ads. You buy new customers. If your marketing is working really, really well, for every dollar that you spend in an ad, you should be making 5 or 10 or 15 dollars back. And if you don’t know the mechanism by which you can do that, then you shouldn’t be investing in that marketing medium. You shouldn’t just be buying a website because “studios should have a website”. The person who’s building that website or you should understand the exact metrics that turns a visitor to your site. They should know the exact process that turns a visitor to your site into a customer. If they can’t explain that process or they can’t explain exactly how many visitors should be coming to your site or how many visitors that come to your site should be turning into an actual customer, I would be very leery. I would be very careful. I’d be very cautious. So don’t buy marketing. Don’t buy advertising.
Buy new customers. That’s the only expense you should have in your business. This is how a business grows. This is how a business scales: when you take money and you turn it into new customers. What I can tell you is that all the ads that I ran on Google last year cost me $1,700 and over the course of the year, the amount of money that I made back from the students that I got from Google was well over $10,000. Same thing with Facebook ads. Same thing from other ad mediums. I’m taking money that I have and turning it into actual new customers, not buying a website. Any purchase that I make in the marketing department has to be backed up by some sort of metric that lets me know whether or not I’m wasting my money. So that is the thought for the day.
I’m very passionate about this. I was just talking about this guy, and I was kind of getting upset as I was talking to this guy at this cook out that we had yesterday, because he’s looking at working with a marketing company and they’re talking about branding and they’re talking about logos and they’re talking about having a beautiful website. And when I asked him, “Well, what’d they tell you about the kinds of sales you could expect?” Zip, not a word had been said by that company. He didn’t even know what I was talking about.
And so I just got done writing him an email letting him know that he needs to be very, very careful. And I thought I’d share this with you all. So, hope this has been helpful. If you like this video, please share it, like. I’d love to hear a comment down below. And I will see you in the next video from Grow Your Music Studio. Talk to you later. Bye, bye. .
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