This is a quick thought for you piano teachers out there. I see a lot of piano teacher websites and almost all of them make the same mistake. (At least I think it is a mistake.)
Right there in the main navigation of the site, I almost always see a link for something called “Studio Policies.” Because I am a glutton for punishment, I actually always go to those pages. Upon arrival, one of two things are guaranteed to happen: either I will get offended or I will fall asleep.
Web sites are primarily supposed to help teachers get new students which makes me ask a basic question. Why do so many teachers try to scare away new students on their web site? Those policies teachers publish online about payments, absences and such are not helpful in marketing. They work in quite the opposite way in fact.
If you set up a table perhaps at a school convention and tried to enroll new students, would you open the conversation with a boring list of policies? Of course not! You would sell yourself first and only bring up policies when the parent reached for their checkbook.
Think about your website in the same way. It is your first interaction with potential students. Keep everything positive. There is a time and place for those policies but not in that first introduction. If you have to have them on your website, don’t link to them from the front page.
And while I am talking about studio policies, read through yours from the perspective of a potential parent. How do they sound? Are they positive and polite or do they portray you as a inflexible, cold business person?
No, I am not a piano teacher really, but I am a parent of music students. I am speaking from that perspective as well as from my web marketing experience.
Yes, those policies are important. Yes, piano teachers are taken advantage of even when they have policies. But don’t beat your customers over the head with your policies.