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Creating a student focused culture online will look vastly different than the culture we create in brick & mortar studios on main street…
In person, we can post up pictures of our students performing, presenting, practicing, learning and demonstrating. There are images of recitals or gallery shows. Walking through your door makes it fairly easy for the students to see that they belong.
In the online space, we have to create that culture in a different way. There is no physical door and no physical walls to demonstrate our student focused culture.
The three places we can most easily showcase our student focused culture online is
- Social Media
- Inside our group programs, membership sites and courses
- Your main website</li>
On social media, we are able to showcase our students — we can show their successes, their artwork in virtual galleries or video clips performing the music they have been working on and we can use these platforms (Instagram most specifically) to create that feeling of belonging. Students can see what others are doing and see themselves doing the same thing.
Social media is a really important component of creating the student focused culture. It helps your students see that they are part of something bigger than themselves. This doesn’t come from posed images of your students, think outside the box — go live with a student, share tech bloopers and virtual concerts.
Next, inside or programs, let’s make sure to bring in real life examples and demonstrations with past students (or current students) rather than doing every demo yourself. Involve your students in the process and they will know that you value them. Allowing the opportunity for our students to become friends (or at least become friendly with one another.)
Fostering this sense of student focus and camaraderie can be built right into your program. Including forums and peer feedback, ice breakers and peer motivation all work towards this goal. And it helps your students feel supported and that their thoughts, opinions and work isn’t taken out of context but contributes to the studio culture.
We want our students to feel that they are truly connected. We want them to feel good and excited for every live session and every time they return to the computer to learn from our recorded content and interact and engage with their peers.
The final place we want to highlight our student focused culture is on your studio’s website. Here we want to do more than use stock photos and text. We want to create an immersive experience so that our students can truly picture themselves having success working with our online studio.
Much like someone can understand how a brick & mortar studio functions and who it caters to when they walk through the door, that’s the same subconscious feeling we need to evoke through our website. Use colors that resonate with your students, feature student stories and testimonials prominently, cater the messaging to their core motivations.
That’s all about the visuals and personality of the studio — making it welcoming to the type of student you want to work with. Now, we also want to put the student’s dreams and aspirations at the forefront of our culture.
This goes beyond just “you” as the studio owner and online instructor. Because in the online space, our student pool is global, and our students have the option of learning from any instructor anywhere in the world. Neither side is confined to location, time of day or distance.
What is your studio’s mission? Is it student focused? (hint, it should be!)
This needs to be represented visually — with colors that resonate with them, with language that pulls them in and so on.
Everything comes back to the student
It doesn’t matter who you are if you can’t showcase to your students what they are going to get out of working with you