Why YouTube Can Help Grow Your Business

Has the internet changed the way we all teach? I certainly think so. In 2019, there is a growing hungry for visual media. Many teachers are taking their cause to the internet and teaching via the medium of video. This could be pre-recorded lessons or live on Skype.

The reason for this is that the internet simply allows us to connect with more people. If you teach face to face, you’re somewhat limited geographically, but if you teach on Skype, location is no longer a factor. If you are a good teacher, you could teach from LA to Sri Lanka and everything in between, time zones permitting of course.

Many musicians are looking to places like Youtube to host their content to educate everyone, and the great news for the consumer is this is FREE. Video allows people to consume media anywhere, anytime and with the fast-paced ways of the modern world, this seems to be getting more and more normal.

The benefits as I said are that you can connect the whole world to your cause with relative ease and with social media as the biggest marketing tool, you could reach an audience of millions armed with only your knowledge and a camera.

Making this content is not always easy, it does often require good quality equipment that can capture high quality video and audio and the ability to manipulate these recordings after they are made to ensure they are polished and ready to go.

If you are just getting started with the idea of video lessons, a good quality HD camera and a small home recording set up will give you the ability to do this. Audio and video editing is an art form in it’s own right so there is certainly going to be some additional learning for you as you get into this process. There are plenty of resources out there to help you become a fantastic editor and have your videos looking polished and professional in no time.

We are excited to be working with the wonderful Toby Huelin as our Piano Teacher in York. Tony is a fantastic teacher, offering custom tailored piano lessons across all genres to his students. He is an incredibly versatile teacher and can play anything from Classical to Jazz as well as being as holding experience teaching in schools at KS2 through to A-Level in Music and Music Technology.

He has also taught music at Victoria College, Jersey College for Girls, Jersey Academy of Music and Blackheath Conservatoire. Toby also holds a First Class Degree in Music from the University of Oxford and a Masters in Composition at Distinction level from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Outside of teaching, Toby works as a composer for theatre, film and concert halls. His music has been heard in venues such as Maida Vale, Wigmore Hall, The Barbican and Abbey Road and performed by ensembles such as The BBC Singers, EXAUDI, The Cavaleri Quartet and more.

Posted under mgrmusic.com

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 26, 2019


The Power of Partnerships

We at mgrmusic.com are a corporate partner of ISM, the Incorporated Society for Musicians. The ISM provides a huge range of benefits for working musicians as well as some fantastic opportunities for networking, which is a topic we’ve discussed a few times in these blogs.

ISM recently held a Drinks Event which allowed many of their corporate partners and members to meet up and network. It was fantastic for some of the mgrmusic.com team to be able to attend this event and network so many of the other companies that provide services into the music education sector.

Through this, we were able to speak to a bunch of different companies and individuals at the event which I believe helps strengthen those business to business relationships. You may recall that I mentioned the importance of relationships between two businesses lies with the people behind the business. These sorts of events allow those face to face relationships to flourish behind the business.

As a corporate partner, we have a good relationship with ISM but I think it is essential to meet up regularly and spend time getting to know the people behind the service. As well as catching up with various members of the ISM family including their Head of Marketing, the Creative Content/Publications Manager, the Membership Officer, the team spent time building new relationships with business that we might form new partnerships with moving forward. This might give us further opportunities to provide content to some of the leading music education services in the UK.

These events allow your business network to grow and also increase the potentials for any opportunities that may arise. Sometimes you don’t know a partnership is even on the table until you speak face to face with someone. I often find that even in informal discussions about business you often find that there are ways for us all to help each other and to continually grow where we are in the business world. So if you ever have the opportunity to get out of the office and network with other businesses that operate in your sector then it is well worth making sure that your business is represented there!

I am thrilled to share with you that we have recently taken on a fantastic Singing Teacher in Whitney named Marlin Shakaj. Merlin comes to us as an experience singing teacher, but she also has background in teaching flute.

Merlin offers some very exciting and enjoyable lessons and her students can’t speak high enough of her teaching ability. She is a graduate of the Tirana University of Arts where she holds a Bachelor of Music and she also played with the National Radio and Television Orchestra of Albania as their principal flutist.

She has worked alongside some very highly regarded conductors such as Anna Volchenko, Uwe Theimer, Mateusz Moleda and Noorman Widjaja as part of her work with the orchestra.

Posted under Building Partnerships

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 19, 2019


How to Use Social Media to Advertise Your Business

It’s hard advertising your services online. There are so many other great businesses and competition is tight. Let’s take a minute to think about how social media could be a huge game changer for so many of us when it comes to getting our business out there.

So, the chances are you probably spent some time each day scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media platform and in amongst the baby pictures from friends and cat memes, occasionally you might come across an advertisement of some sort. Possibly from a local business that are sponsoring posts.

Right now, social media plays a huge role in not only how we consume content, but how we visualise business. That business advert you are seeing is a carefully targeted advert. You are seeing it because either your phones tracking cookies are linking it to content you’ve viewed online or because the advertiser has chosen someone of your demographic to see the post.

You can apply this to your own marketing strategy right away with a few small clicks. Start off by writing a list of who your business or product appeals to. Then, check out Facebooks Ad Manager. You can create tailor made adverts to push your business post or video into the news feeds of the people who fit your demographic.

You can set a daily budget (Which by the way is very under-priced for the exposure you receive) and set your radius and let the systems algorithm do the rest. You are now advertising your business on the worlds largest directory of potential customers.

Don’t have any budget? Not to worry. The great thing about Facebook (And other social media platforms) algorithms is that they recognise when content is popular and make it appear in more newsfeeds. The more it’s seen and interacted with, the further it goes. Get your friends and family to share the post on their own pages. This means connections they have that you do not have will see the post and it will help the organic reach grow which increases the chances even further of it being seen.

Social Media is yours for the taking. Make yourself seen.

Posted under Advertising Online

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 17, 2019


2Factor Authentication – Why Security Should be Central to Your Business

Security seems to be a recurring theme in these posts but once again here I am to discuss the importance of security to a business website. Over the last month I’ve been making a conscious effort to improve the security on the mgrmusic.com platform to ensure that business can run smoothly and safely for myself, all the teachers we work with and any students that use our platform.

With the increase of hacking attacks and viruses that you hear about targeting websites and their plugins, I’ve decided to upgrade all the security systems that keep things safe for us.

The biggest change that I have implemented is the inclusion of 2 Factor Authentication on all our website and email log ins. For anyone unfamiliar with the term 2 Factor Authentication (2FA for short), this is essentially an addition step to logging in that involves a second stage of verification. Many websites already use this as an option such as Facebook who will prompt you to enter a code displayed on your mobile when logging into an unrecognised device.

I have decided to go with Google Authenticator for the same purpose so when myself, other employees and teachers log into our platform, they are prompted to enter their email and password as usual, before being prompted to open an app on their phone to obtain a security code, this is the second factor of the authentication. This code allows the security software to know the person logging in is indeed the person who it should be.

So many big businesses get hacked on a regular basis and the impacts range from a temporary loss of service to a long-term loss of income. My goal as a business owner is to ensure that all the people that use my service never have to deal with the outcome of such attacks. I want my platform to be secure and reliable for all that use it.

We have recently welcomed the incredible Hannah Rose to the mgrmusic.com family under the Piano Lessons Manchester page. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Music from the Royal Northern College of Music and specialises in pop and classical music. She has an unbeatable work ethic, teaching at two music institutions in her local area as well as running her own private tuition business.

She works over graded curriculum with students and also provides lessons based around their own musical tastes and interests to ensure very dynamic learning. We look forward to seeing Hannah’s business grow and we are thrilled to have her onboard with us.

Posted under mgrmusic.com

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 13, 2019


Business Partnerships

Let’s talk about networking and the power of community in business. Every business you see has links with other companies. There intertwining threads through business are the veins that carry the company’s lifeblood. Can one company exist without another? Sure, but it does help to have connections.

Building relationships in business is a powerful thing and it should never be overlooked. When it comes to relationship business it’s often worth remembering that you aren’t building a relationship with the company as an entity, but with an individual (or individuals) within that business. These relationships should be viewed almost like your friendship circles. The people within the companies that you have relationships with as essentially your “business friends”.

It’s these close-knit relationships that allow you to maintain a great working relationship.

Never underestimate the importance of face-to-face networking. This is often a great way to get started with building relationships. I find that cold-email or cold-calling a company that you want to work with is often met with barriers, because to that company, you don’t have a face.

If you really want to network and get to know the people behind companies, get out there and meet them. Whatever your industry, check online and on social media for any networking events. It is often possible to see which companies will be attending, and sometimes even the person at that company.

If you feel you have a relationship worth building and you can offer them something in return, you can make it your aim to meet the person on the other end of that potential partnership. Things will blossom more in a face-to-face setting.

The digital age allows us to stay in touch electronically, and any face to face relationships that you build on, you can follow up with emails shortly after to keep that contact up. What is your business and what sort of companies do you think you would be able to form a beneficial partnership with? Make a list and get out there and shake some hands.

Now for a business update, we’ve recently taken on a new teacher in Liverpool heading up our Piano Lessons Liverpool website. Her name is Sophie Leaver and she is a multi-instrumentalist who graduated with a First in Music from the University of Liverpool. She also holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance and Pedagogy which she obtain in September 2018.

Sophie is an accomplished pianist, singer and guitar player and has performed at a range of festivals, sporting events and even on the ITV series Victoria.

Sophie started teaching in 2017 in New York before moving her teaching business to the Merseyside area of Liverpool.

Posted under mgrmusic.com

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 3, 2019


Continuous Systems Improvement

Off the back of me discussing some of the lessons learned from the recent spam attack, I took the opportunity to make some important updates and implemented some new procedures to increase security and also improve a lot of other administrative processes along the way.

One thing that I’ve recently improved is the websites database systems. Due to the nature of the business, we receive a high volume of enquiries from potential students all around the UK. The unfortunate nature of dealing with high volume in a small business is that sometimes things could get missed, or as I’ve also seen, technology plays a part in the item not arriving with us even though the customer has submitted it.

I’ve made some back-end updates to the website which now provide a timestamp to all submitted entries. This means, even if an email physically does not arrive in our inbox, there will be a marker of this in the database. This means if a customer contacts us to say they got in touch but did not hear back, I can simply retrieve the entry from the database and deal with it right away. This saves us extra time and saves the customer from having to resubmit their request.

These increased records will improve our overall efficiency and also free up some all-important time to work on other aspects of the business too.

I have also made some important updates to our phone service which now provides each locational webpage with its own local phone number. This allows us to retrieve voicemails much faster and send them to the local teachers in a timelier manner. Previously the voicemails all collected in a central repository with no location indicator.

Quick business update, we’ve recently taken on a new singing teacher based in Newcastle that will be heading up our Singing Lessons Newcastle. We are so pleased to welcome Jay Hepple onboard to share his knowledge and experience with students.

Jay is not only a fantastic singing teacher, but he also performs up and down the UK on a regular basis with his band Groove Allstars at weddings and functions. You may also have heard him sing as part of SoulTown at one of the many Haven Holiday Parks around the country. He’s even sung on stage with Take That on their recent Greatest Hits Tour as part of their choir. Pretty cool huh?

Jay holds a 1stClass BA Honours in the Music Industry from the Academy of Music and Sound in Gateshead.

Posted under mgrmusic.com

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on September 3, 2019