How my company, Sales Maven, helped my music store beat the odds during the pandemicThe entrepreneur, Lisa Canning

The familiar story of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop

I hold a special place in my heart for one of my life’s greatest achievements, Lisa’s Clarinet Shop. It is now 40 years old, but it was early on that I realized that my store took on a greater meaning than a regular mom and pop shop’s outer shell for myself and for the industry. The fact is, the shop also accounts for a community of like-minded individuals that continues to grow.

Even something as established as my business couldn’t avoid the unprecedented challenges brought by the pandemic, however. Just like other businesses from almost every industry, we were hit hard by the closures and the call for social distancing. So, while we were able to function somewhat at limited capacity, it was far from business as usual for us.

The storyline of all small businesses as the pandemic started is unfortunately similar. Broadly speaking, we’re all going through some really tough times, which is why I use the term ‘familiar’ to describe my story. Still, there is one fundamental difference between the story of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, and the stories of other businesses that are still struggling to stay afloat or have closed their doors completely. This is the fact that we have made it!

Lisa’s Clarinet Shop has managed to turn things around and, today, we are opening the next amazing chapter of our story. It was all thanks to the amazing help my other company, Sales Maven, provided that my clarinet shop was able to maintain its footing in the business throughout the pandemic, which I’ll be discussing here.

Looking in our own backyard: The challenges in the music industry

When we were at our lowest point, we were groping for solutions. It became practical for us to look in the right place, and this was in our own backyard. If we wanted to find the right solutions, we needed to understand the problems close to home.

Lisa’s Clarinet Shop has a steady client base of students who are still honing their musical craft. We were certainly concerned about them, seeing that the pandemic obviously made things very challenging to practice and learn. Also, it’s worth nothing that it could not be helped that our store was closely tied to shuttered venues which musicians frequented, based on our natural market.

With the coronavirus pandemic being rather difficult for music students to overcome, it caused a serious setback in their progress. They no longer had a conducive learning environment, the benefit of face-to-face instruction in the classroom, the comfort of having a teacher to guide them, and peers that made group learning possible.

At the height of the pandemic, music students were playing significantly less often than usual. Being away from other pupils has also left them feeling isolated and alone, which in turn has led to increased anxiety. More than this, music students who do not get the opportunity to play their instruments during the pandemic may find it difficult to get back into performing at a satisfactory level.

Meanwhile, the music industry has seen a crucial shift in the way that business has changed as a reaction to the pandemic. Physical sales of music, which still represents a significant part of the overall revenue, suffered a lot. The sales that is traditionally generated during live events and concerts basically became nonexistent as opportunities to safely host in public dried up.

There was a ray of hope, though. A lot of research has shown that there was an increase in online streaming subscriptions, which attests to the fact that people still couldn’t do without music as a form of entertainment. Studies have even gone as far as saying that with the pandemic forcing people to stay indoors more, music was seen to be a major factor in alleviating boredom – and the host of mental issues that come with it.

It’s no surprise that arts and culture have a critical role to play in the development of society and individuals. A lot of the successes in cultural development are linked to many other positive outcomes in life, and a recent study has shown that this intersects with related concerns in the arts trade and business.

The arts and cultural sector is still in danger of losing its audience, which would be a major blow to artists who rely on their income for survival. If the trend continues, then this may lead the country into an artistic drought with immeasurable losses in opportunities among both creators and consumers. At the very least, this tells us that the industry is crying out for a creative solution.

Content Marketing and SEO save the day

Content marketing is not just a liberal method of writing down words and expressing oneself on a whim. Businesses incorporate digital strategies to help put themselves out there, let the market know who they are and what they can do, and become more relatable to the community. Content marketing encompasses several elements by which you can reach out to your audiences, just like Lisa’s Clarinet Shop did with the help of Sales Maven.

Having a good web design with a user-friendly interface is one of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategy. With it, you’ll be able to present your content more confidently and with more authority. Your audience will also appreciate the time and skill you invested in creating something of value for them that they can easily access.

Even building a mailing list is part of content marketing, which means that email campaigns must be strategically deployed as well. Sales Maven has also guided Lisa’s Clarinet Shop in other popular content avenues like blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media. By far, creating engaging content is the easy part.

However, no matter how beautiful and meaningful your content is, you also need to become more searchable to people who look for the solutions that you have to offer. The second important thing to understand about this digital marketing strategy is that if your content has a high level of credibility, the search engines will position you ahead of the pack, making you an easy pick for interested audiences.

Search Engine Optimization for Lisa’s Clarinet Shop

What Sales Maven has done for Lisa’s Clarinet Shop during this pandemic is a truly brilliant example of content marketing helping you reach out and connect with customers. Its masterful deployment of quality and regular Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Lisa’s Clarinet Shop allowed the store to connect with more people and make conversions, even while people were practicing social distancing and public venues were closed.

SEO is a practice which will helps marketers make a website more visible by helping it rank higher in search results. The logic behind this is that a majority of users never scroll below the first page on both mobile and desktop. So, if your site isn’t visible on the first couple pages of Google, you won’t get many visitors.

There are two ways SEO can work for you:

On-Page SEO refers to techniques specifically applied to your website’s pages and content. These are practices like optimizing titles, headings, and meta-descriptions on a page, as well as creating an internal link structure on the pages of your site.

Off-Page SEO refers to digital content activities off of your site that positively influence your rankings. This includes links from authority sites to yours, social media mentions of you and/or your brand, as well as online citations.

Sales Maven takes these things in consideration when devising digital marketing solutions, and it delivered major results for the shop – especially when this approach was coupled with the use of relevant and interesting content.

In a huge way, early 2020 became a time to rethink the definition of what is essential, and it truly became an invitation for many of us to revisit our priorities and try out new avenues to reach out to customers and the greater community.

I am proud to say that Lisa’s Clarinet Shop is on cruise-control right now, and we are enjoying the benefits of predictable growth. What Sales Maven has done for my shop, it can certainly do for your business. Whether you’re struggling, starting out, or if you wish to regain the glory you lost due to the pandemic, we can surely help you out. Let’s sit down and talk about the best decision you’ll ever make for your business.