websites and policies and pricing OH MY*

Written By Shannon Coates

On 6th February 2020

Friends, here’s a short list of what I’m good at (you know, in the #voicestudio realm):

  • gathering information that relates to voice pedagogy and teaching singing
  • recognizing how information and practices from other disciplines relate to what we do in the voice studio
  • dispersing that information in a way that is accessible and immediately applicable
  • creating resources to help voice teachers teach their faces off
  • teaching. i’m really, really good at teaching.

Here’s a short list of what I’m learning to be good at but that you really shouldn’t try to learn from me (you know, in the #voicestudio realm):

  • setting policies
  • designing websites
  • deciding on pricing
  • creating a studio budget

Here’s a VERY short list of people you should talk to if you are interested in figuring out any of the things on that second list**:

  • Take a look around Sara Campbell‘s site because CHANCES ARE GOOD she’s done a FB Live on whatever it is you’re asking about and the information in that Live will get you moving in the right direction. THEN? Go on and book a one-on-one session (or several) with her.*** This is the savvy thing to do to get the answers you need around specific topics for your business. #pinkyswear

If the business-related stuff isn’t your jam? WELCOME TO THE CLUB, MY FRIEND. And? I hope you’ll check out the resources and expertise of these two incredible women.

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* This post is dedicated to the dozens (hundreds by now?) of you who so hopefully contact me to ask for advice about how to do things that are so so so far out of my wheelhouse. I LOVE you and I LOVE that you are reaching out with these questions and I want you to know where to go to get the answers you need. <3

** NOTE: neither of these people are me. 😉

*** And if you’re trying to figure out that whole HOW TO BRAND YOUR BUSINESS THING? Sara just happens to be taking enrollments for her BRANDING BOOTCAMP at the mo’. #justsayin

**** THAT RIGHT THERE? Is what I did. Only in this order:

  • ask questions on public forums about how to set policies, whether to include a ‘photocopy fee’ in my lessons fee, and how to figure out makeup lessons
  • look at Michelle’s answers to those questions (and to others’ questions) and think: ummm … this woman GETS ME and she KNOWS THE THINGS I DON’T KNOW
  • (meet Michelle in person … but this isn’t a step you have to take because, unless you happen to live in California and/or be able to attend something where Michelle is presenting? that’s gonna’ be tricky. AND REMEMBER: you don’t have to take this step. I’m just saying that that’s what I did. And I’m also saying that Michelle is even cooler in person than she is on the socials so if you get the chance to meet her in person? YOU SHOULD.)
  • join The SpeakEasy Cooperative – realize that there are a whole bunch of incredible voice teachers out there who are IN THE SAME BOAT AS I AM RE not knowing the biz things. cry a lot because: SO HAPPY TO BE CONNECTED WITH THESE INCREDIBLE VOICE TEACHERS (and also because I’m a bit of a cryer. so, you know. there’s that.).
  • develop my VERY FIRST AWESOME RESOURCE FOR VOICE TEACHERS and GET THAT SUCKER OUT INTO THE WORLD (friends: The Vocal Instrument 101 would NOT be out there helping folx #teachtheirfacesoff WITHOUT my one-on-one strategy sessions with Michelle. IN NO UNIVERSE WOULD THAT THING BE UP AND RUNNING WITHOUT MICHELLE. #truthitytruth)
  • do How to Run in 2019. increase my business savvy SUCH THAT I am able to start doing even more of the things I love (working nearly exclusively with voice teachers, developing MORE resources for voice teachers, and just generally #voicepeddingmyfaceoff) … all while increasing my income by over 30%. (yeah. YOU READ THAT RIGHT, friend.)
  • write blog posts about how important it is to get the resources you need from the folx who know what they’re doing. (which again: is not me. 😉 )


  1. Keith Eldridge

    Great advice, Shannon! And Michelle is very awesome, I recommend her with all my might!

  2. Lorna Young

    As a former student, I can testify that Shannon is very, very good at teaching.

    • Shannon Coates

      ps let’s call you a Studio Alumni, rather than a ‘former student’. 🙂

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