When trying to recruit a 17-year old into your band what do you think will be most compelling?
a) hearing about it from your university's admissions office or marketing department
b) hearing about it from you (the director)
c) hearing about it from a current student or member who is enjoying the experience currently
The answer is of course: "C"
If you can connect your prospective recruit to someone who they can directly relate to, you can recruit way more effectively.
Watch this 3-minute video to see how fast and easy gathering testimonials can be.
For the Rutgers University Marching Scarlet Knights, as an organization comprised of mostly non-music majors, helping prospective recruits understand the band's strong appeal to all types of academic majors is critical.
Their objective was to increase their recruitment of non-music majors into their band including high school seniors and current college students on campus.
Gathering testimonials can be extremely easy (especially compared to producing other types of content) once you know a few secrets. If you are like most organizations who are trying to grow their membership or enrollment, drive higher attendance to your events, or better engage your alumni and fan base, you share a common challenge:
Most organizations struggle with finite time, money, and people resources to generate professional, flashy, Madison Avenue-quality content. Completely understandable. Gathering testimonials from your students can give your organization a substantial arsenal of content, they cost zero dollars to generate, and they can be gathered in about 45 seconds.
By following the exact procedure outlined in the video above, bands have received a testimonial from 15% to 30% of the students they asked to submit one.
This is from a sample size of 50 music schools and athletic band programs. In other words, if you email 100 students (across all your degree programs, studios, and ensembles), if you are anything like the music schools sampled, you can expect 15 to 30 of those students to submit a testimonial. This is simply from you asking (no need to incentivize your students).
Your students or members want to see your organization be successful. They are willing to put in 5 minutes to talk about their passions and what they love about your organization. They are your #1 resource to generate content (especially while working within a budget).