Want to find more students for your music teaching business? If you are a good teacher, and pupils enjoy your lessons, you may pick up the occasional referral from time to time.
However, if you want to earn a healthy income and find students more quickly, you need to understand how to market yourself as a music teacher.
This article contains seven methods for promoting your business:
1) Word of mouth
This is the best place to start. Tell everyone you know about your teaching business and hopefully they’ll spread the word. Tell family members, friends and acquaintances.
You can offer a “finder’s fee” and pay the person who refers you 100% of the first lesson fee.
2) Business Cards
Get hold of some business cards with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and website address. You can contact your local print shop or do it online. It doesn’t need to be too fancy, but shop around as you get some great deals, especially online. Keep the design fairly simple, but you might want to consider a theme linked to your profession.
Leave a few of your tutor business cards in local shops, libraries, sports centres and start giving them to people you meet at events. Don’t be pushy, but when people ask what you do, tell them and offer them your card.
3) Posters and Flyers
Create some flyers, posters and put them here, there and everywhere – local shops, libraries, sports centres, notice boards schools, music colleges and universities.
Also, think about demographics. This is important.
For example, while many music teachers target younger people, college kids, school pupils etc, they often overlook one important age group.
If you can find an area in your town or city with a predominantly older demographic, pop a few flyers through their letter boxes. Many retired people have time on their hands and would love to learn a new skill.
In my profession, I meet so many who wish they’d learnt the piano when they were younger and I simply tell them it’s never too late. Also, you might meet some who had lessons years ago and just didn’t like their teacher.
Don’t forget some ‘old school’ teaching methods would make you wince if you used them in the 21st century!
I’m not saying go and cold call 1000’s of residents in your town, but it might be worth contacting local music teachers in schools and ask if their students would like music lessons. These people are well connected and once they pass you one student, you can quickly gain some referrals.
While I was building my teaching business, I remember sending about 100 e-mails to local independent schools, offering my services as a piano teacher, with a link to my website, and I got 2 job offers with two full days of teaching!
5) Contact the competition
If there is an established music teacher in your town, give them a call. If they have a full teaching timetable, they might be turning away students, when they could be passing them on to you. This strategy can work well, and as long as you show it is in their interest, most will go for it.
I often perform at weddings and if I’m busy I have 2-3 pianists who I recommend people to contact. And these guys do the same for me.
I also teach jazz and popular music on the piano and pass on students to classical pianists in my area if I feel they will be a better fit for the pupil. And again these piano teachers do the same for me.
You should learn not to fear competition and use it to your advantage! You can never have too many connections…
6) Stage a taster event
You could hire the local village hall and invite people to watch a short presentation showcasing what you do as a music teacher. You could also talk about how your instrument works and even ask members of the audience to come to the stage and have a go!
This might cost a bit of money to do, but I know some music teachers who’ve had remarkable success with this method. In addition to the local hall, why not approach schools and see if you can give free presentations there.
Make it exciting so pupils will go home in the evening and beg their mum and dad for lessons on your instrument!
7) Local celebrity endorsement
See if you can get a local celebrity, or someone really well known in your town or city, to recommend your services as a music teacher. They can use their connections with the local media to boost your profile.
These are just some strategies which can help you start and expand your business. Although it might seem tough to get started, it will pay off in the long term, and eventually you should pick up some referrals which will make things easier.
Try to set aside some time each day and ask yourself…
“What can I do today to grow my business?”