If the new school year is coming up and you have spots to fill in your teaching schedule, try a few of these ideas to market music lessons at your studio:
1. Introduce yourself to school music teachers, choir directors, band directors, and church music directors
People in these roles are always getting asked where to go for music lessons. You can make a generous first impression and create an opportunity to get to know them by volunteering to help them with a project or performance.
2. Write personal thank you notes to your existing students and ask for referrals
Even if your mom isn’t giving you reminders, writing thank you notes should be a high priority in your business (and personal) life. Thank your students for a fantastic year and let them know that you’d love another awesome student just like them. Make it easy for them to share your name by including a business card or printed flyer.
3. Join a music teacher’s organization and attend the local chapter meetings
I’ll be honest, you’ll probably be the youngest person there by about 30 years, but I’ve learned so much about pedagogy and repertoire from groups like these. You might meet a more established teacher in your area with a full studio who is willing to send new students your way. There may be a small fee for joining one of these groups, but usually you can visit a meting for free!
4. Form a group class for teens or adults
You probably hear just as often as I do “I took lessons when I was younger and I wish I hadn’t quit…” Well, give those peeps a reason to get back into music this fall!
5. Spread the word on social media
Sure, you can just whip out a post begging for students, but to show how parents are already trusting you to teach their dear little bumpkins, try posting a video or photo of a student playing with the parent’s permission, of course. Better yet, resurrect a parent’s own brag post and share it with the caption that you are accepting new students.
6. Get out and meet people (in real life)
Get out from behind your screen and get involved in Meetups, sports leagues, or volunteer opportunities near your teaching location. I’ve found that teaching music is a great way to connect with people in any field. People almost always have a story to share about their childhood music lessons or a question about when their own child will be ready for lessons. I never go to these events with the intent of getting students, but I met two of my great adult students at a neighborhood community day!
7. Search for music teacher databases online and submit your name
Online databases have been surprisingly effective in helping me market music lessons. Keep in mind that these databases typically don’t give you a lot of web real estate to differentiate yourself. Be sure to include a link to your website. You do have a website, right? If not, what are you waiting for?!?! Let me know if you’re interested in joining me for a website building course.
8. Follow up with ghost students
Remember that prospective student who called in May and then you never heard from again? Sometimes these students are not worth tracking down, but more often they just got busy and decided to put lessons on hold. Now that a couple of months have gone by they might be too embarrassed to call back. Don’t hesitate to follow up with students you liked to see if they want a slot in your schedule.
9. Send an email to your personal network
Of course you shouldn’t spam your friends and family with promotional emails, but they might not mind the occasional update. Announce your fall schedule including any group classes you are offering. Let them know you honor their friendship by giving them an opportunity to opt-out of any future studio updates. This is important. Remember how obnoxious it was when that friend who sells cat jewelry subscribed you to her Facebook group and filled your inbox with messages without giving you a way to escape? Don’t be that friend.