What a Stranger at an Intersection Taught Me About Simple Marketing

One day this week I was driving home from an afternoon of lessons and I stopped at a red light. I looked across the intersection and what did I see… another piano teacher!

I had never met this person. Nor did I have a conversation with him at the intersection. But there was no doubt in my mind he was a music teacher. How did I know? I’d like to say that working with so many other music teachers has given me an uncanny sense for recognizing kindred spirits. But that would be a flat out lie.

Nah, everyone in that intersection (fellow teachers and muggles alike) knew that PT Cruiser was being driven by a music teacher. How? Because the car had a giant magnetic sign on its side advertising piano lessons.

It’s like he wanted people to know he was a music teacher, or something.

So there we were. Two piano teachers in the same intersection. Probably both coming from lessons. At that moment, we were surrounded by at least 15 other cars full of potential students (not to mention all the cars passed on the rest of the trip), but if anyone was going to get a new student out of that encounter, it certainly wasn’t going to be me. I suppose I could have hopped out of my car and started knocking on car windows to introduce myself, but that kind of behavior tends to creep people out. No, on that afternoon, Mr. PT Cruiser Piano Teacher was bringing his A game with the advertising.

Don’t I want people to know that I’m a piano teacher, too?

What I liked so much about this magnetic sign is that it was simple, affordable, and hassle-free way of advertising to the local community. For traveling teachers, this is a no-brainer. You can find print shops online that will print your own magnetic sign for as little as $9. At that price, a sign will pay for itself in the first referral you get from it.

To Mr. PT Cruiser Piano Teacher, I tip my imaginary marketing hat. Thanks for the reminder that advertising doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

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