Three Ways to Get Yourself Students
Teaching is a great source of income for professional musicians, and it can be an extremely rewarding form of employment. Marketing yourself, however, sucks. Unless you get a gig at studio or local music shop, you’ll have to do all the leg work yourself. Here’s three simple things to help.
- List yourself on Google Maps. Why? Search results on Google are tailored to the searcher’s location. Which is why Adsense shows ads for local business in your searches. This also means that a search for “guitar lessons” in your area will pop up results listed on Google maps near the top of the list. You need to get in on that action. This assumes, of course, that you have a website which people can go to check you out. If you don’t, there are some great cheap website options.
- Play gigs around town. You need to get noticed as a musician. Most gigs are played for adults, and some of them will be interested in lessons or have kids interested in lessons. Playing gigs for charity organizations is also a good way to get some local press with out paying for an advertisement. Talk to local libraries or charities and offer to set up a benefit concert. You won’t make any more, but the exposure could easily be worth it (just don’t hesitate to call the local newspaper about the gig).
- Have promotional materials on hand. This is basic common sense: have business cards to hand out, and give them to everyone. Give your current students two or three–when their friends ask them where they take guitar lessons they can give one of them away. There’s also the option of setting up advertising promotions around your town, which would require some leg work. The idea is to be the first person that comes to mind when someone says, “guitar lessons,” and you should use any tools available to spread your name around. Business cards are a good start, but anything is possible. Guitar picks with “Guitar lessons” combined with your name and phone number could be a great promotional tool. There’s no end to the possibilities.
Another easy and important way to get and find students is by volunteering to help with the local High school guitar classes and clubs. When I do this, I am usually in the back helping them tune and running through the pieces while the regular instructor is on stage. This gives them a chance to see and meet you, and more importantly, gets you known in the community.