I have taught in a few different cities and I used a couple of different ways to get started. I had to take into consideration where I was going to teach. When I first started teaching I lived at home and we had a separate room in the house where I could teach lessons. When I went to college I rented a room so there I couldn’t teach in the house. I attended a huge church and they had a few rooms with pianos in them, so I was able to teach there, and they didn’t charge me to use the room.
When I started teaching as a teenager I knew a woman who was in marketing and she taught me about demographics and who would be my target audience. She helped me create a flyer and taught me about having special offers to get started. I have discussed the special offers in a previous blog. I began with “6 Lessons for the Price of 4!” I was going to be teaching at home, so all I needed was the piano, a quiet room, and a schedule.
Here is where I lived and the arrow is pointing to my music room. My marketing mentor’s guidance was wonderful. I was able to get the amount of students that I needed by using the flyers.
Making flyers, business cards, using craigslist.com, backpage.com, and kijiji.com are great ways to get the word out that you are teaching. Put the flyers up in grocery stores that are in a part of town where you would like to attract students.
Now when I started this way of getting students I set a date in the future and advertised it. My ad said something like this:
Piano lessons beginning Monday, June 3rd.
Openings available Mon – Fri from 3:30 – 6:30.
There are thirty minute and sixty minute time-slots available.
New students will receive 6 lessons for the price of 4!
I like this way of beginning the business because you start with a bang and not a trickle with one student here and there signing up. It is easier to fill your schedule by doing it this way. You may not want to have one student on Monday and the next student isn’t until Thursday.
The second way of getting students is by going to the student’s house. This is a great way to start, but it will only work for the long term if you only want a few students and want to spend the rest of your time on the road driving from one house to the other. The goal here is to get the students to move to your permanent studio when you have one set up.
The drawback of going to the student’s house:
- You drive over the student’s house and the student isn’t home. They forgot and nobody bothered to call you.
- You drive over the student’s house and the house is in turmoil because of a family fight.
- You drive over the student’s house and the student is sick or someone in the home is sick and you aren’t allowed in. Nobody bothered to call you.
- You drive over the student’s house (this is my favorite) and the family cat has walked all over the piano and you are allergic to the cat. Guess who won’t be touching the piano during the lesson.
This is a good way to get your feet wet teaching, but I don’t recommend you stick with this plan for long. This can be the most frustrating way to be a teacher.
I hope this has given you some ideas on how to get started teaching. I think these two plans would work for anyone wanting to teach any subject.