An article originally posted by Wendy at http://composecreate.com/marketing-piano-lessons-101/
One frequent question among new and seasoned piano teachers is, ‘What is the best way to market piano lessons?’ Of course, there are many ways of marketing lessons, but some are clearly better ways of finding and keeping committed students. Whether your studio is full, has vacancies, or you have moved and need a whole new set of students, chances are you’ll need to market your services at some point in your career.
First, it is important to understand several important principles of marketing:
- It is easier to market to your warm market than your cold market. Your warm market includes your current and past students, family, friends, neighbours, anyone who knows you and what you do.
- Most of your new business referrals come from your warm market, so it is important to keep your warm market happy and reminded about the perks of studying piano with you.
- It is easier to retain a current student, than it is to find a new student.
- When marketing to a cold market, remember that first impressions are extremely important.
- Piano teaching may seem like only a service, but your referrals and most of your students will come because of the relationships that you take the time to make and cultivate.
If you understand these principles of marketing, you’ll understand more about why the following are some of the best ways to market piano lessons.
Networking is an area that is not discussed in much detail among piano teachers. But it is ever y bit as important for a piano teacher to network as it is for a banker, law yer, or real estate agent. Referrals come from people who trust us and if we are not out meeting people, making friendships, and helping others, then we are not establishing trust with anyone new. Here are some important people with which piano teachers should network:
School Music Teachers
Music teachers in schools are frequently asked who they would recommend as a private instructor of specific instruments. It’s a good idea to meet your local school music teacher in person, tell them what you do, give them your business cards (give them many so that they can hand them out), and ask if they might be willing to refer others to you. Some schools may even allow you to put notices in their newsletters or flyers in students’ folders toward the end of the year. It never hurts to ask!
Preschool Music Teachers
Another good professional connection to make is with the local Kindermusik, Mini Maestros, or other preschool music program teachers in your area. Some of these teachers also teach piano, but many do not. Take them out to lunch so that you can tell them about your studio and find out more about what they do. They will be as interested to get your referrals as you are to get theirs.
Fellow Piano Teachers
Our own colleagues are frequently the source of many good referrals. But, most teachers will only refer students to people that they trust. You must be a part of and giving to the teaching community in order for teachers to get to know you and trust you. When they know and trust you, they will be much more likely to refer students to you when you inform them that you have openings. Don’t forget about the ‘giving to’ part of that equation. Everyone loves someone who will share ideas with them and help them when help is needed. Be a true friend to your colleagues and their referrals will usually come.
Word of mouth
Most piano teachers will attest to the fact that much of their business comes from recommendations from current or past students (your warm market). Because of this, it is important to tell your current and past families that you have openings and are currently taking applications for new enrolments.
It’s easy to forget that not only are our current families potential referrers, but our fellow piano teachers are as well. I am constantly asking my colleagues, ‘Do you have openings?’ because I am inundated with requests for lessons each month. Having good relationships with your colleagues makes it easy to send them an email saying, ‘I’m currently taking new students and wanted you to know in case your studio is full and you have a call about lessons.’
To continue reading this article or to read more from Wendy on marketing, visit: www.ComposeCreate.com