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An introduction to growing your private music teaching business

Whether private teaching is a mainstay of your music teaching work or something you're looking at expanding, there are several steps you can take to improve the way you promote yourself and your teaching practice. Thinking about the people who may be interested in taking your lessons (your audience), and how and where you're speaking to them (your messaging), can help you grow your business or expand it in new directions.

Identifying your audience

Firstly, you may wish to consider if there is a certain type of music pupil of which you would like to teach more. For example, perhaps you would like to work more with adults. Consider if there are local venues, hobby groups or retired groups you can get in contact with or visit to introduce yourself. Get a supportive testimonial from a current or former pupil in a similar demographic to use on your website, flyers or posters. There might be something about the way you teach that you could highlight in your advertising, because it would appeal to a certain group – such as flexibility in times, or experience teaching those returning to music after a break.

The move online during the COVID lockdowns may have expanded your teaching options, so think about whether you're keen to only offer in-person lessons, or to continue offering an online option as a way of reaching a wider audience. Think about how this might work best for you – for example, you may prefer to offer online theory lessons but keep running face-to-face instrumental lessons.

Developing your brand

You may be wary of the word ‘brand’, but you can just think of it as ‘personality’ – it's the way you want to present your business to the world. Consistency is key - you want to make sure all the elements of your promotional material, from posters to your website, have a similar look and feel. This will help you come across as professional and authentic, as well as giving an indication of what your approach or style is.

Your musical genre or instrument may influence your brand: a classical guitar teacher may want to look different to someone teaching pop/rock electric guitar. Branding can involve the expertise of a designer, or you can start simply with your own skills, with favoured colours and a chosen font. Do some simple research and look around for inspiration at other musicians and small businesses whose approach you like and get feedback from friends and colleagues on what appeals to them

Setting up a website

There are a multitude of options out there for setting up an affordable website. Making the leap to contact a music teacher will be a big decision for many potential new musicians, so your aim is to use your platform to put potential pupils’ minds at rest and to help them make that decision with confidence.

On your website, you have the chance to use a biography, frequently asked questions, and testimonials from current pupils to tell your story for you; this will also allow you to highlight your strengths and unique selling points. You could use your biography to detail your experience teaching high-level professionals and answer basic questions about what to expect in their first few lessons, or how you support pupils looking to play for fun and those who wish to do qualifications. You could also mention how you make your lessons accessible and may wish to mention your fees – make sure you use good contracts to ensure that everything is communicated clearly, and any disputes can be dealt with quickly.

Make sure you're aware of what comes up when you search for your name and your instrument on a search engine. Look into Google's ‘My Business’ profile – the short information snippets that come up when you search for a service – and make sure yours is up to date. To take things a bit further, you might want to explore search engine marketing, where you can create adverts based around search terms that others are using to help people find your business. There are many good guides online if this is something you want to take further.

Building a social media presence

Being active on multiple social media platforms isn't essential for private music teachers, but being active on some may work for you. If you can, use the same picture and name, or ‘handle’, on each platform for consistency.

Facebook is still the most used social media platform in the world, with 2.6bn active global monthly users. It offers the chance for you to set up a professional profile for your business and tap into local community groups to find potential pupils.

Twitter is often used for online networking; there's a large music education community on this platform, often gathering around commonly used hashtags to discuss topical issues. This could also provide you with the opportunity to raise your profile within the sector and find collaborators for shared projects.

Spreading the word

Don't forget the power of more traditional methods like posters and word of mouth. Attending events, from national conferences and local business meetups to online webinars and networking events, can offer new opportunities and connections. Share flyers or business cards that point back to your website or social media and follow up with people you meet after the event.


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