Recruit Music Students Online
Let’s begin with a typical scenario for any music teacher stepping into the online world for the first time.
You’ve carefully built your website so it looks great and effectively portrays your teaching philosophy and your brand image.
Your social networks are up and running, people are following, and you’re posting each day.
You’ve got a YouTube channel up, maybe with a few teaching or performance videos, and subscribers are starting to come in.
But, when it comes to people asking for private lessons, it’s crickets.
At this stage in the game, learning how to recruit music students online will make or break your ability to earn money from your online teaching presence.
Whether you’re looking to teach some students online, or all of your students online, recruiting students online is essential to maintain a full music-teaching studio.
Though recruiting is important, many music teachers don’t go beyond putting up a one or two-page website, a few social media pages, and leaving it at that.
They have a web presence, which is basically a digital billboard, but they aren’t actively recruiting students to their studios.
The material in this article will help you to move past this stage, from starting an online business to earning money from your website.
And, you’ll learn how to recruit music students online without having to be spammy, pushy, or do any hard selling.
You’ll be able to build an online presence you’re proud of, that people interact with, and that helps you build your private teaching studio.
Whether you’re new to teaching music, or are hoping to expand your current teaching studio, the material in this article will be helpful.
But, while this information will push you in the right direction, the most important thing is that you act on this information.
So, feel free to read this article in chunks, and after reading a section go out and experiment with the material from that section.
Taking action, experimenting, and learning not just what to do, but how to do it, is essential when recruiting music students online.
If you’re new to teaching online, or in person, and don’t know where to start, download my free Teach Music Online Starter Kit.
Everything you need to build a solid foundation in your teaching business is found in this free PDF eBook.
Table of Contents (Click to Skip Down)
- Purpose of Recruiting Music Students Online
- Give Away Your Best Stuff For Free
- Engage With Your Followers Online
- Promote Your Online Music Lessons
Why You Want to Recruit Music Students Online
Though there was a time, not too long ago, where you could build a successful music-teaching studio all offline, that’s not a feasible option in this day and age.
As more and more students are turning to Google to find their private music teacher, rather than the local paper, in-person teachers need to build an online presence.
There’s also the fast-growing world of teaching music lessons online to explore, and many teachers are dipping their toes into teaching some or all their students online.
When building an online teaching studio, having an effective and engaging online presence is obviously an important aspect of recruiting students.
Before you dive into the material in this article, have a quick read through this introduction section, which describes recruiting online for both of these scenarios.
Whether you’re looking to build your in-person studio, or grow an online music teaching business, having a web presence will help you recruit students.
Knowing why you want to have a web presence, and the type of students you want to recruit, is the first step to achieving your goals when building a studio.
Recruit Music Students for In-Person Lessons
Up until recently, the most common reason for having an online presence for music teachers was to recruit students into their in-person studios.
As more and more people search online for local music lessons, have a website and social media presence is essential for any teacher building a local music studio.
Whether you work for a music school, or teach out of your home, having a presence online is essential to recruiting students into your teaching studio.
Though, as you’ll see in this article, teaching music online is becoming more popular in today’s world, there will always be a need for in-person music lessons.
At least for the foreseeable future until Google or Apple builds an algorithm to replace us all…
Until that day, there will be a large chunk of the population that prefers to be in a room with their music teacher when they take their lessons.
While that is the case, competition from other local teachers and economic factors make teaching in person a bit of a rollercoaster, especially for new teachers.
It can be difficult to recruit new students into your studio, or build a studio from scratch, especially in areas where competition is high.
Because of this, building a web presence that showcases your teaching philosophy and skills can make the difference between success and failure in your business.
Though the material in this article is aimed at music teachers that are mostly looking to build an online studio, it’s applicable to in-person recruiting as well.
If you’re looking to build an in-person studio by recruiting students online, just focus your attention on material that contains local keywords for search engines.
This would man writing lessons that include terms like your city, your neighborhood, your district, etc., so search engines know where you’re located.
Also, make it clear in your lesson sales page that you’re only interested in teaching in-person, both for search engines and to avoid people asking for online lessons.
Though some may think it’s old fashioned to teach music in-person only, there is still a big part of the business that is focused on in-person lessons.
But, in order to succeed in building an in-person studio in this day and age, you’ll need to recruit students through your online presence and reputation.
Recruit Music Students for Online Lessons
The other side of the online recruiting coin is to use your online presence to build your online teaching studio.
As the Internet becomes faster, cheaper, and more readily available to people around the world, video music lessons are becoming more popular.
Whereas five or ten years ago it would have seemed strange for many music teachers to work online, now many teach some, or all, of their students online.
Besides being convenient, as you can work from home, teaching online is also not subject to local competition and financially related events.
For example, if you teach music in a town of 10,000 people, and there are five other music teachers, that’s a lot of competition.
But, online, you have the potential to recruit from billions of people.
So, even with thousands of other music teachers to compete with the numbers are still in your favor when it comes to filling your online teaching studio.
As well, if there’s a local, regional, or national recession in your area that can have a direct affect on the amount of in-person music students you can recruit.
But, because you’re recruiting students from around the world online, there’s always a boom somewhere.
This means that if it’s not going well in Europe for example, there could be a boom in Australia, and you find that you get more lesson enquires from down under.
There’s also the freedom of movement that teaching online provides you the music teacher, as you aren’t tied to a local market to build your business.
All you need to run a full online music studio is a laptop and an Internet connection, you can feasibly be anywhere in the world when you teach your lessons.
This means that if you want to live somewhere where the cost of living is cheap, or the weather is nice, or you’re closer to family, you can easily do that.
You can also travel as you teach, and teach as you travel.
If you’re in Germany one day teaching from a hotel room, and in France the next day teaching from a villa in the countryside, your students might not even know.
As long as you show up on time for your lessons, the only thing that would change is the background scenery your students see on their screen during the lesson.
This freedom to travel, and to live in areas that are desirable for your living situation, are two big reasons why music teachers are moving into the online world.
Because this type of teaching business is desirable, but new to many people, the focus on this article will be on recruiting students for your online studio.
But, any of the information in this article can be used to recruit in-person students as well; you just need to tweak the approach to those students.
Though online music teaching may seem strange to you, or something futuristic, give it a chance.
Once you take the dive into online teaching, you’ll see that the future is now in terms of technology and interest from students all over the world.
Give Away Your Best Stuff For Free
This is the best way to recruit music students online, and it’s the biggest sticking point with many music teachers when building a website.
The crux of this concept is that any time you post something online, such as a written or video lesson, it’s your absolute best material.
You don’t hold anything back for paying students that you wouldn’t provide for people for free in your material.
If you’ve read that statement and are uncomfortable with it, you’re not alone.
Many music teachers struggle with this concept, and it causes a number of great teachers to fail when launching online music teaching businesses.
Now, giving away your best stuff for free doesn’t mean you don’t have products and services, such as lessons, that you charge for.
Far from it.
It means that if you post a lesson online, you use that lesson to showcase your teaching abilities to the highest level.
By doing so, you’ll increase your website traffic, build a reputation as an expert teacher, and grow your online teaching studio in the process.
At this point, you might be asking yourself:
“If I give away my best material for free, why would people ever pay for my eBooks or private lessons?”
That’s a good question, and it’s one that causes many teachers to sabotage their businesses even before they get off the ground.
To answer this question, put yourself in the place of someone looking to learn how to play your instrument online, for example guitar.
A student searches for “how to play guitar,” and they come across a large number of search results.
In those results is a lesson on your website, and the student clicks over.
Here, the story splits in two directions.
The first scenario is that the student sees your lesson, it’s not very good, or lacks details, they’re confused about the concepts, or it’s behind a pay wall.
So, they leave your site and go elsewhere.
In the second scenario, the student sees your lesson, it gives them the exact information they want, and then some, and they’re playing guitar right away.
At least a few simple chords or melodies, but still, they see progress.
This student loves your lesson so much, that he views other lessons on your site.
Instead of Googling his next question, he just searches directly on your website, and then decides to subscribe to your email newsletter for updates on new lessons.
This student has become a follower and a potential private student down the road.
By giving this person high-quality material, helping them reach their goals of learning the basics of guitar, and doing it for free, you’ve started a relationship.
That student will in turn post about your lessons on social media, share them with friends, and recommend your site when asked where they learned guitar.
All of which will help grow your brand, reputation, and following online.
And, the more people you have visiting your website, the more satisfied readers you have, the more people will take the next step and sign up for private lessons.
Now, why would they sign up for lessons if you have free material on your site?
Here are just a few reasons that I’ve seen in my own studio over the years.
- They have a particular musical problem they want solved.
- They prefer to ask questions rather than skim articles.
- They’ve moved beyond your offering but want to learn more from you.
- They recognize your expertise and want to learn directly from you.
- They prefer to have a guided practice routine rather than doing it alone.
These are just some of the reasons students have given me over the years for taking private guitar lessons with me, beyond studying my free lessons online.
But, none of those students would’ve contacted me if they didn’t already know I was a knowledgeable teacher, and they had confidence in my teaching abilities.
My free, in-depth, and helpful lessons on my website built that trust.
And they can do the same for you.
In this section of the article, you’ll learn about three ways that you can give your best stuff away for free to grow your online music teaching business.
Website Music Lessons
Posting lessons on your website is the most effective way to build your teaching brand, grow your audience, and recruit music students online.
Because the lessons are hosted on your site, the traffic they generate goes directly to you, and you have control over your content and it’s presentation.
You also aren’t subject to the whims of a larger site or corporation, either of which may decide to drop your articles or pages at any time.
An example of this is a YouTube channel, which can be an effective recruiting tool, but that can also be shut down for any number of violations, real or perceived.
Posting lessons on your own website gives you total control of their presentation, and you don’t have to worry about losing your work for any reason.
Even if your site or server goes down, temporarily or for good, by keeping a backup of your site, you can be back up and running in a matter of hours, or even minutes.
As well as providing security and control, posting lessons on your website builds your brand, as every reader is viewing your lessons on your website.
This creates a connection between high-quality content, as you’ll be giving your best stuff away for free, with your name and your website address.
As well, once people are on your site, they can browse around to other lessons, or be lead to other lessons by inlinking in your lesson text.
This type of browsing will showcase your depth of knowledge, engage readers further with your teaching, and begin to build relationships with readers all at once.
By building relationships with readers, through your current and future lessons, you can create trust in your teaching skills with potential students.
Over time, these potential students can cross over to become paid music students if they decide to take a private lesson.
Posting lessons on my site is how I grew my online teaching studio from zero students in late 2011, to over 100 students per month in early 2013.
That’s not an insignificant amount of growth, and it’s allowed me to teach online full time, which is why website lessons are such an important part of your recruiting.
Now that you know why posting lessons on your website is important, let’s look at what types of lessons you can post on your site to grow your audience.
To begin, it’s best to come up with a list of lesson topics that you’ll cover on your site as you get ready to launch, or as you rebrand over time.
The first topics to cover would be the lessons that showcase a unique approach you have to teaching, or a subject that you’re an expert in, as this is your best stuff.
For example, if you’ve come up with a new way to teach violin bowing to young students, that’s your first group of lessons.
Another example would be if you’re an expert in slap bass technique, then that’s where you start.
You put your best foot forward with your lessons, allowing readers to see your depth of knowledge, and recruit private music students in the process.
The other list of lesson topics that you should build is based on a technique that marketer Brian Dean created called the “Skyscraper Technique.”
The skyscraper technique is a simple device that can produce huge results for your website traffic and your online reputation and brand.
In a nutshell, you take these steps to choose your website lesson topics.
- Do a Google search for a popular topic in your genre.
- Notice the top search result for that term.
- Check out that lesson to see how it’s written.
- Write something that is much better than that article.
- Promote your article after publication.
When you find a topic to write about, for example jazz guitar scales, don’t just write another lesson on that topic, write the best lesson on that topic possible.
Write a lesson so in-depth and so engaging; that readers won’t bother looking anywhere else as this lesson gives them everything they’ll ever need on that topic.
This means spending a lot of time writing one lesson, as opposed to writing a bunch of smaller lessons on that topic, but the results will be worth it.
Since I’ve take this approach, I’ve cut the number of lessons on my site from 500 to 70, but increased my traffic by 40% in the process.
Whether you decide to go with your expertise or the Skyscraper technique, posting longer, in-depth articles, is the way to go when building your online brand.
As well as posting in-depth lessons, use as much creativity and multimedia as you can when you post lessons on your site.
Lessons don’t just have to be text, or text with a few notation examples; you can include audio, video, interactive notation, and other media in your lessons.
Here’s an example of multimedia in a lesson from fretdojo.com.
Also, you don’t have to have many lessons on your site, or post every day or every week, which is impossible when publishing in-depth music lessons.
It’s better to have a handful of amazing lessons on your site than a bunch of so-so lessons when it comes to recruiting students into your studio.
So, when publishing lessons, take your time, go in-depth, showcase your expertise, and provide the best value you can for readers.
Doing so will build your reputation as an expert music teacher, create a level of trust with your readers, and convince potential students to join your online music studio.
Video Music Lessons
Besides posting lessons on your site, using text, audio, notation, and video examples, you can record and post video only lessons on sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for students when they’re searching for music lessons online.
And, if you do a quick search yourself, you’ll probably find hundreds, if not thousands, of video lessons already posts in your area of specialty.
Because of this, YouTube has become an effective platform for music teachers to showcase their skills, grow and audience, and recruit music students in one place.
I’ve had a number of friends and former students grow their online music-teaching studio solely from their YouTube video lessons.
So, video lessons can be a highly effective recruiting tool when building your own online music-teaching studio.
While many music teachers are jumping on the video lesson train, it’s best to tiptoe into it to avoid wasted time preparing lessons that might not grow an audience.
An example of this is in my own online teaching career, where I learned a very valuable lesson by posting videos and receiving feedback from viewers.
In 2012 YouTube lessons were all the rage, it seemed like every online music teacher was posting videos almost weekly, if not daily.
So, I decided to jump in and record a number of video lessons for my YT channel.
Because so many other music teachers were doing it, I figured I’d get a very good response since my site was already developing a good-sized following.
The response I got was mixed to say the least, and pretty surprising.
I would get some positive comments, and people would like and view the video lessons, but it was the emails I received from readers that surprised me.
Here’s a typical email that I received when I made the jump into the video lesson realm, of which I received about 8-10 a week when first recording videos.
I’m a big fan of your site, your lessons have really helped me understand jazz guitar, thanks so much for posting them!
I noticed you’ve only been doing video lessons lately and I was wondering if you could also do more lessons on your site, or only lessons on your site.
It’s too hard to fast forward and rewind the videos to find exactly what I want out of the lesson; it wastes a lot of time finding stuff.
One your site, I can just skip around and get exactly what I want, it’s much more convenient.
Keep up the great work; it’s just a suggestion that I hope you consider.
As you can see, I was ready for people to fully embrace the video lessons, as it was the “future” of online teaching, but that wasn’t the case.
So, I went back to doing more lessons on my website, and some lessons on YouTube, and that proved to be better for the growth of my community.
Now, this might not be the case for your site and your YT channel, but the moral is that you should experiment and not assume when it comes to what people want.
If you spend hours, days, and weeks recording excellent video lessons that don’t get a response because people prefer the lessons on your site, that’s a waste of time.
A better approach would be to either conduct a survey of your followers, if you’ve got followers already, or test the waters with one or two videos to gauge response.
That way you can adjust your approach to video lessons going forward, adapting to the needs and wants of your audience to promote engagement with video lessons.
The other thing to consider is that you don’t need a ton of fancy equipment when it comes to posting lessons on YouTube.
If you have a laptop, smartphone, or tablet, chances are you already have an HD camera loaded into those devices, which is perfect for YT video lessons.
While you want to provide high-quality videos, you don’t have to spend a fortune right away to create videos that people will enjoy on your channel.
In the beginning, focus on the quality of the material, and be creative with the presentation, to engage your audience.
Then, over time as your business grows, you can invest money in a higher-end camera and audio equipment if you feel it’s needed for your videos.
There is a minimum standard of quality that any music lesson video show attain to, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend money to produce quality videos.
As well, another lesson I’ve learned is that longer videos don’t always equal more views and better engagement.
Viewers, in my experience, tend to prefer short example videos on a specific topic, rather than an umbrella lesson that covers many things all at once.
Again, test the waters with videos of different lengths to see what works best for your audience, moving forward with what you find from there.
You can also use multi-media when posting lessons to your YouTube channel.
When posting lessons, you can go beyond a recorded lesson to create engagement.
Because music is a visual, as well as an audio, medium when it comes to teaching, you can include images on your videos to aid in the viewer’s learning.
These images can include, depending on your instrument:
- Notation examples.
- Tab examples.
- Fingering charts.
- Instrument close ups.
Be creative with your video lesson presentations, see what people enjoy, and keep experimenting as you move forward to better engage your viewers.
There is a lot of trial and error when it comes to growing a YouTube channel.
You might find that it’s effective for your online teaching business, or you might find that your time is best spent elsewhere.
In my own career, I grew my channel to millions of views and tens of thousands of subscribers, but I wasn’t happy with my older video lesson on my channel.
So, about a year ago I took all my older videos down, many of which were video versions of lessons on my site.
I did this because when people searched for a lesson topic, I wanted them to find my best materials, which at the time were the lessons on my site.
So, I basically shut down my YT channel for the near future as I focus on building my website lessons, which is my best recruiting tool for online music students.
I have plans to relaunch my channel in future, but right now my website lessons provide steady traffic to my site, and help me recruit a steady flow of students.
You might find the same thing works for you, or you might find that YouTube videos are hugely effective in recruiting music students into your studio.
Videos lessons can be an important part of your online teaching presence, but only if they’re effective.
Experiment, tiptoe in, and don’t be afraid to adjust your approach to video lessons, and you’ll see results either way over time.
Guest Posting on Music Lesson Websites
One of the best ways to showcase your teaching skills online is to post lessons on websites with an already established audience of music students.
If your site is up and running, but you haven’t built an audience yet, then tapping into a ready-made audience is an effective way to build your brand online.
The best way to find out which websites you want to guest post for, is to look for the most established websites in your genre.
So, if you’re a rock drum teacher, you’d look for sites that post online lessons, and that already have a following that’s bigger than your current community.
As you compile your list of sites to contact, make a spreadsheet of each site, the name of the contact, when you contacted then, the response, and any follow needed.
This’ll allow you keep track of who you’ve contacted, when you’ve contacted them, and what the result was.
It’ll also help you to avoid any embarrassing situations where you email someone you’ve already contacted with another first-contact email due to forgetfulness.
When reaching out to these websites, it’s best to reach for the low hanging fruit first by contacting sites that advertise guest posting on their site.
Many lesson sites will have a page that explains their approach to guest post by outside authors, if that’s something they allow on their site.
If they do have instructions on how to guest post, such as filling out a form, sending a title and draft over to look at, etc., make sure to follow those instructions.
Sites with a big audience will have a lot of teachers asking about guest posts on their site, and often times the instructions are a way of seeing who’s paying attention.
If you follow the instructions, it shows you’ve read the details and will get looked at.
But, if you don’t follow the instructions, they might automatically delete your email.
So, just take a look at what instructions they have lain out on their site, and follow them appropriately.
If a site doesn’t have instructions on how to approach them for a guest post, or it isn’t clear that they accept guest posts, you’ll have to do a cold contact email.
Now, before you fire off an email to the site owner, or editor, there are steps you can take to develop your relationship with the site beforehand.
By laying some groundwork before you contact any website, you’ll build a relationship with the site owner’s, which increases your chance of guest posting.
Here are a few items that you can use to build that relationship:
- Post links to the page on your social media and tag the page.
- Post thoughtful comments on their social media posts.
- Interact with their comments on YouTube if they have a channel.
- Join and participate in their forum if they host one on their site.
- Ask for an introduction if you have a friend who knows the site owner.
These steps, and others that you can think of, will open the door for further communication down the road.
After you’ve built a bit of a rapport with people at the site, then you can approach them for a guest posting opportunity.
They might even approach you after learning more about you and seeing how you interact with their pages and their community online.
If you aren’t offered a guest post, then the best way to break the ice is by email.
When sending an email for a guest post, be polite, be friendly, and keep it as short as you can in the first email.
You don’t have to give people your life story or CV right away, keep things as simple as possible.
If you think it’s important that they know your background, just include a link to your website, or about page, at the end of the email.
Here’s a sample of an initial contact email for a guest post that you can look at, and use as a template if you think it’s effective in your genre.
Hi (Name of Owner),
I’ve been a reader of xxxxxx.com for a while now, and I really enjoy the content you’re putting out.
Your article on (topic or title of article) was excellent, and has helped me teach my own private music students with visible results.
I’m writing today to ask you if you accept guests posts on your website, as I have an idea for an article that I believe your audience would find engaging.
If you accept guest posts, and would like to discuss this matter further, please let me know.
If not, all good and keep up the great work with your site.
That’s it, nothing fancy, just a short intro showing that you are a reader of their site, not just a random person, and opening the door for a guest post.
From there, you can move forward after the owner responds.
Or, if they don’t respond, as many big sites get a lot of emails each day, you can follow up in a few months time to see if you get a response.
Sometimes a site is interested in a guest post, but they’re swamped with a product launch or other issues, and can’t respond right now.
One follow up email a few months down the road is fine, as you might catch them on a better day and get a response.
But, after that, if you don’t get a response it’s time to move on to other sites.
Guest posting will put your name and teaching skills in front of a ready-made audience in your area of expertise.
It’ll also drive traffic to your site as you can include a link to your website in your bio, and possible the text of the lesson.
Engage With Your Followers Online
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make online, music related or otherwise, is to post their material, hope they get search results, and never engage with followers.
This leads to a disengaged audience, and makes recruiting music students online very difficult, if not impossible.
Paying for lessons is a big deal for many players, and so building a relationship and sense of trust with followers carries a lot of weight in their decision on a teacher.
If you actively engage, interact, and support your community of followers online, you’ll build healthy and long-term relationships with potential students.
If you don’t engage with followers, they’ll disengage as well.
Then, when it comes time to choose a private music teacher, they’ll choose someone who’s answered their questions and communicated with them along the way.
Keep this in the front of your mind when building an online music teaching business.
It can be the biggest pathway, or biggest barrier, to success when teaching online.
This section of the article will focus on different ways that you can interact with your followers online, starting with your social media platforms.
Recruiting Music Students on Social Media
A common theme in this section of the article is not using your online presence as a digital billboard, which is essential when running social media platforms.
Often, you’ll see pages that post links to their articles, their lessons or products, or images they like, etc., but there’s no engagement beyond posting.
People will post question or comments on the page’s wall and there is no response.
Or, comments and questions posted on actual posts from the page are never responded to.
In both of these scenarios, the social media page has become less social and much more like a digital billboard.
This isn’t going to help you build an engaged following or recruit potential music students from your social media pages any time in the future.
Instead, if you focus on the social aspect of social media, you can develop a healthy and engaging relationship with your followers.
This in turn can make it easier for those followers to trust your teaching abilities, and make them more comfortable to take private lessons with you down the road.
Make sure to answer any questions that your followers post on your social media pages, as well as respond to comments written on your posts.
This can be as simple as saying thanks, or giving a quick response or link to one of your lessons to answer a question.
It doesn’t have to be long, but a response will help develop a relationship with that follower, which in time could help you recruit them into your online studio.
As well, if possible depending on the platform, say thanks to those that share your posts, such as thanking people for retweets on Twitter.
This is just common courtesy, and it shows these followers that you appreciate their support, and are a real person behind your page.
Social media is becoming a giant billboard for many businesses.
But, the ones that are engaging with readers, and are finding interesting ways to create a community on their pages, are growing and thriving online.
Take the time to build those relationships through social media; it’ll only help your online music student recruitment both now and in future.
Responding to YouTube Comments
For anyone that’s spent time on YouTube, which is most people these days, you’ll know that often times the comments are more interesting than the videos.
This can be a good thing, and it can be a bad thing.
On the one hand, people like to post questions and positive comments about the videos, especially with music lesson videos.
On the other hand, you have trolls.
In order to run a successful YouTube channel, and use it to recruit online music students, you’ll need to engage with the positive folks and ignore the trolls.
This can be very hard to do, as it’s a natural reaction to see a negative or inflaming comment and want to counterattack right back.
This’ll get you nowhere, and can cause damage to your business in both the short and long term.
If you respond to trolls in your video comments, you’ll only play down to their level.
But, if you ignore the trolls, eventually they’ll go away, as most are just seeking attention and when ignored tend to move on.
As well, if you respond angrily, this shows a side of you that potential music students wouldn’t expect from an experienced music teacher.
Though you want to let loose on these trolls when they comment on your videos, just ignore them and focus on the positive side of YouTube comments.
And there’s a positive side.
Viewers will often post questions and positive comments on your videos, and you can use this as an opportunity to engage with those viewers online.
You can say thanks for watching, and of course you can answer their questions in a thoughtful and helpful manner.
Both of which will create a relationship with viewers, and show that you’re not just a face on the video screen, you’re also a real person.
This relationship building will help recruit students as you build trust and a personal connection with frequent viewers over time.
As well, make sure to put links to your website, and to your lessons page on the video so people can click over if they’re interested.
Don’t overdo it, but a link at the start to your website and a link at the end of the video to your lessons page is perfectly fine.
As well, you can link to your lessons page in the description section of the video, though people read that less these days with more links being added on screen.
Just remember that YouTube music lessons are about building trust, showcasing your teaching skills and philosophy, and engaging with viewers.
If you keep a focus on this type of value and quality, then you’ll be able to use YouTube as a recruiting tool.
But, if you overdo the promotion, it can turn people off, and feed the trolls at the same time.
Find a balance between a bit of promotion and giving people valuable information and your channel will be able to grow in a healthy way over time.
Running an Email Newsletter
Many people look at their newsletter as a way of broadcasting their material out to their followers, such as sending links to new lessons or video lessons on your site.
That is definitely a part of running an email newsletter based on your online music teaching business.
But, there’s a lot more possibility to a newsletter than just using it as a digital billboard, you can use it to engage with your followers on a very personal level.
If you work on making your emails as personal as you can, you can reach people in a much more direct way than you can on social media.
You can do this by using their first name at the top of the email and asking them how their practicing is going this week, for example.
You can also ask people to respond to your emails with questions they have about the topics covered in that email, or about any topic related to your expertise.
By doing so, you’ll be able to answer those questions, providing value to your subscribers, and building a relationship with people one-on-one.
These relationships will sometimes remain as questions and answers going back and forth by email, and that’s OK.
But, by building trust and a personal relationship with people through email, some will end up taking it further by hiring you for lessons.
This is where an email newsletter becomes a recruiting device.
It’s not effective to blast people with ads for your lessons in every email, or every fourth or fifth email.
But, it’s very effective for recruiting students when you use email to build a relationship and share your knowledge and teaching with your subscribers.
Now, not all questions that people ask by email have to be responded to with a lengthy email full of text and material.
Once you’ve built a solid group of music lessons on your website, you can often respond with a few sentences and a link to a related lesson on that topic.
That can build your relationship just as well as a longer email, but it takes less time, and website lessons often have multimedia examples, which you don’t have in email.
However you decide to interact with email subscribers is fine, just make sure that you do interact with subscribers.
If you ignore questions or emails from your followers, they’ll ignore you and your lesson and product offers when you send them out.
But, if you build trust with your followers, engage with them in a positive way, and are personal with them, they’ll respond more strongly to your offers.
This is where email is one of the most powerful tools you have in your repertoire for recruiting music students online.
Potential Students in Music Forums
Forums have been around since the early days of the World Wide Web, and it might come as a surprise to many that they’re still going strong.
Because forum members are gathered together based on a shared interest, such as jazz guitar or Baroque choir, forums are a great place to engage with people online.
Rather than hoping people search for your site, and find what they’re looking for on your site, forum members are already showing engagement in your field of interest.
Because of this readymade audience, participating in forums will build your reputation in your community, and showcase your teaching skills at the same time.
You can do this by answering questions that people post, engaging in conversation with other members, and when appropriate, posting links to your lessons.
Here’s an example of a post I wrote answering a question for a reader in the jazzguitar.be forum.
When people hire a private music teacher online, it’s based on trust.
That trust is built by giving potential students as much of a view into your teaching philosophy and skills as possible in an online situation, such as a forum.
Because forums tend to be a lot of question and answer type conversations, or debates on musical topics, they’re perfect for building trust with people online.
Lastly, make sure to participate in the forum threads, not just post links to your site.
That can get you banned as spam very quickly from a site, which isn’t good, so make sure to read the forum rules before posting any links to your lessons and website.
If allowed, it’s a good idea to post a link to your site in your forum signature, which will be shown at the bottom of every one of your posts in the forum.
That way, the more you participate, and the better the responses you post to questions, the more people will see your website address.
And, if you provide high quality information on the forum, then they’ll associate your website address with high quality music teaching.
Promote Your Online Music Lessons
Once you’ve decided to offer music lessons online, you’ll want to promote those offerings to potential students.
If people don’t know you offer private music lessons, then they can’t sign up for lessons with you.
You might be surprised at how many online music teachers would want to teach Skype lessons, but don’t post any information about lessons on their sites.
In this section, you’ll learn about a number of ways that you can effectively promote your lessons online, without ever coming across as spammy to your audience.
Sometimes the best way to recruit music students online is just making sure people know that you offer lessons.
Yes you have to build your reputation, as you’ve seen earlier in this article, but if people don’t know you teach privately, they won’t enquire about lessons.
If there’s one thing that you do to recruit music students online, it’s promote your lessons in a way that’s not overbearing, but that makes it clear you teach online.
Music Lesson Sales Page
The easiest, and most important way, to promote your music lessons is to have a sales page clearly visible on your website.
On this page, you’d talk about your lessons, what people can expect from there, the benefits of lessons, and any other essential details such as prices, times, etc.
You don’t have to make the page too detailed, or overly long, especially if you have free lessons on your site or on YouTube for people to check out.
Your free lessons are what build trust and your reputation as an expert with your audience, and so you don’t to include too much bio material on your lessons page.
What you do need to have is a clear outline of what the prices are for lessons, many people leave this blank but it just erodes trust with students.
Students might think that lessons are too costly and not inquire, even though they would have found them affordable if they knew the price.
Or, students could be excited about lessons, enquire, and find out they’re too expensive, causing them to be let down.
Either way, leaving prices off your site causes more problems than it’s worth.
Be up front and honest about pricing and you’ll build trust with your followers.
As well, make sure you outline what is provided in lessons, such as a PDF of lesson notes, an audio/video recording of the lesson, or other items.
This’ll help students make their decision, as well as manage their expectations for what is expected from them, and what you provide, in each lesson.
The last, and most important item is to make sure you have an easy way for potential students to contact you about lessons.
This could be a contact form directly on the page that people fill out, or a very clear link to your contact page from the lessons page.
Whatever you decide is fine, just make sure you don’t lose students because they can’t figure out an easy way to get a hold of you to sign up for lessons.
Once you’ve built your lessons page, make sure to include it in your website menus, and link to that page in your lessons.
You can also post it on your social media pages, both in the about sections and as actual posts, to get the word out about lessons.
Don’t overdo your promotion, but you should make it clear to people that you offer lessons, and where to find more information about those offerings.
Discounted Lesson Packages
Lesson packages go hand in hand with a music lessons sales page.
By offering various prices for different lesson packages, you’ll be able to reward those students who commit to the medium and long term.
An example of lesson packages would be:
- One 60-minute lesson for $80
- Two 60-minute lessons for $140
- Four 60-minute lessons for $240
- Five or more – Enquire about pricing
This would mean that people who only want a one off lesson would pay more, but those committing to a longer-term lesson package receive a discount.
You would make less money from those students who buy a larger lesson package, but you receive the money up front, and have guaranteed income for that duration.
This is a win-win for both parties, as the student saves and you have security.
You’ll have to experiment with your pricing to see what works for you.
Currently I offer the above pricing options to my private guitar students online, but I only advertise the first two.
Then, if people want to buy more than two lessons at a time I ask them to email me for pricing.
This works well for me, as most of my students only want to commit to two lessons at a time for personal and financial reasons.
Then, when I have students who’ve taken lessons for a while and are serious about committing long term, I can offer the longer lesson package.
This might not work for you, so experiment and see what the response is from your followers.
Just remember to post any lesson packages clearly on your sales page, so that people know they’re there and don’t find out after the fact that you offer discounts.
Discounts for Subscribers
You can also offer a discount coupon to your email subscribers to help recruit music students online.
There are a few ways that you can do this, starting with providing a discount code in the “welcome” email people receive when signing up to your email newsletter.
In the welcome email, you can write a bit of text that goes something like this:
“Thanks for subscribing to the newsletter. As a subscriber you receive 50% off your first Skype piano lesson. Reply to this email to find out more.”
This discount could be what you offer people as an incentive to sign up to your newsletter, or you can have it as an added bonus alongside another incentive.
If you’re giving away an eBook to subscribers, which is very common for music teachers to do, you can include a coupon in the eBook for a discount on lessons.
By doing so, you’re giving people valuable material, a free eBook, as well as promoting your lessons via the discount.
This is a win-win, you get to promote your lessons and build trust with followers, and your subscribers get a discount on lessons if they sign up.
One thing to watch out for when offering a discount on your first lesson is that you don’t give it away for free.
Teaching online is much different than teaching music lessons in person in this regards, mostly because of the amount of people you’re recruiting.
For example, if you offer a free sample lesson for in-person students, your market is limited to your local area, and then interested guitar students in that area.
This might be an effective way to introduce yourself to potential new students when you offer in-person lessons.
Some people will just take one lesson and never come back, but that number won’t be enough to hurt your business by sucking up all your free time.
But, when you offer music lessons online, you could have hundreds, or thousands of people wanting a free lesson, which is a major problem.
This is why offering a discount, such as 50% off a first lesson, is better than offering a free first lesson.
It still provides a discount to students, but you won’t get stuck teaching a ton of free lessons where students never come back for more lessons.
Test the waters with this offer, some people need it to recruit students, while others get enough inquiries that they don’t need a discount on the first lesson.
Find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to adjust over time, especially as your business grows and your studio grows along with it.
Running a Sale on Music Lessons
One of the most effective ways to promote your lessons, and recruit music students, is to hold a sale on your lessons.
You can offer a discount on a first lesson; you could have a “Buy One Get One Free” sale, or other offers where you provide a discount on your lessons for a short time.
As you grow your online music teaching business, you can experiment with various types of offers in your sales to see what works best for you and your followers.
The other are to experiment with when it comes to sales is timing, so you need to ask yourself:
“When is it best for you and your followers to hold a sale on your lessons? “
There are certain times of year when sales normally occur for any business, and so starting with one or more of these dates would be appropriate.
Here is a list of common sales periods throughout the year.
- New Year (January)
- Memorial Day (May)
- 4th of July (July)
- Back to School (August/September)
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday (November)
- Christmas/End of Year (December
Technically you could have a sale on each of these dates, such as January, May, July, September, November, and December.
But, that would probably be too many sales in too short a time, causing people to wonder why your lessons are full price at any time.
The key to running an effective lesson sale is to make sure it only happens once in awhile, though enough to help build your studio.
This creates the impression that people need to take advantage of the sale, as it won’t come around again for some time.
If you’re constantly running sales, your followers might get used to that and just think:
“I’ll take advantage next month when they offer that sale again.”
This isn’t good for business for many reasons.
So, pick a few days per year, then run a sale on your lessons and see how it goes.
After you’ve tested it a few times, you can find what works for you and your followers, then make it an annual sales event.
For my site, I find that my website’s birthday, June 5th, works well for lessons.
It’s once per year, so I don’t overdo it, and I offer a buy one get one free deal on lessons for the first two lessons people purchase.
This provides value to new students, gives them an incentive to try lessons, and I don’t push it too much on them throughout the year.
I do have other sales on my eBooks throughout the year, but this is the only date that I do a private music lesson sale.
I’ve tried other dates, but they weren’t as effective, so I’m sticking with this one lesson sale every June going forward.
Lastly, don’t wait too long until you begin to promote your lessons through a sale.
I was working with a coaching client recently who’s built a really nice website and who offers private guitar lessons over Skype.
He had a few students sign up for lessons from his website, but he wanted to add a few more to his studio.
I advised him to run a sale, even though his site was only a few months old, but he was hesitant.
He thought that he needed to have more email subscribers, a bigger site, and a larger web presence to hold a sale, but I convinced him to give it a try.
He chose to do an email promotion over the course of a week, buy one lesson get one free, and launched the sale a few weeks later.
The sale was a huge success.
In one week, he was able to sign up 17 new Skype guitar students, and his unsubscribe rate for those promo emails was the same as a lesson email.
This was a lesson in the effectiveness of sales, and in the effectiveness of testing.
If he hadn’t tried the sales email, he wouldn’t know if it was the right time to start promoting his lessons more to his followers.
That knowledge will allow him to plan better going forward, and most importantly, it’s provided him with steady income as he grows his business.
You don’t want to hold a sale too early, as you might not have enough people to promote it to.
But, if you have 4-500 email subscribers, and 500+ social media followers, you can probably start to test your sales and see what happens.
Just remember, don’t overdo sales, provide a big enough discount that it’s worth taking advantage of, and don’t wait too long to give a sale a chance.
Promote But Never Spam
As you begin to promote your website, your lessons, an other material, you’re going to be enthusiastic about it.
And you should be.
You’ve worked hard, put together resources and services that you’re proud of, and that you want to share with the world.
This is a great place to be, and you should want to promote your material.
Make sure you know where the line is between self-promotion and coming across as a spammer.
In my experience, most music teachers who are promoting their lessons and materials online get mislabeled as spam because of their enthusiasm.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort, and sometimes money, into your business, and so you want to people to check it out.
You also want them to hire you as a teacher if they’re looking for lessons.
But, where some people falter is that they go a bit overboard, or a lot overboard in some cases, in their promotion to value ratio.
The promotion to value ratio is the amount of free, valuable, material you give away to your followers compared to how often you promote your lessons to them.
An example of this would be how you run your email list.
If you send out one email per week to your subscribers, and you send three sales email for every one free lesson email, that’s not going to go over well.
People will eventually, or probably quickly, get tired of being sold to from your emails, and either unsubscribe, report you as spam, or both.
But, if you sent 4 or 5 emails out that provided free, valuable, and helpful material to your subscribers for every one sales email, people would be fine with that.
You would just need to test this ratio to see what works best for your email list, and make adjustments in future if that ratio changes either way.
The Internet has been around long enough that people know you’re trying to make money from your website, and that’s perfectly OK.
You should be trying to make money, otherwise you’ll not have the time or resources into building your business, and you’ll do other things with your time.
But, if you put the focus solely on making money, and not providing value, people will recognize that, and they’ll label you as spam.
Whether you deserve that label or not is irrelevant at that point, it’s there.
So, if you get only one thing from this entire article, it should be this:
“It’s cool to promote your business and lessons in an appropriate way, but it’s never cool to spam.”
When you find that line between promotion and spam, where you can promote your business but not annoy followers, your business will grow.
You might have to cross that line a few times before you find it, but that’s all part of the process.
The key to successfully running your online music teaching business, and regularly recruiting students, is to not cross that line too many times.
If you can do that, you’ll build trust with your followers, create a solid online teaching brand, and grow your teaching studio in the process.