You’ve made the leap. Perhaps you’re already teaching your music lessons online (Skype lessons?) or you’ve decided that it’s for you and you’re ready to go. You’ve got your webcam set up and optimized, your studio is looking great, your Internet speed is screaming. Now what?
The title of this post sounds like it may be about how to price your lessons. My intention, however, is for it to be a consideration of how you spend your time and what your priorities are.
Unless you’re simply transferring your physical teaching to online, you need students. Your online teaching studio lives in the virtual world, so despite the “viral” nature of that world, you’re probably not going to be getting student referrals from fellow teachers, through your friends and family network, your Yellow Pages ad or even, believe it or not, from your website. It’s a massive space--full of possibility, but also chock full of great ways to waste your money and valuable time!
You absolutely should have a website, write a blog, frequent the websites rich with music teaching information and resources. But don’t rely on your website to attract significant traffic that will convert into online music students--this doesn’t happen without a large investment of time and money. Professional marketers make a daily habit of studying the ever-changing and latest SEO (Search Engine Optimization), writing and buying effective digital marketing ads, understanding the analytics of search behavior, and optimizing, optimizing optimizing--sometimes many times each day.
Additionally, you’ll want to have great resources for your online teaching--a robust solution for delivering the video/audio, tools that enhance the online learning experience, resources for best practices and a community of professionals who understand and support what you’re doing. Skype is a tool best used for weekend cross-country family get togethers, when all the throttling and inconsistency can be tolerated. You’re a professional though, and you can’t tolerate this for the learning that you want your students to achieve.
My suggestion: focus on what you makes you special and valuable: teaching music! Trolling the Internet and spending hours posting on listservs for answers, dealing with the trial and error of various software solutions, trying various marketing gimmicks...is this really what you want to spend your time doing?
So, you may ask, where does this leave me? How do I find these online students? How do I keep up with the state of the art in delivering online lessons? I’ve outlined a number of tips here, and will continue this series by sharing specific ideas and solutions about how you can build the best online teaching studio that connects you with the students who are the best fit for you.
Observer of the world of music, performance, learning and technology. Performer, Producer, Recording Artist, VP Community and Content-Zenph Inc.