Advertising- Getting Started
Found in: About Business
Jeff W. North Dakota
Any suggestions on advertising for the first time? I’m looking for something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, yet will get the phone ringing.
Sheri R. California
I’ve been teaching a year and a half and found that if you spend more money upfront you will be able to go full-time faster. My little ads on the classified pages brought a steady stream, but
a slow one. Even the small ads on the first few pages of the paper brought
in a slow steady stream. When I put in a half page ad, or even a flyer insert, into the same local weekly free paper I received 30 to 40 inquiries in the first couple of days. Most sign up after coming to an intro session.
I’m concentrating on only doing groups now although I have private students
left-over from when the calls came in one-by-one. If you want a lot fast and want to do groups it’s best to spend some money.
I spend $800 on the 1/2 page ad and $1,300 on the flyer insert and get about 30 new students with one ad. It pays for itself in less than two lessons for each student (at $25/lesson) – well worth it. Beg, borrow, or steal (not) the necessary funds, is my advice – hopefully you live in a similar type community where people will be very excited to see the ad and start learning with you.
Best of luck!
Sarah H. AU
When I first started teaching I rang up some local newspapers, and one of the papers did an article on me, for free, and with a nice big photo. I got 25 students from it! It’s amazing how people believe something has credibility if a newspaper writes about it. When I spoke to the newspapers I made sure I came from an angle of really believing that SM had something huge to offer the community rather than just me wanting to start up a new business.
Vonnie L. Oregon
Don’t forget that often the best form of “advertising” is free. That is, news articles that your local paper prints because you are doing something newsworthy. Usually you can get a write-up in the business section for opening up or expanding a business. You might also get an article for having an open house, for moving up a step in status (licensed to accredited, etc.), for having a recital to which the public is invited. You just have to write up the article more or less in the form that your paper uses and submit it to the right person at the paper. Don’t be afraid to write it as if you were interviewed. (“Simply Music is xxxx,” says Jeff W.) Give them plenty of time to get it in before the actual date and then call the person to make sure he/she got it. You may get extra lines if you are interviewed personally.
Also, consider joining something like your local Chamber of Commerce. I recently joined the Albany Downtown Association, which promotes business in the downtown area where my studio is located. It got me a brief notice in their newsletter. I’m also supposed to get some free radio spots, a link on their website, a chance to put a free insert in their newsletter, etc.
Another thing which I have learned from asking several people where they would go if they were looking for a piano teacher: The majority said they would ask the music director at their church. So I will soon start contacting all the area churches to try to introduce myself to their music director/pastor.
My problem is finding time to do all these things between my other responsibilities. My daughter, who is also a music teacher, says it is best if you can dedicate one day a week to building your business.