Last week I started taking guitar lessons at Harry’s Guitar Studio and it got me thinking: how would I market a private guitar teaching business? First and foremost, I’ll actually have be to a fantastic teacher and player. Marketing always comes after quality. What then? Easy – online marketing. Online marketing is (mostly) free and supremely effective and it can only help spread the word of how remarkable a teacher I am. What would I do?
Write a blog.
I’ll post about my teaching method, thought processes, stories of the students successes (and failures), what it’s like to be in a touring band on the road, experiences of being a musician, videos of my latest gigs, and anything that else that is interesting. Then, I will reply to comments (only if it adds value to the topic) and email personally. Again, I’ll avoid constantly trying to sell my products and services. The point is to earn an audience.
Offer free online lessons, and plenty of them. Post them on Youtube with a link to my main site. I’ll make lessons aimed for all skill levels I teach. Encourage my viewers to show the videos to their friends. But I’ll resist the temptation to incessantly sell my services.
What I want is to offer tremendous value to everyone regardless of whether or not they want to take lessons with me, and do it all for free. I mean, how much does it cost me to record a video of myself then posting it on Youtube? Nothing. In return for my time, I will have proven my expertise to my audience without them having to risk paying for a class. Then they’ll start relying on me.
Free lessons aren’t the only way either. A free weekly email newsletter offering tips could work. Actually, better yet – hold an free interactive online lesson through Ustream. Or maybe even a live concert through it instead, students love to see their teachers performing. However, offer it exclusively to a limited number of your most loyal online followers and to your existing students as well. Let them interact with each other live through an online chat room, this one for example. Ask them bring a couple of their own friends. Word of mouth.
Why do all this work for free? Because free ideas spread quicker than priced ideas. The point is not to make a marketing pitch; it is to spread ideas. To get people talking. But the pleasant side effect is that some of the people who notice me will sign up for my private lessons. There will be those who just visit my site for just the free stuff. That’s fine. It’s my pleasure. They may even tell their friends about the great value I provide, and some their friends will sign up for my lessons and tell their friends who will tell their friends and so on. That leads us to another idea:
I’ll talk to my audience often – paid students or otherwise – using a forum, IM or even set up a chat room on my site. I’m tired of teachers and the like being so inaccessible so I wouldn’t do that to the people who learn from me and respect my opinions. I want to develop a connection with them. Why wouldn’t I talk to the people who support me?
Those are just some basic but effective ideas you could use to not only make your business better, but to make your products more remarkable to your customers. You’re offering incredible value for free and it costs you nothing.
What are you waiting for?