Advertising Lessons in My Area

Posted by: P.M.

Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/03/13 11:26 AM

I am a piano teacher who has been teaching students in my apartment complex for several years now. My advertising has basically come through word of mouth, since I have been in school this entire time pursuing various degrees in music and education. Now that I am done with school, I would like to advertise my business around my apartment complex and surrounding complexes to get more students. I do not have a website for right now since I hope to get a job teaching at a school next year and just want more students in my immediate area for now. When I am typing up my posters, should I include my phone number or just email? I am not sure I am comfortable putting my cell phone number out there in the community, though it is on the business cards that I have given out to parents of current students.

Any thoughts on this?
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/03/13 09:29 PM

Quote:
should I include my phone number or just email?


I would include both.

I know some apartment complex won't allowed home business at all, have you check with your HOA?
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/03/13 10:44 PM

I'd include both too.

From a student/parent's point of view, including a phone number makes it seem more legit. Plus it's instant feedback, no waiting for return emails. You're likely to get more interest with a phone number (it's also less hassle-- everyone has a cellphone these days).
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/03/13 10:57 PM

both
Posted by: Peter K. Mose

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/03/13 11:11 PM

If you're not comfortable, you're not comfortable. Email could certainly be the first point of contact if you prefer, though you would be ruling out of your studio the occasional person who does not have email access.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/04/13 08:14 AM

I wonder what the concern is with giving out your phone number? What's the worst that could happen? I seriously doubt someone is going to add you to a solicitation list from a poster. If it is your business number, it should be public knowledge, not private.

If you are not comfortable with that still, then get a business number. I go through an online system www.ringcentral.com where they give me a local phone number and a toll-free number, plus voice mail that I can check through email, phone, or online. It runs me about $10/month ($120/year). We even get extensions so me and my business partner can both use the same phone number and have the calls forwarded to our cell phones.
Posted by: TimR

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/04/13 09:57 AM

Originally Posted By: P.M.
I do not have a website for right now since I hope to get a job teaching at a school next year and just want more students in my immediate area for now.


The world has changed, much to my dismay, but then they didn't ask me.

Having a website is now an entry level requirement to be considered legitimate if not professional.

Do it, and do it well, get help if you need to.
Posted by: P.M.

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/04/13 01:41 PM

Thank you everyone so much! I ended up posting my number though it is my personal cell phone number and hung the posters around my neighborhood. Most of the people in my neighborhood already know I give lessons so there was really no surprise. I was just afraid of someone harassing me but found out I can block numbers.
I appreciate all of your feedback!
Posted by: Chris Goslow

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/05/13 02:51 PM

Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: P.M.
I do not have a website for right now since I hope to get a job teaching at a school next year and just want more students in my immediate area for now.


The world has changed, much to my dismay, but then they didn't ask me.

Having a website is now an entry level requirement to be considered legitimate if not professional.

Do it, and do it well, get help if you need to.


I completely agree. A website is very important. If I were you, I would continue the flyering while also working on the website. Personally, on my flyers I have a website link to a contact page and then I also include a phone number.

Also, if you're not already doing it, Craigslist is a great free place to advertise lessons, at least here in the U.S., where tons of people use Craigslist.

Good luck!
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/09/13 03:08 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris Goslow
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: P.M.
I do not have a website for right now since I hope to get a job teaching at a school next year and just want more students in my immediate area for now.


The world has changed, much to my dismay, but then they didn't ask me.

Having a website is now an entry level requirement to be considered legitimate if not professional.

Do it, and do it well, get help if you need to.


I completely agree. A website is very important. If I were you, I would continue the flyering while also working on the website. Personally, on my flyers I have a website link to a contact page and then I also include a phone number.

Also, if you're not already doing it, Craigslist is a great free place to advertise lessons, at least here in the U.S., where tons of people use Craigslist.

Good luck!


No website is better than an unprofessional website. (Poorly designed.)

Design psychology says that a website that repels visitors reflects negatively on their impression of you as a professional.

If you're really keen on it, hire a designer or use a good template. Don't stuff it with too many fluff words and most of all, don't fake testimonials.

Good luck!
Posted by: UrLicht

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/15/13 12:22 PM

Originally Posted By: P.M.
Thank you everyone so much! I ended up posting my number though it is my personal cell phone number and hung the posters around my neighborhood. Most of the people in my neighborhood already know I give lessons so there was really no surprise. I was just afraid of someone harassing me but found out I can block numbers.
I appreciate all of your feedback!


For anyone facing the dilemma of giving out their cell number (and who lives in the U.S.), take a look at Google Voice. It lets you pick a new number in your area that will forward all calls to your cell (and any other phone you want it to ring). You can also block calls really easily, and as an added benefit, you can have the caller ID show your google voice number on your phone, letting you know you have a call on your "business line". It's really cool technology, and it's free for calls inside the US and Canada.
Posted by: Bluoh

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/15/13 07:36 PM

Originally Posted By: UrLicht
Originally Posted By: P.M.
Thank you everyone so much! I ended up posting my number though it is my personal cell phone number and hung the posters around my neighborhood. Most of the people in my neighborhood already know I give lessons so there was really no surprise. I was just afraid of someone harassing me but found out I can block numbers.
I appreciate all of your feedback!


For anyone facing the dilemma of giving out their cell number (and who lives in the U.S.), take a look at Google Voice. It lets you pick a new number in your area that will forward all calls to your cell (and any other phone you want it to ring). You can also block calls really easily, and as an added benefit, you can have the caller ID show your google voice number on your phone, letting you know you have a call on your "business line". It's really cool technology, and it's free for calls inside the US and Canada.


I hope it expands for Canada soon-- it sounds good. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Morodiene

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/16/13 09:07 AM

Originally Posted By: UrLicht
Originally Posted By: P.M.
Thank you everyone so much! I ended up posting my number though it is my personal cell phone number and hung the posters around my neighborhood. Most of the people in my neighborhood already know I give lessons so there was really no surprise. I was just afraid of someone harassing me but found out I can block numbers.
I appreciate all of your feedback!


For anyone facing the dilemma of giving out their cell number (and who lives in the U.S.), take a look at Google Voice. It lets you pick a new number in your area that will forward all calls to your cell (and any other phone you want it to ring). You can also block calls really easily, and as an added benefit, you can have the caller ID show your google voice number on your phone, letting you know you have a call on your "business line". It's really cool technology, and it's free for calls inside the US and Canada.


This is the same thing I mentioned in my post earlier. I'm sure there are other companies that offer this service outside the US as well - just do a search online and you'll be able to find several.
Posted by: UrLicht

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/19/13 05:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
This is the same thing I mentioned in my post earlier. I'm sure there are other companies that offer this service outside the US as well - just do a search online and you'll be able to find several.


Sorry about that, I'm an idiot. wink I swear I read most of the post!
Posted by: Okanagan Musician

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/22/13 01:35 AM

Have two cell phones - one for person and one for business. Plans are cheap these days - my business phone only costs me $20 a month with a basic plan. Keep that phone on you Monday-Friday then turn it off. Works great.

For your posters, make sure the phone number is on there. Remember there is no such thing as an urgent email - generally tire-kickers who just want more info will email. Those who are serious about lessons will call.

Actually, print a poster with your number and other pertinent info - then make the bottom section of your poster with little tabs (each with your name and number) for people to rip off. That way you can post them on bulletin boards at grocery stores, schools, anywhere where they have them. Where I live, even some bars and pubs have a cork-board near the door where everyone puts up a business card or flyer for free.

People will rip them off, dig them out of their pocket later when convenient and call you.
Posted by: pianoSD

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 01:20 PM

Lots of good discussion here. Here's a couple of my thoughts regarding websites.

Some sort of online presence is definitely a necessity these days to advertise your lessons. But it doesn't have to be a traditional website. In fact, I droppped my piano lesson personal website just a few months ago because it was costing about $50 a month to run it (domain name, hosting, and web developer costs), and I wasn't getting any business from it either. The thing is... just because you create a website doesn't mean it will get found. As I understand it, you have to have search engine optimization for the website which costs more $$$ to get anywhere near the top of Google for a given keyword. In fact, I read that 98% of people who search in Google only click on a result in the first page. So if you aren't on the first or second page, your website isn't likely to get found.

However, there are many free alternatives that are actually better for most of us. I highly recommend creating a Facebook fan page for your piano lessons. Everyone is on Facebook, and it gives me an opportunity to interact with my students outside of the lessons. I post piano articles, polls, and sometimes Youtube videos of my students playing. They love it. I've even run discounts on Facebook for my current students when they "like" my page because then their Facebook friends see that they "liked" my page and I get more exposure. I have received one new student I know directly because of this.

I also highly recommend the website onlessons.com or some other lesson website where you can list your piano lessons. OnLessons is a free website to sign up (although I think they have a paid plan too) and already my profile is on the first page of Google. It has all the things I had on my regular website such as my background, experience, student reviews, contact information, pricing, etc., but I'm not paying $50/month. Students can even book lessons with me online which is pretty cool.

Finally, Craigslist is a great tool. It's another awesome resource for free advertising in your local area. I post three different ads for my piano lessons every 2 days. I tried posting more, but my ads got blocked. Once again, a great FREE resource to benefit from.

Hope this helps everyone. The free solutions are what have been working for me.
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoSD
The thing is... just because you create a website doesn't mean it will get found. As I understand it, you have to have search engine optimization for the website which costs more $$$ to get anywhere near the top of Google for a given keyword. In fact, I read that 98% of people who search in Google only click on a result in the first page. So if you aren't on the first or second page, your website isn't likely to get found.

This is the same feedback I got from several colleagues who have websites, but don't get a lot of traffic to their sites. They still keep their sites and write it off as a business expense though.
Posted by: The Monkeys

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 03:59 PM

The website is not for total strangers to find you, you won't get new recruits that way.

However, a professional looking site is critical to boost the confidence of your potential clients after they heard about you.

I don't know why anyone nowadays would pay any money to host a site, let alone $50/month! Google Site is completely free and you can self create a clean looking site. it can look as good as any site if you know how to do it. There is no money involved, just your effort.

Facebook and Twitter are good promotion tools, if your students are 13 or older, ask them to be your friend or fan, post something there once for a while, and find a way to have them to "like" your post. Their friends will see what they like.

Anyone on facebook nowadays would feel embarrassed to have less then 3 dozen friends, it is not uncommon for the teenagers to have a couple hundred "friends" on facebook. If you managed to have just 10 students/parents to "like" your post, the message will reach at least a few hundreds high quality audience.

Facebook is a very powerful promotion tool, that's why it is valued at more than 50 billions!

But once again, Facebook and Twitter doesn't replace your website. They help to bring high quality traffic too your website.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 06:48 PM

When I was looking for teachers, I checked local MTNA list, classifieds and craigslist and then googled to find out whatever I could.

Teachers I did not call:
deceased (found obit)
no information on Google
obviously crazy--some wild story about expulsion from a conservatory based on some sexual charge, with sleazy follow up in several places online.
Too far away
Too much overt religion or politics (including rabid letters to the editor and religious publications)
Posted by: AZNpiano

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 07:15 PM

Originally Posted By: malkin
Teachers I did not call:
...no information on Google

How can you evaluate a teacher's skills and expertise based on a lack of web presence? Maybe the teacher enjoys her privacy.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 07:38 PM

Quote:
Google Site is completely free and you can self create a clean looking site.


Just like my website, I create it for free. My domain with 1&1 is only $10 per year. It is not as good as professional website, but it serve its purpose.
Posted by: ezpiano.org

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 08:01 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: malkin
Teachers I did not call:
...no information on Google

How can you evaluate a teacher's skills and expertise based on a lack of web presence? Maybe the teacher enjoys her privacy.


As far as I know the best two piano teachers in Irvine do not have a web presence. They simply fill up their studio with all excellent students due to word of mouth and their reputation in the community.
Posted by: MomOfBeginners

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 08:32 PM

Like Malkin, during my teacher search, I did not contact teachers who did not have a website and who were not recommended by someone else.

It's not because I thought teachers with no websites are bad. It's because before picking up the phone and investing in the energy to talk with a teacher, I'd rather have a bit of information about that teacher first - whether it's a recommendation, a website, or some indication of what the type of teacher I'd be talking to.

Certainly, if I went down my list of teachers with websites or referrals and still didn't find a suitable teacher, I'd start on the list of names + phone numbers. In my case, I just never got that far.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 02/28/13 10:03 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: malkin
Teachers I did not call:
...no information on Google

How can you evaluate a teacher's skills and expertise based on a lack of web presence? Maybe the teacher enjoys her privacy.


I wasn't only evaluating their skills and expertise. I was evaluating their suitability as a teacher.

Email and text are my preferred means of contact, and web presence is a good indicator of that.

Many of the Google hits for teachers were for newsletters, publications, recitals, and cute stuff like a photo of 'little billy at his recital with his teacher (name). Just a bit of history.
Posted by: UrLicht

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 03/07/13 10:55 PM

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: pianoSD
The thing is... just because you create a website doesn't mean it will get found. As I understand it, you have to have search engine optimization for the website which costs more $$$ to get anywhere near the top of Google for a given keyword. In fact, I read that 98% of people who search in Google only click on a result in the first page. So if you aren't on the first or second page, your website isn't likely to get found.

This is the same feedback I got from several colleagues who have websites, but don't get a lot of traffic to their sites. They still keep their sites and write it off as a business expense though.


It really isn't that hard to rank in google and does not cost anything! - it just takes some effort. Spend about an hour with http://www.seomoz.org/beginners-guide-to-seo and you'll see. Implement just a couple of those ideas on your site and you'll increase traffic. Also list your business on google places (places.google.com) and it will show up when people search for local businesses (e.g. "piano lessons in Farmington, ut"). You definitely can use a website to find students.
Posted by: malkin

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 03/07/13 11:33 PM

Originally Posted By: UrLicht

... You definitely can use a website to find students.


I think you mean "You can use a website to help students find you."

(Howdy Neighbor! I'm in SLC. )
Posted by: Scott Hamlin

Re: Advertising Lessons in My Area - 03/12/13 08:22 AM

You can also make a nice Facebook page,,,
have your current students "share" your
page to help get the word out. Price
is right!