Ok, so life happened …. now you need to move piano lessons from being something you do to "bring in a little extra money" to something that actually pays the mortgage. How do you go about that?
After you've figured out your needed income (plus taxes) and your required time, it's time to go find those students! Here are three more strategies for moving this piano teaching gig to your main stream of income:
3. Think OUTSIDE of the box.
It's time to dream up other ways to bring in revenue beyond the 30 minute lesson. Individual lessons are great, but you are stuck in a serious box with those -- 30 minutes, one student, flat fee per lesson. When you stay exclusively with just those types of lessons you are quite literally constrained by the number of 30 minute slots you can squeeze out of a day.
But, when you utilize some non-traditional lesson formats, you can quickly boost your income in ways that don't necessarily require a larger time commitment. Think group lessons, online lessons, buddy lessons, preschool music classes, and more.
Take this example: I give a group preschool piano class once a week for one hour. I keep it limited to a certain number of students (I mean, they are preschoolers!) and I also pay a teenage girl to help me run the class.
The preschool piano class takes an hour of my time, essentially two lesson spots. My preschool families pay roughly half of what a private lesson would cost. So, essentially, I need four preschool students to equal what those two private slots would bring in. But, I have eight (8) preschoolers in that class. So, for the same two slots, I'm making double what I would be if those were private lessons.
Confusing? Kinda. But, my monthly income likes that class. The parents like the class because their kiddos get great music instruction, a fun time with friends, and it is more affordable than private lessons. For me, that little preschool class breaks up my piano lesson day in a super fun way. It is a win win all the way around.
So, think outside the box -- what other lesson formats could you utilize to bring in more money?
4. Plan your marketing strategy.
Remember back in the day, those flyers with tear off strips? I would make one on my computer for piano lessons, carefully cutting along the lines at the bottom. Then, I'd go post it at my library and the students would start calling.
Um, those days are gone.
Your marketing strategy today almost certainly must be on social media. Get connected on Facebook or Instagram. Search for community pages in your area. Start designing little ads marketing yourself (I'm a huge fan of www.canva.com for this). Post everywhere you can think of.
Post on your personal page -- "I've opened up a few more slots!". Ask your friends to share your social media post. Always, of course, word things so that you are in demand, not desperate.
Give referral credit to your current students if they help you fill those slots. Waive registration fees, do whatever it takes to make signing up for a piano lesson much more attractive to people.
See if you can send home a postcard sized flyer through your neighborhood school. Go ahead and put up a poster at the library, or the grocery store, or the children's museum. Any place that parents and kids hang out is a good place.
But get your name out there.
5. Start your marketing strategy NOW.
Now, when you read #4, you might have been a bit overwhelmed or started thinking about this or that, heading down rabbit trails of Facebook algorithms and website development.
Oh friend, don't get stuck there. Just get your piano lesson information out there.
Don't wait until your marketing materials are slick and ready to win an advertising award. Don't try to build a click funnel for the best social media optimization. (And don't waste time looking up what a "click funnel" is).
Keep it simple, get your marketing out there now. Every day you delay is just going to delay you getting to your financial goal. I'm pretty sure your mortgage payment won't wait, so don't you wait either!
Moving your piano lessons from "side hustle" to "main hustle", isn't easy. But, it can be done. Think through how much money you actually need to make. Factor in the taxes. Figure out your time requirements. Think outside the box and add some non-traditional lessons and classes to your schedule. Plan your marketing strategy and most importantly, start your marketing strategy.
Some dreaming and some effort can make this happen for you. Just go for it. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.