Your clarinet studio made it through the pandemic. You, too, survived.
It’s time to focus on bringing in more clarinet students to compensate for the income you’ve lost over the last few years. You may even be able to raise your rates to keep up with—or even beat—inflation.
Here are nine tried-and-true methods for attracting new clarinet students and increasing your lesson rates.
1. Word of mouth is an effective tool. Use it.
Word of mouth is a highly effective recruiting tool for expanding your clarinet studio. When your students tell their friends how great you are as a teacher, it can have a significant impact. As a result, they’re interested in studying with you. Talking to other parents can have the same effect. You can bring in a lot of new business if you generate enough buzz.
You can also generate buzz for yourself.
It’s fine—even encouraged—to ask students and their parents to spread the word about you. A simple reminder could be all that’s required to convince them to recommend you to their friends and family.
2. Participate in social media.
Clarinet teachers can use social media to build brand recognition.
If you share great content about learning and playing clarinet that your network appreciates, they’ll share it with others who enjoy the clarinet and may know someone who wants to take lessons.
Smart hashtagging can also help you get more people to see your social media posts. Concentrate on the type of lessons you offer (#clarinet, #clarinetlessons, or #learnclarinet), the city or neighborhood where you work (#clarinetinchicago), or areas of expertise (#classicalclarinet). Consider spending a few dollars to boost your posts and promote them to local parents who might be interested in your services.
3. Consider opportunities at local schools.
Check to see if there are any openings for part-time clarinet teachers in your area. You might discover that someone has left the district or retired. An opportunity to run woodwind sectionals or simply work with the clarinet sectional in the school or marching band may also arise. These are fantastic ways to get your foot in the door, meet potential private lesson students, and earn more money.
4. Introduce yourself to other music teachers.
The more music teachers you know, the more likely you’ll receive recommendations. Many are competitors, but others may be willing to make referrals if they’re overburdened or know of a student who wants lessons on an instrument they don’t teach. Of course, you should reciprocate to support them, as well.
5. Attend school and community events.
Remember that PTA meetings, school functions, street fairs, and other local events are packed with prospective students and parents who may be interested in your clarinet teaching services. How can you expect people to find you if you’re not present and visible in their lives? Attend as many events as possible. It will provide you with more opportunities to discuss your teaching services.
6. Create and distribute flyers.
Flyers on school bulletin boards, at your local library, or on the coffee shop announcements wall can cut through today’s digital clutter. Keep them bold and direct so that they stand out. Make it clear what distinguishes you and why students will want to learn from you. Include a link to your website so others can learn more about you. Including a QR code may make it easier for people to contact you.
Consider handing out flyers at school and local music events as well. Many people may not want to pick up a handout, but those who do may be interested in speaking with you.
7. Reposition yourself for increased success.
A strengthening economy is an excellent time to reimagine yourself and your career.
Is it time to establish yourself as THE clarinet teacher for serious students?
Perhaps you can become the clarinet coach who secures college scholarships for students.
Maybe you could market yourself as a polished performance expert.
Finding a distinct niche could help you generate more revenue and raise your rates.
8. Be open to out-of-the-box thinking.
Teaching isn’t the only way to make money with your clarinet skills. To earn extra money, consider becoming an accompanist or joining a community group as a ringer. Alternatively, Lisa’s Clarinet Shop can teach you how to repair clarinets. It can be a great way to supplement your income, provide new services to your clarinet students, and possibly even attract new students.
9. Promote yourself!
Many clarinet teachers believe that advertising their services will make them appear unprofessional. A small investment in social media and local advertising channels such as event calendars can give you a lot of exposure. Remember that you have complete control over the messaging and imagery, so present yourself as the upscale, intelligent professional you are when promoting your clarinet teaching services.
Finally, don’t forget…
Encourage students and their parents to leave online ratings and reviews for you. Most people check them before hiring clarinet teachers and other service providers. Five-star ratings and rave reviews can help you stand out from other clarinet teachers in your area.
The pandemic is coming to an end, and the economy is recovering. It’s an excellent time to find new clarinet students, earn more money, and advance your career.