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Do you play a musical instrument and have a passion for music? Then you can build a profitable business by teaching music lessons.
Many schools are cutting music programs. As a result, parents are forced to look outside for their child’s music education. There are also plenty of adults who want to take music lessons. They either want to rediscover their childhood passion or cross something off their bucket list. This means there’s a high demand for music teachers.
Teaching music lessons can give you a profitable business. First of all, there are almost no overhead costs. That’s because all you really need is your own knowledge and an instrument. However, it can help to have a computer or smartphone with good Internet access.
Many music instructors teach out of their homes. Or they travel to their students’ homes for lessons. You can even teach music lessons online via webcam. However, as with any business, there are several steps you need to take in order to start a profitable music teaching business.
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Hone Your Skills
You don’t need to have a degree in music to be a good music teacher. However, you do need to have a solid grasp of your instrument and music theory. While there’s an old adage that you only need to “stay one lesson ahead” of your student, this rarely works.
For one thing, your students will feel more confident about you as a teacher if you can show off a little bit. You don’t want to be too much of a showboat. However, you do want to be an inspiration and a good role model for your students. If you are self-taught or it’s been awhile since you’ve taken a lesson, brush up on your skills. Do that by looking over some sample lesson plans or tutorial videos on YouTube.
Build Your Marketing Strategy
The hard part of teaching private lessons is getting students. Marketing can be expensive, so make sure to pick the strategies that give you the most bang for your buck.
Therefore, don’t waste your time and money hanging up fliers or putting ads in the newspaper. It’s 2018, and most potential music students find their teachers either through word of mouth or through the Internet. However, word-of-mouth advertising can be hard to cultivate when you’re first starting out. Nonetheless, it won’t hurt to encourage your friends and family to recommend you as a teacher.
You might have more success by posting for free on online classified websites like Craigslist. Furthermore, to establish your legitimacy, join a web platform that will allow you to get background-checked. Then you can be listed as a certified music teacher. Music lesson marketplaces like these will often do marketing on your behalf. Therefore, if you maintain a good relationship and reputation, you’ll get plenty of students.
Keep Good Records
Most music teachers are sole proprietors or independent contractors. However, even if you’re teaching music lessons for a music company, you’ll probably still get a 1099 at the end of the year instead of a W2.
This means that you’ll need to keep good records of who pays you, as well as how much and when they paid you. You should also keep track of which lessons your students took from you.
You’ll also want to keep a log of all of the miles you drive for your lessons, especially if you’re driving to your students. The distance you drive is a huge tax deduction. Therefore, you can save a lot of money come tax season if you have good records.
Good records will help you to keep track of your students’ accounts. It can also help to prevent you from inadvertently teaching music lessons without getting paid.
To make things easier on yourself, use an accounting app like Wave, along with a mileage tracking app like Everlance.
Keep People Coming Back
Unlike most industries, you don’t need to keep continually getting new clients to keep the money flowing. Many people, especially kids, take lessons weekly for many years.
However, to keep your students coming back for more lessons, it’s important to be communicative, responsible, and fun. Keep perfecting your craft, too. Not only will this help you stay ahead of your students, but it will also give you new insights that you can pass along to your students.
Your long-term students will help spread the word about you and amplify your word-of-mouth marketing. If your students provide testimonials and reviews, you can use those to attract new students as well.
Start Teaching Music Lessons for the Career of Your Dreams
Teaching music lessons can be rewarding, fun, and profitable, as long as you take the right precautions. As a matter of fact, you might have so much fun that you forget sometimes that you’re running a business. Therefore, always keep good records and stay professional.
If you have the right mindset and ambition, you can build a lucrative career while spreading your love of music.