The past few weeks I have been working harder than I have ever worked before to build my business. Fall quarter is about to start, and I find myself with only two students signed up --a very small amount compared to the eight students I had last fall. Unfortunately, I am pretty hopeless at matters of business, so this has all been a new adventure for me.
So far I have learned:
~How to design and publish a web site (Check it out! www.mgpianostudio.com)
~How to design business cards and flyers
~How to write a craigslist ad
~How to bypass my “phonaphobia” when having to call someone.
~That being strategic and sneaky is critically necessary in business-building.
~That I am not very good at being strategic and sneaky. : (
But one of the most difficult things I have had to do thus far (besides the many, many phone calls) is distributing flyers. Going up to someone’s door on visitation or door-knocking is one thing, but going into a store to ask if I can put up a flyer is totally different! I am comfortable with the former, but the latter is still hard, even after a week of intensive flyer-distribution. I am sure the various clerks in the stores I went to felt sorry for me, probably thinking something like “Oh, look at the little girl trying to get piano students! Isn’t it cute the way she tries to be all professional and polite!” I really did try to look my age, but from the questions I have gotten at some of the music stores I have visited, I don’t think it worked very well. Often, when I am asked how long I have been teaching, my answer of 5 years is met with a stifled look of surprise or puzzlement. “If she’s as young as I think she is, that means she started teaching when she was…!” ; )
But, I suppose all that works to my advantage sometimes, since folks usually want to encourage young musicians and teachers. Unfortunately, that encouragement comes more often as advice, rather than new students or referrals. Oh, well! --Maybe I’ll post some of the advice sometime, once I have had a chance to try it out. : )