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Finding New Adult Students

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

Finding new students can be the toughest part of teaching piano. Why? It often involves ‘selling ourselves’. There I said it. Visions of door-to-door salesmen in hilarious plaid pants come to mind. These salesmen were bold enough to knock on your door and convince you that your old vacuum was a thing of the past and you must have the latest one. “Get out there and sell yourself!” their bosses bellowed. Fortunately there is a better way.

I owned retail stores for 3 decades in addition to my musical career. Advertising the stores was a part of the job description. I attended courses by McDonald’s (yes, the hamburger chain), read oodles of books on selling and worked with great advertising agencies. I’ll share with you the most important thing I learned about advertising over those 30 plus years…

Sell what your product does for your customer. Sell the benefits. Never sell yourself.

What does this mean? An example is often better than words… If you were an adult looking to get back into piano, which ad would you respond to?


Or this?

The first ad shows a solution to what many adults are pondering. If I start back at the piano will it be fun this time? Will I be able to play some Christmas carols for my family?...etc. Of course no one would ever put up the second ad but I have seen subtle versions of it over the years.

Don’t sell yourself, sell the benefits to your students... the courses you teach and the results your students will get from signing up with you!

Here are some business card size adds to print and post around town at fitness centers, seniors centers, coffee shops, … anywhere that shows off local business cards. Print them out on regular paper or card stock, add your phone number, and cut them to size.

Click here to download a free printable. Put up a version of your add on Craigslist or Kijiji and always have some cards in your wallet to hand out.


I’ll leave you with an inventive add from Craigslist…

Established string quartet requires 2 violinists and a cellist!


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