Advertising your teaching business to attract more students can be an expensive and sometimes overwhelming proposition, but it doesn’t HAVE to be. Thanks to the ever-growing Internet, there are tons of low-cost and even NO COST ways to “hang up your shingle” as a guitar teacher and let people know about the services you have to offer. One of the better ways to reach out to potential new students is to let THEM find YOU…and online teaching directories can make that easy.
There are two kinds of online teaching directories: sites you have to PAY to use, and sites that are FREE. I’ve already told you about a good paid teaching directory, so this article will focus on some of the free services available that you can check out and use to grow your teaching business.
Letting Your Potential Students Do All The Work
There are lots of different ways you can approach advertising and marketing, but one of the approaches I like best is to set something up ONCE, and then let your potential CUSTOMERS do all the work for you after that. Things like word-of-mouth referrals fall into this category, and so do online teaching directories. In my opinion, you need to spend as much time as possible actually MAKING MONEY…actually teaching guitar lessons…and not wasting your whole day goofing around with advertising, which is why the “set it up and forget it” approach appeals to me so much.
In case you’ve never seen one before, an online teaching directory is a website designed for both music TEACHERS and music STUDENTS. Teachers like you can go there and create a PROFILE that describes what you do, where you’re located, etc. The better directories will also let you add photos, video and other media to help you entice potential students a little more effectively. Students usually find the teaching directory site through a search engine, and once they get there they can search for guitar teachers based on whatever criteria they want, like location, genre, etc. It’s a targeted system that makes it REALLY EASY for interested students to find you and contact you about lessons.
How To Use Online Teaching Directories Effectively
Of course, when potential students use a directory like this, they’ll find all your local COMPETITION, as well (assuming they also have the foresight to get listed in the directory). That means you need to make sure YOUR profile stands out among all the others. The best way to do that is to add lots of cool media (if the directory allows it) and write a compelling bio and headline. You could also offer them something free to get their attention…like a free trial lesson, or even some kind of free report or online information that would interest them. Anything that will make your profile stand out from the crowd a little and get them to click and find out more is great, and will help tremendously.
Obviously you should gear your whole profile around getting these potential students (also known as “prospects”) back to your WEBSITE, and then onto your EMAIL LIST. That’s the best way to use a directory like this. There are some prospects who will contact you directly from the profile, but many of them are just browsing around and they won’t make a decision right there on the spot. If you can lure them back to your SITE, and onto your LIST, you can “capture” them as a prospect and tell them all about why YOU are the guitar teacher they’ve been looking for their whole lives. So, in your directory profile, make sure you include a link back to your website so they can find out more…and include some kind of “ethical bribe” in your bio, so they have some incentive to join your email list.
Should you go PAID or FREE?
With so many online teaching directories to choose from, deciding which ones to use can be a little overwhelming. My recommended strategy is to choose one or two PAID directories and sign up for those, and then create profiles on as many of the FREE directories as you can. You really do get what you pay for here…the paid directories will have better search engine rankings (which equals more prospective students to visit your profile) and more robust tools and options for setting up your profile. The free ones tend to be less cool-looking and they usually get fewer visitors, but hey…they’re FREE!
For the free directory sites, the strategy is to go for VOLUME. Set up profiles on as many of them as you can! Every profile you create (with a link back to your website) creates another “backlink”, which will help drive your teaching website higher in the search engine returns. There will be some students who find you through the directories, too, but the biggest benefits to being listed in the online directories are what they can do for your search engine rankings and for building your email list.
List of FREE Teaching Directories
OK, that’s enough about that. I know you’re ready for me to give you a list of some directories you can check out and start setting up profiles on, so here it is. I did some research for you and came up with a list of the best-ranking free online teaching directories out there. I’m sure there are others that didn’t make my list (please leave a comment below to share them with us), but these sites have decent search engine rankings, are targeted towards potential guitar students, and are FREE:
Mel Bay Teacher Registry
Lessons In Your Home.com
Find A Guitar Teacher.com
Music Lessons Plus.org
Find My Music Teacher.com
Music Lesson Teachers.com
Bridge To Music.com
Want to increase awareness about the fact that you teach guitar and bring in some new students? Start with the list above and create some kick-butt, cool-looking and engaging online teaching directory profiles! If you follow the advice in this article, your TEACHING WEBSITE will go up in the search engines, your EMAIL LIST will grow and you’ll hopefully get some new students coming in faster than you can say “Mel Bay”.
Do you have any experience with any of these online teaching directories, or maybe some recommendations for others that should be on the list? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!