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STG 112: Growing Your Teaching Studio $5 At A Time

 

complete guitar player

There are a lot of cool websites out there, but the coolest site for small business owners has got to be fiverr.com. There’s no place else on earth where you can get almost anything done that you could imagine and only have to pay $5 for it. There are LOTS of valuable services on fiverr that can help you grow and build your guitar teaching studio if you know what to look for and if you know how to engage fiverr sellers in the most effective way.

In this episode, I’ll give you some specific examples of the kinds of services you can buy on fiverr.com that can benefit your teaching studio and you as a guitar teacher. I’ll also give you some tips and best practices you can follow to make sure you get MORE than your $5 worth and don’t get burned by a bad seller. I’ll even share a cool strategy with you that can help you seriously skyrocket your studio’s growth, once you get to the right level to implement it. If you’re ready to start expanding your teaching studio on a shoestring, this episode – and fiverr.com – can help you do it.

To call in with a question, a comment or to leave feedback for the show, call the Listener Feedback Hotline at (719) 428-5480 and leave a message! I just might include your recorded message in a future episode.

Items Mentioned In This Episode

Link – Fiverr.com
Link – Fiverr’s Music & Audio Category

Podcast Transcript

Fiverr.com is one of the coolest sites on the web for a small business owner. You could go check it out by typing into your web browser, www.Fiverr.com. And on this website, Fiverr.com, you could pay someone to do almost anything for only five dollars. Yes, you heard me correctly. Everything on the site has a five-dollar price tag on it.

On this site, they call these five-dollar services gigs, so for five bucks, you can pay someone to actually do something, to perform a service for you in a number of different categories, many of which are useful for growing your teaching studio. There are actually over one million gigs posted on Fiverr.com at any one time. Everything from website design to article writing to video editing, and a whole bunch more. I’m going to get into a lot of specific examples of how this will benefit you as a guitar teacher.

And I know a lot of you listening to this have used Fiverr.com before for various things. Some of you probably use it quite a bit, like I do, but some of you may have never heard of this site or, if you did, you never realized how useful it could be to you as a guitar teacher. So, in this episode, I’m going to tell you all about Fiverr and, in particular, how to use it to grow your teaching studio one five-dollar gig at a time. So, purchasing small services for five dollars can help you get your teaching business up and running more quickly, and it can enable you to do things that you couldn’t do on your own.

Why You Should Care

Okay. So, before we dive in, let’s talk about why you should even care about Fiverr.com. Why you should even care about paying other people to do things for you in your business. Well, here’s why. The first reason is it increases your capabilities. Nobody is an expert at everything. Not you. Not me. Not anyone. And you shouldn’t try to be an expert at everything. If you’re trying to do everything, then you end up not doing anything well. You just, you know, are jack-of-all-trades, master of none. So, instead of wasting your time whenever you could be doing things more valuable to your business and instead of trying to learn how to do everything yourself, it’s a much better strategy to pay someone who already knows how to do it.

And you don’t have to pay them a lot. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think it does. But if you pay someone else to do something and you don’t have to do it, it gives you capabilities that you didn’t have before. This lets you focus on the core things that only you can do to make your teaching studio successful. You can focus on teaching lessons. You can focus on marketing. You can focus on being a leader to your students, and you don’t have to worry about dumb things like creating logos and, you know, all the other stuff I’ll get into in a minute. So, it increases your capabilities as what we call a “solopreneur”, a one-man operation or one-woman operation in a teaching studio, or even if you have other people working for you, a lot of the things you can delegate are better done by someone else so that you can focus on what can make your business more successful.

The next reason you need to think about this is it saves you time. Even if you know how to do something and you can do it really well, that doesn’t mean that you should be doing it. As a business owner, you have to learn how to delegate other things so that you can spend time doing what really matters. Every minute you spend on something that doesn’t make you money is cutting into your studio’s profit. So, everything from office tasks to admin tasks to marketing support tasks to website stuff – you can delegate all of that. You can outsource it to someone else for really cheap. You would be surprised how cheap you can get some of this stuff done, and save yourself a bunch of time. I know that everyone listening to this is probably busy all the time with stuff related to teaching. This could take a lot of stuff off your plate.

Another reason why is it saves you money. If you outsource mundane tasks, things you don’t like to do, things you don’t know how to do, things that you do know how to do, but you don’t have time to do, you can save a lot of money. Fiverr.com can save you a ton of money on things like design work. Technical support. There are guys on there that’ll fix your WordPress site for you or your website. Online marketing. There are a lot of gigs on Fiverr, where people will actually do things that can help you with your marketing too. If you just need something simple done, I’m not talking about this elaborate project, right? You can’t work miracles with a five-dollar bill, but if you need something simple done, rather than pay some local expert in your town to do it that’s going to charge you an arm and a leg, just get someone on Fiverr to do it for you and save the money.

And then the last reason why you should consider this is that it’s a cheap way to try outsourcing. Outsourcing and delegating tasks that you don’t have to be doing and that you don’t need to be doing is a big key to growing your teaching studio. Now, there are going to be some new skills to learn if you want to do this right. You can’t just throw five bucks at someone and then, you know, ask them to do something and then forget about it, and come back and expect to get the result that you originally had in mind. There are some skills that are involved with managing outsourcers, but Fiverr.com makes it easy to try out outsourcing small tasks so that you can get a feel for it, and then there’s low risk in doing so because all you’re risking is, you know, five bucks.

So, it’s a very cool thing. It’s a very cool way to get your teaching studio kind of to another level. So, now, I know what you’ve been waiting for. You want specifics, so let me tell you some of the specific things that you can pay someone to do on Fiverr.com for five dollars.

Graphics and Design

Okay, the first category is Graphics and Design Work. How about getting someone to build a logo for your teaching studio for five dollars? It’s there. How about getting someone to design pieces of your website for five dollars? There are people out there who will do it. How about if you need a banner or a header graphic for the top of your website? Fiverr.com can hook you up. Landing pages. They’ll make them for you. How about if you just need to get a cool-looking flyer designed for your teaching studio because you’re going to go and hand some of those out? Get someone on Fiverr to design it for you for five bucks instead of spending two hours messing with it yourself.

They will design business cards for you. They will design stickers for you. They will do custom illustrations based on what you ask them to do. So, if you say, “Hey, I want a picture of a squirrel cutting a back flip and landing inside the sound hole of a Martin Dreadnought guitar,” they’ll draw it for you. It’s just up to your imagination and whenever you want it to get done. Just look in there and you can see. These are just examples that are useful. And if you look through their listings, you can probably find other things too.

They will Photoshop pictures for you. Let’s say you’ve got this great photo of yourself, but there are shadows or there’s something about it that you don’t like that you want to put on your website. Five bucks. They’ll fix it for you. You don’t have to buy the tools. You don’t have to mess with it. Someone on Fiverr will do it for only five dollars. There are people on there that, for five bucks, will draw a cartoon or a caricature of you or one of your students, or anyone that you send them a picture of. Very cool.

Now, after I give you each little section here, I’m going to also give you some caveats. Some best practices that you need to be aware of when you’re using this, because yes, it’s cheap. Yes, it’s easy. But if you want to get the result that you’re looking for, you’ve got to be careful. So, best practices for graphics and design: you want to make sure that you have a unified theme for all of your design work on your website and on your cards, and your flyers. Anything that you do. Stickers. You want it all to kind of look the same and have a similar theme, because that’s a big part of your brand.

So, what you want to do is make sure that you don’t use 30 different designers and have each one of them do a different piece of it, because then your brand is going to look like Frankenstein. Try a few different people out. Get some work done, and then try to get either all your work done from the same group of people, a small group, or maybe the same person, or give them examples of pieces of your design that you already like and make sure that it flows and blends with what you’ve already got. Okay, it’s an important piece. So, that’s a big best practice. You want a unified theme for all of your design work, and then you want to be careful about getting everything from a different designer so that your brand flows and has kind of a common theme to it.

Online Marketing

Okay, the next category is Online Marketing. These are gigs that you can hire people to do on Fiverr to help you with your online marketing. They will do web analytics for you. They will setup Google Analytics. They will give you advice on interpreting what your analytics mean. They will make sure that your analytics is working right, and troubleshoot it and fix it if it isn’t. They will help you setup reports in Google Analytics. Cool stuff. Five bucks each. They will do keyword research for you for five bucks. They will put together SEO reports for your website for five bucks. Now, these probably are not going to be as detailed and in-depth as you would pay a professional for, but for five bucks it’s good information.

They will help you do online advertising. They will help you get listed in local search. They will help you get backlinks to your site for five bucks. They will setup your social media profiles for you for five bucks. They will even get you social media followers for five bucks.

Now, here are some best practices for outsourcing your online marketing. Many of the tactics that you can buy on Fiverr are going to be considered black hat and they can get you penalized in Google, so you want to be careful. Do some research before you hire someone to send traffic or links to your site, because this is a mistake I made in the early days of Start Teaching Guitar. I wanted to get my site ranking, so I paid someone to create links. It wasn’t a ton of links. It was a small amount, but eventually STG got penalized by Google because I did that. So, just be careful. Before you hire someone, a lot of the advertisements for gigs make it sound too good to be true, like: “Yeah, I will get you one thousand backlinks to your website for five dollars,” or whatever. Be careful. A lot of times, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. So, buyer beware.

Writing

The next section is Writing. Fiverr.com. You could pay someone for five bucks to write copy for your website for your teaching studio. They’ll write your homepage. They’ll write your about page. They will write all these different areas of your teaching studio for you for five bucks a page. They will write complete blog articles for you. They will do transcripts of your audio or video for you for five bucks. And actually, I am paying a great person right now to do transcripts of the Start Teaching Guitar Podcast. By the time you listen to this, there will probably be a transcript of this episode, and I paid someone five dollars for each 15 minutes to listen to it and type up everything up for me really nicely. You could do the same thing with your audio and video.

They will write press releases for you. They will proofread and edit things that you write or that someone else writes for you. They will even translate your writing into a different language. So, there are all kinds of writing gigs that can benefit you and your studio on Fiverr.

Now, best practices. Obviously you’re going to get what you pay for. So, don’t expect amazing writing for five dollars if you pay someone to write for you. It’s going to be probably decent and you might have to massage it or whatever, or pay somebody else five dollars to spruce it up, but hey, for 10-15 bucks, you have a pretty cool article there that didn’t really cost you very much and you didn’t have to do it yourself.

Another thing: you want to make sure that the writer knows about your topic. So, you might have to dig pretty deep in Fiverr to find someone that’s actually a guitar player or maybe even a guitar teacher to help you write stuff that your potential students are going to actually think is worth reading. And like I said, you’re probably going to have to do a bit of proofreading and some multiple revisions of this stuff, but hey, it’s only five bucks. You’re saving yourself a ton of time and it can work out really well for you if you handle it in the right way.

Video and Animation

So, the next category is Video and Animation. Now, I couldn’t believe this. Other people that are members of STG All-Access and stuff posted some of their example videos that they put on their website in the forums and some of the video bumpers – a bumper is what’s at the beginning of the video and then again at the end to kind of make it look professional. They got their bumpers done for five bucks on Fiverr.com, and it looked really, really good. So, for five bucks, someone will create video bumpers for your website videos and your YouTube videos. Someone, for five bucks, will create a commercial. A video commercial for your teaching studio. Someone, for five bucks, will edit so many minutes of video that you shoot and make it look good.

They will even create video testimonials and reviews of that person actually reviewing and giving a testimonial for your business. They will even do some crazy concept videos on Fiverr for five bucks. They’ll do stuff with puppets. They’ll do stop motion animation. They’ll do computer-generated animation and stuff, all based on what you tell them you want it to be about, for so many minutes for five bucks. It’s crazy.

Now, best practices. Obviously you’re not going to get a long video edited for five dollars, so you want to watch and see. A lot of them are going to have caveats that say, “You know, this five dollars is only for the first ten minutes,” or whatever. So, you’ve got to add up how long your video is and buy multiple gigs for them to do the whole thing. So, just watch out for that. And another thing: don’t use fake testimonials. Okay, you want to keep it real. One of the things they’ll do on there is put together video testimonials for you, and I advise against doing that, just as a point of integrity. When people see those testimonials, you should make sure that it’s from actual students, actual people that have worked with you. They’re going to be more effective that way anyway.

Music and Audio

The next category is Music and Audio. They have people on Fiverr.com that, for five dollars, will do audio editing for you. They will create jingles for you. They will professional voicemail greetings for your phone system or for your cellphone so that when people call to get information about your studio, if they leave you a voicemail, it’s this professional-sounding thing. They will do narration and voice-over work for videos. For things like podcast intros and if you need someone to record cool commercials or something for you, there are people on there that’ll do it for five bucks. And actually, the lady who recorded the narration and voice work for the intro and outro to the Start Teaching Guitar Podcast that you’re listening to right now – I found her on Fiverr, and paid five dollars for her to do it. It sounds great. It’s awesome.

Another cool thing that you may not have realized is that you can also buy and sell music lessons on Fiverr.com under the music and audio category, and language lessons, and anything else, but music lessons. Huh, think about that one for a second and I’ll get back to it a little bit later in the episode.

Now, best practices in this category. You want to try to use the same voice for all of your voice work. If you’re going to hire one person to do your voicemail message and you need them to do other things too, try to get the same person just so that you have consistency. That’s a good point to keep in mind, and when you’re doing any of this stuff, keep it consistent and don’t have like a Frankenstein approach to your marketing and things. Okay, very important.

Programming and Technology

Now, the next category. This is an exciting one. Programming and Technology. For five dollars, someone on Fiverr.com will fix your website problems. They will remove viruses from your computer. They will fix your network problems. Whatever problems you might have. If they can connect into your computer remotely, they can fix it for five bucks. They will even take your website and do user testing and give you feedback on how well they think your site performed. Very cool.

If you’re a WordPress user, which I hope you are, then they will install WordPress for you for five dollars. If it’s too slow, they will speed it up for you for five dollars. They will create a custom theme for WordPress for five bucks. They will create contact forms for you. They will fix errors in your WordPress installation. They will add security to WordPress. They will setup backup plug-ins for you in WordPress. They will run updates and maintain your WordPress site for you. Very cool stuff that all needs to be done and people will do it for you for only five bucks.

Now, best practices with programming and technology. Obviously you’re dealing with strangers here. Okay, so you want to backup your website yourself before you let anybody else touch it to make sure that if they make a mistake, you can roll it back to where you knew everything was working well. Not having a backup has really wrecked a lot of websites because all of that hard work, everything just goes down the toilet if your site crashes and you can’t get it back. So, good backups are critical. Also, you want to setup temporary accounts for them, for them to log into your WordPress site, for example. Just create a temporary account. Don’t give them your username and password because there’s nothing to stop them from using that to do something nefarious after their work with you is done.

Give them a temporary account with their own username and password, and then when they’re done with the work, delete it. And then you want to be careful, obviously, who you give access to your website’s admin section, because somebody that you don’t trust could hack your site. And if they don’t know what they’re doing, they could really mess everything up easily, if you give them full admin access to your website. So, be careful. Make sure that it’s someone that you can tell is competent and trustworthy. They have good reviews. I’ll get into that part in a second.

Advertising

Okay, I’ve got a couple different sections for you left. The next one is advertising. For five bucks, on Fiverr.com, they will actually deliver flyers for you. Someone will be a human billboard. They will spray paint things on their chest or on their back, or they will paint their faces, or they will stand up and hold a sign saying whatever you want it to say, and send you pictures and video of it that you can use in your marketing and advertising. Five bucks. They will create banner ads for you if you want to advertise your website on someone else’s website. Five bucks.

Now, best practices. If you’re going to do any advertising with people online, make sure that the stuff they do is going to reach your target audience. So, if someone’s going to deliver flyers, make sure that they’re going to deliver them in your local area. You know, you might not be able to find someone who lives in your city that would be willing to do that on Fiverr, but don’t pay someone to do it unless they live in your city. And anything that you do, make sure it’s going to appeal to your target audience, because otherwise advertising is just a waste of money.

Business

The next one is Business. Now, in the business category on Fiverr, someone, for five bucks, will write a business plan for you. I’m guessing it’s going to be simple and not a 30-page super-duper document, but hey, it’s cool. Legal advice is available on Fiverr. They have lawyers on there for five bucks that will answer your legal questions. They have financial advisors on Fiverr that will, for five bucks, give you money advice. There are people on Fiverr, for five bucks, who will do market research for you. They will give you branding advice. And there are even virtual assistants that you can hire on a task-by-task basis on Fiverr that’ll work for you for 30 minutes or an hour for five bucks, doing anything that you ask them to do that an admin assistant would normally do. Very cool stuff.

Now, best practices. Obviously you want to make sure that you only take advice from someone who knows the laws in your area. So, if you live in – I don’t know – England, for example, you don’t want to be paying five bucks to get legal advice from someone in California, here in the United States. They’re not going to know anything about the laws where you live. So, make sure that it’s someone who’s good and reputable, and who knows the laws in your state, for example, or your area.

And then, again, the virtual assistant stuff is a perfect way to kind of dip your toes in the water and see how this works. So, I would recommend outsourcing a few basic tasks for five bucks just to see what happens. If you need to have some emails sent out to certain people or you need to get some envelopes addressed, for example, pay someone five bucks to do it on Fiverr. Send it to them and then stamp the envelopes and all that stuff, and then just let them write it out and mail it for you. Five bucks. You know, it saves you an hour or two worth of work, and you get to try this outsourcing deal on and see if it works for you.

Other Categories

So, there are a few other categories. Gifts is one. So, they’ve got people that will send unique gifts to anybody that you want to. So, for your students and things like that, it might be interesting. Under the lifestyle category, there are all kinds of personal stuff related to health and diet and exercise, and anything you can imagine. Romance and Dating. There’s even a section called Fun and Bizarre, where you can pull pranks on people. You can pay someone five bucks and they will pull a prank. They will put together a video or they will do a photo that looks crazy, or something weird that you can pull a prank on someone. So, I don’t know if that’s ever going to be useful, but hey, it’s in there for five bucks, and a lot of other stuff that I didn’t talk about.

How To Use Fiverr.com More Effectively

Okay, so those are examples of what you can do in Fiverr.com. Now, let me give you some good tips on how to use it more effectively.

So, I mentioned before that you can do music lessons on Fiverr. So, why not use Fiverr as a prospecting tool. You could offer your services on Fiverr.com. If you want to teach online lessons, you could offer a 15-minute or a 30-minute introductory Skype guitar lesson for five dollars. And then, at the end of the lesson, make them a special deal for ongoing lessons. Okay, teach them for 30 minutes, or whatever, for five bucks. You know, it’s just like offering a free intro lesson, except you’re doing it online and reaching out to a whole new marketplace you probably never had access to before. And there are a lot of people on there offering guitar lessons on Skype for five bucks. You would be one of several, but if you get a really good rating and if you offer something cool, there’s a good chance a lot of people will take you up on it. And then, at the end, just make them a deal for some ongoing lessons and see how it goes. You want to use the Music and Audio category to post your Skype lessons, and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for you.

How about this? I mentioned it several times. Use Fiverr to outsource things. Things you don’t know how to do. Things you don’t have time to do. Get into the habit of paying other people to help you. It improves your management skills, so that’s going to help you grow along with your business so that when you, later on, have employees, you can manage them better, and it’s really the only way to grow your teaching studio beyond a certain level. There’s only so much that you can do by yourself. If you get so busy teaching that you don’t have time to actually work on your business, you’re working in it all the time, then it’s not going to grow. It’s going to suffer. You’re going to have problems. So, you need to get into the habit of paying other people to help you do stuff that frees you up to work on your business.

And it’s also a great way to audition potential outsources and find the very best ones to work with. So, these people – they can become a part of your business team. Like I know the person that does my transcriptions for me, I keep using her again and again, and any time I need something transcribed, she’s the person I go to. And it doesn’t cost me a lot and she’s kind of a part of my virtual team now, and I just use her whenever I need her. You can use these same people again and again to do the same gigs for you if you need them to. And if you find someone you really like, you can try to move off of the Fiverr site if you want to and engage them privately as well. You know, it’s just a really cool way to find people to help you that’s affordable.

Now Not To Get Burned

So, let me wrap this discussion up with kind of disclaimer here. You’ve got to be careful any time you’re hiring a stranger to do something for you. Anybody and their mom can post gigs to Fiverr. They may or may not know what they’re doing. You may or may not get ripped off, but you know, realize it’s only five dollars that you’re risking here. So it’s a very low-risk thing, but the possibility is there for you to get burned. So, what you do to protect yourself is you check out the seller before you buy. So, this is what you do. You click their profile link and look through all of their previous gigs. Somebody with a track record and a good reputation on Fiverr is going to be more likely to do good work. Okay, so make sure that they have a good reputation.

And pay attention to their Fiverr level. Okay, there are three levels of sellers in Fiverr. Level one sellers – they’re going to have this graphic on their profile that’ll tell you what level they’re at. Level one means that they’ve been active on the site for at least 30 days, so they’re not brand new. It means they’ve completed at least ten orders and that they have excellent ratings and a really good track record, if they’re level one. Not too shabby.

Level two means that they’ve completed at least 50 orders in the last two months. So, they’ve been really busy on the site, and they also have excellent ratings and an excellent track record. They automatically get branded with level two. And then there’s a top level. Now, this one’s special. You can’t earn top-level status. You have to be handpicked by the Fiverr staff. And these sellers that have top-level status are doing everything right and they are the best sellers out there on Fiverr. So, if someone’s top-level, then you know that they’re trustworthy and they’ll probably do a good job for you.

Okay, and then you also want to pay attention to their rating. There’s a five-star rating system on Fiverr for the seller themselves and for each particular task. So, this represents customer satisfaction. This represents whether or not someone did a good job for someone else. So, if they have a high rating, four stars or above, then chances are they’re going to do a really good job for you. And then you also, depending on what you’re asking for, should view samples of their work. So, if you’re looking for someone to do design work, for example, they’re going to have samples up there and you can email them and ask them for others, but you want to make sure that the work that they’ve done looks similar to what you want to have them create. So, very important to get samples.

You want to make sure they have the skills that you’re really looking for before you hire them. And you want to ask them questions first. There’s a contact link that you can shoot questions to them about anything related to the job. A good seller is going to answer your questions in a timely manner. You know, it’s amazing that someone would do that for just five bucks, but it’s really cool.

And then, once they do work for you, then you want to leave them an honest rating and an honest review. You can leave reviews of the different gigs after you pay someone to do something for you and they complete it. And the thread of a bad user rating or a bad review really helps to improve the quality of the work you get on sites like Fiverr. So, you could read through the reviews and make sure that the person has mostly good reviews. You know, nobody is perfect. They might have one or two times in there that they dropped the ball, but it’s there for you to read. So, check them out before you buy.

And then, to wrap it up, like I mentioned, sometimes the five-dollar price is misleading. Many of the more talented people on Fiverr are using it as a prospecting tool too, just like I recommended to you. They just offer a five-dollar introductory service, and then they try to get you to buy their higher-priced offerings after that, or you have to buy multiple gigs at once to get the thing that you need done, and that’s totally okay. Just read the description carefully to make sure that you understand exactly what you’re getting for the money.

Conclusion

Okay, to summarize this up, if you are a busy guitar teacher, Fiverr.com can help you get the things you need doing done. If your budget is tight, it’s a great place to get the things you need done without breaking the bank. If your studio is growing and you need to start looking at ways to expand your capacity, Fiverr is a great place to start learning about outsourcing in an easy and low-risk way. By following the best practices and tips I’ve mentioned in this episode, you can start being more productive and successful in your teaching studio and start growing things to a much successful level.

Thank You For Listening!

If you enjoyed this episode, or any of the other of the episodes of the STG podcast, and you haven’t left a rating or review yet on iTunes, I would really appreciate an honest rating and review from you. It’s one of the most important parts of the ranking algorithm in iTunes, but more importantly, it’ll show future listeners that this podcast is (or isn’t) worth listening to.

To leave a quick review, open up iTunes, search for Start Teaching Guitar and then leave a rating and review as shown below. You can do this from your mobile device as well, even if you’re not subscribed, and even if you listen on another platform – this is where I’d appreciate you leaving your review.

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Feel free to use the comments section below to let me know what you think about this episode, to suggest a topic for a future episode or just to join in on the conversation with other guitar teachers.

STG 112: Growing Your Teaching Studio $5 At A Time was last modified: May 12th, 2014 by Donnie Schexnayder

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