Expand Online is a podcast for music teachers to discover and implement supplementary and replacement income through online products. Tune in weekly for trainings, musings and interviews.
236: Easy new revenue streams for music teachers
Let’s make your business truly work for you ~ this means going from being a solo music teacher and elevating yourself into an online studio owner!
You have a very solid foundation of teaching your one on one students and whether you do that online or if you do that in person or you do it in a hybrid approach that is your core offer right now…
It’s now time to build out from that core offer so that you can have multiple revenue streams which stem from it. These new revenue streams will logically fit
before your core offer,
alongside your core offer,
in parallel with your core offer
or after your core offer
Connect with Jaime
https://callwithjaime.com | https://www.instagram.com/jaimeslutzky/
Guess what? This podcast is not about building one-to-many programming… surprised? Well, that’s one objective I hope you have on your future plans, but there are revenue streams that can fall in place, increase your top line and bring you joy that take far less time to get going.
For many music teachers, the joy of teaching music is in the interaction with students, so the idea of “taking you out of the scene” doesn’t necessarily appeal to them.
There are actually two revenue streams that you can start implementing and creating right now based on what you are currently doing within your existing lessons.
1) Digital Downloads
The first revenue stream you can add is digital downloads. These come about by creating something out of the proprietary content that you teach in your lessons.
Maybe you create worksheets or workbooks or exercises for your students, throw them into canva to make them look pretty. Then you can make them available for purchase through sites like teachers pay teachers or your own website. And you can also sell these of course through social media.
These digital downloads are a huge benefit to the person who buys them because it's a lesson in a box. It makes it really easy for other teachers or ambitious students to be able to access quality teacher resources without having to interact with that teacher.
And they don’t need to be elaborate or complete; one or two of these is fine. They are the beginning of a new revenue stream.
The second revenue stream is referral or recommendation income. You’ll make a percentage or flat rate of the purchase price of products and services that you already recommend to students and other teachers.
You are seen as a trusted advisor by your students, right? So when a student says, what book or equipment or supplies should I be using, you let them know what you think would be best for them. So why not monetize that aspect of your business? I’m not suggesting marketing or recommending products that you don’t truly love only for the affiliate income, but look into making some side income from products and services that you do like and use.
One way to do this is to become an amazon affiliate or an Amazon associate as they are referred to. This is easy to setup and many of the products on Amazon are included in the program. There is a fairly high referral volume that you need to maintain, so if you aren’t generating enough leads, this might not be as lucrative.
The way that I actually prefer to become an affiliate for a product or service is to go directly to the creator and inquire about their direct program. If they don’t have one, they might also have a reseller level.
Affiliate programs and digital downloads are some of the fastest ways to get started building a secondary revenue stream online.
Of course, I am all about the courses and all about the workshops and all about the live online programs. These are just some of the additional nice-to-have options that you can start to implement to diversify your income as you're working on those bigger, exciting projects!
When we begin to think about online income, it’s time to build an audience who is ready for the material that we are deliveri
235: Getting you studio to the next level
Welcome to the Expand Online podcast, I'm your host Jaime Slutzky and this is episode 235.
Today's topic came about after a recent conversation with a prospective client who was just so unsure how to take his music studio from where it currently is to where he wants it to be.
See, he has consumed a lot of free content online and didn't know how to invest in his business to see those results.
He wanted to know if I thought a course was the right next step or if I thought a more interactive program would do better or if he should just work with me privately.
I knew that all three options could work for him, but that it wasn't up to me to tell him what to do. It was best for me to lay out the key differences and potential of each option.
And I did... and now I'm coming here to the podcast to do the same for you. But before we get there, know that this conversation came about because he booked a call with me at https://callwithjaime.com and you can do that too. Or if you are all about the DM's send me one over on Instagram or on Facebook.
Now, then, let's talk about getting to the next level for your studio.
Buying a Course
Online courses are a fabulous way to learn something new. They work really well when you are certain you know what you want to learn and you have the self-discipline to take the time to consume the course material and implement the suggestions provided inside the course.
I love courses; I’ve been helping clients create courses since 2016 and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon… that being said, for your business, you want to be really discerning about what the course promises are and make sure that they fully align with what you want to achieve.
If you want to get started with online marketing, then I would strongly recommend joining Elevate! which is the course that Brocha and I have developed. This course will help you start and grow your email list and begin to truly leverage social media for business growth. And we do everything in this course to keep it completely relevant to music teachers.
There are thousands of courses you can purchase. Some are sold directly by the course creator, like Elevate! others are sold through course marketplaces like Udemy and membership sites like Skillshare. While many of the courses on those types of platforms are fine, they are discounted in such a way that the creators don’t make a lot of money from them and you’re likely not going to get any level of support from those creators or platforms either.
Most likely, the courses that are going to help you get to the next level for your studio are going to teach something about marketing or sales or product development or product delivery.
Before buying a course, make sure that you like the style of the course creator… do a little research on them. If they have a podcast, listen to a couple of episodes. Or check YouTube or Facebook or TikTok or Instagram and watch their videos. Even shorts and reels can help you determine if you like their voice, mannerisms and style!
A course is a lot like what you do – your teaching is generally linear, your students need to be able to identify how to play the notes on the instrument before they can play the notes on the staff on their instrument.
Truth be told, a course is only going to get you so far… they don’t come with accountability, support or personalization.
For that, your course creator is going to either offer an upsell to the course or a higher level program.
Now, the next level of offer to consider is an interactive program. This is more than just a course with support. It’s really built differently. It’s built with individuality in mind.
OMCA is an interactive program. We have the underlying structure of instruction which is linear and then we overlay it with individual attention for each of our clients. One client might need to spend more time on sections 1 or 2 whereas another client will breeze through 1 and 2 but
234: Money matters: How to set your online music studio up for success ft. Bill Litster
233: Onboarding and Offboarding your Online Students
This is the time of year where it's really important to put together new systems and processes for the upcoming school year or academic season.
Here are some tips and strategies for onboarding and offboarding your online students. These students could be taking real time lessons with you, they could be in your course, they could be coming through some of your workshops or master classes or be part of your membership. With any kind of online relationship, you're going to want to make sure that you have onboarding and offboarding.
Onboarding your online students
If you have been following me for any length of time, you know that I always recommend some kind of welcome sequence that is triggered off a purchase.
If someone is signing up for your course, there needs to be a welcome sequence.
If someone signs up for your lessons for the first time, we want to have a welcome sequence.
If they sign up for a workshop, a welcome sequence.
If they sign up for your membership, a welcome sequence!
This welcome sequence is part of onboarding, there is more to it though.
Inside your welcome sequence, you will want to help your new student understand the culture, the access points and all the other nitty gritty details of your programs.
We also want there to be reinforcement because it's not always the case that people are going to read your emails. You don’t know the state of your students’ inboxes, so repeating the information is going to help with initial success.
If you need students to purchase anything additional in order to participate in your lessons or your course or whatever you are offering, be sure to include that in not just one of the emails, but included in pretty much every email because we want to make sure that they really do get it and are going to show up to that first lesson or to the first day of the course or to the first day of the workshop, ready for action, ready to learn.
In addition to emails, you may decide you want to have an onboarding call. If you choose to have an onboarding call then be sure to have a list of things that you want to go over with that student, so that you are running this call and it's not them asking you a million questions. We want to make sure that this call is really tangible and, it's going to probably reinforce a lot of what goes into the welcome emails.
The last thing that we want to make sure that we cover is access. Access to you, access to the lessons or course or membership or whatever, access to any additional or supplementary information or resources and an understanding of the flow.
Access is for either live or pre recorded content and especially hybrid. Every student is going to be clicking some link somewhere to access the session with you or the content. This link is probably to a gated portal with an email and password or a username and password. Make sure that everybody gets access to whatever portal it is right away that they test it out!
The second part of access is helping the student understand their access to you in. You may run a slack channel or you may give voxer access, you might have a community or a facebook group, you might allow your students to access you and to communicate with you via text, via email, via DM and, via who knows what! We don't want to give our students unlimited access to us.
Email is going to be one of the ways that they can communicate with you because we are using email for outbound messaging which means that we should also use it for incoming messages. The rest of their access to you is truly up to you.
This is the process by which we wrap things up with our students.
We make sure to close the loop and wrap up the experience in a really positive way. It's probably going to be some kind of offboarding email sequence. This might start a week or two before the end of lessons or before the end of the session with a course or a workshop.
Inside the sequence we're going to be thanking them, praising th
232: Are you asking the right questions?
Are you asking the right questions?
It is sometimes so obvious that people are just floundering and I don't want you to flounder… I want you to get the right answers to the questions that you actually need in order to accomplish your online goals and dreams.
Have you booked a call with me recently? If not, go to https://callwithjaime.com and do it now.
The first thing that we need to do in order to ask the right questions is to know what we're actually trying to understand.
I have three concrete examples for you for this episode…
I get a lot of questions about software tools and for 95 or 98% of those questions, the answer is it doesn't matter what the tool is, it matters how you implement it.
People don't need to ask me which of the software solutions should I be using (you usually know which one that you’re looking at.) These questions are either seeking outside validation that they're making a good choice or because they don’t actually know what they’re doing.
Instead of this question, a good question would be to ask for guides or guidance for implementing this particular piece of software into my music school. That's going to give you a lot better answers! That's going to tell you how to do it, how to do it, cut and dry, easy peasy getting started.
It doesn't matter most of the time which software tool you're going to implement. The key is to make sure that you are implementing the software fully completely and succinctly.
When we're asking advice on what kind of tools to use or what kind of system to implement or what kind of pricing plans to have, you already know what you want to do, it's more a matter of making sure that you have the right strategy to implement that properly.
The next type of question that I hear asked all the time. is for recommendation or referrals to other professionals.
The question is, does anybody know a piano teacher in this city or a piano teacher who uses this methodology. I've got a student for them.
That's not the right question.
When we're looking to grow our referral network, the right question for us is to ask for recommendations on other teachers who have similar philosophies to us, or contrasting philosophies. It doesn't matter the instrument that that teacher teaches, obviously that will get drilled down later on, but we want to make sure that we understand the character of the people that we are potentially going to be sending business to.
It's really understanding the essence of their teaching and their teaching methodologies and things like that.
Yes, of course, we want to make sure that it's a piano teacher, not a saxophone teacher. If we're looking to grow our network of piano teachers, but you get the idea, we don't care what they teach, we care how they teach.
And similar to that, we also don't want to be creating posts on our social media that are saying that we have lessons available or that we have an opening or things like that because you're not going to necessarily get the best right student for that spot.
Instead of saying I have lessons available and I use this methodology, pose your question asking for people to envision your next student.
Does someone know of a student or a child or an adult or whatever it is, who is interested in this and this and this and has tried this or that or another thing! By asking a question in this way we are allowing people to create an image in their mind of the ideal student for you. This makes it so much easier for them to say, I know somebody!
Even though that first question about software seems drastically different than the post saying you've got availability in your studio for a new student, they're actually coming from the same place and being directed to the same people.
The same place, meaning these questions are coming from a place that lacks specificity and they are coming from a place of generalities.
The same people, meaning when you post on social media, you're attempting to listen t
231: Saying NO for music studio growth
The dreaded two letter word “N-O” is one of those words that none of us like to hear and none of us like to say!
We don't like to turn down opportunities.
We don't like to turn down money.
We don't like to turn down the changes to positively impact someone else's lives.
But NO, is such a powerful word.
No creates an opportunity for you to spend more time, energy and money on things that truly serve you.
Have thoughts for me? Instagram or Zoom, your choice!
Look at your roster, look at your goals, look at your time commitments! Look into everything that goes into your days, your weeks, your months and even your years and see how using that little two letter word can shift how things go.
Emotions of Saying No
Generally speaking the easy no, doesn't come with a lot of emotion. It is, no, this is not in alignment with my business or no, I don't offer that service or no, I am not available for that. Easy, emotionless and effective.
The ones that bring up emotion are when somebody comes to you saying “I want you to teach me…” or “Can you teach my child…”
You may realize or decide that
You're not the right teacher for whatever reason.
You might not be able to give them a best in class experience
You can't make the schedule work with them
Adding the student into your roster is going to create an imbalance
Sometimes when we say no, it's because we have made a commitment to grow our own business and by bringing that student on, it stifles our own growth. This is pulling at the heart strings for sure… I would love to work with this student because they would be absolutely amazing, but I can't because otherwise I'm stifling the opportunities that I am trying to create for myself.
When we say these emotional No’s, we beat ourselves up over it, right? We're like, oh, can I find a way to make it work? We're always trying to bend over backwards and find a way to say yes.
I want you to stop that. You don't have to say yes to everything and everyone.
A yes now means no to your own future. Saying yes to something that is not ideal right now will undoubtedly make it harder for you to accomplish your own goals.
You are not only a fabulous music teacher, you are also a fabulous business owner who has hopes and dreams and goals. The little letters N. O. allow you to reach for them and work toward them consistently.
When you say no to someone, they generally are going to respect that and respect you and not tie a whole lot of emotion to it. It's all your own emotions and that's why we have to be very pragmatic in this space.
Emotions being told No
Think about it when someone has said no to you, what do you tie to that no?
Do you say “Oh my goodness! Well they're just like throwing away good money” or That was a really stupid thing for them to say! I'm amazing.”
Usually we're like, “okay, moving on” and take it at that.
Giving yourself permission by saying No
Regardless of whether it's an easy no or a difficult no it’s important to understand where that no is coming from. Identifying what space that no is allowing us into will make it easier for us to continue to say no to the things that don't serve us.
When we say no to a new student…
we're saying yes to our one to many program
we're saying yes to our family
we're saying yes to more gigs
we are saying yes to vacation
we are saying yes to fill in the blank.
When we say no to something that's local…
we might be saying yes to something that's online
or to something more well targeted
or something that opens more doors elsewhere.
When we say no to having a new in-studio student (because we teach online using Muzie!) we are saying yes to the boundaries and studio policies and procedures.
When we say no to discounting our services, we are saying yes to knowing our value.
When we say no to you, name it, we are saying yes to ourselves.
You are saying yes to yourself.
You're saying yes to you
Helpful for music teachers
Jaime gives lots of helpful advice and her founders series introduces various online options.
Helpful and Supportive for Teaching Artists
I really appreciate how supportive Jamie is of artists who teach. I have learned some helpful tools and tips through this podcast and her encouraging words often speak to just what I am feeling.
Hi Jaime! I love your podcast. ❤️ You give great insight and useful tips. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have decided to niche down as a tech va and you are incredible to learn from. Thanks for a great podcast!!