Teaching private lessons in music or art can be a great way to make extra cash. You might have a lot of people asking you to show them how to do something that they know you’re good at. However, you might be hesitant to start because oftentimes teaching someone else how to do what you do can be a difficult task.
Here are five tips for starting a successful private lesson business from your home.
1. Building Your Clientele
There are many different ways you can work when you’re giving private lessons. One option is to work in a music or art store providing lessons. Beware of any rules the store might have about who owns your list of students, though, so if you ever want to go off on your own you can know whether you can take your students with you or not. You can also teach in home at the student's house or at your house, or teach in a studio that you own or rent.
If you work in a store then ideally the store will provide you with your clientele. When you’re on your own, (either in your home, your clients’ homes or your own studio) you have to advertise. Word of mouth will likely be how you start, but you’ll need to keep it going with frequent flyers and mailings to people where possible, and perhaps using social media outlets to drum up business.
2. Giving the First Lesson
The first lesson is an important one. This is what’s going to set the tone for the rest of your time with your student. It’s imperative that you make a good first impression. Prior to the lesson, gather some information such as the age of your student, previous experience working in whatever medium you’re working on with the student, and any special considerations you’ll need to know about.
Make sure they are prepared for the lesson, and make it very clear what’s needed prior to that first lesson. Allow parents to sit in for the first lesson and find out what the student’s goals are that they hope to achieve from the lessons. How you approach things is going to depend on the information that you gather, but you need to make it fun so they want to come back and want to do well.
3. Tailor Lessons to the Individual
Not everyone is going to need the same thing. One-on-one lessons are basically tutoring sessions and must be tailored to fit the needs of the individual. It’s not at all like teaching a class of multiple students. You can work on the individual’s weaknesses and build on the individual's strengths to really give the student a great foundation.
There are no set-in-stone priorities you have to accomplish. You can ask the student what they are working on and see how you can build on that to improve that particular skill. Remember, if you’re doing what the student wants and providing them with what they need, then they are going to keep coming back for more.
4. Notes and Records
You need to keep thorough notes and records of progress that is made, and also from a financial standpoint. From a bookkeeping perspective, it’s good to keep track of how often a student attends lessons and what was paid and when. From a teaching standpoint, taking notes of what was worked on in each lesson and what was done well and what needs more work, will help focus on what you need to do for the next lesson.
Notes and records are especially important if you have multiple students; you don’t want to rely on your memory in this case, because you might end up repeating things over and over again.
5. Always Be a Student Yourself
Never stop learning yourself. There’s a reason that doctors and lawyers say they practice their fields; they are always learning new things. Well, the same can be said about anything. You should always be building and honing your own skills. This will make you a desirable tutor and help you to build your business. It’s also going to help take out the monotony if you continue to learn and build on your own personal skills and expertise.
Private lessons are a sought-after service, mostly for children. You can really create a lucrative business teaching others and it will feel good too. Following these five tips will make it so much easier and profitable for you.