It’s a crowded market with many qualified musicians vying for teaching jobs and students. You may wonder how to create a distinct and compelling impression. How to be more marketable. Want more teaching opportunities? Clarify your promise.
Through your promotional materials you need to clearly communicate who you really are and the value of what you have to offer. For this to be effective, you need to do more than resort to clichés and boring lists of credentials.
The good news is that you are unique: no one else has your life experience or your perspective. But most of us don’t succeed at communicating our distinct authentic selves.
And of course you are a well trained and accomplished performer and educator. But these days that’s a given—everyone is all that (or says they are). So if your promotional materials only tell us that . . .
You need to dig deeper.
What’s the impact you make on your students? It can’t simply be that you help improve their technique and their interpretations. All good music teachers do that.
And what distinguishes you from others isn’t simply a matter of repertoire and methodologies, because others offer the same or the equivalent.
So think beyond the immediate content of your teaching to your larger intention. Answer Seth Godin’s question . . . (from his terrific Marketing Seminar. Thank you, Seth!)
What’s your promise?
What’s the promise behind your teaching? As educators, we’re providing a service to answer students’ needs and wants—both explicit and implicit.
Students want to become better musicians. They want a teacher who’ll help them solve technical problems and free up their expressive abilities. Someone who’s kind, supportive, and encouraging. A teacher who appreciates them for who they are.
But remarkable teachers do that and more. You challenge students to explore the world through music—and to learn about themselves in the process. Think about how you help your students do that. Maybe a specific example comes to mind: write it down.
What is it you ultimately offer students?
Note that saying that you’re “passionate about music” is a cliché and using adjectives like creative, caring, innovative, inspiring, insightful, fun, smart, experienced, etc.— these just make your material sound like advertising copy. Adjectives are too easy — stick to nouns and verbs.
How do you help students become more curious, more courageous, more energized about learning? How do you dare students to be more than who they think they are? Write it down.
Describe the impact your teaching makes. This should help you articulate your teaching philosophy and can strengthen your cover letters, résumé / CV, teaching bio, and website.
What’s the true value you provide?
Focus on the impact you make: how you change your students’ sense of themselves. Clarify what’s going on when you are at your best as a teacher. Boil your promise down to a sentence or two—this will not only help readers understand what you’re aim is, but it can help strengthen and focus your actual teaching, by reminding you of your true purpose.
When you’re more clear about who you are and what you offer, you make it easier for the right students to find you and for you to find the right opportunities.
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And if you’d like to find out how coaching might help you get past whatever’s been holding you back, see THIS.
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