Two Talented Teens Find the ONE Thing They Needed to Make Money in Music

Two Talented Teens Find the ONE Thing They Needed to Make Money in Music

How two teen musicians with teaching aspirations came to appreciate their local Minuteman Press…

Two teenaged musicians talented enough to play French Horn and trumpet with adults at ages 14 and 16 hoped to flex their budding teaching abilities within their local school district and community, but they were not sure how to effectively promote their services.  They had a unique niche, each receiving top-notch instruction from the best brass teachers in the Tri-State area, both scoring perfectly at state music competition and both heavily armed with impressive recommendations.  They were prepared to offer quality introductory lessons at a fraction of what an adult would charge, but the leads were not coming in even though they had been “telling everyone”.   Dan, the 16 year old trumpet player, successfully inherited a middle-school student from a graduating senior and as the eager young trumpet student progressed strongly, his delighted mother inquired about Danny’s availability to instruct his friends.  “I’ll tell people about you”, she offered and he was thankful, but the good intention faded to silence.  Why, he wondered?

Let’s Try Digital Advertising – Casting a “Net” Online

Dan, along with his sister, Pegeen, decided to take to social media to see if putting out advertising on community boards would produce a few, regular students.  Facebook alone has 4 different community sites for such purposes and the teens drafted clear, inviting ads with a professional but welcoming tone with great hopes that local parents would start booking some lessons.  There was buzz!  “Likes” came rolling in and a few shares, too, but within a week, the ads were buried under fresh posts and in spite of bumping them up, the sheer volume of digital marketing for services on all of the online channels were simply too much for the young teacher-hopefuls to compete.

It’s no wonder, as people today are suffering from digital advertising fatigue, even on social media and the volume got the better of the teen’s early marketing efforts in this case, too.  People have conditioned themselves to ignore random digital advertisements, particularly when, so often, the lack of personal interaction can lead to an inherent distrust of the source.

Let’s Try Minuteman Press – We Design, Print & Promote…YOU! 

Dan and Pegeen wanted to pick up two or three regularly paying brass students weekly.  They tried word-of-mouth and luck landed Dan one student and he did so well that the offer to promote Dan’s services as a trumpet teacher was well-intentioned but fell short of generating any leads.  Both teens put a faithful effort into advertising their services through several digital channels and managed to collect a few “Likes” and a couple of “Shares”, but without a coherent plan, digital market saturation and advertising fatigue quickly thwarted their ability to reach potential clients.

Minuteman Press franchise owner David Loudon (middle) with teen musicians Dan (left) and Pegeen (right).

Minuteman Press franchise owner David Loudon (middle) with teen musicians Dan (left) and Pegeen (right).

One afternoon, Pegeen, the French Hornist, visited the Minuteman Press franchise in East Northport and she was greeted by owner, David Loudon.  As a second generation digital print, design and marketing franchise veteran, David was able to spend time listening to the needs of this young musician as she spoke for herself and her brother.  Their goals as aspiring music teachers were modest.  She explained to Mr. Loudon that they each hoped to secure 2 or 3 regularly paying students by advertising “expert instruction at a student rate” and as she shared her musical resume, David was able to help her uncover that she didn’t really want or need marketing materials with a lot of busy copy.  He was able to clear the field as far as what really mattered in terms of promoting their services to the school and local community and it was agreed that the most effective way to do that would be by producing a teen-friendly, but professionally designed and printed business card for each of them.

Just 32% of consumers say they trust online advertising of any kind.  Consumers trusted the messages in text messages even less, at 12%. (MediaPost)

Each teen had some preferences for their business card design and David let them take their time as Pegeen texted her brother at rehearsal to gather his input and after some consideration, each chose to use a similar format with elements suggested by David that excited them both.  Once the design consultation was complete, David took the time to advise that these new business cards will become tools that can be handed to everyone the teens meet and they can be placed in clever locations within the community where potential music students are likely to frequent, including libraries and music stores.  David explained, “When you distribute them to the music teachers within the schools, the teachers who respect you will sell your services verbally as they personally hand over your cards to parents and students.  That way, your card has all of your contact information with an attractive, clean design but it doesn’t have to be weighed down with information that you and your teachers can share effectively face-to-face. Then, you are able to provide them with a few great business cards that they can use to contact you easily as well as share with friends.”  This advice proved to be very valuable, indeed.

Over a span of three weeks, each teenager had followed the advice of their marketing specialist and distributed dozens of business cards within their community and Danny gave a nice stack to his current trumpet student for distribution to music teachers and parents with a strong reference attached.  Now, each student-teacher is booking lessons and making a little money.

56% of consumers say print is the most trustworthy type of marketing (print in the mix)

Both online and print marketing strategies have distinct advantages and studies have proven that an integrated approach, typically, has the greatest effect.  However, the best type of advertising for your needs will be best determined by old-fashioned trial and error.  By watching the results of your marketing efforts come in, you can learn what your target market’s preferences are and you may find that there is one primary channel that simply works better for you, or that a combined digital and print campaign is the most effective way to bring clients forward.  Dan and Pegeen put online advertising to the test and took some advice to seek help from a marketing specialist at their local Minuteman Press when their efforts needed review. They discovered that traditional printed business cards, once implemented, were far more effective than online ads.

Each young musician has benefited from their hustle to build a small client base of students and they both say that the difference between no calls and first time appointments came after they enlisted expert help designing and printing their very first business cards.  Danny said, “I had a couple of parents tell me that they had friends with kids who wanted to learn how to play the trumpet, but all I could do is say that I am available and ask her to pass along my phone number.  I had to hope she would remember.  It never really worked.  Now, it is so easy to carry a few business cards in my back pocket if I am going to a music festival or a lesson. So now, when I am asked, I can tell them to call me and back it up by giving them my card so they know I am serious.  I am already saving money from the lessons I am teaching now.”  His sister, 14 year old French Hornist, Pegeen, says it simply, “My skills are strong and I know I can help people learn to play this instrument, but trying to get attention online and trying to tell people wasn’t working, really.  When I left Minuteman Press with business cards that matched my personality and had the logo explaining what I do, I felt like a professional, just like that. It took some time, but I got my first new student through business cards we gave to the elementary school band teacher and now I am making a little money doing what I love to do.”

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