When we start out teaching music online we probably have several assumptions about who we will be teaching. These assumptions can come from our past students that we have worked with or falling into the trap of thinking everyone else is just like us.
When it comes to teaching online we need to be very clear about who we are dealing with so we can talk with them directly, server their needs and solve their problems. If we don’t know who they are and what they want, how are we ever going to help them?
The chicken and the egg…
On one hand our online students will be attracted because of the message we are putting out. For example, if we are catering our teaching to young kids, or retired adults, our message will be quite specific and therefore resonate with that audience. On the other hand, there is an audience of music students online that exist regardless of our message and specific mission, and it is that audience that we need to understand the most.
How do we know who is out there?
The best way to understand the group of people you are dealing with is to interact with them. Call them, email, skype, whatever works, but you need to be in touch with your core audience and understand them on a comprehensive level.
A very powerful and effective way of gaining insight into your online music community will be through surveys. There are a number of good survey tools out there, some simple and cheap and some complex and expensive. The bottom line, whichever route you choose, is to find out who you are dealing with.
Beginners? Intermediate… you are asking the wrong questions….
It is not enough to simply know where your students are in terms of their playing, you need to know them on a fairly deep level. Their aspirations, fears, desires, likes and dislikes, the list goes on…
If you are to cater your language and communications to your audience you need to know them as you would a friend. Each interaction should feel personal and meaningful. Never think for a second that you can dupe people, and remember that these days all internet users are used to be sold to. Instead, stand out, and take the time to build a relationship.
Relationships are, and always will be, the bedrock of conducting a good business.