Getting an article about yourself in the paper is a great way to get the word about upcoming concerts, gigs, and even your private lessons.
One of my goals is to teach eight trumpet lessons a week (I could do more... but that number would cover my mortgage). But I need to reach out to as many parents as possible and give them a chance to meet me without giving them a high-pressure sales pitch.
One way I am getting them in the door is with an open house and honkathon, which will be this Saturday. I wrote a short press release about it and got it published in the local online paper. I want to show it to you, just to show you how easy it can be to write a news story that can bring you more gigs and students.
Here it is (it was published with a selfie of me holding the trumpet)...
New Trumpet Students Invited to Open House and Honk-a-Thon this Saturday Night at the Los Alamos Music Academy Saturday Night
Does your son or daughter want to learn the trumpet? Mandy Marksteiner is a local trumpet player who teaches private lessons at the Los Alamos Music Academy (LAMA).
She is hosting a free open house 7-8 p.m. Saturday, April 28 where children and their parents can meet her and find out more about taking trumpet lessons. Marksteiner will provide several trumpets for students to look at and try and will provide a packet of information on the trumpet, practice habits and listening recommendations. Pizza will be served.
“Mandy is a huge asset to our music program. When the students work with her not only do they develop technique and musicianship, but they become more motivated toward personal success and achievement,” LAMS Band Director Ryan Finn said.
Marksteiner has a BA in trumpet performance from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. She has taught group lessons at the Los Alamos High School and Los Alamos Middle School, at the Lawrence Academy of Music, as well as privately in people’s homes.
She said she looks forward to teaching individual and group lessons at LAMA and offering classes for trumpet players. The Los Alamos Music Academy is at 200 DP Road in Los Alamos.
As you can see, it's short and sweet. I'm not trying to get a Pulitzer Prize or tell people my life's story. I'm just trying to let people know that I am available for lessons and get them to come to my event.
- Make sure your press release is about something specific, like one event. (Events are good because they seem newsworthy).
- Start out with an attention grabbing headline. I noticed that the editor made my headline longer than what I wrote by adding details about where and when. That's OK. It will be good for people who are just scanning. I added the word "Honk-a-Thon" simply because it's a goofy made up word and it might get people to stop scrolling through their newsfeeds and read it.
- Next, say something that will identify and connect with the people you want to reach out to. Right now, I am only interested in talking to kids who have an interest in trumpet and their parents. So the first sentence is "Does your son or daughter want to learn trumpet?" I realize that if someone's son or daughter wanted to learn the violin, they will stop reading. That's perfectly fine with me. I only want to talk to a specific type of person.
- Now that you have that person's attention, tell them what you're offering and give specific examples of what they will get. In the case of the Honk-a-Thon, they will be able to play with a trumpet (which is good because they might not have one at home yet), get information that will help them learn, and get pizza. List those things.
- Build trust. Why should they trust you, spend time with you, buy from you, or listen to you? List a few things that show that you're not just some wacko off the street. I listed my college, the places where I taught and I provided a quote from someone who has seen me in action.
- Make sure they have all the information they need to take action. I give the address of the place, several ways to get in touch with me, and I even added a link for people to sign up for a lesson today.
That's it. That's not so hard!
Finally, write a courteous email to the publisher or editor of the newspaper and ask them to publish it.
I encourage you to write an article about something that is coming up in the near future and try to get it published. (If nothing else, put it on your blog.)
You may have noticed that I included a link for people to sign up for lessons. This is my way of making it easier for me to sell my services as a trumpet teacher.
I invite you to copy this idea. Here, I've made it easy by writing out all the steps to make a page to schedule lessons so that you can go out and make an even cooler page.