Did I ever tell you the story of when I first started to interact with trumpet players online?
I hadn't paid attention to trumpet playing groups up until last fall. I had mainly been hanging out in marketing groups (because I have a marketing company) and when I wanted my trumpet fix I played in a local group.
But over the summer I started to get seriously antsy and unsatisfied. I wanted a lot more from my musical life, I wanted to be playing professionally as much as I could in my area, and I wanted to find a way to connect my music life and business life.
My bright idea was to teach trumpet players how to promote themselves. (That's still the plan)
Step number one was to reach out to trumpet players and find out where they are with self-promotion and see where I can help.
I searched trumpet groups and joined the biggest one.
But when I made my first post, asking people how they promote themselves, I did not get the reaction I expected.
I expected people to say this or that about their websites, YouTube channels and talk about their self-promo efforts. Instead, one of the first comments was, "What are you even doing here? I looked at your profile and you're not even a trumpet player!"
At that point I was ready to put a bag over my head and die. I would have too, except I was too pissed off.
My Facebook profile has a professional headshot of my face, and the cover has my three adorable kids. It says I'm a mom, but why did this guy jump to the conclusion that I wasn't a trumpet player?
Because I don't look like a trumpet player to him... wasn't holding a trumpet in my picture... and didn't fit in.
This turned into the thread from Hell. I had to prove it to everyone that I played.
Do men have to prove that they can play? (Even guys who ask totally dipshit questions never have to prove they can play).
It got worse when someone discovered that I was in marketing. As if I was up to something.
The level of skepticism and mistrust was insane.
Someone said, "Maybe we would trust you if you told us your trumpet playing pedigree. Who were your teachers?"
One of my college professors is active in that group. I swallowed my pride and told him what was happening. That I joined the group and now I had to find a way to prove that I could play. Could he vouch for me?
He warned me that this group was like the Wild West of the internet, and I may not want to be in it because things can get a little crazy, to which I said, "Pfft. I have a thick skin and can handle myself."
He did what I asked and posted that he heard my senior recital and it was good, but he hasn't heard from me in awhile. It seemed to settle the argument.
The whole experience was certainly annoying. (What a lousy welcome!)
But it taught me a pretty valuable lesson.
You need to make it obvious that you play the trumpet.
Your friends and acquaintances won't know that you play if you don't make it obvious. And if they don't know, they won't be able to remember your name when someone is thinking of hiring a musician.
When I joined that group and nobody believed I was a trumpet player, my first instinct was to blame them. (Those jerks!)
But you never get anywhere in life without taking full responsibility for everything that happens to you.
In the next few weeks I'll be concentrating on making it completely obvious that I play, using photos, videos, posts, my website, and the newspaper.
I'll show you what I'm up to so that you can easily follow my example.
This week I'm getting the word out that I teach trumpet lessons. I may have an unfair advantage here because a lot of my friends have kids that are just getting old enough to join band.
But when I start posting, and writing newspaper articles, and emailing teachers... I want the parents to be able to check my schedule and pay for the lessons without it turning into an enormous hassle.
And that is why I started this process by making a simple sales page for my lessons.
And I show you exactly how to make a sales page like mine (you use the page to collect payments and schedule the lessons... which saves you time because you don't have to go back and fourth with emails every single time) in this step-by-step guide.