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Do you have a skill?  Maybe you can play an instrument well.  Or you have an amazing grasp of grammar or math.  Perhaps you are a swimmer or a dancer.  We all have our own talents.

Out there is someone who wishes they had the talents you possess.  Someone who would love to learn from you.  Why not be the person who helps them learn to love your skills as much as you do?

How to Teach Private Lessons

Teaching private lessons is a great way to make some extra money while spending some extra time using a skill you love. Here's how to get started teaching lessons, how to charge money, and where to find clients.

It can be hard to place a price on the value of private lessons.

“…[T]he value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace.” ~Taylor Swift

I graduated from college with a degree in music education.  I remember my band director encouraging us to pursue teaching music lessons without shame.  She told us that we have spent years training our ears and brains to hear and understand music in a way that the general public doesn’t understand.

It’s hard to ask people for money when you can’t provide them with a tangible item in return.  But you are charging them for your experience and understanding.  They are paying you for your time, talents, and teaching abilities.  You are worth it!

Plan to Teach

Start with a plan.  What do you plan to teach?  Maybe you know you want to teach flute lessons (for example).  But you’ll still need to narrow it down.  Do you want to take on beginners?  High schoolers?  Beginner adults?  Who is your target market?

Next, decide what you’ll need.  Do you want to use a particular book to teach from?  Will you need other equipment?  Should you provide this equipment for your customers, or will they need to supply their own?  (In most cases, the customers should provide their own things.  But if you own a pool, you may have equipment that all your students can use for swimming lessons.)

Finally, decide where these lessons will take place.  Your home?  In their home?  Or maybe there’s a public area that you’re free to use for this type of thing.

[Tweet “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. #quote”]

Teaching private lessonsWhere to Find Clients

Finding clients will be a bit different for everyone depending on the type of lessons you’ll teach.  If you teach music lessons, an obvious place to start is with local band directors.  For swimming lessons, ask if you can hang up flyers at a local pool or advertise at schools.

Ideas that nearly everyone can try include:

  • hanging flyers in local shops
  • spreading the word through family and friends
  • advertising on Craigslist (be very selective)

Once you get a couple of satisfied customers, word will start to spread.  Go above and beyond to make these clients happy with your work and you won’t need to do much advertising.

Hold a Class

Another way to determine if there is interest is to offer a free class at your local library or community building.  You’ll know how many people are interested in your skill and might pick up a few customers.

Decide What to Charge

Here’s the tricky part: determine what to charge for your time.  Remember that you need to charge enough money to cover any equipment and travel you’ll do for these lessons.  But not so much that people can’t afford your services.

Do a little sleuthing.  Are others in your area already teaching lessons?  How much are they asking?  Look in the same places you want to find clients to find these answers (ask around, check Craigslist, look for other flyers).  Price your lessons comparable to theirs.  If you have less experience or want to start at a lower rate to start, that’s fine.

The beauty of being your own boss is that you can raise the prices later if you learn that the market can handle higher prices.  Or maybe you’ll find out that you are better than you thought you were.  (Impostor syndrome is real!)

Teaching private lessons

A Word About Contracts

When I taught music lessons, I wrote up a contract and had my clients sign it before we began lessons.  One thing you’ll learn is that people find it easy to blow off private lessons.  Everyone is busy!  Get a commitment, and be sure to keep it on your end, too.

I didn’t create a contract because I thought it was binding in court.  I created it so both parties have a good understanding of the expectations.  We would have a lesson every single week.  To instill a sense of regularity, I asked them to pay in monthly installments.  That helped them realize that this wasn’t a commitment that could be blown off because one week was busier than the rest.

(I didn’t keep their money if something kept us from having a lesson one week.  I’d return the cash or take a discount on the following monthly payment.)

It’s always good to have things in writing so there is no confusion about the expectation of the lessons.  Even if you don’t ask for pay in monthly chunks, have both parties sign an agreement that you feel comfortable with.

Take These Steps:

  1. Decide what you’ll teach and how.
  2. Find clients.
  3. Bank your savings.

This was day 25 in the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series.  Go to the bottom of this post to find all the money saving and money making posts in this series!

That’s how you set yourself up to teach private lessons.

The beauty is that you can spend more time doing an activity that you clearly love to do.  And others can benefit from your experience, too.

Have you ever taught or taken private lessons?