As voice teachers, especially as newer teachers, it can be tempting to take any students we can get. After all, more students means more money and a growing business. However, as many successful businesses in any industry can show us, having a deep understanding of your clients, their needs, and how you can fulfill those needs can make a big difference between a quick buck and long-term growth.
With that said, it may feel like we’re already in an incredibly niche industry, and we are. There are ways to break it down even further though, and several reasons why you might want to. In this post, let’s take some time to talk about what it means to be a niche voice teacher, and example niches you might pursue.
Defining A Niche Voice Teacher
The shortest and most straightforward definition of a “niche” is a “micro-specialization”. Having a niche means that you, as a voice teacher, focus on a specific desire that voice students have and you sell yourself as the one who can fulfill that desire. These desires can include focusing on a certain genre, having specific performance goals, taking lessons that fit their budget, and so on. A niche in teaching can also mean the demographic of the student you would work with. This might include a student’s age, skill level, or even gender.
A number of niches already exist amongst voice teachers, and you’ll probably recognize them. Keep in mind as we give you these examples that niches can be mixed or matched, and there are benefits to pursuing a popular niche or, conversely, a brand new one.
Examples of Niches for Voice Teachers
Since we outlined two types of niches above, we will give you examples of these two kinds of niches separately. Let us start with niche demographics first, then desires.
High School Students
This is probably one of the most popular niche groups out there for voice teachers. Numerous high school students want voice lessons, whether or not they plan on pursuing voice as a career later on. Furthermore, marketing to this group is easy and straightforward. You can reach out to local high school choir directors, theater departments, or after school groups to find students and build a private studio quickly.
You’re probably personally familiar with this category, as many voice teachers are or have been, at some level, a pre-professional singer. This is a student who has had a fair amount of training but hasn’t quite made an income off of their music. They’re usually looking to hone their skills, so if you like a serious student who wants to get into the nitty gritty, this may be the niche for you.
Some students prefer to study with a teacher the same gender as them, or a teacher deliberately the opposite gender for any number of reasons. Furthermore, there is a rise in requests for voice teachers who cater to transgender or gender nonconforming students. Deciding if you’d like to cater to a specific gender can be used as a marketing tool later on.
Of course, there are any number of demographic based niches you could cater to, so dare to think beyond what we’ve listed here. Before you think outside of the box though, add these desire-based niches to your thought process.
Opera/Musical Theater/Jazz/Pop/Rock Singers
The essence of this category is obvious: you can base a niche entirely around one genre, and chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you might predominantly be a classical voice teacher, or were trained classically yourself. If you’re curious about other genres though, know that the market often has a much higher demand for other genres.
While this niche may cause you to blur the lines between voice teacher and voice coach, some students may find a teacher who says, “I can help you achieve your goal,” appealing. For example, some students have one specific audition, competition, or event that they want to prepare for vocally and musically. While it may take a bit of time to develop a name for yourself in this niche, if your students start showing results, interest in your studio will compound.
The “Just for Fun” Crowd
Relatively different from the goal-oriented singers, some students want a teacher who will help them through the concerns of being completely new to voice lessons, or music in general. Oftentimes these students are older and are looking to have some fun while crossing out an item on their bucket list. They might want a mixture of technically progressing while also just letting loose an hour a week. This student probably is best obtained through word of mouth, as they’ll feel safer knowing a friend recommended you as a teacher.
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Why Become a Niche Voice Teacher?
As you may have begun to deduce, there is real power in marketing to a niche crowd as a voice teacher. It’ll help you focus your resources and your target audience. Furthermore, you may find that you have a personal and a professional preference for a certain niche. Perhaps you prefer working with a certain age group or genre, or you may find that the hours you want to work are conducive to a certain type of student.
You may have also noticed that you can mix and match some of these niches. Goal-oriented singers, for example, often fit into a particular genre or into the pre-professional age group. The “Just for Fun” crowd will often be pure beginners. Ultimately, the most important part of having a niche for your studio is to help you decide how to grow your business. If you’re able to create a vision for your ideal student based off of possible niches, you’ll develop an understanding of how to reach out to that student and grow your studio in the way you’d like.
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