Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time to rationalise

It is late March, and there have been so many initiatives that I have been investigating that it is time to go back and revise my business plan to rationalise and sort them: in priority, in financial viability, and in importance to my ongoing business.

Initiatives have included:
  • Facebook advertising for singing students: with new advice, I need to try this again.
  • Advertising: at Waikato University Faculty of Education for singing students as individuals or groups. One enquiry, no response to my followup email. I will try again in the second semester
  • Teaching in Taupo: A town 2 hrs drive away from me, where I lived and taught 20 yrs ago. They currently have no resident singing teacher. Flyers left in town in January, visits with various music friends, and cards left with many, but minimal responses. I have been invited to go and sing at a lunchtime concert in July, and have two families waiting for me to get there for their children. After the coming school holidays I will consider going for the few, and getting the world of mouth working.
  • Retirement Village choirs: I am now working in two villages, but still very much at a basic rate (entertainer). I am meeting with the CEO of the RVA mid April to nut out the details of The Silver Sing festival in 2013, and once this is launched in June, I am hoping and planning that this work will grow; both in scope and remuneration
  • Choirs: Community choirs are close to my heart, non-auditioned singers who can be trained to sound very good. But again, it is close to charity work, very low remuneration. When travel costs are taken out, my time is worth about $5/hr. How far can I spread myself?
  • Presentation skill training: I am booked into the Faculty of Engineering to present a two-seminar series, and will be inviting relevant people from the Faculty of Education (to give these skills to trainee teachers) and the Teaching Development Unit at the University.
  • Work-based choirs. Initial enquiries were not followed up, and this will go on the back burner for now.
  • JubilaciĆ³n Suite: Songs for retirement. I have completed the first suite of six songs, and the Hamilton Chorale have given me very positive feedback about them, even choosing to sing the first four, for the third time, at the Choir's 20th anniversary dinner. The final two are being premiered at the anniversary concert preceding the dinner. The first songs were performed for the first time, less than 6 mths ago. I need to keep composing, and sending out perusal copies of songs to potential purchasers.
  • Conference break-out sessions: I have sent information to the biggest local conference organiser, and need to know whether I should try the squeaky wheel method or wait to be approached. This would definitely subsidise the large proportion of my work that is under-paid.

I would be interested in my reader's responses.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A new year, and much to report.

I have just received an email from Jeanne Kelly of the Encore Chorale organisation, asking for my six songs, and offering to send a cheque straight away. How exciting is that!! Now to check them all very carefully, and make sure that they are good publishable state, and then send them off. The titles are:
1. No more meetings
2. We're SKI-ing (spending the kid's inheritance)
3. Shh it's a secret
4. Grey Nomads
5. The revenge of the grandchildren
6. The Bucket list

I have decided to sell them at $1 per copy and $5 for the set of six. The theory is: if the price is good, then it does not pay to 'not' pay :-)

The local Home School Choir has asked me to work with them during the first term on singing technique, so I will be starting that on February 7th and will enjoy working with those interesting young people.

My advertising in Facebook has been incredible. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to reach a wide audience. I am advertising for people to learn singing via Skype. My advert has appeared on Facebook pages in New Zealand an Australia over 100,000 times, but I do not pay unless someone clicks on the link, and the charge for that is between 20c and 35c. Since mid November, when the adverts first went up I have paid less than 1 hrs tuition fee, and it has resulted in one student thus far. I need to work more on what they see when they get to my website.

Backing tracks for the 12 songs for the 8 - 80 concert (that is happening on February 24th at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival) are my main project for the next few weeks. It is the most challenging use of Garageband that I have done so far, but each one will get easier, as I get better at selecting and editing the samples.

I am excited about the year and what it is going to bring.