jackie-schmidt-violin-teacher

Case Study: How A Violin Teacher Raised Her Rate 260% & Made 6 Figures In 12 Months

Every time Earn1K’s doors open, an avalanche of ‘special snowflakes’ inundate my inbox, questioning whether their peculiar and exotic circumstances will prevent them from earning money on the side.

The emails are full of invisible scripts like, “I’m not sure this will work for me because I don’t have an idea/website/technical skills.” Or “Will I succeed with this course if I’m introverted/extroverted/have ADHD/OCD?” You get my drift.

An invisible script that’s especially insidious, is the assumption you can’t create a side income by monetizing your artistic skills.

To be fair, society at large continues to perpetuate unhelpful scripts about who you need to be and what needs to happen, in order for you to make money and succeed in film, theatre, music and the visual arts.

But once you wake up to the game being played around you, you understand that making good money – let’s say 6 figures – reliably, strategically and consistently, is possible in any industry. Even the arts.

To illustrate my point, I’d like to introduce you to a highly successful Earn1K student – Jackie – who was sick and tired of ‘just getting by’ as a music tutor.

Through Earn1K, she tore down old scripts that she was hopeless at business, created ‘referral machines’ that effectively outsourced her marketing, and generated a waiting list of clients so desperate to work with her, they could care less about her rate!

Here’s how she did it.

“I’m an awesome musician and instructor, but have NO business experience.”

Jackie was “financially illiterate” when she found IWTYTBR and actively avoided facing her financial realities. “Money was a nebulous and grimly imposing concept that I didn’t even want to start dealing with. I was only aware that I knew nothing and the advice out there was contradictory.”

Using a few IWT scripts, Jackie negotiated a better deal on her cell phone and car insurance before moving on to bigger wins, “I got my utilities waived, free W&D installed and an electric bill waived. For someone who had been incredibly intimidated on finance, this was a pretty huge psychological shift!”

While addressing her psychological barriers around money was a step in the right direction, Jackie knew the biggest impact she could have on her finances long term, was to boost her income.

At the time she was “getting by”, freelancing as a violin tutor, but had never actively sought clients and desperately needed a systematic way to grow her business.

As the year came to a close Jackie was resigned. “I only made one New Year’s Resolution: Do whatever it takes to grow my studio.” When Earn1K was released soon after, Jackie was hesitant. “It was obviously revelatory, but I also felt trepidatious, because it was so much money. I even emailed Ramit because I thought I would be the WORST student. But then I also thought, ‘If I don’t take this chance now, in a year’s time, where will I be?’

From 0 to $81,000 in 8 weeks

Jackie dived into Earn1K’s module on choosing your rates and immediately realized she could improve her internal scripts around pricing. She shifted her focus to over-delivering value and began communicating that value to prospects through high profile testimonials and listing awards her students had won.

By changing the way she approached the pricing discussion and pre-framing her value, Jackie found increasing her rates didn’t create the negative backlash she’d feared. “I was scared, but I collected all our studio’s achievements and people saw the rate rise in that context. They didn’t bat an eyelid.”

The result? Her income surged 30% overnight.

Next, Jackie began strategically building ‘referral machines’ – partners of a specific caliber who could refer to her a steady stream of new clients – essentially outsourcing the marketing process. “They had to be self-sustaining, high quality – so no deadbeats – and mutually beneficial.”

Now understanding the importance of value, as compared with price, Jackie looked for additional ways to over-deliver value, in a way that would translate to her bottom line. “I set a goal of doing one project a month that at least doubled my (newly raised) hourly rate.”

This included offering new, innovative programs – like teaching teenagers to earn money busking – implementing an ascension model and sending out a newsletter with videos and MP3s to existing and prospective clients.

Her new mantra? “I do everything possible to make violin as high-value as possible for my clients.”

What happened next was interesting.

Suddenly Jackie had a hungry waiting list and was turning away 2 in 3 new students. “Now I only accept those who are awesome to work with and motivated before they walk in.”

“No one even asks what I charge anymore!”

Demand is so strong, her business continues to thrive, despite the market downturn. “Even in a bad economy clients tell me, ‘We are COMMITTED to violin, no matter what.’ They come saying they have heard of my reputation and they leave articulating how their children are learning tons of life skills that will help them succeed in ANYTHING. Imagine what that is worth to the parents in my niche!”

But it gets better.

Guaranteed income for the next 10 years!

One student signed up for a decade of tutoring, at a value of $39,000.

Since the end of Earn1K Jackie doubled her rate again, for certain clients. “This is 260% of my original rate! (By the way, since my focus is over-delivering value, they are happy to pay.)”

“The results were effortless…”

Jackie says her next rate rise will be “a cinch”, since she is now doing 80% of the sales work before clients even step foot in her studio. “For me, the results were almost effortless since 80% of my workload was psychological.”

6 figures from the arts, no longer an impossible dream

By raising her profile and over-delivering, Jackie is on track for a 6 figure year. “I didn’t think I would ever make 6 figures, due to being in the arts. Now, I am confident that I will do at LEAST that much. My income has continued to increase each month while hours worked (and stress levels) have decreased.”

But the rewards aren’t just financial.

“I now receive home cooked food, flowers, groceries and gift certificates each week in appreciation, because ‘What I do is precious’. I can’t help but think that increasing rates, plus over-delivering value, equals recognition of worth.”

“I even started a ‘fun’ side business!”

Jackie has also applied the strategies she learnt in Earn1K to pursue a side business in fashion, purely for the fun of it! “The extra $500+/month has been a cool bonus.”

Meanwhile the success of her studio has generated media coverage, which in turn has led to other income generating and profile building opportunities, including paid performances and an invitation to co-author a book.

“This is an awesome chance to make much more than my increased teaching rate, albeit on a less steady basis.”

Earn1K paid for itself, several times over

Jackie says Earn1K has represented a strong return on investment for her. “When I signed up my only goal was to make back the cost,” Jackie remembers. “After 8 weeks the projected value over the next 36 months was around 80,000. That’s a pretty good return rate! Even if I only took one action of raising my rate, the course paid for itself.”

“Having better clients makes me better at my craft”

Like many Earn1K students, Jackie cites emotional benefits, like ridding herself of “toxic fear and worry” and an increase in personal power as one of the course’s most valuable outcomes. “Most of all, Ramit, I would like to thank you for the increase in confidence and happiness.”

Once Jackie overcame the invisible scripts that were holding her back and adopted a systematic approach to growing her income, she was able to be more effective and provide more value – all while staying true to who she is and doing what she loves.

“The most important thing for me was to arrive at a different mindset, for my words and actions to come from a place of value and esteem, for myself, my work and my clients. The better my clients, the better my rates, and ultimately the experience of working with them.”

Recognize and reverse your invisible scripts

Invisible scripts can hold us all back. But they don’t have to.

Sign up below and you’ll receive advance notice of when Earn1K accepts its next intake, plus you’ll get a head start on recognizing, reversing and automating your existing invisible scripts, with my bonus report ‘Hustle Your Way To The Top’. To access your copy, just enter your name and email below.