Year In Review 2018

To cut a long story short, 2018 has been a HUGE year for me both personally and professionally here at HowToPlayTheSax.com !

Now that I’m looking back, remembering it all and writing it all down, I realise that I have been busy – helping myself and helping others !

 

Redundancy.

 

Having worked for a large financial institution for a smidge under 19 years in multiple and various IT roles, I did not survive the large wave or redundancies that hit in April 2018.

Over my 19 years with the one company, I had seen more than my fair share of layoffs.  Every two or three years, some new Very Senior Manager would come in and cut staff numbers across the organisation.  I did experience one other close shave a few years ago, but I had managed to keep a role and life continued.

However, this time was different.  The company I worked for were cutting upwards of 6000 staff – yes, six thousand – across the entire organisation.  I will predict that the Very Senior Manager(s) who thought that this would be a good idea will NOT get to 19 years service like I and many others did.  But, hey, they got paid significantly more than I did….

This time I was offered a voluntary redundancy package and because I knew that the fall out for those who remained would suck rather heavily for a couple of years, I took the opportunity.

And I’m pleased that I did.

 

Full time with this website and teaching people how to play the saxophone.

 

Not having to immediately go back and work for “the man” meant that I could explore a life long passion – using my saxophone to help others learn theirs.

When I was at university many, many years ago, I was studying to be a music teacher.  However, at that time schools were being closed left, right and centre and students studying to be teachers were finishing their degrees with zero chance of getting a job.  So I dropped out at the end of first year and never finished my degree.

I have had private saxophone students on and off for the last 30 years since then.  I have taught in many voluntary and professional capacities.  I do enjoy teaching.  And I love my saxophone.

I love IT stuff too and deep down I am a bit of a computer nerd, particularly when it comes to making websites.

So, to me it was a no-brainer to see where this combining of my skills and passions would lead.

As a result, I have been putting upwards of 50 hours a week into this website and helping people learn how to play the saxophone.

 

Learning and more learning.

 

I have learnt sooooooooooo much this year.

Creating a website is relatively easy these days.

Creating a useful website that has specific functionality is not.

Researching the various and multiple tools available that make a good website great, then implementing these tools has been both enjoyable but taxing on my brain.

Filming, editing and creating videos has also been a learning curve for me.  I’m getting better, but each of the video saxophone lessons I have created and made available inside the Members Area here within this website represent many hours of effort.

A 20 minute video in its final form is at least 3 hours in the making !

Then there is the online marketing and advertising.  These also take a lot of time.  I guess if it was easy, then everyone would do it….. I certainly am not finding these two important components easy….!!

 

Successes.

 

Through my efforts here and the efforts of my wonderful Members at HowToPlayTheSax.com , plus via my saxophone lessons courses on Udemy and Skillshare,  I have been fortunate in meeting and helping beginner saxophone students for all over the world.  Have you become a Member yet ? 😉

I now have saxophone students in upwards of 27 different countries.

This just blows my mind and shows the power of the internet.  Amazing !

The momentum is growing and snowballing.  With each blog post I publish and with each video I release, I am getting just a little bit more visitor engagement and website traffic.

 

Busy, busy, busy.

 

This year, in 2018, I have:

  • Written 60 blog posts.
  • Created over 65 videos.
  • Total redesigned this website.
  • Installed, configured and added many (hopefully) useful bells and whistles, enhancements and tools to make the Member and visitor experience just that little bit better.

    Year In Review 2018

  • Performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – 21 performances over 12 days.  This was an incredible experience and a life long dream that I was lucky enough to share with my youngest daughter who travelled and performed with me as part of a local theatre company from here in Melbourne, Australia, where I live.  Our group won the “Best Overseas Show” award for the entire Edinburgh Fringe Festival !
  • Gained 5 new private one on one saxophone students (and one clarinet student) ranging in age from 8 to 60.
  • Gained over 120 online saxophone students.

 

Learning opportunities.

 

It certainly has not been easy, this online thing.

At least now, 8 or so months on, I am starting to get a handle on what it is that I DON’T know.

I still don’t know how to do a lot of it, but at least I am coming to grips with actually knowing what I don’t know !

Traffic generation is proving to be difficult.  I have been reading about how apparently easy it is to put up a website and gain five gazillion website visitors in under 30 seconds.  I have yet to crack the code for this.

I have been looking at Youtube – particularly around other saxophone teaching (as well as other musical instruments) videos and have noticed that many of these have tens or hundreds of thousands of views.  Mine don’t…..Yet.  How do they do it ?  I have no idea, but I am learning and slowly gaining traction.

Then there is the on page “sales copy” – such as writing, sales pages, sales language, psychological triggers, advertising copy, and the so-called-simple art of selling with words.  This is a skill that I have yet to master.

Sales – simple dollars in vs dollars out (including my time) for my saxophone lessons website business is not yet at a level that I wish to become accustomed.  Again, I’ve been reading about website owners who make a squillion dollars overnight by putting up a “buy now” paypal button.  This concept is proving to be difficult !!!  Again, as I mentioned earlier, I suppose if it was easy then everyone would do it…..

If anyone has some suggestions or feedback for me, then I would be most grateful 🙂

 

More to come.

 

I have got heaps of ideas up my sleeve and in my head.

I’ve got more online saxophone lessons planned.  I have made a commitment to have at least one new video saxophone lesson available to my Members each and every week – I will continue to ensure this happens.

I have kept up a schedule of 2 blog posts a week – on Mondays and Thursdays.  I will keep to this schedule.

I realise that I need to make more videos and have these available on Youtube, plus a few other sites like Facebook and Vimeo. These will not be the full saxophone lesson videos that I will keep exclusively for my Members, but they will help others who are beginning their saxophone journey.  I will make and publish at least one of these each week.

Answering questions via email or within the Forums for my Members takes time.  Learning about marketing and running a membership website takes time.

But, my underlying drive is to help beginners of all ages learn how to play the saxophone.

I will continue to make this my highest priority.

Thanks to you, dear reader and fellow saxophonist, for being a part of an amazing year !

Keep playing your saxophone 🙂

Matthew

P.S.  Please share this article and help me spread the word about the joys and wonders of learning saxophone.

P.P.S.  If you would like simple step by step instructions to help you learn how to play the saxophone, all neatly organised in the one convenient location, all provided by an experienced saxophone teacher who can help you to play the music that YOU want to play quickly and easily, then check out our saxophone lessons membership options.  Get started on your saxophone journey today !

 

Remember – I can help you learn How To Play The Sax 🙂

 

YES – I want to Have Fun, Play Sax, Be Awesome and Repeat !

 

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