How This 28-Year-Old Piano Teacher Made $1,000,000

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Zach Evans was born in Wisconsin to a gym teacher and a stay at home mom. He went to college at a small school in Oshkosh, WI, and majored in music. 

Not exactly a recipe for making a million dollars. But he pulled it off anyway, using the power of social media.

“I feel like I was born at the right time” Zach says. “If I was born 20 years earlier, I’d never have the opportunity I have now, it really worked out perfectly.”

How He Pulled it Off

Zach didn’t really start getting into piano until college. During his freshman year, he injured himself running track, and turned all his attention towards learning piano.

“Sometimes I wonder if things happen for a reason. At the time, [the injury] seemed like the worst thing that could happen. But it allowed me to dive 100% into music. So maybe it was supposed to happen.”

Zach used his experience and competitiveness as an athlete to help him learn piano faster. He treated his practice sessions just like his detailed track workouts – trying to optimize every minute for success.

“Sports are competitive” Zach says. “So, everyone’s working hard. So, the only way to beat your competition is to work smarter, so there’s already been a lot of time and energy figuring out how to optimize workouts for the highest gains. Music, on the other hand, isn’t competitive like that. So there’s a lot more wiggle room and low hanging fruit when it comes to optimizing your practice routine.”

This focus on practice efficiency, and what Zach calls “Accelerated Learning”, became a cornerstone to his method for learning piano. And even more of a cornerstone for his method of teaching later on. And it allowed him to graduate as one of the top pianists in his class.

Learning the Business Side of Things

After graduating, Zach moved to Nashville and got an internship under Johnny Dwinell of Daredevil Production, company that does digital marketing for musicians.

“Johnny’s a genius” Zach says. “He understands exactly where the industry is going. You no longer need a record label to be successful. You can go direct to consumer. That’s what social media gave us.”

As Zach would work on client’s social media pages, he simply applied the same marketing techniques to his own pages, and grew his following day by day. His accounts continued to grow, and nowadays he boasts an impressive 100,000 Instagram followers, 100,000 YouTube subscribers, and almost 500,000 Facebook fans.

Launching the Company

But even with the huge numbers of followers, Zach still had a big problem; he wasn’t making any money from it.

“Nobody buys CD’s anymore. Spotify pays out hardly anything. I was making a few hundred a month off of YouTube, but nowhere near enough to support myself. I knew I had to take matters into my own hands.”

After watching a mind-opening presentation at a local entrepreneur meetup group, Zach had the answer. An online membership site, teaching his piano methods.

“It just felt like the perfect fit. I mean, people are already used to paying weekly or monthly for piano lessons. As an in-person teacher, you’re limited by your time to how many students you can teach. But if your lessons are videos, you can scale up to an unlimited amount of students.”

And that’s how Zach started his “Become a Piano Superhuman” online piano course. A membership site that, for a small monthly fee, students could log onto and learn how to play piano.

Since Zach already had a large following from his social media accounts, his course quickly grew to over 200,000 users in a very short period of time. And the payments started flowing in.

“It was never really about the money for me” Zach says. “I just wanted to make enough to quit my job, so I can do music all day.  But it ended up all working out.”

Zach now lives in Los Angeles. He spends most of his day working on music, and plans to continue to grow the business.

 

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