After his contract with the Royal Shakespeare Company came to an end, Hinal turned to Bidvine to grow his own music business. Then, after being hired on every bid he made with his first bundle, Hinal was hooked.
Using Bidvine Hinal’s been able to build a large, reliable client base. Today 90% of his business comes from Bidvine. In our conversation with Hinal, he shared his musical journey with us and his top tips on how other pros can succeed using Bidvine.
Where Did Your Passion For Music Come From?
I was 5 years old when a friend of mine from school started taking keyboard lessons. I decided I wanted keyboard lessons too. He stopped and I continued. Ever since that age when I heard music on the radio or TV or I would go back to my keyboard and try to play it from memory. My hobby became more than a hobby; it became a passion, and I turned that into a profession.
What is Your Favorite Genre to Play?
It really depends on my mood but I find that when I’m practising at home, I usually play classical. Then when I’m on stage with a lot of people, it is a lot more jazz or pop because that’s just what we are doing commercially. But at home when I’m practising, I find that I’m in more of a meditative state when I’m playing classical music so that is always nice.
Do You Have a Favourite Genre to Teach?
The most structured route is classical. I teach the ABRSM syllabus and that’s the Associated Board of Royal School of Music. Most children and adults that I teach have requested to take the classical route—they want to do the traditional grade system. The classical syllabus is actually very comprehensive so I prefer to teach the classical route.
When Did You Decide to Pursue Your Passion as a Career?
I basically transitioned from working full time in 2012 to pursuing music as a career. Then, 2013 was a really hard year for me—I had five months where I had no work after my contract with the Royal Shakespeare Company ended. At the same time, I noticed a Facebook advert for Bidvine. So, I went on and I registered as a teacher.
Within a week or two, I had at least 8 students from Bidvine. Since then I’ve had a turnover of about 25 or 30 students through Bidvine of which about 16 are still with me.
Photo credit: Hinal Pattani
What Would You Say is The Key to a Successful Bid?
Pay attention to what the client is looking for. When I write bids, I always answer their specific inquiries. For instance, if someone says, I’ve never looked at a piano before and I would love for the teacher to recommend where to start, I address that point directly. For example, I might say something about how I teach complete beginners to advanced and that it doesn’t matter what level you’re at.
I teach every age range of students from literally 5 years up to as long as you are alive. I make sure that I provide a relaxed atmosphere for my students where they can progress at their own pace. It’s really just about getting across that there is going to be no pressure and the environment is quite relaxed and friendly.
I also tend to do trial lessons with all of my students for free before they sign on. Most of the time I think the parents just need to feel more comfortable that they’ve got the right person teaching their little ones. We just sit down and make sure that the dynamic is right between us and 99% of the time they book for the next few sessions.
What is Most Important to Include in a Bidvine Profile?
Profile pictures are important. As a music teacher, the clients are often parents looking for teachers for their children, so they want to have reassurance and safety, reliability and trust. These are all big things at the moment. Someone has to actually be able to deliver what they say they do. Then that comes back to the content you put on your profile and your reviews. You need to give somebody confidence that they are hiring a professional who has relevant experience and knows how to help the students progress musically.
What’s Your Advice to Other Music Teachers Who Think About Signing up to Bidvine?
I’d say don’t waste time. Sign up to Bidvine and create a detailed profile. Make the investment in the credit bundle. It’s not a waste of money. As soon as you start bidding, people respond. Then when they do respond, you should just take it up from there.
One of the things that people might find a little bit dubious is—I’ll have to spend money to bid for these students. But, it’s authentic. I know it works because I’ve been using Bidvine for 3 years. I’ve got plenty of evidence that it works. It’s very reliable and I have found long-term students through the platform. So I’d say provide as much detail as possible on your profile and get bidding.
Photo credit: Hinal Pattani
How Important is it to Keep Bidding if Someone is Not Hired on Their First Bid?
You’ve definitely got to keep on bidding. It’s well worth making an investment of £20 to £40, whatever it’s going to take to start getting students. It’s a small price to pay. In my case, I charge for five lessons upfront with every student. Then we enrol in the next five lessons when the fifth is finished and so on.
For me, one student is going to pay for a whole pack of bids. It doesn’t matter if I have to spend a month’s worth of lessons with one student on bids. I’m going to gain others.
Have You Received Referrals From The Students You’ve Found on Bidvine?
Some of them have actually referred me to friends of theirs, yes. I’ve met a community of parents now that have used Bidvine and I’ve ended up as the teacher for their kids as well, independent of each other. But they know each other and they are now referring me to other people.
What’s The Most Rewarding Aspect of Your Job?
It’s most rewarding to see a child who doesn’t know anything about a piano playing music two years later. It’s great to see them playing sheet music and being in a position where they can explore their own journey in music. Suddenly they have this knowledge and it’s an amazing thing to see. It’s a very powerful experience and it makes me feel very proud of my students.
See more about Hinal:
Music Lessons by Hinal, London, UK