By Tom Hess
Do you have a lot of questions about how to grow your guitar teaching business? Truth is, you must continue asking questions and learning before you will grow as a guitar teacher. However, you must also ask ‘the right’ questions. If you ask the wrong questions (like most teachers do), you will ‘never’ expand your business and become successful on a large scale.
As someone who has trained many guitar teachers around the globe, I have answered a massive amount of questions on what it takes to build a successful guitar teaching business. There are countless questions that should NEVER be asked, because they are based on false assumptions and myths about becoming a successful guitar teacher. Even if you are able to find an answer to one of these questions, you will still end up going down the wrong path, eventually to fail in your guitar teaching business. Understanding what these specific questions are and why they are so destructive for your guitar teaching career will help you succeed where most guitar teachers fail. The following are 7 destructive ‘common sense’ questions that will cause you to fail in your teaching career:
Question #1: What Is The Best Way To Advertise Guitar Lessons In A Bad Economy?
This question contains the entirely unfounded assumption that you must utilize different marketing whenever attracting students during a slow economy versus attracting students a booming economy. This dangerous misconception could not be more wrong. If you ever receive advice for this question from another guitar teacher, understand immediately that they do NOT run a highly successful business.
Guitar teachers who achieve massive success use the same marketing strategies no matter how well the economy is doing. Rather than asking how you should change your advertising/marketing approach in relation to the economy, you should learn the most effective way to build your guitar teaching business in any economic condition. Then, you must use that approach religiously throughout the year. This is the best and only way to make sure that your business will continue to expand as teachers in your local area lose more and more students when the economy struggles.
Question #2: Where Should I Advertise My Guitar Lessons?
This question will greatly limit your opportunity to develop a guitar teaching business for these reasons:
1. There does not exist any ‘perfect’ place where your advertisements will always be effective in bringing in more business for you. There are tons of ways to effectively market your guitar teaching business and you need to learn them all. This is how you will continually grow your business.
2. When you focus exclusively on a single method of gaining new students, you make your guitar teaching business extremely vulnerable. If you are unable to continually get great results from the single method you chose, your teaching business will crumble very quickly. You MUST diversify your advertising and marketing approaches so that you are not relying on only one all-or-nothing approach at any given time.
Moral of the story: Don’t look for a single, best approach to advertising your guitar lessons. Instead, learn how to develop an effective strategy consisting of ‘many’ approaches in order to expand your business faster in a much safer manner. You will learn a wide assortment of powerful strategies by working with a guitar teaching success trainer.
Question #3: How Do I Attract More Students?
Of course you DO need to attract new students on a consistent basis – however, guitar teachers typically (and falsely) believe that getting more new students is the ‘only’ way for them to grow their income from teaching.
Simply put, gaining additional guitar students is only one of many ways that you can earn money in your business. There are tons of additional ways to earn good money as a guitar teacher (many that you would never expect) and you must learn them all in order to be successful. A lot of these concepts are discussed and explained in this free resource about earn more money teaching guitar.
Question #4: “What Would You Like To Learn Today?” (Many Guitar Teachers Ask This To Their Students)
At first, it may seem logical to ask your guitar students what they would like to learn during each lesson. Fact is, this is an extremely damaging question to ask and it will actually hold your students back from making significant progress. Whenever I help a guitarist choose a teacher to work with, I ALWAYS tell them to avoid teachers who ask them such a question. These are the reasons why:
1. As the guitar teacher, YOU are the one with the expertise. Your guitar students are your ‘students’ for a reason, and it is not their job to decide how they will become better players.
2. Your students cannot differentiate between the things they ‘want’ to learn and the things they ‘need’ to learn. Certainly your students should be allowed to tell you what they ‘want’ to learn, but because they are inexperienced, it is impossible for them to know what they ‘ought’ to be learning to accomplish their goals. Students will do more harm than god by trying to dictate to you how to teach them.
To overcome this, you must put time into learning how to teach guitar in a way that will bring bigger results for your students.
Question #5: What Do I Need To Teach My Students?
Seeking an answer to this question is very destructive for both you and your guitar students. Why? Your students are not taking lessons with you just so you can show them random stuff on guitar. They come to you in order to get a very specific ‘result’ or ‘solution’. You must help them get this by creating a highly personalized strategy for each student.
The majority of guitar teachers make the all-too-common mental error of teaching random guitar playing information/licks/songs to their students because they think this is what they are supposed to do as ‘good teachers’. On the contrary, you must design a specific strategy around your students’ unique goals to truly help them make progress on guitar.
Here is what you should do:
1. Stop focusing on finding new ‘things to teach’ and start looking for ways to help your students accomplish their specific guitar playing goals.
2. Know how to analyze the ‘symptoms’ of problems that your students share with you and identify the core problems that must be solved.
3. Become effective at guiding your students toward their highest musical goals.
For a complete understanding of these things, get a guitar teaching success trainer.
Question #6: What Is The Best Way To Approach Teaching Make Up Lessons?
This is a very common question asked by guitar teachers. Unfortunately, no matter what answer you get to this question, you will end up damaging your guitar teaching business. True experts who have achieved massive success in their guitar teaching businesses will tell you that you should a) never teach make up lessons and b) completely abandon the idea of using a lesson cancellation policy. There are countless reasons why teaching make up lessons will ruin your guitar teaching business. Here are just two:
1. When you teach make up lessons, you are working additional ‘unpaid’ time. This causes you to lose money in two ways: First, you lose an extra spot in your teaching schedule where you could be earning more money with another student. Second, you lose time that you could be working to grow your guitar teaching business and bring in additional students. This effectively limits your growth as a guitar teacher and puts your free time in the hands of students who do not respect your time in the first place.
2. Your students will lose respect for you as a guitar teachers when they feel like they can walk all over you and ‘show up’ to lessons at their own convenience. Even worse, these kinds of students will not feel a need to practice at home or make a lot of improvement. As a result, they will make very slow progress. Eventually, you will end up damaging your reputation as a guitar teacher because word will get around that you have a schedule full of mediocre students who never reach their goals.
So what is the solution? You must require that all of your students pay for every single week of the year regardless of whether or not they decide to show up (with NO make up lessons). This is the same approach used by universities. They have a strict ‘no refunds’ policy that applies to all students whether they come to class or not. This is also the same policy that highly successful guitar teachers use to earn $100,000+ every year.
Question #7: How Much Money Should My Guitar Lessons Cost?
When you ask yourself this question, you immediately set yourself up for failure because you begin thinking with the mindset that you must ‘compete’ with the price of other teachers or charge something that is fair in relation to those in your local area. To make matters worse, basing your rates on the rates of everyone else makes your guitar lessons seem like a commodity. This forces potential students to focus ONLY on the cost of lessons, causing them to view your guitar teaching as ‘the same thing’ offered by any other teacher. This effectively drains all incentive from them to choose you over anyone else in your local community.
Additionally, by asking this question you make the assumption that there is only one way to offer guitar lessons (in 1 on 1 format), which is a completely limiting approach. Fact is, there are plenty of creative guitar teaching models you can use to get far greater results for students while developing a flourishing business and offering many pricing options to your customers. Discover these methods by checking out this free guitar teaching video.
The cost of your lessons should be directly based on the unique value you offer to your guitar students instead of whatever anyone else is charging in your community. Focus on working as hard as you can to increase the value you offer to your students, get big results for them and adjust your prices accordingly.
After reading this article you have learned how even the most ‘common sense’ guitar teaching questions break down because they are based on false assumptions on how to become successful as a guitar teacher. To keep these problems from damaging your guitar teaching business, follow these steps:
1. Use the resources mentioned throughout this article to find out more information on how to become the best guitar teacher in your community.
2. Alter your current style of thinking and start asking yourself high quality questions within the topics of each of the seven questions above. Then take action to implement the advice I gave to you in order to expand your business to new heights.
By doing these things you will put yourself years ahead of any local competition and will achieve great success as a guitar teacher.
About The Author: Tom Hess is an electric guitar teacher online, recording artist and the guitar player. He trains guitar teachers from around the world on how to build their guitar teaching businesses in his guitar teacher program. Visit his website tomhess.net to receive many free guitar teacher resources, and to read more articles about teaching guitar.