By Tom Hess
One of the biggest challenges you will face as a guitar teacher is learning how to attract students on a continual basis. However, if your first solution to finding more guitar students is to advertise more… you’re on the wrong track! Most guitar teachers focus only on advertising as much as possible and end up back where they started with only a few students. Truth is, advertising is only ‘one’ part of the big picture when it comes to attracting tons of new students.
In a moment I will show you how to get more guitar students by proving that you are the best guitar teacher to work with. Before you read the rest of this article, test your knowledge to see how much you know about how to attract more guitar students. This (combined with the information in this article) will help you understand what areas you need to work on now so that you can quickly begin attracting lots of new students.
The following six points will help you understand what you must do to clearly demonstrate your overwhelming value as a guitar teacher so you can attract more students:
1. Help your guitar students learn what they NEED (not just what they think they ‘want’)
One of the biggest mistakes you can make for the long term growth of your guitar teaching business is only teaching your students what they ‘think they want’. Make sure they stay on the right path and don’t let them distract themselves from reaching their greatest musical goals. You will often run into situations where students ask to learn something outside of what you plan to teach them during a lesson. Students generally do not understand what is needed to become a great guitarist (this is why they are ‘students’ and NOT teachers). You will almost always know more than the student when it comes to what is really needed to achieve mastery in any particular area of their playing. Simply put, you will attract a lot more students when you are able to produce excellent guitarists and musicians through your teaching. This will not happen if your students are distracted by things that do not help them reach their greatest goals.
2. Enrich your students’ musical lives by expanding their guitar playing goals to make them bigger in scope
In most cases, people who want to learn guitar from you either:
1. Have no clue what can truly be accomplished with guitar. They have a very limiting understanding of how to set truly BIG goals.
2. Don’t have faith in themselves and as a result pursue very small goals based on what they think is possible rather than what they REALLY want to accomplish.
For instance, many of your guitar students might think that they merely want to learn how to play fast guitar licks, specific songs or styles. Fact is, if you showed them how much they could truly achieve, they would want to accomplish much more. Mediocre guitar teachers will simply help their guitar students learn songs, play cool licks or reach other small goals during their lessons. Eventually, the student will be able to do these things and will quit because there seems to be no reason to continue (since the teacher never made them aware of the greater musical possibilities beyond their basic objectives).
You MUST open your students’ minds and help them understand how much potential they truly have to achieve BIG things. This will make them much more motivated and excited to learn with you. As a result, they will stay with you much longer and tell everyone they know about your lessons as they progress toward their goals. Give your students the absolute MOST they can get out of guitar lessons – don’t allow them to accomplish very little when they should be accomplishing a lot.
3. Personalize your guitar teaching to meet the unique needs, goals and learning styles of your guitar students
Here’s a question you should never ask: “What is the greatest method for teaching guitar students?”. Instead, you should be asking the following question: “What is the best way to consistently get MASSIVE results for my students?”. The answer to this question (as you might suspect) is very complex. However, it starts by using the following line of thinking:
The greatest, most successful guitar teachers do not merely teach ‘guitar’ they teach ‘people’. What am I talking about exactly? Do not search for an all-encompassing teaching method. Instead, search for strategies that will help each of your students achieve their specific musical goals as quickly and effectively as possible (while keeping them highly motivated throughout the learning process).
4. Work with a proven expert to improve your guitar teaching skills
#1 mistake made by most guitar teachers that ruins their local reputation (taking away their ability to earn good money): teaching guitar lessons with a trial and error approach. There is almost nothing worse than telling your students that you have learned how to teach guitar through trial and error. Many of them will take this as a sign of your own incompetence and will pursue lessons with someone else who seems more capable of helping them get results. Think about it. Would you pay someone to fill a cavity in your tooth if they were working on a trial and error basis? Would you sit down in that dentist’s chair? Didn’t think so! The same applies for your guitar students. They are not stupid, they can tell a hack teacher from someone who has really perfected the craft of guitar instruction. Don’t overlook this point – find an expert guitar teacher who will show you exactly what you need to do to get the very best results for your students.
With this in mind, I’m sure you are already aware that I give guitar teacher help in my guitar teacher training program. You may think that the only reason I wrote this article is to promote this program… but it’s not. Truth is, it really doesn’t matter to me who trains you to become an excellent guitar teacher. I’m merely informing you that you need to do this in order to become successful in your guitar teaching business.
5. Truly care A LOT about helping your students (and show this to them!)
You will be able to attract students and retain them for extended periods of time once you can show them that you care more about helping them than any other instructor ever will. You can do this in many ways and here is one of them: Use some of the profit you earn from teaching lessons to put together exclusive events, parties or jams for your students (All for FREE). As soon as your guitar students see that you are using your own money for their benefit, it proves that you really care about helping them and they will trust you much more.
6. Make it clear to potential guitar students that your guitar lessons are very unique and special when compared to any other lessons being offered locally
You will struggle to attract a lot of guitar students when your lessons are judged purely by price alone. When this happens, your students will view all guitar teaching as a simple commodity where the only point in working with one teacher over another teacher is to save a few bucks. In this case, they will always select whoever is cheapest. To overcome this objection, you must help them understand the major benefits they will get while working with you (that they cannot find anywhere else). Additionally, you must communicate to them that you will be able to offer them these things while simultaneously saving them time and money. The question is, how can you prove this? Here are a few ways:
- Show any potential guitar students a list of the students you’ve trained to become excellent guitarists and musicians.
- Explain how you’ve actually been ‘trained’ by an experienced guitar teacher trainer to get the best results for your students. Keep in mind that this is totally different than having a degree in music, since this kind of degree will not help you improve as a guitar teacher.
- Don’t teach exclusively one on one lessons – use a variety of unique formats that will bring your students tons of additional benefits and help them advance their playing faster. Watch this video about how to earn a living as a guitar teacher and learn more on this topic.
- Become the local expert a style your target students want to learn.
After doing all these things, two things will occur for you:
1. Potential guitar students will identify you as the one and only option for helping them become the players they want to become.
2. Other local guitar teachers will start losing students because their students will soon discover that YOU are the one who helps guitarists achieve their goals faster than any other teacher in the area.
The Next Step You Should Take
After reading this article you have discovered many ways to attract a lot of new guitar students. To get the most benefit out of this information, begin implementing these ideas into your guitar teaching business right now. Once you do this, you will quickly gain many new students, earn more money and develop a positive reputation in your local community as the best guitar teacher.
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to test and see how much you know about how to attract more guitar students.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a professional guitar teacher, composer and the guitar player. He shows guitar teachers from around the world how to make money teaching guitar. On his website tomhess.net, you can find guitar teacher resources, and guitar teaching articles.