How To Attract New Guitar Students Like A Magnet
By Tom Hess
To make a great living as a guitar teacher, you’d better know how to attract new students all year around. However, if you think that attracting more guitar students is only about doing ‘more advertising’, you’ll have a very hard time filling your teaching schedule. Although advertising IS important, your success with attracting more new students starts with being able to demonstrate overwhelming value to guitarists who are trying to choose between taking lessons from you vs. your competitors.
Before I tell you how to do this in the rest of this article, it would be very valuable for you to test your current ability to attract guitar students and get feedback on your skills in this area. Do this now by taking this test about attracting guitar students and then come back to keep reading this article.
Here are the 6 things you must be able to do, show and prove to your prospective students to start attracting more guitar students quickly.
1. Genuinely care about helping your students (and PROVE it to them!)
You will attract new guitar students and retain them much longer once you are able to prove that you care more about helping them than ANY other guitar teacher ever will. There are many ways you can do this, here is one: reinvest some of the money you earn from guitar teaching right back into your students by holding your own group events, seminars, parties or banquets ‘exclusively’ for your students. Then, give it to them for free. When your guitar students see you reinvesting your own money for 'their' direct and free benefit, it builds trust and displays proof that you really care about helping them. In other words, put your time and money where your mouth is!
2. Add more value to your students’ musical lives by deepening their musical goals and showing them the bigger picture of what they can achieve by studying with you
The majority of people who come to you looking for a guitar teacher either:
1. Have a very ‘limited’ understanding of what can be achieved in their guitar playing and musicianship. In other words, they don't even know how to correctly set musical goals for themselves.
For example, your guitar students may think they only want to learn how to play a particular song, play fast guitar solos or learn to play like their favorite guitarist. Truth is, they would want to achieve much more if you simply made them aware of all the other possibilities that exist. Average guitar teachers with short term thinking will simply teach their students how to play their favorite songs (or accomplish whatever basic goal they may have) each time they come in for a lesson. Then one day, the student is finally able to reach that goal and quits lessons because to him/her there is no reason to continue (since you didn’t fully educate them on all the other possibilities that exist for them).
As a guitar teacher you have the power (and an obligation) to open your prospective students’ eyes to a world full of possibilities that exist for their guitar playing. Doing this will inspire them to take lessons with you, study with you for years and tell everyone else they know about you (helping you attract tons of new guitar students). Help your students expand their basic guitar playing goals to much bigger, long term goals and don’t cheat them out of the maximum musical fulfillment they can get by studying with you.
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3. Always tell and teach your guitar students what they NEED to hear and learn
Don't be that mediocre guitar teacher who only gives students what they 'think they want'. In other words, keep them on track and don't let them distract themselves (or you) from achieving their true long term musical objectives. Many students get off course because they are always requesting to learn this new thing today or that new thing next week. Students typically don't know what it really takes to become the guitar players they want to be. If they did, they would be the expert guitar teacher. 97% of the time you will know better than your students about what they really need to learn, practice, do and master (ESPECIALLY if you do the next thing in the list below). The bottom line is you will attract way more (and better) guitar students once you begin producing better players and musicians. This won't happen if you are distracted by things that won't help your students reach their musical goals fast.
4. Get real training on how to teach guitar from an elite and verifiable expert
Don’t make the HUGE mistake of teaching with the same ‘trial and error’ approach used by mediocre guitar teachers. Truth is, one of the worst things you can do is tell your prospective guitar students that you've learned from 'trial and error' or that you 'had a good teacher yourself'. This will NOT cut it for most guitar students (and definitely won't cut it if you want to attract more ‘serious’ guitar students - the ones who pay the most, learn the fastest, make the most progress, are the most fun to teach and help build your reputation as a teacher etc.)… People aren't stupid. Everyone knows that learning to perform brain surgery well is not learned from trial and error or by watching somebody operate on your brain. Everyone also knows that becoming a lawyer, accountant, auto mechanic, airplane pilot, machinist or architect doesn't come from trial and error or by watching others do those things. Yes, you will get better with experience, but what guitar student wants to be your laboratory rat while you experiment on them in order to finally gain some experience? Don't be lazy, don't be cheap, don't take shortcuts - both you and your guitar students deserve better and you know it. Get REAL training and coaching on how to teach guitar.
That said, if you know anything about me, you already know I offer such expert training for guitar teachers. So you could choose to believe that my only intention here is to promote my guitar teacher coaching program... It's not. Fact is, I really don't care where you get training or who coaches you to become a master teacher. I'm simply telling you that you need expert training and to go out and get it, because the most successful guitar teachers out there DO have it.
5. (With the exception of beginning guitar students) never teach people with some one-size-fits-all cookie cutter method. Teach your guitar students using a strategy that is customized to meet their specific needs, accommodate their unique learning style and take them directly to their musical goals
Guitar teachers often ask me, "Tom, what method should I use to teach my students?". This is the exact wrong question to ask. The only question that you should be asking is, "How can I learn to consistently get massive results for my students - those who are willing to learn and practice and do what I tell them to do - not sometimes, not most of the time, but ALL OF THE TIME?" Now we have a 'useful question'. The answer is more complex than what can be written in an article, but it begins with the following mindset:
The best guitar teachers never teach ‘guitar', they teach ‘people’. What does this mean? It means you should NOT be looking for a 'guitar teaching method'. You need to be thinking about the specific strategies that are required and guaranteed to help the specific person in front of you reach his/her unique musical goals and know how to get that person on track, keep them on track, hold their hand throughout the process and make them love every minute of it.
6. Demonstrate to prospective guitar students that your guitar lessons offer something unique that can’t be found anywhere else
You will have the hardest time attracting guitar students when your prospective students think that the price of your guitar lessons is the biggest deciding factor for whether they should study with you or with another teacher down the street who may charge less ‘per lesson’. If the only thing your prospects are thinking about is the price of lessons, your guitar teaching becomes a mere commodity. This means (in your prospect’s eyes) that you offer NOTHING different than what any other guitar teacher in your area is offering. If your prospective students believe this, they will assume that ‘cheaper’ guitar lessons are better. The way around this is to ‘educate’ your students in advance about how YOU will help them get the results they want faster, easier and more effectively (thus saving them ‘both’ time AND money in the process).
Note: you must actually prove that you are able to ‘do’ the above, rather than just ‘say’ it. Here are some of the ways you can easily provide this proof:
When you do all of the above, 2 things will happen:
What You Should Do Now
Now that you have learned many ways to attract new guitar students, begin implementing these concepts into your teaching business right away. When you do everything I described throughout this article, your schedule will fill up with clients quickly and your students will thank you for helping them reach their musical goals.
If you haven’t yet taken the test about attracting new guitar students I mentioned at the start of this article, I highly suggest you do so now.
Learn even more powerful methods to help you get guitar students fast for your guitar teaching business.
© 2002-2017 Tom Hess Music Corporation