How To Build A Thriving Guitar Teaching Business
by Tom Hess
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Then learn to do these 5 things really well:
Attract many new guitar students all year around (every month of the year).
Transform your students into incredible guitar players very quickly.
Keep your students studying with you for a long time. (This means years, not months).
Use effective guitar teaching models that help your business expand fast and don't make you feel overwhelmed.
- Develop a rock-solid, success-focused mindset. This mindset helps you do the work that's required to become successful.
When you struggle as a guitar teacher, it means there is room for improvement in one or more of these areas.
The good news is that it’s not hard to improve your guitar teaching business. All it takes is knowing what to do, how to do it and then doing it.
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Here are a few common reasons why you might struggle as a guitar teacher and what you can do today to become more successful:
Why You May Struggle To Attract New Guitar Students All Year Long:Reason #1: You don’t advertise enough. The simplest way to get more guitar students is to advertise more. This brings you more students and helps you learn what advertising methods work better than others.
Reason #2: You don’t advertise consistently throughout the year. Advertise with 100% intensity every single week of the year. This includes the slower summer months.
Reason #3: You advertising strategies are ineffective. Analyze the methods you use to attract students, learn how to make them more effective and watch your schedule fill up faster than ever before.
Reason #4: You teach guitar in “all styles”. The most serious guitar students look for an expert guitar teacher in their chosen style. When you specialize in a single style of music, you attract more committed guitar students who are serious about becoming good players.
Note: Don’t overspecialize in a style that few people want to learn.Reason #5: Your conversion tactics are weak. Advertising only attracts potential (prospective) new students to you. The next step is to convert those prospective guitar students into actual students. If your conversion skills are weak, you’ll have a hard time filing your schedule.
There are 5 proven ways you can get guitar students to choose you as their teacher. Download this free guitar teaching eGuide to discover how to make guitar students excited about studying with you.
Why Your Guitar Students May Struggle To Improve Their Playing (Even If You Are A Good Teacher):
Reason #1: You don’t train your guitar students to practice. Your guitar students usually won’t know how to practice correctly on their own. It’s part of your job to train them how to do it.Do NOT simply tell your students how to practice. Watch them practice in front of you for at least 10-20 minutes and correct their mistakes. Do this regularly.
Watch this video to learn how to train your guitar students to practice:
“But Tom Hess, my guitar students aren’t paying me to watch them practice! They are paying me to teach them!”Answer: Your guitar students are not paying you to “teach them”. They are paying you to help them play guitar better. The fastest way you can help your students play better is to train them how to practice correctly.
Reason #2: You teach your guitar students too much too soon. You don’t need to teach your students new things every single week. Slow down, teach less and train your guitar students to apply what they already know. This makes your students better guitar players much faster. This also keeps them from quitting due to overwhelm.
Reason #3: You don't prepare your guitar students for real life. Your guitar students need training on playing with others, overcoming stage fright and making their skills consistent and reliable.
Teaching private guitar lessons (as most teachers do) doesn't prepare students for real life playing. Your students only get comfortable playing in front of 1 person (you) and continue to get nervous when playing in front of other people.Hint: teaching group classes (or specific classes that train students to play live) is an excellent solution to this problem.
Question: “But Tom Hess, all my students want to take private lessons from me and tell me they don’t want to study in groups! What should I do?”
Answer: Here are 3 easy solutions to this:
Get clear in your own mind about the unique advantages of group classes over private lessons. Sit down and make a list of the benefits your students can only get in group classes (such as opportunities to play with other musicians).
Learn how to communicate the benefits of group classes to your students in a clear and compelling way. If you do this step right, your students will be asking you how soon they can get started.
- Learn how to teach group classes the right way, so you can deliver all the benefits you promise to your students. (If you don’t know how to do this, get guitar teacher training.)
Note: Most guitar students don't always know the best way to reach their musical goals. (If they did, they would be teaching others how to play guitar.) It’s your job to know the best way to help your students and to show them why they should trust you.Tip: Tell your guitar students the benefits of studying with you before you reveal what the format is. This keeps their focus on the result they want, which is the only thing that matters.
Why You May Feel Overwhelmed From Teaching Guitar:
Reason #1: You teach guitar only in private lessons. When you teach a lot of private lessons, you work many hours each week and only get to help very few people. The more hours you work, the more overwhelmed you become.
When you teach students in groups, you work a lot fewer hours, help more people and earn more money.Reason #2: You do work you shouldn’t be doing. Collecting late payments, teaching unpaid make-up lessons and dealing with scheduling conflicts makes your job harder and more frustrating.
Reason #3: You get zero paid time off. Most guitar teachers choose between teaching guitar or losing money. Successful guitar teachers deliver value to their students even when they don’t see them face to face.
Why Your Guitar Students May Quit Sooner Than They Should:
You can do 2 things to attract more motivated guitar students:
Improve your guitar teaching skills to help your students progress faster than anyone else in your area. Nothing attracts new students better than your reputation of being a great teacher.
- Raise your guitar lesson rates. This will repel everyone who wants cheap guitar lessons… and will attract those who truly want the results you deliver.
Reason #2: You teach your guitar students in private lessons. Your students will have a lot more fun learning in a group with other students who are just like them. The more fun your students have, the more likely they are to take lessons from you for years.
Reason #3: You don’t pay enough attention to your students. Your guitar students usually don’t quit lessons spontaneously. You can often notice signs that a student is unhappy with something before it becomes a problem. The earlier you can catch these signs, the more likely you are to prevent your students from quitting.Reason #4: You don’t learn from the past. Keep track of all the reasons why your students quit guitar lessons. This helps you improve your guitar teaching skills, so your other students stay with you longer.
Reason #5: You teach guitar using pre-made method books. Guitar method books don’t help your students reach any specific goals… they simply teach information. Result: your students get bored faster, lose motivation and quit lessons sooner than they should.
Why Your Mindset May Be Holding You Back:
Reason #1: You think too small. Don’t settle for earning $20,000-$40,000 per year teaching guitar. Don’t accept mediocre results for your students. When you set small goals, you take small actions and get small results. Think BIG, set ambitious goals and take massive action.Hint: It’s possible to earn more than $100,000 per year teaching guitar…but small-time thinking won’t get you there.
Reason #2: You have a poor money mindset. You won’t become a successful guitar teacher, if you:
Think that money is the root of all evil (and that wealthy people acquired their wealth by exploiting others).
Feel ashamed about earning a lot of money (or don't feel worthy of big success and wealth).
- Have an anti-capitalist world view.
Your guitar teaching income is proportionate to the value you provide to your students. The more value you give to your students, the more money you earn. The more money you earn, the more new value you can create for your guitar students.Reason #3: You don’t believe in yourself enough. Your beliefs become your reality. If you think you don’t deserve big success, you won’t become successful. When you believe that you deserve success, you do whatever it takes to make success happen.
Want to learn 5 proven ways to get guitar students to say “yes” to taking lessons from you? Download this free guitar teaching eGuide to learn how to fill your teaching schedule and make other guitar teachers envy your success.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher trainer, music career mentor and professional musician. He trains guitar teachers around the world to help them improve their teaching skills, grow successful teaching businesses and earn up to 6-figures of income annually.
Improve your guitar teaching skills by getting training for music teachers.
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