9 Guitar Teaching Questions That Help You Get More Guitar Students
By Tom Hess
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Want more guitar students to completely fill your guitar teaching schedule?
The first step is to stop copying what every other guitar teacher does.
Most guitar teachers set themselves up for failure when they look for potential students to put in their guitar teaching schedule for the week. They lack ambition, ask the wrong questions and take small actions to get new into their guitar teaching schedule. This makes it impossible to attract (and keep) a large number of students.
The second step is to ask yourself the right questions. These questions shape the strategy you use to take on a full guitar teaching schedule. This helps you attract motivated guitar students, turn them into great guitarists faster and earn a lot of money in the process.
Asking these questions helps you fill your guitar teaching schedule with students:
Question #1: How Many Guitar Students Do I Ultimately Want To Have To Fill-
Up My Guitar Teaching Schedule?
Start filling up your guitar teaching schedule with the end in mind. Set an ambitious long-term goal for yourself and work backwards to where you are now. This helps you choose the right guitar teaching models to teach lots of students without burning out (more on this below).
Having a long-term goal also dictates what marketing strategies you want to use to reach your objective as a guitar teacher.
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Most guitar teachers are only concerned with getting the next 1-2 students. Their thinking rarely extends beyond the current month. They don’t plan for the long-term (how many guitar students they want to have 2-3 years from now).
This creates several problems:
- You paint yourself into a corner. Without a long-term goal, your business reaches a plateau and your guitar teaching schedule runs dry. Example: Teaching exclusively private lessons (as most guitar teachers do) makes it very hard to teach more than 40-50 students. This limits the number of people you can help and the amount of money you can earn. To grow further, you have no choice but to redo the entire foundation of your strategy for getting new students into your guitar teaching schedule. This is very frustrating (and time-consuming).
- You burn yourself out by working a lot more than necessary to get a small result. This happens to most guitar teachers who are ambitious, but don’t have a real strategy for bolstering a full guitar teaching schedule.
Deciding in advance how many guitar students you want to teach eliminates these problems.
Question #2: How Can I Attract The Ideal Guitar Students?
Not all guitar students are equal. The ideal guitar students you want in your guitar teaching schedule are the ones who:
- Want to learn the exact styles you teach (so you can teach your students what they want to learn).
- Are very self-motivated to practice and do the necessary things to get the most from your lessons.
- Respect you and your lesson policies, instead of constantly asking you to make "exceptions" for them.
- Have money to invest in guitar lessons (obviously).
- Implement everything you teach them, so they actually get results and become good players.
- Remain your students for a long time (and refer other students to you).
- Are loyal to you
Guitar students who meet these criteria become great guitar players quickly. They also have a massive lifetime value for your teaching business. (They spend A LOT of money with you over the course of your relationship - staying in your guitar teaching schedule for a long time because you continuously provide good value for them.) Average guitar students lack one or more of these areas. They are less likely to become good musicians and offer less financial value to your business. Filling your schedule with average students hurts your income. This also hurts the ideal guitar students in your area who truly deserve your help.
To attract the right students, learn how these students think, how they behave and what they look for in a guitar teacher. Next, structure your advertising (and guitar lessons) to appeal strongly to that group of people. (Guitar teacher training helps you do this.)
The way you advertise your guitar lessons and enforce your guitar lesson policy determine what type of guitar students you attract.
Question #3: How Can I Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In My Area?
Getting a full guitar teaching schedule is not about being better than your competition. It’s about being so good that your competition becomes irrelevant.
Fact: It doesn't take much to be better than the average guitar teacher.
Most (average) guitar teachers:
- Have zero training with teaching guitar. They learn how to teach by trial and error or by copying what other guitar teachers do and turning their guitar students in guinea pigs.
- Think their main job is to “teach guitar lessons”. (Hint: it’s not.)
- Don’t truly care about the results of their guitar students. (Even if they say they do, their actions prove otherwise.)
- Teach lessons using inferior teaching formats. (Example: private lessons).
- Treat the time they spend with teaching guitar as if they were at a job. They do the bare minimum to keep their students from quitting.
Improving any one of these elements makes you better than average, but it doesn’t make you the best. Being #1 requires ongoing commitment to excellence in every aspect of your teaching and business (keeping your guitar teaching schedule as full as you want at all times). This makes you the only choice for serious guitar students in your area.
The best guitar teachers:
- Invest heavily in ongoing guitar teacher training. They consider it their moral obligation to be excellent at what they do.
- Focus on delivering results to their guitar students. They measure their success in the number of students they helped to reach their musical goals.
- Care deeply about their guitar students. They back this up by delivering far more value to their students than anybody else.
- Teach using a variety of guitar lesson formats that are proven to be effective.
- Are passionate about music and teaching it to others. Their passion shows in everything they do to grow their business, fill up their guitar teaching schedule and help their students effectively. This passion helps to keep their students studying with them for years.
Tip: Don’t confuse a music degree with training on how to teach guitar. A music degree only helps you improve your own musical skills. It does not teach you how to enable others to become great musicians. Teaching guitar (and music) effectively is a unique skill that is separate from your own musical talents.
Question #4: How Can I Convert More Of The People Who Contact Me To Get Them Into My Guitar Teaching Schedule Fast?
Guitar students who contact you about lessons are only potential students. Turning potential guitar students into actual students is called conversion. You need strategies for mastering this area of your business to start filling slots in your guitar teaching schedule.
(Leaving this step of the process to chance makes it hard to fill your teaching schedule with very many students.)
Note: this step is NOT about manipulation or tricking others to do something they should not do. It’s about:
- Helping guitar students see that studying with you is the best and fastest way to reach their goals (if that is indeed the case).
- Backing your statements up with undeniable proof. This proof makes your students confident in choosing you as their guitar teacher.
- Following through on what you promise your students (more on this below).
Want to convert more potential students to become your actual guitar students? Download this free guitar teaching eGuide to learn how to have more students than any other guitar teaher in your area.
Question #5: How Can I Help Guitar Students Make The Correct Buying Decision?
Most guitar students think that guitar teachers (and guitar lessons) are all the same. This is why the top 2 questions guitar teachers get asked are:
- How much do your guitar lessons cost?
- Where are you located?
With this criteria, many students look for the cheapest guitar teacher who is closest to where they live. Worst of all, most guitar teachers wrongly assume that lowest price matters greatly to their students. False!
Guitar students ask about price and location because they (usually) don’t have other ways to evaluate guitar teachers. Fact is, students don’t really want “the cheapest” or “the closest” guitar teacher. They want the best, most economical and most effective way to improve their guitar playing. By using the wrong criteria, most guitar students select the wrong teacher for them. This hurts those students and it hurts you.
To fill your guitar teaching schedule, help your prospective students select a guitar teacher based on the right criteria. Show them that:
- Guitar lessons are NOT all the same. Some guitar teachers are much better than others.
- “Price per lesson” is irrelevant. All that matters is the cost of getting the result your students want. Illustrate the cost in terms of money and time to make this point easy to understand.
- You are the best-qualified guitar teacher to help your students reach their goals for the smallest overall cost.
Note: Of course tell the truth here. If you are not confident in your teaching skills, get guitar teacher training to learn to teach guitar effectively.
This positions you as the expert and helps you attract more serious guitar students. Fact: serious students always find the money and time to travel to study with a superior guitar teacher to get the results they want.
Question #6: How Can I Keep Guitar Students In My Guitar Teaching Schedule For A Long Time?
Fact: having a lot of guitar students isn’t just about getting a lot of new students. It’s also about keeping the guitar students you have for as long as possible. Keeping your students longer enables you to:
- Add more musical value to their lives and make them awesome guitarists faster.
- Earn a lot more money from each student throughout their relationship with you.
- Grow the number of guitar students you have much faster. You can do this more easily because you aren’t constantly replacing students who quit with new students.
Focus on keeping all your guitar students for as long as possible. This changes your relationship with your current and prospective students. You become motivated to constantly add value to the students you already have and learn to pre-educate new students on the benefit of continuing guitar lessons for a long time.
This helps your students reach their goals faster, they tell their friends and your guitar teaching schedule swells.
Question #7: How Can I Become A More Effective With My Guitar Teaching Approach & Get Better Results For My Students?
Attracting (and keeping) guitar students becomes easy when you are an expert guitar teacher. The better your teaching skills, the faster your students become great guitar players. The more great guitar students you have, the easier it is to prove to prospective students that you will help them reach their goals.
Improving your teaching skills is a key component for increasing your guitar teaching schedule size.
Becoming a better guitar teacher is about:
- Knowing what to do to teach your students effectively.
- Knowing what not to do. Avoid common teaching mistakes that cause your students to make slow progress.
- Getting lots of experience by beginning your teaching journey as quickly as possible.
Most guitar teachers don’t fully commit to improving their teaching skills. They let irrational fears stop them from becoming the best guitar teachers they can be. Their lack of teaching skills makes them less confident about attracting more students. This creates a vicious circle: your lack of experience makes you afraid to attract more guitar students. Having few students makes it hard to get the experience that makes you a better guitar teacher.
Overcoming your fear helps you become a better guitar teacher and attract a lot more students to add to your guitar teaching schedule.
Question #8: How Can I Get More Referrals To Get More People In My Guitar Teaching Schedule?
Most guitar teachers do nothing to increase the number of students they get from referrals. They assume that referrals happen on their own and take them for granted. Fact is, you can do a lot to encourage your students to send you more referrals. The first step is to simply ask this question to yourself. This gets your mind thinking in the right direction and helps create a new stream of students to put in your guitar teaching schedule.
Answer: Yes and no. You do need to be a great guitar teacher, but that won’t be enough to maximize referrals. Make it easy for your students to refer their friends to you and give them strong incentives to do so.
Question #9: How Can I Motivate My Former Guitar Students To Return To Lessons?
Eventually all your students will quit studying with you and a slot will open up in your guitar teaching schedule.
But it doesn't mean they have no desire to ever come back. Many guitar teachers simply forget about their past students after they quit. This is a huge mistake. Some of your past students may want to resume lessons with you, but are afraid to do so. Yes, you read correctly. They are afraid to reach out to you first, fearing you might think badly of them.
Solution: be proactive and stay in touch with your former guitar students. Make it clear that you welcome them back at any time. This makes it much easier for them to actually come back when they are ready to - leaving them a place in your guitar teaching schedule.
You now know what to do to start attracting more guitar students. The next step to filling your teaching schedule is to learn what to say & do when prospective students contact you to make them excited about starting lessons with you immediately. Download this free guitar teaching eGuide to learn how to have more students than any other teacher in your area.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He trains guitar teachers from all over the world how to earn 6-figures per year teaching guitar, while working less than 40 hours per week.
Learn how to fill your guitar teaching schedule with students.
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