Find Your Competitors, It All Starts Somewhere
This post is the first in a series of articles aimed at showing you How To Teach Guitar, Make Money and Have Happy Students. If you have ever dreamt of earning money doing what you love and your passion is guitar, then teaching guitar could prove to be a pretty stimulating move for you. It isn’t an easy job to do well but hopefully my guidance throughout this series will prove to be really helpful in informing you how to get started in running your own small guitar-teaching practice. My ebook should also prove to be a useful resource for you to use when teaching your guitar lessons.
The first thing to understand is that with whatever we do in life, we all start somewhere and we all need to be given a chance at trying something that may warrant years of experience and training when we may not feel that we have either. However, I do want to let you know that experience and training will make you an attractive prospect to many potential customers, but it is not always vital.
Depending on your area, you may have a very high competition when trying to set up your own small guitar tuition business. As a guitar tutor in Brighton I have a lot of competition from both performing musicians trying their hand at teaching for extra cash, as well as degree level guitarists teaching guitar for a part-time or full-time living. In some cities there isnt such a variety of guitar tutors and you may be lucky enough to be able to grow your business a lot quicker than the Brighton guitar teachers. If you are living in a rural area you may not actually have any competition, but this may also mean you do not have a great deal of potential for business.
Find your competitors
Your first step before getting stuck into starting your own teaching practise is to look into your competitors. Run a Google search for Guitar tutor (Your Area) or Guitar teacher (Your Area) and look into what they are doing. Think about the following points:
- Their brand name– Have they decided to use the model of Their Name Guitar Teacher or a brand name that is not based around their own name. What would you call your business? Remember that if you create a business with your area in the title it will give you a great opportunity to become visible in the search engines when people are looking to find a guitar tutor in their area. For example could you be called Bath Guitar Tutor?
- How much do they charge per an hour? Cost is a sensitive area and yes you may be able to charge less for your service with the intent of securing more business, but the pricing of your service is related to the perceived value. I started out charging less than my competitors to secure some initial business and learnt that you cannot expect to change the pricing once taking on a student at a certain price, unless you informed them that it was a promotion for a limited amount of time and prices will rise after the given time has run out.
- Do they offer a free lesson? Tutors are wise to the idea that potential students like the freedom of trying a lesson for free. You have to see if you can afford to match this selling point because you do get people who are free finders and have no intention of actually learning guitar with you in the long-term.
- Do you have a particular style that is not as common in the guitar world? For example, can you teach percussive guitar in the style of Andy McKee or Erik Mongraine? Having a unique selling point to add to your arsenal of attractive features will make you stand out from the tutor offering the same service as every other guitar teacher.
- Can you afford to have a website made? With web designers and developers cropping up more commonly, do you or a friend/family member have a contact who could offer advice and service in making you a website? If you have a professional looking website where your information will be presented to potential students then you have another chance to outshine your competitors and take enquiries from anyone who may be interested in what you have to offer.
- What are your credentials? If you have a good grade in guitar, a qualification in guitar/ music, experience in teaching guitar, live performance experience, you are very enthusiastic and proficient, then I want you to write down all of these points now. These are some of the points that make you the âGo-to guitar teacher in your area. It is important to not make up your credentials but do highlight all of these positive attributes.
I want you to have a think about all of the points mentioned today and if you are already excited then I am very happy for you. If the thought of running your own guitar teaching business excites you then it is well worth a go. By following this series I hope to get you to be the best guitar tutor in your area! Before you move on I also want you to think if you are ready to start your teaching practise. Do you honestly feel that you have enough knowledge to grow a guitarist? Remember that you will also develop as you teach and your own practise can continue as you grow. I am a very different and more developed player compared to when I started teaching. You will find your teaching style along the way and find out things about guitar that you never knew before.
In part 2 I will be sharing with you my secrets of teaching guitar, and take you one step closer to making money teaching guitar- doing the thing you truly love to do.
(Image credit to James Thompson)