How to Get Your First Guitar Student
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Going from one student to a small base of loyal customers – how to manage your client base

Following on from Part 1 of this series(How To Teach Guitar, Make Money and Have Happy Students), we will be looking into the next stage of your guitar teaching business. You have established that you are interested in the idea of teaching guitar and that is the first hurdle. If you successfully looked into your local competitors and analysed some of the following points then you are well on your way to getting the ball rolling:

  1. Their teaching name – Do they feel like a brand or a person?
  2. Unique selling points – What are they selling and what makes them any different from all the other results in your Google search?
  3. Price – How have they placed themselves in the pricing scheme, do they offer incentives and block booking discounts? 

Take the Steps to Guitar Teaching Success

Once you have understood the following points about your competition, it is time position yourself around them. There is no point in trying to copy them, the best you will ever be is an imitation if you do this. You can learn what they do well and what you think could be done better, but never try to copy the exact character, branding and unique selling points of your competitors. This leads to frustration and chasing something you don’t need to chase to be successful.
How do you get your first guitar student
For me this came by surprise, I never had the confidence that I could really run anything on my own, as all of my experience had been working for someone else. When I started to dream about the idea of playing guitar and making money from it, I began to think about the obvious ways that get you noticed in the real world. I thought about which methods of promoting my service had the lowest cost, but I had no idea of how effective the various methods would be.
I decided to pay a designer to do a flyer for me and then went to a local printers to print my 400 flyers! I then went to my local area within he city I live in to do door to door flyering.
What happened
Nothing. I was pretty sure that I should have just given in on the idea, so I gave up. Weak of me right? I continued to work at my job and forget about my dream, I kept guitar as my hobby and pushed along as normal. I had also placed a flyer in my work canteen and had forgotten completely about that. So three months later I got woken up to a phone call from a random number and this was my first ever guitar student!
On Reflection
Looking back at why 400 flyers in a well off area (Brighton Fiveways area) produced no results bugged me, so I asked people for honest views on the flyer. Everyone commented on the lack of design and quality of the flyer. When I looked at it more I saw just how poor the flyer was that I was handing out to people, this was the only way anyone could make a decision and it was truly awful. A black and white flyer on A4 paper, no brand name, no design, just a guitar and words! Obviously I didn’t call in for a re-print and I didn’t find another designer either. I decided to see how I would manage with my one student, and what an experience this was. I let the ‘business’ grow without any marketing efforts, I imagined if it was possible for it to spread without me flyering, having a website, involving myself in Internet marketing, paying a marketing company to get me business etc. It was possible and soon my first student taught me everything I needed to know to step it up a notch. Im not saying this is how I would do it if I was you because I could have accelerated business if I knew what I know now, but I wasn’t ready to handle a large customer base then.
My First Guitar Student
Understanding teaching guitar is a lot more complex than someone may think before giving it a go themselves. Your first student is  your project, the student can’t know they are the first student because this takes all confidence they may have for you, out of the equation. Learn everything you can from this student and consider the following points:
  • Make the first lesson free or half price
  • Be on time if you are traveling to them
  • Always prepare content
  • Make diagrams before the lessons to give to them for practise material
  • Find out what students’ really want and take note of this
  • Create lessons based on what they will enjoy – essential if you want to keep teaching them for any period of time
Everything you do for your first student will make student number two easier and you will soon find your teaching style and use every experience to provide the best service you can offer.
This is just scraping the surface of what we will uncover here at Your Guitar Tutor, there will be many more lessons on making money teaching guitar, marketing your guitar tuition business and expanding from a small teaching practice to a local leading service.
(Image credit to Stressed Technician)

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