How To Build Your Guitar Teaching Business And Earn More Money : The fact that you’re reading this article right now means you’re not currently satisfied with how much money you’re making as a guitar teacher (or you’re ready to take things to the next level). With this in mind, you are certainly not alone. Here’s the grim reality for most guitar teachers:
1. Many guitar instructors have a hard time making ends meet in their guitar teaching business and make less than 35k per year.
2. Most people who teach guitar don’t have experience teaching highly skilled students.
3. Most guitar teachers achieve little success and only teach for 1-2 years before quitting working in a different profession altogether.
On the other hand, there is a very successful minority of guitar teachers who:
1. Earn a minimum of 6 figures every year in their guitar teaching business.
2. Quickly transform their guitar students from mediocre players to highly skilled players.
3. Able to add value to their students as they have the extra time, effort and resources to incorporate into their guitar teaching.
4. Generally work no more than part-time hours each week.
At first, most people are surprised to hear the above points. As someone who has coached countless people to develop a successful guitar teaching business (by joining a top 1% elite club), I know all of this to be true.
Besides, most guitar teachers out there don’t fail because they’re always ‘bad’ at teaching guitar. Instead, they failed because they believed in the ‘common knowledge’ they heard being perpetuated by other unsuccessful guitar teachers. This approach may seem rational at first glance, but it is actually very damaging to your guitar teaching business in many ways.
Here are seven generally accepted guitar teaching approaches that guarantee failure:
1. Giving Guitar Lessons at a Local Music Store
Many guitar teachers think that it’s easier to teach in a music store (rather than on your own) and make a lot of money because:
A. They have to work less to find new students because the music store will do this for them.
B. You seem much more professional teaching from a music store than teaching from home.
Both of these points are 100% wrong. If you teach outside of a music store, you will most likely fail and here’s why:
In reality, music stores don’t have a compelling reason to look for a new guitar student for ‘you’. Even if you work with a music company, you still need to think of strategic ways to get guitar students and grow your guitar teaching business.
Also, you make less money working from a music store because you have to give most of your income to the owner. This makes it more challenging to make a living as a guitar teacher.
Worse still, music stores are generally very strict about the teaching formats they allow. In most cases, you are limited to teaching 1-on-1 private lessons and are not allowed to help your guitar student progress faster using other formats. This makes it harder to get great results for your students.
Since you can’t get great results for your students, it can be very difficult to develop the positive reputation needed to take your guitar teaching business to the next level.
The most successful and highest-paid guitar teachers never teach outside of a music store. Instead, they run their own business and hire other guitar teachers to work for them. If you want to make a living teaching guitar, you have to treat it like a business and learn all you can to improve every aspect of it.
2. Use All Your Promotional Efforts To Bring In ‘New’ Students
Most people think that finding new students is the most important part of promoting their guitar teaching business. Of course, an understanding of how to attract new students is very important. However, if these are the only factors you consider when trying to build your guitar teaching business, you will soon run into these problems:
Since you don’t have a solid strategy to ‘keep’ your students, you will have to invest a lot of time into your promotion efforts due to the fact that the new students you gain only replace the ones you lost.
You will only make slow progress that is best at building your guitar teaching business (even if you gain more new students than you lose now). However, you can achieve much faster growth by working in several different areas simultaneously, such as: student retention, student referrals, and turning potential students into actual students.
Avoid the problems I listed above by continually working to improve in ‘every’ area of your guitar teaching business (not just one or two). Once you do this you will see exponential growth which will give you the ability to grow your business while working a lot less and expending less effort.3. Always Show Your Guitar Students Anything They Want To Learn
Many guitar teachers have the habit of asking their students what they want to learn every time they take a lesson. They believe that it is the responsibility of the students to tell the teacher what they need to do. This is REALLY not true. Consider this: if your guitar students really knew what they had to do, wouldn’t they have done it themselves and achieved their guitar playing goals?
The truth is that most guitar students are clueless about what they ‘must’ work on to get better (this is why they came to you in the first place). It’s not the student’s responsibility to know this, it’s yours. You should always study students’ ‘long-term goals’ up front and design effective strategies to help them achieve those goals. In addition, you need to help your guitar students understand the specifics of WHY the things you teach are what they ‘need’ and ‘want’ to learn.
If you constantly let your students tell you what they need to learn, they will NOT make significant progress. The most they can achieve with this approach is a proper understanding of isolated ideas… but they will not become ‘great musicians’. In fact, this approach will cause many of your guitar students to leave when they are not satisfied with the results they are getting.
In addition, not being able to effectively get results for your students will affect your reputation in a very negative way. Once you’ve developed a bad reputation as a guitar teacher in your area, you’ll basically have two choices: Stop teaching guitar or find a new location to teach.
4. Copy Other Guitar Teacher Ideas In Your Area
Most beginner guitar teachers naturally look around to see what other teachers are doing in the hopes that imitating someone else’s approach will help them build their business. The bad news is, MOST guitar teachers don’t make it. This means that when you copy what other teachers do, you are only setting yourself up for the same failure.
Instead of following what other local guitar teachers are doing when taking a trial and error approach, you should surround yourself with successful guitar teachers who are already making big bucks in their teaching business. Of course, none of the teachers in your area will want to share their secrets with you (since you’re competing with each other) so your network should consist of guitar teachers who don’t compete with you locally.
Many guitar teachers participate in my guitar teacher improvement program and benefit from working in a group full of successful music instructors from around the world.
5. Not Enforcing Your Lesson Policies
Most new guitar teachers have a fear that implementing their lesson policies will cause them to lose their students. In fact, it may help you retain some students for a short time, but will destroy your guitar teaching business in the long run. Here’s why:
A. It attracts guitar students who are not serious about learning. This means you have to deal with students who are always late, don’t pay on time and don’t practice like they should.
B. Due to the above points, you will spend all your energy on the ‘non-serious’ students and have little left over for SERIOUS students who really want to study, pay on time and practice every day.
C. When you allow students to violate your lesson policies, you will constantly have to deal with endless requests and complaints rather than actually helping your students become great guitar players. This means your students will not get the results they want, you will earn a lot less, get frustrated and end up joining most of the failed guitar teachers I mentioned earlier.
Here’s how you can solve this problem: Remember, YOU are the teacher and YOU understand what’s best for your guitar student. Create your lesson policies and expectations based on this understanding and make sure your students know exactly why these policies will help them become much better players. If they don’t obey, don’t teach them (right, refuse to work with them).
6. Lower Your Lesson Rates To Compete With Other Guitar Teachers
When giving lessons in a town or city with stiff competition from other guitar teachers, it’s natural to think that lowering your tuition rates will give more potential students the opportunity to work with you. If you’re considering this approach, you’re likely thinking that giving less expensive lessons will make you stand out from the more ‘expensive’ guitar teachers in your area.
You may have heard students complain about not wanting to spend a lot of money on guitar lessons and letting this affect your assessment. However, in the end this approach will backfire on you. Here’s why:
The fact that you charge a very low rate for lessons tells prospective students that you are either new to teaching guitar or not very good at it. In fact, most students assume that teachers with higher tuition fees charge more because they can get better results. So by charging a small fee for your lessons, you are really only kicking out serious students (who are willing to spend money).
The more serious a student is, the less likely they are to think about taking lessons with you when you are the cheapest guitar teacher in town.
When you start teaching guitar while charging ridiculously low rates, your students will see this and think that all guitar teachers are the same (except for the prices they charge for lessons). This is (of course) completely wrong. However, you should take this into account when determining your tuition rates.
If you charge a low rate from the start, it will only be harder to raise it in the future once you condition your students to think that all teachers are the same.
When you get a new guitar student who is just looking for the ‘cheapest’ teacher, they will take lessons with you much less seriously. You’ll quickly find that these types of students don’t practice or put in the effort because they don’t feel like they’re getting much value in return (based on how much they spend). The more students have to spend on a lesson, the more seriously they will take it.
All of these problems will combine together to weigh you down and prevent you from making money teaching guitar.
So how can you solve this problem and how much should you charge for guitar lessons? Always make sure that you charge the ‘minimum’ of the average price in your area (even if you are just starting out). Next, try to make your guitar lessons as valuable as possible to turn your students into great guitar players very quickly. Once you can do this, you gain leverage to increase your rates and have a justifiable reason to do so.
7. Promote Yourself As a ‘General’ Guitar Teacher
Another misconception that most guitar teachers have is that you should try to reach as many students as possible through a very general marketing approach. These teachers promote themselves by saying that they teach in an ‘any’ style.
In fact, promoting yourself in this way will mostly appeal to students who aren’t very serious about guitar lessons and/or don’t know what they want to play on guitar. This type of student is less likely to take practice seriously, only attend lessons for short periods of time and will not be very cooperative with your lesson policies.
On the other hand, the best guitar students (who you want to work with) are always looking for a teacher who specializes in a particular area because they know what they want to play and invest the time in finding someone who can help them play. he.
It’s important to understand that you won’t be able to make a living as a guitar teacher if you have a schedule full of regular, non-serious students. These students will only waste your time as you face endless class cancellations, lost payments, and other problems. While these problems are only ‘partially’ related to the problem of marketing yourself to ‘all styles’, they are completely CAUSED by it and will stand in the way of you being financially successful as a guitar teacher.
With this in mind, you don’t want to be an expert on a style of music that guitar students don’t want to learn. However, you will see more success by marketing yourself as a local ‘blues’ guitar expert (or ‘rock’, ‘metal’, ‘jazz’, etc.) style’.
Most importantly, know that you have to fill your guitar teaching schedule with the ‘right’ students if you want to make a lot of money as a teacher. These students will quickly develop in guitar, studying with you for years and helping you grow your business by telling others about their positive experiences.
While I haven’t covered ‘all’ of the things that cause guitar teachers to fail, after reading the points above you should have a better understanding of why the most commonly accepted guitar teaching approaches are actually ineffective and problematic.
Get help teaching guitar now and start earning more in your guitar teaching business while avoiding the hurdles most teachers face (and never overcome). Once you understand what needs to be improved, you will then be ready to take the necessary actions to grow your guitar teaching business and earn more from it than you ever imagined!