How To Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In Your Local Area

Author: Ed Cupler


FACT: The majority of guitar instructors accept being mediocre in all areas of their guitar teaching businesses. In most cases, they don’t even attempt to do anything more than just ‘get by’ and it’s fine by them if their students aren’t making progress as long as they keep coming back for lessons. The worst thing is, most guitar teachers who are highly ambitious never become highly successful because they aren’t aware of what is possible (compared to the other mediocre teachers in their area).

The good news is, it’s not as difficult as you think to become the leading guitar teacher in your local area with the most students and the most profitable business. The first step to doing this is understanding why the majority of guitar teachers are unsuccessful and learning which steps to take in order to achieve success for yourself.

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These are the five biggest reasons why guitar teachers will never achieve success in their teaching businesses and the details for how ‘you’ can avoid their mistakes to become the leader for guitar instruction in your city:

Why Guitar Teachers Fail, Reason #1: Copying What Everyone Else Does

You’re not going to become highly successful as a guitar teacher by simply copying what others are doing. Here’s why:

1. As I discussed above, the majority of guitar teachers never reach high levels of success. By imitating the same things they do (this applies both to marketing and guitar teaching methods), you will only guarantee that you’ll get mediocre results as well.

2. Copying guitar teachers who seem to be highly successful will not work either. This is because you do not understand the complete strategy behind what they are doing – you only see the individual tactics. Tactics are individual actions that one takes to achieve a result. For example: hanging up ads in a music store, making your website design more professional or sending out flyers in your area. On the other hand, a strategy is the ‘big picture’ thought process that connects everything together and reach specific short, medium and long term goals. A strategy is built into the foundation of a successful guitar teaching business and cannot be understood by simply observing isolated tactics.

3. When you attempt to be like other teachers in your location, you are essentially transforming your guitar lessons into a ‘commodity’ (something that can be found anywhere such as a slice of pizza). In other words, your guitar lessons lose any sense of being unique in the eyes of your prospective guitar students while being compared to other local teachers. This puts you in the position of trying to achieve competitive advantage based on price alone (leading you to trying to become the cheapest teacher around). However, most of the truly committed guitar students usually understand that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to lessons. As a result, you will quickly build a reputation for being a mediocre quality guitar teacher and at best will only gain the interest of non-serious guitar players who don’t show up to lessons on time, don’t practice and are late with lesson payments.

What You Need To Do Instead To Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In Your Area:

Rather than copying individual tactics from other guitar teachers and blindly developing your business, use the approach of successful guitar teachers:

  • Work with a trainer to learn how to ‘teach guitar’ and ‘build a successful guitar teaching business’. This is the best way to put together your own unique business strategy while using the most effective guitar teaching methods to get the best results for your students.
  • Rather than marketing your lessons as ‘general’ guitar lessons, focus on ONE musical style to teach and become the leading expert in your area for that specific style. This will instantly place you at the top of anyone’s list who wants to play that style of guitar and will help you get the attention of more serious students. At first, this may seem illogical, however, 9 times out of ten, guitar teachers who teach in a specific (but still well-known) musical style niche are much more successful than those who attempt to become a jack-of-all-trades.
  • When determining the price for your lessons, charge AT LEAST a little bit above average. By charging ‘more’, your students will feel much more motivated to practice more frequently and improve because they are paying more for their lessons. Charging more helps keep them accountable to themselves because they don’t want to waste all the money they are spending.

Why Guitar Teachers Fail, Reason #2: Not Working Enough ‘On’ Your Guitar Teaching Business

Teachers who spend almost all their time working on designing lesson plans, filing lesson payments and doing other smaller guitar teaching related tasks do not go on to become highly successful. Of course, it is important to work on these things but your guitar teaching business will only grow as a whole when YOU make it grow. In fact, whenever you ignore the business aspects of guitar teaching, your business will ‘shrink’ as you slowly lose students over time. This is a big reason why so many guitar teachers end up going out of business.

What You Need To Do Instead To Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In Your Area:

Invest time every week to work on building all areas of your guitar teaching business (in addition to working on general guitar teaching tasks). You should actively be working to find new ways to gain new students while retaining them longer, developing an effective referrals system, creating a solid teaching policy and putting together a great marketing strategy. On a piece of paper, write down your specific goals, detailing what you’d like to accomplish in the next several months to a year (or more). Then determine the steps needed to reach these goals and take action on them every week.

To quickly get more students, refine your methods with this assessment for gaining new guitar students.

Get more information to help you develop your guitar teaching business with this guitar teaching business assessment.

Why Guitar Teachers Fail, Reason #3: Having Misconceptions About Marketing And Making Money

If you believe that it is ‘wrong’ to desire making a ton of money as a guitar teacher, you will NEVER become the lead instructor in your area or earn good money teaching lessons. You will also not achieve success in your guitar teaching business if you think that you don’t need to market yourself because you can just ‘teach guitar really well’ (or that word of mouth is the only ethical way to build a business). A lot of guitar instructors think it is unethical to desire making tons of money from teaching guitar. This causes them to never take action to promote themselves and grow their businesses. Here is why this kind of mindset is Lose/Lose:

  • You’ll struggle to earn enough money to get by since you won’t be taking the necessary actions to grow your business at a bigger level.
  • Guitar students in your local area will suffer because your belief system will cause you to build a business that prevents you from growing beyond a certain number of students. There are countless guitar players in your area who truly desire your help but will never get the opportunity to work with you due to your views. With this in mind, it is definitely realistic to want to teach 100+ students once you have the correct systems in place (and you can do so working 15 hours or less per week!). Learn how to do this by watching this free guitar teaching business video.

What You Need To Do Instead To Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In Your Area:

You need to take on the same mindset used by successful guitar teachers in regards to money and marketing. Guitar teachers who flourish fully understand that:

By earning more money, they will gain the ability to re-invest what they make back into their business to benefit their students. When you earn more money as a guitar teacher, you can offer your guitar students many new benefits that you couldn’t before such as recording equipment, great quality rental instruments, bigger learning spaces, etc.

To earn more money you need to become the greatest at what you do. The desire to developing a flourishing business needs to be part of the motivation for offering the greatest results to your students. This is why successful guitar teachers invest in guitar teacher training.

Once you fully understand that you have the power to totally transform the musical lives of your students, it becomes you duty to gain as many students as possible so you can help them achieve their musical goals.

Why Guitar Teachers Fail, Reason #4: Not Working To Improve Your Guitar Teaching Methods

There is nothing more harmful to your reputation as a guitar teacher than continually offering mediocre lessons that don’t get great results for your students. This is commonly what happens for teachers when they become comfortable going through the same processes every day without actively trying to improve their teaching skills. Compare this to other businesses where you could be sued/get into legal trouble if you are not providing the results your clients paid for, or claimed to be qualified for something when you really weren’t. Of course, guitar teachers are not licensed in the same way as doctors, lawyers and other professionals. This leaves the door wide open for teachers who are truly unqualified and do not get real results for their students.

What You Need To Do Instead To Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In Your Area:

Understand that your guitar students are not paying you for anything other than RESULTS – their musical lives are in your hands. You will either help them become great musicians or hold them back causing them to struggle for many years before getting back on track with their goals. This is why you must always work to become a better teacher so you can give your students the best possible results.

Notice: being an accomplished guitar player (or getting a degree in music) is NOT the same as understanding how to teach others to play guitar, so being a good musician is NOT a substitute for an excellent guitar teacher training coach.

Why Guitar Teachers Fail, Reason #5: Not Having A Passion For Guitar Teaching

Regardless of your marketing or teaching skills, you will not become the number one guitar teacher in your area if you lack ‘passion’ for what you do. When you do not have a strong passion for what you do, it becomes like a ‘job’. This causes you to accept lower standards for your teaching and the results you get for your students (because you don’t feel incentive to get better). Eventually, this lack of passion will lead to you to fail in your business. In addition, your students will generally match the level of enthusiasm you have during lessons. When you are not highly passionate, they won’t feel as motivated to practice and apply the things you teach them.

On the other hand, the most successful guitar teachers have a very strong passion for teaching guitar. Although they DO teach guitar to make money, they also teach because it is something they truly enjoy doing. When you are passionate about teaching guitar, your students will notice and respond positively.

What You Need To Do Instead To Become The #1 Guitar Teacher In Your Area:

To become passionate for what you do, you need to clearly identify your reasons for wanting to become successful at it. You must understand what goals guitar teaching achieves for you. Once you do this, you will be able to utilize the excitement you have for these goals in the form of motivation to be the best guitar teacher you can be. This will help you to not only enjoy teaching more, but to inspire your students and help them advance in their musical lives.

What to do next:

Once you understand the ideas discussed above, it’s time to start implementing what you’ve learned so you can become the leading guitar teacher in your area. By applying the points of this article into your guitar teaching business, you will become more successful than you could have ever imagined – all while helping your students become excellent guitarists and musicians.

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a professional guitar teacher, composer and the guitar player. He shows guitar teachers from around the world how to make money teaching guitar. On his website, you can find guitar teacher resources, and guitar teaching articles.

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Tom Hess is a professional guitarist, composer, and successful guitar teacher.
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