During the summertime you will get much less lesson inquiries than any other time of the year – it’s simply a fact. In most cases, this represents a big challenge for guitar teachers and keeps them from earning a good living teaching guitar lessons. Truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Although less people are looking for guitar lessons in the summer, this doesn’t mean there should be less students for you.
These are the four main reasons why guitar teachers are unable to keep students throughout the summer and what you must do to not only KEEP your students, but EXPAND your student base:
Reason 1: Giving Up On Even ‘Trying’ To Promote Your Guitar Teaching Business During The Summer Months
Because most guitar teachers understand that there are less student inquiries in the summer, they often give up on their promotional efforts during this time. This opens the door for you to market yourself to all the students that everyone else is ignoring. There are always students seeking teachers regardless of the time of year (even if there are ‘less’ in the summer). By being one of the only teachers to increase marketing efforts in the summer, you will effectively raise the percentage of students you are able to attract. This will essentially transform the summer months from your ‘worst’ time for attracting students to your ‘best’.
Reason 2: Having Weak Methods For Attracting Guitar Students (In General)
In previous articles I wrote about teaching guitar, I discussed why most guitar teachers use poor marketing methods that simply don’t work. This causes them to only gain access to a small percentage of the income they could be making and keeps them from helping more students reach their musical goals. If you can’t effectively attract students in general, you will really struggle during the summertime.
To make sure your guitar teaching business isn’t sabotaged by your own poor marketing methods, learn how to teach guitar for a living from an experienced trainer (and grow continually all year round).
Reason 3: Not Enforcing A STRONG Guitar Teaching Policy
Having a weak guitar teaching policy is a huge mistake for your guitar teaching business. Without one in place, your student base will quickly deteriorate because they will have the power to walk all over you, stop taking lessons without notice or take time off (without paying you for it). The most common teaching policy that leads to these things is a policy that lets people pay lesson-by-lesson. This kind of lesson policy leaves the door open for students to reschedule when they feel like it, arrive late, not pay on time and (in the summer) go on vacation for months at a time.
Truly successful guitar teachers charge their students per month, NOT per lesson. And if you want to get paid on time and not get taken advantage of… you should too! In addition, you don’t need to accept it as a loss when your students leave for summer vacation. To get ready for this situation, think of creative ways to train your students when they are unable to meet with you in person for a lesson. There are countless ways to do this and I explain them in detail in this free eBook about making money as a guitar teacher.
Reason 4: Not Telling Your Guitar Students (Ahead Of Time) About The Value Of Taking Lessons During The Summer
Your guitar students don’t inherently understand the value of taking guitar lessons during the summer and will often choose to do other summer activities (like sports or taking vacations) in their place. It’s up to you to step up and make the value of guitar lessons known so they choose ‘lessons with you’ rather than any other summer activity. They must understand:
A) The real reasons why becoming a great guitarist is much more valuable than doing other less important activities.
B) Why stopping guitar lessons for the summer will have very negative consequences on your student’s guitar playing progress. When your students stop playing guitar for the summer, they will have to waste tons of time and money just to ‘catch up’ whenever they come back to work with you. This is precisely what happens to students when they come back from summer break to go to school, so it is easy for them to understand this when you explain it to them.
C) How continuing lessons with you in the summer will be a very unique and valuable experience that simply can’t be missed. Here is one way (of many) you can do this:
Create a unique event that only takes place in the summer months. For instance, you can create a lead guitar technique mastery program, hold live performance coaching or even host a road trip for your students to go see a cool band. Then you can show them how to play guitar like the guitarist in the band (as a standalone program). The creative ideas you can think of are boundless – promote these events well in advance and your students will be ‘pumped’ when the summertime finally comes around.
[Notice: The worst thing you could do is ‘reduce’ your lesson rates to try to keep your students – THIS is exactly how most guitar teachers lose their students during the summer because the students perceive guitar lessons to be of lesser value than the other fun things they could be doing.]
Now that you know how to keep your students in the summertime, learn how to attract tons of guitar students throughout the year so you can keep expanding your business, regardless of the season.