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Apr 10

Advice to a Guitar Teacher

Posted by: Steve Marr

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I received a request from “Kent” who taught guitar lessons. He wanted advice about building up his business. Signing up new students had been going slowly even though he had offered a 30-day money back guarantee. He felt this was not very effective. I asked Kent how many students pay for their own lessons as compared to having their parents pay.  About 60% of the students are paid for by their parents. Since the others are over 18, they generally pay for their own lessons.


I suggested that Kent think of ways to separate his customers. He could market to parents one way and market to older students another way. Since the students who pay their own bill are likely to be more motivated to improve, the key is to help them become confident. The wording for that marketing strategy would offer a specific customer benefit. For example: Kent will help you increase your ability to play the guitar.

The marketing to parents of younger students would be different.  I suggested that he focus on teaching self-discipline and demonstrate how students will progress. I told him that he needed to create separate ads for each of these distinct markets.

In each instance I proposed he post videos of his students. He could show what progress looked like after years one, two and three for younger students under Kent’s teaching. This would give parents confidence that their child could achieve similar results. I would also post videos for the older students showing the starting level followed by what level they could play a year later. This would demonstrate Kent’s ability to move students to a higher level. I also suggested that student and parent testimonials could help.

Furthermore, he could target home school families.  Many have flexible schedules and could take lessons during the day when other students are in classes. Kent could even offer a discount for these times as an incentive to book lessons in what would be vacant time on the calendar.  I recommended that he research whether his area offered a home school convention where he could rent a table and work at signing up students.

Paul wrote, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT) While Paul was referring to the work that God does in each of us to grow us day by day, it is also a principle we can apply to teaching. A good teacher desires that students will improve over time. Use that benefit when marketing a teaching service. Then, market to specific groups with an appropriate message to help them understand how they will improve.  The strategy that improves their skill grows your business.

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