Why Most Guitar Teachers Struggle To Find Students
The topic of finding guitar students is one that comes up again and again so I want to share some ideas on why most guitar teachers struggle with marketing today.
Creative ad design is now the 98%
The placing of an ad is only 2% of success with marketing. The other 98% is ad design, targeting and perhaps most important, branding. Placing an ad saying ‘Guitar lessons’ was all you needed in the 80’s when there were 1000 kids wanting to learn guitar to every available guitar teacher. Today there are not only many more guitar teachers (due to those millions of kids who took up guitar in 80’s and 90’s becoming teachers) but, there are also many more options for students to learn guitar. E.g. Internet, YouTube, guitar apps, Skype etc. This means to be a successful guitar teacher you can’t just place an ad and hope to get students. You need to be special to stand out from all those other guitar teachers and options for learning guitar. If your ads are not well designed, well targeted with a USP (unique selling proposition) and somehow remarkable you’ll be largely ignored. Bottom line is guitar teachers who lack business and marketing skills can no longer compete. You now need a solid understanding of what works and why to be competitive in a very crowded market place.
Referrals are now the main game
Your marketing alone is rarely enough in itself to grow long term. To grow your student numbers you need to be getting lots of referrals from your current students. If your current students are not raving about you to their friends it means something is missing within your teaching. The most successful bands on the planet don’t become successful from marketing alone. They need to have a good product. The best bands and products succeed largely through word of mouth. As a kid I found out about Led Zeppelin through a friend who happen to hear their first record from another friend. Led Zep became because of their music not some marketing campaign. We loved their music of course which is why we shared their music with our friends. If this is not happening in your case there are things you can do but its too much to explain in an email.
For lack of a business plan
‘For the lack of a business plan there was no goal. For the lack of a goal there was no direction. For the lack of direction there was no action. For the lack of action there was no progress.’ Marketing is not just advertising. Marketing is everything you do from the delivery of your lessons to your website to your studio design to your beliefs and principles. This all needs to be built into your business plan right down to the last detail. Your business plan is probably the toughest challenge of all because it takes work but its also the most overlooked by guitar teachers. Designing a great business plan is hard and often takes years to get it right. This is why franchises (think McDonalds, Starbucks) are many times more successful than startups. Their business plans are well tested so almost always succeed. Its like performing a song you have practiced many times.
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I am currently giving all new subscribers a free 30 minute consultation on Skype to discuss any topics related to finding guitar students. To book your appointment simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your location (city, state and country) and I will send you a list of available days and times.
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