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Summary: Your students are already out there waiting to hear from you!

How to market guitar lessons

Where your customers comes from

There is a very good reason why setting up a guitar teaching business is so easy, even for those with little previous business experience:

Your Market has already been created for you!

According to 2005 figures relating to physical music sales (CDs sold in shops etc..) the recorded music industry is worth somewhere in the region of $12,378,700,000 annually. That’s a massive industry!

You can be sure that a fair old percentage of that money is recycled in marketing budgets to make sure the flow of cash is sustained or increased. (These days you can be equally sure that a large part of ot is recycled in lawyers fees to stop the free download sites, but that’s another story).

In short, several billion dollars, pounds, euro and yen are spent each year on promoting the consumption of popular music.

The point is that this marketing has a by-product. As well as stimulating interest in listening to music, it also sparks off a desire to learn to play music in many people.

Now a secondary industry has grown on the back of the first. I found a figure that suggests that in the year 2000, guitar sales in the USA alone totalled: $923,552,000! So we can be pretty sure that the guitar sales industry worldwide is worth well over $1 billion.

Again, much of this money will be ploughed back into making sure that, globally, interest in playing the guitar goes on increasing.

Now, some people who buy guitars, figure out how to play them all by themselves, but the truth is that most quickly realise that it’s not quite as easy as it looks! This sparks off a tertiary industry: Guitar Teaching!

The intriguing thing is, that whilst mainstream business has caught on to the primary music industry and the secondary musical instrument industry – they seem to have stopped short, by and large, of attempting to supply the demand of this (still massive) tertiary industry – the supply of instruction in how to play the instruments!

This is where we come in!

In marketing terms we are like well-fed dogs feeding off sumptuous crumbs that fall from a massive banqueting table.

All you have to do is gobble up the crumbs!

Who knows what you do?

Because of the power behind your marketing (as outlined above), people wanting to play guitar are quite literally everywhere around you. You pass hundreds of them in the street when you walk through town. You talk to them when you are out shopping. You play football, tennis, baseball or perhaps cards and with them. You swim past them, jog past them; queue up next to them in the bank. You meet them at family reunions, at church, at the club, at the pub.

There are only two problems to overcome:

1. You don’t always know how to spot them.
2. They don’t know how to spot you.

I have never completely worked out the solution to the first problem. But, that’s ok because solving the second problem is easy:

Let everyone you talk to know what you do

Never go anywhere without a stock of business cards on you. Get into the habit of telling, and then reminding, everyone around you what it is that you do for a living. I guarantee that this is all it takes. Do this, and sooner or later people will ask you for a card.

Your tennis club friend will say ‘Have you got a card – my nephew has just got his first guitar and boy does he need some lessons!’

The checkout guy at the supermarket will say: ‘Give us a card – my mate wants to learn to play bass’

There is no more effective way to gain new clients that I know of. It costs you next to nothing and you can do it almost as easily as breathing.

The only type of person this approach won’t suit is the social hermit and, to be honest, it is doubtful whether they would be suited to the job anyway.

The Confidence factor

What will stop you using this method of promoting is under-confidence. If you find yourself in any way unsure, or unwilling to tell people that you are a guitar teacher, then ask yourself these two questions:

1. How confident are you of your musical ability and knowledge?
2. How sure are you of your teaching skills?

My guess is that one or both of these items are an issue for you.

If it’s musical skills – then apply all you know about guitar teaching to teaching yourself. Really go for it. Set yourself daily and weekly targets and make sure you really make them.

If it’s teaching skills, then study up all you can on relevant materials to improve your awareness of how the learning process works. But, most importantly, recognise that teaching skills cannot be learned just by study.

You will acquire these skills best and fastest by doing. Start teaching today. You don’t have to charge for it. But you do have to start doing it. Volunteer to teach people half-price or even free of charge. Anything to get you going. Once you have a few hours under your belt your teaching skills will develop of their own accord and your confidence will take off with it!

Lack of confidence is always a vicious circle. You have to break into that somehow.

Much of the free content on this site is designed to help you do just that . You can always ask for help by emailing us if you can’t find what you feel you need to progress yourself on the site.

Related pages
- Effective Advertising
- How to Build a Client Base
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