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
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
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
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
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
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.