You probably already know that much less people seek guitar lessons during the summer than in any other time of the year. For the majority of guitar teachers, this translates to a huge challenge to making money from guitar lessons. That said, although there are less people seeking lessons in the summer, there can still be tons of students for you!
There are four main reasons why guitar teachers lose students in the summer. Here are these reasons and what you should do to not only ‘keep’ your students but ‘expand’ your student base:
Reason 1: Failing To Promote Your Guitar Teaching Business In The Summertime
Most guitar teachers are already aware of the fact that students inquire less about taking lessons in the summer than in any other season. As a result, they simply stop promoting their lessons in the summer. This is good news for you because it means YOU get the opportunity to market your lessons to all the students that everyone else isn’t paying attention to. Although there are less people seeking guitar lessons in the summer, they ARE out seeking lessons. You can easily increase the percentage of new students you add to your schedule during this time by simply marketing yourself to them (since no one else is even bothering). This will make the summer a huge success for you (rather than a ‘slow period’) – helping you to stay productive and grow your business.
Reason 2: Not Having Good Promotional Ability To Begin With
In past articles I wrote on how to teach guitar, I revealed why most guitar teachers are clueless when it comes to promoting their lessons. This prevents them from making a lot more money and helping their students in a much greater capacity. When you are unable to promote your guitar lessons very well, you will struggle even more during the summertime when you are being contacted by less people. This will make it extremely hard to sustain your guitar teaching business for a long period of time.
To prevent yourself from ending up without students in the summer, work with a guitar teacher trainer to learn how to easily attract new students.
Reason 3: Having A Poor Guitar Teaching Policy
You will lose your guitar students fast by implementing a weak guitar teaching policy (or not even having one to begin with). Most guitar teachers do this and their students take advantage of them by doing things like quitting without notice, showing up late, not paying on time or taking time away from lessons for summer vacation (while the teacher doesn’t get paid). One of the reasons why this happens so much is guitar teachers create a policy of charging students on a lesson by lesson basis.
Guitar teachers who earn a lot of money do NOT do this! Instead they charge their students for lessons on a monthly basis to ensure that they always get paid on time and ‘never’ get taken advantage of… and you should too! Also, to get yourself ready for any situation where you may lose students for the summer, think of creative ways to teach your students from a distance (not in person). This will help remove any ‘distance-based’ objections from your student’s mind. In fact, it’s easy to set this up. Learn how by reading about it in this free guide to earning good money as a guitar teacher.
Reason 4: Not Telling Your Guitar Students In Advance About The Value Of Taking Lessons In The Summer
Guitar students generally have a host of non-guitar activities that they want to participate in during the summer. As their guitar instructor, you must help them understand why guitar is so much more important than all those other things. You must help them realize:
A) The specific reasons why getting better at guitar is more valuable for them than any recreational activity they could be doing.
B) How important it is to continue learning guitar in the summer so that they do not ‘lose’ all the skills they gained, only to have to relearn everything again in the fall (costing them tons of additional time and money in the process). This is the same thing that happens every year for your students who go to public school, so they can understand this concept clearly (and know that you make a good point when you explain it to them).
C) How taking lessons with you during the summer will be a very unique experience that they MUST be a part of. Here is one way (of many) you can give them this realization:
Put together several killer programs/events that are exclusive to the summertime only. This could be a specialized metal guitar soloing training course, studio recording training or even a cool trip to see a huge band play live (that you use as inspiration for a unique course based on that band’s playing style). You can put together countless ideas if you simply sit down for a little bit and think about it. Just make sure that you tell your students about your programs many months in advance in order to ‘build them up’. After doing this, your students will be dying to get started once the summer starts.
[Warning: Just make sure not to do the absolute worst thing possible (what most guitar teachers do): Reducing your lessons rates in a pathetic attempt to keep your students longer. This WILL backfire and cause you to lose most of your students when the summer arrives (and in general), because it lowers the value of your lessons in their eyes –they will simply choose to spend their time on other things.]
Now you know how to keep your students longer in the summer, find out how to get a lot of guitar students during any time of the year.
About The Author:
Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, composer and a touring musician. He trains guitar teachers to be successful in his guitar teaching program. Go to tomhess.net to get more guitar teacher resources and read more guitar teaching articles.