to help you get the most from your tuition service

BMK-22 How to Sell like Apple

About this guide

Whether you like Apple products or not, there's no denying that they're excellent marketers. The launch of any new iProduct is always met with people camping out the front of their stores and people buying them up in a frenzy. From the release of the first iPod in 2001, Apple has grown to a value of over $700B. While you as a guitar teacher may not be selling shiny electronic devices like Apple, we can learn from their marketing expertise.

How do Apple convince a person with an iPhone 5 to buy an iPhone 6? How do they convince people that they also need to buy an Apple Watch and an iPad?

This guide will break down a few key elements of Apple's marketing tactics and show you how you can apply them to your own business.

Experts of Sales Copy

'Copy' is what marketers call any text used to persuade people to take an action. The text on your website is sales copy - the purpose of that text is to establish your credibility and persuade potential students to contact you and sign up for lessons. Apple are experts at Copywriting and have been following a steady formula for quite a number of years.

Let's look at a few elements out of Apple's marketing then look at how you can apply these lessons to your own marketing.

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BMG-03 Mange Your Emails Like a Pro

About this guide

More and more people use online methods to seek out guitar teachers and that means more and more potential students will contact you via email. Writing and replying to emails is a time intensive job but important to get right as it can make the difference between gaining a new student or losing a potential student.

In this guide we will look at how you can dramatically reduce the amount of time you need to spend to respond to emails from potential students while keeping a high quality/professional image.

The Early Bird...

Before we look at tools you can use to streamline how you reply to email, it's worth mentioning that the time it takes you to reply to an email matters. This sounds obvious, but it's all too easy to put off replying to an email from a potential student. The sooner you can reply to a potential student, the higher your chances are of winning their business.

Just remember - you're probably not the only teacher the potential student has emailed. Quite often it's the teacher who replies back the fastest that wins the business. So keep this in mind next time you see an email show up from a potential student!

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BWS-07 Keyword Research

About this guide

If you have built a website you may have heard about keywords before. A keyword is a word or phrase a person enters into a search engine to find websites on a specific topic. So 'guitar teacher' is a keyword a potential student is likely to enter into Google or one of the other search engines to find a teacher. Understanding how to target specific keywords will help your website rank higher in the search engines and get found by more potential students. Good keyword research ultimately will mean more new students for you.

This guide will walk you through keyword research and by the end you will know exactly what to create on your website to target specific keywords that are highly likely to result in new students. You will be able to identify the keywords that motivated potential students use and you will be able to use those keywords to persuade them to sign up for your lessons.

Understanding Types of Keywords

Before we dive into how to research keywords relevant for you and your business, let's look at the different types of keywords and which ones are valuable to you. Not all keywords are equal and you only want to target the keywords that will bring you results.

There are three main types of keywords:

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BMK-21 Writing Effective Advertisements

About this guide

If you need to write the text for an ad (called copy), every single word you use makes a difference. The less words you have available (eg: PPC ads or newspaper classified ads), the more important each word becomes. This guide will explain how to write effective ad copy and walk you through different examples.

By the end of this guide you will be able to follow a simple process to writing effective ads.

Why most ads are terrible

When an ad is slapped together with little thought, it's no surprise that it doesn't achieve good results. Writing effective ad copy is a hard job and large companies spend massive amounts of money to word their advertising perfectly.  You don't need to spend as much time or effort perfecting your ads as large companies do. Let's have a look at why most ads are terrible so you can avoid the same mistakes:

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BMK-20 Facebook Groups

About this guide

In late 2013 Facebook decreased the 'organic reach' of Facebook Pages. This means that if you wrote a post on your Facebook Page, only a small fraction of your Page's followers would see it. By the start of 2014 organic reach was around 6% so if you have 500 likes on your Page, you could only expect around 30 people to regularly see your posts. Organic reach is expected to continue to decline in 2014.

To overcome this problem we have put together a strategy that uses Groups in Facebook. The approach is a little different to setting up a Page so this guide will explain step-by-step what to do. By the end of this guide you will know exactly how to set up a Group that encourages students in your local area to join in and get involved. This strategy is expected to have a far higher chance of success compared to setting up a Page in Facebook.

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BQA-08 Calling Past Students

About this guide

Over time you will lose a lot of students for a wide range of reasons. Students quit for so many different reasons and while some students may never consider taking lessons again, you will be surprised how many of your past students you can bring back with a simple phone call. This guide will provide you with a strategy you can use to successfully turn past students into current students. If you're looking at increasing the number of students you teach, this is a sure way to boost your numbers.

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BMK-19 Niche Targeting

About this guide

Almost every guitar teacher uses the standard marketing methods such as guitar flyers, social media pages, teacher directories and a basic website. But if you really want to achieve great results, you need to do what other guitar teachers aren't doing. This guide will explain how you can specifically target your ideal type of student in a way that most guitar teachers don't even consider.

Niche targeting is all about creating something that will be of interest only to your most ideal students. With this guide you will learn how to target these people and make it easier for you to stand out from other guitar teachers.

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BTD-03 Scams Targeting Guitar Teachers

About this guide

Unfortunately guitar teachers are sometimes targeted by scammers and while most of the time the scam should be obvious, some scammers are very well rehearsed. There have been many times where guitar teachers have lost significant amounts of money falling for scams. This quick guide will explain the typical scams targeting guitar teachers so you can avoid being fooled.

Typical Email Exchange

A scammer starts off by sending an email inquiring about lessons. Some scammers will sound like any other person asking about your available times, rates, etc. Here are a few examples of emails sent by scammers:

Example 1:

Hello,

I hope you are doing fine today..Can you pls let me know if you are able to give lessons my Son and how much it will cost for a minimum time of 3hrs per week.

Pls get back to me asap so as to proceed with the arrangement.

Thanks
William

Example 2:

I saw your advert list on Craigslist.org, I need a good tutor who has interest in teaching..Let me know if you are available to tutor my Son great things and how much it will cost for a minimum time of 5hours per week. N.B..pls reply back to my mails via .....@yahoo.com ....i will be looking forward to hear from you.

Mr. John

Example 3:

Hello,
I require your tutorial service for my daughter who needs tutorial in your area of specialization.
I would like to make a tutoring arrangement between you and my daughter for the month of January.
I would like you to tutor her within this period on a schedule basis of 1 hour daily, 3 times weekly, totaling 12 times in a month.How much do you charge p/h?
I am willing to pay your rates.

Regards,
Melissa

How to spot the potential scammer

Straight away you might notice a few common things odd about these emails compared to normal inquiries. Here are a few points to look out for:

  • Poor English spelling or grammar (not always a sign of a scammer though)
  • Unusually high request for lessons per week (how many students have 3-5 hours worth of lessons every week?)
  • Reply back to different email
  • Generic sounding email (eg: 'who needs tutorial in your area of specialization')

It may not be clear how any of this is a scam at this point, so let's look at what happens if you were to reply back answering their questions. The first thing a scammer will try to do is find out how much it will cost to prepay some lessons. They will ask what your hourly rate is or ask you to work out the cost for a full month worth of lessons. Let's look at a response given to Example 3:

Hi Melissa,

I charge $30 per hour which means that the cost of having 3 lessons per week is $90. When would you like to schedule the first lesson?

The typical response from a scammer to these details is usually very long as they jump into their 'story'. Here's a summary of what normally happens in the email:

  • The person 'introduces' their self. They say that they are from a different country and visiting shortly in your area or that their child will be visiting with their nanny.
  • They want to prepay a month worth of lessons so their child is ready to start as soon as they arrive.
  • They typically want to arrange 3 x 1 hour lessons per week which means they will prepay 12 lessons worth.
  • They ask for details of where to send the cheque or bank details to complete a funds transfer

If the teacher replies with an address for the cheque or with bank details, here's a typical reply from the scammer:

thanks i got your information which mean you are ready to give my son
the best of your tutor..okay i have mailed out the payment to the
information you provided and other necessary arrangement.And i want
you to know that i will be including the driver that will drive my
son down to your location with the NANNI that will be taking care of
him,and he might need money to bye text booksand food during the tutor
period,is all this i think all to make the total money equa
$3500,after having the check ,you will just go staright and deposited
it into your bank account and after cashing it deduct your money,which
is$360 and extra $150 for yourself as a gift from me and have the
rest fund send via your local western union /money gramme to the
driver that is
carry then along toyour place....and i believe i can trust you with
this. So the payment will got to you soon.

Here's another typical reply:

Hello,

Thank you for details of payment. I have made bank transfer but instead of sending $360 I have sent $3,600. I appologize for this. Please keep the $360 and another $100 as a gift from me and send the remaining $3140 back to me via Western Union with these details .......

Please return funds quickly

This is where the scam is revealed. Note a couple things already:

  • The quality of the spelling and grammar usually drops dramatically at this point as the scammer isn't relying on templates like the first email
  • The person will always overpay - the reason why may change but the amount will always be higher than agreed
  • The person asks for the teacher to return the excess funds asap by Western Union or Money Gram

How the Scam Works

There are two possible ways the scam could work depending on how the payment was made.

Cheque payment

If the teacher receives a cheque payment, the idea is that the teacher will deposit the cheque to their account then transfer the excess funds back via Western Union. The teacher doesn't realize this but the cheque is fraudulent and it will eventually bounce. The problem is that it could take quite some time for the cheque to bounce which means that if the teacher sends the 'excess' funds before this happens the teacher has no way of receiving their money back. The bank will require the teacher to pay the entire amount of the cheque back to the bank and the teacher will be left short.

If the cheque is from another country, it can sometimes takes months before the cheque is discovered to be fraudulent. It will appear as though the payment successfully cleared from the teacher's point of view until they are contacted from the bank.

Electronic Transfer

The same thing can happen even if the teacher receives an electronic funds transfer. The payment will appear to show up in the teachers account but after a while it will be reversed. The payment may appear 'unclear' for a while or 'pending'.

Protecting Yourself

With this information it should now be very easy to identify any scammer in the first email. Remember that the first email is meant to sound very innocent so sometimes it can be hard to distinguish genuine inquiries from the fraudsters. If you have doubts, you can definitely ignore any of these emails. But keep in mind that other teachers have missed out on new students because they mistook a genuine inquiry for a scammer.

Here's our recommendations to protect yourself against scammers:

  • Ask for a phone number and call the person (only call people with phone numbers that are in your country)
  • Only take advance payments in person
  • Never accept payments by cheque or bank transfer from new students
  • Ignore emails that don't feel right to you

The key signs to identify scammers are:

  • Poor English spelling or grammar
  • Unusual situation (eg: travelling overseas, has a nanny, child travelling alone)
  • Wants to book in an unrealistically large number of lessons (eg: 3 - 5 lessons per week)
  • Uses general terms such as 'tutor' or 'music tutor' instead of 'guitar tutor'
  • Uses a hotmail, yahoo, gmail or other disposable email account
  • Doesn't use your name in the email or seems to have read anything about you

The sure sign of a scam is always: the person sends you too much money and wants you to return the excess using a method where you have no recourse

While most of these scams are obvious straight away, don't think you could never be fooled. The reason why scammers keep trying these methods is sometimes they work. if you have any concerns over an email you have received and are unsure whether it's a scam or not, contact us here and we'll help you out.

Real Example

Here's a real example of this scam in action. One of our members received this message from a potential student on an online teacher directory:

I saw your post on ----. I am in need of a Music Lesson for my daughter. kindly reply me back ( ---@----.com ) and let me know if you can be a good lesson for $35/hr. Thanks & God bless.

At first this doesn't seem too suspicious. Keep in mind that some genuine potential students may not speak your language as their first language so be careful not to ignore somebody solely based on this information.
There are two other points which makes this suspicious however:

  1. The teacher advertised his rate at $25/hr and this was clear on the profile. The fact that this person is immediately offering a higher rate is suspicious
  2. The person is in need of a 'Music Lesson'. It would be crystal clear to a real human that the teacher only teaches guitar so this stands out. As explained earlier, many of these first emails/messages are automated which is why a generic term such as 'Music Lesson' has been used

The teacher didn't see this as suspicious so replied back asking some questions as well as providing the person with a link to available times to check out. The teacher also clarified that his rate was $25/hr.

This is the reply the teacher received:

Hi there,
I want you to take my daughter Janet for the Lesson on any of these Instrument(Guitar ,Piano ,Keyboard,
Saxophone,Bass,Drums,Violin,Music) and she is just 8yrs old and I want you to be available to teach her as soon as possible. I'm satisfied with your response and I'm happy to offer you this position due to your experience and qualification. I have made contact with Janet concerning the arrangement of the lesson which made her feel more happy and comfortable. I want you to know that i am going to pay you for 4 weeks,which should be $35.00/hr which i have in mind, i am planning that you will be teaching her 2 times a week,which is 2 hours per day.

I want you to calculate the total cost of 4 weeks for the Instrument and the teaching materials you will need for 4 weeks including the textbooks. When will you be available to teach her during the week so specify your comfortable date and time? I want her to study more about what she needs to know when she arrives to Canada cos she is coming
from United states. I want her to communicate with you with her level of Instrument Lesson and you will need to work on the Music symbolls,Voice,tone and more other things you notice while teaching her and also i want her to improve morally. Janet is very quiet, intelligent, obedient and understanding easy to get along with her and she loves to dance too. I will need your comfortable time and day. She is in 4rd grade and she can communicate very well.

I will be paying you via Certified Check for the Lesson and i will also get a guardian that will be taking care of her for the whole period and the guardian would bring her down to you wherever you believe it will be comfortable for you to have the lesson started at your local library very close to you. I will proceed as soon as possible to make arrangement for your payment which will be cost of lesson for 4 weeks including the teaching materials cost.

I will need your full information as its been requested to process the payment so it can be mailed out on-time without any delay. I hope i can trust you that you will teach her good Tones and some moral Skills so that she can be good to herself in the future and the economy, i hope i can also count on you for the Lesson. Janet would be coming down to stay with the guardian for the whole period and my guardian will take care of her. I would be glad if the Lesson start probably next week. I wait your full information so i can proceed on the payment immediately without any further delay.

FULL NAME:
MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please):
CITY:
STATE:
ZIP CODE:
CELL PHONE:
HOME PHONE:
GENDER:
PRESENT JOB:
AGE:
BEST TIME TO CALL:
EMAIL:

Will be waiting to read your mail soon.

Best Regards & God bless ,
Henry.

Although the teacher did not immediately recognize that this was a scam (it's hard to guess how this could be a scam until much later on), he did feel it would be too much hassle to deal with a student in this situation and turned the person down.

As you can see, this reply closely matches the other examples given earlier. It should also be clear that it's another template based reply. The person doesn't answer any of the teacher's questions and seems to ignore the information about the teacher's rate.

The lesson from this example is that while you may not pick up on a scammer initially, eventually they all follow the same path. They all want to send you payment in advance for a large period. Then they will 'overpay' you and request you refund the difference.

If you feel like you might be dealing with a scammer, contact us here for advice.

BWK-02 In-Person Workshops

About this guide

Workshops are an excellent way to earn great income, reach more students and build your reputation as a guitar teacher. You may even find that you prefer workshops over private one-on-one lessons. This guide will explain how to organize and run an in-person workshop. Before reading this guide you should read BWK-01 as it contains detailed information on planning workshops in general. This guide won't explain the planning process and instead will focus on running the workshop and applying best practices.

Length and Topic

In BWK-01 you would have chosen a suitable topic for the workshop. The topic you choose will help you decide on how long the workshop will run for. For example if you're covering a very specific topic such as a specific guitar technique, you may be able to cover it all within an hour. On the other hand if you choose a more open ended topic such as improvising, you could realistically spent all day covering it. The length of your workshop will depend on your topic and your knowledge of the topic.

Here are a few things to keep in mind with different length workshops:

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BWK-01 Planning a Workshop

About this guide

Running your own workshop is a great way to teach guitar to a larger audience and build your reputation. You can earn more in one workshop than an entire week of individual lessons so it's worth considering. While the benefits to running a workshop are significant, there are challenges involved in setting up and running a workshop. This guide will explain how to plan your first workshop, avoid problems and use your first workshop to succeed with future workshops.

Choosing a Topic

If you're considering running your own workshop, your first job is to decide what the workshop will cover. A workshop should revolve around a certain topic or theme. Your workshop will be far more effective if you stick to one main topic rather than try to cover too much. When your students leave the workshop, they should feel confident in the topic and be able to apply the information straight away. The more specific and narrow the topic is, the easier it will be for your students to walk away with this confidence. When you try to cover too many unrelated topics, students become overwhelmed or confused.

Here are some examples of specific topics suitable for workshops:

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