BPL-11 When to say no to a prospective student

About this guide

The reality of teaching guitar is that not all students are equal. Some students are a pleasure to deal with as they seem to follow every word you say and practice like crazy. Other students show up late, cancel lessons at short notice, don't practice, etc. You need to decide where you draw the line and say no to teaching students. Some teachers try to teach everybody and anybody, while other teachers realize that some students just aren't worth the headaches.
This guide will help you decide where to draw the line and prevent bad students from ruining the enjoyment you get out of teaching guitar.

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How to attract new guitar students in 2012

The start of each year is the busiest time for guitar tutors as you will receive many enquiries from people wanting to learn guitar. The majority of the enquiries will be to teach school children as parents often decide to set up lessons at the start of the school year. It’s important that you’re prepared for all these enquiries and crucial that you are visible enough for prospective students to find you and contact you. In this post we will look at how you can attract more students in this crucial period.

Attracting students online

If you don’t already have a website promoting your tuition service then you need to get one. A large percentage of people will solely use the Internet to find a guitar tutor so if you don’t have an online presence they will not find you. BWS-01 What a website can do for you will explain why it’s so important to have your own site. Having your own site allows you to control your message to students. If you have a website, you can place a large message on the home page stating:

“New openings available for 2012, please contact me here to book in a time before all openings are taken.”

A simple message like this one creates a sense of urgency and gives the prospective student an incentive to take action now.

As an alternative to having your own website, you could promote your lessons online using an online teacher directory. These are free listings where you can create your own profile page so students can find and contact you. BMK-04 Listing on Online Teaching Directories gives you detailed instructions on how to create an effective profile that will set you apart from other tutors. This is important information as there will likely be other tutors in your area competing for prospective students. The strategies in that guide will ensure students are more likely to contact you first.

How to win students over

Once prospective students find and contact you, whether they decide to go with you or not is completely dependent on how you handle the situation. Will you be prepared to answer all their questions? Do you know your timetable back to front and can straight away suggest available times? Have you decided what rates to charge and can you handle any questions on discounts? How you handle these questions is paramount as this first contact will be the crucial first impression your potential student has of you. If you if and umm and sound like you aren’t prepared, they will assume you don’t know your stuff and move on to somebody else. On the other hand, if you have all answers ready you will sound professional and people are more likely to sign up on the spot.

There are a few guides available to help you win students in this first contact. BQA-01 FAQ from prospective students covers most of the questions you are likely to get and suggested answers. It’s highly recommended you read through this guide quite a few times to get a feel for the answers so when somebody contacts you, you will be prepared.

If you are just starting as a guitar tutor and haven’t decided on your rates yet, there are a few guides to help you set them and answer any questions related to rates and discounts. BPL-08 Setting your rates 1: Comparing the competition will guide you through setting your rates based on the competition in your area. BPL-09 Setting your rates 2: Prepaid lessons & discounts explains how to handle questions on prepaying lessons and whether you should offer discounts or not. It’s extremely important you read through the guide and follow the instructions as it will make a big difference to your income.

Be sure to read through BPL-02 Setting up your timetable and BPL-03 Properly managing your timetable to make sure you organize your timetable effectively to prevent any issues with clashing lesson times. Many potential issues are obvious until it’s too late, so read through the guide for more information.

Finally, you may want to decide whether you want to offer group lessons or only one-on-one lessons this year. Each have their own pros and cons so have a read through BPL-06 Group lessons and BPL-07 One-on-one lessons to fully understand the issues you need to consider.

Good luck in 2012 and we will guide you all the way

If this is your first year teaching then good luck and enjoy it! You have all the resources you need available at any time on this website so you should never feel worried or concerned. The guides listed above will explain in great detail actions to take to attract plenty of students. If you have already been teaching for a while then you should still read through all the guides as everybody can always improve their situation. There will be plenty of new guides and lesson materials in 2012 so keep an eye on the News Section. Good luck with your tuition service in 2012.

If you aren't yet a member to this site then you are missing out on all the resources listed above. These guides alone can make a significant difference to the income you earn from lessons and quality of the interactions with potential students. If you really want an advantage over your competition this year, then you should really consider registering for membership to this site. The professional lesson materials and guides are very valuable and can make a big different to your tuition service. You can read more information on what you would have access to here.