One the one hand they may think that by allowing someone to try their (hopefully wonderful?) services on a single occasion as a freebie they will encourage them to come back and pay for a similar experience on a regular basis but when viewed from another direction maybe it looks a bit desperate?
If someone is so poor (or so mean!) that they find themselves unable (or unwilling) to pay for a single lesson then the chances of their returning to cross our palms with silver week after week may be a little slim anyway?
If you spend some time thinking about what our students want from a guitar teacher it probably does not include a willingness to work for nothing because they can’t get enough people to pay them to teach?
Try asking any other skilled service providers (which is what we are and how we need to appear to our customers?) to work on this “first job free” basis and see what reaction you get. “If you plumb me a toilet in for free and I like it then maybe I’ll allow you to come back and fit an entire bathroom?” or “Fix my front teeth and I may (or may not) call you back later and have you work on the back ones” (if you ask the wrong dentist and you might need more work on the front ones than you thought anyway)?
You would not ask because you know that these people are professionals and that (if they are good at what they do – and why would you want to employ them otherwise?) they don’t need to work for nothing.
As guitar instructors we need to foster the impression that we are more than happy to occasionally take time out of our busy lives (and practice schedules) to teach guitar just so long as our services and our skills are respected? If we do not regard ourselves as professional people with a skillset that should be valued then how can we expect our guitar students to take what we say seriously. We need to set ourselves apart from the (many) people who “play a bit of guitar”
There are loads of other ways to promote a guitar teaching business without having to resort to working for nothing. and if you click this link you will be able to check out a range of business cards for guitar teachers that can also be used as the basis for artwork for advertising in printed media or for website purposes.
If you are going to teach guitar and do not respect your own profession to the same extent that you do a dentist or a plumber then maybe it’s not the job for you?