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Q: What are the best ways to build a regular student base? Jeremy, Columbus, OH

A: Thank for reaching out Jeremy! There are many ways, mostly just being awesome and consistently offering something that students can only get from you! But to be a little more concrete, here are some suggestions for building a strong regular student population. We can’t teach without students, yo.

~Connect: Have you ever gone to a class and the teacher didn’t even come meet you, or acknowledge you in any way? I have, tons of times. And you know what? I didn’t go back. Not everyone cares, but it’s always great to go introduce yourself to new students and make them feel welcome. Be willing to stay after class and talk with students, get to know them. And make it your business to remember their names! If you haven’t read, ‘How To Win Friends And Influence People’ by the late, great Dale Carnegie, read it asap. All great advice, including the suggestion to remember peoples’ names.

~Let your unique style shine through: I curse. Some people don’t fucking like that. That’s understandable and cool. You will NEVER reach or please everyone. Don’t try. Be authentic, continue to learn, share your mistakes, admit when you’re wrong, be willing to constantly self-evaluate, and consider all feedback to be good feedback. However, never let anyone tell you how you have to do it. If you’re forcing anything, it will be obvious.