Growing Your ESL Business Through Social Media
If you’re qualified as a TEFL teacher and want to grow your potential (and earnings), then starting your own ESL business is an excellent opportunity to do this. This means you find your students and teach the classes (or pay other teachers to work for you to do this!), maintaining control of the rates and income. Setting up and growing your ESL business takes dedication and time, but the rewards can be worth it!
Why set up your own ESL business?
The main reason for doing this is for financial gain. Running your own teaching company will increase your earnings more than working for another school or business. If you are teaching the classes yourself, then you will earn 100% profit on those classes. You can also set your rates, which is a huge advantage! No more earning $10 per lesson from online teaching companies; you can charge what you feel you want in line with your qualifications and experience. If you run classes for groups, you can make an excellent profit from this!
Some people prefer to run their own ESL business to be able to do what they want and organize their schedules and teaching style. If you don’t enjoy following other schools’ curriculums or lesson plans, then going it alone is an excellent way to have complete creative control over the courses you teach. You might even end up developing your teaching method! This is ideal for people who want to be more creative with their classes.
Starting your own ESL business also works exceptionally well if you specialize in a niche area of teaching, e.g., Medical English, Aviation English. This is because not many schools or centers offer lessons in this type of specialty. If you can provide this service, people will pay the top price. You can decide whether to specialize in individual lessons in your chosen area or arrange group classes. For example, setting Legal English classes with a group of lawyers could be more straightforward in approaching businesses that want their employers to improve their level. The more niche your teaching area, the more money you can charge for this specialty.
How can I grow my ESL business?
The first thing to think about when growing your ESL business is who exactly you want to reach and teach! There should be a focus, the more specific, the more you can cater your strategies to this group of learners. It might not be enough to say General English or Business English students; you need to be more specific. Perhaps your target market is Spanish students between 20-40 years old looking to study for Cambridge exams. Why so specific? Aiming this way, you can personalize your posts and content for this group and will attract them and build up the following you want. Learners studying a specific area will look for social media pages that will help and interest them.
Social media is one of the most powerful tools you can access today to grow your business. This is especially true if your business is based online. You want to be able to reach maximum student potential all over the globe. The best thing about social media is that there are endless networks you can choose from: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, and more! Which one you choose will depend on the type of learner you are aiming your content at and their needs and interests.
It would be best if you took the time to decide which platform is the best for you to build up your following and dedicate time to doing this. When you start, it’s better to spend the time on one platform and do it well. Once you’re up and running, it’s a good idea also to use another platform. You don’t need to use them all, but having more than one will add legitimacy to your business as students can cross reference. You can also maximize the reach of your pages across more platforms.
Youtube: If you want to make fun, engaging videos for your content, then Youtube is an excellent platform to do this on. You can attract regular subscribers to your channel. It may take some time to build up a following, but once you do, you can earn money this way!
Instagram: Anyone who’s anyone has an Instagram account these days, so this is a great way to reach a large volume of people; you need the followers! It is one of the best platforms to use and a very visual one. Create posts, videos, and reels and be consistent with the content- this is the key. You can’t sporadically post things – you need to have more of a plan than that! Followers can comment and message you for more information about your classes!
Facebook: Although not used as much as Instagram these days, Facebook still has many users where you can post your videos and comments. Facebook and Instagram can even be synched up so that you can post simultaneously – less work for you!
TikTok: Using this will aim your content at a younger generation; teens, students, young professionals, etc. You can make short, educational videos to get your students interested in your business and take lessons with you! Be aware that many TikTok followers are younger, so consider how you will attract students using this platform.
LinkedIn: This works like an online CV and can be an excellent way to reach professionals. If you want to specialize in teaching Business English or ESP, then LinkedIn will be a valuable site to get your target market. You can send messages via this platform and advertise your services. Be careful that you approach the right people with the right message. Otherwise, it can feel like a spam message! It’s a great place to make professional connections with teachers, trainers, and employers too!
Tips for using social media to grow your ESL business
Become an affiliate and earn some extra on the side!
Did you know that the TEFL Institute has an affiliate program? What exactly is this?
If you are gaining traffic through your social media pages, you can take advantage of this and promote a brand. By letting your followers know they could also take a course with us at the TEFL Institute, you can earn a commission from any sign-ups through your sites. It’s that easy! It’s free to join the affiliate program. Any clicks you get through your social media to our site will be tracked, and if they sign up within 90 days, you get a commission! Sign up here! This is an excellent way for you to make more income passively.
Work with others
Connecting with other English teachers and companies is a great idea to get exposure to a new audience. It’s a good idea to follow similar pages to yours, especially those with similar followers. You can even work together on videos, posts, and other collaborations. This will attract more followers and more business for you! Keep up with how your colleagues get out with their companies; partnerships can benefit both parties!
Let your followers/ subscribers get to know you.
You must build a good rapport with your audience and keep them engaged with your content. More engagement means more traffic on your page, leading to more students becoming interested in signing up for your classes. Let your audience know who you are, what you look like, and how you like to teach your classes. The more students feel like they know you, the more they will want to take lessons with you.
Don’t be afraid to be silly.
Teachers must be confident and put themselves out there in front of everyone in the classroom. To gain followers, and students, via social media, you also need to bring this confident persona to the screen. Don’t be afraid to use humor and make jokes on your social media accounts. The more enjoyable, the better! It’s important not to forget the power of a good meme too! If students enjoy seeing your social pages, they will also want to take lessons with you.
Use live streaming features.
Many platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram, have a live streaming feature. This is a must-use element if you want to attract more students. You can organize live activities and chats in which students can participate. This lets them practice their English and, importantly, gives them a chance to get to know you even more. It allows them to see your personality and how you teach your classes, making them want to take lessons with you! It’s also an excellent way to show your potential learners that you’re a genuine teacher!
Get your followers involved
Whatever platform you decide to use, you need to get your potential learners involved and have them engaged with your content. Different features across platforms can help you do this. You can invite students to attend online events, ask them questions that they need to answer in your comments, and use polls. It’s also great to ask them what content they want and what they’d like to see on your page. After all, they are your target market, and to increase your business, it pays to keep your target market interested and happy!
With the digital world we’re living in, it’s rare that a TEFL business, or any business, won’t use social media’s power to grow. Using the right social media platform and working out your strategies for your target audience will attract traffic to your pages. This will pique potential students’ interest in you as a teacher, and your lesson requests will increase! Remember to work out who your target market is, what platform will have you reach them, and what sort of content will show these potential clients what a fun and great teacher you are!