How to market yourself as an online English teacher?
If you’ve just passed your TEFL course and are ready to take on the teaching world. You might wonder where to start as an online English teacher. Well, many online English teachers go down the route of working online and eventually working for themselves to find their students. This path can undoubtedly be the most rewarding, especially financially, but it also takes more effort to find your own students. To market yourself isn’t an easy task, but the benefits will be yours to reap if you are able to pull this off successfully.
Many online English teachers often dream of running their own careers and finally gaining some freedom in their work, but often don’t know where to start or how to achieve this. If you’re willing to put the work in, there are tips that you can follow to begin marketing your teacher skills and get your list of online students. It can be scary starting alone, but also a great adventure!
First, let’s look at why you might want to become an online English teacher and work for yourself. As previously mentioned, finding your own students and working for yourself can be the most financially rewarding path in TEFL. You can charge whatever you want, set your timetable and have a great deal of flexibility regarding what you teach and who you teach. This is often the dream for most TEFL teachers, as it gives you much freedom in your work and provides financial security in the long run.
Although there are advantages to working for a more prominent TEFL company, such as a certain amount of stability for your work and a lower effort requirement, working for yourself can get you out from working under the management of somebody else and gives you the choice to make your own decisions about how you teach your classes and your working conditions. This can make teaching more enjoyable.
So are there any downsides to marketing yourself as an online English teacher? Well, there aren’t any significant downsides, but it does take a lot of work to be successful. The advantages seriously outweigh any negatives, especially if you want to teach long-term. One of the things that you need to think about is putting a lot of effort into marketing and finding your own students. Another consideration is that if you’re working for yourself, you must deal with any student issues, payment issues, lesson cancellations and so on…
So if what you’ve heard so far has piqued your interest and you’re thinking about marketing yourself as an online teacher and starting up your own business, let’s have a look at exactly how you can do that and be more successful.
Firstly, it would be very difficult to become a successful online English teacher if you don’t have any online presence. The Internet and the use of social media are vital for your success. Realistically, people aren’t going to notice you or know that your teaching even exists if you have no social media pages. Social media is the online English teacher’s number one tool. It’s a way of marketing yourself, allowing your students to get to know you and attracting more potential students worldwide.
What platforms you choose to use depends on you and the type of student you want to attract. There are specific platforms that are naturally geared to work towards a particular target market. For example, TikTok is very popular with university students nowadays, whereas LinkedIn is aimed at more of the professional market. So if you were looking at delivering Business English lessons, maybe LinkedIn would be more worth your time. These are things that you need to consider when you market yourself online.
The most important thing to remember when using social media to grow your English teaching empire is that students want to see and get to know you. If you don’t post videos or photos of yourself, they won’t feel like they’re getting to know their teacher. Pages with more interest and followers typically feature the teacher in a key role. Students feel like they are more connected with the person who is posting on these pages. This is essential to gain more followers and, therefore gain more interest.
One of the most important points when using social media is consistency. If you want people to become engaged and if you want to attract more followers, you need to post regularly. This can be hard work for one person, but it will pay off in the long run. Plan out your posts, dedicate some time each week to posting, and try to get some posts and videos out daily. This will increase engagement. Don’t forget to engage with your followers by getting them to comment on your posts by asking them questions. Take the time to respond to some of them. This is key for engagement and more numbers on your social media pages.
If you’re going to teach online, you will need a website. This should be a good quality website that advertises your services, provides information about you and your classes, and allows your students to contact you with any questions or queries. You could even have an automated booking and payment system as your business develops. If you’re not tech-savvy, it would be worth investing in a website developer to create this for you and help you with long-term management. All these things are investments in you, your business, and your long-term earning potential.
Remember that teaching is a product. As with any product you’re trying to sell, reviews are critical. Remember to start collecting reviews as you start teaching and get those happy students who return to you for lessons. These reviews should be placed on your website or social media pages so that potential students can check them out and are more likely to take classes with you. The simple thing is the more reviews you have, the more trustworthy you’ll come across for future students. This is especially true as an online service where students put their faith in you and pay without meeting you in person.
You might also want to consider what offers you can advertise to attract more students. You could think about creating a bundle of lessons where it would be cheaper to buy five or ten lessons rather than just one. This appeals to students as they see more value for their money and are likelier to buy more lessons. You could also offer special discounts, gift vouchers and referral offers for anybody who recommends you as a teacher.
You also need to decide whether you can offer a trial lesson for potential students. Those teachers that do offer some sort of trial lesson tend to be more successful because students can test the waters with you before they commit to more lessons. If you’re not completely sure about offering the first lesson for free, then you could also offer the first lesson at a discount. All of these things are marketing strategies which are more likely to attract more students and are more likely to get them to sign up to take classes with you.
So remember, in 2023, having an online presence is absolutely vital to grow yourself as an online English teacher. Your work is online, so your students will expect to see you online as well. By running some social media pages, your students can gain more trust in you and get to know you more, which will make them want to study with you. You can also have and more extensive reach.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t going to happen overnight. To gain followers to set up the business attract more students and get more reviews, this is something that takes time. So it’s important that you have some patience and dedication. If you keep at it, invest the time and make the effort, then it will pay off in the long run. This type of business is a marathon, not a sprint. This is something that will grow over time, so it’s important to keep at it.
The best thing to do while you are still growing your business is to also find employment that gives you a steady income. This might be with the school or with an online company. Of course, the conditions might not be as good as you imagine for yourself if you run your own business, but it will give you some stability while you invest your spare time in growing your business. As your student list grows, you can decrease the time that you work for a company or a school, and then let your own student list take over and become the majority of your earnings. In the long run, this will pay off more and give you that financial stability while you’re still growing things.
This is especially true if you are a new teacher and don’t have any students yet. Build up your experience and confidence whilst working for a school or company as you expand your independent work. There is a wide range of opportunities out there when teaching online, but it’s important to think strategic strategically about how you can take advantage of this to be successful in the world of online TEFL.