Finding your own students

The second talk that I attended via the Language Show last week was by a lovely lady called Anneli, a Swedish teacher and business woman! Her talk was about how self-employed teachers should market themselves so that they attract more students to their business.

This is definitely something I wanted to learn more about, despite having done a lot of my own research. I really wanted to listen to someone talk from experience, rather than just read blog posts about it.

I wasn’t impressed with the start, through no fault of Anneli’s, may I add, because someone posted that they were looking for an English teacher and many people started responding, asking for sending email addresses and it completely distracted a number of us from the talk itself. I found this disrespectful and off-putting.

Throughout the talk, Anneli gave us lots of little ideas on how to improve our online image, how to utilise our own social media accounts and things we should focus on. It made perfect sense but really gave me a boost of confidence and inspiration to get back to my ‘English with Claire’ folder that has numerous unfinished articles inside.

She seemed naturally down-to-earth and her background showed that she knew exactly what she was talking about, which made it all the more inspiring. You could see that she was sharing things that had worked for her, and also giving us pointers on what was more important to start with. 

A few things that I really agreed with her on were:

  1. Create templates for your business communications (email templates, FAQs, price lists). These are such simple documents that will make your life so much easier, yet something I still have not fully completed yet.
  2. You don’t need to be on every social media platform, just pick the one that is going to work best for your target audience.
  3. Do not hard-sell yourself. Connect with people first and build a relationship with them before you try and sell your lessons (or other services). 

After Anneli’s talk I sat down with my business folder and made a list of all of the things I needed to prioritise for this weekend, November / December and January next year. These are mostly things that have been in my head since March, but I…

  1. was too busy
  2. wasn’t dressed properly / wearing makeup
  3. hadn’t charged my phone
  4. was in doubt about whether it was worth it

Now I’m wishing I had just spent a weekend sorting it all out. 

On the other hand, until last week I had worked between 8 and 16 hours a day since February and I really didn’t have a lot of down time. When I did, the last thing I wanted to do was work even more. However, I do now have some extra time during my days and I’m going to put that to good use before I take some time off for Christmas.

The talk helped me realise that I needed to get these things in order so that I could make my life easier, be more supportive of my (prospective) students and also to market myself better. I’ve made a start already and am looking forward to having a little package of my own by the new year!

Have you attended a talk or workshop on marketing for self-employed people? Or how to find your own students to teach? I’d love to share ideas or hear your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t. Leave me a comment or drop me a DM over on Twitter! 

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