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Attracting students to your online teaching business

Interview with Cecilia Nobre and others about setting up as an online tutor.
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One of the best ways of attracting new students is to quite simply go out and meet people. If you’re interested in working with state schools in the area, go to the schools, meet the coordinators of courses. Likewise, if you’re interested in business English, go to companies in the area, meet the people in HR, advertise your services face to face. A personal website where I advertise my services and people know who I am and can find me online wherever they are. Having a blog nowadays is probably one of the best and fastest ways to attract prospective students. So be clear about the services you offer and the digital products that you use in your work.
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Encourage comments, and be ready to respond. You can also ask your current or former students to share their feedback. Nowadays, something that works really well is advertising on LinkedIn. You can advertise all types of courses on LinkedIn, including young learners’ courses. The reason is that the parents are on LinkedIn. Another way to attract students is through the use of social media, especially three social media channels, which are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. I would like to talk about Instagram especially. You can post videos with tips, grammar tips, pronunciation tips, challenges, quizzes. It’s really effective. I would suggest that you create a flyer. I did that.
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It’s a one-page document in the learner’s first language in which I talk about the types of courses I teach, the duration of the courses, the length of the lessons, and I include some information about methodology as well. If you do a good job with the students that you have, word of mouth, your name will spread and you will get calls. Creating a shortened video showing an online lesson in which I teach three learners. Whenever students come back to me asking questions about the types of courses I teach, I can send them the link to the video. They can watch it, see me in action, and this is a way of getting to know me.
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From my experience, there are two ways to keep students. One is with quality and flexibility of the lessons that you provide. And that’s true of anything, really. If the quality is good, people will return for the same service. I think it’s important to show that you are there for them, you support them in this learning journey. So I would create, for example, WhatsApp groups with the students. I would say one of the best ways to keep students is to customise your course. So focus on your students’ interests and needs, and be flexible. To show my students that I can use their time well, I always give them a study outline.
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A study outline is a course programme that shows the content of each lesson not in a very detailed way. It’s concise. And it shows what students can do between sessions. You also need to make sure your online course is user friendly. So try out different digital tools and online learning methods to make online learning simple, diverse, and effective. I always refer to assessment. Assessment will show your students that their performance is being monitored, their progress assessed. And this is a way of keeping them, because it shows them that the learning objectives are clear and are being met.
If you decide to start your own online teaching business, you need to be able to market yourself in order to grow your business. In this step, you’re going to hear tips from some of our online teachers about ways to attract and keep students.

Task

Watch the video. Note down the tips that the teachers give for:
  1. Attracting students
  2. Keeping students
You can read more about attracting students in Cecilia Nobre’s article here giving you tips on how to market yourself as an online teacher.

Reflect and share

What do you think will be the best way to attract and keep students in your context? Share your ideas in the comments.
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Teaching English Online

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