Based on my background (digital entrepreneur), I’ve found three main ways of growing your potential client base. A, B, and C. Prioritize word of mouth (A) then establish an online presence (B) when suitable. Once you’ve fulfilled both A and B, you can then move on to generating new leads (C). C is where the magic happens.
General vs Niche teaching
When you first start teaching, it is much easier to be a general teacher. As a general teacher, you don’t have a specific target audience. On the other hand, there is also niche teaching. Once you have some experience in teaching, you can better understand who you want to target. What niche do you vibe with and what niche gives you good earning potential?
A.) Word of mouth – (general & niche teaching)
The ideal route to establishing this pipeline is to deliver top-notch quality services.
Your client will have a good experience and go on to tell their friends and family. If you positively influence someone, then your word of mouth pipeline is likely to grow as they tell their network about your services.
This is your ideal client; treat all your clients like you’d treat this one.
B.) Tutoring Marketplaces – (general teaching)
Tutor marketplaces are a good option for beginners. Examples include Preply, iTalki, etc. I personally don’t like these because they introduce too much unpredictability in your schedule due to their bogus cancellation policies. The main downside though is that you are mostly competing on price and so if you don’t lower your rates, you won’t get clients.
However, it is still a good option for beginners if you need experience. The ideal route here is to get good reviews. I personally stick with Preply because it has a better scheduling tool.
Once you establish a baseline, your rates can slowly increase. A nice feature is that all you have to do is lower your rates and your client pipeline will immediately grow. It’s best suited for quickly filling up your schedule with many less profitable clients. These clients have a very low chance of referring your services to others so they are less likely to provide the priceless word of mouth clients. Just make sure you get good reviews.
C.) Generating new leads – (niche teaching)
IMPORTANT: You will have to have a very firm understanding on who your niche is in order for this route to be viable.
Networking is done best when you meet new people on a regular basis. Go out of your way to connect. You might come across other influencers and they may refer your services in one way or another. Put energy into making this happen.
General networking can take time though. Luckily, there exists many techniques to generating new quality leads. Once you have some experience under your belt and you feel confident in your ability to teach, you’ll be able to sell your services for much more. All you have to do is look in places where your niche likes to spend time. Maybe that’s Facebook, maybe that’s Linkedin. For example, a teacher that targets entrepreneurs might look for new clients on Linkedin. They can even leverage Linkedin’s tools like Sales Navigator to really boost their search.
Once you find your new client, you’ll have to make a sale. It is absolutely imperative that you can close the deal. Teachers with sales experience should be able to easily handle this stage.
D.) In conclusion
At the end of the day, what is most important is that you take action.
If you’re lost and not sure where to start as a teacher, you’ll need two things:
A guaranteed way to ensure that you’ve done your due diligence is to invest in yourself.
- Training found here: https://boweistrategy.com/eslteacher-ebook
- Resources found here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lessonspeak
My niche is adults and if yours is too then the answer is simple. Check out those links for training and resources on how to transition to becoming a more successful teacher-entrepreneur.