Just Starting out?
Working for a language school or teaching company can be an ideal job for a new English teacher. The regular lessons, regular pay, and support are all be very welcome when you first start working. But have you ever considered the possibility of working for yourself and finding students independently?
Being self-employed allows you to command higher rates, teach in comfort from your own apartment, and teach the students who you want to. It sounds great, but the big problem for many teachers is how to find the students.
Here are some techniques that I have used in the past with great success to find more students than I could handle.
This is by far the best way to find new students in my opinion. If you move to a country where English is not the first language, there are almost certain to be a huge number of people who want to learn English or improve their speaking skills.
All you need to do is print off a few business cards (nothing flash—just your name, website if you have one, phone number, and email), and then hand them out to everyone you come across. As long as you are sociable and regularly get yourself in a position where you can meet new people, you can start networking and the work will start to come in.
You will be amazed at how many people know someone who is looking for a good teacher. Many of them simply never get around to finding a teacher, but if you get your name around and they hear good things about you then you’re already well on your way.
Once you start teaching then word will spread even further and soon you could find that you do not need to network at all as your students will do the work for you.
Launch a Website
Did you know how easy it is to launch your own teaching website these days? With a free WordPress blog you can create your own space on the web in a matter of hours. However, if you want to make it look more professional and memorable then I would recommend buying a domain name.
Put up lots of pictures on your website, along with descriptions of yourself, why you love teaching, your rates, how students can get in contact with you, the sorts of lessons you teach, the hours that you can offer classes, where you can hold lessons, and any other pertinent details, and this will become an important marketing tool for you.
Create a Facebook Page
You probably have a Facebook account already, so now create one for your teaching business (you may not think of it as a business, but that is exactly what it is).
Share your details with everyone you meet, then befriend them on Facebook until you gradually start to grow your network. To keep people coming back to your page you can post about your life as a teacher, maybe even provide some English tips for learners, make yourself approachable, and answer questions.
It may take a while to grow, but this can become quite a powerful marketing tool once it is up and running.
Craigslist is one of my favorite ways to market because it has led to a huge amount of work for me. The success you will have depends to a certain extent upon where you are based—in Argentina Craigslist is huge and everyone looks there for almost anything, so it really did not take long to start generating interest.
A free advert offering English lessons with a link back to my site brought in far more responses than I was expecting. Do this regularly and, as long as Craigslist is popular where you are, it is certain to generate some interest.
Get Going with These Ideas
There are more ways to market yourself as a teacher, of course, but these are just some of the ones that I have found to be the most useful. However, if you only focus on one method, go with networking. It’s the easiest, most enjoyable, and more effective of the lot, and you may be surprised by just how soon you end up having to turn students away because your teaching hours are all full.