There are so many platforms for teachers to market themselves however the most important thing is where to market yourself and to find the right market to start freelance online teaching. Many teachers think that the market is over-flooded with online English teachers. While this is true, there are so many students wanting to learn English around the world. This is why it is vital to creating an eye-catching profile to grab these students’ attention. You must be unique and think outside the box!
When I decided to teach English online, I had no clue what I should do. I tried my best to find out information from other online English teachers and also from Google. You are in for a treat if you are reading this. I am going to share my personal information to help you market and promote yourself in the right direction to become a freelance English teacher.
Why is Marketing So Important to Freelance English Teachers?
It is very important to market yourself as an online English teacher just because there is a huge demand for them. Teaching online can be for anyone and there are so many freelance teachers out there. It is very important to try to connect with teachers to start your own teaching platform and allow a better income for yourself in the end. I will share most of my findings with you and the information I have researched to help you start this process on your own.
How to Stand Out From the Crowd
From my perspective, it is so important to stand out from the crowd. What I mean is to try to be unique and different from everyone else. There are so many online teachers currently but most of them are the same especially on their profile and in their videos. Think outside the box. You should try to grab the student’s attention by bringing in unique props if you are teaching children. If you are teaching adults you should try to keep the background plain and simple or you could use a world map or something professional in the background.
Scripting Your Intro Video
It is also so important to use the correct word choice in your introduction video. Everyone says they either have their TEFL certificate, are qualified teachers, or have teaching experience. You want to grab the student’s attention by explaining to them how you are going to make the lessons fun and interactive, and what type of teaching methods will you be using in the classroom. You will also want to describe how your classes will benefit them compared to others, and what you will focus on most when teaching English. There is so much you can do with your introduction video but make it your own. It is important to stand out.
Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for ESL teachers
There are so many platforms that are hiring teachers at the moment. You will be surprised where you can find a great platform to teach from. I will share my experience with you and give you an idea of how I found them useful. At first, I was very unsure of where to start or where to go for help. Reading articles and knowing people that teach online is definitely a bonus.
I found a Facebook group with online teachers from my country. If you just type online teachers or online Esl teachers on Facebook you will be surprised how many groups there are to join. I joined a few groups. They were very informative and helpful. I was able to get a lot of referral codes to online teaching companies. You can ask so many questions and people will respond and give you their experience on certain platforms. Make sure you do your research before.
WhatsApp is a simple messenger app that allows instant messaging on your phone. You can create group chats or private chats with one another. I managed to find an online teacher who had a WhatsApp group full of online English teachers in my country and we have a close relationship. By creating these relationships with different groups you can connect and find out more about different companies and which ones are good and which ones aren’t!
YouTube was another useful platform as I managed to find out so many useful ideas for my introduction video. I have even posted my introduction video on YouTube to help others and connect with me. Posting YouTube videos can be a great way to engage with those wanting to learn a new language.
Instagram was by far the best for me as I can share my daily ideas with teachers on live chats or share information with other teachers who are not sure what to do. I connect with a lot of online teachers all over the world and they help me with some ideas as well. Instagram can create an online teaching image to help you find students to teach. You can post videos or post images, which can allow you to capture a wider audience.
Pinterest was useful as I was able to find useful teaching materials. It is helpful for those who do not have lesson material in the classroom or are looking for extension material. The more you connect and find other teachers online it makes it a lot easier to create your platform and start teaching online a lot quicker. It is easy to form relationships with people all over the world. You never know what opportunities are out there.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Platforms
Just remember to weigh your pros and cons for teaching as a freelance teacher. If you have the student’s email address this means you have full control over what you send them. This helps continue and develop a closer relationship with your students. Gaining the information to teach the student is important to know what to teach the student.
You can customize the interface of your online classroom, change your logo, market your brand, integrate other services, manage your affiliates in your ways because you are a boss on a self-hosted platform. You can change as much as you want for your online courses. You can also provide payment plans and even recurring paid subscriptions. You can receive a lot more by creating these payment options. You can take advantage of joint venture partners to sell your courses as well. This can be effective especially for individuals who are looking for high-quality TEFL courses to promote their audiences.
Advantages of Using Social Media Platforms
Using Facebook can be such a useful app especially for online teaching. There are so many groups related to online teaching which can help you market yourself or even find a job. What is also useful about Facebook is that you can connect with so many online English teachers who work for so many different companies as well. You can also share referrals or get referrals from other teachers. Facebook can share interesting teaching materials as well.
YouTube is amazing to use as this is a way to promote your introduction video to other people from all over the world. There are so many useful ways to create a YouTube blog and promote yourself out there. This can even be shared on Facebook.
Instagram is a great platform to market or promote yourself. You can create stories, videos, post images and share so many useful ideas to start your online platform. The more you engage with students the better engagement and responses you will get.
Another hyped-up craze is TikTok. A lot of engagement happens on TikTok. When students are more engaged in what they do they will be more interested. There are so many useful social media platforms for ESL teachers to share useful tips and tricks to teach online.
Disadvantages of Using Social Media Platforms
The downside to social media platforms for ESL teachers is that there can be an overload of information on Facebook for example. There are so many teachers looking for opportunities and needing help but it’s finding the right information to get you a step further. There is a massive amount of content shared to market teachers but the main focus is to be unique and different, try to stand out from everyone else on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.
When using Facebook or Instagram you need to be consistent with engagement with others to market yourself as a freelance online English teacher. Less engagement means fewer followers and less interest to build up your social media platform.
Marketing your platform can be time-consuming which means that you are running your own business by yourself. However, if you apply the right strategies with perseverance, you will not have problems thriving on your own.
Email marketing automation tools can be very expensive once you start approaching thousands of students. You must be in charge of managing all the arts of your online school when having more control. It is easy to start but once you have plenty of students as well as some online courses, you will face unexpected problems with managing everything.
Everyone can get confused about whether or not to trust your online school because they do not know who you are. It can be somewhat difficult to get your students to leave a review to allow students to know what your classes are all about.
Is it Possible to be a Successful Online English Teacher Without My Own Website?
It is very possible to be a successful online English teacher however it takes time. This takes dedication as it takes time to find students and build a relationship with each student. If you are not eager to put the work into your website then this is not for you. I would recommend starting up with an online teaching company and then create an online teaching website of your own. I personally have not done this but I have heard of a few people who have.
Finding Connections in Other Countries
Many people find connections with people in their country to teach English. If you have connections in other countries, try to put the word out there and share your website with others. It is a slow process but I know for a fact it is possible. Bare in mind that you need to create the lesson material and share feedback with each of your students. Your students need to know their progress and what level of English they are at.
For those who are wanting to be freelance English teachers and would like to create their teaching website, this is an opportunity that not many people can do but if you can market your website and put the money and effort into it, it is possible.
Using social media to find more students
Social media today has become such an important part of our lives. Never would I ever have imagined that I would be teaching from home. This is the new normal for most of us today. What I found was so helpful was using social media. I used Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp statuses of my daily teaching on certain days of the week.
You will be surprised at the number of responses I receive from people. This is a good way to build relationships with others, share referral links, help others to teach online, receive other information from others teaching online, and many other opportunities. Social media may not be for everyone but if you are wanting to teach online you need to try to adapt to it.
To find students you need to find the right groups and advertise your skills for others to see them. Finding students takes time but being a part of a company on the sideline in the meantime can also help you financially until you have the right amount of students.
Tips For Building Relationships
If you want to keep your students for a long period, it is vital to build a good relationship with them. First, find out what they want to learn because if they do not want to learn by reading, the class may become boring and they will not continue your classes. If they want fun and interaction, you need to be prepared as this is the style of teaching they want. If the student just wants to learn grammar and pronunciation, then your lesson needs to be based on this.
Remember the student is paying for this time and they want to learn. I build my relationships in the classroom. I like to find out what my students like and do not like. I try to build the lesson based on things they like to make the lesson more interesting and fun. By keeping the student engaged and allowing them to partake in the conversation you are allowing them to learn.
I would not share the relationship on social media with my students as the students should have seen what your profile is about and if they have seen your video to get a feel of what you are about. They are paying you for your time so make sure you use your time wisely and not overwork yourself. Grab the student’s attention on the platform and always remember to teach your lesson as if it were your last. Make the most of it so you know your student will come back for more.
Do’s and don’ts of using social media for this purpose
There are so many do’s and don’t on social media. Here are some that I find incredibly important.
- Never share your personal information on social media. You do not know who is out there. Some people are very picky about countries and who they would like to teach them. I would recommend not to mention where you are from. I try to stay away from where I live, politics and religion.
- You should never have noise in your social media, bad lighting, bad camera quality, or anything that could lose a student potentially. You should make eye contact with the camera, try to be confident when recording your introduction video, and most of all you should have excellent internet speed. Make sure you are presentable as well and you look the part to teach adults are younger students.
- I would not turn away students because they could potentially be a regular student and allow more opportunities to increase your lesson hours.