8 effective ways to market yourself as a language teacher

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Marketing yourself as a language teacher is HARD.

So, the fact you’re overwhelmed and confused by where to start, what to post or how to attract more students to your classes is completely normal. 

After all, as a teacher, nobody ever taught you how to sell your courses, find new clients or turn random followers into superstar students. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn all of that stuff. 

Just like you teach your students to speak a new language confidently, it’s my job to teach YOU how to market yourself and become wildly successful.

Before we explore the many ways you can advertise your language courses, let’s rewind to the basics…

Why do you need marketing as a language teacher?

It’s simple. Without marketing, you won’t have students. 

It’s absolutely essential to promote yourself and your services if you want to build a profitable and sustainable language teaching business. 

But it doesn’t have to be super complicated and scary! Marketing is basically just about communicating with people you want to work with through content they find helpful. And the better you know those people, the easier it will be!

Should you list yourself on teaching marketplaces and platforms?

Of course, this is totally up to you, but my honest answer would be no. 

People searching for lessons on teaching marketplaces are usually looking to get something for nothing. And when you factor in the HUGE cut companies like iTalki and Preply take from your lesson fees (and the time it takes to stand out from the competition), it’s really not worth it. 

You have a valuable skill that people are willing to invest GOOD money in, so it’s totally worth putting in the time and effort to learn how to market yourself properly. Because when you do, you’ll be able to charge your worth and make a real living on what you love. 

Let’s be realistic: if you try to do that through the competitive teaching platforms, you’d probably need an extra 500 hours in a week. 🙄

Ok, now we’ve covered that, here are 7 effective ways you can promote yourself as a language teacher.

#1: Social media

Social media is obviously a great tool for marketing your language teaching business because it opens you up to, well, the whole world! 

But it’s not as simple as setting up a profile and waiting for the right students to come to you. You’ll need to create valuable content that those people WANT to see. 

This is where your market research comes in. Once you know what your target audience is struggling with and which platforms they mostly use, you can brainstorm some ideas and create a content plan that answers their questions. 

PLEASE do not just share vocabulary and then wonder why no one is asking about your classes. It takes more than word-of-the-day posts to stand out and turn followers into students!

Oops, did I panic you by saying that? Don’t worry teacher. I cover this topic in much more detail in my mini-course explains exactly how to create posts that help turn followers into paying students and gives you 99 social media prompts to make your life easier!

#2: Email

Ok, teacher, if you’re looking for a way to market yourself that’s effective, easy and affordable, then look no further! 

Email marketing might sound a bit outdated, but it remains one of the MOST powerful marketing and sales channels out there. 

Why? Because it gives you a direct line to people who literally ticked a box to say they WANT to hear from you… which means they’re naturally more engaged with your content and likely to buy.

It’s not just me saying this, either. Studies have shown that email marketing generates a return on investment of $42 for every $1 you spend, making it one of THE most financially sensible options available. 

Considering that only 10% of your social media followers even see your content (I know, it’s really shit), email really is a no-brainer. 

Read more about why it’s worth to run an email newsletter here!

#3: Website

I don’t usually recommend starting a website until your business is established, you have a clear idea of who you want to work with AND you know what you’re offering. 

That’s because it’s a BIG project, and you don’t want to have to rewrite or rebuild it because you’ve changed your direction (which is very likely at the start).

BUT if you’ve been running your language teaching business for a while, a website is a great way to promote your services for one really sexy reason: you can show up on the Google search results. 

And when you show up there, you can reach more people who are actively looking for what you offer, attract them into your orbit and convert them into students… for free!

#4: Blog

If you’re not ready to build a website, that doesn’t mean you can’t try and make friends with Google by starting a blog.

This is a BRILLIANT tool to target terms that your audience is searching for and answer their questions in more detail than the 220-character caption space on Instagram allows.

You don’t need a website to start a blog; you just need a domain and a platform like WordPress. 

Then again, you don’t even need that. If you’re happy NOT to house the post on your own domain, you can share your articles on platforms like Medium to benefit from their super strong website and large amount of traffic. 

Alternatively, you could write guest blogs for other people. Obviously, this takes a bit of research and relationship-building, but if you find anyone in a niche that would complement what you do and they’re interested in collaborating, give it a go!

#5: Podcast

Podcasts are great for both language learning AND reaching new potential students. 

I know, I know. There are probably hundreds of teachers already running podcasts about the language you teach, but that shouldn’t put you off starting one if it sounds like something you’d enjoy!

Listen to some of the popular podcasts in your niche and try to find a unique angle you can take to deliver value and stand out.

I did exactly that in my business a few years ago, and my podcast hasn’t only become one of my favourite marketing tools, but it’s also helped me attract clients who may never have found me otherwise. 

Why not listen to my podcast to get inspired as well?

#6: Host events

Even if your audience is small, why not consider running your own events? 

By delivering value to your followers without requiring them to commit to a full-blown course, you can earn their trust and show how bloody brilliant you are at what you do. 

And once they’ve seen how brilliant you are, they may consider taking your course and becoming a student.

Events can also help you learn more about your audience, so you can create even more brilliant content that attracts clients to you. Win-win! 

#7: Lead magnet

This is closely related to email marketing, but it’s SO important that it deserves a bullet point of its own. 

A lead magnet is a free resource that is jam-packed with value but, like I said, free. Its purpose is to attract the right kind of people into your orbit and onto your mailing list so you can communicate with them more regularly and nurture them until they (potentially) become students. 

You can promote this resource—whether it’s a video, a PDF guide or a quiz—through your other marketing channels, like social media or your website. Or you can even run ads to promote it to more people. 

Whichever strategies you use, the key is to make your free resource SO valuable someone might pay for it. A video? A PDF guide? A quiz? It’s up to you!

#8: Run a paid workshop!

If you’re ready to go all in and not only promote yourself but also see if you can make money, do some market research and see what promo methods your audience reacts best to, then I’d totally consider running a paid workshop!

I have been running workshops since the beginning of my business and have recently started teaching this method to my clients. Most of them gained more clarity, gained momentum thanks to actively selling something and made some extra cash while figuring out what topic could be an idea for their next group course or a digital product!

Do you have questions about marketing yourself as a language teacher?

Send me an email—I’d love to hear from you!

And if you are ready to go all in in your marketing, consider joining the next round of my 6-week bootcamp, Rocket Fuel! When your biggest fans on Instagram are other teachers, you need more than silly social media hacks. You need a clear strategy that brings the right people to you. I’m here to provide the step-by-step plan and accountability you need to turn procrastination into posts your people actually read!! Get ready for more clients.