How to Sell Yourself as an Online Teacher
In my last post, I talked about what you need to do to become an independent online English teacher. This post will be more specific and delve into an area that most teachers struggle with: selling. Most teachers feel uncomfortable selling their lessons and courses. I know I did at first. But it’s something you have to do if you want to build an independent online teaching business.
If you aren’t doing a good job at selling what you offer, you are doing yourself and your learners a disservice.
You will miss out on teaching more lessons and selling more courses and your learners won’t get the help they need. Look. No one is going to sell your lessons for you. You are going to have to make an effort to sell what you offer. What’s more, we online teachers have to do more than most – we are asking people to send us money online.
Building trust is a huge part of our selling process. We also need to show how valuable we can be. We need to convince learners to become our students. While working online presents challenges, it also gives us an advantage. We can create automated sales funnels that are scalable. Sales funnels that do all the work for us. And that is what I you are about to learn.
Here is an overview of the process:
Let’s break this down into two steps…
Step one: what are you selling and who are you targeting?
Starting with the end in mind helps you get this right. In order to have a sales funnel that works, you will need to get clear on what you’re selling as this will dictate the entire process. For example, if you are selling one-to-one lessons, then the messages you put out will get your learners excited about finding a teacher online. You also need to be clear on who you are targeting.
Step two: what information will build trust and give value?
Don’t worry about the specifics for now, just get clear on the types of articles, reports, and videos will help you build trust with your potential students and show them the value you can offer.
To give you an example, I used to teach one-to-one preparation lessons for the IELTS exam. I gave free tips on the how to prepare for the exam through email. I also talked about how important it is to have a teacher for speaking and writing feedback. This built trust, showed that I could offer value, and stirred up desire for my lessons. Once you have have these two steps down, it’s time to look at how to deliver all of this in an automated way.
For this, you’ll need an email list.
Automated Email Marketing
Email marketing software is the number one tool available to help you sell more lessons and courses. I’m sure you have signed up for various email newsletters. You receive offers, news, and other information in your inbox from the companies and people you follow. However, what I’m going to talk about is created an automated follow-up series that runs on autopilot.
It works like this:
- A learner sees your ad, video, posting, social media post, and clicks the link to download a free resource that you have created.
- They enter their email and download your free resource.
- They are sent more valuable content and information on how you can help them.
To help you think about this more specifically, when someone watches one of my videos on YouTube, they are told to download my free book. When they do this, they then have the opportunity to buy the audio version. If they don’t buy, they are given more resources, tips, advice, and other opportunities to buy. The video they have seen and the free book that they read show the value I can offer. It also helps me build trust. I send out 11+ emails to those who are new to me. I have different automations running all the time depending on what the learner downloads from me and on other factors.
And all of this is done on autopilot.
People receive emails according to when they signed up. They receive them in the order I want them to go out. For example, if someone signs up today, they will receive the Welcome Email today, another one tomorrow, and then the third one two days after that.
Can you see how valuable this can be?
You can send out the information you want to send out in an automated way that is completely scalable. What’s more, once someone signs up to your email list, you can contact them for as long as they stay on your list. When I pushed my English fluency course to my list a couple of months ago, I had people sign up who had been following me for years.
Your email list is the true way to build your audience. You might be thinking that Facebook and other social media sites are more important. They’re not. You own your email list and the ROI has shown to be higher. I recommend you use social media to help you build your teaching business, but email should be your focus.
To start your own sales funnel, this is what you need:
- Email marketing software: here is my free tutorial on how to get started.
- A free download: you can make this in Google Drive or by using similar software. Make it valuable for your potential students.
- A landing page: this is where your learners enter your email address and download what you offer. I recommend LeadPages (affiliate link) for this.
- Emails to send: how hard you sell what you offer depends on multiple factors. Ensure that you give valuable content and build trust.
- A plan to bring learners onto your landing page: use ads, classified postings, social media, and content marketing to drive learners to your landing page.
It takes work to get all this in place and you will always be modifying it. But once you have this set up correctly, you’ll be amazed at how valuable it is. Make this your focus if you are an aspiring online teacher.
If you don’t have anything to offer now, but you want to sell lessons and/or courses in the future, you should still set this up now. You can build excitement about your offerings and then push them when you first launch them.