We know that the beginning is always the hardest. Without a long lesson history, it's hard to demonstrate to students that you're a great teacher. We wanted to share a few tips that might help you along the way. According to the observation of our successful teachers, most of them have done the following to get new students.
- Create a professional-looking profile - As students will be deciding whether to take a lesson with you based on your profile, it is very important for you to spend time optimizing your information. Good profiles should: Avoid spelling mistakes, have a high-quality profile picture and video introduction that show you professionally and in your best light.
Write an effective short introduction - After your profile picture, this is the first thing students will see when searching for you. Include as much information about yourself, what kind of students you can help, and what your lessons will be like. If you have experience teaching students from a certain country or language, write a sentence in their language! Please keep in mind, any personal links shouldn’t be included in your profile though.
- GOOD: I am a native born English woman and a professional online English teacher with 3 years of experience. I specialize in literature, public speaking, and studying famous speeches. 我教过中国学生，希望我也可以帮助你！
- BAD: i am a teacher looking for english students please contact me! i teach tesol and ielts my site is http://mywebsite.com
Price & Lessons
- Offer a competitive price to attract more students and get good reviews. If your profile has no history and no student reviews, students may feel unsure about booking your lessons. Once you get some lesson experience and a few good reviews from students, you can and should raise your prices! You can still offer a discount to your first, loyal students.
- Offer package deals - Most teachers offer a discount for package lessons. With the lesson packages, you can also attract more long-term students and encourage students to book more lessons with you. This also helps students build a habit of regular practice. Encourage them to book their lessons at the same times every week in order to practice consistently.
- Offer trial lessons for a relatively low price (since students are only paying for your time and attention, not for developed lesson plans), and then setting higher prices for your specialized, professional classes. This way, you can also attract the students who are willing to pay higher prices for your valuable services.
- Update your calendar and have a wider range of available times. Make sure that your times are always accurately updated so you can confidently accept lesson requests.
- Contribute to italki Community on italki app Discover menu - Help students with corrections and questions - corrections, comments, and answers. Your potential student may not be the person asking a question, but another person who is reading your answer to the question. Many italki users just want to practice writing, but if they need more help, you can remind them of the benefits of a teacher:
- GOOD: "... I hope that answers your question. If you'd like to practice speaking, I'd be happy to help you develop a study plan. Feel free to look at my teaching profile and class offerings and send me a message if you think I can help you."
- BAD: "I need more students FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE *** AFFORDABLE PRICES *** LOW LOW PRICES $4!!! BUY NOW!!!"
- DO: offer students specific advice based on your understanding of what they need and what you can offer, and kindly invite them to view your teaching profile or message you to discuss a study plan. If they don't want to, that's ok.
- DO NOT: make posts just to advertise your class prices, as this counts as spam and is against the italki Community Guideline.
For more tips, please read on
- Write clear and detailed class descriptions - Be detailed and concrete so students know exactly what they are buying when they use their credits on your lessons or packages. Tell the students what new words, grammar, or skills they will learn and how they will use them. Many students don't know how to organize their time or what to focus on. When you schedule lessons or, even better, a series of lessons in a package, you help the student by giving them deadlines and a clear focus.
- Create a Personal URL - Please click "italki" icon on teach.italki.com and click the menu "My Teacher Profile". You will find your italki teacher ID in the URL of this page. Your personal URL will be "italki.com/teacher/(your teacher ID)". You can share this personal URL with potential students so they have a memorable way of going directly to your profile without having to search for you among all the other teachers, or share it with your friends or on your social media account.
- Ask for referrals from happy students - If the student is very happy with you as a teacher, they would probably love to tell their friends about you. Especially if they've just achieved an important goal or are finishing their lessons with you, let them know that if they are happy working with you, that you would be very glad if they would recommend you to others. Think of how you feel when you know of someone or something that you can confidently recommend to your friends.
Be helpful and respectful, and students will appreciate the offer even if they do not want to take a class. In addition to being active on italki's platform, you can also market yourself through other channels to find students.
Marketing yourself outside of italki
Here are some tips:
We have found that some teachers use classified services, like craigslist. Teachers post a short introduction about themselves and add a link to their italki profile.Using your italki profile can add credibility to your advertisement, just like adding a link to your Linkedin profile.
- Social Media
Teachers also get inquiries through social media such as twitter or facebook. We recommend posting your italki teacher profile link to your public profile on Facebook and Twitter, and encourage your friends & students to do the same! Find out the best practices of promoting your profile on social media.
- Personal Blog
A personal blog is another potential location to link to your italki profile. Again, your italki teacher profile can act as a third-party system to show your teaching history and statistics, testimonials from previous students, and your teaching credentials.
Please be mindful when doing so to avoid spamming on other platforms or your potential students.
Over time, we hope that italki can become a way to verify your professional reputation as an online teacher or tutor. Your teaching profile should be able to help you convince a prospective student that you are a legitimate teacher, and that you've taught many students successfully before.