Using Social Media to Your Advantage for Your TEFL Career
There are amazing advantages to using social media to advance your TEFL/ TESOL career and we hope that this blog will help you get started. Once you have a TEFL certification and teaching experience, it's time to go freelance!
You have your TEFL certification and are ready to get teaching! There is no denying it, social media has become a powerful tool to kick start your TEFL career! As the platforms grow in popularity, so do the ads and promotions. Promoting yourself as a teacher is no exception. This is definitely a great route to go down and has proved successful time after time, but since this is the way everyone is going, you may find yourself getting lost in the mix. We will take you through how to make yourself stand out, where and when to post and how to get the most out of social media marketing.
Identifying your Ideal Market and Students
Before starting to market, first choose your target market. This is dependent on who you’d like to teach. Do some research and find your niche. What experience do you have? What time zones would you like to work in? Is the market saturated? Who is your ideal customer?
Once you identify your ideal student, your job to get students becomes a whole lot easier! Picking an ideal market where you already have experience is preferable as you’ll be able to get reviews and testimonials from existing, like-minded students. This is half the hurdle and reviews make all the difference.
Finding out which time zone works for you means that you can target certain countries that you know you have the capacity for. Outreaching to everywhere and anywhere means that you may spend time and money marketing and then having to turn down work because it doesn’t suit your lifestyle.
Doing a little bit of market research to find out who the competition is will help you along the way. Finding a gap in the market will definitely make it a little easier to get students. What can you offer that others can’t? This could be anything from price to flexibility to a pay as you go service.
Focusing on one ideal customer means that your social media content will be tailored to your audience. If you are focusing on children, remember that your ideal audience will most likely be parents and the parent is the customer, not the children. If your niche is business English, your content should be professional and advanced.
Now that you have your target audience, what are you promoting?
You may think that social media marketing can only be used for online teaching. This is not the case. Social media platforms can be used for all types of businesses, and this includes local marketing. In fact, local marketing can be a lot more effective as you will get a better reach with ads and be able to take advantage of local group pages and radio platforms. If you choose to focus on in-classroom teaching, try using local platforms to promote your business. Contacts can be all the difference with your new business, so if you know someone who works for the local radio with a presence on social media, don’t be afraid to reach out! You’d be surprised how helpful people in the business world can be. Also, utilize local Facebook groups and get your friends to share.
Online teaching means that the world is your oyster. You can be a lot more flexible when choosing your target audience. Once you do have your audience set, you can run targeted sponsored ads on social media for that country and demographic. Remember, if you’d like to teach young learners, your demographic should be parents, not the children.
We would always recommend you having a presence on all social media platforms. There are always exceptions to the rule, where you may get students from other platforms, but we will go with the generalizations where you’ll receive the most effective reach, depending on your audience. Once you know the platform that will work for you, focus your efforts here with sponsored ads if you wish, but also copy the content across multiple platforms to keep up appearances.
Facebook is used by people globally and a perfect platform to start your TEFL career. Although there are other platforms that are surpassing it in recent years, when it comes to marketing for English lessons online, you may want to stick to Facebook. Why? If you are looking to teach young learners online, your target audience are parents. There is an older generation that still prefers Facebook, and the business suite on Facebook is completely free and easy to use.
Instagram is now the most popular platform globally. It has amazing features and a better reach than Facebook when it comes to using hashtags and following trends. This means that you can reach your target audience without having to get friends to share like Facebook. Although Facebook does have this feature too, it is not heavily used and sponsored ads cost money. On Instagram, you can promote yourself without having to put money behind your posts. So, who is the ideal audience for promotions on Instagram? If you are looking to teach business English or general English to teenagers, young professionals or college students, Instagram is a great way to go. You can run competitions on it and share fun content to build momentum. You can also have your website linked and create a free business Instagram account.
LinkedIn is a tool that a lot of new teachers often forget. We would definitely recommend LinkedIn for those of you who want to get business English or exam preparation classes. Why? These types of classes are often supported and funded by employers or managers. This is your target audience and the best way to reach them is LinkedIn. It is used for most business partnerships and that is essentially what you’ll be doing. LinkedIn can be costly though, but if you do want to invest in a premium account, it could work out very well for you.
TikTok may not sound like a place where you can promote your business, but it has amazing potential. While using another platform, it works well for brand awareness. Following the trends and making your account fun and then linking one of the platforms above will bring more traffic to your business.
Social Media Content
Organic content is content that is posted directly by you without putting money behind it. Your content should be unique to you. What makes you different? What kind of teacher are you? Make a unique brand for yourself and go with it. Your content should also include fun and interactive content. The more comments and likes you get, the more visible your post will get. Try asking questions to your followers or posting some cool English quizzes.
A great way to get your name out there and build your unique brand are competitions. Everyone loves a competition and everyone loves to win! Like. Share. Tag Friends. It’s simple, but seriously effective. We do recommend building a following first so you do get the comments in the first place.
Integration is a key player when promoting you as a teacher or your business for teaching English. Having links on your post will help build up your audience elsewhere. If you are running a competition on Instagram, make sure to link it and get people to follow you from Facebook and LinkedIn. If you have a blog platform or even a website, make sure to leave links in your posts as well as your bio. Although you know that one platform works better than the others, you will always get a percentage of people that will do the opposite.
Organic content is an amazing and free way to get your message across and promote your TEFL teacher career. If you feel like you need that extra push or perhaps you have no contacts in a country you are trying to get students from, sponsored ads are a great way to help! They can be country specific and you can select everything from age range to job titles. Running a sponsored ad from the Facebook business suite is a great tool as you can use this for both Facebook and Instagram and set your budget.
We know! This blog has lots of information! Breath and take it one step at a time. It won’t happen overnight, but it is the way forward to promote yourself and your new business. There are amazing advantages to using social media to advance your TEFL/ TESOL career and we hope that this has helped you get started.