There are a number of different ways to do this. I’ll go through the ones that I have found the most effective, which are all organic (as in, no paid advertisements - yay!).
Firstly, if you are going to find students online, you need to have some kind of ‘home’ online. That could be a website, or a social media profile, for example. You need a place where you can show what you do, and then a channel to broadcast it on.
All of these methods take a bit of time to grow, but they are good ways to build trust and reputation. It’s also good to have a niche that you focus on, which makes you stand out.
A website is great, and you can reach new students online by blogging on your website about the topic you teach, and pay attention to the SEO of each post and page (so that Google likes you).
Set up a profile for your language teaching. Include a link in your bio to your website or booking system. Post relevant and valuable content that shows what you can do.
· Use hashtags. Do research before on which hashtags to use - make sure they are descriptive of your account as a whole, and not just a single post. Stay away from super popular hashtags, try and aim for those with 500,000 followers or less (or else your content will get buried). Always try and use the maximum 30 hashtags in every post.
· Write engaging captions that relate to your audience.
· Use quality photos.
· Use a call to action (ex: “click on the link in my bio for more information”, “comment below and tell me what you think”, “if you agree with this, leave a like”).
· Engage with others (click on relevant hashtags and engage with people who have posted with that hashtag. Do NOT spam! Like and comment if you have something valuable to share, or just some words of appreciation. Do NOT post comments about what you sell, or ask people to come and see your profile! This is spammy and will lead to people blocking you.)
Set up a business page and a Facebook group.
· Your business page is like your shop window, where you can post relevant and valuable things about you and your teaching, or anything else that you think would be fun and interesting for your potential students to see.
· Your Facebook group is a community, where you serve people. Don’t hard-sell in your group. Let people see what an amazing person you are and how good you are at teaching, and help them. This will build trust and engagement.
Try and think about who might serve the same audience, but with a different service or product (so in other words, not a competitor). You can then approach this person/organisation/company and suggest a collaboration, for example guest-posting on their blog. You obviously need to write a good, quality article for this, but it’s a great way to get you in front of new people.
You could also include some kind of free download as a bonus, and hook this up to your email programme (like Mailchimp or Convertkit, for example), so you can grow your email list.
You can also run a free webinar on a specific topic that you know many people struggle with. Focus on one thing that you can help them with, so they can walk away from their webinar with a quick-win. You can market your webinar on social media. And you should make sure you get people’s email addresses when they register. Either you can do a pitch-free webinar, just offer them something valuable. Or you can pitch in the end for your services.
There are many other ways to find new students, but these ones are pretty powerful and don’t involve spending any money on advertising.