As Alex replied finding new business students and customers depends on several factors -- and a determination on your part to become actively involved in student acquisition.
Finding clients is different for everyone and what works for some doesn’t always for others. These are some of ideas I write about on my website. If you (or anyone else here on this forum) are interested in reading these articles, PM me and I will give you the link to my website.Old-Fashioned MarketingMarketing! Yikes!
Most teachers believe marketing is either personal selling or advertising – something that is pushy and where you are imposing yourself on others. This is because marketing is often understood to only mean “advertising” and “selling yourself”. Admittedly… not much of a recommendation.
However, marketing is an often misunderstood umbrella-term that includes anything a teacher can do to create business. That is, anything you do to reach, to get, or to keep your student or customer. Marketing is the tool which brings you into contact with students or customers.
As you focus on building up relationships and friendships with your students and customers by helping and taking care of their needs, you are marketing your skills and yourself. Depending on your effectiveness and the impression you leave, some of these people are going to hire your teaching service – or refer them to others. Is this ethical?
I think it is. Building up a good relationship with your students and customers is the key to setting up a good learning environment. After all, who can learn well (or teach!) if the chemistry between a student and a teacher is not right?
With this thought in mind, a teacher’s definition of marketing is:a relationship-oriented service
.Optimize Your Portfolio
I can teach in any area of the English language yet you won't read a word about all my talents and abilities. If I did, my potential students and customers could become confused. Worse, my teaching services wouldn't stand out from other teaching services.
Narrowing your teaching niche keeps it simple. And narrowing your teaching niche means specialising. Potential students and customers are going to be able to tell exactly what it is you do.
Depending on your teaching niche, you educate your future students by making them aware how your teaching services can help them. Every prospective student is going to inform himself what is available on the market – and information overload is only one-step away. How do you stand out from all the others?
You want to find business students and customers, but in which business sector or niche? General office communication? ESP? Narrow it much further if you can. If you choose to teach medical English – who are you going to teach? Medical students, nurses, qualified doctors, hospital back office... Do you see the direction you need to follow? Choose a teaching sector and become the asked-for expert within that niche.
Another reason to educate your prospective student is that he or she doesn't always know exactly what they are looking for. Educate them on what you are doing and the areas of your service may reveal a potential shortfall they haven't yet thought about.Finding Clients with RSS Feeds
Most social websites have feeds you can subscribe to (look for the RSS feed button) and they can be useful in finding new clients.
For example, if you go to Twitter or Facebook and search for “looking business English,” what posts show up? What other phrases could you use to find clients?
Likewise, almost all job boards have RSS feeds.Tell Everyone What You Do
This may be quite obvious... make sure everyone knows you’re in business! Let everyone you know you're in the teaching business. Chances are that someone knows someone who needs what your teaching service speciality. Don’t Appear DesperateFirst:
it’s true that the more work you have (or appear to have), the more work will come in. Desperation turns off potential students and customers. Facit: never act like you have no work.Secondly
, being desperate may cause you to lower your teaching service prices. The only result of low prices or offering discounts to attract potential students or customer is a war on hourly teaching service prices. Nobody wins a war on prices. There will always be somebody more desperate than you! Facit: do not price dump on teaching service prices. Third
, for health reasons. Being desperate will not allow you to say "no" to potential students and customers. Why do you want to say "no"? Because your gut feeling says the person(s) could be dangerous (if you teach from your home). They want you to teach an area you have no experience in and the hourly rate vs time you have to invest is out of proportion. Because the "chemistry" doesn't work between you. Do you want to work with a person you intuitively dislike and know all your efforts will result in dissatification on the part of the student? AND no good referrals? Propaganda by word-of-mouth?
Hope this helps a little
If you would more help, just drop me a line (email or PM). However, I am right in the middle of packing loads of boxes (moving from Germany to France), so please allow a little slack...