One Secret to Marketing Small Language Schools: Proper Job Titles

By Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton

If you run a small language school, you likely have greater challenges than programs at large institutions when it comes to marketing. You don’t have the same resources or access to a large networks of experts to help you. It’s even more important for you to “market smart”.

At first glance, staff titles may not seem like a topic related to marketing, but the titles you give your staff then get put onto their business cards and possibly on your other marketing materials and communications. Staff titles may also get mentioned when you do presentations at workshops, conferences or in the community. It’s important to give your staff titles that are:

Appropriate for the level of position they hold. Don’t call someone an executive director, if they’re not.

Not be too broad, nor too focused. Large organizations may have staff with very focused, narrow roles. If you “wear many hats”, have a title that can encompass many duties, without listing all those duties in the title.

Indicate what level of authority the person has to make decisions. People will assume that anyone with the words “director” or “manager” in their title have a certain amount of leeway to make decisions. If that’s not the case, then the title “coordinator” or “assistant” may be more appropriate.

Reflect the overall values of your school. If you operate a small, non-profit program for underprivileged children, it may not be appropriate to use the title “CEO”, as this is usually used by for profit corporations.

Here are some examples of job titles for those working in small language schools:

Main person in charge

  • Owner / Founder
  • Headmaster / headmistress
  • Principal
  • President
  • CEO (This title is usually used in corporations and for-profit businesses)
  • Executive director (This title is most often used by non-profit organizations)

Person in charge of programs/teaching

  • Head teacher
  • Lead teacher
  • Director of curriculum and teaching
  • Learning Leader
  • Director of Learning

Person in charge of marketing

  • Director of marketing
  • Marketing manager
  • Marketing coordinator
  • International marketing director

Person in charge of technology

  • Webmaster
  • Director of Information Technology (IT)
  • Information Technology (IT) Manager

Some people might argue that a person’s job title isn’t as important as the work they do. In principle, I agree with this. However, there are many others who will make judgements about you and your school based on the titles they see on a business card or any marketing and communications materials that leave your office.

Once you choose a job title for someone, they are likely to have it for a long time. It’s important to choose wisely.

Written by Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton for July 2010
Author of 101 Ways to Market Your Language Program, Dr. Sarah Eaton is an expert on the management and marketing of language schools. She coaches school directors on how to manage more effectively and market more powerfully. Visit her website at or her blog at

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