5 ways to market yourself as an online TEFL teacher
It might be going from strength to strength as an industry, but the world of the online TEFL teacher is still a competitive one. And why not? Who wouldn’t want to teach their next English class from a hammock in Belize or beneath a palm tree in Bali? Cue this guide to getting your house in order – your digital house that is. It should help you rise above the rest and market yourself effectively when it comes to looking for those online jobs…
Run a blog
It might not be the best business idea for us to start by encouraging every English teacher who stumbles to this corner of the internet to begin their own competing TEFL blog, but hey – what works, works. Having a digital space to write and express your feelings and thoughts about the industry is a great way to get yourself out there. In the world of screen-to-screen tutoring, it can be useful for sharing and expanding on professional ideas or directions you’re looking to go in. You won’t need to update it every hour, and it doesn’t have to be a technical examination of the state of pedagogy. It could just be somewhere to introduce yourself, talk about your classes, or simply a journal for your travels.
Get on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has firmly established itself as the go-to social network for professionals in the last couple of years. Anyone who’s anyone in the world of professionalism has got one – usually with an awkward corporate display pic, suited, smiling, and making a good impression. But LinkedIn is also more than just somewhere to show off your qualifications and past experience. It’s also a fully-fledged job search tool. You can browse any number of positions in the TEFL sphere, along with a whole bunch that involve working online and teaching via the internet.
Offer half-price (of totally free) initial sessions
One of the main worries for English learners on the hunt for the perfect online TEFL teacher is how well your style of teaching will gel with their needs. That’s why it’s normal for loads of potential customers to approach you asking for a trial session at a reduced cost. Our advice: Don’t deny them. It’s very rare that they’re simply trying to wrangle a gratis 40 minutes of vocabulary. It’s much more likely that they want to settle on a long-term arrangement, but also want to ensure the lesson format, the technology, and the curriculum are all spot on before they do.
Highlight your unique selling point (USP)
Like it or not, when you’re trying to market yourself as an online TEFL teacher, you ARE the product. Yep, just like that tin of baked beans you picked up in the store, or that cool set of ski goggles you had your eye on, you are now the item to be sold. The key to doing that, as ever, is to focus on what makes you unique; what sets you apart from the crowd. Perhaps that’s your long experience in the TEFL industry. Maybe it’s your nuanced use of technology in lessons. Or is it your pricing and availability during peak hours? It’s up to you to find it and flaunt it, folks.
Get your own website
These days, starting your own webby is as easy as A, B, C. You can do it for totally free on WordPress.com or with Wix, but we’d always say it’s worth forking out a few bob to get something a little more pro looking. First: Find a reliable webhost with a good loading speed. Second: Install a CMS system. Third: Upload a nice portfolio theme. Bingo – you’ve got yourself a chic, totally digital CV page that outlines all your amazing qualifications, strengths, and skills. If that doesn’t set you apart from the bunch, we don’t know what will!
If you’re a veteran online TEFL teacher and want to share some more ideas for marketing yourself over the web, be sure to whack them in the comments below. Alternatively, check out our courses page to get working towards a career of teaching English over the internet…