1. Running a business without marketing will kill it – Paul Cookson

It might seem a bit over-dramatic, but the bottom line is that if no-one knows about your business, you won’t have any clients. Word of mouth is, of course, a form of marketing too, but, while it’s often the best one in terms of building trust, it’s not something you have much control over, and relying on it too much can lead to feast or famine.

If you want a reliable, consistent, good income and the ability to choose your hours, learning how to market your freelance ELT business is a must, and it’s one of the key things I help my clients with.

If you shudder at the thought, or are willing, but not sure how to go about effectively marketing business, the quotes below provide a great starting point.

2. Don’t find customers for your product. Find products for your customers. — Seth Godin

People are always asking me how they can find clients. But successful marketing isn’t about creating a product or service and then trying to find people to buy it. How do you even know they want it? Instead we need to have a clear target audience or niche, understand them deeply and then develop products or services that cater to their specific needs and desires.

If you cater to busy professionals, is the standard offering of an hour a week really what they want and need? What could you design that would fit their needs much more closely? What would stop the scroll as they realise they have found someone who truly ‘gets them? (As an experienced teacher trainer, and materials creator, I’m in a great position to help you design that offer as well as market it.)

3. One of the best ways to sabotage your content is to not tie it to your goals. Know why you’re creating content — Ellen Gomes

Content creation is at the heart of marketing, especially for online English language teaching freelancers. Your blog posts, videos, and social media updates are your tools to engage your audience and showcase your expertise. But what Ellen Gomes reminds us is that content without purpose is like a ship without a rudder – it drifts aimlessly.

Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Just like every lesson plan needs an overall aim or outcome, any piece of content also needs a clear purpose. Do you want to build trust and relationships, establish yourself as an authority in the field, make people stop and think, encourage them to take the next step towards working with you? Knowing your objective should guide your content creation, and lead to a clear CTA (call to action.)

4. It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.” — Amy Jo Martin

One of the reasons that so many ELT freelancers I speak too say that they hate social media is the way it can so often feel like showing off. ‘I’m pleased to announce that….’ No-one is saying that you can’t tell people about your successes of course, but it’s a mistake to see social media as a broadcast medium. It’s not about making announcements, it’s about starting conversations.

Treat your social media presence as a tool for building relationships. Engage with your followers, answer their questions, and actively participate in discussions.. Foster a sense of community, making your potential clients feel valued and connected, and they’ll have you at the top of their list when they’re looking for a service like yours.

5. You can’t convince anyone of anything. You can only give them the right information, so that they convince themselves. — Eben Pagan

Successful marketing is not about persuading or convincing people of anything. Phew. Doesn’t that feel better already? It’s not about selling so much as empowering your potential students to make informed decisions.

Share insights, success stories, and testimonials that demonstrate the value of your service. When you provide the right information, potential clients will naturally see the benefits of your services and be more inclined to choose you as their teacher.

Make it easy for them to know how to take the next step, and invite them to do so often enough, and they will take care of the rest.

If you’d like to know more about how I can help you to market your ELT freelance business, check out the links below.

Want help and advice on all the practical aspects of starting and running a freelancer business, and to become part of a vibrant and supportive community?

Want more personalised and in-depth training and coaching on creating a niche, clearifying your messaging, creating an offer and business model, and learning how to market more effecively?

– Just want to check out some freebies for now, or maybe a short digital course?