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Part 1

Are you struggling to find new private students? Has your language-teaching business slowed down over the holiday season? This is totally normal in the ebb and flow of being a Teacher/Entrepreneur these days, especially in light of the uncertainties of the times and shifting online education trends.


This month, we thought we would share some brainstorming money-making ideas with you that can help you to kick-start your language classes, find new students and scale your business. Fasten your seat-belts! The ideas are going to come at you hard and fast - faster than a Lamborghini racing down the road in Dubai! (Yes, we just came back from Dubai - a trip to celebrate our 27th Anniversary and to renew our visa entries for India - more on that trip in a later blog, including how to enjoy Dubai on a budget! Yes, it's possible!)


If you were to take a moment to brainstorm all your best, and even somewhat CRAZY ideas about how to expand your business as a Teacher/Entrepreneur and find new students, how many of those ideas do you think you could actually implement?

Well, we all know that success comes from prioritizing the most important things, and what could be more important than actually finding students? Of course, you need to have fantastic teaching skills, excellent curriculum planning and a host of other strengths to run your own language-teaching business - but, without actual students it all becomes quite futile.

Here is a list of ideas on how to find more private students, create some more income streams and kickstart your language-teaching business. Some of them might seem a little oddball, but you just never know! Others might seem obvious, but we all need reminders now and then. Let us know what you think.

1. Go to the same places where your dream students go. For example, are you dreaming of finding a professional athlete to teach? Then, GO to the places where such individuals might be. Hockey arenas, baseball stadiums, football fields, cricket pitches, tennis courts... Go there either physically, or virtually on social media. Don't be afraid to present yourself and explain your services. You could even set up an Instagram account designed to attract such students. Many professional athletes get sent to foreign countries to play for other teams and arrive there with very little knowledge of the local language. Imagine how they feel? If you want to teach health-care professionals, GO to the places where you might meet them. Put up notices on the notice-boards they look at. Scroll the social media accounts they might follow. Try to connect in a professional manner. Do you want to teach English for immigration, tourist, or business purposes? Figure out who your dream student is, and go where such individuals can be found. Try to meet them in person, find out what their needs are. Such individuals will be motivated students (the best kind of student to teach!) and will really appreciate your efforts to meet their needs.

2. Think like an English Student. What challenges are they facing? Why do they want to learn English? What skills are they missing? What is motivating them? What is their worst fear? What is their biggest dream? When we understand what motivates someone to learn a language, then we can also be competitive in offering exactly what kind of classes they are looking for. Create your marketing and sales pitch with this in mind.

3. Directly ask your current students for referrals. There is no shame in doing this, and it's a great way to find new students.

4. Post your services on local classifieds, either in free local newspapers or online. Many times there is a section for local individuals and small businesses to post about what services they offer. Take advantage of these free platforms to let people know what you offer. Offer to meet potential students that live in your area in person at a library or coffee shop.

5. Break up with Online Entertainment Streaming Services. Take our "Break up with Net****" challenge and cancel your membership for a month or two. (even better - forever!) Why? What was one of the things that contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire? Wasn't it free entertainment for the masses? Even though online entertainment streaming services are relatively affordable, are they really? Are we looking at the actual cost of such services as far as how much time and energy they steal from us? If we went to sleep even one hour earlier instead of hitting that horrible "next episode" button, we would feel so much better. What if we just PLANNED specific movie nights and paid to watch just that movie? In putting more VALUE onto our precious time and more VALUE onto our entertainment, then we will use it more wisely, freeing up precious time and energy to focus on breathing life into our language-teaching business, being a better teacher and feeling much better in general. We love the book "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. It is a guide to using your time in the best way possible and kicking bad habits to the curb.

6. Exercise One Hour a Day. Any form of exercise will do, just GET MOVING. Preferably outside if possible. The extra oxygen you supply to your brain and muscles itself will help you feel better about what you have planned for that day, and make you feel more motivated to work hard for your business. You will have more energy and motivation to search for new students. Your language students will see that extra sparkle in your eyes and will tell all their friends all about their amazing language instructor! Also - stay hydrated, drink enough water! So important when your secular work involves talking all day.

7. Volunteer. Almost every city has refugees and other foreigners arriving regularly. They all need to learn the local language and you can help them. Even though you don't get paid for this service, having at least one student that you are teaching for free with give you forward momentum and can lead to many other opportunities to grow your business. You can add this experience to your resume as well. Not to mention that you will feel great for helping individuals in need!

8. Contact all the local universities and colleges in your area. They all have students that have come to the country on student visas whom may not be confident using the local language. Many of them need assistance in preparing their thesis or other homework assignments. Some universities have specific apps or websites where tutors can offer their services. Some universities have "student support" centres and services to help foreign students get settled. See if you can register as a tutor, and take advantage of these platforms to connect with students who need help with their language skills.

9. Print up some Business Cards. Use these whenever you have a chance to meet people who can be your potential students, especially in some of the areas mentioned above.

10. Contact all the local language schools in your area. Give them your resume and let them know that you are available just on an emergency basis as a substitute when one of their teachers is sick or away. Since you are self-employed - you can set your own price for this service. It is a great way to meet language students who may have just come to Canada or the USA etc temporarily to take a language course. For example, in Canada in the summer time, many students stream in from Brazil, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc. just to practice their English and take English classes. Some take a year off when finishing high school to come to an English speaking country to improve their language skills. As a substitute teacher, you can make some great contacts and they might reach out to you when they arrive back in their country for private lessons.

Stay tuned for part two next week!

Our next TESOL Certification/Language Instructor Courses will take place:

January 30 - February 3, 2023 - India Standard Time

March 6-10, 2023 - India Standard Time


We are also now offering our course in modular format for anyone who cannot attend all 5 days of the course in one week due to other obligations or time zone issues. You set up the best time that is convenient for you to received the live instruction. You can combine attending the live course with private sessions.

We are also offering our Grammar Boot Camp and Idea Mapping courses on a flexible scheduling basis. See our website for more details.

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