A common dilemma for any entrepreneur is: how do I tell people about my business? As an educator, you may be wondering how you can get more people to sign up for classes if they’ve never even heard of you. The answer lies in researching your audience and choosing the right marketing channels to reach them.
Understand your audience
Before creating a marketing campaign, you need to know who should receive your message by identifying your ideal customers. Once you know who’s in your target audience, conducting market research may tell you the best ways to reach them with class promotions. Maybe the parents in your audience are super engaged on social media, and an Instagram or Facebook ad could be the answer to sparking sign-ups. Or, if you see an opportunity for your teaching business to fill a need for your local community, then something like a flyer may be your best chance at drumming up enrollments.
Now that you’ve done the work to get to know your audience, let’s explore a few places where educators have found success promoting their businesses:
Right away, you may be thinking, “Families find my business by searching for classes.” True! A family already using Outschool may find your classes through a search because you’ve included the right keywords in your listing. Focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that your classes appear in the right search results on our platform and Google. Attracting prospective families to your class listings using SEO is referred to as generating organic traffic by marketing pros.
In addition to writing keyword-driven class listings, you can double down on generating that traffic by creating a website for your teaching business. On a personal website, you have the freedom to create unlimited content that drives even more results from search engines and amplifies your reach to searchers across the globe (more on content and websites below).
The Outschool platform
There are plenty of ways you can promote your classes right on the Outschool platform to bring in new families and encourage re-enrollments from your existing learners. Many educators choose to focus on perfecting their profile, class listings, and messaging strategies as a crucial component of their overall marketing strategy. Consider how you could:
- Design an outstanding Educator Profile
- Message enrolled families to promote new classes by following this guide
- Write class listings for SEO
- Use data insights to create classes that meet demand from parents or match up with parent topic requests
- Create a “funnel” of classes that build on one another, giving learners the opportunity to easily keep signing up for more courses
- Draw in global learners to increase sign-ups
Your teaching business website
Designing a website for your teaching business expands your abilities to advertise your classes and build your brand on your own terms. Having a website will add another powerful tool to your SEO toolbox, and some educators appreciate the additional analytics capabilities available when managing a site.
Additionally, a website is the perfect place to experiment with content marketing. Content, in this case, means any blogs, guides, podcasts, or videos that you create to inspire action from your audience. High-quality content on your teaching topics can:
- Promote your brand and establish the unique benefits of your classes
- Improve SEO performance (this is a big one – you can attract more searchers to your website with quality content)
- Inspire confident buyers by demonstrating your knowledge and skills to families
Head over to this guide to learn more about creating a website as an educator entrepreneur. Plus, check out this video from Ahrefs for more on the importance of content and how to use it to encourage action from your audience.
Creating engaging social media content is a popular strategy for increasing audience interactions with your business and growing a following. Many educators look to channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect with prospective families and promote new classes.
To inspire enrollments using social media, look for ways to post across multiple platforms or combine social campaigns with other marketing tools. It can be challenging to grow an account from scratch, so tying in your social posts to different marketing strategies can give you the boost you need to start seeing results. To make sure your social content stays consistent, consider using social scheduling platforms like Hootsuite or Coschedule.
One Outschool-specific social media strategy that we’ve noticed being used by educators is to post in Outschool parent Facebook groups where allowed. These social groups can be good opportunities to connect with families already using Outschool and interested in finding new classes for their learners.
Need some inspiration to get started? Read how educator Rebecca Delgado uses Facebook, YouTube, and her website together to bring in new class enrollments.
Paid digital ads
If you’re ready to invest some cash in marketing your business, you may consider using paid social media ads or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on search platforms like Google. Most of these advertisements require you to:
- Pay to boost a social post, common on Facebook and Instagram
- Pay a fee to run an ad with images and/or text on a social media platform
- Pay a certain amount per click on the ad in a Google search result (known as PPC ads, pictured below)
If you choose to use paid ads, the most important thing is to monitor their performance and evaluate your return on investment (ROI). If an ad is costing you more money to run than the profits you see as a result, you may need to revisit the value of that particular ad.
Measuring the number of enrollments you receive as the direct result of an ad on social media or Google can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. We recommend using a spreadsheet to record the profit you receive from new sign-ups while running a paid advertisement. Another approach is to use custom Outschool coupon codes in different promotions, allowing you to track where sign-ups are coming from. You can also take advantage of built-in analytics tools like Meta’s Ads Manager and Google Ad Manager to stay on top of your campaigns’ performance.
Your local community may be full of families who could find connection in your classes. Some educators successfully promote their Outschool business in their local area using flyers, postcards, or other offline promotional materials. Once you have a flyer with a custom QR code to sign up for your classes, consider distributing it at places like:
- Schools, organizations, or social clubs popular with families of learners in your target age range
- Local businesses willing to include your flyer in their window, in take-out bags, or at the check-out counter
- Mailboxes or community bulletin boards in your area
Networking & word of mouth
Never underestimate the power of simply telling someone you’re looking for learners to join your classes. There’s a reason so many business professionals spend significant time and effort on networking events – they work. You never know when a simple conversation can lead to a big opportunity. So give your friends a call, post on your own social media channels, and share the news of your Outschool business with the world!
Successfully marketing your teaching business is a learning process, and we encourage you not to be afraid of “failure.” While you may want to avoid these marketing mistakes, every experiment you do or promotion you run will teach you something about the best way to connect interested families with your incredible classes. Keep building your skills with this training course on The 4 Ps of Marketing or this guide to creating a brand for your business.