Marketing your teaching business gives you the opportunity to stretch your skills as an educator entrepreneur. Successfully promoting your classes requires creativity, curiosity, and a willingness to try something that might not turn out as expected the first time around.
As you go searching for what marketing tools work best for your business, try to avoid these mistakes we see some educators make on Outschool.
1. Sending the wrong message
Direct messaging parents about new classes you’re offering or the best next step for their learners can be a powerful tool for building long-lasting relationships with families. That being said – you can easily drift into the “spamming” territory if you aren’t very intentional about how, when, and why you send messages. We’ve put together a guide to help you stay on track, including example message scripts.
2. Using too much class time for marketing
Another common complaint from families is that an educator used too much class time to promote other classes. Remember – your learners are there to learn about your teaching topic, and that is what you should prioritize when planning your class time. If you’d like to make a suggestion that applies to all learners in your classroom, make sure that it remains brief and isn’t a regular part of your curriculum. Better avenues for promoting your classes could be a well-placed direct message (see our guide above), your own business website, or off-platform marketing campaigns.
3. Lackluster class listings
Your class title and description are your most powerful tools for showing a prospective parent or learner why they absolutely, without a doubt will love taking your class. An excellent class listing of course contains all the elements needed for approval, but it should also tell your audience exactly what problem you’re going to solve for them or need you’re going to fill.
What’s more – your class listings are essential for succeeding at Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The language you use in your title and descriptions can help your ideal audience find you on the web and in the Outschool class search feature. Learn more about SEO in this guide, then find out why using specific keywords in your listings can drive increased enrollments.
Besides missing out on SEO opportunities, here are a few big turn-offs for families that we see on Outschool:
Typos, poor grammar, or hard to read text
You don’t need to be a copywriting whiz to be successful on Outschool – you just need to know what tools to use to make sure your writing is in top shape. Free online programs like Grammarly can help you remove spelling and grammar mistakes from your draft of your class description, and apps like Hemingway can check your writing for readability and flow. Another helpful tool is NaturalReader, which reads your writing out loud to help you easily catch mistakes. Or, if you have a friend or family member who’s got a knack for writing, ask them to give your listings a quick review before you post!
Too many punctuation marks in class titles
Adding extra colons, quotation marks, periods, or exclamation marks can make your title appear hard to read or even unprofessional. As a rule, you should:
- Never use a period in a title
- Never use more than one colon in a title
- Use quotations only when you need them for a term or phrase in your title, and never around the entire title
- Limit other punctuation to when you really need it
Pro tip: Run your title through one of the grammar programs above, plus a free title capitalization checker to make sure it’s as polished as it can be.
Descriptions without the proper details
When writing your class descriptions, consider what a potential learner would really want and need to know before signing up. Think about answering questions like:
- What will they learn in this class? What need can I fill or problem can I solve?
- What makes your class stand out from your competitors?
- What specific and broad topics will you cover in your lessons? (Including these keywords can help you capture a wider audience of learners.)
- What important details would a family need to know before they feel confident that your teaching business is a good investment? Think: Lesson topics, dates, projects, outcomes, etc.
To help you get your descriptions in tip-top shape, we’ve written some sample class listings. Even if you’ve been writing listings for a long time on Outschool, it’s always worth evaluating your work and revisiting the basics every once in a while to make sure you’re keeping up good habits.
4. The “set it and forget it” mentality
Speak with any advertising professional, and they’ll tell you that if you’re using a marketing campaign to help you reach a business goal, it’s rarely a one-and-done process.
Say you paid for an ad on Facebook. You set it up, then waited a little while. You didn’t really see any increased enrollments, so maybe your conclusion is: Facebook doesn’t work for me, I’ll cancel the ad. But – you’ve got to put on your marketing cap! Ask questions like:
- Did I target the right audience with this ad? Did I use my network to help it get shared with that audience?
- Did I get a low number of clicks? What could I change about the ad to try and increase those clicks?
- Did I get a good amount of clicks, but no enrollments? This may tell you the problem for potential customers is with your class listing, not your ad.
- Can I run a few ads with different text, titles, or images, then monitor them to see which ones get the most engagement?
See where we’re going? Evaluating whether something like an ad campaign or social media channel can work for you takes time, commitment, and creative experimentation. As you grow your entrepreneurial skills, you’ll eventually start building a handbook of marketing strategies that work well to engage your specific audience.
So – are you guilty of any of the mistakes above? If you are, that’s great news! Why? Because now you know something you can change today that could get you heading toward success tomorrow. For more business tips and inspiration from a peer, we recommend reading Teacher Jade’s story about getting herself into the business mindset as an educator entrepreneur.
For a more in-depth look into branding, pricing, and advertising, head to this free Outschool course on The 4 Ps of Marketing.