Getting started with social media as an entrepreneur
How to pick your platforms and find your first followers.

It’s no secret that social media can be a powerful asset for getting to know your business’s audience, connecting with families that use Outschool, and sharing what makes your classes incredible. Different platforms have unique strengths when it comes to highlighting your personality, showcasing visual aspects of your classes, and striking up a conversation with potential new customers for your teaching business.

What can sometimes feel like a bit of an enigma is exactly where to start when you’re a new or growing small business just beginning to branch out into organic social media content. “Organic” content is marketing-speak for unpaid content (like posts, videos, or photos) that inspires engagement from social media users. In this article, we’ll be covering how to get started with this type of advertising. To learn about paid social ads, check out this post.

Begin with a business goal

If you’ve explored a few of our other articles on marketing your teaching business, we may be starting to sound like a broken record when it comes to talking about goal-setting. But that’s because it’s so important to achieving success as an educator entrepreneur! When you design a lesson plan, a key component is the outcomes you want your learners to accomplish at the end of class. You should approach any marketing campaign with the same mindset: What do I want to accomplish with this investment (whether that investment is time, money, or both)?

Instead of “My goal is to create a Facebook page for my teaching business,” think bigger. Maybe your real goal is…

  • …to increase enrollments from new learners by X amount
  • …to have more people know about my business (increase brand awareness)
  • …to increase enrollments for a specific class or topic that I teach

Or something else! Once you know what outcome you’re working toward, you can observe and evaluate how well social media is helping you reach that objective, make adjustments when necessary, and get that much closer to success.

Pick your platforms

Posting content across multiple social platforms can be a winning strategy for generic organic traffic to your website or classes on Outschool. We recommend concentrating your efforts on your top one or two channels, especially if you’re just starting out with social. When choosing which channels you’ll use, consider which will work best to reach your specific audience. If you teach teenagers, maybe TikTok is a good place to experiment with content. If you teach preschoolers, sharing posts in parent Facebook groups may be your best bet. Make sure you’ve taken the time to define specific audience personas before jumping to a decision.

Luckily, creating a business page on any social platform is free, and you can always try a new platform if your first choice isn’t working out as expected. Here are a few opportunities educators may want to think about when deciding where to dedicate their social media efforts:

Facebook

Facebook’s strength lies in the ability to easily network with potential customers (parents) through dedicated groups, shareable posts, and comment threads. Many educators belong to Outschool parent groups that allow educators to post class promotions, and it’s easy to share posts from your business page across the platform. Plus, Outschool invites all educators to join social and feedback groups where you can give and receive advice on your marketing efforts and more.

YouTube

YouTube videos can be the perfect way to showcase your teaching style, personality, and a snippet of what you do in your classes. Some educators choose to post a preview of a class (similar to the class video you can publish on Outschool) or quick lessons and activities that demonstrate their skills as an educator.

For example, if you teach classes on paper crafts, you may post a short video with instructions for a 5-minute project to do at home. At the end of the video and in the description, you include a callout to sign up for your Outschool classes to learn more cool crafts. And remember: you can share YouTube videos on other social platforms like Facebook, expanding the reach of every video you create.

Instagram

If what you teach lends itself well to visuals like photos or videos, then Instagram may be a good addition to your business’s social media. You can create professional posts and stories in free design apps like Canva that feature your brand or even the Outschool logo. We’ve even prepared these free templates you can customize to promote your classes. Plus, help followers easily click through to your Outschool profile and enroll with these tips for adding links to Instagram posts.

TikTok

With one billion monthly active users in 2022, the fastest-growing social media app of all time may offer new opportunities to connect with families across the globe. Popular TikTokers are rockstars at creating bite-sized videos that entertain and inform – including many educators who have built up a following on the platform. Check out Outschool’s guide to getting started on TikTok for a few pointers from entrepreneur Thea Wayne.

Pinterest

Pinterest operates like a visual search engine, making it an exciting platform for testing out new marketing strategies that use images to sell your classes. Users on Pinterest tend to be looking for advice, inspiration, ideas, or activities for themselves and/or their families – can you answer their call? If you choose to experiment with this channel, focus on creating eye-catching visuals and keyword-driven captions for your Pins that help you connect with potential Outschool parents.

Find your first followers

You’ve created your business accounts and published your first few posts – now you just need people to start engaging! But how? It’s true that starting from scratch on social media can be challenging, but don’t forget that every successful account once had zero followers. Here are a few ways to start building a following and encourage social algorithms to surface your posts for more users:

  • Tell your network about your business pages. This means friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers – anyone who’d be open to following your page and helping you get off the ground.
  • Leverage your personal social media accounts. Are you active on social media yourself? Post links to your business content on your personal pages – you never know which of your friends may be interested in your classes and start following your teaching account!
  • Create engaging, shareable content. Once you have a few followers from your network, ask them to like, comment on, save, or (best option) share your posts. This helps build awareness of your brand and could increase your chances of being placed in front of potential followers by the social media algorithms.

We do not recommend using services that guarantee something like “10,000 new followers” for a certain price (usually from bot accounts). Social platforms are on the lookout for shady techniques like this and tend to shut them down. Once you have a solid follower base, you may consider exploring paid ads and A/B testing to continue to work toward your business goals.

Use social media to connect with families searching for online classes

Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your business social accounts, you’re ready to experiment with new content and make real connections with families looking for just the right virtual learning experience. Don’t forget to make your posts or videos memorable by utilizing your distinct brand, and remember that social media is just one aspect of a robust marketing plan for your teaching business.

As a reminder: Outschool’s Community Standards prohibit educators from sharing links to any personal social media accounts (even if they’re for your teaching business) with parents or learners through the Outschool platform, and you may only communicate with enrolled families using Outschool’s communication tools. If you establish any new leads through social media, send the parent a link to your OS profile and let them know you’ll be happy to continue the conversation about enrolling in your classes on the Outschool platform once they’ve made an account. We outline additional policy guidelines for educators using social media to promote their classes in this support article.

More from Outschool

Why video tutorials make great social media content

Learn how to record short and snappy video tutorials that showcase your teaching style and amp up engagement with your social profiles.

Help families pay for your classes with state scholarship funds

Why uploading your teaching credentials or advanced degrees to Outschool can bring in enrollments from families with Education Scholarship Accounts.

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