You may be an experienced educator with positive energy and lots of teaching experience in the areas you want to teach on Outschool. Yet, your classes sit empty except for the occasional child of a friend. Or, you may be a new teacher starting out on the platform.
What can you do to get learners to sign up?
Even if you have learners in your classes, most educators can benefit from a refresher on how to sharpen the way you present yourself and your classes to the wider world. Here’s a 12-point checklist to help you make sure you’re using the tools available to you effectively.
1. Check whether your profile description and video match your class listings
As you create class listings, revisit your teacher profile and video. Is your messaging about your teaching interests and experience aligned across your listings and profile? You want to present a unified brand so that families know what their child will experience if they join your class.
2. Are you using words that make your classes appear when families search for what you teach?
If you haven’t already, do a few searches in incognito mode to see if your classes appear in internet search engines and on the Outschool platform. Imagine you’re a parent searching for a class like yours — what words would you use? Details like using “cartoon” instead of “character” for your drawing class can matter. Do you need to edit your class titles or descriptions to improve SEO (search engine optimization)?
3. Be explicit about what learners will experience in your class
Families on the Outschool platform want to know what their children will be doing in a class. Make it easy for them to choose your class by showing exactly what learners will encounter. Don’t just say that students will be making origami, for instance. Share what learners will be creating each week (if an ongoing class), photos of the actual origami creations in class images, and a demonstration of you folding one shape in the class video.
Families looking for the right fit are also looking for quick answers to these questions:
- How easy or difficult will the class content be?
- What will the class size be?
- What materials will a child need?
- What, if any, technology tools will learners be using?
- What kind of participation will this class involve?
4. Create class funnels
New and veteran educators can find success by creating classes that complement or build on one another, often referred to as class funnels. One type of funnel that can help you draw in and retain new learners uses one-time classes to lead learners into ongoing class subscriptions that eliminate the need for families to sign up multiple times. If you need help developing these courses, you can sign up for Outschool’s class listing workshops focusing on one-time and ongoing classes.
5. Sell your unique perspective and experience to parents
Make sure families know why you are the right educator to teach their child. Not only should your passion for the topic come through in your class listing and video, but parents should be able to quickly spot your knowledge about the subject and your unique perspective on it. For instance, if you had a small business decorating cakes for special occasions, be sure to include that in your listing for your cake decorating class.
6. Ask for public reviews
Don’t hesitate to ask for a public review if you receive a thank-you message from a family or feel confident a learner enjoyed a class. Getting positive reviews describing specific qualities about the class or your teaching can let other families know what to expect in your classes. If learners created art or a project, ask them to include a photo of their creation in the review!
7. Offer classes at varied times
Learners may be available to take your classes at a variety of times, including after school, during the day (if homeschoolers), or early in the morning or in the evening if learners are in other parts of the world. Of course, what type of class you teach and the age range of your target learners will help you make some educated guesses about logical timeframes. So will Outschool’s up-to-date chart on times in demand by parents.
List your class at several different times to see what works for learners. You can also turn on the auto-scheduling feature (particularly effective for one-time or 1-to-1 classes) to allow parents to schedule classes at times you have indicated are available.
8. Review the age range you are targeting
It may be worthwhile to reassess the age range of the learners you are seeking. A class with a wide age range, for example, could be a drawback for some learners. Perhaps a 13-year-old doesn’t want to take classes with an 8-year-old. Experiment to see if learners in a different age group would be more attracted to your content.
9. Reevaluate your pricing
Listing an inexpensive class to start — something in the range of $10 to $15 an hour — can help you bring in learners. When you have a number of learners, you can consider raising class prices. This is a marketplace, so it’s all about experimenting. Don’t forget about the possibility of offering coupons to give families a certain amount off the class price.
10. Find your niche
Maybe differentiate your painting class by having learners paint rocks or your math class by having learners also solve mysteries. Be sure to check out the parent topic requests to see what classes that families are currently looking for. If you see a demand for classes on fractions, it might be wise to focus the math portion of that “mysteries and math” class on fractions.
11. Consider advertising locally in addition to the internet
Definitely market your classes online on your own website or on social media platforms, but don’t forget local options like posting in your library, newsletters of community homeschool groups, or school summer tutor lists.
12. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment
It can take a bit of that to get your classes up and running with learners. There are many stories of educators on Outschool who started out offering a range of topics only to find out one was more popular than others. Build on that topic! Then keep innovating and honing your offerings as the Outschool marketplace shifts.
Keep in mind that Outschool offers plenty of support options, such as Communities of Practice or teacher groups on Facebook. Another source of help is Outschool’s Business Coaching program.
Running your own teaching business can be hard work but very rewarding in the end for both you and your learners. Keep searching until you find the right mix for success as an educator entrepreneur!