Are you so busy teaching classes that you don’t have time to market outside of Outschool? Maybe you’ve started gaining some traction by creating classes you’re passionate about teaching. Now you want to know how to keep that momentum going—without diving into the wide world of off-platform marketing.
Identifying and building on your highest-performing class type is an excellent way to have current learners returning in the future.
We spoke to an Outschool educator like you who has found success teaching on Outschool without having to create a YouTube channel, post to Facebook daily, or pay for ads in a Google Search. How did she do it? Let’s find out!
Dr. Steph Acaster holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has been an educator on Outschool since the summer of 2020. Since then, Steph has seen great success by focusing on growing her teaching business without the additional need to market outside of Outschool. We talked to Steph about what helped the most in getting and maintaining learners. Here are five tips to get you started.
Focus on in-demand class types
Did you know that every two weeks, Outschool shares the latest insights about what families are searching for? All educators have access to up-to-date info on class topic requests, including which classes are in demand.
Depending on the time of year, different class types (such as ongoing, one-time, or semester) see seasonal shifts in enrollment. Knowing which class types work best for your learners is key to getting more registrations. For Steph,
“The ongoing class format has worked out well, particularly for one of my main classes for ages 11-15 in Biology. This helps to bring in regular income as many students stay from week to week. I have also had success with flex versions of this class. For older learners (mostly Psychology classes), I have found that one-time classes have worked out well, and tend to fill best during late afternoon-evening in UK time. 1-on-1 ongoing classes also work out well and can sometimes be more reliable (once a learner enrolls) than a group class.”
As you start figuring out which class types work best for you and your learners, you can begin focusing more on those and converting other class types to the ones working best for you.
Steph has seen positive results from implementing this plan.
“My re-enrollment rate is 25%, and around three-quarters of my current ongoing class learners have stayed for a month or longer.”
Guide current learners to new classes
Another way to build your teaching business is to retain current learners by offering multiple classes with similar topics. For example, Steph offers psychology classes about various subjects across multiple class types. Doing so allows learners to try a one-time class and then move to another one-time course or join a longer ongoing or flex course (often referred to as a class funnel).
“In my ongoing classes, I have some learners who have stayed a long time, and they often find and try out new classes through the ‘next class’ feature as well as the email notifications from following me.”
As Steph mentioned, you can retain learners by letting them know about other classes you offer. To do this, scroll to the Class Experience section of a published listing. Here you can find the option to guide your current learners to the next class, whether it is part of a series or the next level up.
“I found that I had more learners from the ongoing class signing up for the one-time classes than the other way around! I have had some success with classes that can be taken in any order, particularly flex classes that have the same structure but different topics.”
Another option to help promote to your current learners is to create a re-enrollment-specific coupon that you can share with families as the end of the class ends. You can also message families with a coupon code when sending feedback. By creating custom coupon codes, you can target specific audiences with special promotions that may increase your re-enrollment numbers.
Schedule multiple class times
Since Outschool is a global community, educators are free to offer classes that best work with their schedules. However, to maximize your potential earnings, it’s important to be available when families seek classes. One way to accomplish this is to keep track of Outschool’s recommended scheduling times.
Although morning times in Steph’s time zone (UK/GMT) are difficult for her to run successfully, she keeps trying because she wants to be available when families in the UK are searching for classes. Keep track of which class times fill up for you the most, and consider offering more around those times.
Steph also advised that you consider offering classes at various times throughout the day.
“Try a range of class topics, types, and times of the day. Different combinations work in different ways, so don’t worry about whether other people have lots of learners at a certain time or day! Follow what works for you—if you get a couple of learners, list similar classes and similar times. Get familiar with social media groups and what types of posts and advertisements they allow. Let parents get to see your name associated with your subjects, so they’re more likely to click on your class if it comes up in their search!”
If you live on the US East Coast, for example, a class at 9 am EST takes place at 6 am in California (PST) when learners may be still sleeping, and 2 pm GMT in the UK when some learners are still in school.
Schedule multiple sections
While the quality of your Outschool classes is imperative for retaining current learners when you want to focus on enrolling new learners, pay attention to when you offer classes. One way to do this is to stay on top of seasonal shifts.
“My flex classes are scheduled typically with dates spanning the next 4 months. I noticed that I get some enrollments far in advance, but I also get many the day before or on the starting date of a flex class. I schedule my ongoing class in blocks around 2-3 months at a time, with new sections typically starting in September and January, as these seem to attract some in-advance enrollments.
For one-time classes, I’m a bit more flexible with scheduling. Some are scheduled 2-3 months ahead (though these rarely get advance enrollments) and sometimes I schedule them closer to the time to fill any of my schedule gaps.”
Cross-promote similar classes
Word-of-mouth is one of marketing’s most powerful tools on Outschool. Having families share your classes with their friends and family can be a huge win for educators. Steph has figured out that one of the easiest ways to do this is to focus on building community in the classroom, which happens to be one of the three pillars of Outschool’s ACE framework.
“Whenever I have relevant classes coming up, or new classes in the same format coming up, I mention them at the end of a class and/or post in the classroom about them. I also try to build relationships with learners, remembering things that they’ve talked about in class, and trying to build connections within long-term groups. I also list a “next class” for all of my classes, so that they can easily see what else I have that might suit them.”
Messaging families to share how their learners did during your class or about the lesson that day is another way to create trust and build community with families. It also opens the door for more marketing opportunities when you want to message families about new or existing classes that may interest their learners.
Bonus tip: Offer coupon codes
One thing Steph mentioned that has been helpful to her success on Outschool is offering coupons.
“Occasionally, I share coupon codes with existing learners to invite them to try a new class or a class with low enrollment.”
Share coupons with friends and family and ask them to pass them along to people who may benefit from one of your classes. If you have the time, make the coupons specific to each course you’re using them for so that you can track who is using them and how they’re being used.
If you meet someone who has not used Outschool before, send them your referral link (found under your teaching menu) so that they can get started with a potentially free class.
For more tips and tricks for using coupons successfully, check out these 5 easy steps for using coupons to promote your classes.
Looking for more tips on how to market your online teaching business? Be sure to visit Outschool’s Educator Library and find out more about:
- Marketing strategies to grow your business
- Build your teaching business your way
- Create a profile video that inspires
- 3 intentional steps to success
- How to use keywords in class descriptions
Now it’s your turn! Implement these tips from Steph above as you continue growing your online teaching business.