How to Attract More Students as an Accent Coach

Feb 19, 2024

Are you an accent coach or pronunciation instructor looking to expand your student base and boost your business?

One of the most common questions that I get is...

How can I find more students?

There are tons of ways to find more students! Posting on social media, offering free sessions, networking (colleagues, friends, family) referrals, sending form letters or emails to businesses, giving in-person workshops for free (maybe a workshop for ESL speakers at your local library), paid advertising, contacting your local newspaper and letting them interview you (newspapers are always looking for content), and many more.

But before you try any of these strategies to find students, there is one really important thing that you need to do.

You need to get clear about who you help and how their lives will be better after working with you.  If you don't have the answers to these 2 questions, you are wasting your time with any marketing strategy.

So, the most effective marketing strategy is to get laser-focused on your target audience.  Let's dive into why this is so crucial and discuss some actionable steps that you can take to attract more students as an accent coach.

Why You Need to Get Specific About Your Target Audience:

  • To Stand Out from the Crowd: Defining your target audience helps you differentiate yourself from other teachers and get noticed in the market.
  • To Attract Ideal Students and Be a Better Teacher: When you tailor your teaching style to a specific audience, you naturally attract students who resonate with your approach.  When you know who you are working with, you can personalize your marketing messaging and your training programs for the best results.
  • To Convert Potential Students into Paying Students: Before a student will enroll in your programs, they need to trust that you are the right person to work with them.  Trust only happens then you build a relationship.  When you get clear about your target audience, you can speak directly to their needs, goals, and interests.  This builds a trusting relationship and lets you establish a deeper connection with potential students making them more likely to become paying students!

I recommend that you get as specific as you can.  Narrow down your audience and focus on speakers of a specific language, a specific occupation, a specific age group, even people with specific hobbies or interests.

I know it seems counter intuitive to narrow your potential market this much, and I get it.  You want lots of students, lots of business, and lots of income!! 

But when you are trying to serve everyone, you are not really speaking directly to or connecting with anyone.  So, no one will pay attention.  No one will care.   And no one will contact you because they won’t be sure how you can help them or if you can help them at all.

This doesn’t mean you can’t branch out later and work with a different type of student and it doesn’t mean you are limited to ONLY working with one type of student for the rest of your career.

You can change gears at any time.

Let’s Talk About How to Get Specific:

  1. Identify your perfect students: Think about the type of student that you’d like to work with.  Consider factors such as native language, occupation, age group, hobbies, or interests.  The more specific you can be, the better. Don't be afraid to niche down to a really specific subset of potential students.
  2. Consider your own skills and interests: Do you have a corporate background?  Were you an athlete?  Or a theater kid?  You may want to focus your efforts on students in professions where you have some experience because you have specialized knowledge about that profession and the daily conversational situations related to that profession.  This is so important when working on speech and communication skills.
  3. Focus your marketing efforts: Once you've defined your target audience, you can tailor your marketing messages and strategies to resonate with them.

When I was just starting to build my private practice, my target audience was non-native speakers of English who came to the United States to pursue an acting career.  Pretty specific right?  But that’s why my business was so successful relatively quickly! 

By focusing on actors who were still training and just beginning their professional careers, I had a lot of information to work with.  I knew where to find them, how to describe how I could help them, how to coach to them, and what their specific speaking goals and challenges were.  I also knew what to work on to quickly get the best results.   

Focusing on a specific audience allowed me to understand my students’ unique challenges and I could tailor my teaching methods accordingly!

So, when these actors went back to acting class and could perform their monologues sounding like native speakers of American English, you can bet that every other student in the class wanted to know how they did it.  These students who achieved success became walking (or maybe talking?) advertisements, leading to a steady stream of referrals and business growth for me.

So, I had CONSTANT referrals coming in and my business took off!  And to this day, most of my students are this target audience, though I’ve branched out a little and you can too.  Later.  When you have a full caseload.

For now though, remember this.

In a crowded market, clarity is key. By defining your target audience and focusing on their specific needs, you'll attract more students and build a thriving business.

If you're not visible to your target audience, you can't help them. Take your accent coaching business to the next level by identifying your niche and watch as your student base grows organically.

Don't underestimate the power of specialization—it could make all the difference to your success as an accent coach. 

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