Marketing or Teaching? Which To Focus On First?

Oct 19, 2021

It's a common question from SLPs and ESL teachers who want to build a business and work with their own accent and pronunciation students.

There isn't one correct path to becoming a successful accent coach or pronunciation instructor, but I think it’s best to focus on marketing and connecting with potential students as soon as possible, even before you feel completely ready to start offering services. 

Getting the word out about your services, especially when you are just starting out, takes a little time.  You need to build an audience and then build a relationship with that audience.  They need to know you and trust you before they want to work with you and that rarely happens immediately.

In fact, on average, it takes between 7-18 months for a student to enroll after finding your website or discovering you on social media for the first time.

When I was starting my own practice, it felt like a ton of time and energy with very little result at first.  I spent about 4 months posting consistently on social media and sending weekly emails without much action and then suddenly...students started enrolling. 

Once I had a few students, I started getting great testimonials and my current students started referring other students, and after a few more months, I got to that point where new students were enrolling every week!

It didn't happen immediately, but once it started, it was consistent, which is exactly what we want in a business.

Many students have found me through my YouTube channel.  They will watch my free lessons for a few weeks and through the lessons, they start to know me better and they see that my teaching really helps them improve.  I have a link to my website under each video, so any interested student just has to click the link to contact me for private sessions, and many of them do. 

Through my YouTube channel, students get to know my teaching style, my personality, and how I can help them improve their communication skills and improve their lives. 

They feel like they already know me, and this helps them make the decision to enroll in one of my online courses or work with me privately BEFORE they contact me.  That's why I don't need to do free evaluations or assessments anymore!

So, if you are thinking about offering accent or pronunciation training services, don’t wait until you feel completely prepared to start thinking about marketing.  The 2 best pieces of advice that I can give you are to

  1. Think about sharing some helpful free lessons or speaking tips on your blog or social media.  This will let potential students know how you can help them and let them get to know you without having to meet you in person.
  2. Start building an email list. Because it always takes a few months for a student to decide that they want to work with you, you need a way to continue to stay in touch.  Email is one of the best ways to do this.

Want to learn more about how to find students?   

The Accent Channel Method Teacher Training includes a 4-hour marketing course that will help you implement a system to find and enroll new students.  Plus, we talk about the most up-to-date marketing strategies every month in our Live Group Coaching Zoom calls. 

When you are ready to expand your services or build your own business, the program offers tons of advice and proven strategies to help you do it.  I'd love to meet you there!

Make Money Teaching Accents & Pronunciation: Free Getting Started Guide

Download the guide to learn about the skills, software, certifications, and other basics that you'll need to start working with paying students. 

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