Top 3 Tips for Finding More Students

Oct 06, 2022

As an accent coach with a thriving online business, one of the most common questions that I get is, “How do you find new students?”

So, today I want to share my Top 3 Tips for Finding Accent Training Students.  These are some of the most effective marketing strategies that I use in my own business.  Some marketing trends come and go but these tips that I'm sharing are as effective today as they were when I started doing my own marketing in 2015. 

They are easy to implement and totally free!

1.  Focus on a specific type of student/target market.

Having a specific target audience helps you stand out from other teachers and will attract new students.  Narrow down your audience and focus on speakers of a specific native language, a specific occupation, a specific age group, even people with specific hobbies or interests.

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

But without a specific target audience, 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.

Watch this lesson for more details:


2.  Learn to clearly explain how you can help AND how your potential student's life is going to be better after working with you.

As Speech Pathologists and ESL teachers, this is way out of our comfort zone and something that we are not used to doing but need to learn to do well. 

The more detailed you can be, the better.  Don't talk about things like "improved pronunciation" or "more American rhythm" or even “increased vocabulary.”  Talk about things like "getting the food that you actually ordered in a restaurant" or "feeling confident enough to speak up to your boss and ask for that raise" or “know how to tell the story and actually get a laugh”...things that are going to make the student's life better!  These are the things that inspire new students to take action and schedule that session with you.  


3.  Build trust.

Showcase your teaching style with some free lessons on your website, blog, YouTube, or social media.  Video lessons, podcasts, and blog posts all work well to attract new students.

Many new students find me through my YouTube Channel 

Or my blog

Don’t be intimidated by this one, just be yourself and share some tips that may help improve a person's accent or pronunciation!  Showcase your personality and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.  Your first lessons won’t be great, but I promise they will get better with time.  It really does get easier the more you do it. 

I can tell you from experience that potential students don’t care about what degree we’ve earned or what set of letters we have after our names.  Students are attracted to our personality and our teaching style, so we have to let them get to know us through free lessons and other valuable content. 

Don’t believe me?  Head over to YouTube and check out some of the most popular American Accent or Pronunciation Training channels.  None of them are created by anyone who seems extremely qualified on paper or who has earned any advanced, speech-related degree.  The most popular channels are built on the teacher’s personality and the trust they earned by consistently providing high-quality, free lessons.


BONUS TIP (because it relates more to existing students): 

Something that you’ll hear from anyone who is running a business is that it is much easier (and more cost effective) to sell to existing customers, than it is to constantly be finding new customers.  

And it’s so true!  Plus, current students often send you new referrals, so learn to retain your current students.  You also need to know that it is ok to keep seeing students for months, and even years.

Accent and pronunciation training is really just coaching speech confidence and many of our students need us and our services, LONG TERM, to build and maintain that confidence.  Start getting comfortable with that now.  More on that here:

SLPs:  Let go of the mindset that you need to prove the need for private sessions with evaluations, accuracy rates, and data. This isn't therapy or treatment, it's elective coaching.  Your work will begin and end when the student decides that they are ready.  And they will probably still want to come back to you from time to time for maintenance after that.

Teachers:  It’s not unethical to encourage students from your classes to work with you privately.  Accent or pronunciation training is a specialized skill that is personalized to each student and improvement happens most quickly in a private session. 

There is no replacement for personalized feedback from a real, live speech pro! Immediate correction in real conversation is the fastest, most effective way to improve speech patterns.  People are willing to pay more for this service because it is so specialized.

So those are my top 3 tips for finding students and building an accent training caseload.  Any other questions, let me know!

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