So you dreamt of your own language school. Now it’s alive. After countless days, weeks and even months of being stuck into the four corners of your wall crafting, documenting, and fine-tuning the contents of your language courses, you are now set to teach online. Rainbows are always at the end of the tunnel. And as the song goes, “at the end of the rainbow, you’ll find a pot of gold.” There are you are singing it aloud now.
But wait, have you got your website published and compiled your resources in order? If you think that everything is already in place or probably got a few students to sign up, examine how many people are aware of your language school. You want more students but where are the others? Then it’s time to promote your language school online and get sales on board.
Most new business set-up usually shoots the market right after completing a product without a detailed marketing plan. Don’t worry, this extensive article will teach you the many effective strategies to promote your school online, increase enrolments, and generate revenue.
Some of these should be applied to those who are about to or are currently completing their courses while the rest of the strategies are good to execute at any time after your course or website is published.
So, are you ready to dive into the marketing 101 of promoting your language school online?
Produce a student avatar
The most essential strategy in promoting your language school online is to design an avatar. This should be your first step. An avatar is a form of a digital life used as a teaching tool in classrooms. It is also capable of serving many other purposes to represent your students such as group works, personalized recognition or awards system, name tags, writing stories, and many others. It will make them feel accepted, connected, and relaxed.
Perceiving the character of your ideal student gives you an idea of the appropriate messages you want to get across, such as learning their needs, hiccups, and expectations before making an extensive promotion. It is an epitome of your student ideal for each of your language course. Describing your ideal student in one written paragraph enables you to implement your succeeding strategies effectively.
Powerful keywords are necessary for writing your course title. Include it.
Position yourself searching for the information you need on the world wide web. You would likely to enter keywords to get the best search results in google for example. Say, for instance, you wish to learn how to promote your language school online, you will certainly enter exactly the same phrase on the search engine.
Hence, it is vital to write strong titles so that it gets optimized for better search engine rankings and generate an ideal number of clicks. At this point, there are certain tools you can use as your cache. The numbers can follow later on. Run the list of terms in your course title on popular tools like Google Keyword Tool, Word Tracker’s Keyword Tool, and Uber Suggest which apparently became the most favorite of bloggers. You will be able to generate around 50 terms which are relevant to the contents of your article.
Before you pick the one that is most suited, run the generated terms in any of the tools again to determine the volume and competition on the use of those terms. Make sure to select the most appropriate keywords that are descriptive of your article, low in competition, and have a search volume of around 300 depending on the industry and terms.
Your blog is an effective platform to promote your language courses. Use it.
There is no better platform to promote your products and services than in your own blog. So it is useful to publish free contents regularly in your blog and make sure it is related to your courses. Writing articles that are related to the courses you teach will make every reader of your blog your potential student.
In your web or blog site, promote your courses on the top bar, sidebar, or About Us page. You can also add Sales Widget for your courses anywhere on your site.
The guest posts. How do you go about guest posting?
Many people usually get too excited writing multiple contents for their blog site and posting them all at the same time the moment they launch their business. The danger here is that the right of each blog to be read, liked, and shared at least for a certain period of time does not happen.
You may write around 10 blogs ahead of time before launching the business but it is best to post it one ideal period at a time. Here is where guest posting plays a major role in online visibility. It’s always a great way to start writing a post on the blog sites of others. Readers who have similar interests enable your post to reach a broader audience even if you as the writer remains unknown.
It will give you clear statistics on the number of interested readers of your posts and eventually take it on to your own site once you are ready to go solo. But if you are starting, keep in mind that your guest post is better read by a small group of the targeted audience rather than having a large group of mostly impassive readers. How you can get this running effectively?
- Alright, you’ve made a good research and created a long list of contacts. However, try to avoid sending random emails with advertisements at the start. Either it gets into junk or you won’t make a good impression. The first thing you do is build a good number of connections on social media and get many people to become familiar with you.
- Once you have developed a camaraderie with your social connections, it’s time to send your emails and make it personal by saying things that interest you about the person’s blog. You can also share your portfolio at this stage.
- Make sure that when you share your portfolio or your own site, the contents are useful, interesting, and distinctive to convince people to collaborate with you.
- Share your story. Achievements or challenges in the past you have managed very well that people went to follow.
Start a Podcast
This is a platform that is gaining traction for those who are not into blog writing. Consider appearing on another podcast as a guest is also a great start so that you get your name already filtered in the podcast feeds and takes you to more potentials. Later on, it is ideal to build your own podcast.
Before sending out emails or contacting podcast hosts, make sure you were able to listen to a certain podcast you wish to feature so that you are familiar with their style and confident enough to discuss with podcast hosts. What are the key things to consider in starting a podcast?
- Craft a good idea about the topic of your podcast. Know who your audience would be and write down some ideas for the episodes.
- Decide if you’re going to make unique content, a blog post from a copied content, or a video film.
- Get a place to host your podcast. If you’re on iTunes, it gets directly uploaded. If not, you will need a host to upload it. For websites that are on Squarespace, your podcast is easily hosted.
Host a Webinar
Going live for online sessions is a hit for most people as it gives them the opportunity to interact with you via real-time. Hosting a webinar is also the best platform where you can conduct online classes, seminars or workshops to your audience for free. With this, why not take advantage to promote your courses and other campaigns through this live platform?
Use your webinar to record your live sessions. You can give them as a freebie course material that is downloadable in the future. It gives value to your audience and your efforts recognized for creating and hosting that webinar. You see, retaining your audience and students is more crucial than recruiting. How do you go out of your way to achieve a win-win situation in webinar hosting?
- Make it relevant and useful to your audience. Again, being able to classify your audience according to their interests makes it easier for you to know what interests them. You nailed it.
- Grow your email list by directing them to a link where they can sign up for your webinar. It also gives you statistics on the number of people who are interested and that you know your emails are targeted rather going in the junk folder.
- If you are just starting your language school and hosting your first webinar, it is always a good idea to offer valuable freebies to your audience who signed up and attended. A free downloadable e-book or a printed course manual are good examples so that your audience see the value there is in your services. It also makes them feel important.
Do not make it appear as a hard selling platform when you begin your webinar. It’s a turn-off. Avoid losing your audience in this manner. It is critical that you first make them understand the relevance and benefits of what you are offering them. Then ultimately, they will have no qualms engaging your services.
Set-up your YouTube channel
Next, to Google, YouTube is the next most widely visited search engine in the world. In 2017, about 41% of YouTube users searched daily for “people and blogs” particularly the “how-to” videos. This category received the highest volume of uploads compared to other groups. Perhaps it was because there are millions of people now going into entrepreneurship.
YouTube video is also next in the higher ranking than websites on numerous search engines for search results. It can even outdo Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for video uploads. So why not start your own YouTube channel now to promote your courses? In fact, producing multiple advertisement videos with different titles increases the exposure of your courses.
Again, just like writing and publishing blogs, it is important to enter keywords in the title of your videos and descriptions. The keywords should be relevant to your topic. Remember, publishing relevant videos regularly easily opens doors to wider viewers. Put a link to your website or course page in your video narratives. There’s nothing wrong if you wish to become a little bit ambitious and aim for a thousand overviews of your promotional videos. If that happens, take pride in running ads for it via Google or Facebook.
Add student testimonials on your course page
This becomes your sales page for your course offerings and it plays a crucial part in the buyers in making decisions. Have you ever noticed that people tend to read reviews or testimonies before people purchase products online? This is where testimonials and reviews carry so much weight.
This is where the value and usefulness of your courses become notable because you can be confident to ask your students who have taken your course to share positive testimonials and you can add that to your sales page. But what if no one has taken any of your course yet? Then here comes what new business usually give: the ex-deal. Offer a course for free to your target audience in exchange for testimonials. I bet you it’s worth the stake.
Attach a link to your courses in your email signature
At any given time, no business fails to send emails to their prospects. This is the stage where you may have been sending and responding to numerous daily emails. You never know how far these emails could go and reach many interested prospects in your courses if they knew about it.
Why not leverage your email signature and attach a link to your courses? Make it more personalized by adding a short sentence that includes the link. You see word-of-mouth moves like a speed of light. Even if some of the recipients of your email are not interested in your courses, it is likely that most of them can refer it to someone they know are interested.
A course page is the main page of your website
Creating a website is such a meticulous process. You need to ensure that your courses should have a dedicated page on your website where it list the details, requirements, and expectations of each course. The course page is also your sales page so make sure that this becomes your main page where people draw a lot of attention to.
Don’t forget to add a link to your course page on the main menu of your website which gives visitors easy access to get more in-depth information about your courses. And since this is also your sales page, you must include an “enroll now” link for people who are interested in your courses and they can enroll directly on your page.
Get your social media profiles optimized
Your social media profiles are still the best avenues to build your personal brand and exhibit yourself as an expert in your courses. Keep your bio up-to-date in all your social networks. Don’t miss to indicate your expertise in your profile. It’s a good idea to include a link to your main website or course page in your social network profiles so that people who are interested in your courses are appropriately directed in your page.
Cross promote by developing multiple courses
Sounds interesting. But how do you do this? If you create multiple courses, you can cover different areas with the same topic in general. It’s like books with a series of stories where each course in your series leads to your other courses. What a tactical way to promote. At the end of each course, promote your other courses related to the same topic. Your present students are most likely to enroll again if you have additional courses.
Offer discounts for your bundled courses
When you have multiple courses with related topics, try to bundle it up together and offer them discounted fees. For instance, if you have 5 courses offered at $155 individually, you could sell all 5 courses together for $655. This gives out a $120 discount for your student. Not bad for starters if you are trying to build an image. You are giving incentives to people so that they can purchase multiple courses from you at once.
Give out student surveys
Traditionally, you can ask your students to write a review or testimonial for your course. You will need to develop a standard survey format at the moment to fulfill this work. Tell your students that this is just a simple request so that you are able to maintain giving quality instructions and delivery materials. Actually, the primary purpose of this survey should help to ensure you are receiving an influx of positive reviews from your students and you can use it in promoting online.
A payment plan is a good offer
For sure there are people who would want to enroll in your course, but wallets and credit cards are thin to pay the course in full upfront. Give them the benefit of staggered payment over a period of time that which is also realistic to you. For example, if you offer your course for $655, why not offer your students a payment plan of $109 monthly for 6 months? Again, not too bad for start-ups like you.
Utilize Google Adwords
One of the smartest ways to promote your language school online is to use Google Adwords. It creates ads that appear in the search results for specific keywords related to your topic. If you are familiar with the keywords your target audience is using to search for your topics online, this is a strategic move to get your courses right in front of them as they search for your topic. Go on and read the Google Adwords guide and you can easily set-up your account to start promoting.
Invest in Facebook Ads
Who doesn’t use Facebook in this universe? There are even some tribes who are crazy about Facebook. Leverage on this timeless platform where you can create ads that reach people based on demographics, age, interests, and connections. But bear in mind that Facebook is a social network where people socialize more and that buying stuff is the least option. The objective is to get those people outside Facebook to your web or email list in order to offer your courses to them. Facebook Ads serves this purpose.
Get bloggers to review your course
Look for bloggers in your circle and ask them to review your courses. A good review from a popular blog related to your topic certainly helps to increase your course sales. Why not offer your bloggers free access to your course in exchange for a public review of your course on their blogs?
Write and broadcast a Press Release
Press releases are one of the most effective ways to spread the message about your language school. Try getting featured on news outlets, prominent publications, and top-rating blogs. You will realize how it helped increase your ranking in search engine results.
If you want to learn how to write a proper press release, engage the service of an expert in press release writing and submit it to the relevant outlets or you can also use PR Web to submit your press release. Just remember that the objective of a press release is to create news tied to your courses and not to sell your courses.
Build a free email course
You can take one of the lessons from your course and convert it into a series of emails to build an email list of potential students for your courses. It would be good if you can offer it as a free email course and at the end, invite your students to sign up by directing them to your course sales page. You can also ask them to sign-up on your podcast or webinar where you make the pitch of your courses.
Use Pinterest to post infographics
Infographics are famous on Pinterest. Explore making an infographic where you can share interesting facts, statistics, or procedures related to your topic then go ahead and publish it on Pinterest. Include a link in your post to drive traffic from Pinterest to your website or course page. Using Piktochart can easily create attractive infographics.
Develop another language course by translating any of your present courses
Translating your course into another language is a great way to increase your sales without having to create additional courses. If you are not fluent in another language, hire someone to do this for you. Pay them to re-write your presentation slides and record their voice in the chosen language. There are professional translators available on various freelance networks. Go and search for a suitable one. This is a good investment after all.
Promote your courses on a slideshow using SlideShare
Some people use SlideShare to share presentations, documents, visuals, etc. Posting some of your slides in a PowerPoint presentation can easily attract some traffic on your website. Instead of promoting your courses directly on SlideShare, try including an invitation at the end of your presentation to visit your website or learn more about your course offerings. This is approach is more engaging.
Your courses need a purchase funnel
Do you want to boost your course sales with more enrollment? Constructing a sales funnel will help you get people into it. A purchase funnel is a precise process and consumer-focused marketing model that addresses the speculations of the students bringing them to a decision to enroll in your courses.
What happens next if your purchase funnel proves to convert potential students into paying customers? Then take your marketing initiatives to a higher level knowing that it will generate revenue.
Build a subscribers list for your newsletters
You have your website in place and the contents seem to be comprehensive enough. But how else can you ensure that people find it easier? Well even if you have attractive statistics on the number of your website visitors who can be potentially interested, will they contact you? This is a good question because it is good that they remain potentially in contact with you.
How is this possible? Create newsletters and get them to subscribe to it. Whenever someone contacts you through your website, mobile, walk-in, or any other mode, make sure to save their emails and instantly add them to your subscriber’s list.
Of course, you need to reach out to these prospects with interesting and value-added newsletters sent to their emails regularly. If creating newsletters are quite challenging to you, there are other methods you can offer on your site in exchange for their emails. For instance, free lessons, free exams, free videos are also catchy options. Usually, prospects take more than a year to decide to take lessons. Once they do, your resources should be readily available.
Your target market can be following other people who are not necessarily your direct competitors. Check this out. There are language immersion schools that sell courses through agents. How powerful it can be to establish linkages with like-minded companies and people who can be influencers in promoting your courses.
This partnership can come from business clubs and associations, recruitment firms, government agencies or you can explore going into joint ventures. Offering commissions are attractive but the best offer is to provide high-quality service. Imagine if you are invited as a partner, would you lend your name to a service that might compromise your image? If you consider getting partners as one of your strategies, put your shoes into them.
So, are you ready to take this further?
There you have it.
Now that you are equipped with these marketing tactics for your language school, it’s time to execute what you’ve gathered. However, the roadmap to trial and implementation for each of the strategies above takes time. Remember to arm yourself with a lot of patience and perseverance. It’s proven to pay-off.
Rather than trying to implement the strategies all at the same time, devote into a few of them so that you have the focus to produce and measure exemplary results before implementing the additional strategies. Figure out first which of those tactics work best for your courses and target audience, then strengthen your commitment to the ones that can be tough to apply for your courses.
Now, which marketing approach will you employ next for your language courses?