5 Effective Marketing Ideas That Are So Hot Right Now

Most people I know are incredibly good at their job and wish they could do the fun parts of it all day long. The unloved admin parts are a necessary evil: bookkeeping for example, or scheduling, or the dreaded marketing.

effective marketing ideas

Once a week, you free up an hour and say "right, time to tackle the marketing thing". And when you get there, does this work feel like a chore? Does your marketing plan feel like it's long out of fashion?

Online marketing trends come and go quickly, and with the these 5 marketing ideas you'll be on track.

Tell your Story in a Tweetstorm

Twitter is a great social network for being seen and forging all sorts of cool relationships. Beyond saying hello and retweeting others, you should also get your own voice heard by sharing your own content.

A Tweetstorm is a series of connected tweets that are posted in quick succession, telling a story that goes beyond the Twitter character limit.

It helps if you number your tweets from the start, telling followers where in the sequence each tweet belongs. This way, they can tell what's going on even when they see tweet 4 out of 8.

Example:

Incorporate Live Video

If Instagram was last year's marketing revelation for online teachers, bloggers, and coaches, this year is going to be all about live videos. What started with Periscope has grown into a much bigger movement.

Live video is easy to provide and set up these days, and it allows you to start direct dialogue with your audience. It gives your followers a chance to get to know you and ask questions that you can answer immediately.

You can prepare your live broadcasts webinar-style and even sell tickets (see below), or simply hop onto the now and then using YouTube Live, Instagram or Facebook Live.

Help out with a Facebook group

Facebook pages are still an important asset in your online marketing. But if you want to truly reach and assist your followers in 2017, it's time to have a two-way dialogue. Why not start a Facebook group for your followers and encourage them to share their own story?

Example: The Savvy Online Teacher Marketing Group, where online teachers can get together and get advice from colleagues in a dedicated forum. (Please join, and make sure you complete the application form to be accepted!)

Be a Good Guest on Podcasts and Blogs

Guest posting is the oldest trick in the book...and it still works! These days, influencers who have a launch to talk about don't always contribute written materials to others' blogs, but they go on a video or a podcast tour. I love that this takes the age-old tour concept and brings it online.

To be a good guest on podcasts, make sure you follow the show, know what it's like, and that you're a good interviewee. Always have photos and profiles of yourself available, and consider building a landing page for the show's listeners.

For example, when I wrote to Leslie from Becoming a Blogger, the first intent was to compliment him on doing a great show. I mentioned that I'm available should he want a fun guest who knows how to teach..and soon after we got together on his show.

Related Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pitching and Writing Powerful Guest Posts

Run an Event

Ready for something that will get you seen, heard and noticed BIG time? Then run an online event! These virtual conferences give you a chance to stand out by connecting people to what they love, giving lots of value, and also showing off your skills to the right audience.

Examples: The How to Reach More Students conference in 2016 pulled together 10,000 online teachers who followed expert talks about everything from marketing to mindset.

More recently, Paulino Brener shows us how it's done. His Online Teacher Summit pulls together over 25 online teaching experts who are going to speak live about so many topics. It's a free event (incredible), covering everything you'd expect in a step-by-step course for teachers who want to reach the next level.

The Online Teacher Summit goes live on April 2, 2017, and runs for a full week. VIP ticket holders can save all of the presentations and learn from them any time.

Evergreens Stay Green

There are some evergreens that always work. The email newsletter has been a marketing favourite with most businesses for years, and is an easy and lucrative way of staying in touch. And contrary to what you might think, blogging isn't dead: it's effective, but no longer the single one thing to do. The important thing is to keep your own platform strong and own where you want to speak to your audience.

The activities above add a new dimension though, and help you shake up your plan. They can easily be added to your marketing essentials.

Have You Tried These Ideas?

If you're already posting live or tweeting a storm, leave me a comment and share your own experiences. I'd love to hear what's working for you!

Can You Find Students On Teaching Platforms?

Recently, a student of my Udemy course Live Lesson Strategies for Online Tutors and Teachers asked an interesting question in the course. Like so many other new teachers, she's looking at a lot of tasks to complete. Website building, setting up social media accounts, writing a new blog - it's overwhelming.

And all that work stands in contrast to the potential for finding a student over on online teaching platforms like italki. You wonder if those are worth your time. 

So my course participant asked the important question?

Would it be difficult to get new students who are willing to pay a decent price per class as there are already so many teachers offering competitive rates?

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Some Platforms Are Good..

row of houses.jpeg

The best time to join any big teacher platform is when you are starting out and working on getting your process sorted. It can help you get the cash flowing quickly, and without investing a lot into technology or email systems. The best platforms also have some protection in place for you as a teacher, such as a basic cancellation policy.

In short, being on a platform helps you in the following ways:

  • You will build up a critical mass of learners relatively quickly, so that the money can start rolling in before you feel like a "certified authority"
     
  • You will be able to build your confidence as a new teacher, get feedback and find what students love most about you
     
  • You will be able to work 1-to-1 with a large variety of people, allowing you to figure out which ones you love working with and which ones are not your ideal students. Every individual has a style of working with people, and it will take a little time to find and proudly claim who you're here to work with

..But Not As Good As Building Your Own Brand

It's undeniable that offering your wares in any marketplace means playing by their rules. This is true for making online courses on Udemy, finding students on italki, or any other platform. 

I know people who are fully booked and have never been on a directory, and they teach minority languages to boot! It's a question of creativity, confidence and knowing that you're great.

Here Are The Downsides

  • Your learners' loyalty is often to the platform and not to you as a teacher, which can make it harder to build up a good relationship with students. The relationship matters a lot, because you are looking for your ideal student, a person who is a joy to work with. If you have no idea who that could be, I recommend that you work through the ideal student parts of the Savvy Brand Toolkit to figure out who they are, where they are and how you'll talk to them.
     
  • The terms & conditions you can set for how you deal with your customers are run by the platform, not by you. So for example, they might not like you exchanging emails outside of the established system.
     
  • You are doing this because your ultimate goal is independence, and working with a different platform may constrict you too much. If it feels wrong, don't go there.
     
  • Most platforms don't restrict what you can charge, but be aware that the system is designed to make you look like a product and price will always factor into your learners' perceptions. 

How To Make It Work For Yourself

The key is that "native and qualified" won't be enough in a crowded marketplace - check out the slides on marketing and definitely consider looking into the Savvy Brand Process to find out more - downloading these videos will also be helpful.

To work with that ideal student, I recommend building your booking system based on the 5 Step Booking Process which is designed to create a solid and sustainable relationship where students don't think of you as their "trial teacher". In a good and ongoing relationships, you have set up your system so that both parties can depend on each other.

It Is Not Difficult To Build Your Own Website

Of course, you'll have heard about Wordpress.org, a popular system that will help you build any website and do anything online. It does have a learning curve, and those of you who don't want to spend a few days fiddling with tutorials are probably put off right now.

My website builder of choice is Squarespace (which is what runs the site you are reading right now). 

I've been using Squarespace for four years and even use it to host the Creative Language Learning Podcast. I like it because it's extremely user friendly and it's an all-in-one solution, meaning you don't have to worry about any of the usual questions such as plug-ins, hosts or customizing your theme.

What Should You Do?

Personally, I used italki for a bit when I started and also Tutor Hunt, but never used it as my main source of students. I also built my own website from the start. There was no email list and no fancy opt-in, but that didn't matter. It gave interested customers a direct way of getting in touch with me. Think "back to basics", not "bells and whistles".

Ultimately, of course this is your own decision. There are many success stories of teachers who found dozens of new students on italki, but equal numbers of teachers who are frustrated because those are not their ideal learners.

Are you currently working with a platform? Or finding students in other ways? Leave a comment or find our teacher group on Facebook to discuss.

Is It Crazy For You To Keep Charging By The Hour?

In my work as a consultant and mentor for online teachers, there's a set of points that come up on a regular basis. Our stories go through similar storylines, and our lives unravel with the same grinding points that gradually push you towards the point where you feel the need to DO SOMETHING.

One of those points is that moment where you look up from your computer screen after hours of teaching online, examine your notes and realize you're exhausted. Your ears are ringing from the tinny sound of Skype calls in your headphones. Your notebook is full. Your students made a bit of progress. You have 4 hours to go, a blog article to write, and need to get your taxes done.

This wasn't quite how you planned it. When you started offering online lessons, taking your first students seemed like a miracle. You thought that getting 20 more students would mean 20x more income, and you'd be set for life. But in all that, you forgot all the extra things that surround 20 extra students. Admin, invoicing, marketing, and ultimately denying yourself the chance to work with people at your own best level.

If reading this description has you nodding along, I say it's time to break out of charging by the hour for a generic language lesson. The following five steps are how you can grow into an invaluable resource, help people more than ever before, and become a true specialist.

5 Simple Steps to Packaging Your Services

A package is a bundled version of the things you already do, put together for one specific purpose. For example, if you know your students get stressed before exams you could offer a focused package of study plan + mock exam + coaching session about how to stay calm. This allows you to improve how you express the full 360 degress of work you do for students.

Sound good? Let's get into the 5 steps.

1. Focus, Focus, Focus

Package deals are best when you really focus on one specific goal that your customers might have. Of course you have enormous potential and capacities to work with a range of people, several languages, perhaps to offer thousands of scenarios. But for the purpose of this one deal, just focus on one goal that a customer will have.

For example, a vague package might be "5 lessons for the price of 4". But a specific and focused one could be "IELTS test prep - 3 mock exams, a booklet of success secrets and detailed writing coaching to get you to IELTS 8.0 guaranteed!". See the difference?

2. Automate Set Pieces

When there is a part of your work that you repeat many times over, it could be time to automate it. If you teach online or coach with clients, you are likely to do this already by recycling the best learning materials. What if you collected them all in a small guide or created a recording that is exclusive to your clients? This can become a valuable and exclusive part of your new and shiny package.

3. Keep an Open Mind

After creating an awesome idea for a package deal, it's tempting to think the product is finished already, but it may help you to get a little bit of feedback and work through it with one or two testers. These guys are often called beta clients, and will be ready to give you

4. Set a Short-Term Goal

What do you think you could achieve for your shiny new package (hah!) in 2 weeks?

Some ideas:

  • Promote it on a podcast, in a newspaper or on your blog (check out the end of this article)
  • Get your first paying client through the door
  • Conduct a free trial run

5. Promote Small and Close

I think every one-person business dreams of being bigger, having a video editor, a copywriter, a blog writer, perhaps someone just to focus on running your Facebook page. But at this stage, you might be just flying solo out in the professional world. Not a problem!

Forget a huge marketing campaign and try to reach out to your closest allies, people you usually hang out with, places where your customers are. If you need to make money NOW, it's a good idea to offer the package to your mailing list or even ask an influential blogger or teacher whether they can help you promote. For long-term thinking, nothing beats building your own platform.

Package Magic - An Intro Offer

If you dream abandoning money-per-hour and don't even know where to get started, I have a deal for you. I am in the process of designing a package ;) that will help service providers just like you get started with packaging their services.

Step 1: You bring me all your current processes, prices, products and problems.

Step 2: We go through a creative and thorough process to help you create a new package idea that fits in with your target client and has some great earnings potential.

Step 3: I'll help you shape your brand new package page and draw up a 2 week marketing plan.

This offer is perfect for you if you're an independent service provider. You want to try something new, work with my experience and marketing skill, and get accountability for yourself by working with a mentor.

Curious about this deal? Then book a slot in my diary and let's chat about your individual requirements.