Getting attention from your target market - Looking for business advice

Nord619

Pigeon
Good afternoon. I recently set up my own business. The idea is to teach English over the internet. I have two years worth of experience.

People with experience in marketing and attracting customers, how did you do it?

What strategies worked for you? What was the cost-benefit-analysis of your plan?

I am 90% done with the setup stage. I am making free to watch stop motion videos about the English language while plugging my website. Stop motion videos are time intensive but I think its a good strategy for two reasons:

- They will be free. Providing real value to people who watch them. Builds trust and credibility.

- The videos will stand out in terms of production quality. My skills are terrible at the moment. However, I see the potential if I keep working hard and tweaking my system.

This is my first attempt at being self-employed. I am looking for as much help as I can find.
 

paninaro

Kingfisher
Teaching English over the internet is a highly competitive market. You're competing against every English speaker out there. The story goes that a few years ago, any American or Brit, no matter experience or education, could show up in a place like China and easily get a job teaching English. Now that things have advanced, they actually require credentials in English teaching.

If I were doing it, I'd focus on a super-specific market niche and just focus on that. For example, I had a friend who taught in Japan but only to business executives, and only on accent training and American culture/etiquette. I had another friend in Russia who only taught the children of the super-rich, who needed perfect English skills to get into elite boarding schools and universities -- and he would teach the skills needed to pass the entrance exams and interviews.

In both cases, they could charge 5-10x what an average English teacher charged because they were specialized in a certain market. For example, you could pick a specific second-tier city (1st tier cities already saturated) in China and focus on very specific private schools or education groups there. Target just those parents by taking ads in whatever media they consume (school newsletter, online magazines, etc). If you do it right, soon you'll be the go-to teacher for lessons for kids in those schools. Or you could focus on a certain industry, and become the go-to person for English training in that specific industry. For example, last time I was in China I met a guy who owned a factory making fasteners (buttons, hooks) for clothing. There's a whole set of industry-specific terminology around ordering, machines, and so on. The average English teacher would not know those, and be of little use to them. They'd happily pay for an English teacher who can teach them what they need to know as it relates to their specific industry.
 

barrythecyborg

Woodpecker
Good afternoon. I recently set up my own business. The idea is to teach English over the internet. I have two years worth of experience.

People with experience in marketing and attracting customers, how did you do it?

What strategies worked for you? What was the cost-benefit-analysis of your plan?

I am 90% done with the setup stage. I am making free to watch stop motion videos about the English language while plugging my website. Stop motion videos are time intensive but I think its a good strategy for two reasons:

- They will be free. Providing real value to people who watch them. Builds trust and credibility.

- The videos will stand out in terms of production quality. My skills are terrible at the moment. However, I see the potential if I keep working hard and tweaking my system.

This is my first attempt at being self-employed. I am looking for as much help as I can find.

For that market, I'd say embrace the free economy.

Check out what other people are doing, figure out a niche, and put out a ton of free content, with a product or course offered.

There's a million ways to learn English free online for motivated students, but most are lazy.

There's a massive market with 1,000,000 niches too.
 

Nord619

Pigeon
Teaching English over the internet is a highly competitive market. You're competing against every English speaker out there. The story goes that a few years ago, any American or Brit, no matter experience or education, could show up in a place like China and easily get a job teaching English. Now that things have advanced, they actually require credentials in English teaching.

If I were doing it, I'd focus on a super-specific market niche and just focus on that. For example, I had a friend who taught in Japan but only to business executives, and only on accent training and American culture/etiquette. I had another friend in Russia who only taught the children of the super-rich, who needed perfect English skills to get into elite boarding schools and universities -- and he would teach the skills needed to pass the entrance exams and interviews.

In both cases, they could charge 5-10x what an average English teacher charged because they were specialized in a certain market. For example, you could pick a specific second-tier city (1st tier cities already saturated) in China and focus on very specific private schools or education groups there. Target just those parents by taking ads in whatever media they consume (school newsletter, online magazines, etc). If you do it right, soon you'll be the go-to teacher for lessons for kids in those schools. Or you could focus on a certain industry, and become the go-to person for English training in that specific industry. For example, last time I was in China I met a guy who owned a factory making fasteners (buttons, hooks) for clothing. There's a whole set of industry-specific terminology around ordering, machines, and so on. The average English teacher would not know those, and be of little use to them. They'd happily pay for an English teacher who can teach them what they need to know as it relates to their specific industry.

I lived in Beijing from 2018 until the beginning of this year. If you're a native English speaker, you have no issues what so ever finding a job. I was getting paid £35 per 45 minutes at a private training centre.

The market is competitive. The market is also huge. 1 billion people learn English as a second language. If I can capture 500 students, that enough to hire other teachers and admin staff. My experience in China made me very confident that the market is big enough that almost everyone can take a slice of the pie.

What I am asking is how, specifically, would I target these individuals? I don't know how I would do that.

For that market, I'd say embrace the free economy.

Check out what other people are doing, figure out a niche, and put out a ton of free content, with a product or course offered.

There's a million ways to learn English free online for motivated students, but most are lazy.

There's a massive market with 1,000,000 niches too.

Can you expand on your post? Im interested in what you think about this. What would you do?
 
I lived in Beijing from 2018 until the beginning of this year. If you're a native English speaker, you have no issues what so ever finding a job. I was getting paid £35 per 45 minutes at a private training centre.

The market is competitive. The market is also huge. 1 billion people learn English as a second language. If I can capture 500 students, that enough to hire other teachers and admin staff. My experience in China made me very confident that the market is big enough that almost everyone can take a slice of the pie.

Interesting post. I too think for the future the China market will be the most difficult for foreigners but also one of the biggest and most lucrative. I would think guys teaching Western Business etiquette or Sales would do well. Maybe consider writing some books.
 

Nord619

Pigeon
Interesting post. I too think for the future the China market will be the most difficult for foreigners but also one of the biggest and most lucrative. I would think guys teaching Western Business etiquette or Sales would do well. Maybe consider writing some books.

In China, 20% of family income is spent on out of school tutoring. It's a massive market that grows every year.
 

paninaro

Kingfisher
I lived in Beijing from 2018 until the beginning of this year. If you're a native English speaker, you have no issues what so ever finding a job. I was getting paid £35 per 45 minutes at a private training centre.

The market is competitive. The market is also huge. 1 billion people learn English as a second language. If I can capture 500 students, that enough to hire other teachers and admin staff. My experience in China made me very confident that the market is big enough that almost everyone can take a slice of the pie.

What I am asking is how, specifically, would I target these individuals? I don't know how I would do that.

So you lived in China, tutored people in English, and you're here asking for advice on how to target people in China who want to study English? You probably know more about it than any of us. How about asking some of the students you tutored?
 

barrythecyborg

Woodpecker
I lived in Beijing from 2018 until the beginning of this year. If you're a native English speaker, you have no issues what so ever finding a job. I was getting paid £35 per 45 minutes at a private training centre.

The market is competitive. The market is also huge. 1 billion people learn English as a second language. If I can capture 500 students, that enough to hire other teachers and admin staff. My experience in China made me very confident that the market is big enough that almost everyone can take a slice of the pie.

What I am asking is how, specifically, would I target these individuals? I don't know how I would do that.



Can you expand on your post? Im interested in what you think about this. What would you do?

I'd check the market, think of what I could offer that's unique, start a YT channel built around that and then figure out a product I could offer to that niche.

Maybe profession specific language, or accent specific pronounciation/slang.

Students are lazy... they don't want to study, they want to be spoon fed a result.

That's why brick and mortar schools are still in business, even though anyone can learn English for free from their phone if they really wanted.

Forget general...

You're competing against pretty English roses with perfect accents and big companies with deep pockets.

I'd go super-niche, and target the intermediate/student market...

Hip-hop English, English for Dental Hygienists...

And then if that niche saturates, add another.
 
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