The complete 2021 guide on how to find students to teach online 

Woman searching how to find students to teach English online

Are you wondering how to find students to teach online? And what happens when you can’t find them? 

Some online teachers are on platforms that require them to find their students. So, finding students can take work. 

It can also be challenging to attract the right students to take your online classes. 

Sometimes it is not always about finding the students but rather marketing yourself to attract the right students to your online classroom.  

So, let’s dive into some must-know strategies to bring in more students to your classes, which will increase your bookings and pay! 

Woman looking up how to find students for online teaching.

Discover your teaching niche

Before you can learn how to find students for online teaching you first need to discover your teaching niche.

Do you want to teach young learners or adults? Beginner or advanced level?

If you are trying to reach everyone, you will not attract the right students or the number of students you want in your classes. 

Your teaching approach should cater to your students’ level of learning and age. 

Do you want to teach beginner ESL to children online? Try applying to these companies that provide students for you and help you get started with a student base. 

Once you have a few students booking your classes and know who you want to teach (beginner, intermediate or advanced level), focus on marketing yourself to attract more of them.

Before you can attract them, you must understand them!

Find out what motivates your students. Sometimes it's to learn how to have better conversations in everyday life or improve presentation skills or learn for work.

Try the following tricks to better narrow down your teaching niche and create a full-time online teaching schedule that will earn you more money:

  1. Create a standout profile.
  2. Know who you are speaking to.
  3. Market yourself like a boss.
  4. Focus on quality over quantity.

Woman working on how to find students for online teaching.

1. Create a standout profile

Whether it is for an online ESL company like VIPKid, a marketplace platform like Skooli or if you want to go out on your own and find students to teach online, your profile is an essential part of attracting the right students to your online classes!

Think about your profile as a personal invitation to your potential students' success. 

When creating your profile, think about what makes you and your classes unique. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What makes taking a class with me special?
  • How can I convey my unique teaching style and personality?
  • What type of students do I want to attract?

For example, if you want to teach ESL to children online, you will want to appeal to both the children and their parents. 

Parents are paying for the classes, but the children will want to enjoy being in your classroom. 

You will need to find a balance of adjusting your approach to both your students and their parents.

There are two aspects to your profile that you will want to refine:

Messaging

Your messaging can include your profile bio, your introduction, or your class descriptions. 

When creating your profile messaging, you should know who you are speaking to and make sure that your language speaks to your potential students' pain points, needs and desires. 

If you can do this well, you nailed it!

Profile Photos & Video

Use photos and video to market yourself and show your potential students what an awesome teacher you are! 

Make sure to use high-quality photos and invest some time to create a high-quality video that showcases your teaching style.

Man looking up how to find students for online teaching.

2. Know who you are speaking to.

As we said, you should know who your students are before you can find them online.

Finding out your potential students' pain points will be essential to developing your messaging to your students.

Here are some strategies to know what your potential students are struggling with:

  1. Get to know your students who already take your classes.
  2. Take notes during class to help them in the future.
  3. Focus on the student and how you can help them.

If you teach children on an online ESL platform, you are most likely speaking to the parents when creating your profile or giving feedback after class. 

Ensure that your voice and messaging is directed to the one paying for the classes and responsible for booking you (the parents!)

When teaching on a marketplace platform, you compete with many other teachers to attract and find students to tutor online. 

It can be difficult to know who we are speaking to when we first start out teaching online. 

The reality is, the more diversified you are, the more likely you are going to find more students to teach. 

If one platform isn’t working out, then move on to another platform and continue to refine your teaching style and ability to attract the right students to your classroom.

3. Market yourself like a boss.

Let’s be honest. Teachers are not trained to market themselves or to think of their profession as a business. 

But, when you are teaching online, it is important to learn how to market yourself and your classes to attract and find potential students.

So, here is your marketing class 101!

The good news is that you don’t need to have a degree in marketing, but you do need to put some effort into your branding so that your ideal students can find you and take your classes. 

Here are a few strategies for each type of job:

Teaching on an ESL platform

If you are teaching for an online ESL platform, your profile is your best way to market yourself. 

You should also make sure that you give your students quality feedback that will help them learn and motivate them to come back.

Teaching on a marketplace platform.

If you are working for a marketplace platform like iTalki or Preply, you can stand out from the crowd with a strong teaching bio. 

You can also use the techniques above to let potential students know how you can help them in their classes.

Teaching freelance or private tutoring.

Suppose you want to offer private tutoring and become a freelance online teacher. In that case, you can use social media,  a website and leverage organic and paid strategies. 

If it fits in your budget, try setting up ads or sponsored posts on social media to reach wider audiences of students. This takes a bit of skill but there are plenty of resources online.

Start small. Focus on teaching a few students really well and before long, your profile and online presence will grow.

Woman wondering how to find students for online teaching.

4. Focus on quality over quantity

When you focus on giving quality classes over trying to teach lots of classes to anyone who will book you then you will have more success in the long run.

Quality classes look like this:

  • Engagement with the student.
  • Timely and effective post-class feedback.
  • Focusing on your students’ individual needs.
  • Creating a safe and comfortable learning environment.

Find one or two things that you do really well and help your students improve in those areas. 

Maybe you are the grammar king or you are a clown in the classroom with props and engagement. Whatever it is, do it well and focus on quality over quantity.

Let your schedule grow!

These are suggestions for you to help you find more students to teach online. However, you should see what works for you. 

It is essential to try different types of online teaching opportunities and diversify your income and opportunities to connect with potential students. 

There are many different online teaching opportunities out there, whether working for a company or working on your own. 

Hopefully, these strategies will help you attract more students to your online classes.