How to get students for your online ESL business

Starting your own online ESL business is a great way to earn independent income. The obvious question I hear from colleagues who want to teach online is ‘How do I get students for online lessons?’ It took me a year and a half to make a full time transition to online ESL teaching. In this article, I share some strategies to obtain online students that worked for me. 

First, some background on my own online ESL business…

I started transitioning to an online ESL business in 2012, while teaching young learners at a private school in Istanbul. First, it started as a few extra hours of teaching per week. As I became more comfortable with the online teaching format, the business quickly grew to a full time job teaching 30-40 hours a week to a mix of adults and young learners, mostly from Turkey.

Secondly, the challenge in today’s online ESL environment…

A quick Google search reveals that ESL students have a multitude of options when it comes to finding an online ESL tutor. There are large online schools such as Live Mocha and OpenEnglish, as well as thousands of sites started by ESL teachers just like us. How can you differentiate yourself from these options while commanding (hopefully) a premium teaching rate to support yourself? Relationships are key…

Relationships, start now…

Almost any ESL student will pay a premium rate to a teacher with whom they already have a personal connection; students want a teacher who provides a personalized learning experience. The best way to establish a personal connection is to focus naturally on students you have already taught. Build your contact list now. Whether you teach in a language institute or a school, it’s vital to store your students’ (and parents’) emails and contact information. These students have first-hand experience of how great a teacher you are and they can make personal recommendations to anyone they know who is looking for an ESL tutor. In some cases, students who I taught in 2008 have referred younger siblings and friends to me. Be sure to keep in touch with your students.  Milestones such as graduations and the academic end-of-year are ideal moments for a personalized message.
Even if you are only contemplating an online ESL business, these personal relationship details (stored in an organized contact list – Excel is fine) will become a core of your marketing strategy. When the time is right, you can send personalized emails to some of your biggest supporters to let them know you are looking for students. Ask for introductions and recommendations to any contacts that they may know who need an ESL tutor.
After a year of online teaching, I took some time to analyze my student relationships. Of the 30 online students I had in February 2014, 22 had come from one single contact and 4 from another. Do not underestimate the influence that your happiest and most satisfied customers will have on your student base. The mother of my very first online student simply recommended me to her neighbor, whose son also became a student. That second student’s mother recommended me to all the mothers at her son’s tennis club… And so on. You won’t know who your ‘angel’ is going to be until it happens, so again, store and maintain your contacts!

Quality, the key to retaining students…

It sounds obvious, but providing a quality learning experience will be the key to retaining students for your online ESL business. In our next Teaching English Online post we will discuss how quality can help you command premium pricing for your online ESL business. For now, start building your contact list!

About the author

James Heywood is an online ESL teacher and is the co-founder of TurksLearnEnglish and Off2Class. After years of teaching in language institutes and private schools, he made the leap to online in late 2012. He has taught a variety of ESL students online including young learners, adults and adolescents in one-on-one and group settings. Off2Class (lesson plan content for private ESL teachers) was launched to provide lesson content resources targeted to teachers running their own private tutorials.


  • Vicky says:

    July 2, 2014 at 8:04 am

    I began to set up my teaching website about a year ago with a limited amount of money.I then found a teaching platform through a company called Wiziq.However, I have found it difficult to get fast enough internet, especially when I travel away from home.I have alsob been struggling with recording classes, getting good audio, etc. Some of this may be due to the limitations of my laptop, or understanding the technical aspects of the Wiziq system.
    I set up a business page on facebook and managed to get nearly five thousand likes. I have offered free classes, but am struggling to turn them into paying students as yet.Sometimes I get down at the effort I’ve put in and my limited results, so to read your story is encouraging.

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      July 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Vicky, thanks for your comments! We’ve found that WizIQ uses quite a lot of bandwidth which can be tough when you don’t have a great internet connection. Try using a simpler videoconferencing system.
      We are big fans of It’s very simple to use and has all the features you’ll need (white board, recording, chat, screen share) and the best part is it doesn’t suck up too much internet (it’s also free for basic accounts).
      As for your student strategy, did you previously teach or currently teach a day job?

    • Catherine says:

      August 27, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      I have read that it is not a good idea to offer free trial lessons. They continue to want free.

      • Kris Jagasia says:

        August 28, 2015 at 1:51 am

        Hi Catherine. Generally it’s good to charge something for your first intro lessons, even $5. This way at least you know the student A) has a credit card and B) is willing to pay for a quality service.

  • Giovanni says:

    September 7, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I am just starting this website and I am now looking for students. I live here in Japan but I don’t want to limit myself to only Japan. How can I market myself?
    Thank you

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      September 7, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Giovanni,
      I recently had an interview with a great online teacher and trainer, Jack Askew. We specifically talk about how to market yourself and to whom to market your product. You can check out the interview: Jack also has an online course available for teachers who are setting up an online business.
      I hope that the interview will answer some of your questions. The key is to market yourself to a niche, not to everybody.
      Best wishes,

      • Judah says:

        July 11, 2015 at 4:30 am

        Hi James. I’m hoping to start this as a side biz. How do I get paid by students? Weekly? Money gram or some way to direct deposit to my bank account with ABA routing number?

        • Kris Jagasia says:

          July 11, 2015 at 10:00 am

          Hi Judah,
          Most teachers usually like to use PayPal because it’s simple and students are comfortable with it.

  • Janice says:

    September 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I am planning to set up an ESL business but I only have limited ideas. Thank you so much for posting this.

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      September 10, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Janice,
      We’re glad you enjoyed the article. We wish you all the best in setting up your ESL business. You might also like to take a look at Jack Askew’s site, where he provides further information for teachers who wish to set up their own business.
      Best wishes,

  • Girl from Kazakhstan says:

    October 1, 2014 at 4:21 am

    I have an idea – to open (online) English language coureses for people in my city – with native English teachers. (all students from 3-6 – will sit in one room, and 1 teacher via skype) Where to find such teacher? for Kazakhstan market it must be ESL teacher? what will be hourly rate for such teacher? how to conclude contract with them?
    Can english speaking teacher start work with people – beginers? I mean if they never speak / listen English can ESL teacher work with them?

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      October 1, 2014 at 9:20 am

      The answer to all of your questions is ‘Yes’, but of course to set up an online business you will need to do a substantial amount of research. All of your questions deserve a long response, and a lot of people already provide the type of information you need. I think it is worth your time to have a look at Jack Askew’s website: Teaching English Online, where he provides a lot of information for people who wish to set up their own online teaching business.
      Our website provides you with resources for online teacher to conduct lessons, so you can sign up and try our our lesson plans.
      Best wishes,

    • Cris says:

      April 28, 2017 at 11:47 pm

      Hi have you started your business already? How was it? We are doing the same here 🙂

  • Katia says:

    December 23, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Hi everyone,
    In response to Vicky and others…
    I started off in an ESL classroom in Korea in 2007 and still keep in touch with colleagues and students. So yes, relationships are crucial. I looked at WizIQ but found the design aspect too rigid. I do think that how you present classes and materials is important, especially if you branch off into specialized literature and art history classes.
    Students and teachers appreciate creativity!
    At present I’m considering Weebly for education ( There’s also an interesting site that allows students to record narratives and upload visuals ( This is an alternative if scheduling actual classes becomes problematic. It allows students to interact when they can, and still get feedback.
    Sorry James, I don’t have a site as yet, I’ll have an Author Page with Xulon next year.
    Anyway, keep the ideas flowing. Good luck everyone.

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      December 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Hi Katia,
      Many thank for sharing your thoughts.
      I agree with you about WizIQ. I actually like the idea of it very much but in practice I find it a little frustrating to use. I think I will try it again in 2015, because WizIQ is constantly making improvements and I do think I was so used to using my own preferred system (Zoom), that I didn’t give it much of a chance.
      I haven’t heard of Weebly so I will certainly look into it. Off2Class is about to add it’s post-lesson (homework) functionality, so this is something very interesting for me to investigate.
      Katia, do you share your own materials with own materials with other online teachers? (I made an assumption that perhaps you are creating your own.
      Best wishes,

  • Mauricio Yuway says:

    February 20, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you for the tips. They are insightful. I’ve recently returned from Turkey in which I taught English at a language school. This was my first ESL teaching job and I was there for only a few months. How much experience would you suggest before starting online English courses?

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      February 21, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Hi Mauricio,
      I don’t necessarily think that you need a lot of teaching experience inside a bricks-and-mortar classroom before you teach online. If you want to do it, then you are ready. In fact, I’ve now met people who have taught only online.
      What you do need to teach ESL online is an understanding of how students learn and a solid understanding of grammar. If you have those, then I think you can teach successfully online. As with teaching in a traditional classroom, you need to prepare lessons in advance. If you are prepared, your students are engaged, and you can retain your students and make a good living.
      My suggestion is to start teaching online now. The first student takes time, but after that your timetable will fill quickly if you are good at what you do.
      Best wishes,

  • Eman says:

    April 2, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you very much for the article.
    I am an ESL teacher from Egypt. I have been teaching online and offline for years, but recently I got really uncomfortable teaching offline, so I quit my offline jobs and started to think about my creating my own online business.
    It’s been three months now and I feel quite confused. I started a youtube channel where I post free videos with the purpose of helping others and also promoting for my service.
    But I find it difficult to provide free content and also encourage people to order my service. They may just suffice with the videos. I can’t find a halfway solution.
    As an Arab, my target audience are also Arabs. They would need my service the most. I joined the online center that first appears in the Arabic google search “English courses”. However, still I get very few students. It’s probably that the culture of learning online is not widespread in the Arab world.
    I hope you have any ideas that would help me promote my services.

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      April 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Hi Eman,
      Thanks for stopping by. Online advertising can be a quite challenging, especially in a competitive field like ESL tutoring. Have you thought about focusing on your offline relationships, and taking them online? You said you taught offline for years, do you have contacts to draw upon? Have you thought of networking with old students to see if they are in need of a private (online) tutor? I would start with your existing contacts, and go from there.

      • Eman says:

        April 3, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        Thank you for your reply 🙂
        I am too shy to offer my services to my former students. I have never done it before, especially that I just started tutoring. I used to teach at centers or organizations, so I don’t have many paying students who I used to tutor.

        • Kris Jagasia says:

          April 4, 2015 at 8:14 am

          Well Eman, you can’t be shy in the world or self-employment! 🙂 It will be much easier to find your first students using offline channels than online channels. Are there specific places where ESL learners congregate in your home town? Can you let the word out through family and friends that you are looking for students?

          • Eman says:

            April 4, 2015 at 8:20 am

            wow … I always thought the opposite was true: it’s easier to find online students online. But what you say makes sense too.
            Thanks, Kris 🙂

  • Kristianne Bernard says:

    July 8, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Hi! I don’t have the resources to make my own online teaching business but I’m planning on joining ( ), where they offer ESL tutoring jobs via Skype . Is this recommended? I heard they’re pretty popular but I’m not sure if it’s better to join a company or start my own business. Thanks!

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      July 8, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Hi Kristiane, thanks for stopping by. I’ve had no experience with Preply but I suggest you do both A) take jobs via online portals while B) simultaneously building up your own customer base. Each are a perfect compliment, you’ll gain contacts and experience from A) that will help with B).

  • Terryl Sky says:

    September 20, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks Kris for your helpful and informative replies to the above inquiries. I am an ESL teacher online and offline, mostly online. I too have had a difficult time attracting students. However, here’s what I’m learning – (but I am still learning and developing!):
    1. Keep the faith, keep marketing, keep trying!
    2. It takes a good while (one year?) for a new website to kick in?
    3. Market any way you can – including blogging, contacts, craigslisht, whatever.
    4. Indeed link up with Jack Askew; he’s a very helpful friendly guy with a good course I think.
    5. I offer free short trial lessons; it makes friends, helps peoples, markets, etc. I try to weed out the freeloaders – but some people are just poor – so I close an eye sometimes and use the session for practice, possible marketing, and am glad to donate my time a bit (karma).
    6. Maybe it’s good to teach for an established online school for practice and interim income? This should be easy – they set up the lessons and pay $10+ to sit and talk – not bad – (of course we want to really teach these great kids and do a good job – which never fails to make me smile, as many children and students are real characters!).
    7. Network more with associated teachers etc.?
    Just some ideas I am applying to market my ESL services. Good luck everyone!
    Terryl Miller Skype
    P.S. Thanks Off2Class for your blogs and helpful insights for us teachers!

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      September 21, 2015 at 1:58 am

      Hi Terryl thanks for stopping by and good luck.

  • Scott says:

    April 18, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Hi Kris, Thanks for all the great information. I am teaching in China now, bit plan to return to the US after this school year. Thus my interest in online tutoring / training. You mentioned you were able to work up to making a living doing this this 30 40 hours a week. Is that living in Turkey or America or?

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      April 18, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Hi Scott,
      While teaching to Turks online, I was mostly living in Turkey or Canada. But while on vacation, I also taught online from Germany, Italy, Malta and Australia. As long as you can cope with the change in time zones, it’s quite easy to teach on the go! I’m currently in Canada so I’m back in a friendlier time zone to teach Europe. If you teach from the US, students in Europe may be a very attractive option for you.
      Best wishes,

  • Paolo Tulio says:

    April 3, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    We are planning to set up an ESL business just wondering if you guys can help me out to get students ? we have 12 seats station ready to use for teaching also we have great teachers, our current business is BPO but we are looking to expand not only in BPO industry also in Teaching.

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      April 3, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Paulo, I send you a direct email. We’d love to work with you! Reply to my email and we’ll get started.
      Kind Regards,

  • Quennie Godinez says:

    April 30, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    We are also in BPO industry for 5 years now and we are also looking for students who wants to learn English online. We have certified and experience Teachers who are ready to teach Students anytime. Do you have suggestions on how to look for students? Thanks a lot!

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      May 7, 2017 at 6:55 am

      Hi Quennie, since you are a company (rather than an individual teacher) I assume you’ll want a relatively large volume of students? Have you thought about advertising channels such as Facebook or Adwords?
      Kind Regards,

      • liza says:

        May 8, 2017 at 6:02 am

        HI Kris,
        I just want to ask how can we get students? We already have our website and we also have our online teachers, but unfortunately we still haven’t had student yet. Can you help us on how to get student? thank you

        • Kris Jagasia says:

          May 8, 2017 at 9:09 am

          Hi Liza, sounds like you own a company with multiple teachers? Nobody is going to find your website unless you point them to it. What have you been doing to point people to your site? Let me know and we can come up with ways to expand these efforts!

  • Liza says:

    May 8, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Kris,
    We do marketing via facebook, posting ads to different facebook group, but til now no one try to inquire to enroll. Do you have suggestions on how to look for students? Thank you.

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      May 30, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Hi Liza,
      Without having a bit more info, it sounds like you are doing a lot of unpaid posting to different Facebook communities? In short, you have two choices (and can use both):
      1 = organic (unpaid marketing, that takes a lot longer to result in traffic/students)
      2 = paid (costs money but is much quicker to receive results)
      If you are doing #1, just posting adverts in Facebook groups isn’t going to produce many results. You need a much more long tail strategy. Your focus, for now, would be building up your email list of potential future customers and then you can start to build trust with them through an email distribution list. We’ve got a great post about this tactic:

      • Liza says:

        June 14, 2017 at 8:29 pm

        can help me out to get students ? we already have 30 great teachers. Thanks

  • Madeleine says:

    May 29, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, I’ve been wanting to set up an online school. I have the website, but I am struggling with the following: where to find students, how to set up appointments via the site, what teaching material to use, and how to set up and display pricing. In truth, I would actually like to do the administrative part and employ teachers to do the online teaching. Do you have any advice?

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      May 30, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hi Madelaine,
      Thanks for stopping by! It’s fantastic that you want to start an online ESL business.
      We are a complete toolkit for your business and we provide lesson content, homework, placement tests, student management, and games – i.e. the complete education environment.
      We’ve advised hundreds of teachers in your shoes on how to kick start their own independent teaching businesses. Finding students is probably your most important task when starting out and we’ve got ideas on how to get started.
      We offer a service called PRO, which allows independent teachers to brand the Off2Class platform. But more importantly for you, all PRO subscribers get immediate access to the Off2Class team for personal coaching sessions.
      We can go over all the elements you’ve posted above and get you focused, and moving!
      Kind Regards,

      • Margaret says:

        June 9, 2021 at 11:07 pm

        I’m in need of these services as well as I’m currently building my online ESL business. I need info on how to get students. Please share. Thanks!

  • ozge says:

    January 3, 2018 at 2:34 am

    I have been an ESL teacher for 15 years teaching at private schools in Turkey,would like to start my online business because I am not happy at private schools as I can not use any methods I learned in CELTA or TDC,I would be so happy if you help me(give some tips or suggest online platforms) also I am willing to help people not only with courses but also preparing projects,lesson plans,worksheets,editing for esl teachers or students

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      January 3, 2018 at 4:24 am

      Hi Ozge,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      As we mention in this post, spend 90% of your time finding students. This is what most people fail to do. Instead, they re-invent the wheel, worry about setting up a website, try to make their own content and get bogged down in things that take up too much valuable time.
      Paying students = a business. Everything else is secondary.
      If you have worked at private schools for 15 years, you should have plenty of contacts. Use those contacts to get your first customers. You really only need three things to start. A video-conference system (Zoom is perfect), a way to receive payment (money transfers between banks is fine to start), and content (we suggest using Off2Class, of course).
      It really doesn’t take much more than that. Spend all of your available time finding your first student. This is what most educators avoid doing because teachers are used to having a supply of students given to them. Marketing and sales is challenging for most teachers, but if you want to succeed in online teaching, set yourself the simple task of getting one online student. If you can do that, it means that you have a business, and if your student likes you, the marketing will start to happen automatically.
      Best wishes,

  • talat ameer says:

    April 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    i want to teach online ,how can i get student ???????

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      April 3, 2018 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Talat, looks like you landed on the right blog post!

  • Alex says:

    October 26, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Great article James. I wonder, though. Is it possible to charge over $20 an hour for an online lesson as an independent teacher (and have enough students to make it viable)? I am currently working for an online platform that pays peanuts. When I did one on one lessons in Japan years ago, my minimum was around $30 an hour. Is this still possible, or has the online market driven the price into the ground?

    • James Heywood (Off2Class) says:

      October 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Alex,
      I’m confident that you can charge $20 per hour but, of course, it depends on what your target market will pay. A lot of teachers won’t spend the necessary time on marketing that is now a requirement to teach independently and – at the same time – make a decent income.
      Teachers have to be prepared to spend their initial energy marketing and differentiating themselves from others in a market that is easy to enter. I think the online market is an exciting place for ESL, but there is a risk that people associate online with ‘accessible and cheap’.
      It’s a huge market, and it doesn’t help that some online schools view teaching as ‘a nice way to extra a few extra dollars’. It’s lovely and democratic that the internet attempts to make everyone an ESL teacher, but at the same time, it doesn’t help qualified teachers who want to teach full time.
      There are a number of online platforms that allow you to set your price – and this is where you can shine. If you spend the time setting up a great introductory video, write a profile that is based around what the student gains rather than the teacher’s experience, and really go for an ESL niche rather than attempt to teach everything to everyone, I think you can easily charge $20.
      It would be great to hear from other ESL teachers on this subject.
      Alex, are you in touch with other ESL teachers who have essentially the same experience as you?

  • Robert says:

    November 15, 2018 at 2:06 am

    Thank you so very much for this dated yet still very relevant post! I became certified in 2014 with a 4.0 GPA TESOL Certificate and I have more horror stories than success of being hired. I can list what 20% (or more) of the China based companies do wrong because I have either worked for them or have been interviewed by them and offered a rate followed by next to nil or nil to show for it for one reason or another– from 3rd party chat malfunctions on USA based phones to absent trainers.
    I became frustrated last night and decided to go freelance. My bachelor’s degree is in business marketing and management and I’m familiar with many of the most popular social media sites. This is huge for me at this time because BOTH gainful social media marketing jobs as well as in-person teaching jobs desire this key word “experience.” As I concluded reading the comments section this evening, I realize I can gain experience in both fields by doing things my way should I seek either a career as a social media marketer or an in-person teacher who creates his own content (lesson plans). I have been trained to strategically market as well as create lesson plans; however, I have had the utmost near vertically impossible time becoming gainfully employed in both fields (part of the reason I retrained in TESOL– and boy did I find out the hard way “higher education” even as a scholarly student isn’t what it used to be).
    Most of the online China based sites require a BA and a teaching certificate. That is all. Unfortunately, they almost all fall short of their marketing/job advertisements. For example, they all tell you the peak teaching times are 6-9 pm Beijing time and they tell you how much you **can** make. After actually teaching with First Future and iTutorGroup/TutorABC, I can tell you first hand that they are full of you-know-what. Once hired, it can be difficult to get trained, especially with the former. But with both, you basically wait in a candidate pool– a pool that you have no idea how many teachers are placed with you and you (silently and overly optimistically) wait for a booking during whatever hours you have marked available. It can be months before you actually see a “full” 3 hours x 5 days a week. And I’ve had interviews that have gone well, but the onboarding or training process is horrible. The pay negotiations are horrible if you are experienced (they all want to pay you a rate as though you’ve taught 0-50 classes, even if you have double that or more as I do).
    This article as well as the real world experiences shared in the comments section here I believe are very beneficial.
    I suppose I should ask questions now.
    1. I have been told Wix is a good beginning platform, in general, for people to create webpages. I have never started a website, sadly. This is one thing I really have been putting off for the “perfect” opportunity to arise. There is no perfect time essentially. So I ask if anyone has a preference for a site or a page stressing the free to cheap aspect.
    2. Scheduling- Is Calendly good to use for students to select their own times? The reason I ask is because many of my teaching demos are scheduled using that and it claims to be free.
    I suppose I should offer a $5 first class and then if they like my teaching style, content and overall experience, offer them a link to Calendly or ask them what their schedule is? I like the idea of giving them a link after the first contact and first lesson are finished, especially if they are L1/L2 and have next to nil for English comprehension.
    That’s all I have right now. Thank you for stressing the 90% of time going towards marketing. I already have ideas on who to market, where to market, and how to market– and the how to market came from this post. Thanks again!

    • Chris says:

      November 16, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Robert,
      Thanks for your detailed comment! I’ve gone through that same rigamarole myself and it’s no fun. My experience in a nutshell is that working for someone else (as you’ve done), and working entirely for yourself (your own students via your own website), are two opposite ends of the spectrum.
      There is a “middle way” that can bridge the gap, and that’s working for a teacher marketplace like Preply, italki, or Verbling (and I’m sure there are others). They allow you to charge your own prices (minus a commission of around 15%), and it combines the benefits of working for yourself (autonomy), with the benefits of working for someone else (a supply of students).
      Now, working entirely for yourself is of course the overall best long-term strategy: you’re not playing by someone else’s rules, there’s no commission, and you can sell more than just lessons. However, it requires many skills that most teachers don’t have and can be time consuming to acquire — and even once you DO acquire them, building a teaching business, like any other business, often takes a considerable amount of time and effort before becoming profitable.
      That said, I’ll directly address your questions:
      1. Wix is indeed a good beginning platform. My personal recommendation for the “website in a box” builders is squarespace because it offers better 3rd party integrations, but there are endless comparisons and reviews online to help you decide what’s best for you. However, I generally recommend a site right from the beginning. It does require a learning curve, but that can be helped with front end site builders like Thrive Architect and others. The reason I think wordpress is best is because there’s no limit to how much it can scale. With Wix, if you have success, you’ll reach a point where you’ll need to switch to something else, as it can only take you so far. WordPress eliminates that concern.
      2. Calendly is excellent and I recommend it to all online teachers!
      I’ll close by adding that, although a $5 trial lesson is a fine idea, it will be too much commitment for cold traffic. Most teachers offer free trial lessons and wonder why nobody books them. The answer is that students know that a free (or even a low-cost) trial lesson is little more than a sales appointment. Instead, offer something like a pdf download in exchange for an email address, use an autoresponder to build trust, and then at the end of your email sequence offer your trial lesson.
      I hope this helps!

      • Robert Burns says:

        November 20, 2018 at 8:07 am

        Thanks for the response! I am not familiar with WordPress and all the addons you mentioned what-so-ever. As for growing pains, I’m not sure how I want to grow it but right not I need free and ease of use so I can begin to collect payments and teach ASAP. I don’t really see myself “growing” in any other way except a full booked schedule. I understand some teachers outsource and hire other teachers (1099 I am guessing) but I don’t foresee that. At this juncture, again, I just want to start teaching because either faulty chat software (WeChat), broken software (PalFish) broken promises/false marketing (First Future/iTutorGroup), low wages, or bad interviewers/hiring personnel seem to be the norm!
        I can certainly include the free .pdf with purchase of first trial lesson. I’m noting the feedback of others who said they want to make sure people have a PayPal or its newer competitor with lower rates, PayFish (I think), set up and ready. The feedback I am noting is people doing free demos and no bookings. At least with a demo there is the opportunity to send the follow up message “I look forward to seeing you in your next class.” Assume the sale technique I learned both in business school as well as from PalFish demo video from a guy who got 12 booked out packages in 10 days, apparently a record or near record for the company. At least with chump change in the bank it covers my 20 minutes and verifies the user has an account to make payments. What are your thoughts on these reflections and maybe bundling perhaps 1 of 3 free .pdf downloads?
        Another question I just conjured is free .pdf creations… Can Office save as .pdf? I know Adobe only offers their viewer for free.
        Thanks again.

        • Chris says:

          November 23, 2018 at 11:12 am

          Hi Robert,
          Office can definitely save as PDF. Regarding other questions that are specific to your individual teaching situation, you might want to think about getting some coaching from someone who has been in your shoes. Several people offer this kind of thing, including Off2Class on your account page!

  • Tom Jansen says:

    April 3, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I see that this is a very old post, but my suggestion is to connect your modem/router to your computer with an ethernet / Lan wire. That appears to have cleared up my Internet problems (constantly breaking up on Zoom calls). The Internet Service Provider came to my house, at my request, to figure out what was wrong. He suggested the hard wire vs. Wifi which I had been using. The connection is now wonderful. In case you know ‘pings’, my pings are now all 26, 27, 28 miliseconds with zero loss (loss had been as high as 29% in a short period, which means interrupted connection.
    PS I had the computer tech at a little computer repair shop make up the cable to the length I needed. Cost was about $8. I live in Thailand.

    • Chris says:

      April 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      Good advice, Tom!

  • Mary says:

    November 28, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    All these posts are so interesting. I myself have worked as ESL Tutor for a few years on a platform that does not pay well for my time, and dedication to the Students. Has anyone ever asked the Students on these Platforms to follow them to your new business? or is that Taboo?

    • Christine Chan says:

      December 14, 2023 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Mary,

      Great question! You can post that question in the official Off2Class Facebook group to see what other ESL teachers say:

      Happy teaching!

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