branding yourself

yesterday I took part in a webinar by Justine Arena on branding yourself as a teacher. It was a great experience – firstly because I had some quality time to myself sitting with a tablet at our summer house terrace (ah, bliss..), and secondly because I got inspiration and a couple of ideas on how to move forward. First I was just listening, but very soon I started making notes, scribbling down some ideas and advice Justine offered.

Not to forget it all (as I know my notes are going to be indesipherable even to me after some time), I decided to share what I found important with you.

The idea of personal branding starts with you deciding what good trait is natural and unique for you, so that you can make into your feature. Then it’s also important to decide who you want to help with your work, how you do it and why you help them. All that lets you decide what your “added value” is – i.e. that what your students get is not only a lesson, but also a unique experience, the way you make them feel, etc…

the most important idea, or, to be precise, position about who you teach is YOU HIRE YOUR STUDENTS, NOT THEY HIRE YOU. So this is you who choose the caliber of students you work with, not they deciding if you are “big enough” to hire. This is how you get your RED CARPET STUDENTS (one more new notion from Justine, meaning the students you enjoy working with, the ones that you are proud of, kind of key account students). These Red Carpeе students are students in the area you prefer, and they are the ones who recommend you around and bring you more business.

So when you start teaching someone new, this is what you should do:

start not with teaching, but with a talk. Explain what your added value is, talk about what and how you do what you do, but – as Justine Arena recommends – don’t talk about a price yet. If you are asked about it during this first talk, try to avoid talking about it at this stage. After the talk send an e-mail containing all the details (cancellation policy (!), prices and s0 on). I’ve never done as Justine suggests – at least, I always discussed prices (almost) at the beginning. But after the webinar this approach makes sense to me, and I’m willing to try…

All in all, you should be and look as professional as possible (and self-respecting, too): use a formal testing system to test your students’ current knowledge, make a logo (visual identity) and business cards for yourself (the ones Justine Arena showed looked great and very memorable), and offer something unique and of high quality.

To conclude, the 2 things I’ll try to bear in mind for the next time I make a contact with a new student:

1)I hire my students and offer a unique experience to them and 2) (not an original thought, but still worth remembering): the more you invest in yourself and your business, the more you get in the end…

oh, and there is something else I scribbled on a separate post-it and nearly forgot: (this is why it’s so important to put everything into my blog) :

follow-up your lessons (and even the whole course when it’s already over) with useful stuff, like Wiki-pages, links, etc.

and – this is good to remember – become more than an Engllish teacher to your students – become a source of knowledge – new books, travelling destinations, anything in the world that is valuable both to you and to them…


About Svetlana Urisman (Englishteachingnotes)

I am an ADOS and an English teacher (and materials writer) in a language school in Moscow. I have been an ADOS and a teacher trainer for almost a year now and a teacher for about 5 years. I am keen to share some ideas and materials I've developed in order to take them further and not to forget or lose them You are welcome to use any materials represented in this blog, and I will be happy to get your feedback afterwards if you take them to your classroom! ;-)
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3 Responses to branding yourself

  1. sunnymiz says:

    Thanks for sharing the useful information. Do you have the link to the webinar (if it was recorded)…would love to watch it.

  2. Very inspirational, thank you for sharing!! : )

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