At last week’s webinar I co-hosted with Gabriella Kovacs on language coaching, I talked about the importance of finding a specific niche to serve. A few days later I got a great question from a webinar attendee that I thought I’d share here to initiate a discussion that may help with further insights and benefit more fellow language teachers.
When I say, find your niche as a language teacher, I mean, a very specific target market that you love working with, that appreciates and values your services, and that has the capacity to pay you.
You may say that you’re an Italian teacher, so anyone who wants to study Italian could be your niche – but I’d argue that it’s not specific enough. If you speak to anyone interested in Italian, you may end up speaking to no one and therefore, you might struggle to find a steady stream of clients.
Here’s my story in a nutshell. Up until about 2015, I was a German and Hungarian teacher to anyone and everyone in London, Uk. I had clients in finance, fashion, insurance, automotive industry, law and many other sectors. I loved doing what I was doing, and I was convinced that I’m adding massive value to my clients’ personal or professional lives, but financially, my performance was rather average.
I started to think what I could do differently to change this. I invested in business training and decided to specialise my services and tailor them specifically to suit finance executives in London.
Why finance executives?
I honestly LOVE working with them. They value my services and appreciate what I do. And – they have the capacity to pay.
I’m highly interested in their industry, and therefore I can relate to them, I more or less understand their everyday challenges, what they struggle with and I also like the occasional strong personalities that approach me. I like to crack a hard nut.
Having said that, this doesn’t mean that I don’t talk to anyone else. I do. In fact, I do have a lovely marketing executive client, and also someone who works in legal services and has been working with me for over 10 years, but my marketing messages are addressing mostly finance executives.
Once I was clear on my target market, I created unique service packages that serve them in a remarkable way, and my marketing messages started to be far more relevant to their needs and wants.
The result: a very loyal clientele who I love working with, who loves working with me and keeps coming back for more, and who has the capacity to pay my above-market-average fees.
After last week’s webinar where I addressed these points, I received a very interesting question from a dear webinar attendee and thought I’d share it with you, alongside my answer. I’d like to open this up for discussion, in the hope that it may lead to further insights that fellow language teachers can benefit from.
My question concerns potential clientele. I assume, being a type of a very personalized service, it appears to be affordable mostly to highly-skilled business professionals, and not so to people who need a language for pleasure, travel or leisure. Would be grateful to read your opinion on that.
It is possible to ‘create’ a market niche of people who study languages for pleasure and leisure and are willing to pay a premium price for a very specialised service. This really is about finding this niche and knowing their pain points and solving their problems in the best possible way. Once you know this, it’s all about packaging services in a creative way, adding massive value to them and then beating the drum in front of the right audience. You see, highly skilled business professionals do study languages for pleasure, travel or leisure – the 2 don’t contradict, in fact, maybe that’s the intersection you’d want to aim at.
Now, I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this? Is there anything else you’d add? What’s your experience in terms of specialisation, niching and pricing your services as a fellow language teacher?
Looking forward to hearing your voice in this one.
PS: End of October 2019, I’m hosting an exclusive webinar where we’ll address this topic alongside many others. Join me to learn about the most effective marketing strategies if you’re a fellow business language teacher, trainer or coach.
Click on the picture to find out more on the programme.