Let’s welcome Brian, from America, to share his insights and successes from our recent free WeChat marketing bootcamp!
Brian started teaching ESL online with VIPkid five years ago, then started switching to independent teaching in 2020. Now, he has 22 private students.
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Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hello! My name is Brian Peel and I am from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. I have been an online ESL teacher with VIPKid for just over five years and started teaching some private students about two years ago and then mostly private students a year ago with all of the changes in Chinese policy.
I am still teaching a few of my old students with VIPKid but I have 22 students that I teach privately 2-4 times each every week. This mostly fills my schedule, but I teach a few lessons with VIPKid too.
Why did you join the free WeChat marketing bootcamp?
I had connected with around 40 parents on WeChat to make scheduling lessons easier, since VIPkid did not have a communication platform. I only ever communicated through direct message and would occasionally share a moment. I knew WeChat had more offer that I was missing out on! This is why I decided to join the WeChat marketing bootcamp.
What was the first “ahha” moment from the bootcamp?
The WeChat marketing bootcamp really opened my eyes to new possibilities!
The first thing I did was correctly set up my WeChat profile according to Katie’s suggestions. I filled in my bio and created a header that showed a small glimpse of what I do, but not too much.
Ten minutes after updating, I was contacted by an old student whom I have never taught privately and they purchased lessons right then! It’s amazing how something as small as correctly setting up our profile can create opportunity, but clearly it is noticed.
How have you used WeChat to build more of a community around your independent teaching?
The next idea I implemented was WeChat groups. I was reluctant to create groups at first because I have had some of these contacts for five years and have never done anything like this. So, I decided to ask for their opinions. They were ALL IN!
I usually only teach 1-to-1, but also introduced the idea of offering a seasonal camp of group classes as well as starting groups. They have been so excited about the idea! I created smaller groups with my students of similar levels and have been posting extra content for them as extra practice.
What content have you posted in your WeChat groups?
Since it is Halloween, we have been focused on having some fun, educational content about the holiday.
I have posted some flashcards with my WeChat QR code on them (Katie’s suggestion in case they are shared). I also sent an audio message with correct pronunciation of each word and asked my students to reply with audio of them practicing. This was so fun for everyone!
My A1 learners group, the Badgers, is currently only my two students, but I know it will grow. I posted a book for them with the audio of me reading the story.
My two younger groups are currently having a pumpkin decorating contest. I posted a blank page with a pumpkin outline for them to color and decorate. I can’t wait to see the fun things they do!
How have WeChat groups help you find new students on WeChat?
I also encouraged my students to add others (of similar level) to the group, even if they were not taking classes with me to create a more engaging environment. My B1 group, the Lions, started with only 6 students and parents have invited 9 more into the group since I created it earlier this week – that’s nine new leads for my teaching business!
Any final words?
I am so thankful that I found the WeChat marketing bootcamp and that I was willing to implement the new ideas I heard. It has made WeChat my favorite app to open on my phone! I am excited to learn more about WeChat Video Channels when they are released in my area too.
Thank you so much Brian for sharing his insights and successes with us – finding nine new leads already (within a week of the bootcamp ending) is incredible! Do you want to find new independent students on Chinese social media? Join our Facebook group and email list for updates on future free monthly bootcamps!