Break in case of emergency.
No matter how hard you work, and no matter how good of a job you do, you will one day wake up and find yourself with fewer students and a smaller income. That is just a part of being a freelance ESL teacher, right?
This moment can be very unsettling though, especially if you have gone for a long period of time without having to hunt for new students. Worry and fear quickly set in. When it has happened to me, I’ve even found myself starting to doubt my ability as a teacher, even though the reason my students had left were for personal ones that had nothing to do with me.
What if I suck? What if I can’t find new students? How will I pay for the mortgage this month?
Frozen. Fear does that, doesn’t it?
Having to replace clients is a normal part of being a freelancer, no matter how good you are. It’s really important to realize this. But instead of freezing and falling into a mind numbing cycle of self-doubt and fear, what if you took a few minutes today – while things are good – and prepare a system that will help you quickly get moving again after a client leaves?
A system is a set of steps for you to follow to create a desired result. You use them, likely unconsciously, all the time to help you produce required results. Why not use the power of a system to help you recover your income?
How to Make Your System for Getting New Clients
1. Get a pen and paper, or open a new Word document on your computer.
2. Give your system a snappy title: Find New Client System (That wasn’t very snappy, but you get the picture.)
3. Step by step, write down exactly what you did to find and bring on your last star student. Don’t write a book here – just note down in point form, what you specifically did or what you have done that worked to bring in new students. Here are a few examples that I have written for me:
- Goto Craig’s List.
- Click on my country and city.
- Click on Services, then Classes
- Post about my services.
Bonus tip: Copy the text from your last posting and save it in a special text file. When you need to post another ad for your services, simply copy and paste from your last posting. (Great time saver!)
After you have created your system, you need to put it somewhere safe. I have a file on Dropbox where I keep all the digital copies of my systems. I also print them off and keep them in labelled binders.
So the next time you have to hunt for a new student to work with, don’t panic! Just reach up to your bookshelf, calmly pull out your system for Getting New Students, and follow.
You’ll be rolling again in no time!
Over to you – how have you used systems to help you get new students?