Joining Teaching ESL Online in this latest interview is Andrea Giordano from ESL Basics.
Andrea and I recently collaborated on a video together and, after looking at her website and YouTube channel, I reached out to ask if she would like to share her online teaching story with us.
In the interview, we discuss how she got started, email marketing and social media, and her courses for English learners.
Watch in HD!
What We Discussed
Andrea started teaching English in 2006 while she was in the process of getting her TESOL. But after binge watching Food Network Star, she thought, “I can do this.” So, after bouncing ideas around with her brother, she decided to start teaching English through video.
She shot several hundred videos on her YouTube channel in the first couple of years and has continued uploading free content since then. Her biggest challenge in the beginning was working out who her audience was and how she was going to connect with them.
Most of her early videos were around 15-20 seconds long. As she became more comfortable and built up her experience teaching in the classroom, she started to make longer-form videos.
She regrets not starting an email list straight away but, when they did, it was a game-changer, and this is when they started to see their audience grow.
They have had ups and downs with YouTube – having your advertising cut off is never nice! – but it has helped them cast a wide net and bring more learners into their world.
Andrea interacts with learners through her various channels. She talked about how she reaches out to people through Twitter, not to sell them her courses, but to get the conversation going. As she mentioned, she really cares about helping learners improve their English.
They use Selz as their payment provider for their products. We both talked about how easy it is to set up and use, and Andrea mentioned how impressed she was with their customer service.
They have had much success with helping learners who need to take the Citizenship Test in the U.S. and have various products and videos in this area.
A new course (The Spoken Life) is going to be introduced soon (by the time you read this, it will most likely be live) and it is there to help English learners become more confident with their speaking.
Over to You
I hope you enjoyed listening to Andrea’s story. Unfortunately, I messed up the recording of the video a little but we got to see her at the end!
One of the biggest takeaways for me was the amount of time she spends interacting with people online. Doing this shows that you care and helps you build trust with English learners.
Please let me know your thoughts on the interview in the comment section below!