I received the following question recently:
“I’ve been teaching English online for two years giving one-to-one lessons. I’ve tried so many times to give group lessons but it hasn’t worked. My questions is: how do I get students interested in group lessons?”
In this post, you’re going to learn:
- the benefits of offering group lessons
- which software to use
- the challenge of giving group lessons
- how to get more students to sign up
Watch the video and then read the article below:
A group lesson is where you teach two or more students at the same time (in real time).
When I first got started teaching online, the connection – and software – just wasn’t good enough to have more than one student meeting at the same time online.
But a lot has changed since 2008!
Back in 2014, I experimented with some group lessons. I met with 3-4 students at a time using Zoom. The connection was good and I enjoyed the dynamic of having more than one learner in the lesson.
The biggest benefit for both the student and teacher is price.
Let’s say that you teach one-to-one lessons and charge $25 per hour.
Having 4 students pay $15 means that:
- the student is paying $10 less per hour
- you – as a teacher – earn $20 more (4*$15 = $60)
Use your calculator to work out potential earnings for your online group lessons.
In addition to price, I also think that group lessons are more fun. Having various students in the lesson means added interaction, less teacher speaking time, and more dynamism.
Most group lessons run over a 10 week period and have between 2-6 learners in the lessons.
Let’s talk about the software you can use before getting into the challenge of finding learners.
Software to Use to Teach Group Lessons Online
I highly recommend using Zoom.
Yes, there is a limit on the free plan to 40 minutes for group lessons.
But the software is perfect for what we want to do here. It’s the best connection out there, has live chat, and you can share your screen and annotate. You can record the lesson too.
It’s worth the upgrade if you want to have one hour lessons but if it’s not in your budget, keep your lessons to 40 minutes.
When it comes to taking bokings, I recommend Calendly.
Here you can:
- set a time for your lesson
- take payment
- limit the number of students who can join
We’ll talk more about other software you might need in a moment. But first, there’s something we need to overcome.
The Challenge of Getting People to Buy Your Group Language Lessons
It all sounds great, right?
You get paid more per hour and the lessons are fun.
… there is a problem. It’s much easier to get someone to sign up for a one-to-one lesson than a group lesson.
The lower price helps to combat this somewhat. But here’s why it’s more challenging:
- the student can’t pick a time to suit him/her
- most teachers want to keep learners separated by levels and niche – this reduces the demand for your group lessons
- many want a personalized lesson instead of having other students in the class
- learners have to commit to a series of lessons
But don’t get too disheartened.
Here’s what to do to get more sign ups: Get across the benefits of group lessons, having a system in place, and promoting it to the right type of people.
(This is something you’ll learn in my premium course – learn more here).
Benefits include the price of the lessons, interaction, and the learning outcomes from the group lessons.
Highlight this in all your marketing materials.
One factor in your favor here is that there is real urgency and urgency sells. If your group lessons start next Monday, learners have to sign up before then to take part.
To increase your signups, create a landing page so people can sign up (include the calendar that you created) and then promote it.
Promote it by:
- creating an email list and sending out a promotion
- sharing the link to your group lessons on social media
Your email list is key. If you don’t have one yet, start one now. Send out various emails on the weeks leading up to the start of your group lessons.
Takeaway: get across the benefits of group lessons, create a landing page, and promote this landing page.
Why You Might Want to Focus on One-to-One Lessons First
If you don’t have an email list yet or if you’re at the beginning stages and don’t have a large following, it’s best to hold back on group lessons and focus on one-to-one instead. That’s because you’ll need several students to fill up a specific time slot.
Once you have built an audience, then start these type of lessons.
Or you might want to focus on online courses instead.
Let me know your thoughts!