Edu- or Educational Businesses are as the name suggests businesses with a special focus on education, providing tools and know-how to teachers, schools, and students. In recent years with the emergence of online learning and especially since the pandemic, their contribution to education, in general, has been even more prevalent. The lines are blurred but these are the 5 main types of Edubusinesses:
- employed teachers (by school or institution)
- self-employed and freelance teachers and tutors
- schools and institutions
- software and platform companies (LMS, Edutech, apps)
- coaches, bloggers, experts
It’s very important from a marketing viewpoint to take a look at the different strategies these businesses need to have in order to be successful. Teachers who are employed by schools (even online schools) usually don’t need to market themselves or their schools directly. Self-employed tutors and freelance teachers (usually private language tutors) however need to extensively market themselves to get new students and to keep them the same way as online schools need to do. LMS (Learning Management System) and app developers need marketing strategies similar to any other product development company. Coaches and experts need to market themselves the same way freelancers need to. /Non-profit and governmental educational institutions are disregarded here. Self-development, self-help, and spiritual coaching are special types of tutoring environments and I’ll write about them in a later post./
The differences are in customer behavior and finances. LMS and learning tools are often marketed to corporate buyers or schools whereas freelancers and online schools (especially in language tutoring) have private students who are often interested- would like to learn- but cannot afford to pay and the dropout rate is the highest here.
The most difficult is to market freelance services and private tutoring. Most freelancers make the mistake to rely solely on social media and word-of-mouth to market themselves. They don’t build a consistent brand image thinking it only applies to companies and they don’t think outside of the box when it comes to marketing. It’s easy to see then that they’re struggling the most to become successful and create a sustainable income. The problem is that the demand and the supply often times cannot find each other.
Freelance tutors have the knowledge, experience, flexibility, and lower prices; all are very marketable but most freelancers cannot capitalize on them because they don’t see themselves as businesses and don’t use appropriate marketing channels. Sofware and Edutech developers usually operate like any other production companies and the reliance on social media as the main/only form of marketing is still prevalent among them. Unlike freelancers, however, they’re more likely to be able to build sustainable businesses as long as their products are relevant and marketable because their income doesn’t depend solely on the buying behavior of individual customers/students.
/This is an introductory post, I’m going to write more extensively about different marketing strategies for Edubusinesses in later posts as well./