Video 1: How to get more students? My Top Tip

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Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

96 Responses to “Video 1: How to get more students? My Top Tip”

  1. Margit

    Great video.

    Put me on the list for more, of course.

    I think you talked about the most important points here:
    1. Being yourself.
    I have a gut feeling, this is the most difficult one, too.
    Especially for teachers who are in a culture, not speaking the language, not understanding the differences in humor etc.
    And often it means to also show my weak points to students, or on the other hand present my strong points.
    For many the “Middle” is so comfortable.

    So, absolutely “being yourself”.

    And Blogging; my best new students and parents are the ones who come because they have searched the net and found my website. They know exactly what they will get and this is what they want.
    Now, a concrete example with many many thanks to you, Richard:

    Last year, you shared a TED talk here.
    I loved it and put it on my blog:

    Now, right after that I got 2 new students calling. I had to tell them I was booked, but that there was a possibility 6-8 month later.
    There answer was:
    “I have seen your blog with the TED talk, the other day, and a teacher who shares something this wonderful is amazing. YOU are the teacher I want and I will wait patiently until you can take my daughter, even if it will take a few years.”

    you can imagine I was blown away, and this feed back of course got me on my legs to work something out getting them over.

  2. Ewa

    As always it’s been a real pleasure watching you and listening to your invaluable tips. Keep ’em coming.

  3. Susy

    Thank you so much Richard for taking the time find ways to help us grow, as people and as teachers.

    Love your enthusiasm when you share things with us.

    This was a great video with some great tips ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Anna Jany-Pietrazewska

    Terrific video. Your enthusiasm, useful tips are extemely inspiring. I hope to watch more. Looking foward to your next video!

  5. Richard Graham

    Thank you, thank you everyone for the kind words! It is so nice to hear!

    I’ll get working on the next video for you now. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to cover?

  6. Dr. Ingrid R. Yap

    Great tip. I am an advocate of inclusive education i.e. making quality education accessible to all kinds of children , especially those with special needs. And you are right. We get more students from families who believe in our philosophy and mission.

  7. Wayne Green

    Thank you Richard. I teach part time and I believe in being myself, if they don’t like my lessons that’s fine.
    I use genki english and I also teach children art, so I combine english and art together as well as singing your songs and jumping around. Be yourself and people will appreciate it.

  8. olga

    Great job! Thank you for your love and energy in teaching English. I’m always excited by all your works.

  9. Richard Graham

    @Ingrid: Fantastic – love what you are doing!

    @Wayne: Great stuff. I’ve actually got a friend here who is doing some amazing, like crazily amazing, stuff with art in class. I’ll see if I can pop down and make a video for you!

  10. John

    Thank you for the video. I’d like to see more

  11. Dan Burgess

    Hi Richard, I like the “be yourself” idea. You certainly practice what you preach! ๐Ÿ™‚ However it still requires venues for your potential clients to see you! One time I heard you mention the idea of being seen in the community. Not just in the context of teaching English, but doing other things like volonteer work. That can be your best publicity.

  12. Todd Finnigan

    Thank you for continuing to give back, again and again.

  13. Richard Graham

    @Dan: Yes indeed, was just giving one tip at once here ๐Ÿ™‚

    @Tood: Thank you, much appreciated!

  14. Milona Simeun Carmichael

    Great video.
    It was inspiring to hear that being yourself can help.
    I would like to hear more.

  15. RM.Murugappan

    Hi Richard
    This video is really pragmatic… Offlate I see lot of schools spending a lot of money in advertizing for growing their school strength. As you said people could believe only if they know you better. So blogging and demos are cool ideas.
    Thanks a lot

  16. Elena

    Thank you, Richard for the such positive message!)))

  17. Claudia Borghese

    Thank you so much Graham for your precious advice!
    Look forward to your next tips. Thumbs up!

  18. patrizia bini

    Hello, Richard you are always inspirational, it’s a great idea. So many people have web sites, and their own pages, but all they do is fill it up with, often videos taken from other places, or it is purely publicity which only shows, for example, english lessons with happy kids. It is certainly more interesting for people to get to know you on line, and then choose, and so one more time such a simple idea, and so effedtive, thank you!

  19. G. Wagner

    Thank you Richard for the lovely advice. I have a direct question. How much is the hourly going rate for a private lesson in Japan that is not held in a big city. Not too many foreign teachers in my area. Thank you.

  20. Zhazira

    Hi Richard, thanks a lot for your video and for sure i liked your ideas about being yourself and blogging ! i’d like to get some videos with fantastic ideas.

  21. Ivana Virga

    Great! I really enjoy your teaching. Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

  22. Anastasia

    Good tips! Thanks, Richard!

  23. Kheng Bunny

    I totally agree with you.

  24. Anna

    Richard, I call you the “God of English”. Because the songs you come up with are so amazing (even moms are singing them), the ideas that you share are so valuable, the energy that you give to teachers around the world is worth a lot!!! Thank you so much!!!!

  25. Julia

    Hi Richard and everybody!

    Being yourself is just the most important thing when you follow a great leader, because you never can be an exact copy of him.
    As I saw how Richard works I thought to myself: I like it so much but I don’t think I can do what he does, and HOW then can I teach GenkiEnglish? So it took me some time to “tame” GE, to find a way how I can be myself and use all tips and techniques Richard shares with us.
    But frankly speaking I can say that ‘me’ before using GE is not the same as ‘me’ now ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Nanci Rodrigues

    Fantastic!!Love your enthusiasm.!Thank You for sharing.I’d like to see more.

  27. rhayza

    Thanks Richard for the video I like itmy I’m learning new things ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Hienmai

    Great, Richard! Thank you so much for the useful tips. I wonder how I can be enthusiastic like you to attract more students. Looking forward to your other videos.

  29. Jason

    Good thought about “Blogging”, that sounds like a thing to try.

  30. Anita

    Reflecting ones personality in the school is an awesome tip.
    Thanks again Richard. I love Genki English. Keep the Genkiness coming!!

  31. Nidia

    Hi Richard,

    Our school uses your lessons to add on to their curriculum.

    Haha, nice “blog” – you are a funny man.

    Thank you very much for your advice. Trying something new or different in China is always a challenge ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Paula

    Thank you, Richard, for the encouragement to put out there what we really have on offer :-).

  33. Annie

    Thank you Richard! I enjoyed the video, the concept of being yourself and show who you are.. The idea of blogging is cool, but that requires time..any tips on how to actually do it without taking much time off preparing for lessons? How to set your blog? I’ve helped 2people start up their blogs -a psychologist and an engineer, but wouldn’t know how to start mine..
    I teach to adults, and I teach kids through songs, games and drama. It would be also great to know how teachers like Wayne, or your friend, combine Art and English.
    Thank you for sharing!

  34. Carlos Hernando Noriega

    Thanks it was very informative and usefull…

  35. Richard Graham

    @Annie: Everything good takes time and smart work! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am thinking of maybe this year doing a module on online market too, I’ll see!

  36. Angelika

    Hi Richard,
    Thanks for your great advise.
    I’m teaching with GE and I had a little presentation for the parents and relatives at the end of the school year in Spain .First I did a lesson with them, then my 4-year-olds showed their parents what they had learned and finally we did a class in front of them.They were very impressed and I’ve already got several requests for September due to my happy parents.I’m going to repeat that in September by offering open doors on
    certain days.

  37. elham

    thanks a lot Richard for ur greaaat video.

  38. Diana Pilip

    This Top tip is great!!!!! You’re always inspiring confidence in everybody!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Mari

    Thank you Richard! You always cheer me up whenever I ask by myself “Am I OK as an English teacher?” I am not good at put something on SNS things. It is like talking in front of a LARGE audience… it makes me really nervous. But it is really true that it is very good way to know about myself by everyone around me. Actually I put my class room’s photo in the “time LINE(everyone who connected with me by LINE can see the article or pictures)” by mistake, before long, 2 friends contacted me like… ” Are you teaching English?” and their kids are now my students. So I think it is very true that Richard said in this video! Well I read your E-book which is full of nice tips. In it you said “Do it today, not tomorrow” ..OK. Thank you again Richard… you always with us English teachers and I feel “I can do it!” whenever I saw your messages. Thank you Thank you Thank YOU!

  40. margaret

    Hi Richard,

    I have been watching you for a few years, but only recently made the leap into my own classes. I will be attending training in Tokyo and be purchasing a set soon! I am so inspired by the work you have done with Genki English. Great videos and teacher materials.


  41. Brad

    Great article Richard! I have a question about the blog, well 2 actually ๐Ÿ™‚ 1. If you live in an area where most people don’t know English, how can you make it easier for them to read what you write? Have a translation under the original? 2. Best way to get people to have access to the blog.? Hope you have continued success. Excellent work!

  42. Richard Graham

    @Elham & Diana: Thank you!

    @Mari: Excellent story about LINE!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ( LINE is the Japan equivalent of Facebook) I was reading a story yesterday about one of the best video bloggers. He was terrible! But he forced himself to make one new video everyday for a year. And you know what happened? He became pretty amazing at it!

    @Margaret: See you in Tokyo!

    @Brad: Yeah the blog has to be in the local language. Obviously if the parents could understand an English version then they probably wouldn’t need you ๐Ÿ™‚ But this is one way video really helps, because speaking is always easier than writing. Plus as I mentioned to Mari above, it massively improves your language skills if you force yourself to do it everyday or even week! For getting more people onto the blog, I’m going to see if I can add an Online Marketing module this year as lots of people have been asking!

  43. helena

    Your video is useful. Ussualy I go the same way and it works. Thanks for your job.

  44. Ilona

    Thank you very much Richard for your enthusiasm and inspiration! Your cool video encourages me to act. I used to be very shy to show my personality and hobbies to other people (especially my clients) but Iยดve always thought that being yourself is the most important thing. It gives you freedom, self-esteem and happiness. Keep up the good work!

  45. Kami Shin

    Thank you so much ,Richard!
    It’s a great video with wonderful tips!
    I LOVE your enthusiasm!
    I am always looking forward to get your mails.
    I really appreciate all your emails.
    Learned a lot from you.
    May God Bless you continually!


    Thank you Richard,

    After I watched your video a wonderful idea came up to my mind how to let parents know me better…If it works I’ll let you know the details :))

    Thanks for good advice and inspiration!

  47. Kate

    Agree with you. The main thing is to be yourself. Thanks a lot for your useful tips!

  48. GT

    Thank you Richard. You are a source of encouragement to us (English teachers). Your great efforts are really appreciated. Thank you very very much! More power to you!

  49. Dina

    Very energetic and inspiring personality! That’s the way teachers should be to make learning fun. I’m glad I’ve came across your videos on youtube, (spent hours looking for good teaching tips!!)at last. Good tip about being yourself and making your school “personalised”.
    Thanks a lot, great stuff!

  50. Andrea

    A pleasure, as usual. Thanks.

  51. Jody Williams

    Great information. I am just starting out in Cambodia and am excited to use Genki starting with preschoolers and my teachers. Thank you.

  52. Alicia

    Thanks for all wonderful ideas! I manage a school in China. We have our great teachers’ team; kids making progress. But just few parents are happy, they don’t see their kids success. And I found the answer in the comments… Open doors! We just have to show parents what we have learnt! Thank you again!

  53. Shelley Weiss

    Just saw your video now, Richard! Have been busy with end-of -school year business, so I didn’t manage to watch it till now! I certainly agree with you, that when people know your personality and who you are, it reflects in your teaching. You are sooooo right about that! Taking myself as an example,…After school hours I have my OWN private school in different areas, and the truth is, it took just one person to provide by “word of mouth” how she liked my personality and teaching, and the rest is history!
    I am “no spring chicken” and yet I enjoy bike riding and even riding long distances…Well my students and parents think I am COOL and my enthusiasm about my riding influences my teaching…the GENKI way of course!Thank you Richard for sharing your awesome ideas! Everyone loves you!

  54. Alex B

    These are essential points you make – you are truly living your calling as a teacher, teaching others!

  55. Phi Anh

    Hi Richard Graham,

    I love the way you impart ideas, it is awesome. I wish you can share your energy to me ๐Ÿ™‚ .Love love…you!

  56. Mari Kiyama

    Thank you for this video, Richard. I am the person who want to be loved by everyone and don’t want to make any enemies…BUT in your words ” it totally boring and bland just make nobody pleased not know students” Yes it is true. I was too afraid of making enemies so that I post anything on my facebook. Even put “I like”, I needed my courage. I will try change my attitude. Thank you Richard!

  57. Monica

    Thank you Richard……not pleasing everyone is a new upsteram marketing strategy I’ll keep in mind….good point to me.
    Please put me in the list for next videos

  58. Esther Michiwake

    Hello Richard !
    It’s a great video and I heard of what I have expected. You’re so nice to share things that all beginner teacher is really wanted to know about starting their own schools. I am re-opening my private school this April and I’m really looking for all the materials on what to use for my children’s lesson and adults classes. Thank you again.

  59. Paula

    Struggling at the moment within a system that demands I teach a syllabus I don’t find is amenable to the introduction of normal, natural language. I would love your advice on that!
    Loved your video. I am myself and couldn’t be any other way. Numbers of students are increasing all the time. The only restraint being that I can’t clone myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  60. Mark

    Great stuff Richard. Thanks for your willingness to always share so much. Your enthusiasm always lifts ones spirit when things get a little stressful. Keep up the great work. When are you planning on bringing out another Level for the Teachers Set? CD 13 is a few years old now. Good Luck. Not always easy being ourselves in some of the more reserved countries, but people eventually accept you if you are consistent.

  61. Richard Graham

    Good luck Esther and Monica!

    Paula: Scrap the syllabus. Life is precious. There’s no point wasting it. (And if that means quitting and starting again, fantastic, you’ll have the life you want to live!)

  62. Richard Graham

    @Mark: Working on vol. 14 right now – might be a while before official release though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. mimi karni

    I enjoy your enthusiasm, and enjoy to see how much energy you have, and that you keep on going and going and going!!!!!

  64. Sanskar

    Hi Richard,

    Really great…
    it was really inspiring.The videos are really nice…just wanted to know more about how to create our own blog?? And what is essecial for that???
    I am really impressed the way you are teaching…waiting for more videos….thanks.


  65. Bakary

    Wonderful tips Mr. Richard. ฤฐt contains great ideas and it’s good to watch your videos.

  66. Zaliah

    Great! Love your energy! Love your small tips too. Often i make sure to watch any of your videos whenever my energy’s down. Always love your style and any tips u highlighted!inspiring. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

  67. Chryssanthie

    Thank you Richard for the tip. I used to teach English long time ago and had to abandon my career due to various reasons. Now I wish I ‘d catch up and just don’t know where to start from. So that was an inspirational clue.
    Would you be so kind as to cover some practical aspects as well? i.e. How to fund a low budget but respectable ETL institute?
    Thank you for all the advice and help for so long

  68. Richard Graham

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Chryssanthie, I’ll be covering pricing in a later video so if you combine that with the tips in this video you should have enough cashflow for all the funding you need!

    @Sanskar: Actually the best place to start a blog right now is on Facebook. Especially for video blogs. The key with content is to solve someone’s problem. So think of all the questions and problems that the parents ask you and answer each one in a video blog on Facebook!

  69. Alany

    Thank you, Richard!
    Your video IS helpful. Will be waiting for the next one!

  70. Miha

    Thank you so much for your work, Richard!
    I’ve just moved to Germany and having almost no network and only basic knowledge of German, it is quite a challenge. Back home I worked with both children and adults, my school was growing beautifully.
    Now it’s back to number one ๐Ÿ™‚
    Teaching is my passion, it is in my blood so… I’m back to building a school from the ground…and my life for that matter (that’s suitable for a few blog posts)!
    Looking forward to your next video!

  71. Angela Stringer

    I love the idea of Blogging. I keep saying to the people I meet… cant teach everyone, just teach the people who like you for who you are and what you offer, how you teach and more importantly……… honest about who you are to your students. Dont say you can do something you really cant. Will destroy your hard earned reputation. I teach from my heart

  72. Adriane Soares Mansi

    Loved this video…and yes Iยดm very interested in video about pricing, as Iยดm getting more students with your tips and almost have no time.
    Thank you in advance

  73. G Daniel

    Thanks Richard. Your videos are great as usual and I would like more of it…

  74. Emily Ollerhead

    Thanks Richard! Everything you say is true, especially regarding adult students. They need to feel secure and to know you. I just joined an aerobics class at my local gym here in Greece and after a couple of sessions some women who attend the class asked me for lessons:-). Keep the vids and emails coming. They are a lifeline in the somewhat precarious world of EFL!

  75. Irene

    Thank you , Richard!!!
    Though I am always myself, it is good to be reminded “Be yourself” and how to expose it to more and more people. I want to watch all your videos on this topic. Thanks so much.

  76. David Charles

    Very good you certainly have inspired me to into making a decision I need to make soon. I will keep you posted. Keep up the good work.

  77. Liora

    Thank you very much for this video. It’s amazing!

  78. Rinku Paik

    This is what all I needed to hear! Thank you so much Richard.
    And, My kids here in India just love your lessons ๐Ÿ™‚

  79. luisa

    Great things and wonderful ideas Richard, most welcome and so worthy to set in motion! Thanks forever for your incredible awesome bright coaching!

  80. Anna

    Great video, indeed! It is extremely important for me to be myself and not hide.

  81. Robin LeMare

    Great video Richard ~ keep the genki stuff coming ~


  82. Michael

    The blogging sounds good but would it need to be bilingual? All the eikaiwa websites are in Japanese. Also I have to consider how to host a site. But OK, I like your advice very much.

  83. Tanya

    I like your enthusiasm!! It is always great to watch your videos and it has been a real pleasure watching you today ! I think it’s very important to โ€œBe yourselfโ€ so that you can enjoy better what ever you are teaching .

  84. Richard Graham

    @Michael: You could do it bilingually if you like, but it does take time so I’d just recommend the local language. And this is one of the big benefits of using Facebook video as your blog, it lets you get your message across even if your written language isn’t 100%!

  85. Cathy

    Hi Richard,

    I bought a complete set of your Genki English before and I used it in my class for almost 5 years. Now, i want to start my own school and I read all the tips you are posting here. But I only have one question in my mind, If I will start to teach with one student in my house, what will I gonna use? A smart board or just my laptop to introduce Genki English?
    Please give me feedback

  86. Richard Graham

    @Cathy: I’d definitely recommend doing groups rather than one student, and you’ll be find with just a laptop unto about 4 kids. After that just plug your laptop into a TV!

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