Start Your Own School: Who is your avatar? ( + how to crush your competition)

With the school owners training program I get a lot of teachers asking me questions like:

The parents here don’t care about quality lessons,  they just want the cheapest.  How do I make them see my lessons are better?

or …

There is so much competition around.  They have native speakers, cheap prices and are so convenient.  How can I possibly compete?  How can I change their attitudes?

And the simple answer is:

You don’t compete.  And you can’t teach everyone.

I know, I’ve tried it.

superhero beanYou only have a limited amount of time ( because in the training program we always put your family time in first) so the key is to stop chasing everyone.  You don’t want everyone.   And you certainly don’t want the parents who don’t care or who are just on the lookout for ultra cheap childcare.  They will make your life a nightmare.

There’s no point trying to convert cat lovers into dog lovers.  If cute kittens are what you are selling, you need to find the people who love cute kittens.  And vice versa.

What you want are only the parents who share your vision.

The ones who care for their kids English education, are prepared to pay that little extra and put in the time to support you.

You have to narrow it down so you are only attracting the parents who are looking for someone like you.

But I can’t find these people?

You all say.   Well, of course, because you haven’t been looking for them. 🙂

The slightly cooky sounding Law of Attraction says that whatever you think about is what you attract.    Think of red cars and that’s all you’ll see.  Start looking for loose change on the street and amazingly it appears.  (Give this a try, it’s a great way to teach kids about money!)

Very often though,  many school owners don’t have a very clear image of who their ideal customer is.   (“Well, I sort of think it’s maybe …..”)   And because they aren’t clear,  they start attracting the wrong sort of parents to their school.

Your  ideal customer is called an “avatar” in business speak.

And the better you know your avatar,  the easiest it becomes to find them.

Are you up for a challenge?

I think this is the part where I’m supposed to say “Now, do you want to know how to find out your perfect avatar?  Well, just sign up for my school owners training program and I’ll show you!”

Luckily, I’m not that mean.   (And the best way to show you these ideas really work is to let you really try them out before you join us. ) 🙂

So what you need to do is to grab a blank sheet of A4 paper and really think about who is your ideal parent.

  1. What age group are they?
  2. How many kids do they have?
  3. What gender are they?
  4. Where do they live?
  5. What socio-economic group are they in?   (Are you focussing on the richer parents in town?  Or the poorest?  Either is just as valid)
  6. What is their education level?
  7. What is their attitude to English and to learning?

Really write down as much as you can.    And really be as specific as you can.  Remember, you can’t teach everyone.  You only have the time to reach the ones you want to teach.

Then for the real magic ….

And now you draw a picture of them! 🙂

It doesn’t have to be wonderful,  just draw a nice picture of what they look like.

And give them a name.

Seriously. 🙂

You’re crazy Richard!  Why do all this?

Because now when you come to think of where to advertise,  what courses to run, what color to paint your school, or any of the other million and one marketing decisions you need to make,  you now have a very clear picture of exactly who you are wanting to reach.

Having this image and this focus is what makes your school a success.

And because of this all the other competition simply melts away.

You want cheap lessons?  Low quality ones?  Ones where it doesn’t matter who is doing the teaching?   Then that’s the school down the street.

But in my school …… it’s like this.

There are a million androids out there.   But there is only one iPhone.

So, get to work on your Avatar.  Really think who you want to spend your professional life with and be prepared to take your school to a whole new level.

Let me know in the comments when you have any more questions.

And, of course,  there is so much more like this in the full school owners training program. 🙂

Be genki,


P.S.  The winner of last month’s comment competition was …… Faaonea   If you’d like to win a Genki English download vol. of your choice ( or the High School Pack, or the Genki Relax or Genki Japanese packs)  then get commenting on the blog,  yours might be the lucky one that gets picked out this month – the more you comment the more chance you have to win!

P. P.S.  FAQ:  But what if I have several avatars I want to reach?

You can only do one at once.  Pick which one you want to work on most.  (Or if you have your own school, look at your best customers, the overwhelming majority will be just one avatar.)  Once you’ve made a success of this avatar,  choose another brand, under the same school company, and go for that avatar too.   But get the first one down first!

P.P.P.S.   FAQ:  But there aren’t enough good people in my town!   

You need 120 students in your school (that is on average how many students a genki teacher can get in one year)    If your town has more than 4,000 people there will be 120 students for you.   If it has less population than that then you might want to think of adjacent towns too.  Or broaden your avatar a little.

Richard Graham

I'm on a mission to make education Genki—fun, exciting, and full of life! Genki English has now been researched by Harvard University and licensed by the British Council around the world. The results have been magical! Now I'm here to help you teach amazing lessons, with all the materials prepared for you, and to double your teaching income so you can sustainably help many more students in the future!

One Response to “Start Your Own School: Who is your avatar? ( + how to crush your competition)”

  1. Dacha

    I remember that I’ve really struggled with the avatar assignment during the program…And I was never completely satisfied. Now -6 months later- it came together easily. I think that you have to be very clear on what is it you’re offering, what is it you’re teaching. Well, English obviously but there are a zillion schools that teach English…So what is it that makes us different ? Once you are clear- ish on it, you can see your avatar better, I think…. Also- the opposite is probably true as well..You attract a certain kind of people….those who share things in common with you…

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