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LinkedIn for ELT Teachers: Building your Personal Brand for Career Success

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LinkedIn for ELT Teachers: Building your Personal Brand for Career Success

The term “brand” is often associated with corporations; however, it is no longer confined to big companies like Duolingo or Coca-Cola. Nowadays, we also talk about “personal” branding and the good news is that it isn’t exclusively for famous people like Elon Musk or Carol Dweck. Personal branding is for everyone in the ELT world too.

Building a personal brand is a must for independent professionals in all sectors, including the ELT (English language teaching) sector, whether you do it offline or online. Ideally, you need to build it in both worlds!

ETAS (English Teachers Association) Conference, Sion, Switzerland

In this article, I will explore why you need a personal brand in ELT and give you a preview of what I will be covering in my forthcoming workshop at the 40th Annual ETAS Conference in Sion, the conference of the English Teachers Association of Switzerland.

Why does a TEFL teacher need a personal brand?

Well, let me tell you this: Before deciding to work with a professional, potential employers always examine the candidate’s digital footprint. It is believed that 80% of people check a brand or a person’s name online before making a decision to buy from them or work with them. In the same way, publishers, exam boards, language schools, and potential students will check the digital footprint of teachers, authors, teacher trainers, and consultants to decide whether they are suitable for collaboration.

For this reason, having an engaging and “clean” social media presence can help you secure more and better job opportunities. Similarly, if you are a self-employed language professional, building a powerful personal brand will help you attract and retain more clients.

On the other hand, there’s the outbound strand; i.e., you’re proactive and reach out to others by DM, interact with the network you start building, and participate in various conversations, adding your own insights and moving the conversation forward.

By following an inbound and outbound strategy, you aren’t only “marketing” yourself but also positioning yourself in other people’s minds, creating and shaping your own reputation aligned with your goals.

photo of Gina Rodriguez , ELT Marketing & Consultancy

Hi, I’m Gina Rodriguez. I’m a Marketing Consultant specialized in language education with 25+ years in the ELT sector.

I help language schools and independent language professionals build an engaging social media presence through training, consultancy and tailored social media strategies.

Why attend the Personal Branding Workshop at ETAS?

Personal branding is the topic of my workshop at the forthcoming ETAS (English Teachers Association) Conference on 3rd February in Sion, Switzerland. I couldn’t be more pleased to be participating as the acceptance of my proposal means that there’s a genuine interest in helping teachers with their professional career path for TEFL teachers.

I will be running a hands-on workshop with TEFL teachers joining ETAS on how to use LinkedIn, the mighty social media network for professionals, to build a personal brand in ELT.

Creating a personal brand in the English language teaching sector (ELT) requires showcasing your unique qualities, revealing your personality, your values, and networking. For this reason, when building your personal brand online, you should be using social media strategically, avoiding posting randomly and aiming to be planning, optimizing, and being consistent.

So during the workshop, I will guide participants on how to create and optimize a LinkedIn profile. Also, I will do activities with participants to help them identify valuable content that helps them shape their reputation on LinkedIn. As well as this, I will show them the best way to create a plan and tools to ensure a consistent presence on LinkedIn.

Why LinkedIn for personal branding?

When clients ask me how to market themselves as an ELT professional on social media, my answer is: “Start by choosing the right social media network for you!”

In other words, you need to be where your potential clients are. You need to be where decision-makers are. If your clients are professionals or companies, then LinkedIn is the ideal platform to hang around. Apart from being an excellent place to build your personal brand, LinkedIn is perfect to:

– Network with ELT players

– Showcase your courses

– Attract collaboration with publishers

– Attract collaboration with exam boards

– Keep abreast of the latest trends in the ELT industry

Intersect potential students for Business English and ESP courses

– Learn important insights from Livestreams, LinkedIn Articles and Newsletters

A fresh reason to be on LinkedIn in 2024

According to the last Hootsuite report for education marketers LinkedIn is THE platform to be for the the higher education sector due to the increasing presence of Gen Z.

“In 2024, higher education institutions that want to drive more value from social will use LinkedIn to establish lasting relationships with their students. This means providing better guidance from the start of their students’ journeys, better support throughout student life, and continued engagement once they become alumni.”

Social Media Trends Report by Hootsuite

Gen Z is the fastest growing generation on LinkedIn as they are more focused on their careers than the other generations with “ 74% wanting to learn new skills, 73% wanting to be successful, and 72% wanting to be financially secure” (according to a recent LinkedIn Study).

So if you are not ready to build a personal brand yet, there are many other benefits which still make LinkedIn the platform to be as a language professional or educational institution.

The right time to start building a personal brand on LinkedIn

Some teachers and language professionals think that you need to wait until you’ve been in the profession for some years before start building a personal brand.

Actually, you can start as early as when you’re a trainee, doing your CELTA, or studying for your degree. Wherever you are along your professional path, you certainly have something to share with fellow professionals to inspire them along the way and to make yourself known as a human.

Start building your personal brand in 2024

Building a personal brand has many advantages for a freelance language professional and also for business owners as it humanizes the company brand.

If you are coming to ETAS, then I will have a chance to help you get on the right track with building a personal brand on LinkedIn for career success.

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