My efforts to build a clientele of private English students is slowly but surely moving in the right direction.
I am receiving interest from potential students via my advertisements, networking, and chance encounters. It seems the more I embrace the role of teacher, the more potential students emerge from thin air.
The challenge seems to be getting commitments and a routine schedule established sooner rather than later. Jobs, university studies, and personal lives are all understandable competition with people’s desire to learn English.
I received three positive responses from one advertisement I had posted in the giant Carrefour grocery/department store located on Las Vegas Avenue in Envigado.
One response was from a medical student whose mom wrote the information down. We´re currently trying to work out the logistics, including payment, number of hours, and time and place to meet.
The most recent call came over the weekend from a guy who speaks no English, and actually works at the store in addition to studying communications at a local university. The idea of teaching a person from scratch before I have a good command of Spanish seems daunting, but I can’t afford to be picky at this point.
Last week my friend Andrea helped me post ads around the University of Antioquia, so hopefully those will yield results. Since I never saw the ads I submitted to EAFIT’s communications office around campus, I taped up a few by one of the cafeterias, and along some well-seen bulletin boards.
At worst, they’ll be taken down after a few days but hopefully not before someone takes down the information to call me.
Rodrigo’s sister mentioned she has a coworker at EAFIT who would be interested in taking classes with me.
I am hoping for an introduction this week. Advertisements in department stores are no match for positive word of mouth from happy and satisfied students!
It should come as no surprise my chance encounter with three friends at Blue a few weekends ago didn’t result in a paying client.
Interest after a night of drinking should always be taken with a large grain of salt. I need to do better about keeping my expectations low!
I followed up by phone once or twice after my first post-party conversation, but didn’t hear back.
On a brighter note, last Saturday I was at the place where I get my hair cut when a pretty young woman walked in. The ladies that work there are quite friendly, and always try to talk with me.
I was too shy to try and talk to the other customer, but the ladies asked her if she spoke English, and the answer was yes. She actually spoke quite good English, and expressed strong interest in taking classes with me. We exchanged information.
The next day, I bumped into her as I was walking back from the gym, as she was out walking her little dog. She said she had mentioned me to her best friend who had previously lived in Canada, and he too was interested in practicing with me.
I just hope there is follow through, as having as many clients as possible close to where I live would be ideal.