I have quite an open question for the more seasoned marketers on the forum, on whether to compete or get out of what can only be described as a buyers market, where the buyers know it and seem to be fixated on price and barter before any other consideration (such as experience, qualifications, references).
The market specifically is 'English language classes/courses to individuals or company groups in Madrid, Spain' (though it could be applied to any major city in Europe, I'm using my current city as an example).
Madrid English Classes (home of student or online)
Madrid Private (individual) and Business Language Classes
If you take a look at the above links you will see basically the same service offered again and again at lower and lower prices - and I'm refusing to play that game.
It's an interesting market as the 'need' for languages already markets itself - and if you notice the ads no-one tries to sell the need, but they go straight for experience and (low) price ...
I have differentiated somewhat offering more than a simple €/hr transaction; offering:
- level test and consultation
- material (online or email pdf/mp3)
- the class (Skype or in Madrid)
- feedback email after class
I'm online (Facebook page and Twitter) and my own .com, offering free material weekly etc
but the conversation will always come back to price, with no question on how I teach etc
Time to find a new money maker?
To partly answer my own question, but I still need a lot of advice;
my 2nd option is to stop teaching/training 1:1 and groups at €/student/hour and focus on online courses.
I recently setup a recurring revenue subscription site (LMS) with a combination of Wordpress, Woothemes Sensei, Paypal, design from Fiverr etc and went to town with Facebook ads and I've had some register an interest. Creating the material is a MASSIVE time investment, but the + side is that I can now target English learners well outside of my current city, but that's a time investment decision I need to make soon.