Last month I answered a client’s question about marketing his ESL business online to Korean learners.
I didn’t end that article on an optimistic note though, as I don’t think an online-only approach can work for most businesses in this sector in Korea.
But I get so many questions from KBC members, clients and others about this very topic, that this month I cover some reasons why an online ESL business might struggle in Korea and the kind of sweat-equity approach that will likely be required for success by anyone attempting to make a go of it without big-name backing and financing.
For the full article with my insights and suggestions: “Seeking Korean Partner/Consultant to Promote ESL Website, Part II (How to Connect to Korean Consumers Offline)
Or, to cut straight to the chase, check out these quick tips.
Tips on Marketing an Online ESL Business to Koreans Through an Offline Approach
- To reach Korean online ESL learners, you’ve got to achieve four goals at once:
- Connect to an offline referral network
- Help students reach pragmatic goals aligned with school or work
- Provide adequate social interaction based on their existing social network
- Overcome issues of trust with potential partners by exchanging the right balance of value
- To do this, will almost certainly need to spend time on the ground in the Korean ESL scene to do three things:
- Gain industry knowledge
- Build local relationships
- Experiment to find what works
- Any entrepreneur in this niche unable or unwilling to do the steps in #2 is unlikely to achieve the four goals in #1 and is almost certain to fail.
Additional Resources on KBC and Elsewhere about Marketing a Business in Korea
- The KBC Professional Certification Program: Business Culture Fundamentals Specialization
- Business Accelerator: Korean Business Savvy
- Business Accelerator: Start and Run a Business in Korea
- New Korea Economic Slice: “Ten Big Ideas About Marketing to Koreans”
** Comments are always welcome. If you have additional insights or come across information here that you disagree with or that needs to be updated — or just want to know something — don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your opinion/knowledge/question!