How To Find Students On Twitter

1655 days ago I got my first online student. A Japanese lady living just outside of Tokyo. The best thing is, she's still my student today! Where did I find this super loyal student who has a lesson almost every single week of the year? Twitter. Let me show you how. 


The first thing to do is find your tutoring niche. If you already know what your tutoring niche is, that's great, keep reading. If not, click this link to find out how I did this and why it's important for your online tutoring business.

If you haven't already set up a Twitter account for your online tutoring business, it's really quick and easy. Just enter your full name, email address and password here then click sign up.

twitter sign up

I recommend getting your profile page set up with your logo or a suitable picture and adding a short description about your tutoring business by clicking 'edit profile'. For a free and easy way to create logos and images that will be the right size for your Twitter account, you can use Canva.

how to find online students using twitter

​Tweet then follow

Before you start looking for students on Twitter, you need to post some tweets. This is so that when you start following people and they look at your profile, it's not just a logo and a description of your business. Having some interesting and useful tweets already showing on your timeline will engage the potential student and encourage them to follow you back. Here are some examples of some of my tweets:

sample tweet

Steps to find students on Twitter

Now that you've set up your profile and posted some tweets that are relevant and provide value for your target market, it's time to find some students. Here is a step by step video guide that you can follow to replicate how I got my very first student when I started my online tutoring business:

Prefer to follow written instructions? Here are the steps I outlined in the video to find online students on Twitter:

  1. Click on the Search Twitter box and type something relevant to your tutoring niche that your potential students will look for, e.g. 'Learn English'.

  2. Click on the Accounts tab and then click on the first result.

  3. If the account looks active (has a high number of recent tweets and followers), click on the first follower at the top of the list.

  4. Check the profile information of each follower in this list until you find someone in your target market. For me that is based on the country they are from. If their country is not an important factor for you, check to see how active their account is before continuing to the next step.

  5. Click 'follow'. At this point you can send this person a tweet but I prefer to wait to see if they follow me back first. This way I know that they are interested in me and my profile before I make further contact. This avoids coming across as spammy and also saves time by only initiating dialogue with those people who respond to my initial follow.

  6. Repeat this process until you have followed 10-15 active people who are following an account that is highly relevant to your tutoring niche. For me, this was the British Council Learning English account.

  7. A good way to find other accounts that are relevant to your niche is to see who else these people are following. For example, by clicking on the profiles of people who follow the British Council Learning English, I discovered that several of them also follow BBC Learning English. This revealed a whole new list of potential followers who are in my target market of English learners. Use this method to find 10 popular accounts that are related to your tutoring subject and follow 10-15 people from each of these accounts.

You should now be following between 100 and 150 people from 10 different accounts that are popular within your tutoring niche. Here were 10 popular accounts I found within the English learning market:

British Council Learning English  – 217K followers

BBC Learning English  – 306K followers

Learn English – 49.6K followers

British Council – 201K followers

English tips for you – 120K followers

ESOL courses – 55.4K followers

Cambridge Dictionary – 122K followers

EngVid – 67.3K followers

English Feed – 22.9K followers

Learn English Kids – 50K Followers

English Idioms – 57.5K followers

Big Potential

The number of potential students out there using Twitter to learn English is huge. These 10 accounts alone have more than 1 million followers combined but I don't recommend trying to follow and contact everyone who's following these accounts! Only follow people who are active and have an obvious interest in the subject you tutor. You can read their tweets or see who they are following to get a better idea about whether they might be interested in receiving online tutoring.

twitter for online tutoring

Time saving tips.

Write some standard responses in a Word or Google document so that when you are replying to multiple direct messages, you can simply copy and paste them into the chat box. It's worth finding out a bit about the potential student before pitching a trial lesson but if someone shows interest in receiving some online tutoring, try to set up a Skype meeting ASAP.

I also like to make it clear from the outset that online tutoring is my job and so the lessons I provide are not free. This establishes realistic expectations so that you don't waste time giving trial lessons to people who have no interest in paying for online tutoring.

Can I really find online students this way?

This technique can be a bit labour intensive to start with but if you set aside some time each day to repeat the process and respond quickly to anyone who follows you or sends you a direct message, you should be able to arrange some trial lessons quite quickly. It was certainly worth the time investment for me, as the total income so far from my first Twitter student is £5420.

Let me know in the comment box below if you have any questions about how to find online students or if you have any success stories you want to share. I'd love to hear from you.

Matt Thompson

Matt is an online English tutor and founder of Smart Online Tutoring. He's a big fan of technology and when he's not teaching or helping others with their online tutoring businesses, you'll find him on the badminton court.

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