5 Growth Strategies for Your Online Biz in 2024

collaborations growth

Can we officially name 2024 the year of doing LESS in our online businesses? 2023 felt like a "throwing spaghetti at the wall" kind of a year, and I'm ready to get back to what feels good in terms of growth in my online business. 

I want to chat more about 5 totally underrated strategies for growth in your teacher business in 2024 that will give you big results in less time. You can keep trying to scope out the latest trends on social media or finally start that YouTube channel, or you can try one of these 5 simple growth strategies.

Oh, and all of these growth strategies are centered around one central idea: Collaboration. When we come together to educate our audience, we add more diverse perspectives to a conversation all while growing our audiences. Collaborations are a huge win all around for teacher business owners!

[Listen to the podcast episode here]

Let me kick things off with a few FAQs about collaborations:

How do I find the right teacher business owner to collaborate with?

Finding the right collaboration is pretty simple. You want to look for someone with what I call a "sister niche". 

Someone with a "sister niche" has:

  • A similar audience type to yours
  • A similar audience size to yours (win/win for both of you)
  • A different angle on the topic or a different, yet related topic 

While you can certainly team up with someone who talks to the exact same audience in the exact same way with the exact same products, it's often more beneficial for your audience to hear a more diverse take on a topic.

For example, Jamie from Basic Girl Teaches and I often team up for collaborations. She also helps teacher business owners with marketing, but she has a unique take on building community on Instagram. We've also worked together a long time, and I know she knows her stuff! She has her own ideas about this topic, and our ideas nicely complement one another. We can chat about the strategies that have worked and not worked for us, and we offer different perspectives.

Another example would be to choose someone with the same audience but a different topic. Maybe you talk about strategies for your Special Education classroom, and you team up with an SLP because you have a very similar audience.

These are two examples of a perfect "sister niche". 

Another word to the wise: Do your research before starting a collaboration. Be sure your core values align with the person you're collaborating with. When you participate in a collaboration, your audience trusts you to bring another voice to the conversation who is knowledgeable, ethical, and upholds similar values to yours. 

If you haven't quite defined your own niche yet or you aren't clear enough to identify your "sister niches", join my 3-Day Business Plan Challenge to iron out these details with a simple plan that will help kick off your growth strategy! (Just $17 right now!)

Let's get into those 5 ideas! 

Growth Strategy for Your Teacher Business #1: The Freebie Swap

This is a quick and easy strategy that can get your best content in front of a new group of people with very little extra effort! You'll find someone in a "sister niche" looking to grow their audience and offer to swap freebies. You will deliver their freebie to your e-mail list, and they will do the same. 

This benefits both of your e-mail lists because they get twice the value! It also benefits both business owners to essentially double their audience (assuming your audience is around the same size), and it benefits your audience because they get another trusted resource on a topic they're likely interested in.

Growth Strategy for Your Teacher Business #2: Podcast Guest Speaking

When thinking about ways to grow your teacher business, social media is often the first strategy that comes to mind. We wonder how we can "go viral" to get in front of more people.

But there are hundreds of people hosting podcasts with thousands of listeners (or more) each week! If you grabbed a guest spot on 5 podcasts, you'll "go viral" in a way more effective way because you're making connections with your new audience through a more trusted source (the podcast host).

Before you pitch yourself to the perfect podcast host, be sure to think through some specific topics you can cover on the podcast. Come up with 2-3 potential topics, and start to outline your thoughts on those topics. In my program for teacher business owners, Teacher Hustle University, we call this your "Signature Talk". You only have to prepare your Signature Talk once, and you can deliver it over and over again!

Growth Strategy for Your Teacher Business #3: Guest Blogging

"Omg, Alissa. Guest blogging is so 2014!"

Ok, but hear me out for a minute. I see blogging having a major comeback in 2024, especially when it comes to authentic content. And what's more authentic than getting a guest's take on your topic?

But I'm going to give you a different twist on the age-old guest blogging idea. You're going to set up a collaboration with someone in a "sister niche" where you each come up with a set of questions for the other based on a topic of interest for your audience. 

Ask them to include some personal photos to give it an even more authentic vibe, and publish it to your blog - Seventeen magazine interview style.

You'll each walk away with a guest post to boost your SEO, and absolutely none of it will be generated by AI. (Trust me... your audience will appreciate that!) Don't forget to push the post to your e-mail list once you hit publish.

Growth Strategy for Your Teacher Business #4: Collaborative Giving

Here's a unique growth strategy for you teacher business owners! I haven't seen this one in action, but I'd absolutely love to. 

For this strategy, team up with someone in a "sister niche" for a fun "battle" of sorts. For this friendly competition, you'll identify a charity you're both passionate about. It could even be related to your niche! You'll each pledge a certain donation to the charity based on the results of the competition.

The challenge can be absolutely anything. (Remember the old "ice bucket" challenge? Maybe something a little less chilly.) Get creative!

Maybe it's a trivia session on Instagram live, a meme creation challenge, or a creativity challenge, like a cook-off!

If the challenge is you vs. the others you're collaborating with, let both of your audiences vote for their favorites and pledge to give a certain amount for voting milestones.

If the challenge is for your audience to do (ie: "Clean your teacher desk challenge") donate based on milestones for the number of participants.

Get your audience pumped about what you're doing and build community by giving back to an organization you all care about!

Growth Strategy for Your Teacher Business #5: Co-Hosting a Workshop

If you've been following me for any length of time, you already know I love a good workshop! Hosting a live workshop is a fun way to inject cash into your business, and it gives you the space to talk about topics you're interested in.

A few months ago, I held a workshop on how to make over your LinkedIn profile. I don't spend a lot of time talking about LinkedIn in my other programs, but I've been really excited about its potential lately, and my audience seemed interested, too.

These "trending topics" are perfect for a pop-up workshop. And workshops are far more exciting (and less work) when there are two hosts! So team up with someone in a "sister niche" to provide a unique take on a hot topic. Double your audience AND make money in the process!

Collaborations are a great way to build community and make a positive impact in less time. So identify 5-10 business owners you'd like to collaborate with in 2024 and start connecting. Here's to a year of strategic growth and meaningful connections!