All over FACEBOOK every day I see many aspiring teachers asking how they can make it in the Teach Online industry. With the current COVID 19 crisis and lockdowns in almost every country, many students are looking for online classes whilst at home as it is one of the best ways to stay safe. Teachers are available and students are also available, so what’s the challenge then? Well, what I have noticed is that students do not know where to find their teachers. Whilst teachers do not know how to find their students! It’s like the two are looking for each other, but their eyes are blindfolded. Despite preparing themselves with all the resources to teach, teachers still cannot get students online. In my business, I have realised that there is more to teaching online than just getting a TEFL certificate and book classes.
I will highlight these four Useful steps that helped me become a superstar in teaching my native language online.
Define your niche
The teaching languages online is just like any other business where you find general teachers and niche teachers. What I have realised is that niche teachers make it more than general teachers. When students see general teachers, they perceive them to have general skills. This is the reason they pay paltry rates. If the teacher decides otherwise and increase their rates, the students often run away from them and look for alternative general teachers with lower rates. This explains why it’s like they fix the Teach English online business rates at an average price of $20. In, my ESL career years I suffered the most as a non-native because I was just a general non native English teacher. Niche teachers have the advantage that they specialise in a particular area, hence they have narrowed down their skills to particular students who want help in that area. From the time I became a niche teacher I noticed a 70% increase in students and they were also willing to pay more than the average market price of $20 an hour. Interestingly These students have always been there but looking for a specific skills teacher. As a niche teacher, you make your teaching program based therefore you sell more. Have you ever noticed how specialised skills in other careers sell? that is the same with Teaching online.
Structure and craft your curriculum
One reason teachers prefer working for ESL companies is they get provided with all teaching materials, all they do is open classes and wait for the students. That sounds easy, right? That’s also the reason the ESL companies pay you poor rates! If you become a niche teacher, craft your own curriculum. Specialise the curriculum and narrow it down to the skill you are offering. Lets say your niche is students who are looking for scholarships and want to learn English or German so they pass the assessment tests, then your selling point is something like “I help students with English-speaking skills so they pass their assessment tests and get a scholarship”. From this you see there is no more need for teaching any other English skill, other than speaking skills with the aim to improve pronunciation. You will narrow your curriculum to that only. From what I have experienced niche teachers do less work, but it pays them more!
Engage Your Target Audience and Convert Them to Students
Now that you have decided your niche and crafted your curriculum the next step is to engage your audience and convert them to students. When I started I just didn’t know where to find my target students. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack! With time and more learning I realised the same groups I was in on Facebook and LinkedIn where the same groups my students where in. All I needed to do was to put a tag on myself and sell my service. My niche involved business people, so I made a deliberate move to join business groups. It became easy to connect with them through this. Language students are difficult to convince without them seeing reviews or testimonials, especially if you want them to pay more than the average market price. Let me emphasize that you need to offer your service for free, yes for free to one or two students who then will leave reviews for you. One aspiring teacherprenuer told me how this advice worked magic for him. This is just how it works. I would like to call this investing in your business. Reviews are a great investment in any business, isn’t it? It does not spare the teaching online business .
Establish Your Business
Steps 1 up to 3 is the foundation for your business. When you have done this you have made a great investment into your business. During these steps, you meet potential students whom you must continue to engage till you convert them into your students. Do not hesitate to market yourself in the right places. What I call right places is where you are most likely to get your target students. So lets say your niche is helping foreign doctors with your native language so they can come and work in your country, then the right places are those forums where expat doctors are. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so is the teaching online business, it’s not built in a day. You need to take time, learn and grow.
This is just a summary of my journey in establishing a Teaching Online business. this has worked for me and I’m sure it can work for you too. You can read my story here Where I I explain how I teach my native language online. If you want to teach your native language online too, you can also read here to get more insight on how to start.