Traditional forms of teaching have stood the test of time, hence they will always be in demand. With that being said, investing time and effort into starting your own online teaching business can be a worthwhile endeavor in the long run.
Online learning allows you to reach a broader range of target audiences which can be a great source of additional revenue. Furthermore, being able to provide existing students with the option of online education will lead to higher retention and reduced turnover.
Whether you are a seasoned professional in the field of education, or you are someone who is just making their first steps in teaching, you will most definitely find many helpful strategies and tips on how to create your first online teaching course.
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Create a website that showcases your brand.
Your online space must be associated with an air of hospitability and professionalism. At the same time it is preferable that it maintains a degree of cheerfulness so as to avoid being seen as bland or uninspiring.
A popular choice of many website creators is WordPress for its versatility and user friendly experience , but there are many other avenues you could explore.
It is preferable that the layout of the site features at least a of couple eye- catching color combinations. The content of the site can be divided into various sections. Here is a suggestion for which sections you can include:
- Level of education.
- Professional experience you have gathered throughout your career.
- Certificates and other related accolades.
- Appropriate pictures of yourself.
- Best teaching methods and your personal approach to students.
- Pricing and monthly subscriptions.
Pick a tutoring niche that best suits your skill set
This requires some research and forethought on your behalf. Here are the crucial demographic characteristics that comprise your buyers persona:
Buyers persona: A buyer persona is a research-based profile that depicts a target customer. Buyer personas describe who your ideal customers are, what their days are like, the challenges they face and how they make decisions.
- Occupation level
- Geographic location
- Family/Relationship status
- Education level
People on the lookout for online teaching avenues have certain expectations in mind. They want to know whether your particular skill set caters to their specific needs. Instead of marketing your teaching course to everyone, make it abundantly clear that your course is best suited for a certain niche. Being upfront with your future business prospects reduces their uncertainty and creates the impression that you are just the right person for them. As an added bonus, you will have a much easier time converting visitors into full time clients.
An important question that quite often gets overlooked is whether the course you will be teaching is in demand. Sometimes the subjects you are passionate about do not necessarily translate into revenue. This is why it is highly recommended to find a sweet spot between what you are personally invested in and what the current demand is of the market you will venture into.
Make sure that you have the necessary technical equipment.
E-learning entails that most of the sessions you will be conducting will take place in an online environment. Hence, it is essential that you have the proper technology and devices so that you can make a seamless transition. This includes but is not limited to:
- Stable internet connection.
- Desktop computer or laptop are preferable so that you can multi-task
- Headphones with built in microphone.
- Webcam or quality video camera.
- Video conferencing software that allows you to conduct simultaneous online sessions via virtual classroom. It is preferable that the chosen software allows the usage of an online whiteboard, as this can greatly improve the quality of service you provide.
- Video editing software – You can create engaging multimedia content for your peers which will facilitate student engagement and enhance the learning process.
- Web browser software that is compatible with the operating system of your computer/laptop.
Implement a payment processing system.
As an educator you are entitled to an appropriate reward for your efforts. The best way to ensure that you collect all payments is to implement a payment processing system.
International payment gateways such as Paypal and Stripe are most popular, as they adhere to widely accepted industry standards for quality.
As a general rule of thumb, a quality payment gateway adheres to these standards:
- Accepts a wide range of payment types.
- Has a transparent and easily understandable customer fee rate.
- Maintains a strict security policy and is compliant with PCI (Payment Card Industry) .
- Has a relatively short payment turnaround time.
Use social media as an opportunity to engage in networking.
Social media is a powerful resource for attracting the appropriate clients . Once you have crafted your buyers persona, it is time to research the habits of your target audience. Afterwards, you can get a better understanding of which social media groups/pages are the preferred hangout places of your clients.
There are numerous ways to gather crucial information about your potential clients. You can use your site or blog in conjunction with Google analytics to see who your visitors are, what their age and gender is, how much time they spend on your website, the specific pages they visited.
Another successful method to increase traffic to your business is by creating a Facebook business page where you can both promote your online school and target segmented audiences. The process of creating a Facebook account for business purposes is straightforward enough and thoroughly explained in the related articles section at the end of this article.
Example: Katherine is a single mother. She has decided that home schooling is how her daughter will acquire her education. Katherine is trying to find the right person to tutor her daughter, hence she visits websites for freelancing services. The other place where you can see Katherine hang-out often is the Facebook group for mothers with home schooled children. Bearing this information in mind, you could position your banners and online ads in the aforementioned webpages. This ensures that people who fit the profile of Katherine will easily locate and visit your website/blog.
The aforementioned example describes a small segment of your target audience. You can experiment with joining Facebook groups or specialized forums that pertain to the subject matter you have chosen to teach in your course.
Starting your first online teaching business may seem like a daunting endeavor. You have to juggle different facets of marketing, business relationships, content creation and many other. However, applying the knowledge you gained from this article will help you better predict any potential pitfalls, thereby setting you up for success in your new business venture.