With more than 26% of annual growth worldwide,the online English teaching market is taking off and online English teachers are reaping the benefits.
You can do it part time or full time,with your own business,big or small and you can do it from just about any location in the world.
You might now be wondering – so what does it take to become an online English teacher?
You can teach English online if you :
– can speak English fluently.
– enjoy teaching people and have the willingness to learn how to teach effectively.
– enjoy talking to people.
– can take payment online(paypal).
– have a reliable internet connection.
The following criteria will further improve your prospects :-
– having teaching experience.
– knowing how to market your services.
– having a teacher certification or degree.
– having a business system in place.
– having a flexible schedule.
– having a good Niche.
– having a fun and interesting online curriculum.
How on earth do I find students ? – the all important Niche
One of the biggest concerns that people have about starting their own online English teaching business is about all the competition they will be facing.
One major solution is : your Niche
What is a Niche?
A Niche is an area that you would consider yourself to be an expert at.For example you might choose your Niche to be “English for airline pilots”.With a Niche like this you will be more unique and stand out more from the crowd.This way you will be competing with a lot fewer people.
Here are some example Niches –
Hotel English , English for complete beginners , Business English , English for certain Nationalities , English for kids , Exam preparation English , Reading Comprehension.
How do you create a Niche?
1.Use what you know.
– Do you for example speak another language? – Pursue students who speak this language.
– Did you train people at your last job? – Great consider looking into corporate training.
– Did you major in economics? – Consider focusing on teaching business English.
There is no limit to what you can teach but the key is to stand out from the crowd!
2. Find out what students want.
-If you have taught before think of what students were most interested in.
-Check out message boards focused on learning English.
-Read up on ESL blogs.
-Review some other teachers’ profiles to see what they are teaching.
-Look at Google trends to see what the popular search terms are.
Be sure to choose something for which there is demand,you might have a great course on the life of a worm but it’s not really going to take off.
Also you don’t necessarily only limit yourself to 1 Niche or you can combine things,like for example if you can speak Spanish you could for example have a course in “English for Spanish pilots”.
3.Make sure you enjoy it.
If you don’t enjoy the Niche that you are teaching then you will be miserable pretty fast.You need to be comfortable with it long term.
Another important factor – Your Online Curriculum.
After the skills of the teacher the most important thing is the curriculum.
Once you have determined your Niche it’s time to set up your online curriculum to suit your chosen Niche.
Your online Curriculum should be :
-based on your student’s objectives and interests.
-at the right level for your student,if it’s too easy or difficult the student gets bored or discouraged.
-interesting with games,fun activities,funny videos,short stories and quizzes.
Some of the most essential tools.
Besides the aforementioned skills you will also need to have a number of so called “tools”in order to start your own online English teaching business.
An attractive to the point website that is optimised for your target area.This is going to be at the center of everything and needless to say it is very important.You can make it yourself or have somebody make it for you,nowadays it’s not so expensive to have a professionally made website.
This is an e mail signature,it looks very professional-it can have a picture of you,the title of your company,your website,ways to find you on facebook etc.Anyone you send an e mail to gets to see all this information.This way you can promote your services for free to many people.
More than 1.2 billion people use facebook every day.Marketing on facebook helps you find new students!Join groups,make connections and share things,this way you can boost your brand.
Advertising on facebook also allows you to target very specific demographics based on location,age,gender and interests.This way you can advertise your business to the people that matter.
For marketing youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world and it’s for free.It’s a very good opportunity to advertise your business.If you don’t want to be seen on camera that is not a problem,you can make a video in which only your voice is heard.
With skype you can see your students,write and speak to them and present your lesson materials to them,it can be done on a phone or on your computer and it’s for free.
This is a file storage service developed by google.Here you can store huge files securely and get access to them from any phone or computer.
This is an online payment service that allows people and businesses to transfer funds electronically.For your online teaching business you can receive funds this way.
There are alternative tools that will help you teach online but the above ones are some of the most popular ones.Here is one last tip on how to get students,it’s very simple but effective : tell everybody – your friends,students and family what you are doing,quite often you can get 50% of your first online students this way.