When the 2019 Coronavirus pandemic began, traditional businesses scrambled to survive because their business models were not designed to withstand a lockdown. Several businesses ended up closing shop when customers shifted to online or remote purchases to avoid infection. Many companies and organizations also turned to online or digital strategies to keep their operations afloat.
Among those affected are schools and tutorial centers, which had to stop face-to-face classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But while physical classes took a hit towards the end of the semester due to the shelter-in-place rules, online learning became the norm. It’s safe to assume then that online teaching or tutoring will be a thriving business year-round.
If you’re planning to earn from teaching online, here are a few suggestions to have a fulfilling online teaching and coaching business:
Decide who you want to teach
Will you offer classes for grade school, high school, or college? Or do you prefer coaching or home tutor services for specific subjects such as Math, Science, and English? Knowing your target students before you start will help you prepare the right materials, equipment, and classroom setup.
Establish your method
Will you do a webinar or pure synchronous classes, or a hybrid? Live classes allow your students to ask you questions on the spot and get real-time answers. Hybrid classes give them a chance to do coursework on their own and determine pain points in the lesson before the live classes. Be flexible by allowing them to choose courses and schedules. Give them a combination of downloadable content, such as audio, video, text, and prerecorded or live presentations. Make your videos short, easy to digest, and interactive. Embed tests and quizzes on videos to make them engaging.
Promote your online classes on social media
List down the courses you teach, their schedules, and what your students can expect from your classes. Create social media accounts where you can post them and request family members or close friends to share them. Make sure to be online regularly to address inquiries and concerns about your classes, especially from potential students. Inform them of the advanced teaching tools you use, and what they need to install or set up to make the most of your classes.
Don’t forget the e-commerce side of it
You might tend to focus more on the educational or academic side of your teaching business. That’s understandable; you’re a teacher first and foremost. But remember that this is a business, too. As the owner of the business, you can’t ignore the business side of things. So, do what the business owners do—sell!
Create marketing gimmicks (why not?)
Offer classes at competitive prices (based on your industry study of prevailing rates). Let students subscribe to your website, social media page, or YouTube channel so you can get analytics data that you may use for future marketing. For example, offer promos in the form of discounts or bundled classes for repeat students, to encourage them to take multiple courses.
Make it real
Online classes primarily require nothing more than a good-working laptop or desktop computer, fast internet connection, and software programs to create course materials and videos. However, you can be more creative by creating an actual classroom that helps you project a professional and credible image to your students. For instance, if your living quarters’ layout is less than ideal for online sessions, why not rent a unit or place using your business capital or with the help of a real estate agent or mortgage broker. Here, you can be a live teacher in an actual classroom, letting your students feel like they’re in a physical classroom talking to you. You may install a huge whiteboard, speakers, and entertainment system, for that real-time on-site feel. This will be a good investment if you’re planning to do panel webinars, live demos, or other live visuals in the future.
Apart from your diagnostics and assessment tests, let your students rate their learning progress. Did they learn enough? Did they reach their goal in this course? What else are they missing? Did they find your technique effective? All these will give you an idea of where they’re at and how they see themselves in your class. You can improve your method and adjust according to their feedback.
Teaching is a difficult job, but a fulfilling one if you have the passion for it. So, not being able to teach during the pandemic can be heartbreaking. However, by starting your own online teaching business, you can continue your career without sacrificing your skills and income. These tips can help you succeed.