You can find anything you need online…right? Many want to find the perfect online tutor. Education is changing rapidly and it is estimated by some of the top education think tanks in America that the future of education is digital.
Digital education is big business already and as the demand continues to explode there is a huge need for qualified tutors and teachers to meet it.
That’s where an online tutoring business comes in. Let’s look at how to start one.
Step 1: Pick a Subject
There are any number of subjects you might decide to teach online, from English as a second language to web design. Research your potential market thoroughly and check out the supply-demand dynamic as some markets are saturated and some are crying out for help.
For example, did you know that there are 300 million people in China alone seeking to study English? While there are many course providers, there’s always room for excellent quality courses in this subject area, and if you create something unique and interesting, or are just a fantastic tutor, there’s a market there for you.
Languages aren’t your only option, though. People will pay to learn almost anything from an expert online, from fitness and nutrition to coding, web design and even dog training. Pick a subject you find interesting and know plenty about and then…..
Step 2: Get Certified and Find Tutors
Get certified to teach whatever topic you select. After all, how will you know if your tutors are great if you don’t know the topic and how will you compete against those who have the qualifications?
Getting accredited and recognized qualification will only enhance your brand image and win the respect of your team.
After that, you’ll need to find suitably qualified and experienced tutors to build an effective tuition team. You can start by tutoring yourself, but you’re going to need help eventually as the business grows.
Before you hire, think about what you’ll need to pay tutors and how to price your courses so as to create a nice profit margin for the business.
Step 3: Build a Course
You need to build a great course before you find clients to tutor.
You can’t just grab a headset and start teaching or your business won’t last long. You need to build a course with learning objectives and targets built in, and you need to be able to justify each and every element of your course if asked about it by a client, many of whom will be parents shopping for tuition on behalf of their kids.
Think about the types of materials you’ll use. Will you use a standard textbook in PDF format? Will you create your own videos and audio files to supplement the material? Will you create interactive and online games or make use of already existing ones? Using materials created by institutions like Cambridge can lend great credibility to your business, but you’ll need to license them.
Build a great course with clear learning objectives and milestones for your tutors to follow, while leaving some flexibility for individual student needs, and regularly assess and test progress.
Regular assessment provides great encouragement to students who are doing well and lets you know what you need to work more on as a teacher. There’s also a chance to upsell and create additional materials and supplemental units for areas students are struggling in.
Step 4: Market, Market, Market
Succeeding in this business will be tough and you’ll be up against some great teachers and tutors from around the world. You need to get the word out, and you need to set yourself apart from the rest.
Word of mouth is always the best friend if a tutor and one success will inevitably lead to more students, but you’ll need a little more than that to get started.
You can build a website and advertise on platforms like Google and Linkedin, but you’ll also want to create awesome, free material and promote it on bigger, established sites to get your brand established.
You can also join pre-existing tutor networks and build a reputation. Sites like Italki.com for language tutors can get you started and although you’ll want to move on from these sites and expand in the future, you can use the great feedback you received as marketing material when you build your own site.
Here are some sites tutors can use to get started:
www.italki.com – Languages tutors of almost every tongue.
www.tutormatchingservice.com – Tutors of every kind can find clients here. They’ve done over 13 million tuition sessions so they’re well established and reputable.
www.khanacademy.org – The Khan academy links tutors and students on a wide range of subjects. You’ll need to be an established and qualified expert to make the cut, though.
Summary: How to Start an Online Tutoring Business
Online education is a colossal business, with $107 billion spent in 2015 alone, and is something which is going to grow and grow as more people connect to the web and our lives get busier.
In fact, it’s estimated that another 3 billion people will come online by 2050. Many of them will need to learn something. What can you and your team teach them for a profit?
As you begin your online tuition business ask yourself – how big do you want this to get?