If you have a skill or deep domain knowledge that you would like to share, online tutoring could be a great career choice for you. You could do this either part-time or full-time, with few overhead expenses, mainly a reliable and consistent internet connection, some software to make and create videos, and dedicated time to conceptualize, design, develop and publish course material. The demand for online tutors has risen considerably after the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the online tutoring market is expected to expand with an annual growth rate of more than 16% every year for the next seven years
Why become an online tutor?
Online tutoring on any subject can be extremely rewarding if you dedicate time, money, and efforts in the right direction. There are many reasons why online tutoring is beneficial for you-
Flexibility- You can choose when to work and how much time to dedicate to online tutoring.
Work from anywhere- You can set up your workstation at home or anywhere else that suits you. The ability to work remotely saves you unnecessary costs like travel and other overheads.
Creative freedom- With online tutoring, you can design your own course materials, learning content, and the way concepts have to be taught.
Efficiency- With online tutoring, you can share files, documents, and other information efficiently in the way you want. You can create teaching resources yourself without depending on other sources.
Demand- The demand for online tutoring is increasing as students find this option better than taking physical classes. Many students are looking to gain additional skills with short courses rather than spending on an integrated course.
International audience- The omnipresence of the internet makes you and your course available to a large audience. Even if the students do not speak English, you can always get your course material translated and presented to the audience with an AI-enabled platform like Deepword.
7 Steps to becoming an online tutor
Understand your niche- Though you may have deep knowledge in a particular subject, you have to cater to the demands of the market. For example, if you are well versed in English and Spanish, you could offer English-speaking online courses to Hispanic students. To understand the way to position your services, you will need to do deep research and find out just how to position your online course. Coming back to the example, there could be many Hispanic students who do not have the time to take physical English classes as they prepare to migrate to the US. Your service could help these students learn English in a language they are comfortable with.
Understand your audience- As is with every product and service, you cannot just offer something without understanding what your target audience needs. If you are teaching English to students who’ve studied in Spanish, you must understand how these students think in Spanish and the common grammatical and pronunciation errors they make while speaking English. You should also know how they study English conventionally and what resources they use for this. Furthermore, you should understand these students’ socio-economic background, spending power, aspirations, and learning challenges.
Set your value proposition- Once you are done with understanding your niche and audience, you now know what challenges your Spanish students face in learning English and how much time and money they have for learning the language. Based on this, you could name a course that reads- ‘Learn Basic English in 59 days’ or ‘Learn English for the TOEFL exams’ or something similar. A value proposition could help prospective students to relate to the course and ultimately pay for it after making the necessary inquiries.
Choose your price and establish terms- Based on your research, you could establish the price for your online course. Check out how much your competitors charge and what value addition they bring to the table. Remember, your pricing should reflect your education level, experience, and subject area. Make sure you put in terms that protect your effort and time. For instance, you can put in a rule which says cancellations are only possible 48 hours before the start of the course.
Create an engaging and exhaustive curriculum- Now comes the part when you have to create a curriculum based on the target audience’s needs and learning pace. If your course is named ‘Learn Basic English in 59 days’, your target audience is teenagers who have the caliber to learn quickly and understand concepts within a short period of 2 months.
- Define the course objectives and outcomes- Before someone takes your course, they’ll first see if the objective of the course meets their requirements. If your course is titled ‘Learn English for the TOEFL exams’, your objective should read ‘At the end of this course, you’ll be able to crack the mandatory TOEFL exam for gaining admission to the university of your dreams’. This would help prospective students who’re looking to crack the TOEFL get interested in your course. Also, make sure to state what the prospect would get at the end of the course besides the stated objective.
- Determine the timeline of the course- Determine how long the course should last. This is crucial as prospective students would generally consider this before taking the course. It should be determined by the time taken to complete teaching every part of the curriculum along with the expected learning pace of the students.
- Use the right tools for content creation- Now comes the time when you create your content for the course. Besides live sessions, tests, quizzes, and other interactive learning mediums, you will also need to create a series of videos for the course. Coming back to the example, you would need to add Spanish subtitles to your TOEFL English test courses as not all Spanish speakers may relate to your accent and dialect. Furthermore, even if you are adding interactive content like animations, video clips, and other pieces of content to your video, you will need to add a ‘human touch’ to the content. For this, you can use Deepword an AI-based SaaS platform that helps you personalize your videos without the need to record anything. What this means is you can upload your image and the subtitles in nearly any language to Deepword and they will animate your image to lip-sync and show the relevant expressions just as you would naturally talk. You could even use a virtual person for this if you ever need to keep your true identity a secret.
Find your students- Before advertising your service, test it with some students who need it and ask for feedback. Maybe there could be some things you could improve, or you may have left out some points in the curriculum. It would help if you could get people to recommend your course for a commission. For instance, you could get educational consultants on board who help students get their visas and admissions for migrating to the US to recommend this course to the students.
Advertise your tutoring services- Like every other service, you’ll need to market your course. For best results, you could promote it on social media, especially on relevant groups that contain your target audience. Word of mouth or references could help but to a limited extent. You could make your own website and offer the course there while mentioning your URL in all your advertisements. If possible, you could hire someone who’d help you advertise your course.
In the end
Online tutoring is a great way to offer your knowledge of a particular subject. Though you may need to invest time, effort, and money towards reaching your goal, the subsequent rewards are great. When a student takes a course, it is your responsibility to ensure they learn what they need to. Once they do, you can expand your business by improving the curriculum or launching new courses for similar unmet market demands.