Now that online learning is spreading far and wide on the back of some really innovative technology, the focus is shifting to something more pertinent. It’s about what makes a successful online tutor.
Mind you, the field is no longer uneven to the exclusion of those who have merit but lack opportunity. It is quite easy to launch your e-learning course, often free of charge, on websites like Udemy, Learnable, WizIQ and others.
Viddler charges money but is a perfect host for online video classes. Then again, Skillshare offers all the facility you may need to market your live coaching on any topic (in the US only as of this writing). It’s, as they say, a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone.
What all of these mean is that there is no dearth of opportunity to become an online tutor (and an offline tutor too with Skillshare). Since most of these websites only charge a commission on the sales you make and none else, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t consider online coaching as a serious profession.
The good things however end here.
As with all marketing, the ease of reaching out to prospects is hardly a guarantee for the quality of products. Other things remaining constant, quality used to be and still uses to be the bedrock of sustained customer relationship. And that in turn means furtherance and prosperity of a business.
E-learning courses are more vulnerable because the learners can rate them that acts as stamps of approval of the courses. It can be concluded therefore that unplanned, unrelated, hastily-made courses can perhaps not hope to make money.
So what is it that makes a successful online tutor? If you ask me I’d say it is as much about the relevance and value of the contents of a course you create as about how you structure the course to meet its only objective…which is to enable students to get the most out of it.
Ingredients of Online Tutoring
Good or bad, relevant or otherwise, any online course – or any teaching course for that matter – has 2 parts to it. Creating the course and marketing it.
Marketing or delivering an online course, as explained above, is relatively easy. Online platforms like Learnable and Udemy not only host the online course for free (as of this writing), they accept payment on your behalf, and arrange the delivery of the course.
Creating the course on the other hand requires you to formulate and package your course in a deliverable format, usually a PDF file, an audio podcast, a PowerPoint presentation, or a web video.
The 6 steps of an online course from the start to finish are as under:
Identify what to teach and then evaluate its demand and the target students.
Prepare a broad outline of the course by breaking it down to modules, topics, and lessons in that order.
Write down each lesson starting from the beginning – this is important because unless you do this, the course will never get off the ground or will get stuck later for lack of sufficient clarification in what your goal is.
Translate each lesson into a medium that is deliverable online, like PDF file, or audio podcast, or presentation, or a web video, or all of them (at least 3 of them).
Finalize the entire course for online tutoring complete with marketing articles/videos/promos.
Upload your entire course on to an online tutoring platform, and that includes hosting the course, accepting fees from the students, and delivering the course students.
The first 5 steps are crucial because these are the ones that help you create a really helpful course with value contents for the students.
How to Become a Successful Online Tutor
As you take on the journey to become an online tutor of repute you’ll realize that the path to success is strewn with pebbles of failure. There are many factors that go to make a course of real value to the students.
The one that I find important is identifying what your strength is, followed by your knowledge about it and your passion to make the whole thing happen.
It may surprise you when you realize that your strength is something you never thought about. In many cases the road to success becomes longer for not knowing your strength on a topic.
Let me narrate below the story of a retired bureaucrat (after the video) who shot to glory only after he realized what his strength is.
You may download my e-book, Where Is The Honey!, for more on how to make money as an online tutor.
The Story of a Retired Bureaucrat
Sam Brown was a successful bureaucrat who retired recently. Given his experience in various responsible positions he anticipated landing a good job after retirement. After all, wasn’t there a dearth of capable managers everywhere!
The reality turned out different.
He did get jobs but none that would pay him a decent sum, or require him to test his skills as he wanted. Time passed by. The options became scarce, and he became less and less sure of his abilities.
Finally, one day he found himself ‘reduced’ to writing a school report. And…this changed his life.
The girl next door wanted him to write a report on a science project she did in the school. Sam wrote the report, but as he was doing it he increasingly felt the sweet smell of an opportunity.
For the whole of the next week he made discreet inquiries with the office-going executives in the place he lived and also in adjoining localities as to the needs and prospects of report writing. What he learnt took him by surprise!
Most of whom Sam met needed reports of some kind or the other but he found it amazing that many people did not know how to write a good report! He recalled that this indeed was the case even in his office, which was why he was entrusted with the making of all important reports!
Sam had good reputation of penning reports with meticulous care. He reckoned that writing reports came to him naturally.
So, here was an opportunity for him! He wondered aloud why not teach others how to write reports! Well, why not? After a long time Sam could afford a smile!
The next couple of months Sam immersed himself completely into creating a teaching course on how to write reports.
He started from the basics and covered the nuances of writing a wide variety of reports for the corporate sector to be taught in his course. It included marketing reports, financial reports, sales proposals, ROI calculations, daily progress reports, annual reports, press briefings, briefings for shareholders, confidential reports for the top management, and so on.
The day came at last when Sam launched his course in a new website he started for the purpose. He used friends and acquaintances to spread the word about his course. As a marketing plan he offered his course free to the first 50 opt-ins.
Sam was confident about the quality of his product, yet the response to his report writing course was much bigger for his modest expectations. He never imagined he would make money more than he did in his job!
What’s more, Sam found that multiple income avenues were opening up for him including giving lectures in the gatherings of top executives who are eager to learn but have no time to go through his teaching course.
The schoolgirl who sparked the idea in his head continued to receive his favor of free reports for her school, but when one day several of her classmates came to him with similar requests, Sam realized that the time has come to start a course on writing academic reports for schools and colleges!
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