Recently completed a TEFL qualification and looking to boost your online referrals? Look no further! Teaching English Online can be a pretty competitive market but thanks to the help of a niche, you’ll easily be able to stand out from the crowd! Carry on reading to find out how….
What is a niche?
It seems to be the word on everybody’s lips but what exactly does it mean? Generally speaking, a niche relates to a service or product that targets a specific section of the population depending on their interests or needs – awesome!
Why is it so important for Online TEFL teachers?
Having a niche is extremely important when building your brand and reputation as it demonstrates to your students that you’re an expert in your field. It’s also a great way for you to increase your referral rates on online teaching platforms such as Verbling, Cambly, and iTalki, as it shows you have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in a specific subject area. What better way to show your students that they’re in safe hands?
How do I choose my niche?
As tempting as it may be to cater to all types of students, it’s better to specialise in a specific subject area when teaching English online. Having a specific niche such as Business English will allow you to become more efficient with your time as you can adapt the same lesson plans time and time again – winner! Plus, it’ll give you the competitive edge you need to succeed. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin as an Online TEFL teacher so, make sure you choose a niche that matches your strengths. A great way to begin is by looking at your background and experience as well as your interests and what you think would be profitable.
What to ask yourself when choosing your niche
Narrowing down your niche can be pretty tricky when you’re a TEFL teacher which is why you should ask many questions as possible. Some useful things to look out for are:
- What’s my teaching style? Am I more laid back or business-minded?
- What age group do I enjoy working with? Do I have a better rapport with older or younger students?
- What do I love about teaching and what am I passionate about?
- Who do I work better with? Are there any specific nationalities or professions?
- Is there a specific gap in the market that I think I could fill?
What types of niche are good for teaching English Online?
There are lots of great ways to stand out from the crowd so why not think about what makes you unique? Check out our top 5 niches for teaching English Online:
1. Business English
As the international language of business, English has become a sought-after skill by many employers worldwide. As a result, it’s become a lucrative niche for Online English tutors. With so many people looking to develop their skills, Business English is an amazing area of expertise to specialise in. Unlike working with younger children, Business English students are willing to pay more for your services. Plus, they’re extremely motivated as they’re looking for help with interviews, job applications and promotions – yes please!
2. IELTS/Exam Preparation
Academic support has become one of the most in demand niches for Online TEFL teachers over the past few years. With so many people wanting to study and work abroad, there’s been a surge in demand for exam prep tutors such as IELTS tutors (International English Language Testing System). This is a fantastic niche to have as it allows you to support your students through their studies and celebrate their success- amazing!
Believe it or not, you don’t need loads of online teaching experience to choose your niche. If you’re new to the world of TEFL but have previous work experience in another sector, then this can definitely work in your favour! People in professions such as accounting, nursing, and tourism are always keen to develop their skills in one-to-one English lessons. They’ll love the fact that you have similar interests and will be super grateful to learn subject-specific vocab. What better way to break the ice than having something in common to bond over?
Pronunciation is a fantastic niche to focus on if you have a clear accent and can enunciate well. Although some students have an excellent command for English, they may struggle to pronounce certain words and be difficult to understand. Some pronunciation lessons will be easier than others depending on your students’ level of skills. You might start with students who are new to English, or you might have more advanced students who are looking to perfect their accent and sound more fluent. Catering to these types of students is pretty easy as they’re keen to learn specific national or regional accents – winner!
5. Specific Nationalities
If you’ve spent a lot of time living in another country, like Spain for example, you’ll be able to spot common mistakes students make in terms of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. This is extremely useful when finding your TEFL niche as it means you have deeper understanding of your students’ needs- go you!
When choosing your niche, think about your target market and the type of age range you’d like to aim for. Although most online marketplaces cater to younger students and their bilingual curriculum, there’s still a huge demand for other types of online TEFL classes. Whether you specialise in teaching teenagers, university students or the older generation, there’s plenty of online TEFL opportunities. And the best part? You can choose your students to fit your personality!
Why not give it a go and see where it takes you?