What comes to mind when you think of online teaching trends?
Many times, you don’t have to think.
Every day an ad pops up on your social media feed telling you that teaching online is an easy ride. You can either:
- Register your account with an online marketplace.
- Get approved.
Bang! Make up to $2,000 a month by working “just a couple of hours a day.”
- Create your own website + an online course
- Drive lots of traffic
- Build your list
- Send automated sequences with sales pitches
Bang! Make money while you sleep!
- Create a website + bring traffic
- Sell advertising space
Bang! Make several cents every time people click the flashy ad.
Are these scenarios viable and do they work in 2018? What if the online teaching world has changed while we’re still trying the tricks that aren’t as viable as they were 10, 5 or even 2 years ago?
If the way you work with clients, post things on social media, create products and launch and sell them hasn’t changed in the last 2 years you might experience that “nothing is working the way it used to.”
Glad you noticed. That means some trends are changing, and if they haven’t they will. Question is: are you tuned to these changes and are you changing the way you worked, even last year?
If you want people to pay attention to your online teaching business in 2018, you can’t use the same tools or strategies as you did a few years ago.
For instance, traffic was a big deal about 5-7 years ago, but does it really matter if you have lots of traffic that doesn’t convert into clients? All you have is the noise and distraction of people who want to work with you but complain about your prices.
Case in point. Here’s my chart of 2016 and 2017 traffic. It hasn’t changed much (even flatlined), but my revenue has grown 55% in 2017.
With the changes we see online, anyone can monetize even a small blog if they tune to the current trends in online business, instead of looking back at 2005.
In this post I’ll outline 6 trends that you need to focus on in 2018 if you want to turn your online teaching into a business that stands out in the noisy online world and makes an impact.
What #trends will work for your #online #teaching #business in 2018? Check out this post!Click To Tweet
Trend #1: Brand Recognition.
2018 is still the year of going from bland to brand. The focus has shifted in the last several years from providing generic services to the mass market to offering unique and remarkable experiences.
That means we have to be consistent with the way our brand looks, what it promises and how it delivers its promise. We can no longer rely on a message that looks and sounds like everyone else. Once we’ve nailed our brand we need to go to our audience to help them remember us (more on that later).
Trend #2: Providing Unique Solutions.
Even if you offer high-demand solutions, they still have to have your unique touch. If you offer exam prep (a hype niche among online teachers), ask yourself how it’s different than others and whether or not you communicate this difference on your site.
There’s a tendency to move away from generic descriptions and bland offerings, focusing on something that resonates with you and your audience. Niching down isn’t an easy process, but it’s worthwhile and smart in the long run.
Trend #3: Consistency and Creativity in Communicating your Message.
This has to do with the way you speak your core message across social media. When there’s no clarity on the niche and purpose of your brand, you end up communicating mixed messages. You might also copy what others are doing instead of tapping in your own creativity, which ruins your brand.
In the end, such activity attracts the wrong types of clients and makes for a sad experience of teaching online (of which there’re many stories).
Trend #4: Being Available for your Community.
By community I don’t mean “numbers” but a group of people that you’ve been able to grow around your core message. These are the people who have read your content, watched your videos, worked with you 1:1 and decided to go beyond: sign up for your newsletter and/or follow you on social media so they continue growing more.
Most of the time people who want to create and sell an online course make a mistake of looking at the numbers, not the community. “I’ve got 50,000 subscribers on YouTube — I can sell a course.”
But they will soon be surprised that “a big group” doesn’t buy. In order to sell, you have to grow a community, and that means you have to make yourself available to the people, or rather — to one person.
“Show up. Consistently. Keep creating content. Speak passionately to a crowd of 0. Until you’re speaking passionately to a crowd of 3. That’s 3 whole people, with whole lifetimes of experiences and memories, who have chosen to tune into your words. That’s an honor.” Regina Anaejionu
Trend #5: Speaking in a Language that Represents You.
This goes back to niching and branding. Generic brands use generic language, full of clichés and bland phrases that express nothing. Your client doesn’t want to read what she’ll read everywhere else. She wants to read something different, and you can speak to her heart.
Trend #6: Prioritizing Collaboration.
Working solo doesn’t scale. Even if you work online and are the only person on your “team,” you won’t be able to gain traction if you’re completely alone.
People need to know what you do, and that can only happen if you make an effort to enroll into classes, courses, programs and communities and consistently show up.
And by the way, this is how you learn about these and other trends so your brand remains relevant and you no longer resort to dated techniques.
What do you do now?
Do you find yourself doing the same trick and hoping for different results, year in — year out? Maybe something needs to change so your efforts bring results.
If you’re looking for a community of like-minded individuals and want to learn something that will work, consider joining our Smart Teacher’s Library. You’ll grow as an online business owner, interact with your peers and have access to 2 coaches (Veronika Palovska and myself) via chat!
When you enroll, check out this epic training to help you map out your online teaching journey.
More helpful resources:
- How do you define your niche? My brand strategist and web designer Veronika Palovska gives you 24 questions to ask to narrow down your niche.
- What does “branding” mean for your small online teaching business? Can you achieve this goal? Learn more in this 2-part series by Veronika Palovska.
- How do you communicate your message on social media? My post here will give you some ideas.
- How can your business benefit from creativity? Here’s a series of posts on my blog about the way creativity can boost your online teaching business.
- Veronika Palovska’s Brand Story Kit will help you draft your own compelling brand story that will convert your audience into fans.
- Seth Godin’s book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is an excellent guide on how to lead communities.