“Niche teaching” seems to be the buzzword of the online ESL teaching world right now – but what does it mean, and how can you pick your high value niche?
What is niche teaching?
“Niche teaching” is, quite simply, specialising in a particular area of teaching or subject matter. This niche may be further narrowed down to focus on a specific target market.
For online ESL teachers, your niche could be a specific aspect of English language learning, such as accent training, business English, or IELTS exam tutoring. Alternatively, you could find a niche which is less language focused (while still using your experience supporting learners with English as a second language), for example university admissions mentoring, public speaking training or debating competition coaching.
By developing expertise in a particular area, niche teachers can differentiate themselves from other ESL teachers and provide targeted instruction to students who are specifically interested in that aspect of the language. Niche teaching can help teachers stand out in a crowded market and provide value to students who are seeking to improve their English skills in a particular area.
Why should you specialise in a niche?
Niche teaching has many advantages for teachers, including:
- Earnings: Charge higher prices for your classes, thus earning more per hour;
- Expertise: Become more confident in your teaching as you can develop your skills to a higher level;
- Marketing: More easily reach your target market and increase conversion rates;
- Planning: Re-use your lesson materials and plans between multiple students within the same niche.
Although many teachers worry that focusing one one niche could cause them to lose out on other opportunities to attract new students, this is simply not the case. In fact, by having more focused marketing and pitching yourself as an expert in what your target student specifically needs, you can actually reach MORE students and charge more.
How can you pick your niche?
When picking your niche, you should consider multiple factors.
- Target learners with a higher earning power, e.g. business professionals, families planning to send their kids abroad to study, etc.
- Have a really clear goal and reason for learning English that is critical to their future plans, e.g. to get a new job or pass an exam required to study overseas.
- Face specific challenges in achieving their goals, e.g. understanding the exam marking rubric, having special educational needs or knowing how to structure academic writing.
- Have a deadline or some other pressure for them to achieve their goal more quickly, so they are willing to invest in the classes they need to do so.
- Directly helps your students overcome the challenges they face in achieving their specific goals.
- Not available on mass market ESL platforms or classes with other companies.
- Lead to some final outcome or achievement at the end of your programme.
- Where you have specialist skills, qualifications and experience to back you up as an expert and help you stand out.
- What you actually enjoy teaching!
Looking for high quality, interactive and engaging teaching resources for your online ESL classes? Check out the Abridge Academy curriculum, which includes a step-by-step beginners curriculum as well as various niche expansion courses to help you earn more teaching online! Get started with the Abridge Academy curriculum for free today!