teach online

A Day in the Life of an Online Teacher (and Tips for Teaching Online)

This video has been a long time in the making.

I’m pleased to say that it’s finally here! Follow me around for the day as I take you to the woods, my office, and the parking lot (haha!) and show you what I do on a daily basis.

I also share my best tips that will help you get more private students into your lessons and courses.

Resources Mentioned in the Video

I mentioned a lot of different things in this video. Let’s start with my gear:

Free Mini-Course for Teaching Online get an overview of what online teaching is like and how you can get started.

Email marketing software: this is what I use and highly recommend it.

Email marketing overview: get my best tips on how to use email marketing to grow your teaching business

Different ways to earn as an online teacher: I list 6 ways that you can bring in an income by teaching online

First online course numbers: learn how much I made from my first course.

The video I was editing: check out the finished product and my other YouTube channel

The To Fluency Program: my course for those learning English

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teach online using phone english

Can You Teach Online & Build a Teaching Business on Your Phone?

Things are changing fast.

Online teaching has become mainstream and the ways in which we teach and promote our lessons are constantly changing.

But what about if we only have a phone?

Is it possible to teach and promote our lessons just using one device?

Find out in this video:

There are two things to focus on here:

  1. How to teach lessons using our phone
  2. How to promote our lessons using our phone

Teaching Using Your Phone

The majority of people who video chat do this on their phone these days.

We can use Facebook Messenger, Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and a host of different messaging apps to teach lessons online.

Doing it this way is convenient and a lot of learners prefer to do it this way.

One drawback is that it’s harder to introduce interactive elements to our lessons such as text chat, embedding videos, and using other tools to help us teach effectively.

I feel that mobile teaching lends itself to conversational language lessons. If you teach something else (like business coaching) it won’t be an issue at all.

Let me know your tips if you have taught using your mobile device in the past.

Promoting Your Teaching Business through Your Phone

Here is my 3-step plan for getting more students/clients:

  1. Be clear on what your lessons are about and who you help
  2. Create a system that converts browsers into buyers
  3. Build awareness and send more people through step two

I have written about the more sophisticated ways of doing this here.

Let’s instead focus on what this might look like using a phone.

BONUS TIP: You don’t have to just offer one-to-one lessons. You can:

  • Create a paid group on Facebook where learners pay a subscription fee to access your premium lessons
  • Offer writing feedback through Facebook Messenger
  • Offer speaking feedback through Facebook Messenger

Use PayPal or another payment app to set up subscriptions.

I made a video on this here.

Get Students Just by Using Facebook

Assume that you have step one down.

Step two might be to tell learners that you offer free trial lessons and, if they’re interested, to send you a message on Facebook.

Simple, right?

You can use your personal profile to do this or a Facebook page that you create.

You respond to these messages and set up a time when you can both meet.

It’s your job to convince the learner that your lessons are worth paying for during the trial.

This is a simple system and it works.

But how do you build awareness using your phone?

You make videos, share pictures, create mini-lessons and post them on your page or in groups.

Include a call-to-action (CTA) every time you do this.

Your CTA is very simple: you tell people to send you a message if they want a free trial lesson.

This strategy works on Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, LinkedIn or any other social media site.

What Mobile Has Done and Where it is Going

The mobile revolution has dramatically changed the way we consume content and interact with each other.

Business have responded to this by making websites and applications simple.

This restriction helps us focus on what matters…

… connecting with potential customers/students/clients in a real way.

I can only see this becoming more important moving forward.

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teach english online

Teaching English Online: Thoughts on a Teaching Niche 4 Years On and Saying NO!!!

One of my earlier posts on this blog was about teaching niches.

This and other similar posts gained a lot of traction.

I argued that in order to stand out and build a teaching business, it’s wise to choose a niche.

This is still true, however, the way that I recommend going about choosing one has changed. Watch the video to get my best tips on this and why saying NO is liberating.

Defining a Teaching Niche and Getting Started

I believe the best way to look at a teaching niche is by focusing on:

  1. What you teach
  2. Who you teach
  3. How you teach

For example, you can offer general lessons to anyone in the world. But the way you stand out is by doing in your own specific way.

My niche has evolved since 2011.

I used to teach anyone who wanted lessons. This included beginners, kids, and people wanting exam preparation.

I then decided to focus on conversational lessons for adults.

The way I taught changed too.

Instead of offering one-to-one lessons, I offered video courses.

Key Takeaway: think about your teaching niche but allow it to evolve. If in doubt, just get teaching.

Saying NO!!!

My niche for this website has changed too.

I used to try and help anyone who had questions related to online teaching.

For example, people ask me all the time about online jobs.

Past Jack would have spent time researching this and responding to emails.

Current Jack says, “Sorry, I’m not the best person to ask about this.”

The same goes for blended learning in universities, how to pay taxes, and lesson plans.

I stick with what I know and find people who need help with this.

Over to You

There is a balance when first starting.

You might not be in a position financially to say no.

But drive demand for your lessons so that you can.

How?

Well, that is where I can help you.

Jump right in by joining TEOC today and I’ll show you how to create a stream of students who want to pay you for what you offer.

Or if you’d like to dip your toe in the water first, check out my free video training below.

Thanks for reading!

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Facebook Ads tips

My 3-Month Facebook Ad Experiment and Quick Tips to Help You Get This Right

In Spring of this year, I knew that I was going to have a busy summer.

We had a trip to Connecticut planned, were moving house, and my son was having time off school.

I knew that my working time would be limited.

Therefore, I wanted to find ways to get more people into my courses while working less 😀 – a good challenge to have.

In spring, I did three things:

  1. created new sales funnels for my courses (learn more here)
  2. created new Facebook Ad campaigns
  3. started an affiliate program

In this post, I’m going to share my experience of using Facebook Ads.

Here is what I did:

  • I targeted cold audiences (those who don’t know me) and warm audiences
  • I spent, on average, $50 a day and committed to 3 months (I paused for a couple of days here and there)
  • I sent people to a free book / video course and then sent an offer through email

I’ll cut straight to the chase:

For every $1 I’ve spent, I’ve made $2-3 in sales.

Great, right?

But here’s a word of caution: don’t expect to throw something up there and get amazing results straight away.

If you’re going to do this, start small, experiment, and do some research.

Here are some of the things that I did and what I recommend for anyone using Facebook Ads.

Create a Landing Page that Gives Something Away for Free

5SP Book

The landing page that I’m using.

Don’t make the mistake of sending people to your generic homepage.

Or if you’re targeting a cold audience, straight to your sales page.

Do this:

  • have something to offer (free book / video course / pdf ) – I’ve been saying this for years. Learn more here.
  • create a landing page that is set up for conversions (this is a page that is set up so that people take action)

Do this for every campaign you run.

If you have one already, duplicate it. Then…

Create a Special Tag for Those Who Go through This Advertising Landing Page

Here’s the thing: Facebook can track conversions for you and I recommend you set this up.

However, it’s not always accurate.

I’m not sure if they include anyone who bought from someone sharing your ad and if someone isn’t logged into Facebook, then they won’t be tracked (some of you might ‘lol’ at this!).

Anyway, tagging those using your email software is the most accurate way to track sales from your ads.

Using Active Campaign, I know who has signed up through my ad by searching for contacts who:

  1. have this special tag
  2. have my course tag

Create a Bunch of Custom Audiences and Target the Right People

Custom Audiences

Upload email lists to include / exclude from your ads.

I exclude anyone who:

  • is already an email subscriber
  • has bought my course
  • has landed on the opt-in thank you page

I include people who:

  • have certain interests
  • are from certain countries
  • speak specific languages

Quick tip: break down your audience into people who know you and people who don’t.

For example, I have one adset that targets those who have watched my Facebook videos or have interacted with my page.

I exclude those people for the adset called “Don’t Know Me” and target based on interests and demographics.

I also have a whole other campaign that retargets anyone who has visited my sales page but hasn’t purchased. This campaign has been running for years.

Create Various Types of Ads and Test Them

You think you know what works.

But you know nothing, John Snow.

Well, you won’t know anything until you test things.

Try out different images, text, headlines, and CTA’s. Test your landing pages too.

Search for “popular Facebook ads” on Google image search and see what’s working. Start with that and test things out.

If in doubt, follow AIDA. Attention. Interest. Desire. Action.

Take a Deep Dive into Your Results

Facebook Ads Breakdown

Break things down by age, country etc.

Because I tracked everyone using my email software in addition to Facebook conversions, I have a clear picture of how well these ads have performed.

The problem is that my email software doesn’t tell me as much as Facebook does.

So, I matched up the data (mainly by country) and some results surprised me.

For example, the countries which I thought were going to do well did terribly.

This could be down to the time of year, so I’ll test them again. But again, don’t guess what will work, make a note of what does.

Take your time looking at your results.

In fact, take time looking at everything. Once you get a good return on investment, this is where you can really scale things.

Break things down by country, age, device, and all the other options that Facebook gives you.

What I’m Doing Moving Forward

I’ve taken my results and I’m doubling down on what’s been working.

I’m going to slightly increase my ad spend every 3-4 days. I don’t want to just double it as it can mess up the way that Facebook shows your ads.

I’m also going to keep testing. To keep striving to increase conversions and get a better return.

Let me know your thoughts below.

bulb-40701_1280

New Ideas for My Online Teaching Business

In the book, The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth, James Altucher talks about the power of coming up with new ideas.

I’m constantly thinking about new projects, ideas to generate sales, and ideas to make my life better.

In my latest Facebook video, I went through 7 ideas that I’ve had recently.

I also talked about how to execute an idea and whether you should act on an idea or not.

Check it out!

My Latest Ideas

1. Create a recurring subscription for feedback on speaking and/or writing. Hire others to give this feedback

2. Create a secondary email series based on the answers given on a survey at the end of the first series. So, if someone tells me that they can’t afford the course, I could send another course and ask these people to share my content for access.

3. Create a subdomain (courses.mysite.com) where teachers can create courses. Learners take these courses and leave reviews. Some type of profit sharing agreement would be needed.

4. Give every learner who signs up to my course the opportunity to join the affiliate program.

5. Hire someone to take longer videos and create content (smaller videos, articles, pictures) from this.

6. Create a viral competition

7. Hire someone to create viral quizzes and pump them out!

What am I Going to Do?

My two courses, TEOC and TFP are my two main income streams.

I want to keep doubling down on these while spending 10-20% of my time growing other revenue streams.

There are so many ways that I can improve what I already have. For example, I’m looking to double the amount of learners going through my email funnel. With all being equal, this will double sales. The viral quizzes, advertising, and my affiliate program will help with this.

My question for you is this: what ideas have you had recently? Are you going to act on them?

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earn more online

Online Teachers: What’s Stopping You from Earning More?

One of my first posts talked about how starting your own teaching business gives you the potential to earn more.

The reason is simple: you are in control of all aspects of your teaching business.

You can set your own prices. You can teach more lessons. You can create online courses.

However, many never earn what they set out to earn.

I wanted to know more so I asked the following question on my Facebook page:

The answers were fascinating. I decided to make a video to explore this further. Here it is:

NOTES

  • Think about your priorities. Is this really important to you? Are you making it enough of a priority?
  • If you’re not getting enough students, look at your conversion funnel, how you get the benefits of your lessons across, and what you’re doing to bring in more learners.
  • If you’re hesitant about raising your prices, know that they can be flexible.
  • If you’re against earning more because you think it will affect your work/life balance or your happiness, know that I have an amazing work/life balance, I’m happy, and I’m earning more. These things aren’t mutually exclusive.
  • If you want to earn more, get started, enjoy the process, keep improving, and be grateful for what you have.

Don’t just read these notes. Watch the video. I think you’ll get a lot out of it.

Prefer to watch it on YouTube? Click here.

And then, get my free training here. Or my premium training here.

Thanks for reading!

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3 Tips creating online courses

3 Lessons I’ve Learned Creating My New Online Course | Read or Watch This Before You Create Your Own

Since 2015, I have focused solely on creating and selling online courses.

The main reason is this: I can help people at scale and grow my teaching business.

I created my first course for learners back in March 2014. It was a 5-week course that involved live lessons. I ran it again in May using the same format.

In November 2014, I put this course on my own site using prerecorded lessons.

I’m currently in the middle of rewriting it.

Here are three lessons I’ve learned during this process.

#1: Battle Through It (There Will Be Obstacles)

To get your course ready, you have to put in the work.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone to check the weather while writing slides or editing videos.

The two main obstacles you’ll face are when:

  • something just isn’t going right
  • you have to make a tough decision

The other day, my audio recorder unexplainable crashed when filming three videos.

I had spent 45 minutes recording them.

But it was all wasted and I had to start again.

I thought about just packing it in for the day but I battled on instead. Things go wrong and you have to keep going.

Making decisions can stop you in your tracks too. For example, you’ll ask yourself:

What should I call it?
What should I include?
How much should I make it?

Don’t procrastinate on decisions. Go through the process of making tough decisions. Sleep on it if you need to. But hash it out now.

I find the best way to do this is to write things down.

And know that it won’t be easier to make a tough decision next week. Don’t let decisions hold you up.

#2: Get Organized (And Use This Tool)

As someone who relies on Apple products, I love Apple Notes and iCloud.

I keep all ideas, plans, and thoughts inside Notes.

The course videos, audio files, and artwork sit inside iCloud.

I can access all of this on any device.

Here are some of the documents I keep inside Notes:

  • An overview of the course
  • pricing and course schedule
  • bullet points on each lesson
  • all the drills that I’m going to include
  • a checklist of what needs to be done

I used to use Google Drive and Asana for this in the past. However, I find the browser based applications are too slow.

I stick to a clear labeling system for my files.

For example: TFPC – P1 – 001

This tells me what this video is and it keeps things organized.

I back up all my files on an external drive and in the cloud.

#3: Share Your Journey and Build Up Some Buzz

I’ve been sharing pictures, videos, and stories about building this course on my social media accounts.

I’ve done this for my accounts for teachers and for learners.

Sharing what you’re working on helps you talk things through so that you have a clearer understanding of what you’re going to teach.

Equally as important, it builds buzz for your new course.

They see the effort you’re putting in.

They see the journey and want to be part of it.

I’ve taught mini-lessons based on the new lessons inside my course. I don’t mind giving away some for free as I know it’s only going to benefit me long-term.

I’m also going to share some outtakes next week.

Want to Create Your Own Online Course?

Here are some resources for you.

1: In this video, I share three tips to help you create and sell your own course.

2: And in this article, I share the numbers behind my first course.

If you want to jump right in, join TEOC and get the 11-video tutorial on how to create and sell your own online course.

This is just a small part of the overall course and community.

Check it out here.

Thanks for reading. Leave any questions you have below!

SEO strategy

A Long-Term SEO Strategy for Online Teachers

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way that we can attract learners into our lessons and courses.

For example, if your website shows on the first page of Google for the search term online English teacher, then imagine the amount of people that will find you.

This is organic traffic. Free traffic.

However, to get your website featured on the first page of Google isn’t easy. It takes time.

Luckily, I have a long-terms strategy that not only helps you boost your rankings in the search results, but it also brings in learners today.

Your SEO Strategy

Here is what to do:

1. Create free content that is useful
2. Promote it

Without valuable articles/videos, your site isn’t going to rank in the search engines. Users will click onto the article, skim, and leave.

Having content that people read gives a signal to Google that it’s worth featuring. Plus, a learner will want to know more about you if you help them.

Once you have useful content, you need to promote it.

Do this by:

  • sharing it on social media
  • asking others to share it
  • boosting your post on Facebook
  • sharing it with your email list

Guess what?

By doing this, you will be attracting people to your site. That is our goal. Once they are on our site, get them to take action.

This strategy is simple but it will take time to work.

What we’re doing to get it to work is what we do anyway – helping people and promoting our stuff.

The key is making sure that we get learners to do what we want them to do once they land on our site.

This is where your landing page and email marketing strategy come in.

Quick SEO Tips

Create Content Based on What People Are Searching For

Use the Google Keyword Tool to find out what people are searching for. Long-tail keywords (long phrases) are easier to rank for.

Keep in mind the following: buying (English lessons on Skype) and browsing (Present Perfect Rules) keywords. It’s easier to convert learners who are actively looking for what we offer.

Download This Plugin

If you use WordPress, I highly recommend this plugin. Their free training is useful and it makes everything much easier.

Write your Articles With the User in Mind

To help your rankings, you should include your keywords in the article and headline.

However, don’t force this. Write with the reader in mind.

Have a CTA on Every Article

Traffic is worthless if people don’t take action.

Include a call-to-action at the end of every article/video. This will help you get this right.

Interlink and Link Out

When you write a post, link to other articles you write. Update older posts with newer links.

Link to other sites too.

Over to You

Have you had success with SEO? What tips do you have?

Please leave any questions you have below.

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teaching online 2017

Teaching Online in 2017: What’s Changed, What’s the Same, and What You Need to Focus On

In 2013, I wrote various posts on how we can market ourselves as online teachers and sell our lessons and courses.

Nearly four years later, some things have changed.

That’s why I have made this video and written the article below going through what you need to know about online teaching in 2017.

Watch the video / read on to stay ahead of the game.

Email Marketing

I’m still big on email marketing.

Why?

Because it’s the number one way that we can communicate with our audience. And like I said in this post, this is something we own.

Social media platforms come and go. Email stays with us.

And later on, you’ll learn how to combine the two.

Lesson Plans

When I first started, it was tough to find materials for my online lessons.

A lot has changed since then. The biggest indicator of this Off2Class.

This platform has ready-made lessons that are tailor made for the online world.

With a few simple searches, you will find a whole range of materials and lessons plans that you can use.

Teaching Niche

This focuses more on my outlook of a teaching niche.

I used to limit this to what area of English we can focus on. However, I now see a niche as:

  • what you teach
  • who you teach
  • and how you teach

For example, you can offer general conversation lessons. But you can deliver this in your own unique way. Or you can offer these to specific learners.

What’s more, I highly recommend being open to the evolution of your niche. Things change as you start teaching. You realize what works, what you enjoy, and which type of learners you prefer working with.

If you’re stuck at the niche stage, don’t let it stop you from teaching.

Get started and work it out as you go.

Online Courses

A few years back, it was difficult and, potentially expensive, to create and sell an online course.

These days, there are all-in-one solutions that makes it much easier to do.

That is why you see more teachers creating on-demand video courses and programs.

This has allowed teachers, including myself, to scale and reach more learners.

Learn more about how to do this here.

Live Video

2016 was the year of live video.

This was when Facebook opened this feature to everyone.

YouTube have been doing live video for a while, but they really started to push this in 2016 too.

Learners love live lessons. Teachers, on the whole, love them too.

They are raw, can be done a phone, and the interaction brings more to the lessons.

I predict that live video will consolidate in 2017 and that YouTube will push live mobile video.

Social Media

Back in 2011 – the year I started teaching online – business still saw social media as a fad.

They weren’t ready to use their marketing budget on platforms such as Facebook.

In 2017, it’s fairly clear that social media is here to stay. Platforms will come and go, but the idea of connecting with our audience on these sites will play a large role in our marketing efforts.

Like I said in the video, it’s wise to use each platform natively.

In the past, everyone just pasted links that pointed back to their website. That doesn’t work like it used to.

Now, we have to create specific content for each platform. Some people will feel overwhelmed by this, however, go all in on one or two platforms at the beginning. You don’t have to be everywhere.

Create useful mini-lessons with a call-to-action, preferably, sending people to join your email list.

Advertising

Advertising in 2011 meant Google Adwords.

In 2017, Facebook advertising is the most cost-effective way of growing your audience.

However, you need to:

  • Send the right message to the right person
  • Get people’s attention
  • Get people to take action

This means that you’ll need to have an offer that people want, get their attention through your ad (image and text), convince them to click your link, convince them to take action on your landing page, and create a follow-up process that converts learners into paying students.

Don’t just throw something up and then, if it doesn’t work, give up.

Start with a small budget and keep making changes to increase your conversions.

Google Ads still work. Again, you need to get this right to make it cost effective.

Technology

Things are so much easier now.

We can record a video on our phone.

We can create a website using templates

We can connect with learners through social media (for free!).

We can easily create online courses.

We can set up an email list without getting confused (the software I use).

And we have much better software that we can use to teach our lessons.

If you’re someone who tells yourself that you’re not good with technology, know that it is much easier to use these days AND you will get used to it.

How to Get Learners

The strategy remains the same:

  1. Get clear on how we can help and what we want to achieve
  2. Create an automated system that convinces learners to pay for our lessons
  3. Build awareness (send learners into this system)

We may do certain things differently now, for example, using Instagram to build awareness; or using LeadPages to build high-converting landing pages; or making courses instead of teaching one-to-one…

… but the principles behind the process of bringing learners into our lessons hasn’t changed.

Set up a system, build awareness, and keep improving as a marketer and a teacher.

Want to Teach Online?

A good place to start is by getting my guide: click here to do that.

If you want to jump right in, join our course and community.

 

Building an Audience and Making Sales Passively (Boulders)

Over the past week, my audience has grown and people have been joining my courses.

This has happened with very little input from myself.

In this video, I talk about how I managed to do this and I have a special tip that will help you reach this stage too.

When I started my new YouTube channel, I had a long-term vision.

I knew that it would take time to build. 20 months later, it’s getting 3,000+ view per day. A percentage of those who watch my videos will download my book. A percentage of those will buy something from me.

This all works in the background.

But it took some time to get here. Selling things passively doesn’t just happen overnight. At first, it’s like pushing a boulder up a hill.

If you stick at it, you’ll gain momentum.

While being patient, you also need to evaluate what’s working and make any necessary changes.

Let me know if you are building something over the long-term and your progress with this.

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