Two years ago, I shared with a cooperative of doctors the opportunity of using the internet to educate startup doctors in their practice. Today, MED Academy is an e-learning platform recognized by hospitals and medical organizations as a source of continuing education of medical professionals.
An online teaching business changes the way people learn. It takes you, the student, to the next level of learning, making knowledge accessible anytime and anywhere.
There are many educational institutions taking advantage of technology to increase their reach and credibility to grow their business. Whether you are one such organization or a professional who wants to start one, there are key steps you need to take.
1) Define your Business Model
A traditional brick and mortar educational institution is not entirely the same when you bring it online. Yes you offer classes just like in a regular school but they are conducted differently, using a whole set of tools uniquely associated with the internet.
A reliable business planning template that I use is the Business Model Canvas by Strategyzer. Compared to the usual business planning process, the Canvas gives you a bird’s eyeview of your business. It allows you to make decisions faster when you have mastered using this template.
It is with this canvas that can help you determine if your e-learning site ideas are worth pursuing or not. It’s not enough that you have great course offerings. You need to analyze if it will also be sustainable in the long run to make your efforts and investments worthwhile.
2) Identify your Niche
Even if you are a well-educated and highly experienced professional in various fields, having a specific audience to teach to will have better results than going for general and wider scope. The internet is a vast depository of information, where experts like you are competing for readers’ undivided attention and consumption. If you are like everyone else in terms of the information you offer, they would quickly go elsewhere.
Choose one or two areas you wish to focus on and be extremely thorough with it. You will rise above the rest faster for providing exactly what your target audience needs.
This can only happen if you put much effort in getting to know them well and defining your offers that match their requirements.
You also need to find out if there are enough people who needs that kind of information you are willing to share. Will they need more and more as time goes by? Or is your topic of choice to shallow and won’t last?
You are in good business if you can continuously serve other people for the long haul. Check if your target niche is sufficient enough for you to engage with.
3) Set up your e-learning platform
There are many options for setting this up nowadays from hiring a digital agency to customize one for you to a sign up, instantly setup and publish ready made platforms that you can launch within minutes.
Consider your budget, thw features you need, and capacity to manage the platform. Factor in as well the developers of the platform. Make sure you are comfortable working with them, that they are reliable in delivering your specific needs. Ask for referrals from trusted people in your network, check testimonials from the developers’ previous and existing clients. Do you due diligence of researching well about their capability to perform because embarking on a website project takes a good long term partnership to be successful.
It may take some time before you can finally launch but if you put a lot of effort into these things, then you’re not just going to be another site that offers courses. You want to be an authority site in your chosen niche and industry. In this way, you are truly a professional educator, someone worthy to be associated with and follow.
Are you thinking of making an e-learning site? What about?
Share your thoughts below, I’d like to hear from you.