1,662 million — that is the total number of active internet users in Asia1, according to We Are Social’s Digital in 2016 report. With the region’s internet penetration rate at 40 per cent, suffice it to say more users are spending time online than ever. For entrepreneurs, the cyberspace is a mother lode of business opportunities.
One industry that is fast revving up is online education. Globally, the smart education and learning sector is burgeoning, its worth soaring to over US$445 billion2 come 2020. This upswing comes as no surprise. With job markets becoming increasingly competitive, individuals feel compelled to upgrade their skillsets. Today’s consumers also demand ready and convenient access to information — and the internet gives them exactly that.
Classrooms without borders
Do you have years of industry experience? Are you brimming with expertise? Or perhaps you possess a unique skill that has aided your current success? Your knowledge is gold, and you should consider tapping into it to build an online education business.
With an online business, you can cast a wider net and reach foreign audiences. The beauty of running an online business is that you can generate passive income. This stream of income will at first supplement your monthly salaries, and once your new business takes off you can turn a profit even in your sleep!
There is a wide range of topics that you can teach, from subjects like mathematics to the intricacies of programming and art of public speaking.
Writing the first chapter
Starting an online business is just as hard as starting a brick-‐and-‐mortar one. The barriers to entry are low — a double-‐edged sword, as you will be running a business in a highly-‐competitive market. Here are a few tips that will ensure your journey starts off on the right foot.
Your customers are everyday people who want to better themselves. Hence, your content must be useful: formulas or habits that when followed will help them achieve personal success. Is there a specific pain point that other gurus are not addressing? Be the one to fill the gap.
Do not worry about having to coincide your launch with unveiling a 100-‐page manuscript or 10 one-‐hour videos. Your business will likely lose steam before it starts and be stuck in limbo. Elite instructors who draw five-‐figure incomes all have one thing in common: a sizeable following. So, focus your initial efforts on building a database of subscribers. You can achieve this by offering free bite-‐sized content or short courses.
Facebook and YouTube are great promotional platforms, and with the right content, you can quickly build an audience. You can then funnel traffic to your online education business. Best of all, the associated overhead costs with using these platforms are low.
Besides developing your course content, one key step is selecting a learning management system. This software allows you to manage, track and deliver training programmes with ease. PC Mag has listed Absorb LMS, Moodle, Schoology3 as some of the best systems in the market.
To stand out in the saturated e-learning industry, your delivery is key. Think about your personal brand. Do not be afraid to let your personality shine through in your videos or writings. Not everyone will take to your style, but that is all right. The key is finding your niche audience.
Your content will either make or break your journey to become an industry authority. Employ an editor to go over your instructional articles if grammar is not your forte. Thinking about video production? There is no need to invest in Hollywood-‐grade cameras or rent a studio. However, make sure the resolution is decent, and the sound is audible and free of distracting noise.