While making the choice, you need to position yourself to be suitable (to solve your student’s needs), irreplaceable (you are the best one to help with their problem), and make this path sustainable.
When you make the right choice, you are suitable to help your clients/students to solve a problem and to meet their learning goals. Due to your experience and passion, you will already have the right subject knowledge, curriculum, personal skills to serve the need.
This compatibility makes your transition from working with platforms to working independently much easier. We will make all sorts of mistakes when we launch our own business. But your clients are much more likely to stay with you and tolerate glitches if they find your skills compatible with their needs. That will make your independent teaching journey so much smoother and enjoyable.
The further you develop the right skill and network in the area, the better reputation you will enjoy. So instead of committing a huge amount of time and money in sales and marketing, you will attract the right clients much more effectively.
Let us take this example.
A Brazilian businessman is trying to relocate this family to live in the US for a year. He is in the export-import trading business, and he has a daughter who is 10 years old. The purpose of moving to the US is really to give his daughter language and culture exposure.
You are an ESL tutor based in the US who speaks English and Portuguese. You have taught English in Brazil and therefore have a decent understanding of their culture. Your family runs a trading business, so you understand the basic language of business. You have a good understanding of the US education system as you have worked with public schools.
Another ESL tutor is a generalist with the right qualification. But between you and the generalist, who do you trust this Brazilian businessman would choose to work with? To serve that Portuguese-speaking business owner who is considering giving his child a language and cultural experience in the US, you are irreplaceable. Due to your previous background, you become indispensable.
For everything to be sustainable, you need to make sure your niche represents a profitable business opportunity, an opportunity that fits your own lifestyle.
If your students love your lessons but they don’t have the means to pay for it, it is a hobby, a social mission rather than a business proposition. Therefore, it is useful to reach your clients when they have budgeted their time and financial resources to learn.
If it takes so much of your time that you get burned out or you don’t have time to spend with your own family and friends, that won’t work long term. Therefore, it is very reasonable to ring fence the time and resources you can commit to building this business, this career path.
Focusing on the right niche helps you to build your teaching business effectively. Because instead of throwing your time and resources everywhere, you have a goal to aim at.