Niche teaching is where teachers, tutors, coaches or educators focus on serving a specific segment of a niche, which is embedded in a larger segment of a niched market.
What is a "niche?"
A niche refers to a specific area of a particular segment, industry or market.
Is "Niche Teaching" new?
In a nutshell, no. I started my first niche teaching brand over 10 years ago. Back then it wasn’t referred to as a niche, it was referred to as ‘specialist teaching’.
Since that time digital marketing has increased the relevance of targetting certain demographics in paid, online advertising, which bore the term ‘niche marketing.’ It’s good to note that when running paid advertisements, you get a higher return on your ad spend (ROAS) if you target a certain niche which is why digital marketers love the term so much!
Niche marketing is commonly used by affiliate marketers and digital marketers, so why now do we refer to ‘specialist teaching’ as ‘niche teaching?’
Well, most marketers get inspired by the money as they are paid for direct results and an online advertisement platform can track every click and if that visitor bought something or not as the result of a paid advertisement.
Teachers and coaches get inspired by learning, and they are often renumerated by being promoted or being known as the specialist in a certain field, so can then work as a specialist teacher/tutor, coach, or consultant for themselves or someone else.
When teachers go Independent or start freelancing, the relevance of niche teaching becomes more apparent as the requirement to sustain a financial Income stream becomes imperative.
Before I unpack that further, let’s look at the origin of the word, ‘niche.’
Where does "Niche" come from?
The first records of the word niche in English come from the early 1600s. Niche comes from French and derives from the Middle French verb nicher, meaning “to make a nest.” It ultimately derives from the Latin nīdus, meaning “nest.” (https://www.dictionary.com)
Now that you know that, it seems perfectly logical, that when we refer to “niche teaching” or ” niche coaching” we are making the direct connection between many of the same or similar object in one place that share common values, such as birds in a nest.
In 1957, the Zoologist, G. Evelyn Hutchinson made the term “niche” popular when he researched the query of why are there so many types of one organisms in any one habitat. Whilst Hutchinson was a zoologist, it is interesting to note that in 2022, the concept of “niche marketing” is in essence a complete parallel of this multi-dimensional niched concept, but not in the animal world but in the human world.
Because today instead of looking at specific species of animals and comparing their environments and key differences to understand the correlations between specific niches as Anupama Sapkota does, in the animal world; In “Niche marketing” we look at these correlations and differences in the human world. One may even go as far to say that as far as behaviour goes, there is not much difference!
How to Pronounce the word "Niche"
Niche pronunciation is something that is often quibbled over. So here is a quick, linguistic approach that clearly explains how the word “niche” should be pronounced. Is it “neesh” or “nitch?”
Who should do Niche teaching?
Niche teaching is really for online independant teachers, freelance tutors and coaches that want to work for themselves.
Because as time has progressed, most employed teachers have been expected to do more and more, receive less and less pay and have less and less free time, due to planning. The last worldwide incident also taught us that no job is safe.
Everyone should have a second income, today in 2022.
Formally, I had worked in schools, where English teachers had to attend a two week course to, ‘learn how to teach French,’ and then go and teach French when they can’t even speak the language themselves.
I’ve seen the same happen with Geography and Maths teachers and the list goes on.
Schools today are not educational establishments, they are businesses. In the UK. The birth of the academy trust meant that all schools had to register as companies and they are run like companies. Profit comes first.
It is the same in many countries now. So this means that an employed teacher is asked to do more for less pay and the targets and objectives of schools today are very different. Most will state they don’t get enough funding from the Goverment, however to date, schools have never had so much income. So what is the issue?
Maybe it’s because headteachers are now expected to be business managers with zero experience in the latter.
Let’s face it, running a school fayre to be profitable is not the same as running an entire school to be profitable.
You cannot be a “niche teacher” when you work for someone else, unless it is perhaps a private school or college.
This is why “niche teaching” is really suited to those who want to start their own business or grow an existing business.
How to choose a Teaching Niche?
If you listen to a digital marketer, they will undoubtedly state that the way to choose a teaching niche will be in finding the most profitable one.
I beg to differ.
If I told you my own “niche teaching” brand starting by offering £5 sessions in soft play centres in the UK, would you laugh?
From that every single parent, referred me to their child’s playgroup and school.
From that, when parents collected their children after class, they asked about resources and where could they buy mine, so that their child’s learning was continuous and progressive.
At this point, just from the lessons alone, I was earning the equivalent of a full-time salary, teaching 3 hours a day, three times a week!
From that, years later when the pandemic hit and whilst lots of businesses went under, as I had written all my lessons and resources, I was able to flip them easily to online and increase ad spend for resources.
Note: No pain point targetting / No spamming people in DM’s, no £100 an hour lessons / No teaching 1-1 / No getting people to sign up for 10-week courses.
Because, If your “niche teaching” is that good, you won’t have to. I still have waiting lists today, years on.
All the above are ‘lock-in tactics’ and parents and students are shrewd when it comes to spending money. This is a marketing tactic to avoid if you want a long-time, “niche teaching” business. There are far more creative and respectful ways to build a teaching business than, resulting to these questionable tactics.
Since then, I have reproduced the exact same format with an ESL brand and that grew 10 times faster than my first brand.
Because 10 years + of business marketing and brand development in a highly competitive marketplace such as the education industry, teaches a lot!
Have I put that in a course to help others who want to learn more about “niche teaching”, you bet. But the big difference is that my success in “niche teaching” came from actually doing that first, not in selling a how-to, online course.
So, I firmly believe that “niche teaching” is about offering a highly valuable service that is in its own way unique and it is the teacher that makes it unique. Not the pain point of your niche. If you are unsure about finding your “teaching niche”, register for my free Niche finder tool and free guide here.
From a commercial point of view, if you are not already a specialist teacher or coach, not only will you struggle in finding your niche for marketing purposes but more importantly, you will struggle to create and maintain an income from that niche.
Teaching Niches for Products or Services
When you have found your niche, you can define it a lot more by creating your own niched products and services. These do not have to be digital ones but digital niched products can be a good start.
Why create Niched products?
Niched products do one thing and one thing alone.
They separate themselves from other similar products. from competitors. Add niched products as add – ons, to unique services that you can offer, for the ultimate win.
Many ESL teachers for example, sell their services as being “niche teaching services” to attract paying students for online ESL lessons. But then they make the fatal error of buying pre-made lesson plans. This is a mistake unless it is an entire curriculum.
Why you should create your own “Niched teaching products”
The minute you go into an online lesson with a student or group of students using a third-party provider as your resource provider, you have diluted the value of your assets.
If you can go and buy an English lesson, for example, online – so can your students.
Avoid doing this by creating your own resources. Read this article to help you with doing that.
Creating your own “niche teaching” products are also part of your marketing strategy. What you must remember is that if you are a comprehensive teacher, tutor or coach, you will most probably not be able to buy any lesson plan that would map out the lesson like you would. Remember “niche teaching” at the heart is “specialist teaching”.
Read my 10 Private tutoring marketing tips, to learn more here about attraction marketing for, online independent teachers and coaches.
What are the benefits of Niche Teaching?
When you specalise in a specific niche, you are able to build a more unique business. This increases the value of your service and products and brand assets.
My own “niche teaching” brands are now monetised on Facebook®, Instagram® and Tik Tok® and Amazon® and other major platforms and outlets.
Why is this important?
Because through attraction marketing, I have grown my niche audience and continue to do so, by increasing my conversion to value.
Meaning that the quality of traffic from these global market places provides me with a higher quality of traffic. This means I spend less on advertising and when I do run ads, which are actually not that often due to my brand assets, my ROAS is high, very high. Resulting in viral posts that provide key, paying students.
That makes it easier and quicker to grow my traffic, audience, and income. But more importantly, it provides me with key information about the demographics of my audience that allow me to understand my niche market more and imperatively changes in my niche market when they arise
There is no value in having 100K followers if none of these followers are qualified, leads.
Qualified leads are people that buy.
Niche teaching also supports you to, combat competitors.
My second brand is in the ESL industry. If you are an ESL teacher or online ESL tutor, you will know how competitive this industry is.
I started this brand in the pandemic when other ESL tutors were having to renegotiate their contracts and pay rate to a lower pay rate.
That brand is still growing strong, whilst others ESL businesses, freelancers and brands folded. The entire thought process and strategy behind that I simply cannot put in one post. But I did put it in The Teacherpreneurs Evolution course here found here (Secret Bonus voucher code at checkout currently) if you are looking for a no-nonsense, no fluff, direct, action taking course.
How to find your Niche?
There is a big difference between finding your niche for offline versus online businesses. This applies even if you are an online independent teacher, home tutor or coach.
There is also a very unique approach to finding your niche and it all starts with you.
You can get my Free, How to Find your niche guide here, to help you more.
How to start a "Niche teaching" Business?
Our 30 day Teacherpreneurs Challenge that is now on version 3.0, helps teachers, tutors and educators start their own, online Teacherpreneur Business, based around “niche teaching.”
More importantly, it is a direct blueprint of my own successful brands and offers lots of support guidance and professional tools and resources to make your niche business stand out from the crowd.