Teaching English online starting your own business with TEFL
Everyone wants to work for themselves, but be secure enough to not keep yourself awake at night! Here are some of the top tips to help you achieve your dream! Written by the leading and experienced ESL teachers.
In simple terms, Teaching English Online is conducting a lesson through the internet – using a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. The majority of online education is done through video calls. Classes can range from one-on-one to several students at the same time, much like in a traditional classroom. Classes can also be tailored towards Exam English, Business English or even Medical English.
The online teaching world is booming! Over the last year there has been a massive increase in the Online teaching Market.
Have a look at the following statistics:
In 2010, it was a $32 billion industry
In 2015, was a $108 billion industry
And it is projected in 2025 that it will be a $325 billion industry.
There are a bunch of good reasons to teach online and start your own business. When you examine the benefits, it’s easy to see why a large number of our graduates go on to teach English online.
The benefits of teaching online go without saying but here are a couple of our favourite ones:
Remote working – Teaching English online is a job that does not require you to be physically present. It’s ideal for individuals who wish to work from home or while traveling because you can work from anyplace as long as you have a good WiFi connection
Setting your own schedule – You have more freedom and control over your schedule when you teach English online. Teaching English online smoothly fits into your life as a new job or a way to supplement your current income, whether you’re wanting a career change or looking for a little extra income.
Having a Second Job – Multiple in-person jobs are far more difficult to juggle, but when one of them is online, multi-jobbing is much easier giving you the opportunity to earn a little more.
The number one question you are probably all thinking is “Am I qualified to teach English online and start my own business?” The Beauty of this industry is that as you are your own employer, no one is checking your credentials. Contrary to what many people think, you don’t need a teaching degree. If you are a fluent speaker you can teach online and start your own business.
Even though they are not necessary, we do recommend a couple of things that can help you on your journey.
A TEFL certification: You can check out all our courses here.
A Bachelor’s degree: A qualification to say that you have studied and seen through something for at least 3 years tells you that you have the potential and motivation to follow something through. If you have majored in any Business degree, Computer Sciences, an Education degree or Cultural Studies, these courses will definitely help you with your new business.
Experience: One thing we recommend here at the TEFL Institute is perhaps getting a job for a period of time with an established company and really reap the benefits and learn how the whole process works. Employers in the TEFL world will also offer training seminars and curriculum assistance, meaning that you’ll learn a lot for your future career.
Character traits: Other traits that will be a benefit for you are being likeable and having good energy – having a good rapport with your students is half the battle.
Other skills: It is advantageous to have knowledge of marketing/technology/other skills transferable in starting your own business. This may come from your degree or work experience in other fields.
Setting up your online business of English Teaching
So, you have decided to start your venture, you have the credentials and it’s now time to get down to the nitty gritty. There are multiple ways to set up your online teaching business. We will take you through a few of our trialed and tested methods.
Setting up for free
There are a couple of systems and software that you can use for no cost when it comes to starting out.
First things first, a social media presence is an easy way to establish yourself and a great tool for students to reach you on. By setting up a Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn business page free of charge, you can receive messages from learners, you can advertise price structures and do marketing campaigns for example run competitions, or simply offer discounted prices.
Secondly, you need a platform to actually conduct your lessons. You can use a third party software such as Zoom or Skype where you can set up a free account. Top tip: Make sure to use your business name on all the accounts to come across as more professional.
Thirdly, setting up a google business email and account. By doing this, you will have a professional email address where learners can contact you as well as keeping your personal and professional life as separate as possible. As well as an email, by setting up a google account, you also have access to a google drive account where you can store all your paperwork, documents and lesson plans.
The Next step
Okay, now you have a social media presence, a teaching platform and a google account. Let’s imagine you have a couple of students and you have started to generate some revenue. With just a little investment, there are plenty of things you can do to move to the next level.
Using a freelance website such as Upwork or Fiverr, you can pay for people’s services at an inexpensive rate. Setting up a logo and a brand is the next thing for you to do. Create a vision of what you want your brand and logo to look like and get one of the experts to do this for you.
Business cards and flyers are a fantastic tool when you are marketing yourself either at a conference, at a function or even on the street. It is vital you are always ready to sell your business even when off the clock. We recommend Vistaprint where you can print several business cards cheaply.
Now that you have a couple of students on board using a student referral scheme is a fantastic way to increase your student database. By offering your current students an incentive to get others on board, you can grow your business without doing any of the work.
Creating your own website is an excellent step for growing your business. If you have money to invest, then we highly recommend it. This gives your business a platform where payments can be made, courses can be described and advertised and can act as an information outlet to your potential customers or students.
How can I start teaching English online?
When starting out, the best place to start is to go through an online platform as an employer. This way you’ll get experience and a good reputation. They will market students for you and you will build up a nice student database and reviews. Once you have the experience and are comfortable teaching, you are then ready to move on to bigger and better things. This may be a few months down the road or even a few years, this is all dependent on you and how confident you are feeling to make the next move.
How can I teach English tips and tricks online?
There are plenty of groups and forums online where budding entrepreneurs can network and share their tricks of the trade. Facebook groups are another avenue for you to pick up free materials that you can use on teaching English Online
Can I make a living teaching English online?
The beauty of teaching English online is that you can set your own rate. You have the freedom to set your own rates and choose a fee structure that works for you. Setting up your own online business certainly allows you to double or even triple your earning potential in contrast to working for an online employer.
How can I teach English creatively?
Our number one answer to this is planning! Planning with a clear purpose, intent and with enthusiasm.
Teachers can collaborate and share their ideas for planning well ahead of time by using a mind mapping approach. Meaningful, creative activities are organized, and all teachers are aware of what the children will learn and why they will learn it.