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The Freelance ESL Teacher Podcast
42 minutes | Dec 17, 2018
Episode 16: How To Get Started as a Freelance ESL Teacher
The focus of today’s podcast is to answer a listener’s question around how to get started from ZERO. Today we'll talk about: The problem of overcomplicating things. We tend to over think what we need to do to run our own teaching business. We stand on the outside looking at other ESL teaching businesses and see what looks like a vast ocean of things that are needing to be done in order to make this work. In reality, starting up is simple. The vastness you see as you look in from the outside, has been created over time, and from regular and persistent work. But it very likely didn’t start out that way! We tend to think we need things perfect before we can start. False. We just need to start! Minimal viable(Useful) product! 3 Tips To Help You Start Before 2019 Tip #1 - Gather intelligence - talk to teachers who freelance. Tip: #2 Just Start Tip: #3 Measure Your Growth + Set Goals Bottom Line: Get started as quickly as you can. Inaction often breeds fear. Fear often breeds inaction. And inaction = well….more inaction. The faster you get your first student, the faster you’ll begin to see if this whole business of freelance teaching is really for you. And the faster you get your mini freelance teaching business rolling, the faster you’ll begin attracting new business. And the sooner you’ll be able to grow. But NOTHING will happen if you don’t act. Useful Resources Mentioned: www.unsplash.com - for great free images you can use on your website, posters, or fliers. www.canva.com - awesome free tool to help you design your posters or fliers.
34 minutes | Dec 10, 2018
Episode 15: Questions You've Got to Ask Yourself To Grow Your Teaching Business
Great questions can help you come up with answers that you've never considered before, and those never before considered answers have the potential to transform your business. The focus of today’s episode are some powerful questions to ask yourself as you get your freelance teaching business started - or to help you grow it well in 2019 and beyond! What We'll Be Covering Today: Sometimes the best questions are ones you never knew you should be asking! I hope that today's podcast will help you start asking a few! Some questions that have really have helped me come from a fantastic book that I have just finished reading called: Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition by David Newman (Here's a link to the book -> https://amzn.to/2EbsjHz)** Question 1: What’s Your Model of Business - or How do you want your business to look in the future? Am I building an organization - like a school. I want to see students coming to my classroom. I will have teachers working with me. I will have offices, physical location etc. Am I keeping it ‘solopreneur’ - I’m only interested in building my business to the point of keeping my schedule alone full. Project based consultancy - loose crew of team members and resources. Maybe spread all over the place. Think: translation firm? Question 2: How will I make money? Active Income: Selling services, classes, expertise, short (1month), medium(1-3 months), long term (3 months - a year or more.)projects. Passive Income: e-books, course materials that you create, reselling old coursebooks, ? Question 3: How will I deliver my services? Face to face classes? Online classes? Both? Workshops? In my own location? Location of my client? Will I focus on a country, city, neighbourhood? Question 4: Who is my ideal student? Vital - and we keep mentioning this in the podcast, don’t we? It’s so important to know who you do your best work with. The wrong students in your business, and not because they are bad people, but because you don’t remain in your strengths zone when you serve them - will make your work seem harder, will drain you, and can run the risk of retarding your business’ growth! Fill your business with your IDEAL students. Do you know who they are? Join Us for A Free Webinar: Let's figure out who your ideal student is! Saturday, December 15, 3:00pm PST. Sign up here -> http://freelanceslteacher.com/ideal/ ** (This is an affiliate link, which means if you click on it and decide to purchase, I will earn a little commission.)
27 minutes | Dec 3, 2018
Episode 14: How to Work Smarter, Not Harder As You Plan for Multiple Classes
Benjamin Franklin — ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!’ Lesson planning can quickly become one of the most challenging things to keep up with as you grow your business as a freelance English teacher. In today's podcast, I'll share 4 time saving hacks to help you work smarter, not harder as you plan for multiple classes. In this episode: 1.Work with similar groups. 2. Take advantage of commutes + dead time. Bring notebook, pen, plan in drive time, listen to podcasts for class etc. 3. Pick AND Stick: a resource and stick with it for 3 to 4 months.Avoid getting lost on Pinterest or Youtube following endless bunny trails or just plain getting pulled off course by something ‘more interesting’ or ‘fun.’ 4. Repurpose Content. Ted talks - Interactive Transcript: Reading fluency, vocabulary, fill in the blanks with missing words, grammar development/hunts. Audio - listening comprehension, discussion starters, speaking fluency. Bonus: How can you shape the same lesson to meet the needs of other students? Sometimes a simple reduction in time of same video can make it more useful for lower level students. Sometimes more difficult comprehension questions and up the difficulty level for more advanced students. Join our free Facebook group for freelance ESL teachers! https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer
29 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
Episode 13: Don't compare yourself to other teachers or ESL companies
In today's episode I'll be talking about the trap of comparing yourself to someone else - a trap that is frighteningly easy to fall into! (I know from personal experience, which I'll tell you about today.) Some of what I'll cover today: - Market research: can you find several other examples of teachers offering services that you want to offer? - What kind of offerings do they have? What are they doing well at, and what are their clients saying they are missing? - Can you develop something to fill in the gaps you’re seeing in the offerings out there in your market? - Be careful: researching your competitors is good, but can easily lead you to comparing yourself to them. - Remember: Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or ‘further along game’ - Important to know: fear is something that you don’t beat once and it’s gone for good. It’s something that can always come back and bug you. Fear and insecurity often is silenced with action, and with you taking action on the dreams or vision you have for your business. -The space between dreams and reality can often need more time to bridge than what you think - this can lead to feelings of doubt and wondering if you are actually cut out to be doing this. -When things go slower than what you imagine them to be, or want them to be - this doesn’t mean you’re a failure - but your feelings of doubt or insecurity can lead you to feel like you are. Don’t buy it! - Nobody can offer your services the way you can. Your goal is not to be a carbon copy of your competition. Struggle and slow growth is a regular part of growing a business. It’s rarely ‘overnight success.’ If you're having a hard time with confidence, and would like to talk about it please e-mail me: email@example.com Please join our free Facebook group for freelance English teachers like you: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer
35 minutes | Nov 19, 2018
Episode 12: What to do when students go on vacation?
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of Christmas, Easter, or Summer vacation and NO classes as a result? Do yo live with no class = no money? Then this podcast is for you! Some of the most difficult times I’ve had as a freelance teacher, and I’m sure you can relate to this, have been during vacation times. Christmas, Easter, summer vacations when school is out…. The weird thing, we know these times are coming - they don’t change from one year to the next - yet we rarely think ahead for them, right? Every year - say for Christmas, do you find yourself in scramble mode, trying to figure out how to make ends meet when your students stop taking class for the season? Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm your vacation day cereal bag! Kids: Most kids get off from school at certain times of the year - but parents must keep working…what if you offered a camp or special after school/ out of school program to help parents who still need to work. My wife works in an after school program. What if you offered one? Adults - working professionals, if that is your market, are used to going to training workshops. Seminars. Webinars. What is stopping you from offering one? Or two? Or three over the next month or two? What topics are areas of need for your students? Don’t think about grammar or vocabulary, or fluency. Think about e-mail writing, how to make effective English presentations with powerpoint, How to ace your next English conference call? One company we worked for hired us to do a whole series of workshops around effective e-mail in English and power point presentations. We charged much more than regular classes because they were short, and the material easy to cover. Key Questions to help you begin to move forward: Who do you serve? What pain points do you see? How much $$ Do you need to cover your seasonal down time? How much do you need to charge per student/participant and how many times do you need to provide your solution to cover your costs? You can find a free downloadable cheat sheet to help you as you work through these points- just go here: http://freelanceslteacher.com/episode12/
37 minutes | Nov 12, 2018
Episode 11: How to get regular students.
In today's episode I will be working to answer the question: How do I get regular students to work with? In other words: how do I keep my students coming back for more? Here’s an important question to think about that should have a deep impact on how you run your freelance teaching business: how long is a student going to be working with me? I bet that right now, your biggest question is: how can I get a student to work with me in the first place? That’s an important question, but I’d like to encourage you to return to the first one: how long will my students work with me? Are you just thinking short term? (I’ve got bills to pay! Get them in, and get them quick!) Are you thinking long term? Get one in, and serve him/her so well that they work with me for a year or more! Question: what do you have to do today so that your students stay with you over the long haul? How to build your business to attract long term students: 1. Charge them fairly 2. Serve them like nobody else 3 Make your classes fun - if you’re having a good time, chances are your students are having a good time too 4. Follow structure/program - students need to feel they are going somewhere…and that they’ve been somewhere. Show them often! 5. Be friendly and approachable. This is one of your secret weapons. Resource Mentioned: Please come join our free -Member's Only - Facebook group just for Freelance English teachers like you. https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer
36 minutes | Nov 4, 2018
Episode 10: What to do with students who STILL pay late.
Today's episode will hopefully help you tackle a very frustrating problem: students who keep paying you late even though you have a fee policy in place. Frustrating, isn't it? You've worked hard to get your business set up properly, and fees rolling in on time - and then one of THOSE students start screwing everything up for you by not paying on time. It's happened to EVERYONE, and today we're going to explore some ideas to help you deal effectively with it. - Ask Yourself Some Important Questions Double check to see if you are working with the RIGHT students. Are they your ideal client? (Sometimes working with the wrong kind of student - leads to working with late payers! ) -Are you sure you have a firm fee policy in place? Pull out your fee policy for your problem client. 1) Do you have one? 2) Was it signed by your students? If not…quickly share it with your students and have them sign it. Talk about - engage in conversation - around what the fee policy means, and that you mean business when you issue it. -Are you sure you DO mean business with your policy? What to do if students continue to pay late - even with a fee policy in place. -Talk about it…again. - Why are they not paying? Ask your students, and listen carefully. - Decide what to do. When to Fire a Client Deciding to fire a problem client can be one of the biggest fear inducing times for you! You’ve worked hard to get this client…aren’t you crazy to decide to let them go?? - Don’t listen to fear! - Make the call quickly Don’t delay on firing a bad client. The longer they are with you, the more damage they will do to your finances AND your morale. Decide to fire, and IMMEDIATELY begin working to replace them with a better fitting client. Remember: Old leaves fall so that the tree can make room for new ones! The tree doesn’t worry about new ones growing in place of the old ones. It just lets go, and lets the new one come in. Don’t just put the fire out. Try and solve the problem. Always ask yourself questions about your business. How did this late paying client get into my business? Is there a way I can prevent it from happening in the future? How am I doing at ‘screening’ or making sure my clients know and understand how I work - especially around fees - BEFORE we actually start working together? Think prevention, not putting out fires! Please join our free Facebook group for Freelance ESL teachers just like you! It's members only, but you're invited: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer
40 minutes | Oct 28, 2018
Episode 9: The Absolute Basics You Need To Start Your Freelance English Teaching Business
In today's podcast episode I'll be working to answer the question: What do I really need to do in order to get my freelance ESL teaching business started? We'll Cover: - Some basic legal questions you should be asking/investigating. - You should know who you want to serve - in other words identify who your ideal student is. - Use your personal network to see if you can make your first connection with those ideal students. - Have simple marketing material ready. - Have simple systems in place - we'll explore: Attendance sheets as well as fee and cancellation policies. - Get your materials out to your ideal students as quickly as you can - begin working with your friends/family/neighbours who know or who are somehow connected to your ideal students - ask them if they will help you distribute your marketing material. Resources Mentioned: Our 100% free member's only Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer Podcast Episode 4: How to get your first student. - http://freelanceslteacher.com/episode4/ Podcast Episode 1: Cancellation Policies for Freelance ESL Teachers - Why and How to Make One - http://freelanceslteacher.com/episode1/
40 minutes | Oct 21, 2018
Episode 8: How To Make Your Freelance Business Get Noticed
Today's episode will help you answer this vital question: How do I Make my ESL Teaching Business Stand out in a Crowded Market? Here’s the problem you might be facing: You are in a crowded English class marketplace. There are likely hundreds…thousands of teachers or schools around you competing for the students you are seeking. Most of these companies make the mistake of competing on price - we’ll give you classes cheaper than company X, Y, Z. But there are other ways to compete that will protect your income, and actually enable you to charge more if you get it right! It might be helpful to think about a soundboard, and each point on your soundboard is something about your business that can be adjusted. What you offer - English classes How much you charge How you offer your classes- in your location? Their location? Coffee shop? School? Materials You use. Customer Service OTHER - why, who, relationship Compete on WHY What’s your ‘why’ behind what you do? Why are you an English teacher? What problem do you see that you want to fix? What motivates you to teach? Are you telling your ‘why’ story on your website? When you are talking with prospects? KNOW Your Why - people who agree with what you believe or who are touched by your why will be drawn to you! My why: The student, not the school, is the focus of everything we do. Compete on Who you serve Most ESL companies out there will take in anyone and everyone willing to pay them, right? It’s one size fits all! Why don’t you change that by becoming an expert at serving Hotel reception workers? Or by helping kids with autism? Or by helping nurses/doctors learn English for medical needs? The point: differentiate yourself be being hyper focused. How? Listen to your heart - what are you passionate about? Who have you served in the past and LOVED? WHAT have you done in the past that you loved - where you previous technical experience that you can bring to your classes? Are you a graphic designer? What if you provided English classes for graphic designers? Compete On Relationship/Service Most companies out there, especially mainstream ones, are terrible at service. IT’s their way - or you can work with someone else. They don’t care! What if you moved the service button on your business to the max. What if your company’s objective was to serve students and other people involved in ways they never thought possible? being available to answer questions Meeting with key people to your business - parents, HR managers etc, on a regular basis just to see how they are making out, and what you can do to serve them better? Being completely friendly and personable - develop relationships with the people you serve! Don’t treat them ‘like a client.’ Treat them the way you would like to be treated. Simon Sinek Ted Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en Please join Our free Facebook community for Freelance English Teachers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer Today's sponsor: The ebook: 3 Sales Secrets Every Freelance English Teacher Needs to Know to Get More Students. http://freelanceslteacher.com/store
35 minutes | Oct 14, 2018
Episode 7 - How to Set Your Fees
Fee setting is one of the most commonly asked questions out there on FB and teacher forums for freelance teachers - but guess what? Fee setting across the board in the freelance world is often a complicated topic - so you're not alone! Today we'll be paying careful attention to not setting your fees too low, to not setting your fees too high, and some simple steps you can take to find the happy average of YOUR local market. (Yes...we're going to be talking about simple market research today....but don't worry: it's not as hard as 'market research' sounds! I'll walk you step by step through it. ) So if you've been wondering if there was a way to set your fees so you’re fair to your clients AND to yourself, then today's episode is just for you! Links mentioned today: Our sponsor for today is the e-book: 3 Simple But Powerful Sales Secrets Every ESL Teacher Must Know to Find New Students. http://freelanceslteacher.com/store/ Have you joined our free Facebook group yet? This private members only Facebook group is just for freelance English teachers who are working hard to launch or grow their teaching business - you are invited to join too! Just go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer
49 minutes | Oct 7, 2018
How To Create Your Own Syllabus
I've got a special extended episode for you today - I'll be answering a question posted in our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/eslfreelancer I'll be working to help you figure out how to and IF YOU should try to build your own course syllabus. I'll also be giving you some ideas to help you figure out what topics to cover, and how to more effectively serve your English students with your classes and materials. There are a few resources you can use, which I mention in the podcast: 1. RSS reader - a great way for you to collect and track blogs, news sites, and podcasts. You need to do some up front work in that you need to fill your RSS reader with useful content sources for your students, but after that - the hard work basically gets done for you! Every time a blog you follow through your RSS reader is updated, you'll be notified and all you need to do is open you RSS reader, and presto! The newest articles are there for you - you don't need to waste time going to all the different websites you follow. Big time saver, and makes lesson development and planning a snap! 2. Language Benchmarks: Think about these resources as skeletons or maps of what your students look like when they start a level, and what they need to be able to do when they reach the end of that level. https://www.language.ca/publications/english-publications-downloadable/and https://www.coe.int/en/web/common-european-framework-reference-languages 3. You can reach me via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for listening!
32 minutes | Sep 30, 2018
Episode 5 Should I Work with Everyone?
Have you ever wondered if you should be working with every single person who wants to take English classes with you? Should you turn some people away? If so, who, and why should you do it? And are there exceptions to that? Find out more in today's episode!
40 minutes | Sep 23, 2018
Episode 4 - How to Get Your First Student
Are you just getting started as a freelance English teacher - meaning you don't have any students yet - then you'll love today's episode - I'm going to talk you through a simple strategy that will help you get your first student - even if you are super shy, hate selling, or if you've never EVER tried to get someone to work with you before - this will work for you! Promise!
25 minutes | Sep 16, 2018
Episode 3 How To Keep Fear From Holding You Back
Welcome to Episode three of the Freelance ESL Teacher Podcast. Today let's work together to begin silencing the voice of fear that so often tries to keep us from stepping out into new things - like starting your freelance ESL teaching business for one. If you find yourself struggling to to step towards your dream of running your own teaching business because you're afraid you might fail, or if you find yourself buried under a mountain of 'what if's' - then take heart, brave freelancer! This episode is for you! :)
26 minutes | Sep 9, 2018
Episode 2 - How Do I Know If Freelance ESL Teaching Is For Me?
Are you thinking about becoming a Freelance English Teacher, but you're not sure if it's a good fit for you? Or if you have the right skills, experience or training to succeed? If that's you, my friend, you'll love this episode! I'll share some indicators with you that will help you determine if freelance teaching is for you.
29 minutes | Sep 2, 2018
Episode 1 - Why and How to Create a Cancellation Policy
Welcome to episode one of The Freelance ESL Teacher Podcast. Today I'll be sharing why you need to have a cancellation policy in your freelance business, and how you can create one. (I promise - it's easier than you think!) So if you're sick and tired of having students cancel so much on you - give this a listen, and create your own cancellation policy! It will change your business - I promise! Show notes: http://freelanceslteacher.com/episode1/
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