Solopreneurs excel at teaching English, as well as teaching most other languages. Companies like Babel and Rosetta Stone earn slews of money, and their only product is learning foreign languages.
This is, without doubt, one of the easiest and most lucrative business you can start right now.
I once worked with Lucia, a woman who had taught English in a Middle East country. Lucia had all the connections anyone could dream of, she knew where to advertise, how to get clients, and she knew the stumbling blocks for her future clients. Lucia had been there and done that.
But Lucia didn’t want to teach English as a solopreneur in the Middle East. She said that the men there treated her very badly and she simply did not want to step into that environment again, at any cost. So we developed a business for Lucia so she could capture clients who were immigrants to the United States, those who needed to learn English to become citizens, and she ended up working with people from all over the world.
Then I worked with Kadija, who had never taught in the Middle East. Yet, she wanted to teach via online courses. She knew how lucrative such a business could be. And she opted to target women, especially women who were immigrating to the U.S. or who traveled on business.
Both Lucia and Kadija were very successful.
The moral of the story is to stop and take inventory of your feelings about the project. What exactly do you want to do? and why do you want to do it? If you can answer that honestly, you’ve got a great business just waiting for you!
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Learning How To Teach English as a Solopreneur
You’ve never taught English as a foreign language before? It’s not difficult. I did it for two years in the Peace Corps, and the techniques are pretty easy to pick up.
Try sitting in on a night class for citizenship. Watch several classes on different levels, basic beginning to advanced. Watch how the teacher paces the class, and what kinds of materials are used.
You probably want your students to have printed material as well. Although you could create exercises yourself, you will likely find it a lot easier to base your lessons on a book that your students can buy online.
Teaching online does NOT require any special certification. Your students are not taking classes for credit; they are taking classes to learn. They will be highly motivated, excellent students to work with.
Options for Your English Teaching Business
Earnings in this field are very dependent on the sophistication of your clients. The base price is around $25 per hour, going up as you teach scientists, economists, researchers, and others in unique fields. Also knowing the basics of a foreign language is helpful, especially when you first meet a beginning client.
Here are a few options to consider:
ONE ON ONE COACHING.
The immediate, and easiest, option is for one-on-one coaching. You will need familiarity with online phone/viewing sites so you can communicate directly with your client. Even Skype is an option here, although something like Go To Meeting is much more professional. Teachers typically bill out at $25 to $150 per hour, depending on the level and expertise needed.
One of the keys to success is that you really don’t need thousands of clients. You will only be able to teach 30-35 hours a week, and some of those students will want classes more than once a week. If you had 20 clients, you would be one happy camper.
SMALL GROUP CLASSES.
Creating group lessons is another option. With six to eight students per class, each student would pay less, but you would earn a lot more. With a solo student, you would earn $25 per hour. But in a class, each student could pay $10 per hour, earning you $60 to $80 per hour. It would take more work to get a group like this together, but the financial return makes it well worth while.
After a basic intro, you might offer your students a series of video lessons, perhaps in conjunction with personalized coaching. Price the videos to match the complexity of the vocabulary. For example, lessons for engineers would be priced higher than lessons for construction workers.
CREATE YOUR OWN WORKBOOKS.
The more specialized your vocabulary, the more important such a workbook becomes. You can then sell it as a book on Amazon, enhancing your reputation as an English teacher in that field.
THE BOTTOM LINE FOR SOLOPRENEURS TEACHING ENGLISH
There is an incredible market just waiting for your skills. This really is one of those sleeper topics that most people don’t even think about, but one that can bring a very solid return with minimal time commitment.
The best part may be that you honestly can run this from anywhere in the world, even the beach! If you are a traveler, take your laptop with you and share the world with your students. It just doesn’t get much better than that.