How to Teach ESL Online by Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business is by far the best way to begin teaching English online.

It can be challenging at first, but the payoff, in the end, is so worth it.

Let’s take a look at how you can teach ESL online by starting your own business!

On Teaching ESL Online by Starting a Business

First, if you haven’t read this article on why starting your own online business is the best way to teach online, you may want to check it out now before we start discussing how to start your business.

When starting your online teaching business, it can be easy to…

  • get lost in the nitty-gritty details
  • and lose your way


If you feel like you’re losing your way, you’ll lose your motivation.

Then finding a job with a company may seem really attractive. Everything is taken care of for you and all you have to do is teach.

But then after a year or two

…when the frustrations build with whatever company you’re working for, you’re going to start thinking back to the opportunity you had to start building your own online business and wonder where all the time went.

You can do this!

And 2-YEAR-LATER YOU will thank TODAY YOU for getting started now.

Start Teaching ESL By Starting Your Own Online Business

Alright, so starting your own business can seem a little overwhelming.

We can work through that.

It’s helpful to keep our eyes on the bigger picture so that we don’t get too hung up on the details.

You can fix most anything after the fact.

I know this personally from making lots and lots of mistakes.

I will be able to help you avoid many of the mistakes I made, but you will probably still have to make some of them yourself. 🙂

And when things go wrong, you fix them.

And everything will be just fine.

So, when you get worried and worked up about…

  • whether you should use this imag or that other image 
  • what to say in a Facebook post 
  • whether to spend money on some piece of software
  • what topic to do your program on
  • or any of the other million decisions that have to be made

…remember to just keep pressing forward.

Don’t stop.

Make a decision and move on.

How to Start Building Your Business to Teach ESL Online

To build a business online, you need to build a marketing funnel.

You need a system of taking people who have no idea who you are through a series of stages to the point where they are willing to pay you for a program or classes. 


  • people who have never met you before enter into one end of the funnel…
  • …and come out the other end as customers!

Yep, pretty awesome.

Here are the steps of the funnel (Building the funnel usually doesn’t go in the same order, but this is how customers will go through it.)

Whenever you get too hung up on the details, just picture these steps to get some perspective on what you need to accomplish.

  1. Find Your ICA Online – Find your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA) – Who are your ideal customers? How old are they? Where are they located? What are their interests?
  2. Gather Your Audience Together – Go to Where Your ICAs are, invite them to like your page, join your group, and offer them something in exchange for their email addresses.
  3. Nurture Your Audience – Post great content that they love, send a series of automated, pre-written emails that also provide free value.
  4. Offer – Create a series of posts and send a series of sales-optimized emails with an offer to your subscribers that include a link to your sales/sign-up page.
  5. Sales Page/Checkout – Create a sales page and checkout process that converts subscribers into customers.
  6. Program – Clients/students join an awesome program you’ve built that helps them reach their goals.

Parents and students will enter the funnel on one end and come out the other as paying customers with whom you can focus on building long-term meaningful relationships.


Let’s jump in and get our hands dirty.

Choose the next thing and get started. Don’t wait. Don’t second-guess yourself. Start and finish something now.

Each time you do, you will find more motivation to keep going.

Teaching ESL Online

Once you’ve gotten started on the business side, you’ll start finding your own clients or students.

Then you can start focusing on helping them reach their goals with English.

Considering most clients or students aren’t learning English just to learn English, you’ll need to figure out what their goals are and help them achieve those goals.

If you can do that, they will be happy to pay you and pay you well for your time.

Here are a few things you’ll need to consider for when you’re beginning to teach:

  1. Program or Course – Listen to what your audience needs and design a program that helps them achieve the goals they want to achieve.
  2. Platform – Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams are all great choices for teaching online. Get a friend or family member to meet with you in an online meeting and practice using all of the tools.
  3. LMS – You’ll want to have a place where you can assign homework/tasks and where your clients or students can turn it in – Zoom, Google Drive, Google Classroom, Seesaw are all great options.

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