designed to flourish
Design your English Language Teaching freelance business to get great results for your ideal clients, without working all the hours or re-inventing the wheel.
Attract the right clients, consistently, through magnetic marketing.
If you want to be a millionaire, you might be in the wrong business, but it’s a complete myth that you can’t make decent money as an ELT freelancer or business owner.
You just need to structure your business in the right way.
If you want a stable, decent income, more time to spend with those you love (including yourself), the ability to say no to work you really don’t want to do, and to feel excited rather than anxious about the future, you’re in the right place.
Maybe you are:
➡️ Nearly always finding clients through word of mouth, which is flattering, but leads to feast or famine, and a sense that you don’t have any control over your income.
➡️And that means you’re taking on anything and everything and not really enjoying it.
➡️Finding it hard to charge above a certain amount in your work, because you don’t feel confident that people will pay more (even though you know you’re good at what you do).
➡️Wanting to create a business that you love, that works for you, and to actually make some money from it.
➡️Not really sure what’s possible, and would love some direction, accountability and support to get confident in marketing and growing your business in a way that feels natural and easy.
➡️Would really love to be part of a supportive, energetic group of like-minded ELT professionals, with similar dreams and ambitions.
Let me tell you why running your own ELT freelance business can be hard….
With 15 years as a freelancer myself, I know a lot about how it goes.
On good days you love the feeling of being in control of your own destiny, and you’re pretty confident that you have something valuable to offer.
But you too often feel like your business is running you, rather than the other way around, and have even fewer boundaries than you did when you were employed.
All too frequently you feel exploited, undervalued or trapped, but you’re not sure how to get out of the hole you’re digging. You’re working long hours just to earn enough money to live, which makes it hard to step back and see how you could do things differently.’
You’d love to feel confident in using online organic marketing to generate your own leads when you need them. Having more options would also help you to be able to pick and choose a bit more between jobs or clients.
But you don’t know really know what it is you’re trying to say in your marketing message and you’re worried about annoying people or looking like a show-off.
You’re either doing nothing on social media at all, or throwing jelly at the wall and posting regularly but nothing seems to stick, and it all takes up time you haven’t got.
You see people charging peanuts and worry that if you don’t charge the same, you’ll run out of business. Perhaps you’re feeling pressured to undercharge or accepting less for your work because you’re being told by the people paying that it’s inevitable.
You’re fed up with taking stuff on because you’re worried that you might not get enough work down the line.
Every so often you wonder if you should just get a job.. but then you already know that you’ll miss the freedom and flexibility…
Surely there’s got to be a better way?
Most people start their own business or go freelance so they have more control over how they spend their time, who they work with, how much they earn.
With the right structure and systems in place, this is absolutely achievable.
My group programme, Designed to Flourish, has been created to help you stop blundering around, staying small, always feeling that you don’t have enough: time, money or clients…. and step into being a confident and successful business owner.
Step 1: With my help, identify who you are best placed to work with, taking into account your personal skills, experience, and what you really care about. Understand at a deep level what it is that your ideal clients need and want and why this is a great fit for you.
Step 2: I’ll help you design and create a product or service or combination of both to get your ideal clients the results they want, and get you amazing testimonials and referrals. This might be a 1-2-1 service, a group programme, a recorded asynchronous course, a membership, a book, or a mixture. Together we’ll work out what’s going to be effective, fits your skill set, and is easy to sell. My experience both as a teacher trainer and materials creator is also invaluable here.
Step 3: Create a clear and ‘sticky’ message, and a strategy to get that message out there without spending hours on social media. Learn how to generate leads, and how to turn those leads into consistent clients you’ll love working with.
We’ll do all this within a small group, with lots of support from each other, and from me, along the way. Most of us are mainly working alone at home, and it can be hard to keep ourselves accountable or motivated, or we can start to second guess our decisions.
If you really want to make changes or make progress, surround yourself with people who have the same goals.
This isn’t a cookie cutter method. Over the six months in this motivating and supportive container, I’ll teach you everything you need to know to be able to make great business decisions going forward, whether that’s starting something from scratch, or optimising and refining a business you already have.
Here’s how it works
There are 12 modules of pre-recorded materials covering everything you need to design, set up and market your business, from defining a niche, through programme design, to building a mailing list, to selling effectively without the sleaze.
The materials are self-access, for maximum flexibility (I usually suggest you’ll need about 2-3 hours a week, but you can go at your own pace). However that doesn’t mean you’re on your own.
There is personalised structure and support every step of the way:
– Every module comes with a workbook, and specific tasks that mean you’re not just consuming content, but actually taking steps forward and implementing the advice.
– There are six milestones throughout the programme, where I’ll ask you to submit a document (for example an overview of your offer, or your website copy, or a marketing plan), and I’ll give you individual feedback on this.
– We’ll have three 40 minute 1-2-1 calls over the course of the programme, where we can go into these milestones in more detail, deal with any roadblocks, or just dive deeper into anything you want to discuss.
– You’ll start the programme within a small cohort, and they’ll also form your accountability pod, helping you to keep motivated and on track as you progress through the programme.
– Three times a month we’ll have a group coaching session (at either 9.30 am UK time or 4pm UK time, to account for time zones), where you’ll get the opportunity to talk through your plans and get feedback and suggestions, and help if you’re getting stuck. One in three of these sessions will be with my associate coaches, who are experts in copywriting, and in technical stuff like choosing the right platform for your offer, or setting up a website or lead magnet.
– We have a lively community on Slack, where you can ask questions any time, share your wins and challenges, and get support from me and the other participants. This is an amazing hive mind with tons of experience and expertise in a wide range of ELT areas.
Finally, even when the six months is over, you’re not on your own. You’ll join my free Alumni group, for mutual support, networking and collaboration, and you’ll retain access to the programme materials for as long as the programme exists. You can even come back and re-join the programme for a few months at a reduced rate, if you find you need that.
See what my clients think.
I already had my own ELT business but I was working a lot of hours and not charging enough. Sometimes I wasn’t charging anything because I thought it would be rude to ask. I was not sure how to market my work and I was trying to cover too many bases.
I am now much more confident about setting prices that reflect the true value of my work, and negotiating better fees when necessary.
I would definitely recommend you and the programme, to anybody who feels a bit stuck, either in business or in life.
You care so, so much, and you really know you stuff. It’s clear that you have been walking the walk, and are actively tinkering, experimenting, innovating your business constantly, drawing your conclusions to then share them with your clients as well.
If you’re on the fence I’d say unless you need the money for food or rent right now, go for it. It’ll pay off multifold
When I started the group programme with Rachael I had some ideas floating around in my head, which had been there for about 6 or 7 years! I debated about signing up to the programme for a while as I felt it was an added expense that would be tough to meet at a difficult time in my career after losing my job.
However, now, at the end of the programme, I can see how much value the course has and how much I have learnt, done and accomplished.
It’s been one of the best things I’ve completed because it’s been such a practical and inspiring course. It has enabled me to both learn a lot about business and to create something uniquely my own.
A lot of people in our line of work are brilliant, creative, knowledgeable and passionate and many don’t have the deal they deserve. The programme is perfect for anyone working in our field who has an idea, feels passionately about what they do and would like to be more successful in an increasingly competitive freelance world.
Rachael will help you see for yourself what you can offer clients, what your strengths are, and what you need to do (and not do) in order to get to where you want to be.
As I said to someone recently who asked me about the course, ‘You should do it because you are worth it, the money you spend is an investment which you’ll recoup and some of what you’ll come away with will be priceless.’
Like many EFL freelance teachers I was mainly reliant on language schools with zero hours contracts. This worked quite well and I had a fairly good hourly rate, but my hours fluctuated and I didn’t feel I had much control other than the content of the lessons.
I’d had an idea in my mind for a couple of years, but I wasn’t sure if I could actually see through. During the course, as each element of growing business has been explored and given clear examples, I’ve realised that it is within my capabilities to make a success.
I think what this course has done is show me how to utilise all my skills, experience knowledge and personality to its best potential and I feel so positive about this project now.
This course has been transformational for me and I think it is perfect for anyone who is either feeling a bit defeated in their freelance work or has an idea that they’d like to explore but just don’t know how to get started.
A little about me.
I’ve been in ELT for over 30 years now, and there’s not much I don’t know about the business. When I moved into coaching in 2017 (having previously trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist), I quickly realised that this experience meant I was ideally suited to mentoring and coaching other ELT Professionals.
As part of my own experience as an ELT business owner, I have worked with three excellent business coaches and undertaken training in social media marketing, copywriting, website design, memberships and more.
I am now able to combine my ELT background, my coaching skills, and considerable teacher training experience to run this programme, specifically created for ELT freelance professionals and business owners.
I absolutely love what I do, and the business I’ve created, and I want to help you see how you can use your skills and talents to design a business that you love working on, and that really does help you earn more and work less.
Associate Coaches on the programme
I’m Jennifer Murray. I’ve been in ELT for over three decades now (!). First in the classroom, then as a DOS, a trainer, an editor, a publisher and more. I’ve certainly seen our industry from very different angles. I went freelance in 2019 and now own Best Words Copywriting. This is where I create online content and copy for ELT freelancers. And support business owners with their words in 121 copy coaching sessions. This part of my work is my happiest place.
It’s been a journey to get here, and not always easy. But I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from Rachael’s programme and her knowledge and ongoing support in the Alumni group. This has been absolutely crucial to building my business confidence. So, I’m thrilled to be an associate coach in Designed to Flourish.
In our sessions, I’ll:
- Dissect common myths about (copy)writing.
- Examine the differences between content and copy.
- Provides guidelines for writing online content.
- Share my top copywriting tips and formulas.
- Give friendly, focussed feedback on your content and copy.
The aim is to get all your best words in the right places. Helping you to connect with your ideal clients. Already looking forward to it. See you soon!
Sandy Millin, a freelance ELT consultant, teacher trainer, and methodology writer. I’m also proud to be an IATEFL Ambassador. I’ve been regularly blogging at http://sandymillin.wordpress.com since 2010, and have also worked on (re)designing blogs and websites on WordPress as part of my volunteer roles.
I have self-published three books using Amazon KDP and Smashwords, and I’ve created and marketed my own Take Your Time DELTA courses for the Cambridge DELTA using a range of different tech tools to help me. I’m also very active on social media, and I love learning about new technology to make our working lives more efficient and effective.
In our sessions, I’ll help you:
- Navigate the maze of choosing the right platform for your online course or membership.
- Set up your email marketing platform, create automated emails, scheduling, appointment setting and invoicing software and other tech to save you time and create a more professional client experience.
- Overcome any website related issues- especially WordPress related.
Let’s get tech to take you forward, instead of holding you back.
My in-company teaching business was thriving before the pandemic, but I was dropped like a hot stone by companies in March 2020.
I felt a huge shift in my confidence through the course. I relearned that I absolutely have what it takes to have a great business that I enjoy running. Two weeks ago I had a big meeting with a television company to open various workshops and classes online. I did my sales pitch with confidence – I really believed in myself and what I was selling. When prices came up, I used a few techniques I learned on the course and stuck to my guns. It felt so great when the email came in saying I had got the contract.
If you’re on the fence, do it, do it, do it. This is one of the best investments I’ve made in myself in my life.
Before I started the group programme, my business was doing fine. I was working 6-7 hours a day and charging between 35 and 65 euros an hour. But I wanted to be able to create a sleeker, more profitable business model and hopefully scale up.
I now feel more equipped to organize my business in a modern and professional way. The content was good – a very thorough insight into how I am working and how I need to move forward.
I think you are a very kind and understanding person. You have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you are happy to share. With you, the more I saw, the more I liked.
I initially hesitated over the price of the course vs the benefits of the course. It’s expensive and I trusted you to make it worth my while. And you did
Having a network of people who support you and who value you is crucial for personal growth, and I really enjoyed listening to others talking about their fears, hopes, and experiences. I also really enjoyed learning so many things about running a business, and developing a much clearer picture of what I want to do.
Rachael is supportive, calm, approachable, reliable, someone you want to be best friends with 🙂 I’d recommend working with her to all my ELT and non-ELT friends to help you turn things around and become the best version of yourself. She will change your life.
Working with Rachael is an investment, not only in improving your business but in managing your whole life better! I knew I would get the best practical training possible for an EFL related business. But the bonus, and what makes this so different from other training, is how Rachael never ignores the way work impacts our whole experience of the world – financial anxieties, gaining free time, managing stress, being happier in general. The support and confidence it provides is wonderful. So the course is an investment in a better life not just a better business.
I’d already spent money on courses and programs from more general business coaches. I learned from them, but I knew I needed something more and deeper. I didn’t want to spend more money if I wasn’t going to get any further than I already was.
I’ve made measurable progress from Day 1 that I never would have imagined possible in such a short time frame. So many things that seemed impossible, were possible.
From start to finish, Rachael neither leaves out nor skimps on anything. Every module, every coaching session, every homework assignment, every question has purpose and depth. Just when you think there couldn’t be more for her to teach you, there she is, bringing it again.