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How to Start a Business as a Freelance Teacher

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Gigly team, Marketing at Gigly
Student with freelance online teacher

You’ve been thinking about it long and hard. You’ve checked the job postings, considered the learning experience you want to create, and maybe even attended a seminar or two.

Finally, you’re ready to make a change. You’re ready to become a freelance teacher!

Being your boss offers many rewards, but it also requires work.

For example, you have to be willing to market your services and buy your materials. And you can’t be afraid of making mistakes along the way. But, in the long run, that’s what’ll make you an excellent teacher!

There are many benefits to becoming a freelance teacher, which we cover in this article. For example, being a freelance teacher means that you can teach at more than one school. You’ll also be starting your own business.

Are you ready to launch into the freelance teaching world? To learn everything you need to know about freelance teaching, read on.

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What Is a Freelance Teacher?

A freelance teacher is a teacher who works for one or several schools and gets paid per hour or per class. They are not a standard employee of a school who gets paid via a direct contract.

Freelance teaching is also different from substitute teaching. Substitute teachers usually are treated like teaching assistants and aids. They get hired by a school as a full or part-time employee. Still, some institutions hire substitute teachers as freelance workers. It all depends on the school employer.

Since freelance teachers are not under contract with a set school, they essentially work for themselves.

Freelance teachers can work with students one-on-one or in a group setting. Some teachers focus on teenagers, young adults, or those who require ESL. They can also opt to work with students both online and in person.

Freelance teachers usually earn more per hour than teachers who are under contract. However, freelancers do not get other benefits. They typically work fewer hours than contracted teachers, and they don’t have a consistent schedule.

These teachers can supplement their schedules by working with more than one school. Plus, they can teach private students as well.

Don’t let a lack of benefits prevent you from pursuing your dream career as a freelance teacher! Instead, join Gigly and take advantage of health and wellness, legal and financial, and everyday benefits tailored to your needs.


What Kind of Freelancing Gigs Are Available?

The internet has opened up so many possibilities for freelance teaching jobs. If you’re considering becoming a freelance teacher, here are a few options that might work for you.

Teaching with a Marketplace

Marketplaces like Preply, Hallo, and Italki are intermediaries, allowing teachers to advertise themselves on their platforms.

These virtual markets act as a space where teachers can showcase their experience and skill. The students recruited by the marketplace can then select their teachers. They base their decision on what they want to learn and their compatibility with the teacher.

A marketplace gives freelance teachers the freedom to run their businesses. It gives them control over things like rates and schedules, and it eliminates the hassle of collecting payments and recruiting students. The platform usually takes care of these tasks.

If you work with a marketplace, you can:

  • Set your schedule
  • Set your rates
  • Pay a commission on your earnings
  • Create an attractive online teaching profile
  • Create marketing materials to attract students
  • Prepare your materials and lesson plans
  • Allow the marketplace platform to handle financial transactions

Like any business owner, freelance teachers on marketplaces need to sell their products. In the case of these teachers, they are their product. A great way to do this is by creating an introductory video.

Having a video allows you to highlight your teaching experience, skills, and strategy. Making a quality video is critical for success, so be sure to integrate it into your marketplace plan.

Become a Teacherpreneur

When you become proficient as a freelance teacher, consider expanding your services.

A few ideas on how you can expand your services are:

  • Speaking at conferences
  • Creating materials for teachers
  • Creating helpful YouTube videos for teachers and instructors

While it may seem like a lot of extra work you’re not directly compensated for, you can benefit tremendously from pulling off some of these additional tasks. You’ll spread the word about your abilities and potentially get on the good side of some of your future colleagues.

Run Your Own Business

As any freelancer will tell you, freelancing means you are running your own business. This means you get to make the tough calls, which include tasks like selecting or creating the platform you use.

It’s up to you to develop a website that allows you to market your services. Furthermore, you are responsible for making your curriculum.

As a business owner, you:

  • Have the freedom to teach when you want, what you want, and how you want
  • Choose or create a teaching platform
  • Prepare your curriculum
  • Manage cash flow, including logistics and payment collections
  • Attract students to your business via marketing
  • Have the option of hiring other teachers to grow your business

Being successful as a freelance teaching business owner requires persistence. Things don’t happen overnight. However, if you are willing to dedicate the time and resources to grow your business, it can be rewarding.

Similar: How to Answer the Question: “How Much Do You Charge?”


Benefits of Freelance Teaching

There are several reasons why schools hire freelance teachers. Likewise, there are benefits that freelance teachers get from pursuing this career choice.

We discuss some of the benefits of freelance teaching below.

Look Forward to Having More Flexibility

Since you are not an employee of a school, you are not locked into a minimum or a maximum number of hours each month. Therefore, you do not have to revolve your life around the schedule the school gives you.

Instead, you select your job opportunities to match your schedule.

Additionally, being a freelance teacher allows you to decide what age students you teach. Plus, you get to determine when your teaching day starts and ends. School employees do not have these options.

If you’re a freelance teacher working overseas, your visa is not linked to your job. When you apply for a work visa as an employed teacher in many countries, you have to get sponsored by a school. As a result, you are only able to work for that school.

You also can’t get money from side gigs or second jobs. If you have a falling out with your employer and they let you go, you may lose your visa. Even worse, you may be forced to leave the country.

None of this is an issue for freelance teachers. As a freelancer, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a contract. You can where you want instead of where you could find a job in a foreign country. Learn more about freelance visas here.

Get Paid More

When a school hires a teacher, they have to pay taxes, insurance, and workers’ compensation. However, since a school does not have to cover these expenses for a freelancer, they can pay a freelance teacher more money.

Unlike contract teachers, freelancers have room for negotiation. For example, you may be able to convince a school to pay you a higher rate than a contracted employee. Plus, you can find higher-paying jobs that align with your unique skills.

Get Access to More Teacher Jobs

Freelancing gives you a more comprehensive selection of job opportunities. Freelance teachers are less expensive for schools. For this reason, many schools, especially in competitive areas, opt for freelance teachers.

Schools that contract teachers usually jump at the opportunity to hire freelance educators. However, schools that employ freelance teachers are a different story. They’re typically reluctant to have full or part-time employees.

Enjoy Job Security

Gone are the days when teachers get hired and work with the same institution until they retire. Instead, budget cuts and other uncertainties mean that teachers can lose their jobs.

Being a freelancer allows you to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. It also enables you to work with several institutions and have private students. The security offered to freelance teachers makes pursuing this career a wise decision.

Discover: How to Start a Freelance Business [+ Quit Your Day Job!]


How to Find Work as a Freelance Teacher

Freelance teacher lesson plan and glasses

Working as a freelance teacher has many benefits. But you are probably wondering how you can score the perfect freelance teaching gig.

Don’t sit around and wait for a recruiter; take the initiative!

Here are some tips to help you find the right opportunities:

Settle on Your Niche

Before starting your work search, it’s crucial to know what type of teaching gigs you want. Deciding on your niche in advance will help you understand how to market yourself.

It would be best to build your niche around the subjects and ages of students you feel qualified to teach.

Do you have a background in mathematics? If so, math might be your niche. However, if you teach English, Spanish, French, or another foreign language, your marketing and job search should focus on that area.

Additionally, you can focus on your teaching methods; not all learners need the same experience, so not all teachers should act as identical education providers.

Jobs for online teachers, English as a second language teachers (ESL), and other more specific areas may hire freelancers at higher rates.

Deciding on your niche will guide you on where to look for teaching positions.

Look for Tutoring Companies Online

Becoming a freelance teacher is not the same as becoming a freelance web designer. As a web designer, you reach out to different companies and offer your services. Whereas as a freelance teacher, you work through other companies or platforms.

Read online reviews written by people who work for various freelance teaching platforms. They can be helpful, but you should still take the reviews with a grain of salt. For example, some freelancers may have had negative experiences because they were ill-prepared.

At the same time, if you see many of the same complaints about a platform, take them seriously. Above all, seek out reputable companies that have excellent reviews. You’ll set yourself up for success by deciding on the right companies.

Seek Work Using Social Media

Social media is a phenomenal way to find teaching gigs.

Consider joining groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. You’ll undoubtedly meet people who can connect you to potential job opportunities.

Another way to find work is by checking out hashtags on Facebook and Instagram. An example of a hashtag is #freelanceteacher. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many job opportunities are available!

Advertise Your Services

As a freelancer, you are responsible for marketing yourself. This doesn’t mean you need to train yourself as a copywriter or anything; a Facebook business page is a phenomenal tool for advertising your services.

Take advantage of engagement ads on Facebook. You can couple these ads with Google Ads to advertise your service.

You’ll want to stand out from other freelance teachers when you’re advertising your freelance services. So instead of just saying that you can teach science, say you have a passion for biology. You’re not just teaching English; you’re teaching business English.

Even if a freelance job description doesn’t ask for these specializations, it won’t hurt for a recruiter to see your passion and dedication to your field of study.

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Freelance Teacher Preparation

Empty classroom

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. To be successful, you will need to do the following.

Advance Planning

Planning means coming up with a plan of attack and not procrastinating.

Before starting as a freelance teacher, ask yourself:

  • How much money do you want to make?
  • How many hours do you want to work?
  • What subjects do you want to teach?
  • Which student age group would you like to teach?

After writing down your goals, make a list of the materials you need to teach the class. Furthermore, it’s vital to get your finances in order.

Financials

Freelance work can be liberating. However, it also means that your income is not always stable. Therefore, you need to keep track of your finances and plan when work may not be as steady.

You are also responsible for keeping track of what you owe the government. US freelancers who work abroad should note that they are usually responsible for paying taxes to the US government. They may also have to pay the government where they live.

Working with a tax consultant or a financial advisor would be wise. They should be well qualified and answer any questions you may have.

If you do your taxes on your own, make things easier by paying your quarterly taxes on time.

Materials

A lot of work goes into preparing to teach by yourself. You have to create lesson plans, perfect your communication skills, manage your equipment, etc. It would help if you had textbooks, multimedia, photos, and other materials.

Nothing screams unprofessionalism like a teacher who does not have the appropriate tools. So, make sure you start your freelance teacher with suitable materials!

Equipment

As a teacher, especially when teaching virtually, you must have the right equipment. The right equipment includes a high-quality computer, HD webcam, microphone, lighting, and speakers.

Getting the right equipment may entail a significant investment. But it will pay for itself as you attract more students.

Remember, by joining Gigly, you can link up with financial experts who make tax season a breeze. You can also take advantage of everyday discounts that make it possible to start your business strong with all the freelance teacher materials and equipment you need.


Reap the Rewards of Freelance Teaching

Freelance teaching is a fantastic opportunity for those who plan for it. It gives you the freedom to teach what you want, where you want, and who you want. You can charge what you feel your services are worth and make an excellent income.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits you can get as a freelance teacher and get the support you need? Contact Gigly today.

Gigly helps freelancers with their benefits, whether they work just a few hours or full-time. Let us help you make your dreams of becoming a freelance teacher a reality.