What would life be like if you were to start your own online business as a teacher this year? Comment below if you see yourself in this ever-popular scenario: a teacher struggles to find their spark in the classroom. They think the only options they have are to a.) stay stuck as an unhappy teacher pretending to love their job, or b.) leave the classroom altogether to find true happiness.
But what if you didn’t find happiness in ultimatums? What if this is your moment, your year, to make your biggest dreams happen? And that YOU get to create what that looks like for yourself and your family? That this would be the year where your creative spark returns? What if you could start your own online business creating teaching resources and actually find success as thousands of other teachers have done? The answer is, it can and, if your heart desires it enough, it undoubtedly will.
How Do You Start Your Own Online Business When You’re Already in Over Your Head?
Eleven years ago, I took my very first teaching position as a 9th-grade lit teacher. It was a lot. Wake up, teach all day, come home to my kids, wait for my husband to get home from practice because he was a high school baseball coach at the time, rinse, and repeat. I was in survival mode. Does it sound familiar?
This continued in my life for another three years. I became a middle school English teacher and truly felt like I fell into THE trap. I was the teacher without a life’s purpose. My purpose was to change the lives of my students and nothing else. My happiness depended on what activity we would do for the day and rarely reflected on the eternal happiness I was longing for.
Stop telling yourself you have to be a good teacher to live a healthy life. This is YOUR life, and you’re in the driver’s seat. Are you happy? Are you satisfied with your daily routine as a teacher? Are you looking to find your voice, purpose, or creativity?
Look, expanding or starting your own online business as a teacher doesn’t have to look like some Instagram 100,000-follower classroom or some Pinterest door contest at local schools. That sounds daunting, doesn’t it?! Like, there’s so much pressure. The good news is that creating your own business doesn’t have to be that hard. I’m here to make it simple for you.
If you have these traits and a win-win attitude, you’re well on your way to starting your own online business as a teacher:
- Be a teacher
- Have a desire to help people (students, teachers, or parents)
- Follow a path from someone who’s been in your shoes
I want you to get 2021 started off the right way with a new beginning and a brand new you. New Year’s Resolutions mean commitments and promises that we plan on keeping all year long and even for a lifetime. I’ve created a streamlined guide to help you accomplish those commitments to yourself. It’s a new book designed to take your wild ideas to expand or start your own online teacher business and put them into MASSIVE action that bring you happiness, life-changing transformation, and a commitment to be the next CEO teacher. Download it here, and let’s get started putting it into action!
Ideas to Start Your Own Online Business: Determine Your Passion, Your Goals, and Your Vision
Selling your teaching materials online can be a massive boost of income for you and your family. Even if you already sell your resources online, the fact that more than a handful of teachers are now millionaires from selling their resources should be enough to convince you that this is a smart investment of your time, money, and energy.
As teachers, we work hard for our students. We create meaningful lessons that impact our kids year in and year out. I want you to impact students from all over the world, and that starts right here, right now. The good news is that you’re already doing half of the work. It’s time you start making money to make your work seem less like a chore and more like fun!
When you are preparing to start your own online education business, you must set a clear focus for your business goals. Goals are imperative. Let’s first work on your top 6. We like to call these the CEO Teacher Vision of Six. They get placed on our vision board, and we refer back to them when we need motivation or inspiration as you build our businesses. The CEO Teacher Vision of Six includes health, travel, debt, happiness, inspiration, and fitness.
It may seem like these six have nothing to do with starting your teacher business, but they have EVERYTHING to do with it. Getting a clear focus on the CEO Teacher Vision of Six will help you remember your why when things get tough because they will. Use the book you downloaded above and write a sentence or two about each goal you have. Make it specific and measurable. Here’s an example: “Whenever I feel lost or confused, I’ll put on the CEO Teacher Podcast and listen to the episodes that air each Wednesday.”
Create a Unique Name for Your Online Teacher Business
This one really stumped me for a while. I didn’t see the significance of naming my “business” because I didn’t classify myself as a business. At the beginning of my teacherpreneur journey, I sold my resources on one website and thought that was enough. I didn’t realize the marketing strategy I needed to put in place every day to have a consistent stream of income. I don’t want to discourage you, but there’s so much more to making money from your teaching resources than just creating them. I know some fantastic teacher-authors who have given up because they simply didn’t know how to market their businesses.
Try to come up with a name that is easy to remember but that can also become a brand name. Be unique. Be different. Feel free to use your name in other aspects of your business too. I want to be known as Kayse Morris and The CEO Teacher. I need to target my new audience outside of just my name and have a brand that other teachers can identify with. I want your brand to embody all of the characteristics you want to express in my business. Take time to think and to make sure it’s right. Write it down, say it out loud. Does it make you proud? If so, you’ve found the perfect teaching business brand name.
Tips for Starting Your Own Online Business: Create a Logo
Once you’ve found the perfect name for your business, it’s time to think of how that name can mesh with the perfect logo. Feel free to go to Powerpoint, Canva, or PicMonkey and create one yourself, or you have someone make one for you for cheap on a place like Fiverr. If you know this is something you want to invest in, I encourage you to find an amazing blog designer and have them create your first logo. This may cost around $50.00 or so. My very first logo was okay at best. Then over time, it got better, and so will yours.
With that said, don’t get stuck on a logo. It’s not the most critical part of starting or expanding your teacher business in 2021, but it is still something to consider. When deciding who you want to become as an online teacher business owner and who you want to serve, we want to focus on two main factors: your niche and your ideal customer.
Determine Your Ideal Customer Your Teacher Business Will Serve
Once you’ve found your name, logo, and social media handles, it’s time to focus on the perfect ideal customer. For which grade level will you most likely be creating resources? What subject? Do you want to focus on one grade level or multiple grade levels? Do you want to sell resources for various subjects? It’s okay if this answer isn’t obvious right now. I have just now realized my main passion when creating teaching resources.
I started creating resources for middle school because I was in that environment. I have an Early Childhood Degree and desperately missed my Kindergarten babies. I decided to begin making resources for Kindergarteners. It really helped my online business grow, and it’s amazing how creative you can be when you find something you are genuinely passionate about. My creativity soared, and my resources became better than ever.
Every business has monumental moments and decisions you must make. Each time you make a decision, you learn a valuable lesson. It’s okay if it’s not perfect now; everyone starts somewhere! What are you most passionate about in the classroom? What sets your soul on fire? Do that. Create resources that focus on serving teachers and students in that area, and you will be amazed by what you can create!
In the Start or Expand Your Online Business as a Teacher in 2021 guide, you’ll find a page where you’ll create a real (but not real) person. This is your ideal customer avatar. They should be the north star of your business, and everything you create for your own online business should serve and speak to them. Creating your ideal customer is one of the keys to how to start your own online business, so don’t skip this step.
Aim to Create Content That Solves a Bigger Problem
When starting your own online business, it’s essential that you solve a problem that teachers, students, or parents have. What can you create that will make teachers’ lives easier? How will you make sure to implement that strategy while still aligning yourself with Common Core State Standards? Even if your state is not a Common Core state, you must remember these standards are the base for other state standards. Larger websites require that you tag your resources with specific state standards.
I’m sure you’ve had light bulb moments in the classroom. You’ve seen that spark in your students’ eyes, and you’ve thought to yourself, “This is the moment.” THOSE ah-ha moments are what will make or break you in the online business world. Finding a way to make more of those moments happen for educators worldwide is what will make you shine. Sure, you could make a vocabulary resource that goes over the book you’re reading to your class, but I promise it won’t be as successful as if you were to create a resource that solves a much bigger problem.
For example, classroom management is something with which many teachers struggle. What product could you create that solves a piece to that puzzle? Classroom management can be broken down into thousands of parts. Pick a part that you struggled with and create a standards-based product to bring your vision to life!
I believe in you, teacher friend. Do you believe in yourself? It’s time to start your own online business as a teacher. This is your year! Is it scary? Yes! Will it be perfect? No! But will you have someone to guide you along this journey and support you every step of the way? You got it! I’m here for you, and I can’t wait to see how you take these resources and run with them to create your own online business that sets your soul on fire and a life you absolutely love living. The best is yet to come!