Flourishing Foundations. 

A 14 week business foundations group programme for ELT freelancers- teachers, trainers, writers, editors, consultants, school owners.

It’s a magic combination of practical business and online marketing skills, and learning exactly how to overcome any mindset blocks holding you back.

Are you ready to work less, earn more, and live more fully? 

 

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. Plenty of people do.

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.
  • Not ready to invest in 1:1 coaching and would really love to be part of a supportive, energetic group of like-minded ELT professionals, with similar dreams and ambitions. (if you do want coaching all to yourself, head on over to my 1-2-1 page)

I already had my own 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 have a clear plan to increase my visibility on social media, and a much more focused target-client group.

There was something useful in every lesson. I needed the mindset sessions to give me the confidence to implement the practical sessions (e.g. website, social media). I also really enjoyed working with other professionals from the field, hearing their ideas, learning from their experiences and having a chance to get feedback on my attempts to improve.

Perhaps my biggest takeaway from the programme is that it’s OK to be assertive and to value what I do, so that others also see the value in it.

I would definitely recommend you and the programme, to anybody who feels a bit stuck, either in business or in life.

Anne Margaret Smith

ELT and SpLD specialist, www.eltwell.com

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. She is non-judgemental and extremely perceptive. I’d feel confident and comfortable discussing anything with her.

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.’

Katherine Bilsborough

ELT materials specialist, www.creatingELTmaterials.com

This programme is the best gift I have given myself in a long time because it has allowed me to refocus on myself and on my needs and desires. Rachael, I would highly recommend you, especially to teachers, because you know a lot about the teaching profession and what it means to be a teacher (both the good and the bad sides). You are an expert and welcome everyone’s words and ideas with empathy and without judgment. You know how to create a climate of trust and security. And you have the talent and ability to help people discover what is important to them and you know how to help them turn their dream into a project.

Nabila Souaber

Coach, Teacher, https://www.linkedin.com/in/nabilasouaber/

Maybe you’ve been freelance for a while and you’ve had some success in your business. On good days you’re pretty confident that you have something valuable to offer.

But you 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.’

Clients mostly come to you through word of mouth. While this is a sign that you’re doing a great job, 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 know you need a strategy, but everyone seems to say something different about what you should be doing.

Generally, you feel like you’re fudging it, and that you’re not fully in control of your business.

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. You’d like to feel able to charge what you know you’re worth.

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.

And this is absolutely achievable.

 

 

 

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 12 weeks,  I can see how much value the course has and how much I have learnt, done and accomplished. I have finally defined what it is that I want to do, raised my profile and connections on LinkedIn, started creating content and am a good way towards finalising my website. I also met a lovely group of freelancers.

 I would absolutely recommend the programme to other professionals who want to seek out new horizons, change their working pattern or freelance. Rachael answers every question, or will find out the answer, and is very honest, calm, and helpful. 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.

Clare Hayward

Teacher trainer , www.hayward-training.com

What does the programme cover?

 

My group programme, Flourishing Foundations is specifically designed to help you build the solid foundations you need to make your ELT business a real success.

Vision: I’ll help you get real clarity about what you have to offer, how it can help people (and who you can best help), as well as uncovering your ‘why’, to help keep you focused and motivated when times are tough.

Visibility: No-one can hire you if they don’t know you exist. I’ll help you to get really focused about where your strengths lie, and to get more visible and known for what you do.

Messaging: Can you easily sum up in a nutshell why people should work with you? We’ll work on how you can effectively communicate what you have to offer in a way that makes people immediately ‘get’ the value and skills you offer.

Audience growth: Maybe you don’t have many connections on social media, or you have all the wrong ones (e.g. other teachers instead of potential students). I’ll teach you a range of strategies to grow your audience without any icky cold messaging.

Selling: Talking of icky…. Do you hate the idea of selling, or negotiating? We’ll work on challenging some of your beliefs about money and selling, and I’ll share practical advice that will sit well with your values.

Systems: When you are your own boss you don’t want to be ‘the worst boss I ever had’ as a client once memorably said. I’ll help you develop systems that will help you to track income, set goals, and make informed decisions about the direction you want to go in, so you’re a pleasure to work for (and pay yourself well).

Balance: I don’t believe that running your own business means that your life isn’t your own. In fact, it’s the opposite. Throughout the programme you’ll learn about how to prioritise, manage your time, and your energy- and how to tame that pesky inner voice that keeps setting you up to fail.

 

 

getti

 

The programme has something for everyone. I started the course having what I thought was a pretty clear idea of where I was going and the things I needed to do. I learned that I wasn’t wrong but I had also overlooked things or assumed they weren’t for me: they were. There really is something for everyone.

The sessions on selling yourself and money mindset and pricing were particularly useful for me because this was an area I felt super uncomfortable with. I am slowly becoming better at setting my price or being able to negotiate better.

I would recommend the programme without any hesitation to anyone wanting to start off/improve their small business. Whether in ELT or not, as it’s all transferable to other industries.

Liz Marqueiro

ELT & Equity, DIversity and Inclusion writer, editor and consultant

I had some hesitations about the cost of the programme and the time it would require. Now having invested in myself in this way I would not have these same hesitations.

I now see myself differently – more professional, more of an owner. I have a better understanding of my strengths, where I would like to go and some of the things holding me back. I also have some tools to tackle these.

Some highlights:

– the work on LinkedIn profiles

– I was pretty good at managing time- but have got a lot better!

– pricing and money- raised my fees by 5% and so far no-one has said no.

– I’m now convinced I need a website and my objective is to have it completed by Easter.

– I found the session on imposter syndrome really useful- I thought this was just me- so a real relief to learn it’s not!

– I negotiate all the time now- it’s not always money, but so far it’s all gone my way which builds my confidence for more.

– I am more strategic about my business- reviewing and setting goals.

ELT Editor (who prefers to stay anonymous)

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.

A group programme  is also a cost-effective way of getting the training and support you need if you’re not ready to invest in 1-2-1 business coaching. 

 

Having a network of people who support you and who value you is crucial for personal growth, and I really enjoyed our chats and discussions, listening to others talking about their fears, hopes, and experiences. I also really enjoyed our input sessions, 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.

Aleksandra Popovski

Teacher, Materials Writer, Teacher Trainer, https://www.linkedin.com/in/aleksandra-popovski-8170b155/

If you implement everything I’m teaching you, you’ll see a transformation in your business, or be ready to launch your new one, by the end of the fourteen weeks.

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 a 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 designed for ELT freelance professionals and business owners. 

Life Resourceful- Rachael Roberts

I have learnt huge amounts- how to manage my own business in a structured way, how to tackle the parts of running a business that were intimidating or seemed overwhelming without anxiety, how to be clear about value offered and how to value what I can offer.

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.

Stephanie Dimond-Bayir

ELT Author, Consultant and Trainer, https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-dimond-bayir-3b1ba330/

The nitty gritty

You’ll be working with a small group of hand-picked ELT freelance professionals or business owners: teachers, trainers, consultants, school owners, writers, editors. You’ll find plenty in common, but also there’s a synergy in hearing from people with different experiences and perspectives.

  • The course takes place over a 14 week period (13 weeks plus an implementation week in the middle to give you the chance to catch up if you need it).
  • Each week there’s a 90 minute live training session, packed with useful tips and strategies around the topic for the week.
  • Week by week, I’ll help you clarify exactly who you want to work with, what you have to offer, how best to deliver it, how to make your messaging ‘speak’ to the people you want to work with, and how to get your message out there in ways that will bring your consistent clients who understand the value of what you are offering and are happy to pay for it.
  • Every other week we also have 90 minute live group coaching sessions, in two smaller sub-groups, where we can explore your specific goals and challenges along the way, and recap anything you like.
  • In addition there’s a dedicated Slack channel, where you can post your homework and get feedback from me, and each other, as well as the endless opportunity to ask questions.
  • And I’ve created a detailed route map so you can really see the progress you’re making throughout the course, and identify any areas where you might need extra support.

When the course is over you’re not on your own. I have a special Mastermind membership just for alumni of the group programme, where you can continue to develop, get support and training from me and guest experts, and learn from and collaborate with each other

During this time I’ve refound my mojo for the industry, clarified that the area I really love is teacher development, managed to block my time better which made me feel more productive and spend time ON my business ideas as well as eating those frogs earlier in the day! I’ve got more guts in the way that I deal with those who are interested in hiring me, and I’m more confident in asking a fair price for me!

You are very dedicated and always manage to inspire me to take that next step after the session as your passion is contagious!

I’m really looking forward to sitting down next week and spending time on my business ideas. I’m planning to book at least 1/2 day a week in 2022 to plan/ think and create and I can’t wait to get that structure in place in the new year so I can run my wee business on the site. Also to plan in time weekly to actively write courses and blogs so I can get things moving forward as I’m inspired by all we’ve done!

Just a massive thank you Rachael for all your time, knowledge sharing and guidance on this course.

Anna Hasper

Teacher Trainer and ELT Author

FAQs

Is this right for my freelance business?

Past and current group members have included editors, writers, teacher trainers, school owners and teachers and language coaches, all working within the field of ELT (and one in Portuguese as a Foreign Language). Their businesses are different, but there’s a lot of commonality, and a special kind of synergy which comes from all these different perspectives.

On the programme we will look at working with individual clients and groups of clients, as well as working on a freelance basis for other businesses, such as Publishers, or businesses seeking language or intercultural coaching/training.

If you want to raise your profile, learn how to draw clients to you, overcome confidence and money blocks, learn to negotiate more effectively and set better boundaries, and enjoy your working life more, it’s for you.

Does Rachael know what she’s talking about?

I hope this question isn’t asked too frequently, actually 🙂 

Over the past 12 years I’ve built up two successful businesses, first as an ELT writer and now as a life and business coach. Along the way I’ve learnt a lot: from experience, of course, but I’ve also invested in my own business coach and in training from social media and copywriting experts. 

I started out muddling my own way through, but I know first hand how much more quickly and easily my business progressed once I got the right help. Now I’d like to help you do the same. 

You’ll also learn a lot from working within a small group of other ELT professionals and sharing experience and advice. 

Do I have the time to invest in the programme?

Over a 14 week period we’ll meet once a week for a 90 minute input session, and every other week for a 90 minute group coaching/discussion session (8 sessions in total). All the sessions are recorded, and available to you forever, so if you have to miss a session, you can go back and catch up.

Each week I’ll set you a ‘homework’ task. This might be something practical, such as writing a new LinkedIn profile and submitting it for feedback, or it might be a mindset related task.

There will also be ongoing support (from me and the group) and individual feedback available in a dedicated Slack group.

The amount of time you spend on the programme is largely up to you, but I’d say around 5 hours a week on average (including input), more if you want to get more done quickly.

It’s a 12 week programme, so there’s plenty of time to catch up if you miss a week, but we also have an implementation week halfway through (so 13 weeks in total), where input is paused, but you can still ask questions in the Slack group.

Do you offer a 1-2-1 version of the programme?

Maybe the times or dates don’t work for you, and you’re keen to get started transforming your business?

 Or maybe you feel you’ve got something of a ‘spiky profile’ – some of the 7 key areas covered by the group programme are things you feel you have pretty much in hand, whereas others make you feel like a ‘newbie’?

Or you just want to make sure that every minute of the coaching is laser focused on developing your business, and relevant to your specific needs and situation?

My 1-2-1 programme is a deeper dive into your business, tailored precisely to your needs. It provides the firm foundations you need, but enables us to do so much more.

Take a look at my 1-2-1 page for more details.

Is this the right time to invest in something like this? 

These are uncertain times. Everything has been thrown up in the air, and the old ways of getting business might not be working for you anymore. But is this the right time to invest?

Only you can answer that question. What I can tell you is that overwhelmingly those who have been on my programme are now making more money. That might be because of a new business, because they’ve got better at negotiating and at valuing their work, or because they’ve become more visible and been offered better paid work.

I can’t guarantee that, obviously, but take a look at some of the testimonials and you’ll see that the participants have also benefited enormously in less quantifiable, but maybe even more important ways. They’ve developed more confidence, feel better about saying no and asking for what they need, and are working in a more enjoyable and balanced way.

If that sounds like something you want, book a call with me now and let’s discuss your current situation, and if this is the right programme for you. 

After doing Rachael’s course I became much more confident in all my transactions with clients and must say it has paid off immensely. With her guidance, I have also managed to navigate LinkedIn with success which has led me to great jobs. Most importantly however, I have made very good friends from the course and the support system from Rachael and the group has helped me overcome many obstacles I myself built.

Catherine Zgouras

Freelance ELT editor and writer

You’re an incredibly knowledgeable person with a perfect set of skills and loads of valuable experience to coach ELT professionals like me, an ELT teacher who is in ‘survival’ mode. You have helped me to see the bigger picture and coming out of the ‘rat race’ is totally within my reach.

The programme helped me to believe in myself, ‘sell’ my expertise to those who could benefit from it whilst not being exhausted and have time for my family, some very special learners that have captured my heart and me.

I initially hesitated over the cost, but it was money well spent. A change for the better, and a huge step forward in my career.

Paulina Clarke-van Pelt

ELT and ESOL Teacher

I was jumping from one project to the next, thinking that being really busy meant I was being successful. But I was close to burning out constantly, using every weekend to recover rather than enjoy a rest 

My main hesitation about joining the programme was finding the time to do it. I was also a bit nervous to do a group programme with strangers (but I shouldn’t have been!)  

I learnt buckets of useful tactics and knowledge – so much so, I’m going to have to rewatch the presentations to make sure it all sticks in my mind. I learnt that a website and LinkedIn presence is important for a freelancer, and how to achieve that. My social media posts have been really successful and I’m hoping to develop them more in 2021. I’ve been seeing some familiar names like and comment on my post that I haven’t worked with for a while (as well as new connections). This week, one of those people got in touch saying they have work for me in January. So it works!  

I feel more confident about negotiating and have been getting work at higher hourly rates than before. I can also now say that I’m an expert in my field- without squirming! The confidence you have given me will be a foundation for the rest of my career – thank you!  

You can see you really care and want to help people. You have the gift of seeing what people need help with, even when they’re not sure themselves. You see people – really see them. 

I feel like you’ve really set me up to succeed for years to come. Your time and energy is priceless. With everything I’ve learned, I got a bargain!

Danielle KIng

Freelance ELT editor

Next programme is running Feb-May 2022 – and it’s already filling up….

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