Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stefanie Weinberger, Founder of LerneDeutsch, located in Berlin, Germany.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm teaching German to students all over the world, including ex-pats and people that want to move to Germany on social media platforms and through courses sold on my website in a fun, digestible, and immersive way.
My business model consists of b2b sales in the form of marketing campaigns on my social media channels and b2c sales to students that want to learn German in the form of online courses, online communities, live webinars, and selling material learning booklets.
Tell us about yourself
I'm Steffi, born and raised in Berlin, Germany. I have always been fascinated with languages; I even tried learning sign language. I was working in a big corporate as a project manager for a while when I came across an account on Instagram that taught French, which I found fascinating. Such a convenient way to learn a language "on the go" while browsing the Instagram feed. I started LerneDeutsch as a hobby, thinking if I found that French account so useful, someone that wants to learn German might find LerneDeutsch useful. I started by posting a picture of one word a day, not even a video or anything fancy. It wasn't until approximately three years later that I started adding audio to the daily pictures that I finally gathered the courage and started posting videos.
I made the decision to quit my job and focus on LerneDeutsch after about three years of working on this side project. The same things that drove me to make that decision are what drives me to keep on going day:
- I want to prove to myself that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, even if it's intimidating.
- I love languages, and being able to help someone learn a language makes me happy.
- I want to do something that I love, and running LerneDeutsch has been my passion for the past six years.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I originally started my "German word of the day" Instagram account as just a fun little challenge for myself, but it eventually grew into a successful business that my husband and I are now running. Despite people telling me to focus on getting a better job or better grades at university, I'm glad I took the opportunity to turn my simple idea into something more.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is constantly having to think about how to improve and expand my business while also finding a balance between work and personal life. It can be hard to switch off from work mode and not constantly be thinking about new ideas and projects.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always be willing to learn and adapt to changes in your industry.
- Network and collaborate with others in your field to expand your reach and gain new insights.
- Don't be afraid to take risks and try new things, but also make sure to have a plan before making big decisions.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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