If you enjoy communicating with people and sharing your knowledge, consider this side hustle idea. Let’s be clear, it’s not easy to tutor others but, if you do everything sensibly and put your heart in, tutoring can grow into your full-time business. For your attention, a detailed guide for starting a tutoring business. Follow these recommendations and get new opportunities for increasing your income (maybe, even changing your life)!

Disclaimer: this article primarily focuses on online tutoring. However, it provides some insights into old-fashioned tutoring as well.

1. Why Tutoring?

Before delving into a successful tutoring business strategy, let’s talk about the benefits of this side hustle. So, the tutoring business can be good for you if:

  • You like people.
  • You enjoy at least one academic discipline; you are good at it and you don’t mind learning more about it.
  • You are a currently practicing teacher who isn’t satisfied with long working hours and an insufficient salary.
  • You hold (or currently gaining) a degree in any subject and you would like to become a lecturer yourself.
  • You want to get extra money and you are looking for a decent side hustle opportunity.
  • You want to start a business but you’re afraid to take a risk of totally giving up your current career.

If you see yourself in any of these, give a shot to the tutoring business. It allows you to:

  • Plan your own time.
  • When you only start, you can tutor in off-duty hours.
  • Teach a subject you love.
  • Set your price for classes.
  • Decide with whom of students you want to work.

Of course, there are plenty of issues you need to consider and implement first, but they all are in this article, so you’ll learn them step by step

2. Why Tutoring Online?

Nowadays, there are two ways of a tutoring. The one, traditional, is when you meet your clients in real and give them one-to-one (or group) lessons. You can meet up at your or their place/school/library/cafe/etc. which requires you to spend time commuting. Even though you plan your lessons ahead, you may get stuck in traffic and be late. To avoid this emergency, you can rent a room at some office building in the center of your city/town, so your students can get to it pretty easily. However, then you need to pay for a rent.

Tutoring online seems to be a better idea, especially, today when everybody uses the Internet. You don’t need to worry about renting a place or running from one client to another. You don’t need to quit your 9 to 5 job since you can teach lessons in non-office hours. There are many websites that give opportunities for tutors. You can register there and get clients. The list of these sites you’ll find at the end of the article.

   If all mentioned points fuel your interest in becoming a tutor, let’s move to the next issue.

3. Benefits of Online Tutoring.

  • All this time you’d spend commuting if you did usual tutoring, you can fill with additional clients.
  • Teaching from home is more convenient for side hustling.
  • You have a chance to incorporate modern technologies into your tutoring practice. This can not only enhance your productivity but also add to your professionalism and reputation. However, you need to be ready to invest some of your current income into upgrading yourself with high technology.
  • Another benefit comes down to those tutoring sites slightly mentioned before (the full list is at the end of the article). When you only start the tutoring business, you may register on several platforms simultaneously. In this way, you can test them all and see which site is better for you.

4. What will You Tutor?

You may tutor something that correlates with your degree. However, it’s not necessary. What is essential is to have experience or interest in some academic subjects. Early on, you may even choose several disciplines to tutor. This can give you more clients at first. Over time, when you build your reputation and a stable customer base, you can narrow down to one discipline. Apart from choosing a subject for your tutoring, you also need to pick a learning level. To do this correctly, evaluate your personal level of knowledge and the one you are most comfortable with. You need to prepare for your lessons by investing in the right textbooks and other resources suitable for this level.  

5. Appliances for the Highest Quality Online Tutoring.

For some reason, many people think that online tutoring requires nothing but a well-structured material and a laptop with a web-camera. Even though these 2 items are essential, a list of things for a successful premium-quality tutoring doesn’t end on them only! Online tutoring gurus strongly recommend investing in some appliances beforehand. Here is what they suggest:

  • A powerful computer/laptop. The one that allows you to take videos of your lessons, share a screen, and record the whole classes in their process. Your computer should be quick, so your students don’t wait until you open a new window.
  • A writing tablet. This appliance simulates a regular notebook with a pen. As a tutor, you will explain a lot to your clients, so, more than likely, a pen will always be in your hand. In order to save paper and also yourself from too many notes, it’s a good idea to get a writing tablet. Check out Wacom tablets and Huion to see what they are. It may seem like an additional expense, but you’ll feel the benefits of having a tablet after the first online lesson. All your explanations will never disappear until you delete them. You can easily share them with students right from your tablet, without spending time on taking photos or copies of your notes.
  • Headphones with a microphone. This accessory releases you from worries of being poorly heard. For clear communication with your students, use headphones with a mic. They’ll block all additional noises that can occur, for example, you typing on the keyboard. Ask your students to use headphones as well, so no noises from their end distract you.
  • A powerful Internet connection. If your Internet goes in and out, lessons can be ruined. Make sure everything works fine before you start online tutoring.
  • A quiet atmosphere. Even though headphones with a mic can block unnecessary noises around you, you still should give your lessons in a quiet space. It will improve your concentration and set you to a working mood.
  • An online whiteboard BitPaper. This modern tool allows you to make an online classroom no different from a regular one. BitPaper works as a digital whiteboard where you can share your notes and sketches with students in a real-time format. You can save your papers in the program, so you won’t lose anything important. You can also create diagrams or schemes and teach them to many clients without a need to redrawing them again after every lesson.
  • Video and Audio. Online tutoring doesn’t happen only through Skype. There are better programs which provide a more efficient quality of video and audio. For example, Zoom. It allows you to record your video to the cloud with transcripts of your words. Built-in collaboration tools give an opportunity to every participant of a video conference to simultaneously share their screens and co-annotate. There are more useful features to Zoom. If you tell your clients that you use something more advanced than Skype, it can also improve your professionalism in their eyes.
  • A documents holder. To have documents on hand, use Google Drive or Dropbox. With these tools, you don’t need to worry about something getting lost on your computer. Also, they allow you to share docs with as many students as you have without a need to send them via email.  

6. How to Effectively Market Yourself and Get Clients.  

When you chose your subject, prepared yourself for lessons, and bought all the necessary equipment for the best online tutor possible, it’s time to show yourself to the world. How to do that correctly? What resources to use? How to find clients to repay for all investments you put in this business idea? Here are some recommendations.

  • Look for online platforms for tutors. This is, probably, the easiest way to start the online tutoring business and get clients. Some of the websites to consider:

Club Z – on this online tutoring site, you can teach students of different ages and various levels, as well as subjects. The platform is fully equipped with all necessities for online tutoring (virtual classroom, whiteboard, video, and audio recording, etc.). Per hour, you can earn around $20.

KidoServ – this platform connects tutors and parents through zip codes of cities where they live. Parents will contribute to your name by giving you ratings and reviews. It’s a well-known site with a good reputation.

Udemy – it’s a marketplace for creating your own courses. It’s one of the most popular tutoring sites which makes it easy to find clients there. Instead of the usual online tutoring, you create a course around a chosen subject. Money comes from students buying your course.

Wyzant.com – to register on this online tutoring site, you need to have a valid social security number. If you have it, you sign in, choose subjects you want to tutor, and set your academic qualifications. You receive a payment for being a tutor there twice a month.  

Tutor.com – is one of the greatest time-proved online tutoring services. To become a tutor there, you also need to have a valid social security number and go through a background check. When you choose your subject, be ready to take an exam in it. The whole process of registration can take up to 3 months. Your salary depends on the discipline you teach.

Chegg – this platform is very selective towards tutors. You need to go through a screening process which evaluates the quality of your service. However, you can get $20 per hour via PayPal being a tutor on Chegg. After every tutoring session, your students give feedback about it which later appears in your profile. This helps you to build your reputation and get new clients.   

TutorVista – this serious online tutoring site requires its tutors to have Master’s degrees in their subjects. However, a range of disciplines is rather small. You can choose only English, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Math, or Statistics. You must work at least 4 hours a day with 1 lesson lasting for 45 minutes. You can earn from $10 to $40 per hour.  

Tutorhub – sign up and become a tutor. You need to tell about your experience and specializations. You can set a rate per hour, but be ready that the site will take 25% commission. You’ll be paid via PayPal when there are at least $10 in your account.

If you want to work completely independently, your strategy should be slightly different. It’s more complicated, but doable.

  • Set a website which will contain a home page, a lesson page, information about you and your service, and a contact page. Later on, you can add testimonials as well. They will show your clients that you are a reliable specialist whom they can trust with their kids’ knowledge.
  • Invest in business cards and fliers.
  • Check out families in your local area. It’s important to do because, initially, tutoring isn’t cheap! If you live in a good community, you can get more families interested in your business. Parents need to be ready to pay you for your service, which means they must have extra money. Give them your business cards, so they can reach you any time.
  • Visit local schools, libraries, and other educational centers. Bring your business cards and fliers there as well. If there are upcoming high school career days, don’t forget to book a table for yourself. Ask teachers at schools maybe you can come one day after classes and make a free seminar about you for students.
  • Send emails to all people from your email list. Attach a link to your site with every letter. You never know who can become your client!
  • If you need even more attention, go to local cafes and agree about hosting free seminars there. It can be for parents. Print out a poster about your service and place in the cafe several days before you plan on having your seminar (preferably, in a week). There is a good chance, people will come to find out about you. No matter how many of them will be there, present your service, share business cards, and be ready to get new clients.
  • You can also consider promoting your site through Google Ads.

These mentioned strategies are workable but, as you see, they demand more time, efforts, and investments. Whether you choose to work independently or for online tutoring platforms, there are several things you need to do as best as possible.

  • Provide the best service to your students. No matter how a little or a lot of clients you have when starting out, they deserve to be treated to the best advantage! You will benefit from it too. One of the most powerful promoting actions for a tutor is through word of mouth marketing. When your clients are happy, they will talk about you to others. Make time to communicate with parents before you start teaching their kids. Identify the most problematic issues you can help with and focus on them primarily. Your task is to be the best tutor you can with excellent knowledge and friendly attitude. If you provide perfect tuition, your reputation will be great and your business will automatically grow. When your students and their parents spread the word about you, your client base will increase, and you can cut corners on other marketing actions.  
  • Pay attention to seasons. In some periods, you may get more clients than in others. Especially if you are going to tutor students to SAT, ACT, and other entrance exams. Check out their dates online. You can advertise your service better in exam seasons. However, if you work through a tutoring site, there should be almost no seasonal limits for you.
  • Make yourself noticeable. To attract new clients, leave some information about yourself online. Facebook business page, ‘My Business’ page in Google, LinkedIn profile, and other social media can fulfill this purpose. Another option is to use local newspapers for advertising your outstanding tutorials. Write no more than 150-200 words about yourself on any of the mentioned resources and propose potential customers a free 10-min trial of a lesson. This can encourage more people to refer to you.
  • Make an artistic promotion. Even though you may decide to work through online tutoring platforms, it doesn’t hurt to use old-fashioned advertisements to get more clients. Why not design a poster about you and put in local schools/universities/libraries? There are many online designing programs, such as BeFunky, Canva, or Fotor. Another idea is to make a video about your service and post it on your Facebook business page or website if you have one. You can also refer to ad agencies to do a promo about you, but it adds to expenses.  
  • Don’t forget about referrals. Encourage your students to spread the word about you! For example, those who have completed 5 lessons, will get a discount for the next 5 for bringing 1 new client to you.      
  • Get testimonials. With the site Spectoos.com, you can add testimonials to your site. Don’t be shy to ask students about their academic successes after a tuition with you! Let them write short notes about you and your service. Upgrade your site, social media accounts, and LinkedIn with new testimonials regularly. This will show your potential customers that your service is worth trying!  
  • Offer a free trial. Some details about this point… It can be very effective if you make it in the right way. Obviously, when you put a free trial offer about your service, people will take it because it costs them nothing. To capture their attention and don’t transform a trial into a whole lesson, don’t stretch it for more than 8-10 min. Remember, it’s just an introductory to your tuition. However, it should be an excellent one! Incorporate all the best features about your service in the free trial. Make it interactive and fun. People must become excited, so they want to experience more of you. Again, you can refer to ad agencies for help.  
  • Be always here to help. The best tutor is the one who cares. If students feel that you teach them only to get money, there won’t be any emotional connection that can contribute to long-lasting successful relationships. To avoid this to happen, try being there for your clients even in off-duty hours (reasonably, of course). For example, if your student has an urgent question regarding a home assignment, why not help with it? With the online tutoring, you can easily devote 15-20 minutes of your time by simply turning on your computer.  
  • Be friendly and encouraging! Your clients refer to you in the first place because they want to improve in areas that are challenging. Never look down on them because they may not know something you knew at their age. Be hopeful and encouraging. They are with you for your support, and a friendly atmosphere sets the best tone for puzzling out difficult academic questions. More so, we naturally like to be around positive people, and if you are good-hearted towards your clients, your reputation, as well as the online tutoring business, will only prosper!  

These are all important points for starting the online tutoring business. Even though they can seem overwhelming, they are doable! Good luck to all aspiring online tutors out there. May this side hustle become your full-time business with happy clients, prosperous you, and your constantly growing income!

 

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