We all tutor for various reasons. Maybe you are tutoring because you need a little extra cash. Perhaps you are tutoring while looking for a full-time teaching job. I wonder if you are tutoring because you were recently laid off or decided to retire but want more income. Whatever the reason, tutoring sometimes becomes the default for earning money. A lot of teachers at heart look at tutoring as a way to earn a little bit of extra income because doing this full-time seems like an unrealistic dream. Can you relate?
No matter your reason for tutoring, there are four things all tutors desire: More respect, more referrals, more students, and more money in their pockets. These are four very important pieces of being a tutor. Without these, we struggle and find ourselves worrying in the night if it's really worth all this time and effort. Can't we just teach and the rest will fall into place?
You can be successful and profit when you give these four areas consideration and action. How can we ensure that we we have adequate amounts of each of these four elements? I've recently created the Profitable Tutor Framework which gives you all the pieces you need to get the right proportions of respect, referrals, students, and money. Let's explore each of these vital pieces.
I've been interacting with tutors since 2011 and I continually watch my colleges get walked all over by families. These hard working tutors experience no-shows, people bargaining on their hourly rate, late payments, and even students giving attitude about tutor requests. I get so sick and tired of watching my tutor friends be hurt! With the Profitable Tutor Framework, you'll be able to open the gates of communication and clearly communicate what is acceptable in your business. You'll get the chance to clearly state how you would like to be treated. I'll walk you through step by step on how to create policies and enforce them so that you can gain the relief and the respect that you deserve. Policies are the key to gaining the confidence and respect you are seeking from current and future clients.
Much like respect, referrals will come from clients respect for your ability to confidently run your business and teach your subject. This builds high amounts of trust and people are more likely to share with their friends and shout from the rooftops about the amazing tutor you really are. When you have an intake process that conveys clear expectations and boundaries, this puts clients' minds at ease because they know what is expected of them. They can share your information and all those little details they like about you and some of them will be how organized and professional you are. In the Profitable Tutor Framework, I'll walk you through what a professional intake process looks like and how it has helped my business attract new students.
More referrals, means more students for you! Your students will feel safe in your environment whether it is at the local library, your home, online, or in a rented space because they will know what to expect from you. During the intake process, you'll do an assessment to figure out exactly what your students need and share this knowledge with them so they can be actively involved in their growth. When things are not going as planned with a student, you'll be able to refer to your policies and put them to use. If a student isn't working collaboratively with you, you have the power to let them go. If a family habitually comes late, you get to tell them that it can't happen again.
The first three directly affect the money in your pocket, but you also have tremendous impact on how much money is in your pocket. A tutor that charges only $15 an hour and is completely full will find themselves burned out and looking for refuge in a salary paid job. To prevent burnout and keep space in your schedule, you'll need my favorite tool in the Profitable Tutor Framework which is the pricing guide. You'll be able to boldly declare what you really would like to make and uncover the steps needed to get you there. The guide allows you to put in vacation hours, holiday time, sick time, and even plan for healthcare and retirement. Doesn't that sound like a career? It's true, tutoring can become the career of your dreams and the Profitable Tutor Framework will show you how.
Don't take my word for it, check out what Andrew Vickery said about the Profitable Tutor Framework. He was able to put it right to work for him so that his side-hustle tutor business is more enjoyable and profitable as well.
First of all, I LOVE the pricing guide! ALL of it! I put in an arbitrary $20,000 salary at the top and some minimal expenses (word is mouth is working well for me). I liked how the Profitable Tutor Framework laid out what part-time and full-time hours looked like so that I don't forget vacation, holidays, sick days, etc. That's excellent!
I don't have 20 hours to devote to tutoring now, but I was able to calculate the hours I work easily. After plugging in some numbers it came out at $350 an hour! That seems a bit crazy, but I just pulled the $20,000 out of thin air (good reality check for me). I dropped it back to $10,000 and reworked some of my expenses and came up with $160 an hour. I'm at $25 an hour now. I am moving to groups with three students in them during the fall (those are almost full, which is CRAZY!!!!). Doing groups will put me at $75 an hour so I'm almost halfway there! I see now that with a few more students in a group, I could meet that goal number.
If you couldn't tell, Andrew was super excited about the pricing guide. He also shared that he feels more confident going forward with his side-hustle tutor business.
How can you start working on getting the right proportions of respect, referrals, students, and money right now? Take these steps:
1. Ponder on the pet peeves you experience with students
Grab a piece of paper and make two columns. One column for the pet peeves and the other for the solutions. Go crazy writing down all those pet peeves, I know you've got them because I do as well. In the second column, write down solutions you could put into place to prevent or turn around these situations. For example, no-shows (those drive me nuts). A solution would be to put in your policies that you need a 24 hour (put a time frame on it) notification that the student will not be attending. Decide if you will allow a make-up session, if you will deduct the money from the next month's tuition, or whatever seems natural for you.
All of the solutions that you write down, need to find themselves within the pages of your policies. It's never too late to put them into force. Write the policies and send a notice out to parents with new policies in place. Parents will respect you for clearly stating what is expected.
2. Evaluate student experience
In a regular career, employees get a performance review from time to time. You can create the same experience by reaching out and asking your clients for feedback on how things are going. You could send out a survey, a personal email (my favorite), or a request for a testimonial. This is a time to hear how things are going and make notes of things you could change. If frustrations are brought up, don't take defense but rather use it as a way to learn and make changes. Within the context of this feedback, ask for their help in spreading word about your tutor business. Sometimes all it takes is a sincere asking.
3. Throw your assumptions about your rate out the window
I am totally guilty of having assumptions about my hourly rate! I assumed that tutors in my area just weren't making what I'd really like to make. After completing the pricing guide (found in the Profitable Tutor Framework) I had this nagging feeling that I was wrong about my rate. I took time to compare other tutors to myself and discovered I was super low…without hesitation I increased my hourly rate. I have two new students at this rate as well. What assumptions have you made? Compare yourself to other tutors in the area and aim to place yourself among those tutors hourly rate.
If you're ready to start a chain reaction to bring more respect, more referrals, more students, and more money into your pocket then, you'll want to watch my free webinar where we'll dive into three components of a successful tutor business plus dig in and find the right rate for you.