One of the things I enjoy most about writing here on the Tutor Coach is that I get to interact with people from all sorts of backgrounds and beginnings. Kim Schwartz is one of those multi-talented tutors that I've enjoyed getting to know over the past few years. Recently, Kim had shared with me that she had created a website and video using some of the tutorials here on the Tutor Coach. I was blown away at her site and love how it just oozed her sweetness. I asked Kim to share her story about how she is settling into retirement from teaching to tutoring. -Adrianne
After 27 years, I retired from the teaching profession in June 2015. In August, I was starting to explore what I wanted to do to supplement my retirement pension. I had two ideas in mind: offering tutoring services and selling my photographic work. I chose tutoring because I want to stay connected with children and teaching. I chose photography because it's been one of my creative hobbies for many years, but had been “pushed aside” while I was teaching.
A friend of mine, who was also exploring tutoring, found your ebook (The Novice Tutor) online, and shared it with me. I purchased and read your e-book, and explored the many links and resources you offered in the book. I visited your website, The Tutor Coach, and downloaded some of the business forms I needed to help guide me through the process of setting up a business. I watched the video you produced with your father-in-law, which I found very helpful in understanding the steps (and jargon) in setting up a business.
Specifically, your book and website helped me to know where to begin, and the steps to take to decide on the kind of business I wanted to start up with (sole proprietor), and how to set up a website to promote/organize my tutoring services. I used my State of Ohio website to guide me more specifically (and legally). I registered my website name with the state, purchased a web domain, and subscribed to a web host. How you designed your website, especially your services and how you produced your videos, inspired me when designing my website and my one little video; that video was the biggest challenge for me.
As for what I've learned through this process so far, I have to admit that the most learning occurred at the beginning of this endeavor using your e-book and website.
After setting up my website, and printed business cards and a flyer, I haven't done much else to promote my new tutoring business. I have only one client. I've been doing some volunteering in two schools, joined a camera club, and helping a friend with her children. I've also decided to move my home office from a small room to a larger room. In addition to moving these rooms, I'm also painting them. I've found that I need more office space for my tutoring and for my photography, which I may be setting up as a business as well. Indeed, my learning experiences with my tutoring business are on-going, and in progress. I've always considered myself a life-long learner.
As soon as I get my photography in order and set up, then I will look at my tutoring business more closely and see what I need to do to promote it more actively. I hope to use my tutoring and photography income to supplement my monthly pension.
I love Kim's story so much because she created a plan to help her get closer to her goals of supplementing her monthly pension. You can see Kim's passion in her website and I thought I'd share she made the awesome tree you see on her site. Love her creativity! I like that she mentioned that she only has one student right now, but wanted to focus on photography and then focus more on tutoring. That is a key element to success…FOCUS. Kim spent time focusing on building her foundation of her tutoring business: website, video, policies, and legal entity. Now she has a home online that allows her to point potential clients to when she is ready to actively market herself.
When it is time to actively market, start with these two simple ideas:
Talk to People
Tell at least 2 people every day that you tutor. It doesn't matter if you are in the grocery line, at the dentist, the park, or standing in line at the movies. Get comfortable talking to people about your tutoring services.
Start posting yourself on different tutor profile sites to increase awareness about your services. I've been hearing tutors are having a lot of success with the site, Nextdoor to find new students. Next Door is like a forum for your local community. You are allowed to post your services. Many tutors are reporting they've found a few students in just two days of posting! For more ideas to find students, grab my free guide below.