E-learning has opened up new opportunities for both experienced and aspiring teachers alike.
However, to fully benefit from this innovative educational approach, it is important to understand the generally accepted best practices and avoid the most common pitfalls.
This guide will provide valuable insights to help you build a successful online tutoring business, while ensuring a productive and enjoyable learning experience for your students.
The Benefits of Online Tutoring
Before we discuss how to build an online tutoring business, let’s talk about why you should. Here are three reasons you might want to get into the online education game…
Perhaps the biggest advantage of online tutoring is the incredible convenience it offers.
Rather than having to travel to a physical tutoring center, teachers and students can connect from anywhere they happen to be—provided they have an internet connection, of course.
Because of this, it’s often easier for teachers to find students and earn money off of the knowledge in their heads. Why wouldn’t it be? They can attract students from everywhere.
Another benefit of online tutoring is the flexibility it provides teachers in terms of scheduling.
Professional educators can schedule tutoring sessions at a time that works best for them, whether that’s early in the morning or late at night. This is especially helpful for educators who already have full-time jobs and want to build a tutoring business on the side.
Flexible scheduling is advantageous to students, too, as they can schedule sessions around their other commitments, such as school, work, and/or family time.
Finally, it’s often more cost-effective to run an online tutoring business than an in-person tutoring business. Why? Because you won’t have as many overhead costs to deal with.
Think about it. If you educate students in-person, you have to pay rent and utilities. You also have to cover the cost of gas to go to and from your tutoring location.
When you build an online tutoring business, your expenses will be much lower. In fact, the only thing you’ll have to pay for is an online meeting software of some kind. Because of this, you can offer your services at a lower rate, which might help you attract more students.
The Dos of Online Tutoring
Online tutoring is a great way for professional educators to earn extra money. To make sure your tutoring business is successful, keep these five dos of the trade in mind.
Set Clear Goals for Your Business
What do you want your new online tutoring business to achieve?
It’s important to set clear goals and expectations before you start your tutoring sessions. This will keep you focused, and help you push through when you have to complete unsavory tasks.
For example, you’re going to have to market your online tutoring services, send invoices, manage finances, build lesson plans, grade work… You might love interacting with students, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Clear goals will keep you on track through it all.
Get the Right Tools for the Job
You can’t build an online tutoring business without a few tools. Here are the specific ones we recommend to professional tutors like yourself. Consider investing in them if you’re able to.
- A Reliable Internet Connection: The first thing you need is access to the internet. And we’re not talking about here-today-gone-tomorrow kind of access. We’re talking about a super reliable connection that won’t drop out during tutoring sessions.
- An Online Meeting Platform: Got internet? Great, now get yourself a well-respected online meeting platform. We’re biased, but we think ClickMeeting fits the bill perfectly. With our app, you can brand your meeting rooms, share your screen, access collaborative whiteboards, send polls and surveys, record sessions, and more. Start your free 30-day trial of ClickMeeting today to see if it’s the best tool for you.
- A Microphone and Webcam: Last but not least, purchase a microphone and webcam to ensure your students can hear and see you clearly. (Note: these things aren’t necessary, since most computers already include them. But by purchasing higher-end options, you’ll provide a better experience to your students, which is the ultimate goal.)
Create a Distraction-Free Environment
One of the biggest benefits of online tutoring is that you can do it from anywhere. However, this can easily become a drawback if you don’t teach from a distraction-free location.
So, find a quiet place to educate your students. Make sure the walls behind you aren’t covered with eye-catching materials, such as artwork and/or posters. Ask the people you live with to leave you alone for the duration of your tutoring sessions. And turn off your phone.
Take Advantage of Interactive Features
Most online meeting solutions offer interactive features—use them!
Students who enjoy their tutoring sessions tend to keep paying for them. They’re also more likely to recommend their tutor’s services to their friends and family members.
This means that you can grow your tutoring business and make more money by simply using the interactive features that come with your online meeting software.
Communicate Regularly with Your Students
Communication is key to the success of your online tutoring business.
If you don’t talk to your students, you won’t be able to educate them properly. You also won’t know what students like and dislike about your lesson plans. This will lead to subpar tutoring sessions, higher than average student turnover, and just about zero word-of-mouth marketing.
Regular communication can also help students feel more comfortable in your sessions. When this happens, they’ll retain more of the information you share. Win!
The Don’ts of Online Tutoring
Now it’s time to talk about the don’ts of online tutoring. If you can avoid these three things, you’ll put your new business in the best position to succeed—both now, and in the future.
Don’t Neglect Your Qualifications
Why should a potential student hire you to tutor them?
While teaching credentials and four-year degrees aren’t everything, you need to prove to students that you have valuable knowledge to share. So don’t neglect your qualifications.
Promote the fact that you’ve “taught highschool for 30 years” if you’re looking to prep students for their SATs. Or that you’ve “built and sold numerous businesses” if you plan to educate startup founders. Just make sure that your experience and accomplishments are known.
Don’t Overbook Yourself
It’s really easy to overbook yourself.
No tutor wants to turn away students—especially when they’re ready and willing to pay you for your services. But overextending your clientbase is a recipe for disaster.
Doing so could cause you to experience burnout. If that happens, you’ll begin to despise your online tutoring business, the experience you provide to your students will take a nosedive, and all the hard work you put into this new endeavor of yours will be wasted. No bueno.
Instead, decide how many students you can realistically tutor at one time. Then put every other student who comes to you on a waiting list so that you can try to tutor them in the future.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things
Lastly, never be afraid to switch things up if you’re not satisfied with their current results.
Try a fresh approach to marketing to connect with new students. Invest in a new meeting platform to elevate the online learning experience. Rip up your current lesson plans and build new ones if you feel like you aren’t able to reach students the way you want to reach them.
Basically, give yourself permission to experiment. Doing so will help you learn what works for you and your unique clientbase, and build a tutoring business that stands the test of time.
Become a Successful Online Tutor
If you have knowledge to share, you should definitely consider building an online tutoring business. Doing so is a convenient way to connect with students and earn extra money.
Of course, if you want your business to be successful, you need to follow the advice we shared in this quick guide. Do set clear goals, invest in the right tools, remove distractions, use your online meeting software’s interactive features, and regularly communicate with your students. Don’t neglect your qualifications, overbook yourself, or be afraid to try new things.
And remember, if you need a reliable online meeting platform to host your tutoring sessions, ClickMeeting is a great option. Why? Because it’s easy to use and jam-packed with high-level features. Sign up for your free 30-day trial to see for yourself—no credit card required!