Start your educational entrepreneur journey with a leg up
A quiet revolution in education is taking place. Knowledge is becoming more accessible. Not only can you learn facts and information, but practice skills. Whether you want to learn sign language online or improve your understanding of calculus, working with a tutor helps acquire living skills that are directly applicable to your everyday.
As an online tutor, however, you will face stiff competition. Participating online, creating sharable content, and even tapping your personal social network can all help you find students and sustain you on your tutorpreneur journey.
When I set out to create Tutor.id, I wanted to make something that I, myself, wished existed to help me in my online tutoring career. A part of that vision was giving the tutors an ability to do more than just sign up on a platform, but to create their own, technologically-aided yet independent online education business. Your Tutor.id profile will be the cornerstone of this business. It will serve as a tutoring “storefront”, your virtual business card, and your introduction to potential students.Karen R.Choose the time and place of your in-person or online lessons, keep track of your materials, feedback, attendance and…tutor.id
Here, I wanted to provide a few tips about what I think makes for a strong, attractive Tutor.id profile that inspires student confidence and helps you grow your tutorpreneureal endeavor:
Get the basics done right
A surprising number of tutors who try to sign up on the site never put their profile up for approval by our team. In order to show your profile to potential students, we have to make sure that:
- your email is verified (otherwise, how will you know when you get a new student?)
- you are able to get paid for online tutoring and teaching by connecting and confirming a payment option
- you have a profile picture (and here is a quick guide to taking a better headshot without going to a professional photographer)
- your profile gives some information about you and your experience teaching, by adding a profile description and your professional experience
- you list the courses that you will be teaching (more on how to create effective course offerings later)
- you list availability for a student to actually book time with you
There are many ways to improve your profile beyond this, of course, but without these bare-minimum requirements being fulfilled, we won’t be able to list your profile as active. So, once you’ve finished these minimal requirements (and incorporated the rest of the tips in this article to boost your profile success), remember to submit your profile for approval by the Tutor.id team! Your profile will not be live until you submit it, and it’s approved. If there are any problems with the information, we will get back to you quickly and help get your profile ready for the big leagues.
Show your personality
Now that the necessary administrative tasks are done, let’s make your profile truly shine. The decision to work with an online tutor is not as easy as buying a book or even an online course. Working with a teacher online can still be new and awkward, and your potential student needs to feel a level of trust and confidence in your skills.
Your students need to feel at ease with the thought of spending an hour talking online with a complete stranger. In many ways, in order to help an interested student take the plunge, you have to create a sense of personal comfort and trust.
By communicating clearly who you are, what you are teaching, and why you are passionate about the subject is a great way to start building trust. Many students are choosing more than subject competence, but tutor personality. Make it easy for them.
Pro Tip: Create a video introduction of yourself to add to your profile. Being able to see you speak about yourself and project your personality will make it easier for your potential students to take the plunge and book a lesson. Profiles with a video introduction get a lot more attention and get bookings far more often (our profile data metrics show that it can boost the likelihood of booking a demo lesson by 40%). Here is my video introduction, for example.
https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FeDN9oIONp9I%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DeDN9oIONp9I&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FeDN9oIONp9I%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtubeHere is a great example of a tutor video that is simple, approachable, and charming.
Create compelling subjects
Now that your profile established a little trust and rapport with your next student, it’s time to get down to business. What can your future student actually get by working with you?
Try to see the subjects you are offering from the point of view of the student — what can you help the student achieve by working with them? Whether you are teaching children, providing help to students, teaching career skills, or just helping your students find new passions through hobbies, creating a clear image of the results and benefits of tutoring will help you win more student interest. Try creating your course offerings by being making the benefit clear and vivid.
Some examples of benefit-driven subject names could be:
- Beginner Yoga: Increase flexibility and balance
- AP Calculus: improve understanding and test-taking skills
- Music for Children: fun, happy foundational music skills
- Accounting: Intensive CPA Exam Prep
Being precise and specific in your subject description serves another function. Being too general, like simply listing “English” as your subject offering, doesn’t feel as personal or relevant to the student. Even if you feel that you can offer a great experience in a wide variety of courses, trying to create something that is immediately applicable, like “English for IELTS” or “English for creative writing” actually makes it easier for a student to try a class with you.
Being specific and benefit-driven doesn’t need to limit your options, however. You can, and should, create multiple subjects offering several different experiences and options. Creating a more general subject along with several specific ones will help you appeal to a broad student group, while also capturing those interested in exactly the kind of learning you are most passionate about.
While you’re creating several subjects, do try to hone in on what you want to teach (rather than trying to capture everything you could, theoretically, teach). In the same way that you wouldn’t your taxes are done by a part-time accountant who also dabbles in plumbing AND occasional graphic design, a student might be skeptical of working with a tutor who is “all over the place”. When creating multiple courses, its’ best to keep the selection targeted at closely related skills. You can always change your specialization later, but you might miss out on some great students because you just didn’t seem “concentrated” enough.
Be genuine(ly) confident
While it’s true that you are trying to sell a service, there is no need to sound like a car salesman. A lot of tutors are uncomfortable with the idea of “doing sales”, so they tend to either be too timid about their offerings, or go in the opposite directions, and try to sound like their imaginary image of a sleazy sales guy. Neither of these attitudes yields good results.
Instead, try to show confidence in your experience and skills. Explain in your profile and subject descriptions why your experience makes you a reliable tutor, and what kind of insight into learning your chosen skill you can provide to a newbie (or an advanced practitioner, if that’s your ideal student). By showing your knowledge confidently, you will inspire trust, which is a key consideration in deciding to work with an online tutor.
Use the personalized URL (and other Tutor.id tools)
Now that your profile is complete and working, shows off who you are, and makes it easy for a student to book a relevant subject with you, you’re done, right?
Unfortunately, no, it’s not that simple. In order to find students consistently, you have to take responsibility for your business, just like any other entrepreneur. Successful tutors participate in online discussions, offer value, and help students find them, online and in-person. There are a few features that we have built into Tutor.id with this attitude in mind.
Your personalized URL is one such tool.
When you look at your tutor profile, simply clicking on this personalized URL copies it to your clipboard. Adding it to a Facebook post or Tweet will create an attractive virtual business card.
Once you have filled out your profile, designed your subjects, and are ready to start tutoring, don’t forget to submit your profile for approval by Tutor.id. Once you receive confirmation, share your profile on your own social media, helping potential students discover what you have to offer.
Of course, if you want even more support from us in finding new students, we’d love to provide it. A few ways to do so can be through our own, official Tutor.id social media and publication channels, like this Medium publication, onlinetutoring and our learning-oriented publication, The Learning Stack. If you would like to write about your experience as a tutor, provide tips and tricks on how to get started and grow your business, or provide learning advice to potential students, just write us. You can also share photos, videos, and personal stories about your tutorpreneur journey, motivation, and your insights into becoming a successful tutor or learner. Let’s make something cool together!