5 Simple Steps How To Start A Tutoring Business

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I made $20,000 being a top tutor on Wyzant, so can you.

How to start a tutoring business is simple. Tutoring is a fantastic side hustle. It can be lucrative and costs almost nothing to start. When I was a struggling startup founder, I tutored to keep myself afloat and became a top 5-star tutor on Wyzant. Here’s how I tutor for fun and profit, and you can do it too!  

How to start a tutoring business for fun and profit:

1. Decide what you want to teach.

To decide what subject you’ll teach, ask yourself these 3 simple questions:

  • Do I love this subject?
  • Am I good at this subject?
  • Would I make money teaching this?

If the answer is “YES!” to all three, you’re setting yourself up to be a top-ranked, highly paid tutor. I made decent money tutoring high school math and writing, I’m good at both, but I found high school math too boring. So I end up teaching writing, which I love because it provides a lot of variety. I find myself a lot more energized after each session. Remember, our goal is fun AND profit!

2. See how good you are. Ask friends and acquaintances to tutor their kids.

Do this step to validate if you’re good at tutoring and you love to teach the subject. Call up or text your acquaintances: “Hey, I’m starting a tutoring business. Can I tutor your kid for free for an hour to get some experience?” Most people will agree. After these sessions, if both you and your students are smiling, you can move to step 3.

It’s important not to cut corners on this step. If you don’t love teaching a subject, change subject immediately. If you’re not that good at tutoring, you can improve. For instance, you can watch Khan Academy and emulate how they teach. Stay on step 2 until you’re confident you can provide a 5-star tutoring experience. 

3. Do competitor research to see what other tutors write on their profile and how much they charge 

Use the Wyzant Tutor Search Tool. After you click on a link, you’ll see a short survey about what kind of student you are. Answer these questions as if you’re your ideal student. After this quick survey, it’ll show you the tutors who fit your criteria (your competitors.) Once you’re in, follow this process:

  • Sort by highest price to lowest price. This is what you could make. Analyze their profiles and see what they have in common. Hint: They’re all 5-star tutors! All that free tutoring you provided in step 2 to master tutoring is going to pay off handsomely.
  • Filter by price range around what you’d want to make tutoring. The tutors showing up are your “direct competitors.”  If you’re more qualified than they are, increase your rate; else decrease if you’re less qualified. Keep playing with the slider until your direct competitors are about the same, or slightly less qualified than you are. This is what you’re going to charge initially. 

4. Write your profile.

Get inspiration from the highest-paid tutors. Make sure your profile is friendly and focus on what you can do for the student. Put up the best picture you have. This is how mine looks:

If you need help with writing, get Grammarly. The free version corrects your grammar. I have the Pro version, which also fixes writing style. No one wants a tutor who has poor grammar. Here are my recommended Grammarly Pro settings to write your profile: 

How to start a tutoring business: Grammarly setting for persuasive writing https://getricknow.com/ref/grammarly

5. Reach out to get clients and start tutoring

Let’s talk about how you can get initial clients without ratings. You can passively wait for someone to reach out to you. This is boring; you’re learning how to start a tutoring business for fun and profit after all! Wyzant has a list of students looking for tutors. Hit them up. Here’s an example:  

Hi Sam,
My name is Rick. I’d make a great writing tutor for your kid because:
-I have 10+ years of experience tutoring writing and high-score SAT test prep. I can help your son dramatically improve his test scores.
-I went to UC Berkeley, so I can share my experience with your son, and help with his application to get into elite schools.
Since I’m new to Wyzant, I don’t have any reviews yet. To make it risk-free for you, I’d like to make this offer: Your kid would love it or the first 3 hours are free. I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes,
-Rick

Example of a tutoring client reach-out

I had around 60-70% success rate with this message. The offer is called a Lose-Win Guarantee; I learned this from Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week. Grab the book, it’s a perfect guide for people like you who are starting your business. To get even more clients, check out this guide on how you can optimize your profile and make it much more persuasive.

Now that you know how to start your tutoring business, go have fun and teach!
Bonus: Here are 3 top tips to be a Five-star Wyzant tutor:

  • Make it fun: explain things in an entertaining way. Come up with creative ideas to engage your students. For example, I had a gamer student writing a persuasive essay on why all kids should play strategy games at least 2 hours a day. He loves it, I was entertained. He got an A+.
  • Always keep it super simple: Simplicity is genius. When you can simplify your explanations, students learn better.
  • Socialize with the parents afterward and update them on their kids. You’re part of the family. I still get invites to birthdays and graduations. 
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