How To Start a Profitable Tutoring Side Hustle

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Updated  Tom Hamilton Stubber

Are you looking to be your own boss? Hoping to make a little extra money on the side? Then this blog is for you! Whether you’re only starting out or have been tutoring on the side for years, we will teach you some awesome tips for taking on tutoring as a part-time side hustle and who knows? You may even be able to turn it into a full-time career.

Business Planning
Business Planning

Tutoring is a great side hustle because you get to help people with topics they’re interested in whilst having the freedom to set your own schedule. You can work sitting at home or anywhere that has an internet connection. It’s a very flexible way to earn extra money.

So how does one go about turning a side hustle into a successful business you may ask? Well, it all begins with how you market yourself.

Find your niche

Do your research! This is the most important step in getting your tutoring side hustle off the ground. You want to focus on something that you will be able to teach well, for example, what qualifications do you have? What did you excel in at school? 

These are the areas you should be aiming to teach. Niches don’t have to be academic either, maybe you’re an excellent musician or an accomplished sports star, teach what you know and what you do best.

But be careful, you need to ensure that your niche is in demand. If your target market is already saturated with Spanish tutors then how are you going to make your tutoring service stand out? 

You also don’t want your niche to be so unique that nobody is in need of your services. Be smart about what you’re doing and specific with your target audience. This will make advertising your tutoring services so much easier. 

There are currently huge numbers of immigrants in various countries, looking for assistance with their English language skills. If you are a native English speaker then this is an extremely easy niche to focus on and you don’t have to be formally trained as an English teacher to pass on your existing knowledge as a tutor. 

Tutoring in this area is likely to be highly sought-after for years to come providing you with a very strong foundation from which to begin your tutoring side hustle. This is the kind of information you should be considering when deciding your niche.

Decide your business structure

There are several types of tutoring that you could choose to get started with. What you choose will be dependent on your goals. For instance, you may want to have a flexible schedule or earn a certain amount of money. You may want to work privately or set up a network of tutors to cover a broader range of topics.

For small businesses, setting up an LLC may be your best option as these are the most adaptable. Registering an LLC entity will give your tutoring business credibility and provide greater peace of mind for your customers that they are receiving a legitimate service. 

Setting up your business
Setting up your business

If you are tutoring as a side hustle then you need to focus on optimising the efficiency of your services. Your time is valuable and you want to be spending it wisely. In order to achieve this, you could set your policies in advance so that you can manage student expectations and use your time most productively. You will need to determine how many students you can take on at once and set a cancellation policy to ensure they become a source of reliable income. Other more basic rules, for example, how you prefer to be contacted and the structure of your lessons should be decided in advance to avoid confusion and provide a professional service.

Prepare your Resume / CV

Displaying your credentials and qualifications will make you more marketable to prospective clients. Make sure to include qualifications relating to language proficiency and working with your target student group but specifically promote your ability to teach your chosen subject matter to a high standard. 

Having a unique selling point for your tutoring will also make your services appear more desirable if you can offer something that other tutors in your niche cannot. Make sure all of your contact information is easily accessible and include this in all of your ads.

Transparent and honest communication with students about your capabilities and what you can do for them will put you ahead of your competition and help you increase your referrals and rates. There are also a number of professional associations for tutors. A certification from one of these, such as the American Tutoring Association or the National Tutoring Association, or the The Tutor's Association if you’re UK based, will make your services more trustworthy. 

Create an online presence

Once you’ve nailed all of the admin, it’s time to advertise your offerings. Whilst it is possible to promote your tutoring side hustle via existing websites, such as Craigslist, it is far more beneficial for you to create your own. 

Start by creating a dedicated website – there are a huge number of existing templates out there to help you with this. From your new website you can post content that is specific and relevant to your tutoring service as well as create appropriate ads to promote yourself. Social media is also a great tool for reaching your target audience and driving traffic to your tutoring website.

You can also create relevant blog posts for your website to share across your social platforms. For example, if you are an SAT subject tutor you might want to write about SAT test prep advice for those studying to take the test. 

If they find your content useful, they will be more likely to share it with other individuals in your target market and potentially become clients. Electronic word of mouth is a fantastic way to increase referrals and positive reviews.

Stay organised

Running any business can be a stressful experience but in order to get started and make your life a little easier, it is important to have good time management and organisational skills. Track your hours and student progress to make sure that you are not overworking yourself. 

Organising your business
Organising your business

If working from home, it is a good idea to have a designated workspace to carry out your tutoring sessions. This will keep you focused and reduce distractions for both you and your service users. Depending on the type of business structure you have decided on, as discussed above, and how much you are earning, you may need to perform a tax return at the end of the year. 

Make sure that you hold onto any receipts, invoices and payment confirmations that you accumulate over the year as this will mitigate issues and stress in declaring your earnings.

Refine your process and get the tools you need

Offering online tutoring is a great way to increase demand for your services. For a wide number of reasons including time and geographical barriers, many people seek online tutoring

In order to meet the demand of this customer base, it is imperative that you have strong digital skills. But do not fear, there are a huge range of online tools to assist you in offering effective online tutoring business possible. 

For student meetings and tutoring lessons, we recommend that you use a computer or device capable of face-to-face video chat. It is also important to have a microphone and speakers to ensure quick and easy communication. The best way to ensure that your online tutoring setup is effective is to trial a tutoring session with a friend or family member. This will highlight any areas you need work on or online tools you may need to utilise to offer the best service possible. 

Remember, you don’t have to be the best tutor in the world but if you are comfortable and confident with what you are doing then it is likely that your clients will feel more relaxed and enjoy using your services. People tend to learn more quickly and easily when they like their learning environment and the areas they are being tutored in.

Be Adaptable

There is no one way in which individuals learn. Therefore, it is important as a tutor to familiarise yourself with the needs of your clients. This will allow for you to better tailor your lesson plans and materials to fit each one. 

For visual learners, you may want to incorporate practical demonstrations (using whiteboards) into your lessons or for reading/writing learners, you may want to ask them to read information in advance of your session so that you achieve maximum productivity during your session. 

Adaptability is key to gathering a wide customer base and if you are able to execute this successfully, there is greater chance of retaining customers as this creates value for them.

Be Open to Feedback

Whilst you may be highly experienced or qualified in your chosen subject area, this does not necessarily make you a good tutor. The most effective tutor is one that is empathetic to their clients’ needs and strives to help in any way that they can.

We hear you.
We hear you.

By providing individualised feedback to your clients on how their learning progress you are able to build their confidence and encourage them to do their best work. This works in return too! In order to provide the best tutoring service possible, ask your clients for feedback on what they’re learning and how they’re learning. 

Tutoring is a way to supplement learning outside of schools and workplaces so it is important that clients feel they are receiving this additional value that they do not receive in their other learning environments. Identifying best practices will also be beneficial for you as a tutor as you can advertise your merit and promote what makes your services so unique and effective.  

Be Professional

Whilst you are working online, it is important to remain professional at all times. There are many benefits to providing online tutoring services including convenience and cost but there is more to it than that. If you do not provide a reliable service then clients will quickly lose confidence in your ability as a tutor very quickly. 

It is imperative that you communicate effectively and are always accessible during work hours. There should be no complaints from your clients, but if there are, it is important that you address these concerns as early as possible.

Be Confident

An important part of a successful online tutoring business is being confident in your own capabilities. Your clients will only learn from you if you know what you’re talking about. It is always best to aim for over delivering than under delivering as it generates greater customer satisfaction and loyalty which will result in client lifetime value. 

Be Confident
Be Confident

Make sure you appropriately communicate and engage with your clients during tutoring sessions. When conducting sessions online, non-verbal cues such as direct eye-contact may not have the same impact as it would face-to-face. Therefore, try using voice chat or screen sharing where possible to demonstrate that you are with your student every step of the way. You will learn their learning styles and preferences the longer they are your client.

Now that your ten-step plan is in place to make your tutoring side hustle the best it can be, here is some more information you may want to know.

How much money do you make as a tutor?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. However, this is not necessarily all bad as it means you can be flexible with what you charge. How much you earn will be dependent on how much help your clients require and how many hours you work. 

It is not uncommon for tutors who are highly qualified or work in specialist disciplines to charge higher premiums for their services. If you are teaching subject matter required by a high volume of individuals, for example, high school level Mathematics, it is likely that you will experience increased demand for this tutoring service. 

You can typically expect anything between $10 and $100 per hour depending on your service quality and reputation. In summary, what students are willing to pay is relative to your tutoring skills and background.

Wrap Up & Conclusion

There are clearly no set criteria for being the best tutor on the market, requirements and demands are different for every subject and learning style. 

However, by following the guidance laid out above and being dedicated to providing a strong service, you could be earning money from your tutoring side hustle in no time. Set a solid foundation and watch your success grow. Tutoring isn’t easy but it is extremely rewarding and above all else, a great side hustle.

Know of anyone else interested in tutoring for some extra cash? Share this guide with them to help get their tutoring side hustle off the ground!


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