My friend made $2,100 from tutoring and I know that you can next semester if you apply the advice offered in here.
Personal finance/entrepreneurship blogs often advise college students that they can make money by tutoring. It’s a great idea and all, but how exactly do you do it?
How do you exactly make money from tutoring? It’s easy to tell someone to tutor. It’s solid advice in theory. It’s also lazy advice. I’ve been guilty of giving lazy advice myself. That’s not what Studenomics is about.
If you’re anything like me, then you like having things explained to you.
- How do you make money from tutoring?
- How do you set your prices?
- What do you tutor?
- Where do you find clients?
I can’t answer these questions for you guys but I really wanted to help out with making more money. This is why I reached out to a good friend of mine, that I know who makes money from tutoring. On a ride home after a mini road trip he was kind enough to let me pick his brain. The result is my first of many case studies on ways to make money and entrepreneurship.
I will show you guys exactly how my friend Bohdan made $2,100 from tutoring over the last 2 semesters with a advertising budget of zero dollars.
Where do you find clients?
Word of mouth.
He hasn’t spent a single penny on advertising. He hasn’t put up any flyers. He also hasn’t created any fancy business cards nor has he created a website to promote his services (not that there’s anything from with any of these things). Word gets around fast when half the class appears to be failing the course at the mid term point and help is needed.
Being visible around campus.
He has held many jobs within the Accounting Department. From Teaching Assistant to Exam Invigilator to dating coach (okay maybe not the last one). Students within the department know who he is and most important of all- they know they can trust him.
As a matter of fact, before he even thought of tutoring, students came up to him to ask if he could tutor them. After a few free sessions it became evident that there’s a demand for this service. The demand for tutoring also comes with a willingness to pay for the service. Potential clients clearly know that they have have a problem and they’re willing to pay to have it resolved.
Offer group sessions/rates.
You want students that appreciate the value of your services. However, you also need to understand that some students are on a tight budget. This is why you should offer group rates. If a student wants to get a lower rate then simply suggest that they bring together a group of their peers and offer them a decent (lowered overall per person) price.
(Note: This is a little trick because every new student that is brought to a group session becomes another potential long-term client.)
What do you tutor?
My buddy tutors three different accounting classes: Intro, intermediate, and advanced accounting.
Accounting isn’t exactly the most exciting topic to tutor or learn. But if you master your challenging accounting (or whatever the difficult courses are in your program) then your new found knowledge can make you some solid income from freelance tutoring.
Because odds are in your favor that other students will be challenged by the same courses. Every program has extremely challenging courses. If you excel in them, you may have a gold mine under your belt.
How do you set your prices?
He checked out what other tutors were charging for accounting courses in his school and other schools in the area. You naturally don’t want to charge more than the very experienced tutors. On the other hand you don’t want to de-value your own skills and services. You’re worth more than you think.
Therefore, you should charge less than the most experienced tutors around campus because you need to build up your clientele. But you shouldn’t offer too much of a price difference because you’ll only de-value yourself.
For example: In this scenario, one of the older tutors that’s been around for a long time charges $40/hr. My friend set his price at $30/hr.
If you’re the only person tutoring a particular subject then you’re in a unique situation. You should aim to set your price at what clients are willing to pay. If you find only a few people complain about your price, then it’s all good. If you find that you’re turning away more clients than you’re accepting, maybe you should revise your costs.
Any other tips for readers looking to make money through tutoring?
1. Don’t call it tutoring. Use terms like mentor, coach, help or assist. College students don’t like the word, “tutor” for some reason. It makes students feel more comfortable when they’re not being “tutored.”
2. You don’t have to be the best at what you coach but you need to know your shit. Clients won’t necessarily care what your credentials are. As long as you’re able to help them learn the information in a straight-forward manner, they will return.
3. Always have your students come and leave with something. Tell your students to bring challenging questions ahead of time. This shows that you value their time and that you’re not trying to rip them off. As the students leave the session, make sure they leave with something. Whether you give them a handout, summary of the day, or a few more questions to solve, they need to leave with something.
4. You better be patient. You don’t have to be the worlds greatest people person (I’m far from it) but you need to be patient. Not being able to solve a problem can be embarrassing and frustrating. If you snap/lose your patience easily then maybe you should become an MMA fighter or something else.
You can graduate from college debt-free if you put the work in. There’s no reason as to why you can’t share your knowledge. Don’t forget to claim this new found income on your taxes.
Now I turn it over to the readers: Do you see yourself making money from tutoring after reading this?