When teachers become online tutors, we tend to run our business like we ran our classroom. However, teaching online and owning our own business requires a different mindset and some different skills that we have never had before. Here is a quick list of the top 5 mistakes that teachers make when they become on online tutor.
1. They think, “If I build it, then they will come.” Usually what people think is that if I build a website, then I will have thousands, maybe millions of people find me. That just isn’t true. You need to find people and direct them to your link. As of July 10th of 2014 there are at least 3.32 billion pages on the internet. Without the right marketing and driving people to your site your little pebble is most likely not going to get noticed.
2. They think, “I have to learn everything at once.” This concept can be extremely overwhelming. There is a lot to learn, but you certainly do not need to learn it all it once. You didn’t learn how to teach well overnight, and you certainly won’t learn how to run your own online tutoring business overnight either. Just continue to learn one new skill at a time and over time you will continue to accumulate more and more skills.
3. They say, “I can tutor everything.” The problem is, when you tell people that you can tutor in everything, you are setting yourself up as an expert in nothing. Choose the area that interests you the most and market to that area. For example, I teach reading. Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t ever help kids with math, I do. But, I am clear on my focus and I use it for marketing purposes. Think about a general doctor that does checkups. If you had a heart problem you would probably go to the hospital and be assigned a heart specialist. This person would be more reliable than a general doctor and have more success with solving your specific problem. It is the same with tutoring. The more you work in a certain area, the more you are able to close the gap for kids and help them reach their educational goals. The super bonus to this is that you also get to charge more for the sessions as well and get paid more than you ever did as a classroom teacher.
4. They think, “I have to tell everyone I know about what I do.” This is a true to a point, but you want to be careful not to spam people. Everyone hates to be spammed and if all you ever do is talk about your specific new job, people will stop wanting to communicate with you. Definitely talk about what you do with other people, but only as much as you would have talked about your regular job. You want people to know what you are doing so they can spread the word for you, but be humble and of service to others. Continue to be a good friend to your friends and they will want to refer you to people who can use your services.
5. They think, “I can’t start tutoring until I have all of my materials in place.” Your students are going to be the ones that determine what materials you are going to need. So as long as you have a simple plan to work with students online, you don’t need to have all of your materials in place in order to begin teaching. Figure out a way to assess students and then come up with the resources you will need as you need them. This allows you to begin making money right away and not waste any time.
Tutoring online has been a dream come true for me. I am personally able to be there for my family when they need me and do what I love. It is the balance that I was always seeking. About a week ago, I did a live hangout where I went into each of these mistakes in even greater detail. Check it out and let me know if there is anything that you think that tutors make a mistake about when they are first getting starting teaching online.
If you are interested in checking out the Book Yourself Solid program, you can click on this link. http://bookyouronlinetutoringbusinesssolid.kajabi.com/sp/30322-book-your-online-tutoring-business-solid