I started online maths and Science tutoring back in 2012 in a moment of desperation, it was to reach a London student who had upcoming exams, a student that lived 5 mins walk away from where I lived in London. It isn’t that I couldn’t walk 5 mins, the problem was that I was tutoring a few hundred miles away in Yorkshire for several days. In that year I spent 72 days out of 365 tutoring away from London in Yorkshire, Hampshire etc., and I was struggling to actually keep up with my London students. Something had to change.
Since then over the last 4 years I have started tutoring more and more online. In the 2014-2015 school year 10% of my income was from Skype/Online tuition. This school year 2015-2016 I gained a ton more confidence in my tutoring business and my selling skills, I also started following advice from the very few online tutors I could find from The Tutor Pages Linkedin page forums. My increased confidence led to a very very important shift in mindset on the value of online tuition V face to face tuition. And this is:
Online tuition is as good (and in many ways better) than face to face tuition. Both for the student and for the tutor.
So instead of offering it as the ‘cheaper and less effective alternative’ I offer it as the main option and at exactly the same rate as face to face tuition. In the current 2015-2016 school year the income I gain from tutoring online is now 40% of my total tutoring income (online + face to face), and this proportion is still rising. My overall income is also rising. I have now hit a very important tipping point, and the benefits of online tuition have been phenomenal. For one, my income has increased as I am able to reach students practically anywhere in the country, and I can fill in the precious daytime hour slots that used to go empty. I save a lot of time that was spent previously travelling on trains to get to Yorkshire/Hampshire or internal commuting in London. The time that I save can instead now be used to tutor online. So now I save time, and with that time I can actually make more money…and I’m less tired from travelling, it is win-win! As a tutor these are the benefits I have found from tutoring online instead of face to face:
- No need to commute
- Time saved from commuting can be invested into tutoring
- Online customers pay online ; payment is quick and efficient
- The world is my market, not just a 5 mile radius from my postcode, I can reach a huge number of potential customers now
- I can tutor from anywhere; cafes, my home, my mum’s home when I visit her..I’ve tutored from these different locations. With my 3G/4G (superfast mobile internet) I can tutor from any spot, even outdoors!
I tutor online using Skype, and I don’t use any special software. Sometimes I will use FaceTime if the student has a mac or an iPhone. Tutoring online has truly set me free from geographical restrictions, and my eventual aim is to move most of my tutoring online. I have spoken with other online tutors (it is easier to network online with online savvy tutors) and learnt many things, including an online Biology tutor who tutors 100% online from a cottage in Devon. I still like meeting families and going to homes so I will always do some home to home tuition.
And I don’t just tutor online, I also play gigs to people online who could have never seen me perform before due to being in other continents. I have been fortunate enough to already understand how video and audio work as I have been using this for years being in a band. The rise of faster internet speeds, better computers, more accessibility and adaptation of video calling (FaceTime etc.,) means online tuition is the future and there is no better time to do it than now.