5 Top Tips For Successfully Making A Profitable Online Tutoring Business

9 minute read

Written by Liam Donoghue, Marketing Executive

Listen to, or download, the audio version of this blog using the Soundcloud link.

From Passion to Profession · 5 tips for running a successful online tutoring business

Ready to take your tutoring business online?

It’s exciting, right? The thought of taking your business online. You can earn passive income, scale your business, and decide your own schedule (No more early mornings or late nights).

Getting your tutoring business online isn’t super difficult but neither is it easy (Unless you’re seasoned pros like us). If you’ve never considered having an online arm of your tutoring business, the thought of dealing with computers, hosting platforms, and social media can be scary.

It doesn’t need to be though, armed with the right knowledge and the drive to take your business online you can start producing online tutoring courses relatively quickly (We can help you do it in 30 days).

If you’re researching moving your business or if you’ve already started: we’ve compiled our top 5 tips for budding tutors taking their teaching online. This article will help you skip right past the usual mistakes and traps and get your online tutoring business up-and-running in no time.

Tip 1. Don’t Go Too Broad

When starting an online business, so many people enter the wrong market. They go too broad and try to make their product appeal to everyone. Tutors want to reach as many people as possible, and the best way to do that is to cast your net as wide as possible. You can use the internet to target millions of potential students and grow your business.  

Not quite.

If you try to appeal to everyone...

You’ll end up attracting no one!

The internet is a big place. It’s full of teachers, tutors, and instructors all competing for a potential student’s attention. Creating a broad tutoring program that doesn’t focus us on a specific niche that you’re an expert in means you’ll be vying with 100’s of other teachers for a handful of students.

This fierce competition can create a ‘race to the bottom’ mentality where you’ll be bitterly fighting with other tutors for students and seeing very little reward for your efforts.  

Doesn’t sound fun, does it? The best way to avoid this rivalry is by niching down your course.

When you create your online tutoring course you need to find a niche within your market that has little competition. If you do that you’ll be the only person in the world who can solve your students’ problems.

Choosing a specific target audience reduces your direct competition and will make your marketing much more effective.

Bonus Tip

The most powerful niche you can teach is the niche that you are in yourself. Who’s better suited to help your students than the tutor who used to be in the same position as them. Ask yourself what attracted you to teaching your course in the first place? What transformation did you go through? What specifically were you trying to achieve, and are there others that are looking to achieve the same thing? Start there, and work outwards.


Tip 2. Build A Movement

It's better to have 100 true fans than 1000 followers

If you build it they will come!

Well, maybe...

It's not enough to make a great online course and hope people will buy it. Lots of tutors fall into this trap. They build an amazing program and product, but they fail to build a passionate community to support it. If people don’t believe in the solution you’re providing they won’t buy from you.

It's better to have 100 fans than 100,000 followers. Creating a movement of real fans, who love your brand, share your posts, and buy every product you release, is far more powerful than a large social media following of passive subscribers who won’t buy.

As business guru, Pat Flynn, wrote in his book Superfans…

“When you focus on creating superfans, as a byproduct you'll get more traffic, more followers, more views and more subscribers. You'll build a stronger, more targeted tribe who will go out of their way to support you and what you do. They'll be more engaged, more excited, and more likely to take action. And they'll be more likely to buy from you too!"

Building a community instead of followers relies on you making a brand identity for your course.

A brand identity is a common bond between customers that brings them closer to your brand. They adopt an identity, rather than just your product. Finimizers, Beliebers, Amazonians & PassionFighters are all examples of brand identities.  

You want people to buy into your brand identity. It breeds loyalty and turns people who buy your product into ambassadors for it.

You can kickstart your brand identity by creating a motto that resonates with your customer. Push the motto through your marketing channels and watch as your users become part of your brand.

Tip 3. Create A Mouth-Watering Offer For Your Customers

No matter what you’re selling: whether it's a tutoring program or gym equipment, you need to make sure what you’re offering is exciting and provides value.

It’s difficult to sell a product to someone when they don’t believe they’re getting good value for money. On the other hand, if someone believes they’re getting a bargain they’ll be dying to sign up.  

So, how do you make an offer your customer can’t refuse? You give them a mouth-watering offer.  

When someone hears your offer they’ll do one of two things. They’ll either give you their money, or they’ll give up on the opportunity to buy your offer. Your job is to make it more painful for someone to walk away from your offer than to buy it.

You do that by creating a value stack. This is where you add bonus material to your core offer to make the value of your product greater than your asking price. When people can see they’re getting a great deal it's difficult for them to walk away from it.

Think of every objection or hesitation that your dream client could have, and write them out, then address each one as a bonus or a feature.

Then, when you reveal the final price, which is significantly less than the total value of your stack, your clients will be desperate to buy what you are offering.

Tip 4. Build Your Course After Selling It

online tutoring business
Research then build, not the other way around


This tip’s a head-scratcher!

Surely you have to build your course before you sell it. How can you sell something you haven’t released? You can’t ask people to purchase something before its finished can you?

Well, look at it this way.

You could spend years developing a product. You could pour hours into perfecting your idea of the perfect fitness program. Only to find out...

No one wants it. There’s no interest in your product. You’ve wasted years building something that has no market demand. I’ve seen tutors and instructors do this time and time again.

Your product needs to solve the burning problem that your potential students have. If you don’t intimately know what that problem is how can you sell the solution?

You avoid wasting years developing a product no one wants by selling your course before you create it. But how?

Sell your course to a small focus group of users before building it. Use these people to conduct market research. Find out what they want from your program and build it to their specifications. Feedback from these users will help you build a course that your students will want to buy.

Work closely with these early users, and they will be incredibly grateful and thankful for you and will be your best clients. Take their feedback and create something bigger and better to sell to everyone else. 

Tip 5. Not Charging Your Worth

Make sure you're charging what you're worth.

Increasing the hourly rate for your services can be difficult. People feel guilty when they up their prices. This leads to tutors undervaluing their own time and charging less than they’re worth.

If you don’t believe your own time is worth money then it can be challenging to get others to pay for it.

You can break this cycle of negative thought by knowing your true value.

Whatever you’re charging your clients at the moment: you could add $100 to that. Know that your time is finite and precious. Look at the skills and knowledge you possess and ask yourself if you're giving yourself good value for money.

If you understand the burning desire that your ideal client has, and you know how to help them get there, think how much they would be willing to pay to achieve that dream.

If someone had been overweight or injured for years, have tried everything they can to overcome it but failed time after time, how much do you think they would pay for you to finally help them overcome it?

Ask yourself this: how much would you be willing to pay to achieve a lifelong dream?