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Classrooms are full and teachers all over are doing more with less. This means that the demand for tutors has never been higher. Tutoring is big business, generating billions of dollars each year. 

Starting a tutoring business is a year-round opportunity for anyone with experience. Private tutoring doesn’t require special training or equipment. It’s flexible for full-time or part-time income. Tutoring services are also easy to grow. 

Whether you’re looking for a new career or a full-time teacher looking for something new, this article will show you how to sell online courses from your own website. Starting a tutoring business has never been so easy.

Most people think of kids when they hear you're starting a tutoring business, but private tutoring is for all ages

1. Choose a niche

Tutoring is big business, and if you’re just starting a tutoring business you’ll have more luck if you pick a specific niche. 

You may want to work on math with younger kids, high school test prep, adult subject-specific tutoring, or special needs education.

There are thousands of possibilities if you want to sell niche online courses from your own website including:

  • Subject-specific learning for all ages
  • Homework help
  • College prep
  • SAT or ACT prep and other test-taking
  • Career prep
  • Skill development in areas like resume building, baking, and more!

Tutoring Style

Your teaching style is another way to think about your niche. You may teach gardening for all ages, but every student learns differently. 

What is unique about the way you work with students? 

What steps do you take to help students overcome obstacles that keep them from success?

How will you challenge the ideas that may be a roadblock in student learning?

Most students will want to target something specific, like failing grades or an upcoming test. Finding a niche to sell your tutoring services to is key to getting more customers.

Tutorinng services can cover baking, gardening and more! Learn more with Selz ecommerce for business growth

Getting started

Starting a tutoring business is more than being a great tutor. You’ll need to keep detailed financial and student records. Write a business plan as early as you can, and outline all aspects of your business, as well as how you plan to grow it.

Read: The Complete Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Small Business Growth

If you’ve never run a business before. Think about the following as you build your business plan:

  • Collecting payments
  • Booking tutoring sessions
  • Number of students you have time to work with
  • Student on-boarding process
  • How you run each tutoring session
  • Extra homework
  • Student success goals
  • Handling problem students
  • Equipment your students will need 

Unless the student is paying for your tutoring services on their own, parents or guardians are also a part of this process. They will also want to know how their child is progressing while working with you. 

So, you’ll also need a plan for how you will communicate student progress. 

Before we get to the next step, let’s talk about the products you can sell along with your tutoring services. These could include:

  • Digital products like eBooks, instructional video tutorials, music, webinars, digital tools or software
  • Physical products like branded supplies or tools, clothes or bags

Don’t limit yourself to just one product. Selling tutoring services along with other products can help you tap into new markets for your private tutoring.

2. Create and Sell Tutoring Services Online

Lesson plans

Make sure to have a simple buying process for your customers. If you’re wondering what format to use if you’re starting a tutoring business online, creating a product listing for live sessions is a great way to immediately deliver your services. Creating digital downloads (like videos) is also a good option.

Make sure you have great product images and descriptions that entice people to buy your tutoring services. 

Ensure you test your checkout process so you know when someone hits the coveted “buy” button, they are getting their plan immediately.

A teacher works out her lesson plan on a whiteboard because she is starting a tutoring business

What your lesson plans include

Showing potential students what long-term private tutoring will look like for them. Don’t give away your course material or syllabus, but share enough that they understand what you will cover in your sessions. If you teach a dry subject, find ways to make your lessons feel interesting and relevant to your students.

Skilled tutors look at the individuals’ learning needs and set the pace to achieve their desired results. So, you need to find a way to personalize your lesson plans without taking too much time to edit for each student.

Read more:

10 Golden Rules for Being a Good Tutor
Resources and Materials for Tutors
6 Free Tutoring Resources and Tools You Should Consider

Clear your schedule

You may need to work around students’ schedules, and that might mean tutoring at night or on weekends. Make sure you give potential and students a clear idea of your schedule and availability outside of scheduled appointments.

How much should you charge for your tutoring services?

Most people looking to purchase tutoring services online want professional help, without the high cost of private tuition. Most tutors will charge students a fixed hourly fee. 

Most students and their families take the following into consideration when choosing an online tutor:

  • Subject matter, more advanced or niche topics go for higher hourly rates
  • Session length
  • Experience
  • Demand
  • Age of student
  • Average price of competition

While individuals and families might question a high hourly rate, you may miss opportunities if your rates are too low. Potential students may think a lower price means lower quality of service or a lack of expertise.

If you’re just starting a tutoring business and it may be useful to offer a discount or test session before committing to a set hourly rate.

You probably already have a webcam, so there isn't much equipment you'll need to start private tutoring

What tools do you need if you’re starting a tutoring business online?

Don’t worry if you can’t invest in advanced tools right away. As long as you have a good webcam with clear audio, you’re in good shape. Most tutors online use video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime.

Educational stores and websites offer workbooks and other materials that can help. You might also want to look at an online tool for  shared digital whiteboard work.

Why build a website for your tutoring services

Many private tutors sell their skills on marketplace sites. This can be a great strategy for starting a tutoring business if you don’t have any contacts yet. 

If you already have tutoring experience, creating your own website is the best option for growth. 

A standalone website gives you full control over your products and also helps you stand out as an authority in your niche.

When you add a profile on most tutoring marketplaces, they bring you some students, but any sales that you make are subject to fees, and some take as much as 40%! 

If you create an independent website when you’re starting a tutoring business, you have complete control of what the landing page looks like. You also have more options to engage directly with your audience with targeted email marketing. 

When students request your services on some tutoring marketplace sites, you don’t have access to their email addresses. This means you can’t really start a relationship with them through email marketing. Email is a powerful marketing channel to engage and retain students.

Example of selling services on a Selz website. Selz is the ecomerce solution to grow your business.

3. Create Your Tutoring Website

Now it’s time to build your website to sell tutoring services online. You will need your own website to showcase your educational plans and videos, to detail your academic lifestyle, and to sell your products and services!

All it takes for a teacher or expert to start an online business is to build up some tutoring services, create a website, and start collecting a profit!

Use an ecommerce platform to showcase your tutoring services and sell live sessions and videos online at the same time. 

Your website is a place where students and parents can learn even more about your services. You can use your online store to explain what your processes are, how they can book time with you, and more!

An ecommerce platform can also help you make sure that your premium content is secure and is only accessible to your paying customers.

Here are some things to you’ll want to add to your ecommerce website:

  • Photos
  • Your educational background
  • Qualifications or certificates for your subjects and niche
  • A tutor bio
  • Feedback and ratings from students

Make sure to have a simple buying process for your customers. If you’re wondering what format to use if you’re starting a tutoring business online, creating digital downloads (like videos) is a great way to immediately deliver your services.

Make sure you have great product images and descriptions that make people want to buy your tutoring services. 

Test your checkout process so you know when someone hits the buy button, they are scheduling their services immediately.

A group of happy students with a computer for this article about live streaming tutoring services.

You may already have a website for your tutoring. That’s great! Here are two more simple options for starting a tutoring business online with Selz:

1. Add buy buttons or product widgets

One of the simplest ways you can sell from your current website is to embed a button or widget. This button will link directly to your tutoring services within a page or blog post.

First, you’ll need to add your product in Selz. 

Go to Selz and create an account. You’ll be able to start adding products straight away by clicking on Add an Item.

Your items will automatically go into your online store, which you can access by clicking on Store and Preview in the left-hand menu. You’ll see all your products sitting on your very own custom URL.

To find your button and widget options, select Buttons and Widgets from the left-hand menu. From there you can customize the color and look of your buttons.

Placing the buttons or widgets is simple. You’ll just use the HTML editor to paste the code into your blog post or page.

2. Navigate to your online store via your website

You can also connect students to your Selz Store with a link on your current website or social media accounts. 

Selz has professional themes and a simple store editor to create a custom online store to direct your tutoring traffic to.

To set this up, follow these instructions to preview, demo, and install a theme for your online store:

  • Once you’ve picked a theme for your Selz store, you can start customizing the look of your site for your new private tutoring business!
  • Add content blocks to arrange your store, change the colors and fonts to match your brand, and add the details that will appeal to your students.
  • Once you are happy with your store design, head back to your Selz dashboard and navigate to Buttons and Widgets
  • Select Store Button. Here you can customize the look of your navigation button, then copy and paste it over into your Blogger online store when you are ready.
  • It’s easy to paste the HTML code anywhere you want a button.
  • And you’re done! A link to your store will appear on your home page and your buyers will be able to schedule a private tutoring session or rent a video with ease.
Selz buy buttons are an easy and effective way to sell online

The benefits of using Selz when you’re starting a tutoring business:

Here are a few of the advantages that make it easy to sell online courses from your own website:

  • Selz is quick and easy to use – you can be selling in minutes.
  • Product options in our platform make it easy to add a personalized meeting link for each tutoring session
  • You can get started for free and only pay a small fee per sale.
  • You get a professional-looking, secure checkout that keeps your customers on your site or blog while they purchase.
  • Your customers will have the option to buy using Visa, MasterCard, Amex or PayPal via the App.
  • Selz takes care of everything with security and payments. You get a reliable, secure store and without worrying about SSL certificates, etc.
  • You can choose from different themes to change the look of your store and you can further customize it yourself.
  • If you are hosting video classes, there are no bandwidth or storage limits to worry about.
  • You can link to business tools like Quickbooks Online or MailChimp with direct integrations
  • Payment processing is taken care of and your payment goes directly into PayPal or your bank account (if in AUS or US).
Yoga journal ad for an example of advertising tutoring services when you're starting a tutoring business online with Selz ecommerce

4. Market Your Tutoring Services

Now that you know what you plan to sell and where you’ll sell your tutoring services online, your next step is to create a marketing plan. 

Your marketing plan should be as unique as your tutoring style, and will include some or all of the marketing ideas below.

Make a list of potential students

Make sure you are clear who you are starting a tutoring business for. Now you’ll need to figure out who your students are. Do you know the people that are most likely to hire you? Do you know where they hand out online?

Keep in mind, students will feel uncomfortable if your private tutoring is too advanced for their needs.

Online advertising

The quickest path to starting a tutoring business is getting a lot of students, and the best way to get students quickly is advertising. 

Your tutoring ads should tell your story in an interesting way and should highlight your USP and subject matter experience. 

If you don’t have time to learn about online advertising, consider hiring someone to help.

Word of mouth marketing

It takes time to build your reputation by word of mouth, but it is important for your long term strategy when you’re starting a tutoring business. 

Offer something for free

Think about offering a test session or trial to give potential students an idea about your teaching style. 

You may also want to offer free online workshops or seminars to local schools and colleges. 

Think about sending the offer to influencers in your niche too. This helps you advertise your tutoring services to give potential students an idea of how you tutor.

Reviews from happy students

It’s important to show how you support and train your students and to share their success stories.

Testimonials help to emphasize your part in your students’ transformations. They’re a great way to turn an interested consumer into a paying student.

Use your personality

The first thing anyone hoping to buy your tutoring services online is going to want to see is your results. You also need to show them the journey it takes to get those results.

They will want to know your teaching style and how you engage with your students. Potential students will also want to see how other students who invested in your private tutoring are doing.

Tutoring services blog

Adding a blog to your online store is a great way to bring in new customers (and to help your current students). 

Blogging is an excellent way to show your ideal students you are an authority in the niche you tutor in. You might want to include motivational quotes or links to complementary services. 

Your blog should be relevant to your students and include articles on niche topics. To find these topics, get feedback from current students onn common questions and topics of interest. Then, do some keyword research.

Your blog should also have some posts that speak to your unique interests and abilities. If you are starting a tutoring business, it’s great to include snippets of your personal lifestyle.

The blog can also help you develop connections in online education. This will really help when you’re starting a tutoring business.  Continue to grow and increase the tutoring services you offer to keep your clients growing with you!

Other marketing ideas for starting a tutoring business

Here are some extra resources for your marketing plan:

  • Email Marketing
  • Abandoned Cart Emails
  • Newsletters
  • Social Media:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

Starting a tutoring business means you need to be super proactive with marketing. For example, if your niche is high school testing you should have a unique promotion for each important test date. If you teach online classes outside, align your marketing with each season!

You need marketing differentiation for your tutoring plans. Make sure you have different expected results, and targeted advertising strategies for each.

Once each plan is set up and ready to go, you can repeat your lessons each year after that with something slightly new or different. The goals for your tutoring services should be simple and easy to understand.

Starting is going to be the hardest part, but having a large database of workout plans will only keep customers coming back for more!

People looking for tutoring services could have had a bad experience in the past. Offer a solution that shows how you care about their learning and growth. 

If you’re starting a tutoring business, it’s important to offer great customer service to your clients. Make your contact information clear on your site and in your materials. 

It’s also a good idea to have clear hours for your private tutoring. This will make it easy for your clients to contact you personally with questions or concerns.

Go beyond your private tutoring and offer instructional guides to your students. People are more likely to purchase your tutoring services if they are getting something more than a Zoom link!

Image of a crew of happy customers using Zoom to sell services

Rent and sell tutoring services with video

Another aspect of your website could be videos. Students can follow written instructions, but videos where your customers can actually see what you are doing are sometimes easier. These videos can also be great for students who want a refresher, but don’t want to schedule private tutoring.

Use YouTube to showcase your tutoring services, showing how supportive you are, and how fast students will see positive results.

Keep developing your products for success and increased tutoring sales. If you’re starting a tutoring business online, you can increase your sales if you offer your tutoring services as videos for rent.

Use some of the marketing strategies listed above to build your private tutoring business, but don’t stop once your schedule starts to fill up. When you sell online courses from your own website, you can offer different tiers of tutoring services. 

This means your clients will have access to new and exciting online courses. This keeps them coming back for more.

The best part about this system is that once you get each level completed, it becomes passive income. Beginner clients will begin your program at the first level, which you have all set up and ready to go.

Of course, you’ll still be available for private tutoring, but the online course plan is set and generating new income for your tutoring business.

Continuing to grow also gives you credibility to attract new customers and grow your tutoring services even further.

Start your online tutoring business today

It’s completely free to have a poke around Selz, and all the features come free with your 14-day trial. You can create an account and see for yourself how quick and easy it is to start selling private tutoring from your Selz online store. So don’t hesitate, give it a go.

About the author

Jana Rumberger

Jana is a writer and Content Manager at Selz. She has expertise in ecommerce strategy, selling products online, and small business solutions. Jana combines diverse experience in education, design, and manufacturing to craft engaging content.

In addition to her writing, she is a visual artist and foodie in Portland, Oregon.