Tutoring is a super popular way to earn money as a freelancer. And the good news is that you can tutor so many different things online, from languages to musical instruments. And while most online tutors live an awesome and rewarding lifestyle, they often find that they meet similar challenges, regardless of the industry. With that in mind, here are seven challenging things to watch out for when tutoring online.
Although the vast majority of clients that you connect with will be willing to pay for your time and efforts, a small minority will look for a way to exploit and take advantage of your tutoring. They will ask for free trial lessons and the opportunity to speak to you without paying for your time. Freeloading clients are a huge drain on your resources and need to be avoided, so be sure to set your boundaries right away and stick to your pricing.
When you work as a language tutor, you will have to come to terms with the challenges presented by the language barrier. Your clients will be at different stages of their language learning journey, so you need to be prepared for this and willing to accommodate different levels of ability. When you’re freelancing, the language barrier can cause significant issues, so make sure you’re understanding of this and do what you can to prevent it from being a problem.
General communication issues
All freelancers – regardless of their gigs – will experience general communication issues with clients from time to time, and tutors are no exception. When you start landing gigs with several clients, it’s a good idea to put together a contract that articulates your terms of service, so your clients know what to expect from you and don’t harbour unrealistic expectations that will ultimately lead to a breakdown in communication.
Unreasonable expectations and demands on your time
In your role as a tutor, some clients might expect you to be readily available to help them whenever they send you a message. Of course, this is unreasonable, but it happens from time to time. You need to get the balance right between helping your clients out and not allowing them to take advantage of your goodwill. As such, in your terms of engagement, be sure to make it clear what you offer in terms of service and other deliverables.
Online tutors are dependent on an internet connection to successfully serve their clients. So, it’s your responsibility to maintain good connectivity, particularly during your calls and tutoring sessions. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to check your broadband speed, which enables you to select a decent location from which to deliver your online classes. The last thing you want to happen is for the call to keep cutting out when you’re trying to deliver an online lesson, so be sure to head to a workspace that can guarantee your connectivity.
Comparison to other tutors
One thing that you might find when you start working with clients is that they unfairly compare your tutoring service to those of other freelancers. This may lead them to subjectively review your offering and hold you to account based upon their experiences with other tutors. And while there isn’t a great deal you can do about this; it’s important to be mindful of the fact that many clients take their expectations from previous experiences. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to be clear about your terms of service, so your clients know what to expect from you as a tutor and not someone else!
Lack of resources and equipment
It’s tempting to set up as a tutor with little more than a laptop and an internet connection. But investing in the right resources and equipment will enable you to do your job to the best of your ability. For instance, adding a microphone and other recording equipment will undoubtedly stand you in good stead, and you should also think about investing in equipment that is relevant to your niche, as this will help you improve the quality of your tutorials.
While most tutors generally have positive experiences of teaching online, you need to be aware of the seven challenges that we’ve introduced above. And if you’re all set and confident about getting started, launch your tutoring profile on RadialHub today, so you can easily find clients to work with and begin your career as a freelance online tutor.