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Meeting Pat Flynn

Part 1 – I’m Meeting Pat Flynn!

Let Go Video Contest

In August of 2017, Pat was releasing the updated version of Let Go a book I had read about 3 years ago.  I was excited to see that he had expanded it to include the transformation of being a solo-preneur to the CEO of his company.  This intrigued me as I was thinking about this transition myself.

He sent an email and I happened to open it to see a video contest to share how letting go of fears has helped you in your business.  The winner gets to spend the day with Pat Flynn in San Diego.

I was super curious now.

My Submission to the Let Go Video Contest

Here’s what I shared in the comments of the post:  

For those of you that don’t want to take the 3:32 min to watch, basically–I’ve learned that letting go is the best thing you can do and is a pattern you will see over and over again on this path to success. Thanks for teaching me this back in 2014 Pat.

And for a real example of letting go recently, check out my latest email to other business owners like me: https://ckarchive.com/b/5qu…

No joke, it was a moment of panic that turned into an amazing summer of fun and friendship.

10 Lessons I’ve Implemented that Pat Flynn Taught Me

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

1 – SPI 085: How To Finally Take Action—Even If You’re Lost, Overwhelmed, or Don’t Know Where to Start with Dane Maxwell

This was the episode that prompted me to email Pat back in 2013!  I was working online, tutoring part-time, and also working as a virtual assistant.  To my surprise, I was totally touched by this episode which caused me to take a hard look at myself and admit I had too many safety nets.  It was time to cut myself free and take some risks.

I took action and quit doing virtual assistant work.  I felt vulnerable and scared.  I wasn’t sure what the next steps were.

Listen to the podcast episode 85 here.

2 – SPI 042: Killer Kindle Publishing Tips with Jonny Andrews

I decided to go back into the archives and find a way to monetize what I knew how to do, which was start a tutoring business.  This podcast episode really helped me wrap my head around how to write the book and publish it on Amazon.

I wrote the first version of The Novice Tutor:  Answers to Your Questions About Starting a Tutor Business and it was available on my website and Teachers Pay Teachers for a long time, then I took the next step and added it to Amazon.

Read my book:  The Novice Tutor:  Answers to Your Questions About Starting a Tutor Business

The second version was expanded as my knowledge increased and as other tutors shared their experiences of starting a business with me as well.  I LOVE the second version and look forward to adding more information again in 2019 as things are changing once again for me.

Listen to Podcast Episode 42

3 – SPI 098: Millionaires and Mastermind Groups 

Game changer right here.  Shortly after I heard this one, I reached out to a large Facebook group full of teachers selling resources online to see if anyone was interested in starting a mastermind.  A bunch of interest was shown and groups were formed based on availability.

My first mastermind consisted of:

  • April McNair of A Modern Teacher
  • Erin Wing of ErinWing.com
  • Jenny Douglas of Primary Prism

Our mastermind is more relaxed, but we check in each week with our goals for the week.  These ladies have taught me SO much!  April has helped me to stay focused on what I do best and stay true to myself.  Erin is the queen of all things Pinterest…she helped me see the light that it is indeed, worth my effort.  Jenny has taught me very cool tricks inside of Adobe InDesign which I used to make premium tutoring policies with fillable fields and logo upload spots that tutors can purchase.

I’m still part of this mastermind and we meet up once a year in the fall to have a work weekend together and yearly report on the status of our businesses.  Mega helpful!

I’ve also created other mastermind groups and actively participate in three others with varying focuses.

I won’t list all of the influential people in those groups as that could be another giant post in and of itself!  But you know who you are…I value you so much!  Thank you for pushing me to do my best.

Listen to Podcast Episode 98

4 – SPI 75: Six-Figure Earnings (Not on Amazon) and a Pricing Structure that Works

This episode helped me to look at how I was selling my book and start packaging it up with various items instead of having customers buy everything individually.  I also learned about Gumroad and starting using them exclusively.

Here’s my current bundle of items for tutors:  The Profitable Tutor Framework

Listen to Episode 75

5 – SPI 095: The DOs and DON’Ts of Online Video with Caleb Wojcik

Little did I know that I would fall in LOVE with video.  I have a long way to go in my skills, but I try not to let my amateur status hold me back from making videos and sharing them with the tutors here and also on Math for Middles (my online math tutoring site).

I still follow Caleb to this day and seek his advice on equipment when I am looking to make a small investment in video.  Between Caleb’s help, Wistia’s Learning Library/Forum, and the book How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck…I became hooked.  Video is so much fun!

Listen to Episode 95 Here.

6 – SPI 146: Product Validation and Pre-Selling—A Real Life Example with Jarrod Robinson

This episode got me super excited.  I followed the steps to validate an idea I had to create an invoicing app for tutors.  I recruited my brother-in-law to help me build an iOS app and a group of tutors to help formulate features and test it.  It was a TON of work!  But I am so proud of the final product:

Tutor Tracker

All went really well except for one thing.  I didn’t think about the fact that MOST tutors are running their lives on Android and not iPhone.  My brother-in-law isn’t interested in building it for Android and I still get emails from tutors asking me to launch it on android.  Sadly, the sales for Tutor Tracker are underwhelming.  Not enough to justify hiring a developer to make the app for Android.  I’ve priced it out a few times and there is no way I’d recoup the money.

Listen to Episode 146

7 – SPI 115: 9000 Unread Emails to Inbox Zero: My Executive Assistant Shares How We Did It (and How You Can Too!)

By following Pat’s advice to engage on a personal level with your audience, I had a very busy inbox.  It overwhelmed me so much.  This episode has completely changed my life.  It took some time to set up, but once I did and started using it—I was saving so much time!

Plus I found that I had a reliable system to go back and pull out conversations that needed my attention.  In fact, I still have the email and reply Pat sent to me back in 2013 in my email.  He has his very own folder called Pat’s W of W (words of wisdom).  I save those special messages there plus emails that were really helpful.

Listen to Podcast Episode 115 Here

8 – Will It Fly?

I cannot say enough good things about this book, but don’t let the price deceive you!  I was thinking at first it would be this overview of the validation process, but it was deep work.  You really have a super clear picture if your idea for a business will work.

I still refer to the work I did inside of this book.  If you have an idea you’d like to launch for a business, start with this book.  You’ll thank me later.

My online math tutoring business is here because of this book.  I used it to help me validate my idea and make sure that I was on the right track.  My idea was to make videos using a technique called multisensory math to help struggling math students get instruction at the level they needed.

Math is a giant field but my niche is largely open right now.  You can see the website here:  mathformiddles.com

9 – SPI 200: How Deleting a Third of Your Content Can Triple Your Traffic—How to Do a Content Audit with Todd Tresidder

At the time of listening to this podcast episode, I knew that I wanted to rebrand The Tutor House to the Tutor Coach.  I wanted to get really clear about what I do here.  I coach tutors!

Since being online since 2011, my archives were a mess.  I wasn’t sure what to do or where to start.  This episode helped me to figure out a clear path and also find a way to automate as much of the Tutor Coach as possible so that I could act on Math for Middles.

This was NOT easy.  In hindsight, I should have hired someone to handle the migration part because I am pretty certain I screwed it up.  My SEO did not go up, but took a ding.  I am just now starting to recover from this move to a new domain and getting the same traffic I had before.

I admit, that I lost steam on doing the rebranding and fixing all of the broken links and redirection of different items.  This is on my list to finish completely by the end of 2nd quarter of 2018.

Listen to episode 200 here.

10 – SPI 283: Six-Figures in an Obscure Niche with Cassidy Tuttle

I listened to this episode twice on my way to my annual mastermind meetup this past fall.  It truly inspired me.  Six-figures talking about…succulents?!  Yes, those cute little trendy desert plants that seem to be everywhere.

It caused me to wonder, could my own class about fractions be my own “succulents”?

I am passionate about fractions.  I completely nerd out on them because they are everywhere in math.  And when my students completely understand fractions, math seems much easier.  It’s magical and I LOVE fractions.

Listen to episode 283 here.

Part 2:  My Big Day with Pat is Here!

The wait has been worth it!  Got on a plane this last weekend to meet up with Pat in San Diego…only I didn’t stay there long!

Pat had a slight change of plans –

He wanted me to join him at Marketing Impact Academy Live with Chalene Johnson.

The event was great, but for obvious reasons hanging with Pat was just the best.

He’s the real deal and so genuine!  I’ll never forget how he gave me a big hug and put me at ease immediately.  We spent 6 hours together chatting life and business strategy.

A day never to forget!

Part 3 – 5 Tips from My Day with Pat Flynn

Pat had mountains of great info to share with me.  It was mega helpful to have him spend hours picking apart my business and sharing tips that I can start applying immediately.  By the end of the evening, I walked away with a five-step plan to get me even closer to my goal which is to fill up my fractions class every month on Math for Middles.

This video, however, helped me to reflect on 5 big ideas that I gleaned from Pat.  I wanted to share them with you because I knew that you may be struggling with these as well.

Comment below and share with me your thoughts!  How close have you been to giving up on your business?  Can I help you keep going?

An open letter to Pat Flynn-

Your generosity drives me to do better than before.  Thank you for giving me permission to be my nerdy self and embrace my strengths.  Somehow you’ve always been there each time I wanted to throw the towel in.

Your podcasts have been a powerful catalyst to keep going.

This day with you is my jet fuel as I shoot for the moon.  

Thanks for the boost,

Adrianne


The post Meeting Pat Flynn appeared first on The Tutor Coach.

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Meeting Pat Flynn

Part 1 – I’m Meeting Pat Flynn!

Let Go Video Contest

In August of 2017, Pat was releasing the updated version of Let Go a book I had read about 3 years ago.  I was excited to see that he had expanded it to include the transformation of being a solo-preneur to the CEO of his company.  This intrigued me as I was thinking about this transition myself.

He sent an email and I happened to open it to see a video contest to share how letting go of fears has helped you in your business.  The winner gets to spend the day with Pat Flynn in San Diego.

I was super curious now.

My Submission to the Let Go Video Contest

Here’s what I shared in the comments of the post:  

For those of you that don’t want to take the 3:32 min to watch, basically–I’ve learned that letting go is the best thing you can do and is a pattern you will see over and over again on this path to success. Thanks for teaching me this back in 2014 Pat.

And for a real example of letting go recently, check out my latest email to other business owners like me: https://ckarchive.com/b/5qu…

No joke, it was a moment of panic that turned into an amazing summer of fun and friendship.

10 Lessons I’ve Implemented that Pat Flynn Taught Me

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

1 – SPI 085: How To Finally Take Action—Even If You’re Lost, Overwhelmed, or Don’t Know Where to Start with Dane Maxwell

This was the episode that prompted me to email Pat back in 2013!  I was working online, tutoring part-time, and also working as a virtual assistant.  To my surprise, I was totally touched by this episode which caused me to take a hard look at myself and admit I had too many safety nets.  It was time to cut myself free and take some risks.

I took action and quit doing virtual assistant work.  I felt vulnerable and scared.  I wasn’t sure what the next steps were.

Listen to the podcast episode 85 here.

2 – SPI 042: Killer Kindle Publishing Tips with Jonny Andrews

I decided to go back into the archives and find a way to monetize what I knew how to do, which was start a tutoring business.  This podcast episode really helped me wrap my head around how to write the book and publish it on Amazon.

I wrote the first version of The Novice Tutor:  Answers to Your Questions About Starting a Tutor Business and it was available on my website and Teachers Pay Teachers for a long time, then I took the next step and added it to Amazon.

Read my book:  The Novice Tutor:  Answers to Your Questions About Starting a Tutor Business

The second version was expanded as my knowledge increased and as other tutors shared their experiences of starting a business with me as well.  I LOVE the second version and look forward to adding more information again in 2019 as things are changing once again for me.

Listen to Podcast Episode 42

3 – SPI 098: Millionaires and Mastermind Groups 

Game changer right here.  Shortly after I heard this one, I reached out to a large Facebook group full of teachers selling resources online to see if anyone was interested in starting a mastermind.  A bunch of interest was shown and groups were formed based on availability.

My first mastermind consisted of:

  • April McNair of A Modern Teacher
  • Erin Wing of ErinWing.com
  • Jenny Douglas of Primary Prism

Our mastermind is more relaxed, but we check in each week with our goals for the week.  These ladies have taught me SO much!  April has helped me to stay focused on what I do best and stay true to myself.  Erin is the queen of all things Pinterest…she helped me see the light that it is indeed, worth my effort.  Jenny has taught me very cool tricks inside of Adobe InDesign which I used to make premium tutoring policies with fillable fields and logo upload spots that tutors can purchase.

I’m still part of this mastermind and we meet up once a year in the fall to have a work weekend together and yearly report on the status of our businesses.  Mega helpful!

I’ve also created other mastermind groups and actively participate in three others with varying focuses.

I won’t list all of the influential people in those groups as that could be another giant post in and of itself!  But you know who you are…I value you so much!  Thank you for pushing me to do my best.

Listen to Podcast Episode 98

4 – SPI 75: Six-Figure Earnings (Not on Amazon) and a Pricing Structure that Works

This episode helped me to look at how I was selling my book and start packaging it up with various items instead of having customers buy everything individually.  I also learned about Gumroad and starting using them exclusively.

Here’s my current bundle of items for tutors:  The Profitable Tutor Framework

Listen to Episode 75

5 – SPI 095: The DOs and DON’Ts of Online Video with Caleb Wojcik

Little did I know that I would fall in LOVE with video.  I have a long way to go in my skills, but I try not to let my amateur status hold me back from making videos and sharing them with the tutors here and also on Math for Middles (my online math tutoring site).

I still follow Caleb to this day and seek his advice on equipment when I am looking to make a small investment in video.  Between Caleb’s help, Wistia’s Learning Library/Forum, and the book How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck…I became hooked.  Video is so much fun!

Listen to Episode 95 Here.

6 – SPI 146: Product Validation and Pre-Selling—A Real Life Example with Jarrod Robinson

This episode got me super excited.  I followed the steps to validate an idea I had to create an invoicing app for tutors.  I recruited my brother-in-law to help me build an iOS app and a group of tutors to help formulate features and test it.  It was a TON of work!  But I am so proud of the final product:

Tutor Tracker

All went really well except for one thing.  I didn’t think about the fact that MOST tutors are running their lives on Android and not iPhone.  My brother-in-law isn’t interested in building it for Android and I still get emails from tutors asking me to launch it on android.  Sadly, the sales for Tutor Tracker are underwhelming.  Not enough to justify hiring a developer to make the app for Android.  I’ve priced it out a few times and there is no way I’d recoup the money.

Listen to Episode 146

7 – SPI 115: 9000 Unread Emails to Inbox Zero: My Executive Assistant Shares How We Did It (and How You Can Too!)

By following Pat’s advice to engage on a personal level with your audience, I had a very busy inbox.  It overwhelmed me so much.  This episode has completely changed my life.  It took some time to set up, but once I did and started using it—I was saving so much time!

Plus I found that I had a reliable system to go back and pull out conversations that needed my attention.  In fact, I still have the email and reply Pat sent to me back in 2013 in my email.  He has his very own folder called Pat’s W of W (words of wisdom).  I save those special messages there plus emails that were really helpful.

Listen to Podcast Episode 115 Here

8 – Will It Fly?

I cannot say enough good things about this book, but don’t let the price deceive you!  I was thinking at first it would be this overview of the validation process, but it was deep work.  You really have a super clear picture if your idea for a business will work.

I still refer to the work I did inside of this book.  If you have an idea you’d like to launch for a business, start with this book.  You’ll thank me later.

My online math tutoring business is here because of this book.  I used it to help me validate my idea and make sure that I was on the right track.  My idea was to make videos using a technique called multisensory math to help struggling math students get instruction at the level they needed.

Math is a giant field but my niche is largely open right now.  You can see the website here:  mathformiddles.com

9 – SPI 200: How Deleting a Third of Your Content Can Triple Your Traffic—How to Do a Content Audit with Todd Tresidder

At the time of listening to this podcast episode, I knew that I wanted to rebrand The Tutor House to the Tutor Coach.  I wanted to get really clear about what I do here.  I coach tutors!

Since being online since 2011, my archives were a mess.  I wasn’t sure what to do or where to start.  This episode helped me to figure out a clear path and also find a way to automate as much of the Tutor Coach as possible so that I could act on Math for Middles.

This was NOT easy.  In hindsight, I should have hired someone to handle the migration part because I am pretty certain I screwed it up.  My SEO did not go up, but took a ding.  I am just now starting to recover from this move to a new domain and getting the same traffic I had before.

I admit, that I lost steam on doing the rebranding and fixing all of the broken links and redirection of different items.  This is on my list to finish completely by the end of 2nd quarter of 2018.

Listen to episode 200 here.

10 – SPI 283: Six-Figures in an Obscure Niche with Cassidy Tuttle

I listened to this episode twice on my way to my annual mastermind meetup this past fall.  It truly inspired me.  Six-figures talking about…succulents?!  Yes, those cute little trendy desert plants that seem to be everywhere.

It caused me to wonder, could my own class about fractions be my own “succulents”?

I am passionate about fractions.  I completely nerd out on them because they are everywhere in math.  And when my students completely understand fractions, math seems much easier.  It’s magical and I LOVE fractions.

Listen to episode 283 here.

Part 2:  My Big Day with Pat is Here!

The wait has been worth it!  Got on a plane this last weekend to meet up with Pat in San Diego…only I didn’t stay there long!

Pat had a slight change of plans –

He wanted me to join him at Marketing Impact Academy Live with Chalene Johnson.

The event was great, but for obvious reasons hanging with Pat was just the best.

He’s the real deal and so genuine!  I’ll never forget how he gave me a big hug and put me at ease immediately.  We spent 6 hours together chatting life and business strategy.

A day never to forget!

Part 3 is Coming Soon!

Discover the strategy Pat taught me that you can apply as well.


The post Meeting Pat Flynn appeared first on The Tutor Coach.

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Settling Into Retirement: A Case Study

One of the things I enjoy most about writing here on the Tutor Coach is that I get to interact with people from all sorts of backgrounds and beginnings.  Kim Schwartz is one of those multi-talented tutors that I’ve enjoyed getting to know over the past few years.  Recently, Kim had shared with me that she had created a website and video using some of the tutorials here on the Tutor Coach.  I was blown away at her site and love how it just oozed her sweetness.  I asked Kim to share her story about how she is settling into retirement from teaching to tutoring.  -Adrianne

Miss Kim

After 27 years, I retired from the teaching profession in June 2015. In August, I was starting to explore what I wanted to do to supplement my retirement pension. I had two ideas in mind: offering tutoring services and selling my photographic work. I chose tutoring because I want to stay connected with children and teaching. I chose photography because it’s been one of my creative hobbies for many years, but had been “pushed aside” while I was teaching.

A friend of mine, who was also exploring tutoring, found your ebook (The Novice Tutor) online, and shared it with me. I purchased and read your e-book, and explored the many links and resources you offered in the book. I visited your website, The Tutor Coach, and downloaded some of the business forms I needed to help guide me through the process of setting up a business. I watched the video you produced with your father-in-law, which I found very helpful in understanding the steps (and jargon) in setting up a business.

Specifically, your book and website helped me to know where to begin, and the steps to take to decide on the kind of business I wanted to start up with (sole proprietor), and how to set up a website to promote/organize my tutoring services. I used my State of Ohio website to guide me more specifically (and legally). I registered my website name with the state, purchased a web domain, and subscribed to a web host. How you designed your website, especially your services and how you produced your videos, inspired me when designing my website and my one little video; that video was the biggest challenge for me.
As for what I’ve learned through this process so far, I have to admit that the most learning occurred at the beginning of this endeavor using your e-book and website.
Learning Tree Tutoring
After setting up my website, and printed business cards and a flyer, I haven’t done much else to promote my new tutoring business. I have only one client. I’ve been doing some volunteering in two schools, joined a camera club, and helping a friend with her children. I’ve also decided to move my home office from a small room to a larger room. In addition to moving these rooms, I’m also painting them. I’ve found that I need more office space for my tutoring and for my photography, which I may be setting up as a business as well. Indeed, my learning experiences with my tutoring business are on-going, and in progress. I’ve always considered myself a life-long learner.

As soon as I get my photography in order and set up, then I will look at my tutoring business more closely and see what I need to do to promote it more actively. I hope to use my tutoring and photography income to supplement my monthly pension​​.  

You can connect with Kim and Learning Tree Tutoring here.

I love Kim’s story so much because she created a plan to help her get closer to her goals of supplementing her monthly pension.  You can see Kim’s passion in her website and I thought I’d share she made the awesome tree you see on her site.  Love her creativity!  I like that she mentioned that she only has one student right now, but wanted to focus on photography and then focus more on tutoring.  That is a key element to success…FOCUS.  Kim spent time focusing on building her foundation of her tutoring business:  website, video, policies, and legal entity.  Now she has a home online that allows her to point potential clients to when she is ready to actively market herself.

When it is time to actively market, start with these two simple ideas:

Talk to People

Tell at least 2 people every day that you tutor.  It doesn’t matter if you are in the grocery line, at the dentist, the park, or standing in line at the movies.  Get comfortable talking to people about your tutoring services.

Interact Online

Start posting yourself on different tutor profile sites to increase awareness about your services.  I’ve been hearing tutors are having a lot of success with the site, Nextdoor to find new students.  Next Door is like a forum for your local community.  You are allowed to post your services.  Many tutors are reporting they’ve found a few students in just two days of posting!  For more ideas to find students, grab my free guide below.

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Schedule Tetris – The Tutor Coach

It’s a busy tutoring afternoon and you check your email right before your first student only to be smacked in the face with an expert game of Schedule Tetris with a parent.  The following question was posted inside of the Just for Tutors Facebook group (accessible only to The Novice Tutor eBook purchasers) and is a great example of the scheduling nightmares that many tutors face each and every week.

 

(shared with permission)

Hey Adrianne, Abby (names have been changed) wants to take a pottery class.  This means she will have to miss tutoring for the next month, but then we’ll come back.

Mom really wants her daughter to keep coming. We tried to find another time for the second lesson but couldn’t manage it. She offered to continue to pay for the second lesson to hold the spot. Her intention is to go back to 2 times a week as soon as X-country finishes.


I don’t have any current written policy regarding holding a slot. I have some feelers out, but no one chomping at the bit for the slot. However, I am limited to 3 days a week for my private tutoring, so space is limited.


Do I:

 


  • Take her up on the offer and accept payment and continue to hold her slot.

  • Hold her slot by not mentioning it as an option with new students, and hope that they are true to their word about going back to twice a week.

  • Hold her slot only until I have another inquiry and then offer her the opportunity to either pay to hold it or take her chances when they are ready to continue.

 


This is one of those times when what feels right as an educator and what feels right as a business person protecting my interests are two different things. Help!”

 

This is quite the pickle to get stuck in.  One one hand you want to be empathetic, you have a family too and totally understand.  On the other, you are a business owner and if that slot sits empty you lose out on money if the student doesn’t return.

 

What’s a tutor to do?  Look at some of the great advice this tutor received.


JH:  I would pick option C or A. There is part of me that feels strange about accepting money for that sort of an arrangement, but you have to make money from that spot.


AV: I couldn’t have said it better. Totally agree!

AH:  If you do hold her spot, I would write an addendum to your contract and have her sign it. That way she can’t try to get the money back if she doesn’t continue, and she can’t try to use it towards future lessons when her daughter starts coming.

JR: Yes, I like option C. And yes, I understand your dilemma – I think so many of us have the same problem. Usually, parents will just cut the lessons during the sports time, so I’m happy that you have a mom willing to pay to hold a slot!!

RW:  I would allow her to pay to hold it, but write a contract outlining what you are both agreeing to. That way you are confident that you will earn money for that spot, and she is assured you won’t fill it on her.

SR (Tutor in the pickle of this story):  I wish things like this didn’t feel so hard for me. When I crunch the numbers, I can still see it both ways…..a lot of lost income for me and a lot for them to layout to hold the space. I got burned by someone in the past and held a 5:00 time slot for them for an entire sports season, only to have them feeling “too busy”.

KB:  Is there any way you could tutor her online during CC?

SR (Tutor in the pickle of this story): I’m not currently set up for online….but that raises some interesting ideas.

KB:   I’m not either but have a client who is playing football. I’ve been emailing him 2-3 times per week with problems to solve and checklists for his other assignments (I help him with staying organized and caught up as well as Math). He is required to send me responses and updates each time within 24 hrs. His parents are still paying me with the expectation of returning after season is done. It is working ok – not as effective give as in person but it’s a good compromise and I’ve left his spot open.

JR:  Scheduling woes…school here has been in session for ~3 weeks now, and my schedule is more or less set. But over the weekend, 2 families emailed asking to change my schedule…for their kids’ new dance, basketball, etc. classes.

I enjoy these two families, but I don’t feel like playing Schedule Tetris and inconveniencing other families who have already arranged their times if these two families are choosing sports ahead of reading and writing lessons. We live in a big city and there are lots of sports activities available…or they could have communicated earlier. I guess it will be adios kiddos.

 

This is such a great conversation and the tutor walked away with several solutions to playing Schedule Tetris.  Let’s talk about a game plan for this kind of scheduling.

 

Preventing Schedule Shifts:

 

In the above conversation, you may have noticed that several said to add an addendum to your contract stating that you will hold a student slot for X amount of money and time.  That is a great solution if you already have a set of policies, but if you are just getting started this is something you’ll want to consider adding right from the get-go.

 

Accept Payment to Hold Slots

 

Another great idea would be to accept payment for holding a slot for the student.  What does that look like?  Will you provide any kind of support in exchange for holding that spot?

 

Offer Online Tutoring

 

Online tutoring came up as an option for helping this student out during their extracurricular activity.  Online tutoring would allow you to avoid driving to the library or the student’s home.  If you haven’t looked into tutoring online, be sure to read all of our posts about this topic here.

 

As-Needed Basis

 

Another idea would be to move the child into an “as-needed” tutoring basis while the student is in this activity.  The parent would have to call and be at your mercy for availability for tutoring each week.  This would allow you to fill that student’s slot and still be available for the other student as they need help.

 

One thing is for sure with tutoring, you’ll always be playing a little bit of Schedule Tetris.  Ultimately, it is up to you how you handle scheduling.  If you don’t like playing the game, you have the right to shut it down right from the beginning.  For me, I don’t rely solely on my tutor income so I can give some flexibility to parents and do so because I am so appreciative when others are flexible with us.

 

What about you, how do you handle Schedule Tetris?  Click one of the share buttons below and let me know in your post.

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Build a Tutoring Website with WordPress

Today I am welcoming Jared Rand of Knowledge Roundtable to share more with us about building a website on WordPress.  Jared has a really unique looking website that is streamlined and clear as to what he wants users to do.  Read this and be sure to check him out.  -Adrianne

If you’re ready to build a tutoring website and grow your tutoring business, you’ve come to the right place. This tutorial will guide you from start to finish as you build a site on WordPress. No technical expertise is needed.
Check out Adrianne’s DIY tutor website tool for more help with building your tutoring website.

Why Build a Tutoring Website

You need a website for your tutoring business if you’re ready to move up from working for agencies and directories to working for yourself. Most agencies and directories charge fees and commissions in exchange for bringing you new clients (though my tutoring marketplace is an exception to this rule). With your own tutoring website, you can attract new students without paying a middleman.

Why WordPress

Adrianne has lamented that she didn’t use WordPress to build her first website. I was fortunate to have WordPress recommended to me by my brother, who is a professional web designer, when I built The Knowledge Roundtable. Here’s why WordPress is the absolute best platform for building websites.

  • Easy to use even for the least technically savvy.
  • There are themes and plugins to suit every aesthetic and every functional need.
  • It’s open source (free) with a vibrant support and development community.
  • Easy to customize and build web apps on top of for advanced programmers.
  • Follow the steps below to get your WordPress site up and running.

Step 1: Shared Hosting

If you’re really serious about growing your tutoring business, you will want to purchase a domain name and a shared hosting plan. This will allow you to be master of your own domain, literally, rather than being limited by Blogger, Wix, or one of those other platforms.
Purchasing a domain name usually costs about $10, and most shared hosting plans will cost under $10 per month. I personally recommend DreamHost for the following reasons.

  • They have a 1-click WordPress install.
  • You can purchase your domain name through them.
  • You can start with a small and cheap shared hosting plan, then scale up later if needed.
  • I’ve been a happy customer for 4 years.
  • There are many other hosting providers, too. Adrianne recommends A Small Orange

Step 2: Install WordPress

Note that you don’t want a WordPress.com website, which is similar to those other platforms in that you don’t actually own your domain. You would get a subdomain like joestutoring.wordpress.com. WordPress.org is where you get the open source platform that you need.
If your hosting service doesn’t have a 1-click install option, installing WordPress is a bit technical. This is why I strongly recommend DreamHost. There is a 5-minute install guide available, but you need to create a MySQL database and use FTP to upload and modify files. You can do these things from your hosting account, but you will need some patience.

Step 3: Install a Theme

A Theme in WordPress is what styles the pages on your site. There are thousands of free themes that will allow you to customize the look and feel of your site and help you present a professional appearance to prospective clients.
To change your site’s theme, go to your Dashboard and click the left menu item that says Appearance. You will see several pre-installed themes that you can switch between. You can also search for other themes published by the WordPress community. If you don’t find one that suits your tastes or functional needs, you might consider purchasing one from ThemeForest. I purchased the theme for The Knowledge Roundtable there for $50. You’ll get more professional looking themes with more functionality on ThemeForest than you’ll get from the free WordPress themes.
Note that most themes will heavily control your homepage. The next section discusses creating other pages, but your choice of theme will largely determine how your homepage looks. Make sure you pick a theme that allows you to create a homepage that quickly conveys your primary message to students that you are a highly-qualified tutor available to help.

Step 4: Create Pages

The last step is to populate your site with content. Go back to your Dashboard and hover over the top menu item that says +New, and then click Page. I recommend creating a page for each of the following.

About – A page to discuss your background and availability for tutoring. Include your education and teaching experience.

Services – A page to discuss what particular tutoring services you offer. Include subjects, grade level, and location.

Contact – A page to invite prospective clients to contact you about arranging a session. Your theme should have a contact form tool. If not, you can install a contact form plugin.

To make full use of your WordPress site, I also highly recommend writing blog articles to demonstrate your knowledge and interests. To write your first post, go to your Dashboard and hover over the top menu item that says +New, and then click Post.

Step 5: Market Your New Website

Congratulations, you now have your own tutoring website! A website is a powerful marketing tool when used properly. I’ve written about how to market your tutoring website before. Here are some key takeaways.
Create profiles that allow backlinks to your site

  • Reach out to other website owners and build partnerships
  • Write good content on your site and hope that others link to it
  • Advertise intelligently
  • Measure website visitor behavior and be ready to adapt

Jared Rand is founder of The Knowledge Roundtable, a free tutoring marketplace and helps tutors find more clients. The site is 100% commission and subscription free for students and tutors.
Jared has a B.S. in Astronomy and Physics from UMass Amherst and an MBA in Advanced Financial Analytics, also from UMass. He has experience writing interactive math problems and solutions and has worked as a full-time tutor. He now has a day job in Boston, MA as a Big Data Analyst while continuing to manage The Knowledge Roundtable.

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I Destroyed My Tutor Business

In the fall of 2015, I had a big decision to make.  Something had to give.  I was struggling to keep tutoring and take care of the Tutor Coach website, let alone my family!  My husband begged me to let something go.  He really wanted me to let go of tutoring in the afternoons since my boys needed me more than ever to be present.  

While it hurt to admit I couldn’t do it all, I knew he was right.  He wanted me to stop all together, but knew giving up tutoring cold turkey would be hard for me.  We made a plan for me to offer group tutoring that fall.

I sent the email out and without realizing it, I lit a ticking bomb inside of my business instead.  Parents were not receptive to group tutoring.  Indeed, I had destroyed my business.  They all left and no more tutoring money was coming in.

I sulked for a few weeks.  I was honestly super sad about it.  But I also knew that I couldn’t manage both well and that family really does come first.  Late one night, my husband and I had a chat again because he knew I was upset.  In that moment, it became apparent that he was fine with me doing whatever I wanted while the boys were away at school, so long as I was available to do mom stuff in the afternoon and evenings.

I made the decision that I would take my in-person tutoring all online and build Math for Middles.  I also knew that the Tutor Coach was not a very efficient website and that a lot of systems could be put into place to better serve tutors.  So for 9 months, I spent time rebuilding to make sure I was serving tutors better.  I made it easier for ya’ll to find where to start and dig into the blog posts available to read (there are over 200) and apply.

My Situation:

I started Tutor Coach because I wanted to be able to share about what it takes to build a tutor business.  I wanted a community to hang out with, you know–people who get it when a student habitually cancels on you AND have those people support you when you decide to cut them loose.  

For 5 years, I’ve been gathering our small tribe of tutors.  After working diligently to help tutors here, I’ve learned this last year that I have some BIG problems:

  1. I was relying on my in-person tutoring income to support YOU.  Yikes.  I’ve taught you how to price accordingly so you can reach your financial goals and yet, I failed to apply my own advice here on the Tutor Coach so I could pay the bills and keep the Tutor Coach going.
  2. I need sustaining income to continue to fund this work.   Nothing in life is free.  We all know that, but yet–why do we continually expect everything for free?  Free really is bad for business.  I don’t get access to online stuff for free.  It takes money to run this website.  That doesn’t take into account any of the hours I put in answering emails, writing content, and helping tutors inside of the programs I’ve written.

I have never wanted to use advertisement to keep this site going.  I just don’t.  Ads are annoying and often get in the way of getting the information you are seeking.  I don’t enjoy sites that have them plastered everywhere.  There has to be a way to keep Tutor Coach going.

The Solution

Thinking about a plan moving forward, I have a couple of options available to keep the Tutor Coach around.

  1. Purchase one of my products.  There’s a book, a course, a class about online tutoring, and other goodies.  
  2. Affiliate Links.  Maybe I don’t have any solutions for you that work or meet your needs right now.  I do have affiliate links which means if you purchase a product or service through that link, I get a small percentage.  You can see some of those links here and here.

What I’ll Use the Money For:

The money will be used to continue paying for hosting fees, software, and occasional assistant help (because I am NOT super woman).  

Destroying with Purpose

Detonating a bomb inside of my business was a good thing.  It allowed me to think about what I was building for the future and be intentional right from the get-go.  I don’t want just a one-one online tutoring business.  I know I’d find myself in the same spot a year later with no availability.  

I’m building a new business with a completely different model that doesn’t put all my eggs in one basket.  I’m creating math videos for parents to use with their child and offering consultations for parents in addition to that, then I’ll add in the one-one work once those two offerings are earning money.

Rebuilding Takes Time

My business isn’t like a mobile home that I can just move onto a lot, I am building a castle.  A business to last with a strong foundation.  It’s going to take a year tutors (or more) and I worry that the Tutor Coach will not make it to see my new business grow stone by stone.

My goal with the Tutor Coach is to create a “construction site” with a “camera” (blog posts and Facebook Live videos) so you can watch what I am doing.  In essence, getting the blueprints to build your own castle.

Putting Out the Fuse

So my friends, I look to you.  I’m asking you for help.  There is a bomb ticking inside of the Tutor Coach and I want your help to put out the fuse.  Please consider using an affiliate link here or purchase one of my resources.  Thank you!

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Are you letting your emotions run your business?

You know that moment when you wish you could turn back time and try again?  Like that time that you asked someone when they were expecting a baby only to find out they are not expecting at all?  Yeah.  Kinda like that.  You know the feeling I am sure.  Last week, I shared my deepest fears with you.  I pulled back the curtain and shared something that really makes me feel so uncomfortable.  It was awkward and definitely scary.

I talked about something that most people don’t want to discuss unless they are like Scrooge McDuck.  MONEY. You usually only hear amazing, almost too good to be true stories.  You know the headlines:  “I earned six figures during a one hour webinar!”  “I tripled my income after making this one simple change!”  I hate those headlines because it encourages us to talk about only the picture of the result.  No one really talks about the fact is these folks that found such success have been at business for years. YEARS.  No one mentioned that their business was on the edge of being shut down several times.

Scrooge McDuck: Living the Dream
Instead of hiding over here in my corner of the internet, I shared the struggle with you instead.  Why?  Well.  For one, I want you to know what it takes to build a big, bustling website. This site has been around for 5 years steadily growing.  But the truth is, I’ve been running the Tutor Coach based upon my emotions instead of the cold hard facts.  I put in the hustle and went without always believing I was just around the corner from the site being able to turn a profit.  I invested my in-person tutoring money into the site blindly.  I’ve gone without income for way too long.  Secondly, I need help.  I really don’t like admitting I need help.  But yet, I do.  So I shared.

The response I got from you was sweet.  My inbox filled up with many replies full of really helpful ideas and tips to keep Tutor Coach afloat.  All great ideas!  All of them considered before.  A few of you donated and I really appreciate every single dollar I received as a result.  It will help pay for the hosting and email for the site this month.  Really, thank you for that.

What am I really saying?  I don’t know.  I just know that some things will be changing here on the Tutor Coach.  I’d love your input on what you’d be willing to support.  Help me out by answering this ONE question survey.

But don’t fret my friend. I have no plans to shut the site down this month or at the end of the year. I’m just looking at my options and trying to make some decisions based in money reality rather than my emotional tie to you.  I’m pretty sure Scrooge McDuck would approve.  But meanwhile, I’ll continue to keep sharing with you.

What about you?  Are you making decisions based in reality?  Or are you doing things based on emotions.  I’d love to hear from you.  Hit me up on Facebook.  If you’re enjoying things here on the Tutor Coach, consider purchasing my eBook or making a donation.

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Running a Tutor Business Can Be Intimidating

Riding the tea cups makes me want to….vomit. There I said it. Tea cups are one of the worst rides and I find that I have been getting those woozy feelings often this past year as I work on my new online tutoring business, Math for Middles.

I worry and stress.

Chase my tail about decisions.

Fret over #allthethings.

There are so many ways I could start gaining traffic to my new website and offerings, but I have chased my tail more times than I care to count. I finally made up my mind how to market my new business.  No more tea cups.  Short story of the decision:  Facebook group + Affiliates + Podcast.

The truth is, there really isn’t very many fast methods for marketing out there. Most of the ones I know are riding the turtle and not the hare. Basically, I gotta have patience with the decisions I’ve made. Oh it’s hard to have patience ya’ll!

Riding on the Tea Cups
But it’s not easy.  Just like you, I am starting from zero all over again because I am choosing to build a tutor business all online instead of in-person.  It’s hard and sometimes I feel like throwing up from the dizzy feelings I have.   An important decision has come to me:

Get off the tea cup ride.

Step onto the roller coaster instead. Okay–that may sound worse. But with the roller coaster you are making progress.

Your income goes up and down.

Site views up and down.

Failed marketing attempts.

Successful marketing pays off.

Is this really better? Yes.
 

You are putting in action.

When you spend too much time riding the tea cups, you don’t get anywhere. So don’t waste one more minute fretting over which decision to make. Just make one. See the results. Tweak. Repeat. Learn. Adjust.

Matthew Palmer is riding the roller coaster.

He emailed me a few weeks ago to share his incredible journey into tutoring.  Matthew made the giant decision to resign from teaching math full-time so he could pursue his graduate degree and tutoring career.  He began using the Tutor Coach’s resources to get started and within a week he went from zero students to 3.  The same day he emailed me, he got an inquiry for 2 more!  DUDE, way to go!  I had to hear more about what else he was able to do with the information here on the site.  Here’s his words about his phenomenal experience thus far.

“I found the Tutor Coach towards the beginning of summer 2016. I was in search of a how to do system or template for running a tutoring business. This was an effort to better manage the clients I had and to see how possible it would be for me to support myself off tutoring while in grad school full time.

After going through your website and reading your ebook I decided to make a website and put more into marketing myself. I realized that marketing is one of the most important parts of running any business (I think I got that from the video with your father in-law). The results have been good. I occasionally get compliments from friends, family and strangers about how professional my website is. Additionally, I feel a lot more confident in my ability to command income because of the information you’ve shared.Matthew Palmer - private tutor

I think the video with your father in law helped me the most because he shared so much information regarding running a business. Before watching that the whole idea was pretty intimidating for me.
I think one of things that I assumed is that your client base would be steady as long as you are doing a good job. Sometimes when you do a really good job you end up losing a client because of their improvement in the subject area/confidence etc – they don’t need you anymore. On the other hand, I have received referrals which make up for those who have graduated from me tutoring them which is good.”

Matthew shared that he isn’t sure what the future of Turn UP Tutoring looks like.  He’s taking it one day at a time as he works towards embracing the flexible schedule and influx of students.  If you’d like to check out all that Matthew has accomplished, check it him out on his website and Instagram.

Riding the Coaster

As for me?  I’m applying the same techniques I’ve taught you to my online tutor business.  My marketing efforts are slowly bringing me more website traffic.  I was pretty excited to get an email from my web server that I needed to upgrade so my site would continue to function.  Feels good.  People are coming!

After getting off the tea cups, I am buckling in for a new roller coaster ride and luckily–I’ve got a friend right next to me.

Thanks for being there with me while I scream and smile.

Don’t go it alone!  Purchase my eBook to help you get on the roller coaster.  It will be fun.

(Somehow I feel like an older sibling dragging you onto the ride.  But really–business can be fun)

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Teachworks. – The Tutor Coach

Guest post by: Karla Rodriguez

Business Management Software for Education Companies.

The demand for private tutoring continues to grow; this represents a great opportunity for tutoring companies focusing on the key elements that drive success to their business.

However, higher demand also creates a potential threat – More competitors.

How can you make sure you manage your business efficiently, provide the best service to your customers and stay ahead of the competition? Our answer is:

  1. Simplification – Keeping your business management simple and organized
  2. Automation – Saving time by automating the most time-consuming tasks
  3. Delegation – Reducing workload on you and your staff

About Teachworks.

Teachworks is a business management software created to help education owners like you take your business to the next level. The software focuses on managing employee and client records, scheduling, invoicing, payroll, communication, and business analysis.

Our primary goal is to make education companies more efficient and effective.

As your tutoring business continues to grow you probably notice that it becomes harder to keep up with administrative tasks and processes start becoming very time-consuming.

An example of some of the features that could save you hours of work are:

  • Powerful & User Friendly Scheduling
  • Rule Based Billing & Invoicing
  • Elimination of Data Re-Entry
  • Easy Management of One or Multiple Branches
  • Teacher Timesheets Automatically Generated from Calendar
  • Automated SMS & Email Lesson Reminders
  • Staff, Tutor, Family & Student Accounts for Self Serve & Online Access

Other features include:

  • Access to your data from any device
  • Integration with leading web services and software such as Stripe, QuickBooks Online, Mailchimp.
  • Free Add-Ons to customize your account
  • Branding & white labeling options

If you are starting to feel like you can never catch up, or are spending too much time on administrative tasks rather than focusing on growing your business you will benefit from switching to an online business management platform.

What makes Teachworks a competitive alternative for managing your tutoring business?

Designed Specifically to Meet the Needs of Education Companies

The features and Add-Ons in Teachworks have been created and modified with feedback from hundreds of educators. We take pride in listening to our customer’s feedback and implementing their ideas. We believe this approach helps us to build a more efficient system that will allow you to operate in a more organized and effective way. Our philosophy is to create a “Common” software with “Custom” features that create excellent value to our users.

Flexibility & Simplicity

Even though we are constantly adding and modifying new features – maintaining an user friendly platform is also a priority. Add-ons and features can be enabled / disabled on your account depending on your business needs. This allows you to only have the features you require, which eliminates complexity and creates a user-friendly design.

Seamless Data Sharing Between Functions

Teachworks allows data to be shared seamlessly between different administrative tasks reducing the need to re-enter data and reducing the risk of clerical errors. For example, you can pull lessons from your calendar onto your invoice so you do not have to re-enter any data. Another example would be the ability to share data between student profiles, your price list, and your calendar which allows lesson costs to be set automatically based on your billing settings.

Helping your tutoring business grow and making managing your business a more organized and streamlined process is our passion. Whether you are starting to build your business or manage hundreds of tutors Teachworks will make things easier for you.

Getting started is easy, use the 3 week trial to find out more about the features and how it can help your business!

What tools are you currently using to manage your tutoring business? What features are most important to you in a business management software? Let us know by commenting below.

Teachworks Business Management Software

Post by: Karla Rodriguez

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VIPKID for Online Tutoring – The Tutor Coach

Online tutoring is quickly becoming a great way to fill up your schedule during hours that work better for you.  Recently, I saw Anne share that she was working with VIPKID and wanted to share the opportunity with other tutors.  I invited her to share here on the Tutor Coach.  I hope you enjoy learning more about this opportunity – Adrianne

 

Tutoring is a great job and something I cherish doing, but between no-shows and unfilled tutor slots in the evenings–I knew I needed a little more but in a time frame that works better for me.

I began the hunt for online tutoring opportunities to even out my schedule and income. As I was looking towards doing more tutoring online because of these benefits. I needed the hours to be very different than afternoons and evenings which means I need to work in a different time zone.

Enter VIPKID

VIPKID is an online format to teach 5 – 12 year olds in China. This company provides the North American elementary school experience to Chinese children – all from the comfort of their home.

Their sophisticated virtual classroom streams native English speaking teachers into Chinese homes, linking the world through education.The company itself started 3 years ago by Cindy Mi. She is an amazing woman and one of the top entrepreneurs in China.

All tutoring is done online and 1 – 1 through their software.  All curriculum is supplied for you!

At first I did not think that this would worth my time and effort as there was a very rigorous application process:

  1. Interview
  2. Submission of a resume
  3. Practicum
  4. Mock lesson

Applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.  Even though the process was long, it was worth it to me, as I was hired!

The next thing you need to think about is the time zone. I teach from 4:30am – 6:30 am M-F.  Even though I’ve been tutoring for ViPKids for close to three months now, I still have spots available in my schedule.  Filling up takes time, but working with the students and getting paid make it all worth it.

VipKids

Are you interested in working from home and jumping into another market of tutoring?  If so, head over to ViPKids and check out their program.

(This post contains Ann’s affiliate link.)

 

Ann MitchellAnn Mitchell

Castle Rock Tutoring

The Online Reading Expert

www.castlerocktutoring/blogspot.com

 

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