Freelance tutoring can be great, but administration can be a real headache. In response to her own teaching experiences Karen Roosileht created Tutor.id. The website offers an innovative solution to time consuming administrative and managerial tasks, allowing tutors to do what they love – teach.
Karen didn’t always know she wanted to teach. She discovered her talent and enthusiasm for language tutoring after gaining a Masters degree in Social Sciences from Tartu University, Estonia, and returning to her native Brazil. Part of the tiny 2% of Brazilians who speak English, Karen’s fluency meant she soon found work as an English Language Teacher at a local school. She quickly realised that, for her, teaching was more than a job – it was a passion.
However, the poor salary and high workload prompted her to consider alternative ways to create a teaching career. Like many other teachers, she wanted the freedom to choose her own clients, direct her own work schedule and create personalised lesson plans for her students. As she explains, “I decided it was time to try something new, so I chose to give up teaching at a school and to become a full time private tutor.”
The Challenges of Tutoring – Marketing, Management, Administration
Karen soon came to realise that freelance tutoring had its own challenges. With no prior marketing knowledge or design skills, she needed to create a successful one-woman tutoring business from scratch. She dedicated hours to researching ways to develop a social media presence, design business cards and flyers, and promote her services. In just 3 months she had 100 students.
But marketing and promotion were only the start of the challenges. Without a managerial team, Karen was responsible for all aspects of her tutoring business – from booking lesson times, to chasing payments and dealing with last minute cancellations. Managing a large number of students was time consuming and complicated to organise. There were issues with payments – students disregarded her cancellation policies by not showing up to lessons and then refused to pay for missed classes. Administrative and managerial tasks began to dominate her work schedule, allowing less time for her real job – teaching.
Tackling the Challenges
Karen had discovered one of the key issues of freelance tutoring – how to balance teaching with the demands of promoting and running a successful one-person business. Then, on New Years Eve January 2015, she was struck by an idea: “I would create a platform to tackle the three essential areas for tutoring success: scheduling, payments and marketing. I was determined to make my product an indispensable tool for millions of tutors around the globe.”
In September 2016, Karen launched the first version of Tutor.id, a platform born from her experiences as a freelance tutor. It uses cutting edge technology to help teachers manage and promote their tutoring business.
Karen’s Solution and Tutor.id
Tutor.id acts as an online business card, creating a professional and accessible ‘face’ for your business. It can be easily integrated with your social media platforms to become a key part of your social media marketing strategy.
By allowing students to directly view your availability and schedule themselves into your timetable, it also takes away the hassle of organising classes. You receive a notification when someone books a session and the service will remind you of upcoming lessons. No more complicated and confusing scheduling, no double bookings, and no wasted teaching time.
The service allows tutors to charge varying lesson rates, dependent on the time of the day students wish to use your services. You can create ’discount’ deals during less popular teaching hours, whilst charging a premium for peak hours.
Tutor.id also enables tutors to create their own cancellation and bookings policies, offering them more control over their business. By providing the option to request prepayment, the hassle and embarrassment of chasing payments is avoided. Payment can also be made online, making it easier for students to pay up front.
Overall, everyone wins – tutors are freed to do the work they love and students have a simple tool to access any course they desire.
Karen’s Tutoring Story