Where should I hang my fliers about tutoring?
March 22, 2013 6:07 PM   Subscribe

I want to tutor elementary aged kids. How much should I charge? Where should I go about finding clients?

I am full time teacher and thought that tutoring would probably be a good summer gig. I'm not really sure what the going rate is for tutoring children. If I am certified would it be more in the neighborhood of 25 dollars or 60 dollars an hour? Also, I thought I'd do some of those pull tab flier things and wanted to see if anyone had any brilliant ideas about where to hang them where well-heeled parents might be enticed. I thought I'd put one in the practice rooms where I go to play piano because lots of kids take their lessons from there, which seems to be an indicator of extracurricular involvement. That's pretty much my one brilliant idea for flier-posting, besides the Y and Starbucks. I am not allowed to tutor my students so I don't want to go through my school and I'd like to not go through a tutoring service. Thanks for your help!
posted by mermily to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some pediatrician offices might allow you to advertise there. If you have a Whole Foods or fancy public library or family-friendly gym, those can be good places to advertise, too.

You can and should definitely charge more as a certified teacher! The price really depends on the cost-of-living in your area, but factor in travel time and planning time into your rate. With travel time and planning time, your "hourly rate" can really be your 3-hour rate including time with the kiddos, planning, and driving/commuting. I've found that busy parents appreciate me coming to their house for tutoring, and the difference between driving to a home or the library really wasn't different for time or gas-wise.

As a fellow school employee, I hope that summer comes quickly for you!
posted by shortyJBot at 6:27 PM on March 22, 2013

I hung up fliers at the library and the grocery store and bank, but by far my best results were from posting online (Craigslist and bostonlearningguide.com). I also posted and responded to ads on Sittercity and Care.com with great results. As a college student, I charged between $20-30 an hour, so as a teacher you could reasonably charge more. I recommend browsing ads online and finding a general pay range for your area.
posted by andariel at 6:28 PM on March 22, 2013

The library! I'm a clerk at a local library and we often get parents calling in, asking if we either have tutors or know of tutors.
posted by firei at 6:30 PM on March 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

In the San Francisco area at least, there are *tons* of people looking for tutors on craigslist. Advertising there probably couldn't hurt if you're in a relatively large metro.
posted by colin_l at 7:23 PM on March 22, 2013

In the vein of pediatricians' offices -- in the offices of docs who treat ADHD patients, since they're likelier than most to need help catching up or focusing.
posted by ecsh at 7:53 PM on March 22, 2013

Anecdata point: we've paid qualified elementary teachers from $25/hr to $50/hr for tutoring our kids. This is in Santa Cruz, CA, and the various teaching has been both simple extra coaching and remedial education to ameliorate dyslexia problems.
posted by anadem at 10:29 PM on March 22, 2013

From my reply to a similar question:

- Depending on your privacy, you might want to include an email address instead of a phone number on your contact information. Include your credentials, what you are offering and price. Be as up front as possible to avoid wasted time on people calling/emailing for information that could have been on the poster. Business cards are a nice touch (and easy to make at home with those kits from Staples) and make it easy for others to pass your information along - eventually all of my customers came from referrals and I didn't have to advertise anymore.

- Check out the ads in your area to see what prices others are asking for tutoring. Find out what Sylvan or other professional tutoring places offer and how much they cost. I know Sylvan used to charge a lot for all this pretesting, it might have changed.

- The tabbed papers are good and worked for me when I was getting started, but many schools have lists of tutors that they refer parents to. Call some in your area and find out what you have to do to get on their lists. If I were getting started again today, I might consider Craigslist, after checking out what other similar services are being offered there.

Also, consider some sort of 'contract' with your clients. Include:
- Payment information (I always preferred cash) and a return check fee. (if you accept them)
- Lateness policy - If someone arrives 10 minutes late, will you go 10 minutes over? Or will you end on time? Can they be credited for that time?
- Cancellation policy - I've used a 24 hour notice policy with the option that they can possibly reschedule, anything last minute that isn't an emergency, I charge for.

Good Luck!
posted by NoraCharles at 9:11 AM on March 23, 2013

Hi there, I work full time for a private tutorial college in the UK, and do bits of Physics and Maths tutoring outside work too. Nearly all of my experience is with older kids (15 - 18 mainly), in a fairly affluent area and I don't know what the tutoring climate is like in the US so YMMV.

First of all the price, (all in GDP, convert as appropriate), my work charge around £45 for an hour long tutorial, and would pay you about £20, taking your experience into account. Most tutors I know put their own price somewhere in the middle to bottom of that range, I know some people who get a few students at £30 an hour with a bit of effort in advertising, but £20 - £25 is more normal.

Having said all of that, tutoring elementary age kids isn't that big a thing here (although though it definitely exists), so it may be worthwhile starting a bit towards the low end of the pay scale if demand isn't that high, and you can always raise it if you're getting a lot of work and when you have a bit of a reputation.

In terms of advertising, the internet gets me the most hits, the majority of my casual work originates from Gumtree. Also, if there are any online tutor agencies that look promising, sign up provided you've read the small print and are happy with their fees. It's also worth checking out your competitors on those sites to get a feel for the going rate and what's on offer.

Once you have a few students, word of mouth advertising can be great, if you can get parents mentioning you to their friends you're onto a winner. One good way of becoming known to a wider audience is offering to teach small groups, you get noticed by more people, and the parents pay half of what they were expecting, win/win. I also add a small charge (£5) for every subsequent student to cover time spent marking, and everyone seems happy with that.

A final note, a lot of the tutoring I know of is reactive rather than proactive. My classic student has messed up a few modules and their parents are scared that the student won't get X mark which Y university asks for. Is there anything like that that you could focus your adverts towards e.g. a school admissions test or an important exam? If so stress the hell out of it.
posted by Ned G at 5:52 PM on March 23, 2013

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