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Michael Gibben: Networking with intention, summer income, and marketing challenges

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Michael is the Founder of Coach for Tutors, working with tutor company owners who are in the stage of launching their business or want to scale up their business. They help these tutors get past the roadblocks that come up when developing their business.

Marketing challenges:

One of Michael’s biggest challenges while building his business was marketing. He spent tons of time and money on marketing that didn’t really pay off. Along with marketing, sales was a difficult process to show people the value of his company.

Tutoring Business Leadership, 1 of 2 ebooks that Michael is releasing, discusses navigating sales, growing a successful tutoring team, and a variety of case studies of situations that Michael has encountered and seen over the years.

To find clients as a coach, Michael recommends starting a Facebook group to start getting to know people, coaches and tutors, and taking the time to network.

Networking with intention:

Receiving help from others on developing your business allows you to feel calmer outside of your business and makes space for your professional and personal goals.

When networking, it is important to go in with the intention to build and connect, not with the intention to sell. Spending time to develop the networking skills that you can apply to the next networking event is a great takeaway in itself. Sales will follow relationships.

Sources of Summer income:

During the summer, there is usually a drop in business and stream of income. On Friday, April 29th, Michael offers a webinar discussing sources of income during the summer. Topics covered include parent-child learning packages, learning hubs, and back to school boosters to help students feel confident when they return to school.

You can find Michael at or join the Facebook support group: Tutoring Business for Success!


Sean McCormick 0:00 This week on earn more tutoring. I talk with Michael Gibbon about the biggest mistakes he made when he started his tutoring business, what the lifeblood of a business really is and his hobbies of oil paintings and chasing storms. Michael Gibben 0:15 The lifeblood of a business is the relationships you build and preserve. And so that's going to be those are the two biggest things for networking is go in with an open mind, but also go in without the intention to sell go in with the intention to build and connect. Sean McCormick 0:32 Welcome to earn more tutoring. Our mission is to eradicate educator poverty. I'm Sean McCormick, your host and the founder of executive function specialists, an online coaching business that helps middle high school and college students develop goal orientated behaviors. My guest today is Michael Gibbon, founder of coach for tutors. Welcome to the show, Michael. Michael Gibben 0:52 Well, thank you very much, Sean, for having me. Sean McCormick 0:54 So Michael, why don't we start by just telling me about what coach for tutors is let people know what you do. Michael Gibben 0:59 Thanks, Sean. So coach for tutors, primarily we work with those tutors, private tutors to tutor company owners that are in the stage of launching their tutoring business, or they have been in business for a year or two. And they're ready to scale up their tutoring businesses and we work with them in setting customized goals and really seeking the areas they need help in to develop their business and get them to where they want to go meeting their whatever their goals may be in their business, be it financial, be it in terms of teams, be it in client numbers, we help you get there. Sean McCormick 1:32 Nice, and how did you get into that. Michael Gibben 1:33 So I started off as actually I opened my own tutoring company in 2011, I had been a classroom teacher originally and transitioned into the one on one tutoring sphere in small groups because I really felt that would have a greater impact with students. And in 2011, I opened my own company up. And with that came a host of difficulties and problems because although the you know, we're all lifelong learners, although the education side was was strong and was solid, the business side I was very green, very naive. And I've made a lot of mistakes along the way. And so my goal with building coach for tutors is to work with those tutors who really need help with with those particular roadblocks that can come up and challenges to provide a very efficient and succinct roadmap toward growing and developing their business. So that helps reduce their stress and get to where they want to go. Sean McCormick 2:27 Michael, what was one of the biggest mistakes or issues that you encountered starting your business? Like what's one that stands out to you like, wow, I really wish I had someone like you in the future coaching yourself before you had that mistake? Michael Gibben 2:41 Yeah, Sean, I think there were actually were there were two that I can think of, in particular, the first one was marketing, I was very much of the mindset of just put your name out there to absolutely everything and say that you can tutor everything. And you'll you're just getting a swarm of clients, and it's gonna be amazing. And no, I spent a lot of money on marketing that got me nowhere. And yeah, you might get some short term gain from having swore the clients for different niches and different grades, etc, etc, different needs, but you're not honing your craft, and you're going to spend more time trying to develop curriculum, then making an impact on those students and building your business. So that was the first one. And the second one was the I feel the confidence to be able to address sales, I was very uncertain and really undervalued myself. And by being shaky, I don't think I conveyed the best message to my potential clients that this is who you want for your tutoring. And it really is a process to get that confidence to say, This is what my worth is. And these are the values that can bring to your child, and help parents and guardians see that value and bring you on board. Sean McCormick 3:52 Yeah, those are definitely two big challenges, right? Bringing in clients is always hard, right? There's so much messaging out there. You know, I remember I started I was like, had Facebook ads and this and I was spending money on Google and like, that might work for some people. It didn't work for me and it was a lot of money spent when really I just needed to find my voice and make a little Instagram video or just connect with more professional so totally understand that. And then also Yeah, knowing your worth, I think that's the kind of theme of this podcast is understanding your value and being able to to articulate that. So it's good that you are teaching people that can you can you talk about how your work as the coach for tutors...

Check out the full interview and audio below!


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About the author:

Sean McCormick is a parent, husband and international executive function coach. He is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business which guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.

He has also spoken about executive function at prominent venues including the Association of Educational Therapists' National Conference, at the Athenian School and on the Qualified Tutors Podcast.

Sean is regularly featured across media channels for his expertise on executive function, ADHD and special education.

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