Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Your Ultimate Guide to earning more as an educational therapist, tutor or education coach
After starting an education coaching business that has exceeded a half-million dollars in gross profit in the first two years, I feel ready to break down my top five strategies for earning more tutoring. I've learned these strategies through hosting over fifty episodes of my podcast, "Earn More Tutoring," while also reaching dozens, if not hundreds of books on business development and mindset, while applying the principles to my own work. I am confident that if you apply these ideas, over time, you will earn more tutoring, while also avoiding the mistakes that I made in discovering this valuable information.
Here, in all its glory, are my top five key secretes to earning more tutoring. If you prefer to watch this in video form, check it out below:
Key Sections Of This Guide
Click on the links below to quickly get to any section of this guide that is most relevant to you.
Key #1: Raise Your Rates!
If you are just starting tutoring as a side hustle or are a seasoned veteran who does it full-time, this guide is for you!
If you read this post and put even one of these things into action, I PROMISE you will start to earn more tutoring before you know it.
The first key somewhat obvious, but raise your rates. So many tutors and educational therapists are scared to raise their rates because they fear they will lose their clients or that they are being greedy.
You don't have to raise your rates all at once. If you see your practice getting full, raise your rates on the next incoming client. And if you're uncomfortable with talking about your rates, then put it on your website and you can change it periodically. On your rate sheet put a little note that says "rates are subject to change -- reach out for our most current rate".
The other thing you can do is do an annual raise or rate increase for your whole business. You can put on your onboarding documentation that your rates go up 3% or 5% every year. Considering in 2022 inflation is around 8%, 3-5% is reasonable and people understand that the cost of things is going to go up over time.
Also, remember, people don't always want the cheapest service. People often want something that costs more because they feel it means you know the of your services and that you don't have money blocks that are preventing you from from valuing your services correctly.
I rarely get issues when I raise my rates. You might be wondering, how much should I raise my rates? My tip is to look around at your competitors; look at the people in your community who are selling a similar service to yours and see what they're charging and then decide what works for you. There's always going to be someone higher and always someone lower and so you need value yourself in a way that works for you. But don't just have low rates because you're afraid to raise your rates.
"The moment you know your worth, it increases"
Key #2: Mind Your Business
When you're trying to grow a business, you want to be very thoughtful about the people you hire. A big part of my business is finding skilled, credentialed teachers or educational therapists that can support my customers. You don't have to find a clone of yourself or someone who's exactly like you, but you want to find people that are credentialed and have expertise, ideally a master's degree in the area of focus.
If you don't want to hire employees, the other thing you could do is contract with others. I work with a college admission specialist and I contract with her in this manner: I charge a premium rate and then pay her normal rate.
If you are planning on hiring others, you want to be able to attract top talent to your business. Ways that I do that are I created a 401K with a match for all my employees. I use Guideline for that, but there are different options to set that up.
We also have a technology stipend, where we pay our team members for part of their internet bill and their phone bill that they're using to work with the clients.
When you're hiring people, you want to make sure that you make them feel valued and important in your business. People go where they feel welcome and stay where they feel valued. Have relatively consistent meetings with them, check in see how they're doing or assign someone on your team to check in on a frequent basis. Take the pulse of your team and make sure people have what they need to do their job. For more on how to hire other tutors, check out my article on hiring.
Key #3: Automate With Intimacy
You need to have systems in place to make sure your business works effectively. The people I see struggling to keep up with new clients are the ones that do everything by hand.
One of the biggest game changers for me was setting up Tutorbird. Tutorbird is a system where you can track all your clients. You can you can put notes in for them, send automated messages to them reminding them of upcoming meetings, auto-invoice and auto-bill; the list goes on!
The other thing I do is I use Calendly so when someone wants to book a meeting with me to talk about potentially becoming a client with my with my business, it automatically syncs with my schedule and picks a time that's available based on the hours that I'm available. Calendly then sends them my Zoom link and reminder texts for the meeting.
I got tired of constantly after the inquiry meeting having to send prospects our rates and our onboarding process and our signup form. With Calendly, I set up a workflow where after the meeting it sends them an email that says, "hey, it was so great meeting with you. Here's our pricing. Here's the next steps. Here's our signup form." This makes sure that I easily onboard people who want to work with me.
If you have a meeting and your prospect is excited to sign up and then you forget to send your sign-up form, they may lose enthusiasm for working with your quickly. If you have questions about how to set that up, check out this video on how to set up an automation using Wix.
Aim to use tools that make it easier to build connection with your audience. For example, if you reach out to me or you're interested in my business or my course, you might have got a Loom video from me in which I answer your question, say your name and show that I'm a person trying to be helpful. If you want to learn more about building that connection, check out "Superfans" by Pat Flynn.
Another thing you can do is delegate. Identify things that you're doing manually that you do over and over and delegate it. It might be delegating some type of system like Calendly or Tutorbird, but it also might be finding someone who you can pay less than your time that you charge out for tutoring. Have them do certain tasks that you don't have time for or you could use to make more money tutoring or coaching.
Key #4: Play Long Term Games With Long Term People
I learned of this idea after listening to a podcast by Naval Ravikant where he talked about the importance of these relationships in your wealth journey. Without the people that helped me in my business, I couldn't have the success I've experienced. I think about my Mom who who runs a lot of my operations work and she's she's an expert in onboarding new employees and and financial aspects. I turned to her to manage that part of the business or each team member who has invested time and energy in serving the clients that have come to my business.
Another role worth investing in is someone who knows the tax system. I work with an amazing tax professional who is able to help me identify key opportunities like the employee tax retention credit that became available during COVID. I was able to utilize the employee tax retention credit to to get a large sum of money from the IRS that I wasn't expecting. Those relationships you have with people that are more knowledgeable in areas that you may not be knowledgeable in are very helpful.
Working with attorneys has also been a huge boost to my business. When the Leigh Law Group learned of my work, they sent clients to me who were not getting their needs meet elsewhere. Building those relationships with people is a win win and has lead to more clients than I can count on both hands.
Another opportunity to earn more as an educator that blossomed from my work with attorneys was the being asked to serve an expert witness in the field of executive function skills. I couldn't have ever predicted this opportunity would come about, but by building relationships with school administrators, attorneys, and people who needed my expertise, you will discover very niche opportunities.
Going to a conference related your field is a great way to grow your brand. I recently went to the NAPO conference which is the National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals. I met people out there who loved learning about my work as an executive function coach. In fact, some of the coaches wanted to hire me to work with their kids. Go to a conference, put yourself out there and you never know what's gonna happen.
Starting yesterday, build relationships with school counselors around you or special education administrators. Reach out share what you do, who you help, how you help them what your process is, and that's going to really, really help you connect with people that are going to open doors for you down the road. For a step by step approach on how to do outreach, check out my article on how to grow your educational therapy clientele through personal outreach.
With your clients be flexible to build a long-term relationship. Of course, don't let them break your boundaries, but if their kid is sick and they need to cancel within 24 yours one time you don't have to use that as an opportunity flex your cancellation policy. ITry to be flexible with people and serve them and it will open doors for you.
Key #5: Focus On What Feels Right To You
The whole time I'm building my business, hiring people, doing my podcast, I am always trying to do what feels good to me. Of course it's work, but as Oprah said, do what you love and the paycheck is a bonus.
I went from being a public school teacher commuting two hours a day and having minimal opportunities to increase my income, to an entrepreneur! When you work in that environment, it is set up in a way where I didn't have autonomy or control over over my work condition.
One of my mentors said go towards what feels good. Your joy and pleasure is a honing beacon for your dream life. If you want to work remotely do that. A lot of people need remote, executive function, coaches, tutors, educational therapists, so that's something you can do.
I wanted to I wanted to create a course so I put my mind to it, scheduled it out, I shared it with people around me and set a deadline. I used I used the 12 week year system to really break it down into chunks. Three months later, I had a course and started to trade my expertise for money, rather than my time.
The other thing is setting boundaries so you can enjoy your life. There's a great book called "Set Boundaries, Find Peace" by Nedra Glover Tawwab. Setting boundaries around when you want to work, where you want to work and working towards those is so liberating. You start to kind of move into the life you want.
This also that also taps into one thing I really believe must be prioritized which is focusing on gratitude and abundance. I do a lot of reading and meditation on abundance in an effort to notice the ridiculous abundance in my life. The beauty that I'm able to sit here at my home on a Thursday and record this and share this with the world and that I have people flowing to my business every week and they want to work with me is amazing. I love that I have opportunities, good health, and I like to focus on those things. And when you do, you'll start to notice that there is actually a lot of great things happening in your life.
I'm also talking about get enough sleep and exercise. This morning I went to the gym, I made my 100 three point shots (my dream is to shoot around with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson one day). Doing things that feel really good are so important to build into your day because when you're bringing that vibrant, positive energy that manifests into more wealth and more opportunities. People want to be around people who are positive, who have goals, who have purpose.
Something I did a year ago was I gave up drinking alcohol and caffeine. I loved coffee, but I didn't like the feeling of anxiety and stress that I would get when I wasn't drinking coffee. So all that stuff has really accumulated to make me feel better on a weekly basis and do better work and be more available for my family, which leads to earning more!
Key #6: Do Less Better
I actually learned this this phrase from one of my colleagues, Sam young at a Young Scholars Academy. Do less better is the idea that you can be a minimalist with your work.
The biggest key to this is to niche down. You might be wondering, how do I niche? I'm a generalist. Ask yourself, what are you really good? What do people keep coming to you over and over about and how can you focus your business on that?
At first I was like I'm the the every topic you would ever need to you know coach and then I worked my way down to being the executive function specialist. Be really, really good at that one thing or a couple things. When you do this, you're going to attract so many more clients because everybody wants to work with an expert.
Most people don't want to work with someone who professes to be good at everything because how can they have the time or the energy to be great at everything? I'll give an example. I say I love to work with juniors and seniors boys who are looking to understand how to stay organized and understand financial independence better because I want to help them develop financial organization skills that can lead to wealth, health and happiness.
When you focus on that little area of expertise that you feel you can really serve, then you're gonna attract more clients, you're going to be able to charge higher rates because you're the expert in that area. As a bonus, you're gonna have to prep less, because you're not going to be preparing for 10 different things. Less time preparing = more money to make on what you are truly good at.
Key #7: Be An Expert. Command Authority.
There are many ways to become an expert on your topic. I decided to create a podcast around my topic and interview as many wise and knowledgable individuals on the subject of earning more as a tutor that I could.
At the same time, I also developed expertise on executive function skills because I focused just serving that client population and understanding the challenges that students with EF challenges face. Then, I built my brand around that and created a course on it.
Another way you can establish expertise is to speak about your topic -- go out there and talk about it. Listen to people's most frequently asked questions on that topic, and then answer them through content that you can share across social media channels.
You can also write blog posts. Every time someone has a question that you know how to answer, write your response out as a blog post and send it to them. Ask them to leave a comment and share it on social media or with a friend if they find it helpful. People are usually glad to do this.
A great way to gain clout is to create models for your ideas. I learned about this from talking with Seth Perler in episode 38. I created the P.I.N.G. methodology for self-advocating to teachers and that article has been my most popular article on my blog because it makes teaching communication skills to students with executive function challenges so easy. Then, people will say, "Oh, Sean came up with this really easy way to explain communication -- check out this article," and they will share it.
Another way to be an expert is go on Facebook, find the groups that you are interested in, and answer questions there. I'm really interested in executive function skills and I'm also interested in to the business of tutoring. So I've joined many groups that address those areas.
For example, Michael Gibbon, runs the Coach for Tutors group and continues to build an engage audience because he provides so much expertise for free. Joanne Kaminski, the online tutoring coach, has a thriving group for tutors with over 10,000 members. If you want to establish expertise, go to the groups where people ask questions about your area of expertise and be helpful. If you keep doing that you'll soon be seen as the expert.
Remember, DO NOT try to sell something right away. This is a recipe for repelling people, as they will trust you less if you immediately want their money. Just be helpful.
The other thing I do is I asked to be on podcasts. I reach out to people I say, "Hey, I just released this course. I'd love to talk to your audience about why executive function skills are important and what the three keys strategies are that parents can implement in their home and at school to help their child with executive function skills." If you want to check out some free templates for asking to be on podcasts, check out the bottom of my article "How to grow your educational therapy clientele through personal outreach."
Key #8: Ask For Feedback
Asking for feedback is SO important. Even in my sessions with students or with clients, I'll say ask, "Was this helpful?" at the end of the meeting. It gives them an opportunity to share with me their honest thoughts about what we're doing and also provides me with valuable feedback on how to shape my work with them going forward.
Let people shape your practice. You may know a lot about certain things, but you don't know anything until you know what people want to know. Focus on what's holding them back and then and then provide answers to those things.
Another thing you can do is establish a Google business page. Once you establish your profile, you can get a review link and send it to people. I say, "Hey, could you leave a review for my business on Google?" This is a great way to build up a series of social, social testimonials about your business, but the other part of it is now Google sees that people are leaving reviews on your business, it then sends more and more traffic to your business. You can do it for Yelp as well, though Yelp is a little weird as they tend to block a lot of reviews if you ask for them. So Google has been my best route to building traffic for my business.
Key #9: Focus On Community
I learned this from speaking with Leslie Josel on episode 9. Leslie is the founder of Order Out of Chaos and she gets in front of her audience every week on a Facebook live. She calls it the state of the chaos, and she just talks to her audience, gathers feedback, and involves them in her creations. She may tell them about her most recent blog posts or ask for feedback on a new product. Getting down and dirty with your community is how you grow.
If you want to try this, you can build a Facebook group for your audience or create a mastermind group for any subject that you're interested in and invite other tutors or parents to discuss issues.
I focus on building up my email list because then I can tell my community about upcoming community-building events. The way you do that is you establish some type of lead magnet or freemium offer. For example, if there a template, blog post or something that you give out to people over and over, take that and put it behind a subscribe button.
You can set this up on Wix or whatever website host you use. You write, "subscribe to this box or this button and I'll send you my free Infograph on the 10 skills students with executive function challenges must master. At Executive Function Specialists we put all these resources behind this member page so in order for people to get to it, they have to become a member. Then, I have their email and I can send them updates about upcoming events and things like that.
Lastly, going live on Instagram, Facebook, or Linkedin is another way to attract community and build relationships. So many people are afraid to put themselves out there, so if you can do this, you are ten steps ahead already.
Key #10: Learn With Intention
If you want to earn more tutoring, what books can you read that will directly help you earn more? I'll tell you! Anything by Mike Michalowicz who was a guest on episode 24 will surely put you in a position to earn more. Clockwork and Profit First are two highly influential books I have read by Mike.
If you want to manifest more abundance, there's a book called Rich as F*ck by Amanda Francis that was very helpful to me. Audible was the best investment I ever made in terms of building my business. I listen to audiobooks all the time and in two years, my business has grown exponentially. I attribute so much of that of just learning with intention.
Podcast related to business or personal finance are also so helpful. I modeled Earn More Tutoring from the show, ChooseFi, which lit a FIRE under me and helped me jump from being a public school teacher to entrepreneur. Find learning materials that will help you reach your goals and devour them.
Another thing is do informational interviews with people you want to be like in terms of your business goals. Before I was podcasting, I was reaching out to people to ask them how they chose their career, why they chose it, how the work life balance is, and so much more. If you want me free template on how to set up and complete an informational interview, visit the resources page of this website. The more informational interviews you do with that intention of reaching certain goals, the more quickly you're going to reach your goal.
Key #11: Think BIG
What I mean by this is you got to have big goals. My mission for my podcast is to eradicate educator poverty. That is attractive to people and they want to share the podcast when they hear that because they feel, "this is helping address this really important issue, which is there's a lot of educators out there who are in poverty who are working multiple jobs." And then we agree that they need the skills to basically address this need.
I'm also talking about writing down your big income goals. I have a big 10 year income goal that I'm working towards and charting my monthly progress helps keep me motivated. I also create vision board that have images of where I imagine myself in a year, five years and ten years.
Questions you could ask yourself to describe in cut out pictures could be:
What do you want your home to look like?
Who are you surrounded yourself with?
How do you get around?
What does your business look like?
Most importantly, write down those goals. If you've listened to any of my work, you know that I always say you're 42% more likely to reach a goal you've written down. Write down those goals and then look at them before you go to bed. Look at them when you wake up and come up with a weekly action plan. If you want to know more about the weekly action plan, check out "The 12 Week Year" by Brian P. Moran, who's also was also a guest on the podcast in episode 53. Then break those goals down into little steps you can move toward each week. Think BIG and create a roadmap to reach your goals.
Key #12: Diversify Your Income
This goes beyond tutoring and into the way that invest the money you earn tutoring. Diversity is an approach -- I have a tutoring business, a podcast and online course with a Facebook group. I want my income to be flowing in from many different directions.
I also serve as an expert witness in my area of expertise, I do speaking and own property. I bought a house with my wife back in 2018 and the value of that just keeps increasing especially in desirable area like the Bay Area. You want to make sure wherever you're buying property, the property value continues to increase, then make strategic improvements to the home to increase the value over time.
I also own assets like index funds and stocks. I'm not telling you to go put your money in the stock market, but I am saying learn about this stuff. The way I learned was by listening to ChooseFI and then diving deeper in guests that were of particular interest to me. If you look at the history of the stock market, the S&P has grown by 10% on average each year. Of course, there have been ups and downs but on average the stock market has grown 10% each year.
Imagine if you have $100,000 in the stock market and you get a 10% gain. Now next year you have $110,000. Now imagine that you invested a million dollars -- that means you get $100,000 gain on average every year! So make sure you're investing for the long term, whether it's in property, index funds, whatever it may be.
The other thing is the power of the "no-cost, no-fee refinance", if you own property. When I bought my home, I was at a 5% interest rate. I refinanced it twice and got down to 2.75% interest rate. This lowered my monthly payment from around $2800 to $1800 a month.
Those are my 12 tips for how to earn more tutoring. I encourage you to choose one of these even if it's reading a book, listening to a podcast and implement because it's all about taking action. Don't be a procrastilearner -- GO TAKE ACTION! The key is you have to commit to action. Once you have the knowledge commit to taking one small step. Please subscribe, and if you enjoyed this, leave a rating review and let me know your thoughts on what you're going to apply.
If you want to check out my courses, click on this link learn more about how to find your tutoring niche and gain more clients.
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.
And last but not least, Sean has hosted over 50 episodes the Earn More Tutoring Podcast with a mission to eradicate educator poverty. The show recently surpassed 8,000 downloads.
Sean is regularly featured across media channels for his expertise on executive function, ADHD and special education.