How to Get Started as a Language Tutor
The obvious and obscure planning that a freelance language tutor must do.
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Being a freelance language tutor is a wonderful pastime. It can either be a side hustle in which you can really choose when and where you work. Or it can blossom into a full-blown career.
Helping children, businessmen, travelers, and a whole wealth of other demographics learn the languages of the world is an imperceptibly important role.
Here are some of the steps to getting started as a freelance language tutor:
What language are you gonna teach?
But it is important to really set out what language you are comfortable teaching. Is it your native language? Maybe your teaching English as a foreign language. Many language tutors tend to teach more than one language, so perhaps you are offering a buffet of dialects to your pupils.
Who and how?
Who do you want to teach? Are you interested in providing language classes to kids, or does the idea of teaching Company VIPs seem more interesting to you? Decide who your audience is going to be, this will help you plan the maturity of your materials and the equipment you’ll need to cater to them.
How do you want to teach? Online classes or offline? Many tutors I know do a mix of both, depending on their client’s needs. Especially considering the signs of the times, offering online classes would be suitable. This too would help you in creating your materials, knowing whether they would need to be digital or not.
Workezy.com has a booking system that allows freelancers like tutors to let their clients book time slots for lessons etc.
Start teaching for free
Starting for free is going to help you gain clients and build up experience for yourself. See if you can teach your friends or family for free, to begin with. You can master your craft by getting feedback from people before you fully start tutoring the public.
Become qualified or jump into the deep end
You’ve got two options here;
Become Qualified: A general bachelor’s degree will suffice in being qualified to teach language. If you want to go the extra mile you can try to achieve the Cambridge CELTA teaching qualification. These merits will make you more marketable, which will help you gain clients.
Jump into the deep end: Although many websites strongly suggest needing academic certifications, I would suggest otherwise. In an age where university-given merits are becoming less imperative, there is nothing wrong with just starting tutoring if you cant get your hands on any certifications. I currently have a language tutor who is teaching me Cantonese – my home’s native tongue. She is a marketing major with no legitimate teaching qualification, but she is by far the best tutor I’ve ever had. So don’t be afraid to jump into teaching, don’t be deterred by your tutor counterparts who have university qualifications.
What are you worth?
Here’s a philosophical one.
What are you going to charge your customers, you definitely want to charge as much as possible. But do research into other tutors in your language field and see what they offer, so that you may stay competitive too. Charge what you’re worth!
What are your cancellation policies? How are you going to accept payments? These are all things to lay out before you get started.
Put yourself on as many freelancer and tutoring marketplaces as possible. Sign up to Workezy.com, the base account for freelancers is literally free and it will give you a great platform to: Market your services, collect payments, handle bookings, and more. It’s a great one-stop-shop for your freelancing needs.
You don’t need just us though, all freelancer marketplaces like ours are here for you and your tutoring. So feel free to sign up to as many marketplaces as you’d like.
Try to get your friends and family to review you. Once you’ve done this, make a point of getting every student you get to give you a rating/review. You will gain more clients when they see you have 5 or 10 or 15 or 50 great reviews. You will look like a seasoned veteran in your language field and this is going to instill confidence in prospective clients.
Here’s one that doesn’t take planning, but you do need to keep in mind once you get started. Rinse and repeat your teachings and simply persevere through it. Before you know it, you will have been teaching for 2 or maybe even 5 years, with loads and loads of clients under your belt. You may have even become a household name locally for your teachings. Perseverance is going to help you maintain your tutoring career, whilst gaining clients and a reputation. Be honest with yourself that your desire to be a head-honcho in your language field isn’t going to happen for a few years. One day you will look up and realize that you made a wonderful career for yourself.
Don’t just settle for freelancer marketplaces and current clients. Once you’ve decided that private tutoring is your calling in life, look to join teaching agencies that can handle a lot of the management for you. They will take a cut out of your paycheck, but you will be paid on time and the clients you’ll get through the agency are more likely to be long-term.
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