“But, where do I start?” This is always the primary question when you begin something enormous. And that’s exactly what we have planned to answer in this post for the teachers who are planning to start tutoring online. When it comes to teaching online, teachers essentially have two alternatives – teach on a tutoring marketplace or build and launch their own marketplace.
The prevalence of conflicting views and opinions can leave a novice entrepreneur confused and overwhelmed. The problems get even more confounded when one is found lacking in the following areas:
- Loyal clientele
- Clear prospects of business expansion
As a result, it seems tempting to stick to the professionals i.e. teaching on tutoring marketplaces, and not testing the waters by yourself. However, it may not be a wise decision in the long run. There are a number of profit-sharing and lock-in considerations to factor in with other marketplaces which are significantly less with launching your own marketplace.
Since there are pros and cons to both options, it is important to understand the nuances of both tactics. The one that is best for you depends on your specific goals and circumstances as an online teacher. This guide will explain all the hidden gotchas of both the options out there so that you can choose the right medium for your online tutoring business.
The teaching of Existing Tutoring Marketplace
The tutoring marketplace is a platform where tutoring service is provided by a number of different tutors which are managed by the platform owner. Examples include Preply, Cambly, etc. With such a platform, a tutor gets the following features:
- The session’s content, pricing, and marketing are influenced by the marketplace’s policy.
- Tutors can leverage the reach of the marketplace and not work too much on their own for marketing.
- These marketplaces have quizzing tools, mobile apps, worksheets, etc. making it lucrative for tutors and students.
Launching Own Tutoring Marketplace
Launching your own platform gives you the opportunity to sell on your own terms. It puts you on the front foot and offers you to price your live sessions freely, communicate with the students on the platform via email, cross-sell other sessions & webinars, and grow your brand exactly how you want it.
Pros and Cons of Teaching on Tutoring Marketplaces
- The biggest benefit of the tutoring marketplace is that a huge amount of sales will be directed by the marketing efforts of the marketplace. As their primary source of income depends on the number of students on the platform, they spend thousands of dollars in SEO optimization and paid advertisement.
- Online tutoring platforms have already built a huge student base that has thousands of potential buyers. You have a great chance to be shown to thousands of targeted students who are searching for a tutor in that marketplace.
- Marketplace owners provide a lot of free help and access to online instructor communities where everyone encourages and motivates each other to succeed.
- As these marketplaces have developed a strong brand and credibility, potential students prefer to join a known brand rather than an unknown tutoring platform.
- Many other benefits like no running costs, security compliances, and the presence of an adequate feature set let teachers completely focus on tutoring.
- The biggest drawback of teaching on a tutoring marketplace is that the teachers don’t have access to student’s personal contact information. Teachers are unable to develop a relationship with the students making it hard to scale their business outside the marketplace.
- Tutors are subject to the marketplace’s rules and policy. The marketplace owner decides how often tutors can communicate with the students, how much can they charge from them, and when tutors’ payments will be released. Tutors don’t have any other option but to abide by the set rules or else can be laid off from the platform.
- Undoubtedly, the marketplace makes use of its brand name and promotes its tutors for more reach. However, that marketing comes at a huge cost. For instance, many marketplaces act as affiliates and keep a fixed percentage of the sales generated by them.
- Tutors will not be able to grow and promote their own brand when teaching at a tutoring marketplace. They may be allowed to watermark their videos/courses, but that’s the maximum they will get to promote their brand. At all times, the students are exposed to the marketplace’s design and logo which eventually dilutes the tutor’s brand.
Pros and Cons of Launching Own Marketplace
- When tutors have their own marketplace, they have full control and ownership of their students with all their contact information. This helps to build a strong bond with them and get repeat and referral sales.
- With one’s own marketplace, tutors can customize the look and feel of their marketplace. In addition to this, tutors can promote their brand, integrate with other services, track conversion analytics, manage affiliates, and much more. All in all, the tutor is the boss of the marketplace.
- Having your own marketplace gives you the freedom of setting your own prices for the sessions and get paid immediately. Moreover, except for a tiny transaction fee, you get to keep all the revenue generated from the platform
- The complete marketing plan is to be managed by the tutor himself. Starting from building marketing and sales funnel, attracting potential students, and converting them, all is to be done by the tutor which is indubitably the most difficult and time-consuming part of launching own business.
- Maintenance costs increase as the business grows. Expenses like hosting fees, video conferencing functionality, email marketing automation tools, payment gateways, and many more start cumulating once the business gains speed and has thousands of users.
- New marketplaces lack credibility and the audience is not able to figure out whether they should trust newbies in the market or not. Even the review and testimonials do not help in this scenario as the audience is well aware these days and knows that fake reviews can be easily generated.
So, to decide the better option between the two for your business completely depends on what are your future business plans. Teaching on a tutoring marketplace may sound like an easier option to get your first sales done and validate your idea of becoming an online tutor.
However, if you intend to build a steady and viable source of income, launching your own marketplace is the way to go.
Launching an Online Tutoring Marketplace
Launching your own marketplace requires ready-made online tutoring software in the first place. A ready-made customizable tutoring software will help you launch your tutoring platform with basic to advanced features in no time. Being highly scalable, this software can easily accommodate the growing requirements of the platform and business.
One such readymade online tutoring software is Yo!Coach that can be used to build platforms around online tutoring and consultation. This fully customizable software comes with a lifetime license without any recurring fees. Tutors can host unlimited group and one-to-one live sessions on the platforms powered by Yo!Coach.
This GDPR compliant software also takes into consideration the security and privacy of its users. The software has a wide range of features that make it compatible to cater to varied use cases in the online learning landscape. The interactive features and state-of-the-art integrations in the software deliver a whole new online learning experience.