Starting Your Own Tutoring Business on Wyzant

  1. Before taking your subject matter tests, find a textbook covering each topic you want to tutor, and keep it handy. Read through the table of contents, and make sure you’re familiar with everything in there. If you aren’t, you will still pass Wyzant’s subject tests, but your students won’t be impressed.
  2. When a student contacts you, follow these steps:

(a) Ask “Can you please attach your assignment description / course syllabus, so I can see if I’d be a great fit?”

(b) Ask how far they are on their assignment or project, AND when it’s due. Do not try to help someone who has barely started a large project.

(c) Propose a time to the student that you have open on your calendar, and ASK for confirmation before booking. Include the date, time, AM/PM, and time zone, and use the student’s time zone if it’s in their profile.

(d) Ask the student to do the online Wyzant systems check before the lesson.

(e) Exchange contact information, so you can reach your student if Wyzant Messaging stops working.

  1. Start with a low rate to build good ratings, but respect yourself by only keeping good students. Do not give discounts, or the student will keep asking for more discounts. Remember that Wyzant takes 25%, and taxes will take another 25%, so you only keep half of what you make.
  2. You do not save time by giving students excessive hints. Teach the skill the student needs to find the answer, then ask them what the answer is. Your work isn’t done until they come up with the correct answer on their own.
  3. Check your Lessons page EVERY DAY for low ratings. Reach out to students who granted low ratings like this: “Hey, Student Name! I strive to provide five-star service, but it looks like I missed the mark on our last lesson. How could I have earned five stars from you?”

If the student won’t give you a chance to earn five stars, then explain that they’ll have to find another tutor, because Wyzant’s competitive marketplace makes it hard to survive on less than five star ratings. The average rating here is about 4.7 stars. If you’re a good tutor, students will come back and give you the good ratings you deserve.

If you can afford to, refund any lessons that received less than four stars. Refunding a lesson removes the low star rating from your profile. It’s not cheating to do this, because your star rating still reflects the quality of the lessons people paid for. Consider it a marketing expense, as it will boost your ranking in Wyzant search results. Wyzant will eventually round up a 4.9 rating to a 5.0 even if you had a few non-5 ratings.

  1. Invest in a decent ergonomic office chair with back support. I bought mine for $25 at a garage sale. Install a solid-colored curtain in the background behind you for added professionalism. Make sure you have good lighting for your desk and webcam, and keep your monitor at eye level. If you require glasses, measure the distance from your eyes to your computer monitor and get a prescription for that distance.
  2. Before your lesson, put on a professional dress shirt, fill a 32-oz water bottle with water, and test your camera, microphone, and speakers.
  3. When the lesson gets tough, leverage your student. It’s OK to admit you don’t know the answer, but show the student your process for solving an unfamiliar problem. The solution will often emerge right when you’re doubting whether you should continue the lesson or not.
  4. Call attention to success as well as struggle, be kind to your students, and tell them to give themselves grace when they struggle. Webcams and microphones make tutors look and sound meaner than they are in real life, and students who seek tutoring services usually have a lot of internalized negative self talk.
  5. Before you disconnect from your student, ask (a) if they were satisfied, and (b) if they were, when they would like their next lesson.