April 29, 2021

How to Become a French Tutor

Looking for a flexible career doing something you love? A comprehensive guide guide to becoming a successful French tutor!

Woman with laptop French tutor

So you are considering becoming a French tutor? I’ll bet you are attracted to it as you have identified that you can use your language skills to earn money, have a flexible working pattern and that it’s a pretty fun job.

And you would be right. Being a tutor has some amazing perks, including:

  • Choosing your own hours to work around other commitments (kids, studying etc)
  • Building teaching and business skills for your resumé
  • Earning a very good hourly wage once you create a loyal client base

I have been a successful kids’ French tutor for 10 years so I can tell you exactly what it is like and how to approach it. After a degree in International Business, I worked in banking but it meant that I would have to put the kids in childcare for five days a week. So I decided to start my own business on my own terms.

My day as a language tutor

Let me give you a flavour of my working week. I am a mother of three kids who are now at school. Being a freelance kids’ French tutor means that I can drop my brood at school in the morning and be available if they are ill – I am my own boss! In the recent past, I was also managing to run my working week around having babies, maybe having child-care for them 1 or 2 days a week part-time.

Here is an idea of my current working week:

MorningAfternoonEvening
Monday (Day for me!)Work at a charityDo an exercise classFamily time
Tuesday (Blast Day!)Reply to emails with a cup of teaPrep classes and make resourcesAfter settled kids in bed, work on some marketing
Wednesday (Classes)Run classes and have lunch at homeRun classes online after school pick upFinish a blog I am working on
Thursday (Classes)Run classes then lunch with a friendsRun classes online after school pick upGo for an evening stroll then watch a series
Friday (Get weekend ready!)Run classesBe with the kids, take them to their sports classesOut for dinner with friends
Saturday (Day off completely)Take my little one to balletGo for a picnic with familyMovie night
Sunday (Relax and plan the week)RelaxCheck what I have for the week, prep an email campaignGames night

What kind of money can I make as a French tutor?

As with any job, the harder you work and the better the service you deliver, the more you can earn. I have tried and tested most models of tutoring over the years. I have tailored my offering, automated as many processes as possible and reduced my prep time to a fine art. All I can say is that from my experience I can make £40 to £60 per teaching hour. But you need an excellent methodology and a slick marketing process.

In terms of costs, you need to consider marketing, payment processing costs and website management costs. These costs can add up but through experience I know how to keep these under control.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Plan & Research Properly  

It wouldn’t be fair of me if I didn’t give the full picture of becoming a French tutor. There are some hurdles to overcome in order to set up a successful tutoring business. French tutoring is a crowded and relatively fragmented market. You need to know how to obtain and retain clients and earn what you deserve.

Who will you teach? 

When I first started 10 years ago, having come from an analytical background, I carried out a full market analysis. It is wise to have several revenue streams but choose your niche. What do you want to be known for? I am the go-to tutor for under 9s in my area and in my little slice of the internet. Felicity: the early-years French tutor. I tutor both bilingual children who need a boost and monolingual children who are taking their first steps in French.

What method will you use and who will you teach? 

It is not enough to be able to speak a second language. You need a programme with topics and learning objectives to be able to assess whether you are helping your students meet their goals. If like me you are passionate about teaching children, do your research on how to engage authentically with kids. Clue: it isn’t a boring grammar book.

How will you market your services?

A “build it and they will come” mentality will not work. Before you even get near launch you need to put a marketing plan together detailing how to get information about your services in front of the right people and for them to take action and book you. Word-of-mouth i.e. amazing customer service is crucial but not enough to help you earn your maximum potential revenue. Key to my marketing strategy is a solid GDPR-compliant email list with automation, social media presence and a high-ranking, branded website with the ability to view my timetables, book trials and join the waiting list.

How will you take money?

We tutor because we care but we also tutor to earn money. I always ask for pre-payment and take payment online via my website. There is a small processing charge which you need to factor into your costs but the benefits of tracking payments and avoiding any awkward non-payees is worth this 10 times over. Make payment as simple as possible for clients with clear Terms & Conditions. You are running a business so keep on top of your incoming payments.

Have you looked into tax, insurance and safety checks?

This might all sound scary but it is just the basics of running your own business. You need to check your local country requirements. In the UK, self-employed people need to register with HMRC (national tax bureau), then you can contact local insurance companies for quotes to protect yourself as a tutor and finally, if you are working with children, I would always apply for a criminal records check to show any prospective parents or venues that you use. For example, in Scotland this is the PVG scheme and in England the DBS check.

2. My Recommended Implementation Process

Following on from your Planning & Research, it is time to implement.

Finalise your learning programme:

Now that you know who you are targeting, create an outline of a programme. Make a general plan with objectives (the topic, verbs, nouns, expressions etc) spanning a block of weeks then write a detailed weekly plan activity by activity. I’d always recommend adding an extra activity in case you get through it too quickly. Although a good tutor can freestyle, you can never be over prepared. I also recommend building in revision weeks.

Create your resources:

This is the part that can be VERY time consuming. I’d recommend creating a few templates so that when you need to make activities, you have your base model to work from. A word of warning; if you are using images or worksheets that you find online, make sure that you have the right to use them commercially.

Test your ideas with some users:

User testing is important if you are serious about scaling up. You can learn on the job but if you are asking people to pay good money for your services a trial run with a group means you will be more confident at your first session and can tailor your programme, ironing out any parts that don’t work well.

Marketing:

In tandem with the above carry out a bit of market analysis who are your local competitors. Also, we live in a digital world, so what are peoples online options? How can you set yourself apart? Set-up your social media accounts and create a business email account in order to begin gathering emails from interested parties.. For some tutors this may be enough. However, I’d highly recommend a simple website with a compelling message, clear pricing and online booking. Next, have relevant directories, local organisations and online influencers link to you.

Or, Skip most of the above and consider the solution outlined below…

3. Get Started Quickly – Have you thought about kids group tutoring online?

I’m going to be honest with you as I want you to have the full picture. As I have mentioned before, tutoring can be a crowded market and getting to the stage of having a database of tried & tested lessons and resources, an efficient booking system and waiting lists takes a lot of dedication.

However, if you are genuinely good with kids, energetic and empathic (and, it goes without saying, highly proficient or bilingual in French) I may be able to give you a mega shortcut.

Back in 2012, I identified that the language programmes for under 8’s were sparse and lacking in quality. I am always on the lookout for new ideas and market opportunities. Over several years I created un under 5s programme and an age 5-9 programme. This was based on fun, in-person classes. This has always been highly profitable and a particular passion of mine.

During COVID I pivoted to digital resources and online tutoring and my business is now again experiencing very high growth… There are opportunities to replicate my success with my Mini Languages® Method for the right people.

I teach about 5-7 hours a week and create resources, blog and run my e-commerce site another day or so per week but there is so much demand for online sessions that I just don’t have time for. So I have decided to create a new package for a select group of tutors to enable them to start their own businesses in other parts of the UK and the world.

What does the Mini French® Tutoring Package include?

I am in the initial stages of creating a comprehensive licensing package to help people like you who are excited about a new career become a French tutor. This package will focus on running online group tutoring in the age 5-9 space using the Mini French® copyrighted material. It will include:

Tried & Tested Scheme of Work

Access to a database of three years of lesson plans for 37-40 weeks per year plus all corresponding resources. This includes mp3s, onscreen resources and follow-up material for families. These lessons are suitable for delivery via Zoom or equivalent and have been tested so they not only work well, they result in 100% satisfaction rates from families. It can be hard to create fun language lessons that engage young children but with Mini Languages® children are laughing, smiling and engaged. It is truly a joy.

Online lessons also mean that the world is truly open to you. There is high demand for language tuition globally meaning that you can gather local interest but also full up your slots from around the world.

Teaching Techniques

Whether you have teaching experience or not you can be a good kids’ tutor. I will explain the specific techniques I use for language tutoring. The secret sauce to Mini Languages® if you like! How to instantly get children’s attention, how to suit different learning styles and crucially how to help kids retain what you are teaching them. Happy kids means happy parents which in turn means repeat customers.

Marketing Advice

After years in the business world and currently studying a Masters in Digital Marketing, you will have access to my advice on the marketing methods that work for Mini Languages®. This includes how to build an email list and sell to people on your email list, how to create a user-friendly website that people can find and what social media and offline marketing is effective. This will save you time and money and help you to avoid the common pitfalls when you build your tutoring business.

Marketing on the Mini Languages website

If you know about Search Engine Optimisation then you know that it can take time and skill to get ranked for crucial keywords on Google and other search engines. My website www.minilanguagesforkids.com receives 10-15k visitors per month and the Mini French® Tutoring Package will give you access to this audience from Day One; a giant leap forward in your advertising efforts.

Pricing & Booking Processes Insights

I have tried a range of timetables and systems in the past including varying term durations, whether to enable free trials, class sizes, sibling discounts… the list goes on. I will provide details on my system to catapult you to the most efficient model, plus, help you implement a slick booking process to automate your booking and reduce your admin significantly.

Earn Extra Commission with Affiliate Marketing 

A big part of my business is now digital learning products; resources for parents and educators to use at home or in class. With the Mini French® Tutoring Package you will have a unique affiliate link which you can share with clients to earn commission automatically, topping-up your income.

Ready for next steps?

Most importantly you will be part of a successful model that works. This will be your own business so you can carve your own way in the world but I can advise and show you behind the scenes at Mini Languages® to help you reach your goals. There are many expensive franchise models out there but I am offering an opportunity for you to start quickly and at a low price point.

What you will need is:

  • a strong work ethic
  • organisational skills
  • naturally upbeat and positive mindset

If you want to keep in touch and be the first to hear about developments in the Mini French® Tutoring Package, head here and tick ‘Interested in Becoming a French Tutor‘. I look forward to connecting with you!

Felicity

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