Tutor with Us

DC Tutors is a tutor listing and matching service designed to connect local DC tutors with students. If you are an independent tutor looking to find students in DC, this site is for you!

How We Work

We're local, so you must be too. We have multiple sites targeting different locations and our students expect to find local tutors they can meet near them. To be listed on any particular site, you actually have to live there, or nearby, and be available for in-person tutoring in that area. You can be listed on multiple sites as long as you are available face-to-face in each location.

To get started, you just create a simple profile on our site. Interested students can then find and contact you by submitting a contact request through the site. We forward their request to you, and at that point our role is done. You have a lead for a potential new student and you can get back to them directly.

Once you have your new students, they're yours. We don't require ongoing payments from you or them, even if you discontinue your listing with us. You keep all the income you generate from your students, and neither you nor they have any ongoing obligation to us. Of course we hope you'll continue to list with us for the opportunity to generate new leads, but that is up to you.

Speaking of students, we don't charge them anything. Ever. They don't even have to sign up for the site. This lowers the barrier to entry and makes it much easier for more students to find you. You don't have to sign up for the site either. We just need your name, profile info, and an email address so we can forward student contact requests to you.

How We Charge You

This is a prototype site and we're currently working with local tutors to figure out how best to financially support our development. Below are initial ideas but we're open to other ideas that work for the local tutor community (and potentially we can have different models for different locations). Please join us through Meetup as we work together to hash out the details. Current potential ideas are as follows:

Idea 1 - Totally Free

In this case our only traffic would come from organic search engine referrals which would in theory increase over time, especially if helped by referral links e.g. links from our tutors' social media and/or other websites they are on. Free seems great for tutors who don't want to pay anything but encourages bots, spammers, and other undesirables to also join the site. In this case all expenses would be covered by our founding tutor. Such an arrangement is fine initially but if we grow significantly, and the expenses grow proportionally, we'd have to then look at how to support costs via some other method such as advertising.

Idea 2 - A Very Minimal Fixed Fee

By charging something like $1 per month per tutor, we'd avoid the vast majority of undesirable actors such as bots and spammers, as well as tutors who aren't seriously into tutoring. We'd still only grow via organic search engine and tutor-generated traffic, but we'd likely have a higher quality membership. In this case all expenses would be covered by the fee and should sustain growth, even if we grow significantly.

Idea 3 - A Modest Fixed Fee

By charging a larger monthly fixed fee, e.g. $10/month, we could afford to advertise and generate potential students and growth much more quickly then relying just on organic growth. We'd work out some limit on how much is taken to support operations, leaving the rest to go towards advertising and other things that directly benefit tutors.

Idea 4 - A Modest Proportional Fee

Rather than charging a fixed amount for everyone, we could charge a fee proportional to how much each tutor charges per hour, e.g. if a tutor's hourly rate is $25 per hour, we'd charge them $25 per year be be listed on the site. If they charge $100/hour to tutor, they'd pay $100/year. We'd enforce this by limiting the hourly rate you specify in your tutoring profile on the site. This model has the same benefits as the modest fixed fee but (1) encourages people who make more to contribute more, and (2) discourages people from speculatively listing unrealistic tutoring rates they haven't demonstrated an ability to demand.

Idea 5 - A Large Proportional Fee

This would work the same as the modest proportional fee except instead of charging the tutor's hourly rate per year, we'd charge it per month. Similar to the modest fixed and proportional fees, such a larger proportional fee would allow advertising at a significant rate to bring more students much faster. We could potentially start with this larger proportional fee to get started and then reduce it when/if we get more organic traffic. This could also be done as initial method and then reduced with seniority e.g. after your first year your payment method changes from the larger (monthly) proportional fee to the modest (yearly) proportional fee. This arrangement would ensure it isn't just the early adopters who build up traffic.

Additional Ideas

In addition to the above, we could generate some income via parallel, optional methods such as charging for a "featured" listing (e.g. where people are listed first or more prominently) or adding a "background checked" badge to your listing. Since some of our locations are close together, some tutors might want to list on multiple sites in their tutoring "service area" and we could charge an extra fee for each additional site a tutor wants to be on.

How You Charge Your Students

We don't accept payments on your behalf, so you can either collect cash and pay zero fees or use a payment app or website and pay a few percent - a far cry from the 9% or more some tutoring sites charge. It generally costs 3% to charge a credit card so anything above that is money in their pockets instead of yours. Keep it simple and just collect your own tutoring fees. There are multiple apps that make it extremely easy, don't force your students to provide personal or financial info to a tutoring company, and allow you to keep more of your hard earned money.

How We Compare to the Alternatives

If you've done much tutoring, you've probably already noticed that DC Tutors offers quite a different experience than the two main ways tutors usually find students: (1) going it alone or (2) listing with a massive online tutoring company.

Those who go it alone tend to search for students anywhere they can, frequently using one of the big free classifieds sites. Those sites can be very frustrating. There's lots of competition from other tutors, especially the many unscrupulous ones who spam the listings with multiple unprofessional ads. You also have to keep updating your listing to keep from being buried in the mess. The whole experience is less than ideal and doesn't project a polished and professional image.

Those who list with the massive online tutoring sites suffer through many extremely frustrating issues. Many of these sites seem to think that because they connected a tutor and student that they have the right to extract as much money as possible from the relationship for the rest of eternity. Some don't consider them your students and want to control your relationship. Some require you to bill through them and take exorbitant percentages of your ongoing revenue. Some charge significant "service" fees on top of that. Some even charge your students as well. If that wasn't bad enough, many want you to sign complex legal agreements almost no one understands and that may impact your ability to continue to tutor your students if you want to stop paying them. Let me get this straight, you want to take 25% of my hourly rate for every session I ever teach, then another 9% "service" charge on top of that, also forever, and you're charging my student on the side? Give me a break!

Our founder, owner, and developer is also a tutor and won't stand for any of that nonsense. We are a very small, very lean company with no debt, investors, or giant executive salaries to pay, so we can just provide the matching service you want and leave the hassle behind. If you just want to find some students and then be left alone to work with them, you've found the right place!

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