"It's extremely rewarding, and a really useful way of making some extra income."
Would you like to run your own business as a Digital Unite tutor? You won’t make a fortune but helping others get to grips with digital technology is fun and really rewarding. You’ll be part of a community of people doing the same thing, and you’ll have the Digital Unite brand right behind you. We'll support you with training and advice on marketing and other aspects of being a freelance tutor. Find out more, and download the full prospectus below.
We won't be recruiting any more tutors this year but if you are keen to join us, please get in touch. Use this contact form to register your interest and send us brief details of your experience, and where you live. It’s important to say where you live, as we may not be able to take you on if there is already another tutor in the area.
We will contact you again when we are planning our next Induction Workshop which will probably be:
May 2013 – London
Following the workshop, you will be invited to three webinars - two on marketing and one on accessibility.
Rights to use the Digital Unite brand and stand out from the competition. Digital Unite is well established as one of the UK’s leading providers of digital skills learning for older people and other less confident users. We work alongside, and are recommended by, a number of Government departments (see here) to help steer the digital inclusion agenda and are actively working with other organisations and partners such as Age UK, UK online centres, the BBC and Race Online 2012 to help improve digital literacy nationally.
A teaching area in which to market your services as a DU Tutor. You will be allocated a teaching area encompassing the area around your home. We will refer enquiries from potential clients in and around this area to you and we will not appoint new tutors in this area without prior discussion with you.
Support, from Digital Unite Head Office and the Digital Unite tutor network. Being a freelance can be lonely; you don’t have the colleagues to support you as you would working in a company. Here at Digital Unite you will get support and advice from the Head Office team who have many years’ experience in the business. You will also be part of a network of tutors doing the same job and facing the same challenges. You will have access to a private online forum and be given the contact details for all of the other tutors.
Training on being a freelance tutor, marketing and IT accessibility. Your Joining Fee covers a one-day Induction Course (see timings and locations below), where you will work with DU Tutor Managers and other new Tutors to identify and suggest answers to the issues you will meet. You will also take part in a series of webinars on marketing and IT accessibility, from DU’s resident experts.
Marketing materials. To help you with your local marketing activity you will have access to a number of professionally designed downloadable promotional materials. These materials include an A4 poster, an A5 leaflet, an A6 postcard, a gift voucher and a business card and have been created in such away that you can edit your own details on each template.
Tutor handbook. An extensive and comprehensive Tutor Handbook is provided to all tutors. The Handbook provides advice and guidance on a whole host of aspects including setting yourself up as self-employed, teaching styles and skills and how to market your services locally.
Over ten years of running the Digital Unite Tutor Network has given us a good sense of what makes a successful Digital Unite tutor.
Essentially you need three sets of skills:
You don’t need to be a qualified teacher but it is essential that you have experience (formal or informal) of teaching or helping others acquire computer skills. You may have this from training or mentoring colleagues at work, or from working as a volunteer helping others learn to use computers.
A good teacher must have good people skills. Many of the people who come to you for help will be quite nervous about using digital technology. Some may have had bad experiences, from attending classes that were not right for them, or of being shown how to use a computer by someone who did not understand their needs.
You will need the ability to put them at their ease, to listen to them and understand what they really need, and then to explain and show them how to do it and encourage them to try it for themselves. This must be coupled with patience to do it again if they don’t understand or remember the first time and maybe the second or third time.
You can be the best teacher in the world, and know more about computers than anyone but if you don’t tell people, they won’t pay you to help them.
You will have to get out there and tell them. That means advertising, promoting yourself is various ways and building networks of contacts locally. You have got to be willing to put in the time and effort to do this, and to be sufficiently mentally robust, self-motivated and enterprising to stick at it and build your business over time.
We can give you training, advice and support and some promotional materials to help you along the way but we can’t do your marketing for you.
So if you think that being a DU Tutor means you can sit back and wait for us to send you the clients – stop now!
You’ll be helping people to use computers so you need to be a competent and confident user of a PC, the internet and the common applications for email, web browsing, word processing and maybe managing photos and music.
You don’t need to be an expert and you certainly don’t need to be a technical wizard.
Most of your clients will want help with basic skills or to build on the basics to make better use of their computer so you need the knowledge to give them that. If you have an in depth knowledge of photo editing, or accounting, or databases, or other tools that individuals or small businesses may use, great – you can offer tuition in those things, at premium prices but it’s not essential.
If you have technical skills with hardware or networks, that is also something you can offer. Many people want these services but again, it’s not necessary. Many DU tutors work on the basis that “I can’t help you with that, but I know a man who can!”
If you are a technical expert, bear in mind that most of your clients will not be and make sure that you don’t blind them with jargon.
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