Congratulations, you’re now a tutor! Welcome to our world. 🙂
Now, let’s find some students!
Getting your very first student might seem like a daunting or even difficult task. There’s no need to worry – it’s a rite of passage we all go through, and it’s nowhere near as hard as it may seem.
If experienced and successful tutors could travel back in time to when they first started, and give their former-selves some advice, here’s what they’d say:
1. Decide which subjects you’re going to teach
Having a clear idea of exactly what you’re going to teach is the starting point for every tutor
Here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Don’t forget that you’re your own boss now! If you hate Maths, don’t teach it!
- Teach the subjects you enjoy! You’ll deliver higher quality lessons, because students will see your passion for the subject, and you’ll have a lot more fun.
- Think about the subjects that you were good at when you were a student. If you can say ‘I got an A in Science’, students will know you can help them.
- Think about which subjects you’re most qualified in. You’ll have a head-start teaching the subjects that you studied at A-level or university (although that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to teaching only that subject).
2. Make a Tutorean profile
Now you know what you’re teaching, your students (and their parents) need a place to find you! Your tutor-profile will tell them everything they need to know.
It includes information, such as:
- A short biography.
- Your education history, qualifications and teaching experience.
- Where and what you teach.
- What your hourly rate is.
- A profile picture, and even a profile video.
3. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself
Like I said, you’re your own boss now. That means you’re a business, and businesses need advertising.
It’s no secret that the most successful people in any industry have no qualms or reservations about tooting their own horn, from time to time. Tutoring is no different.
Having a top profile is a great start, but instead of waiting for students and parents to find you, go and find them!
It’s never been easier, either. All you need to do is…
4. Use social media
Social media has revolutionised the world, and opened up a universe of advertising possibilities for tutors.
Whereas in the past, tutors could only rely on posters and word of mouth, they now have a world of potential students at just the click of a button.
When it comes to which to choose, the more the merrier! Each platform has its own distinct advantages that could help you attract your first students:
- Facebook is a great way to get in touch with parents who are looking for a tutor for their children.
Instead of using your regular private account, you can even create a Facebook page for yourself as a tutor.
Oh, and asking your real-life friends to share your profile can go a long way!
- You might assume that Instagram is of little value to a tutor. In fact, it’s a wonderful resource.
An Instagram profile full of snaps of lesson ideas, materials, and all things related to the subjects you teach can really bring your online presence to life.
It also shows a level of openness and transparency that will make parents trust you, and feel as if they know you better.
- Forget ‘I think therefore I am’. From now on your motto is ‘I tweet therefore I tutor’.
Having an active Twitter presence means that your first student could always be just seconds, and 280 characters, away.
You can use it to stay in the tutoring loop, as well as increasing your chances of being discovered, by joining in public conversations and using hashtags (#).
Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or all three – don’t forget to share a link to your tutor profile whenever you use any social media platform! There’s no use in making yourself known, if people can’t find the place to hire you!
5. Write a blog about the subjects you teach
An enthusiastic tutor creates an enthusiastic student: everybody wants a tutor loves the subjects that they teach!
So, why not go the extra mile to show how much you care – you’ll have a packed schedule in no time.
A blog, with links to your professional profile, is a great string to any tutor’s bow for a number of reasons:
- It shows that you’re passionate about the subjects you teach.
- Your personable writing voice will make you more approachable.
- It’s another place that you’ll be discovered by new clients.
6. Guest post on other peoples’ blogs
Writing guest posts on other tutors’ blogs is a brilliant way to become active in the tutoring community, network, and raise your own professional profile.
Your guest posts can include links to your blog, social media profile and, most importantly, your tutoring profile.
Just don’t forget to return the favour.
7. Promote yourself the old fashioned way
Online marketing is fantastic, but it would be foolish to turn your back on traditional marketing techniques. They worked for years before social media, and they still work now!
- Flyers, to raise your local profile. Neatly designed flyers posted on community or school bulletin boards will turbo charge your word-of-mouth reputation, and cement you as the go-to-tutor in the local community.
- Business cards. Having a simple, elegantly designed business card shows professionalism, and, once it’s in a client’s wallet or purse, it’ll be the first thing they reach for when they need a tutor.
8. Choose the correct rate
Choosing the right rate is key to getting the ball rolling, and finding your first student.
It’s important not to just pluck a number from thin air, or to charge a rate that you think ‘sounds about right’.
Before you settle on your hourly-rate, consider:
- Whether you’re charging too much. If your prices are twice the amount of every other tutor in the area, parents won’t want to risk spending premium-rate for an unproven tutor.
- Whether you’re undercharging! You shouldn’t begin by charging too much, but you shouldn’t charge too little either!
If you’re £10 cheaper than every other tutor in the region, clients might wonder why…
- Starting with an average hourly rate, then gradually increasing it over time, as your reputation grows.
If you follow these simple tips, it won’t be long before you have a thriving tutoring business and an ever-growing reputation.
You’ll wonder why you ever fretted about getting your first student.
This is Part 1 of a 3 post series. You can check out the other two posts below when you are ready – or right now 🙂