Working as a private tutor is a rewarding experience. After all, you get the opportunity to be your own boss, which includes setting your tutoring fee, determining how many students you want to take on, and fixing tutoring timings. However, no business is easy and to become a successful private tutor, you must think strategically about your work.
These ten tips will help you expand your client base and establish your reputation as a private tutor:
- Manage expectations of your clients – Students come to you for help; that’s a given. But, before you start with a student, it’s important to evaluate what are their expectations from the tuition. Is it to gain help with homework, improve their understanding of the subject, or to prepare for competitive exams such as GRE? Understanding your client’s expectation is the first step to ensuring that you deliver the results expected both by the students and their parents. Remember – satisfied customers will bring you word-of-mouth business.
- Customise your teaching to the needs of your student – Most tutors teach all students the same way. But if you really want to be effective as a tutor you must tailor your teaching style to the requirements of the student. For instance, some students may need a more explanatory style of instruction, than others. Also, learn to modulate your lessons to the age group of the students you are teaching. Younger children respond better when you use creative/ demonstrative methods of teaching.
- Improve your skill set – A bachelor’s degree in education can be seen as an added qualification for a tutor, and also open the possibility of a teacher’s job in the future, if you decide to go down that route. Access online training portals such as Udemy to learn new skills. You could take an online course on technology in education.
- Build your professional network to stay updated – Working as a private tutor can be a lonely experience. You will spend most of your time preparing lessons, teaching students, and marketing yourself. Even as you get caught up in this daily routine, stay in touch with what’s happening in schools and student coaching centres. Build your professional network to include teachers and other tutors. Follow popular education and reaching websites to learn about new education standards and trends. Organise a Meet-Up with educators and independent tutors in the area to share experiences.
- Create an online presence – The web has become a one-stop shop for everyone looking for anything, which includes hiring a tutor. Here’s how you can build an online presence –
- For starters, create a free website on sites such as WordPress to let prospective students know who you are and the services you offer.
- Write blogs about topics concerning students and the subjects you teach.
- Create an online profile on My Private Tutor to reach thousands of potential students.
- A business page on Facebook is an excellent way of letting people in your social network know that you offer tutoring services.
- Promote your services with minimal marketing expenses – There are several ways to promote your services without spending money on marketing.
- Request parents of students to leave reviews on your website, Facebook page, or your My Private Tutor profile. Positive comments will help draw in other parents searching for a tutor for their child.
- Ask your friends and family to share your Facebook page on their social media profiles. The more ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ you get, the more publicity you get.
- Go to sites such as Vista to design low-cost business cards. Hand out your business cards to people you meet at social and professional events.
- If you have decent writing skills, write blogs for education-based websites such as ours. Doing this will not only establish your online reputation, but also make it easier for future students to choose you from scores of other tutors.
- Register your services on free online directories like Yellow Pages
- Visit the local schools in your area to check if you can post information on your tutoring services on the school bulletin board.
- Offer online tuitions along with face-to-face: To improve your geographical reach, offer online tutoring services along with in-person tuitions. Share information on your website on how you conduct online sessions e.g. the tools that you deploy and how the learning is verified. Doing so will assuage concerns that parents may have about an online class versus private tuitions.
- Be creative about pricing – Everyone loves a good pricing deal. Encourage students to continue with you by offering discount on the tuition fee if they pay for tuition classes in advance. For instance, you could offer 15% discount if the parent pays three months’ tuition fee in advance. Market it smartly by saying that paying tuition fee in advance saves clients the bother of making monthly payments while lowering the overall cost of tuition. You could have a similar deal for parents sending more than one child, or parents who refer other clients.
- Don’t skip the traditional methods of business promotion – The good-old fliers in the newspapers still work for creating a local buzz. If you are targeting the older group of children distribute flyers in areas where they hang out such as local cafe’s and sports clubs. You can also hand out flyers to parents who come to collect their children after school.
Tutoring, like any other business, has its rewards and challenges. The industry is highly competitive and it can be difficult to get a large number of students when you start. But if you deploy these strategic tips, the path to becoming a successful private tutor will be easier.
Share your experience as a private tutor in the UAE in the comments box below.