Show me a person who says ‘there’s no money in teaching’, and I’ll show you somebody who’s doing it all wrong.
With the right approach, there’s no end to the amount of money to be made tutoring. And it all starts will a well-made profile.
A strong profile puts you ahead of the competition before you’ve even taught your first class.
If you follow these few simple tips, the sky’s the limit…
1. Display your qualifications
Make sure that you fully update your education history to display that you have the grades and qualifications to help your students succeed.
You have the knowledge that your students need, but don’t think parents will always assume that. Show them that you know your stuff.
2. Take new qualifications, and don’t keep them a secret
The old adage ‘learn something new’ every day is truer for tutors than anybody else. Taking online courses will help you deliver quality lessons, and keeps you at the top of the market.
There are a wealth of courses out there, so choose one that’s a good fit for you.
Oh, and don’t feel guilty about showing off your professional development. You’re putting the extra effort to do the best for your students – parents should know.
You could include them in the ‘education’, or ‘teaching experience’ sections of your profile.
3. Choose the right picture
Some tutors spend a long time carefully updating their profile with information, then just stick any old picture on it without a second thought.
Think about it. Without a picture, your profile is just an unappealing wall of impersonal text. The picture is the thing that really brings it to life. The thing that helps parents and students really get a feel for your personality. The thing that they’ll remember.
Think carefully about the picture you choose. Following a few simple rules can make all the difference:
- Make sure it’s light and warm.
- Make sure there isn’t too much going on in the background. You should be the main focus of the photo.
- Use a good camera. People will be put off by a pixelated blob (and definitely no smartphone-selfies).
If you want to go an extra mile, hire a professional photographer to take a few pictures. It’s a bit more of a financial outlay to begin with, but it’ll pay for itself in no time.
4. Make a profile video
A lot of tutors feel a little bashful when it comes to making a profile video, but there’s really no need to be. If you do it well, it’s a perfect way to connect with the people watching.
First of all, just as with your profile picture, make sure it’s light. A talking head in a dark room looks more like something out of a horror film than a tutor’s online profile!
Secondly, don’t forget to show those pearly whites. ‘A smile don’t cost a thing’, and it’ll endear parents and students to you.
Last but not least, keep it short and sweet! You’re making a tutoring profile video, not the Lord of the Rings. Anything below 100 seconds is perfect. It’s not your life story, just a short clip to show parents and students that you’re personable, motivated and professional.
5. Write a great ‘About Me’
A short well-written biography is the perfect opportunity for your potential new students (and their parents) to learn what you’re all about.
And by that, I mean this isn’t the place to meticulously trawl through your education history, nor should you be writing a novel about your tutoring philosophy. Keep it, personable, friendly and snappy.
Some people like to write in the 3rd person, to give a biography a professional edge. Whatever you do, though, try to add a bit of flair and a personal touch. It will resonate with the people reading it.
6. Get a DBS check
This is fundamental necessity, and shows a level of respect and seriousness about your profession and your responsibilities.
A parent needs to know that they’re leaving their child in a safe and professional environment. A DBS check is governmental conformation of this – without one, you could be a criminal, for all the parent knows.
They aren’t difficult to get and don’t take long, so get it done and stick it on your profile.
7. Always being prepared for lessons means better student reviews
A prepared teacher delivers more effective lessons, more interesting lessons, and gives a better impression to parents. Preparation really is everything.
Unlike in a 30-student school class, tutors have the chance to bring a subject to life for their students, and really foster some enthusiasm for learning.
Whether it’s cutting out and special printing materials, bringing in some interactive activities, or having a set of mini-whiteboards, being extra-prepared will not go unnoticed, and your students will appreciate you all the more for it.
A quick look at any tutor’s student reviews will tell you how much thought they put into their preparation. A further look at their clientele and hourly rate will tell you exactly what that level of preparation does for them.
8. Show the students that they’re improving
Using weekly or monthly tests gives them a clear record of their improvement, and something they can proudly show their parents.
A record of work is concrete evidence of the good work you’re doing, and something you can show to potential new clients on Tutorean.
9. Get written student appraisals to put on your profile
If you’ve worked your socks off dragging a students’ grades up, people should know, straight from the horse’s mouth!
Once exams are passed and you’re saying goodbye to a grateful student and parent, ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing a couple of sentences about your classes that you can use to show everybody how hard you work.
A short and sweet appraisal at the end of your ‘tutoring experience’ proves that you deliver what you promise.
10. Ask happy customers to share your Tutorean profile with their friends
You’ve earned your reputation, now it’s time to harness the power of undisputed power of word of mouth.
A quick ‘if you know anybody else who’s looking for a tutor, please pass my profile on, I’d be happy to help’ goes a long way. In fact, you won’t believe how effective it can be.
Word of the excellent work that you’re doing will spread like wildfire.
11. Do your research and choose your hourly rate carefully
You can use Tutorean to take a look at how much other tutors in the local area are charging.
If you’re offering twice the amount of your nearest competitor, new clients will shy away from you.
It’s certainly not a race to the bottom, but you need to know where the top is to begin with. When you start off, try to match the average hourly pay in your area, then raise your price as your hard work proves that you’re worth paying that little bit extra for.
12. Don’t overstretch yourself
If you’re running back and forth over a 10 mile radius, it’s going to be impossible to consistently deliver the lessons that you know you’re capable of. You’re only one person!
Even worse, if there are roadworks, or the weather is bad, you’re increasing your chances of being late.
Start off with a teaching radius that is realistic, and focus on setting a high standard of tutoring. People will pay premium-rate for top quality, not a tutor who is exhausted from a day’s traveling.
If you follow these simple principles, you can shoot straight to the top of the ladder. And once you’ve proved yourself as a quality tutor, it’s your right to charge a higher rate.
To think of it from a business perspective: people pay more for a higher quality product, and teaching is your product.
If the time comes when you decide to raise your prices, be honest and open with your current clients. Tell them why you’re raising prices, give them evidence of the good work you’ve been doing. They will understand, and will want to keep paying for the best.
It won’t be long before new tutors are coming to you, and asking how you do it!
This is Part 3 of a 3 post series. You can check out the other two posts below when you are ready – or right now 🙂