I'm super excited to share this great post with you written by the talented staff at Thumbtack. In one of our discussions, they asked, “What is the biggest struggle your audience has?”. I knew that answer…finding students! I told them that if they could give some tips that work right from tutors that list on Thumbtack–I was all for sharing with you! Needless to say, I loved the tips and have found them to be true for my own business as well. Please leave a comment below if there are some other techniques you've found that work for you too! – Adrianne
Finding New Students
One of the trickiest parts of tutoring happens before you ever step in a classroom or even think about creating a lesson plan. It’s a question you’ve no doubt asked yourself countless times: “How in the heck do I find new students?”
This question gets particularly important around this time of year. Now that summer’s over and school’s back in session, there’s tons of kids (or at least their parents) out there looking for tutors!
At Thumbtack, we’re all about helping small businesses succeed. And since there’s a ton of experienced and successful tutors out there who’ve used our service, we figured we’d take advantage of their expertise and ask them for their top tips for finding new students (aside from using us, of course).
Here are some of their favorites:
Work Your Network
Hit up local tutoring events, make sure folks at learning centers know who you are, and don’t be afraid to reach out to any and all your connections, are some tips that have helped out Reza Javadi, a math tutor from Encino, CA. And sometimes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Javadi has found great success by working at local learning centers. “That is the key for a tutor – to meet people,” he says. So grow your network and then put it to use!
Over 3/4 of American customers use the Internet to shop for products or services, which means you can’t put it off anymore– you need to have a presence there. Even if it’s not a full-fledged website, you should at the very least have some nice-looking social media properties (or, ahem, a Thumbtack profile) that will allow you a simple way to introduce yourself to potential students. If you need assistance on where to start with a website, Adrianne has a great post about WordPress and free websites.
Start the Conversation
Word of mouth is often a tutor’s best friend. “In my 35 years of tutoring, my biggest source of new students has been through recommendations from students who were excited about their results,” says tutor Michael Sherman. “Impress your students, far beyond their expectations, with how much THEY can achieve. It's not about you. It's about THEM. They, in turn, serve as magnificent sources for new students, since they can relate, personally, just what you offer.” Virginia tutor Amanda Paldao agrees: “Tutoring is largely a ‘word of mouth’ business. The best way to get the word out is to do a great job with a client. That family will then spread the word to neighbors, friends, and other family members. Don't forget to personally thank your clients for sending additional business your way. We thank our clients with a free hour of tutoring.”
Mix It Up
The main thing to take away from this list is that none of the these options should be used by themselves. Ladder Learning Services from Atlanta follows this approach, gaining new students “Through our website and through word-of-mouth from happy clients! We also work at a couple of private schools that refer us to families who need our services.”
“Utilizing only one method of marketing and advertising is likely to be neither effective in attracting leads nor effective in ultimately turning those leads into clients,” says Boston-area tutor Glenn Alperin, who also uses multiple channels to find new students. “At the present time, those include a business web site, my Thumbtack profile, and advertising on Craigslist which I also use to drive traffic to both my Thumbtack profile and my business website. The combination has proved fairly successful.” (Check out this post on creating a rockin' Craigslist post)
In other words, think of each one of the tips on this list as a potential tool that you can use to sell yourself and raise awareness of your services. You wouldn’t build a house with just a hammer, so why try and build your business by only using one tool? Experiment with multiple approaches until you find the one that works best for you!
Bio: Thumbtack helps connect customers with experienced professionals (like the perfect tutor!) so they can achieve their goals and improve their skills. Millions of customers come to Thumbtack looking to hire the right professionals to accomplish personal projects central to their lives, and hundreds of thousands of pros have signed up to meet them and grow their businesses.
Disclaimer: Thumbtack compensated me for sharing this content with the readers of The Tutor House. Please note I would never share something unless I think it is of worth your time to read it. I try to keep your desires at the forefront of my mind so that I bring you content that is helpful to your business. Thanks to Thumbtack for providing just that!