Word of mouth and asking people you know is the easiest way to get students rapidly, but if you want to grow and help more students, you it’s worth looking at other ways to find them.

Here’s something important you need to know…

Finding students is a separate job and unless you have all the students you need, you should spend more time looking for students than tutoring.

Tutors often underestimate how much work is required to find new students. It’s a lot. And you need to know the correct way of promoting because there are a lot of wrong ways to do it.

Even if you are promoting correctly, it can take hours and hours over weeks or even months without seeing any results. However, the promotion is working, but there is a delay.

The best approach is to consider it a project rather than a job, otherwise you could get upset at how little progress you make from it. Don’t be too desperate to find students but work hard at it and it will pay off in the future. It’s all about hard, consistent work and patience.

Finding students from people you know is much easier because they trust you or the person who recommended you, however, it takes a lot more to convince a stranger that you are the right tutor to help their son or daughter.
If you haven’t asked everyone you know for potential students (friends, family, teachers, friend’s parents, local shop owners you know well etc), you are making a lot of work for yourself.

Assuming you have, I would suggest at least an hour of promotion (I’ll cover exactly what to do shortly) every day for at least a month. Then you may get one student, hopefully.

Sounds a little tragic doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it’s only hard to begin with. If you keep at it consistently, you’ll start to get more and more students and then at some point you will be drowning in requests. It took me a whole year before I had a steady stream of people who wanted my services and I was doing a lot more than an hour a day.

As a side note, Tutors often think they are being cheated because tutoring agencies which take 20-30% of their fee or only give them a wage which is only a fraction of what they charge. But the amount of time and money it has cost to find these students is huge. In fact, when the tutoring agency first started, they were probably losing money for quite a while. However, once a tutoring agency or tutor is established, finding students can be pretty easy but that is only because of the investment of time and money they have put into it beforehand. Which, as I said before, is a lot.

The truth is, in the short term, you would make more money working for someone else. I still believe you are best off starting your own business, even if it may take months to build it up. It is much better in the long run.

Don’t be afraid to promote “too much” and end up with too many people requesting tutoring from you. This probably won’t happen. If by some miracle you do end up with too many students, you can say there is a waiting list or recommend another tutor. This is a good problem to have.

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about me

Alex has helped over 50,000 students, teachers and tutors. He's the creator of How2tutor & MathsMethods.com.au and has been an educator in many different fields. 

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