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Tips to get your first student?

Hey fellow tutors,

I recently became a Tutor in January this year, and have so far been unable to find any students. Each day I check the job board and also my messages but I have had no contact yet. I would appreciate any tips or pointers to help me to secure my first student and really start my tutoring online.

Thanks,
Dipendra

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It’s a good question. It isn’t clear to me that Tutorful has an easy way to solve this. Personally, I just set my rates super low when I started and gradually increased them to my current rate (which is still below what I charge at other agencies). This worked well enough but it does mean you’re being paid well under going-rate for some time.

Aside from that, you could try something like making a QR code and sticking it up on a poster in a local supermarket.

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Hi @Dipendra! :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

Welcome to Tutorful! I know it can be difficult at the start and it’s quite competitive right now as online tuition enabled us to tutor students from all over the country. Here are some tips that helped me when I started my journey with Tutorful a few years ago:

In order to get more lesson requests, I would recommend lowering your hourly rate and then increasing it bit by bit as you get more students. I started with the rate £15-17 when I first joined Tutorful and now I charge £30 but I may actually increase it again when I go back online. It might be difficult to find your first few customers so you gotta do what you can to encourage them to pick you over more experiened tutors with higher hourly rates.

Another thing worth considering would be how you present yourself in your bio. I started getting more messages after I restructured my bio and divided it into small categories with headings e.g.:

  • My experience and qualifications (any teaching qualifications or other degrees)
  • My background (where I come from, what I’ve done)
  • My teaching style and resources (to help them get an idea of what I use throughout my lessons)
  • Special requirements (learning difficulties I can help with etc)

This way customers who click on your profile will get a better idea of who you are and what you can offer that maybe others haven’t mentioned on their profiles :woman_shrugging:

I hope you will get your first lesson request soon!

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Thanks @IBD and @AnnaDuncanScience for your help and support. Good points for me to take on-board

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Hi Dipendra,
I also struggled with building up my business, however I am now near enough fully booked. These things can take time of course so try not to be disheartened (easier said than done).

I think you will find it easier once physical tuition picks up again. You won’t be competing with everyone in the country, meaning the jobs will be up for longer and you may well be one of very few tutors in travelling distance of the client (or maybe not - that’s just luck of course).
I think the single best thing to start with is a low fee. Many people will be looking primarily at cost so this is an easily controllable way to attract attention before you have any reviews. Mine was at the minimum for a while, and during this time I was driving for (in some cases) an hour to get to sessions. However, it was worth it because this improved my rankings and gave me reviews, so now I work pretty much entirely online and earn several times what I did this time last year. This required time and investment on my part though which is a privilege not everyone may have, so things will of course vary from person to person.

Edit: Another thing I forgot to mention is considering which topics you offer. I don’t know what subject you teach specifically of course so perhaps you have already considered this, but you could try reviewing all the options to see options you could confidently tutor even if it isn’t your preferred one. This increases your possible clients so when you have reviews you can focus in on a certain topic again. For instance, it could be the same subject at lower levels (if you tutor A Level, then ticking GCSE, KS3, etc.) or other topics you have the required expertise in at a certain level. I am a Biology tutor primarily but also do Chemistry and Physics up to GCSE, as well as topics like ICT at KS3 which I can confidently tutor to the required level despite not being my specialty. Just to stress though, this does of course need to be something you can very confidently tutor in. I can cover most GCSE ICT topics well but I’m not entirely confident with every piece of software that they want students to use, so I don’t tutor at GCSE level. However, I have checked the curriculum and know for certain I can confidently tutor at KS3.

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Hi!

Getting started is so frustrating - I was quite lucky that I got my first student quickly but it took me about 3-4 months to get fully established. I think at the moment it’s very difficult because there is so much competition for students. My advice is keep checking the job boards regularly, maybe reduce your prices when you first start your ‘journey’. What is it you teach? As others have said, it will get easier once we’re allowed to do face-to-face tutoring.

Don’t give up no matter how frustrating it is!

Wishing you the best of luck! :slight_smile:

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Hi - agree with most posts here - set your rate low to get a foot in the door, look at your profile - what is that makes you special or stand out. I think Tutorful is the best provider but even now its not the only one I work through. When you get students give them something extra beyond what they have asked for - you live and die by your reviews, every student is a special person, my benchmark is my grown up daughters - I ask myself if someone was teaching them online, what would I want for them as tutees and what would impress me as a parent. You may just have to be patient - offer a free starter lesson - anything to get your foot in the door really. Best of luck!

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