How to Grow a Tutoring Business
Perhaps you’ve been tutoring others for a while or perhaps you are starting your tutoring business from scratch. Regardless, with the new academic year approaching, this is the perfect time to grow your tutoring business. Whilst tutoring is a year-round industry, the start of a new school year is often when parents evaluate what supplemental education their children may need. With many parents concerned about the gaps left in their child’s learning due to covid and home-learning, the numbers of those seeking out tutors are now higher than ever. So, the opportunity to grow your tutoring business is certainly out there, but how do you seize it?
Here are four sure-fire ways to grow your tutoring business:
1) Build a website
Many prospective customers will search online to find tutors in their local area and 84% of today’s consumers think a website makes your business more credible than companies who only have social media profiles, so having a professional-looking website is essential.
If you’re building a website from scratch, you could benefit from doing the following things:
- Focus on your expertise – include information about you, your qualifications, how long you have been a tutor and what inspired you to teach. Write about your specialist subject and anything else you think would be of interest to potential students or parents.
- Additional information about your business – hourly rates and travel charges if applicable, as well as any other information that you think, could be useful.
- Contact information – make sure it is easy for prospective and existing customers to reach you. The added benefit of having your own website lets you create a branded email address which adds an extra level of professionalism to your correspondence.
- Credibility – Once your business is up and running, ask students for testimonials and publish these on your site. This can help demonstrate your professionalism and boost your credibility with other prospective students.
There are many fantastic free website builders available if you want to save money and do it yourself.
2) Market Yourself
It is impossible to find students if they don’t know you exist! Getting your name out there as much as possible is essential for growing your tutoring business. Here are some powerful marketing tools that you should be using:
There were 53 million social media users in the UK in 2021 and around 1 in 3 people looking to engage a new service or business will search social media as their first port of call. These stats speak for themselves: a social media presence is essential if you are trying to reach as many people as possible to grow your tutoring business.
Facebook is the most used social media platform in the UK, so a Facebook business page will instantly give you the biggest reach. It is important that you set up a business page rather than a personal one as this will equip you with some key tools to help grow your business. Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter are other great platforms to market your business on.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful advertising tool. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising.
Let your existing students know that you have space to take on other students. Once you’ve formed a good relationship, ask parents to spread the word for you – they’ll be more likely to recommend you if you’ve asked them to.
Social media reviews and website testimonials are the online equivalents of word of mouth. Collect and prominently display positive reviews from current and past students. If a tutee achieves academic success, make sure to create a post celebrating their accomplishment and tag them in it. This way, all their followers will get to hear about your tutoring skills.
Another way to encourage word-of-mouth recommendations is to offer an incentive to current students who refer new customers to you. For example, a discounted or free session for every new sign-up they refer.
Look Closer to Home
If you are offering face-to-face tutoring, as opposed to online sessions, your potential customers will probably live within a 5-mile radius of you.
You may wish to create leaflets or business cards to distribute door-to-door in your local area. This can be time-consuming but is a great way of reaching people in your target area.
Join an Agency
One way to attract new customers is to sign up with tutoring agencies. These match you with students/parents with very little expense. These sites are usually free for tutors to sign up to, as the sites make their money via commissions from students.
Some online tutoring agency sites commonly used are:
- The Tutor Website To register on this site you need to have at least a university degree. Registrations cost £25 for an entire year and only cost £10 to renew.
- Tutor Hunt allows you to register for free and doesn’t charge students any commission for using you.
- Tutor Me connects students with tutors from their virtual classroom and specifically takes on tutors from GSCE to the postgraduate level.
- First Tutors Hourly rates are chosen by the individual and sign-up is free.
3) Price Yourself Wisely
Working out how much to charge for your sessions needn’t be complicated. It should be competitive within the market, as well as affordable for your client base.
Here is a breakdown of what tutors are charging on average in the UK, broken down by location and level of study.
Research what other tutors in your area are charging and set your price accordingly. If you are a maths tutor, for example, and find that there is already an abundance of maths tutors in your area, you will have to price your fees competitively. Once your business has become established, you will then be able to increase your pricing.
A good strategy to earn more money per hour is to double up on your students. For example:
If you have two students who need tuition in the same subject area and are of a similar standard, you could tutor them at the same time, offering them a discounted rate. If each client usually pays £20 per hour, you could charge them £15 each, which would give you a £10 increase, and yet would save them £5 each.
This model can be expanded further. You could run small group tutoring sessions, for example, a GCSE revision group of 4 students charging £12 per hour each net you £48 per hour and means you gain customers who might otherwise find the costs of 1-to-1 tutoring unaffordable.
Consider offering a discount for block booking of lessons, for example, a 10% discount when booking and paying for 10 lessons upfront. If your students can see that the package deal is a better value than standalone lessons, they are more likely to purchase the package, meaning guaranteed client retention for that period.
4) Don’t forget your existing customers
Last but not least, as your tutoring business grows, it is important you don’t neglect the students you already have. While focusing on attracting new students, you must prioritize existing student retention. Partly because they are your greatest source of word-of-mouth advertising, but also because it costs you less to retain an existing student than to find a new one.
Consider a “thinking of you” strategy to let your students know that you value them as individuals. Take an interest in important events that happen to them (birthdays, university applications, changing schools etc.). Check in with them before an exam to wish them luck, ask afterwards how it went, and then celebrate any academic achievements with a card.
Make sure you are easily contactable and respond to all students’ queries in a timely fashion.
When your students feel valued, they will stay loyal to your business.
Growing your tutoring business can seem overwhelming; take it one step at a time and don’t give up. Get in touch to book a free 30-minute consultation with me to find out how I can help you grow your business.