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RWorld's Journal To Finding 10 Tutoring Students (£20 per week)

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by RWorld1, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Ok everyone I've decided to buckle down and get myself some students to tutor.

    One of my dearest friends got laid off not too long ago and it's made me realise I need something to fall back on. I know I may sound a bit drastic but this is the third person I know off for this to happen to in the last 2 years. It made me realise that if I was to be laid off I'd be (mind my french) fyooked!

    That aside it would be great to have some extra money, and be able to help out some students who need the help. Call me arrogant but I think I'd be an even better teacher one-on-one.

    My Goal

    I want to get 10 students, and I'd like to charge £20 per hour. That would be £200 a week (boy I maybe I should broaden out to Maths!), and that'd make a HUGE difference in my life.

    I teach Geography - and am happy to get students at any age for that. I was thinking of maybe brushing up on another subject to broaden my chances of getting more students - but I think that'd take too much work for me to get to a level where I'd feel confident to teach someone else. I'm not ruling it out, but it would be much nicer if I didn't have to.

    Opportunity

    I know it's obvious Maths - but I was thinking about what £200 a week would mean. Firstly I reckon there's probably around 35 weeks of term time before the exams. If I got the 10 students I wanted that would mean an extra £7000 a year. That would be amazing.

    Now the only work that's required is to get 10 students to agree to being tutored. That's no small task, but if I achieve it it'll mean that'll guarantee the £7000 income for the entire year.

    Expected difficulties

    This is where it gets ugly. There's a few things I think will work against me.

    1) Geography isn't exactly a popular subject. I reckon my task would be a million times easier if I taught Maths, Science or English.

    2) I didn't go to a particularly good university, and I've only been teaching 2 years. I know it's a big plus to have gone to Oxford uni, and have 20 years of experience under the belt. Hey-ho, I don't. Fingers crossed that doesn't bite me in the you-know-where.

    3) I live in a pretty small city. The population of the city I teach is around 63,000. Again life would be much easier if I lived in London. But then again at least I'm not living in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere with a population of 26! But yeah, naturally it's going to be harder to get the students I want, when there's less people where I live.

    4) I'm in a pretty 'urban' area - which means people aren't wealthy. People around here aren't rich, so I'm worried £20 may be too much. I guess I'll try my best and worse come worse I'll go lower.

    5) I don't really know many people here - so word of mouth is out of the question! I moved to this city purely for work as a teacher. The only people I know are those who I work with. They're a nice bunch, and I get on with a few of them, but I'd rather keep my any tuition I do a secret. I've heard a few people say word of mouth can be helpful getting students, but that's not an option for me.

    6) I have no idea how to start! I'm literally sitting here thinking what I could do to get students. I did a quick search into google and seen there are a few articles out there. I'm going to read them and brainstorm some ideas. (If anyone has any tips for me to get started I'd love to hear them).

    Conclusion

    Ok. I've got a tough journey ahead of me but you know what I'm going to give it the best shot. Even if I fail who cares, at least I know I tried. I know it's going to be hard, but I hope by keeping a journal here I'll hold myself accountable.

    Goal for tomorrow: Read at least 5 articles, make some notes, and come up with one idea on how to start.

    Wish me luck!
     
    AshgarMary likes this.
  2. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    good luck!

    geography might be a hard one to get students for the full year, you might have better luck closer to the exams, perhaps you could market yourself as a homework help tutor for KS3, then you could charge less but do several students at a time.
     
    RWorld1 likes this.
  3. RuthTom

    RuthTom New commenter

    Good luck! Could you broaden out to key stage 2/3 maths? That would help.
    Try tutor hunt. You should be charging at least £20 or people will not think you are any good. Go in confident of your value to your tutee. Everyone had to start somewhere.
     
    RWorld1 likes this.
  4. Matt-Thompson

    Matt-Thompson New commenter

    First off, well done for laying out your goal and outlining expected difficulties. That's a great place to start.

    Have you considered tutoring online? It sounds like this could be a solution to several of the difficulties you mentioned, e.g. being able to reach a much larger market of potential students other than the ones in your city. I've been tutoring online for 5 years now and teach students from all over the world.

    As for your subject choice, even if the demand for Geography tutoring is not as high as other subjects like Maths and English, by tutoring online you can offer your services to anyone who needs help with Geography and has access to a computer and internet connection. Also, when it comes to tutoring, a common mistake is to offer too many subjects. It seems like an obvious way to get more students by covering all bases. However, by offering less subjects, you can actually increase the number of students you get. This is because if you position yourself as an expert in one area of tutoring (e.g. Geography), you can build your reputation as being the best at that one subject. This will lead to a greater online (or offline) presence when potential students are searching for a tutor. I wrote an article about how to find your tutoring niche if you want more info about this:
    http://smartonlinetutoring.com/find-your-online-tutoring-niche

    Also, if you need help with getting started and want to reach your goal of reading at least 5 tutoring articles by tomorrow, I write a blog for tutors so here are a couple of articles that I hope you'll find useful:
    http://smartonlinetutoring.com/category/general

    Let me know if you need any more specific info like how to reach your goal of 10 students or what to charge and I'd be happy to help.
    Matt
     
  5. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Tsarina - I was thinking it might be easier close to exams too. But you know what I'm going to give it a bash. In regards to charging lower, but more students that's a great alternative idea. Ideally I'd like to focus on one-to-one as I'd be a better tutor if I did that, and it'll be less messy. But thanks for the little gem of wisdom!

    RuthTom - Thank you for the kind words of reasurance. I was worried a bit about my price but your message gave me that little gust I needed. I absolutely will broaden to KS2 and KS3. I'll check out tutorhunt.

    Matt T - Thanks, but I'm not going after online tutoring. Call me old fashioned but I want to be there in-person with my student. Appreciate the comment.
     
  6. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Ok so I went through 6 articles. Boy there's a lot of information out there. It's quite overwhelming in a way.

    I've come up with a quick plan.

    I'm going to keep it simple, as I just want to get in the roll of things. I'm going to whip up a quick advert (just type something onto microsoft word), print it out with my mobile number clearly visible.

    Ideally I'd like to have a different phone number for tutoring, but that'll involve me buying a new sim and phone, and that'll cost extra money, I may put it off (I hate dealing with phone companies), and realistically I'm overcomplicating this. Even as I write I'm thinking 'what they hell are you yapping on about'!

    Basically I'm just going to use my current mobile number.

    That said I do need to buy a printer. Does anyone know a cheap, reliable printer by any chance? Otherwise I'm just going to head to PC world or currys and grab one.
     
  7. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    The cost with a printer is the ink. You can get a good printer for less than £40 but the ink cartridges cost £20 each! I like refilling my cartridges and on my older printers that was fairly easy to do using a refill kit from the supermarket £4 for up to 3 refills. However my last but one printer had a tricolour cartridge which was a pain to refill and didn't work as well so I upgraded to one with 3 separate colour inks and bought the refillable cartridges off the internet.
     
  8. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Reading with interest :D
    Re printer - I recommend that you have a colour printer for what you feel MUST be in colour and consider an additional small laser printer for most black and white printing - costs a bit more upfront but you get a heck of a lot more b&w prints for your money!
    I've bought various refill cartridges for my colour printer, sometimes they're ok but the same brand another day will be **** - eg the last one I bought (tricolour) seemed to have no yellow in it but as I had had it in reserve for several months it was too late to return it so my prints looked very muddy for a while until I forked out for a name brand.
     
  9. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Matt - was just wondering how you could teach diagram/formula hungry subjects online - I haven't really found an app that copes well with sharing diagrams and formulae with lots of symbols in them on the hoof. For some reason (total lack of artistic ability!) my efforts at using 'ink' etc never look elegant like those ads on tv, more like a 5 year old let loose with a chubby crayon.
     
  10. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Thanks for the replies guys. Great to know I'm not just talking to myself.

    I ended up going for a B+W laser printer. I managed to get one second hand off ebay for like 30. And cartridges cost 10 and print like 2500 pages. Pricey, but I consider it a small investment (especially if I hit £200 a week like I hope).

    Ok here's what I did.

    I walked by my local shop (a co-op) and passed a noticeboard. Idea sprung into my head to whip up a quick A4 page on MS Word. It actually took quite a bit longer than i expected. Realised I didn't know what to write, and the fact that I wanted it to be perfect.

    Multiple edits later (and a few coffees) I decided I was happy with it. I printed it and asked the guy at the shop if I could put it up. He said yep, and there you go! I had the ball rolling.

    Sadly nothing has come out of it. Nobody has called yet, but it's only a few days, so I'll wait it out.

    Next steps:

    - Ask local newsagents if I can put my ad up in their window
    - Put advert up in more shops around my area
    - Get business cards made (anyone know any recommendations - preferably cheap pls!)
    - Cross my fingers someone bites on my shop ad
     
  11. sch1510

    sch1510 New commenter

    Hiya, have you considered making yourself a facebook page and then sharing in local groups? That's how I have sourced majority of my students ... bonus is its free :)
     
  12. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Ah those were the days. When I first tutored - over 20 years ago! - I put ads in newsagents - I got some weird calls from people whose ideas of what 'O and A level maths tuition' meant were different to mine! I didn't get much response from cards in windows, but I DID get a reasonable response from an ad in the local paper that I ran for 4 weeks. I got a new tutee every week from that, the first lesson with each covered the cost of the ad.
    But yes, I agree with sch1510, I think a facebook page is probably the way to go these days and for not too much money you can boost it round your local area if you're not in any local groups.

    You can buy a pack of ready perforated business cards to print yourself from Smiths or Rymans etc. Most people I know get cards from Vistaprint.
     
  13. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Sch and Ashgar thank you so much. I had no clue about this.

    Out of interest. How's it work? I create a facebook page and share it in local groups? Sorry for sounding like a dummy what makes a local group? And do I just go on and write a message like "Hi I'm a tutor and this is my page?".
     
  14. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    OK first off, are you even on Facebook and have a general idea how it works? Whether there are local groups or not depends on where you live and if anyone has set one up. Where I live, there are various local groups, some are public and some are closed and some secret. In the most active one, more than half the town are in it! But it's "secret" which means you can't find it by looking and someone you are already 'friends' with already in the group has to add you to it. It's bad form to join a group and instantly advertise yourself UNLESS it is specifically for that purpose.

    Create a facebook page and for your purposes, set a location say 20km radius from your base. This means facebook MAY (not WILL) place the existence of your page under the noses of people in that locality. You can refine it more by looking at interests. (Paid advertising is possible but you have to add your credit card to facebook and if you are a newbie that is perhaps a really bad idea).

    If you are a facebook novice, please note that 'pages', 'groups' and personal individuals are all DIFFERENT types of entity. Don't set your business page up as a 'person'. One organisation I belong to, we've had the devil of a job with someone who long since left, setting up our 'page' as a 'person' (not deliberately, they just didn't know what they were doing) and had to get facebook to zap it for us by reporting it as a 'fake profile' even though it wasn't - there was no other way.

    If you are a FB novice, then I suggest you start off as a personal person with a name not exactly your own - I know quite a few people who use their name and a middle name rather than surname- if you use a made up name, FB will eventually force you to change it (and yes undoubtedly someone will jump in here and say they've had a dodgy name for 20 years and fb haven't noticed - but they are getting brighter at digging out false names), get to know and love the privacy settings, join some local groups, trot round a few pages, learn the difference between pages, groups - public, closed and secret and don't post anything controversial until you know what you are doing and what is visible to the public (and which will if you're not careful end up in google for evermore!). And whatever you do, do not add any pupils or parents to your friends list. I have a personal 'no under 18s' rule except for 2 nephews who live 300 miles away.
     
    sch1510 and RWorld1 like this.
  15. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Also - with FB - I recommend you have a dedicated email address (but one that you check regularly so it doesn't get closed due to inactivity) - that way if your account does get hacked, it's a lot harder for a hacker to also hack your bank account.
     
  16. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Wow thank you Ashgar. I am on facebook but boy am I an embarrassment when it comes to technology. However I'm ready to learn and am going to look into it. Thank you so much - I wouldn't have known where to start without your post.

    Quick update:

    I've put my advert up in about 15 shops dotted around the city - some of the newsagents charged me £5 to list in their window but I forked out. Let's see how it goes.

    Unfortunately no one has contacted just yet. Hope someone will soon.

    Also ordered some business cards from vistaprint. Cannot wait to get them in my hand. First person I'm handing one to is my mum!
     
  17. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Ok I've been into overdrive today and yesterday.

    I've got my advert up in over 50 places. I'm exhausted. I've focused on nothing else. I have it in some libraries, gyms, shops you name it. I'm gonna have something to eat and resting for the rest of the day.

    Regards to people contacting nothing as of yet. Fingers crossed something bites soon.

    Also - got my business cards! They look great and I feel all professional and stuff!
     
  18. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Plan for tomorrow - look in facebook and make a page. I quickly searched some online and found articles, along with some youtube videos. Going to go through them and if everything goes to plan I'll have my own facebook page.
     
  19. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Ah, adverts. When I lived in New Zealand I used to put them up for free (A4 size) in some supermarkets and malls. And they worked brilliantly. But when I tried adverts in Enfield, about 5 years ago I think, I got nothing. As the world's best selling book says cast not your pearls before swine.
     
  20. RWorld1

    RWorld1 New commenter

    Really gutted as I still haven't heard anything. It's all a bit frustrating if I'm honest. Admittedly I did start to get discouraged a bit, but I'm also proud of the amount of effort I've put in (though even the smallest success would be so welcome!).

    I created a facebook page using a few tutorials on the net. And joined a few locals groups and have been trying to be helpful and mentioning my service without shoving it down people's throats.

    I posted myself onto 4 online tutor sites. Actually quite difficult what to write. I checked through a few other profiles and copied bits from a few of them which looked good. So I'm hoping that works out soon.

    Cross your fingers for me everyone!
     
    sch1510 likes this.

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