How To Become A Tutor: A Guide On Starting A Tuition Business

How to Secure Students when Messaging

By working with Tutorful you will receive many student enquiries, and your success will be based on being able to turn these enquiries into bookings. The key to doing this is the ability to foster confidence in the parents and students who contact you. If you can understand each parents’ concerns, you will be a far better tutor and doing this is based on your ability to ask the right questions.

How to Respond to an Initial Tutoring Enquiry

When responding to an initial enquiry you want to make sure that you are a good fit for each other based on the subject, level, location and timetabling of lessons. Give a positive, friendly and professional response which shows interest in their personal circumstances and moves the conversation forward. Here are the areas to cover:

Include the parent’s first name - We always provide this at Tutorful. This is crucial to build a good rapport by writing a personalised message to each enquiry. Those people who use copy and paste secure the least students and ultimately move down our search results pages. 

Know where they would like sessions. We always provide the student's postcode at Tutorful - so you can make sure that it is economical for you to offer tuition. Use Google Maps to calculate the travel distance based on the means of transport available to you and let them know if you can or cannot help.

Understand the subject and level of study - to make sure that you are confident in supporting the child. Some parents will purely search for ‘Maths’ and may contact you for A Level tuition, when you only tutor Primary children.

When they would like tuition sessions - again, you need to make sure that you are good fit for each other by agreeing the time and day the student would like lessons.

Example Enquiry:

Hi Jane, I am looking for a tutor to help my son in Maths. He is finding it really tricky at the moment and we feel he would benefit from some help. Are you available? Thanks, Mark

Ideal Response:

Evening Mark, I would love to help. What level is your son working at (i.e. GCSE or A Level or which year is he in) and are there any particular areas he is struggling in? I am available for sessions on a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday evening - when would be best for you? Your postcode is in my travel area, so I would be happy to travel to your home for lessons. Thanks, Jane

How to Finalise Arrangements 

If the student or parent replies and you are still a good match based on these details, you will be in a great position to arrange sessions! The main job of your next message is to move towards finalising the details of your first lesson, but also get more information to help you plan for your initial session and to reassure the parent that you are the right tutor for them or their child.

Following on from the message above - Student’s second messages are often like this:

That’s great. Thanks Jane. Tim’s in Year 11 and studying for his GCSEs but doesn’t feel very confident in his Maths. Tuesday would work well for us?

Ideal Response:

Afternoon Mark. That’s great. I specialise in GCSE tuition so I can certainly help. I’ll do an initial assessment and we can all agree with Tim the areas he needs the most help with and then make a plan to focus on those. Shall we start sessions on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30, starting next week? Thanks, Jane

Note that in this response, you have evidenced your suitability - obviously, be honest about your experience and knowledge (never take on students you do not feel like you are well suited to) - and moved towards agreeing the time of sessions.

Making and Confirming the Booking

Hopefully the student will reply to say that they are happy to go ahead, in which case you book in lessons by going to the ‘Book a Lesson’ tab and entering all of the details for your session.

Your aim is to book in regular weekly sessions to map out your timetable and allow your students to make the most progress possible.

(If you are not a good match, make sure that you are professional and reply to the student anyway. Our aim is to help every student, so tutors who do not reply to students are removed from our site.)

Scott Woodley, Co-founder of Tutorful.

Scott is a fully qualified primary teacher who left teaching to set up Tutorful,, a site which helps parents and learners find the right tutor for them.

If you are looking to become a tutor, you can easily create a profile with Tutorful. You can set your own price, offer online or face-to-face tuition and begin building your rewarding career in no time.

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