Most online tutors start their career in the same way: by working with an agency that helps them find clients. This is a great way to begin, as it means you have a ready pool of clients and don’t have to focus on advertising at the same time as refining your trade.
However, there comes a point when you realize that you could be making a lot more money by cutting out the middle man. Beyond this, going it alone allows you to have far more control over your business and gives you room to grow. But how will you find clients?
It may seem a bit sneaky, but the clients you already know through the agency are your best starting point. People like to keep hold of good tutors and some clients are likely to follow you if you tell them you’re starting up your own service. The next step is to make sure your service is just as professional and accessible as a big agency’s.
So how do you ensure you look the part online? Follow these tips to give yourself the best possible start as an independent tutor and grow your business from there.
1. Find the Best Server for You
Using a server that will help you create a professional website with good functionality is key. It’s worth paying for quality, as you’re not going to attract new clients if your online presence is glitchy and slow.
Linux hosting is often a good bet for this, as specialist Mac hosts can be hard to come by. You can still use your iPad when using a Linux server, as the web host is irrelevant to the system you’re currently using.
Another thing you should check for is that the hosting service offers good customer support because you need to be able to fix bugs or accessibility issues as quickly as possible. By using a high-quality hosting service you’re getting your online presence off to a great start.
Get the support you need
2. It’s Worth Paying for Web Design
If you know how to design a website, that’s great! You can save some money here.
If not, find a professional website designer to sort out your interface. Sure, you can connect with clients via Zoom or other platforms, but are you planning to provide online resources? These need to be easily accessible for your clients within an attractive website, especially if you’re teaching children.
Ask around your friends to see if anyone knows a web designer. It’s a popular career choice these days, and you may be able to get a better price.
3. Good AV Equipment is Essential
Agencies often specify that you should have an independent webcam and microphone-headset, and not just use the camera on your iPad or laptop. This is doubly important to you now: you need to build a reputation for high-quality service.
When you attract a new client, the first question they’ll have is why they should come to you rather than an agency. If your audiovisual set-up is unclear or has tinny sound quality, they’ll assume you’re just an amateur in your bedroom and will run a mile.
4. Teaching Children? Get to Know Their Parents
A major reason clients might prefer an independent tutor over an agency is that you can offer a more personalized service. You can communicate directly with the parents and tailor your tuition to their requirements.
Remember that these parents are also your best marketers. They will likely know other parents who might consider hiring a private tutor, and if your name is the first off their tongue, you can quickly grow your client base.
Conclusion: Make the Investment
It may seem like you need to put a lot of money into your fledgling business, but this will pay itself back in the form of an increasing number of satisfied clients. Make sure you look the part before you go solo, put the time into building relationships with clients, and you’ll be loving independent life in no time.