Learn exactly how to find students for tutoring by effectively addressing pain points the student has, and gain trust, and credibility.
The problem with tutoring websites is they are crowded. Thousands of tutors compete to entice students to click on their profile. Standing out is tough.
But even though it sounds depressing, don’t lose hope. With a few changes to your approach and profile, those prospective students will be knocking on your door.
So, what do I suggest?
Well, in this post, I will take you through key steps that will help you find students to tutor. These steps are quick, easy to implement, and they will generate results.
If you haven’t already, make sure you read my previous post on how to start online tutoring – so you maximize your chances of succeeding in your tutoring business.
With that in mind, let’s get started.
There are two scenarios where a student may read your tutor profile…
- When they see you in the search results
- When they’re on your actual profile
But what does this mean? What can you do with this info?
On the search results page:
- Things must catch their attention
- Message match
- Credibility and social proof
Don’t worry, I’ll delve into what these three points mean shortly.
On your tutor profile:
- Message match
- Benefits and features
- Social proof
- Risk reversal
As you can see, there are some differences between both points. But how do you relate these points to a real-life example?
Well, let’s begin by checking out the search results aspect.
Standing Out in the Search Results…
Let’s look at what the search results looks like, and what people are looking at when they make a decision. This image is pretty typical of what you will find.
As you see, with over 5000 tutors just for Algebra 2, things are quite crowded there, so that’s why you need to stand out.
I feel there are several elements that leads to a prospective student clicking through to your profile..
- The profile headline
- An attractive short description
- The price
- An image
As long as you cover these five basic elements, you increase your visibility and improve the chances of them clicking through.
But it doesn’t end there. Oh, and don’t worry. I’m going to show you screenshots later when I take you through writing your profile to make life easier.
What needs to happen for the student to choose you?
I’m sure you are sitting wondering how you do all this, so I’m going to help you. However, we need to go back to those key points focusing on those search results.
1. Catch their attention
Catching their attention is where it starts. Take a look at any search results page on any tutoring website and you will see pages of ‘hits’.
You must have something in your listing that grabs the attention of prospective students. You must leap off that list to encourage them to click your profile.
But here’s something to remember. Make sure you come across as a professional. Claiming you are the greatest tutor in your subject gives yourself one heck of a standard to live up to.
2. Message match
What do I mean by message match?
What this means is – your profile must reflect what the student is looking for. You want to create that ‘aha’ moment as soon as they see your listing.
For example, if they’re looking for “Algebra 2”, and your profile has “Algebra 2” displayed prominently, chances are they’ll stop and read what you’ve got to say..
Isn’t that how you skim read the Google search results too? And that’s exactly how students are skim reading through tutor profiles till something jumps out at that. -> Message Match!!
So for example, if the student is looking for an Algebra 2 tutor….
Good message match
Bad message match
We do this message match when we search for something we want to buy. It’s how we as humans create brain shortcuts (cognitive biases).
Your shop window
Your small listing in the search results is your shop window. To find students to tutor online, you need to stop them ambling past and pay attention to what’s there.
Once again, we do this all the time! We flick through these windows searching for products or services online, and we make an instantaneous decision. Research shows we make decisions in seconds when faced with a list to choose from.
You have those seconds to make an impact.
So, these are some steps I want you to consider taking.
- Search for keywords related to your subject.
- Include those keywords in your listing.
- Think about what your students are searching for. (I explain how to do that here.)
- Look at your listing. Would you honestly click on it?
- Get feedback from people you trust on the power of your profile.
Remember, if you were searching for a tutor, what would be the message match you would be searching for? That gives insight into what your profile and search listing should say.
3. Social proof and credibility
Nowadays, people go big on social proof to enhance their credibility. We live in a society where checking out reviews is second nature.
So a listing like this makes a difference…
Now, I know you won’t have this social proof when starting out. There’s no way of getting around that. However, don’t be depressed…
Instead, I’d do whatever I could to get as many reviews as possible, as quickly as possible. These reviews are worth their weight in gold!
But a warning…
Don’t use fake reviews to bolster your social proof. Sure, you might get some success, but it’s not a strategy I would employ. It’s unethical and will destroy any trust should the truth come out.
So, what do I suggest??
I would offer free sessions to the first few students. I would make myself available for questions between sessions. I would go above and beyond with what I offer at the start with the sole aim of getting those reviews.
There’s nothing wrong with creating a positive learning environment for a student, and then asking for an honest review. To be honest, I’d focus on this at the start to establish yourself on a tutoring platform.
But what about the student??
For the student to decide to contact you for tutoring, they need…
- To feel you understand what they’re struggling with
- To know you have the expertise to help them solve their problem
- To trust your approach works, and has worked for others
Your tutor profile or your tutor bio is your tool to communicate your expertise and method, as well as your understanding of exactly what they need to succeed.
Consider creating an incentive for them to contact you..
Incentives could be direct such as a free introductory session, or a discounted session. Or even a free consultation to see if there’s a good fit.
People LOVE to feel they are getting something for free. They see it as a no-lose situation. I mentioned earlier about offering free sessions to build social proof, and this is where you bring it into play.
Alternatively, you could use incentives to act fast. Ex. Limited spots available.
Again, people feel drawn to a limited edition offer. It makes them feel special. Offering limited spots with either a free session, or a discounted one, could encourage people to get in touch.
Another incentive is to do a limited time promotion. Perhaps a discount for the month?
Setting a time limit on something encourages action. We hate to feel like we missed out on a bargain, so this limited offer could give them that final push.
Finally, just tell them to reach you. Sometimes, the direct approach works best with some people.
What matters is that you tell them in no uncertain terms to contact you.
If you’re able to do this, then you will do well.
However, that means you need to have the perfect profile, and I’m going to help you put your profile together.
Writing Your Tutor Profile
Writing your profile is daunting. Most people write it, take a look, change things, look again, it goes on forever. This is stressful, but it needn’t be.
Your profile needs to be easy to read, and to the point. Basically, a 9 year old should be capable of reading it.
The key goals of your tutor profile are to help the student with…
- Get clear that you can help them.
- Be aware of how you will help them.
- Gain trust in your expertise.
As long as you can cover those three things, then you will have a more positive response rate.
This is what I want you to do.
1. your profile heading
The first thing is your profile heading. It must convey what you are about in only a few words.
Include the subject as the main point. That’s what will grab their attention and leap off the page. The heading is concise, but the job of the heading is to get their attention, and make them want to read the description (just below the headline).
Imagine you’re looking for a tutor to help you with “Algebra 2”…
Check out these two examples, and see which one you think works best.
A Good Heading (when you’re looking for an Algebra 2 tutor)
This is a great heading. It mentions your key need (Algebra 2), and then describes the tutor’s other skills.
A Bad Heading (when you’re looking for an Algebra 2 tutor)
The problem with this heading is it’s too vague. You need to be more specific.
Saying that though, this second heading is great if you’re looking for an “SAT tutor” or an “ACT tutor”.
2. The short description
Next, we have the short description and this must match the message the student is looking for. If you tutor a specific type of algebra, then include those details.
Add in your experience but leave out unnecessary details. People don’t care about your family etc. They only want to know if you can help them.
Again, look at these two options. One leaps out while the other wastes that limited space.
A Good Intro
Here, the tutor tells you the subject they focus on straight away! Also, they let you know they are good at answering questions.
A Bad Intro
The problem here is talking too much about things other than the subject they tutor on. You need to get straight to the point!
Remember: The student is asking “What’s in it for me?”. Answer that question, and you’re good.
3. about you
The bio part is where you can go into some detail, but please don’t write page after page. Our attention span won’t allow us to absorb all that info…
This is a perfect example of wasted space in a profile.
This profile goes on too long about subjects other than tutoring. They do eventually get there, but to the end of their bio. Sell your tutoring ability first rather than making it sound as if you are writing your Wikipedia page…
While that bio wastes time, this one below is more direct and to the point…
This bio is short, gives you key information, and then invites you to contact them. This is way more effective as you are aware that they understand the subject and have the experience to back up their knowledge.
But there’s still room for improvement in the tutor profile, so let’s look at some ideas…
- I would start with being specific about the subjects I specialize in.
- Next, I would mention a measurable outcome, that clearly articulates what they will get, and in how much time they will get it.
- And then I’d immediately follow it with some sort of guarantee or risk reversal.
Let them know right from the outset what you are going to do for them…
Next, move onto telling them how you teach…
A student wants to know your methods, so include it here…
In the previous bit you were talking about “What you will get”.
Here, you’re going into the “How will you get”.
They have questions as to whether you get their difficulties or not. They are looking to you for help, so include details of how you will help them to enforce that idea in their mind that you are the perfect solution.
Once again, they don’t want to know about your home life or hobbies. They aren’t paying you to chat about ‘stuff’. They have a problem with a subject and only want to know if you are the person to help them.
But I’m going to boil this thing down further, and want you to think about these points.
What exactly to write in your tutor profile
1. Benefits and Features
Let’s say you teach online, and you’ve been using a shared virtual whiteboard to teach your students, and using that technology has helped them learn much quicker.
The feature is the whiteboard technology.
The benefit is learning by doing, and getting instant feedback.
The way you describe the “how you will get” is.. Start with the benefit (what), and then follow with the feature (how).
So in this example, it’ll look something like:
“Learn by doing Algebra equations along with me, where I can give you instant feedback while observing where you’re getting stuck. I use a virtual whiteboard so we both can scribble on it while you’re working through each equation.”
List the most impactful benefits you provide.
Start with the most important benefit, and then follow with others.
Not more than 3 to 4 benefits, or you’ll lose their attention.
Remember, for each “feature” you have, translate that into the benefit it brings your student, and then communicate it in the form of – Here’s what you get (benefit to you), and here’s how I’ve made sure you get it (feature I provide).
Here’s a few benefits /features to get your wheels turning…
- Have you tutored people before?
- What difference did your tutoring make to other students?
- What about your qualifications?
- What do they get when hiring you?
- What’s your tutoring style?
- What’s your availability?
- What tools do you use?
- What support do you offer?
- Is there anything else unique to what you do?
2. Social Proof
I mentioned social proof earlier, and I can’t stress enough how important this is. Get those review numbers up and include them in your profile.
Social proof is the modern-day word of mouth advertising. Leaving this blank is not an option. Have a plan on how you’re going to get reviews and testimonials from students.
In another post, I’ve covered how to ask for powerful reviews.
Remember to include a section going into specifics on your profile.
By going into specifics about your tutoring sessions, such as those mentioned earlier in my section on benefits and features, you strengthen the idea of being the perfect match for the student.
The chances of an algebra student having issues with every aspect are low. On most occasions, people have difficulty with various concepts instead of the whole subject.
Go into detail, but briefly, of key areas where your tutoring will make a difference.
You want to hammer home why the benefits you offer are the best around. You want the student to feel that you can resolve their problems on the subject because you fully understand what you are doing.
4. Risk Reversal
Finally, I like to add in a section called ‘risk reversal’ and this is all about building trust and confidence in you as a tutor. By correctly selling your skills as a tutor, any concerns about hiring you should vanish.
The aim here is to show the student that there’s no risk in hiring you. This is the time to point out you have some kind of special offer, perhaps even a free session.
Alternatively, some tutors give a free consultation to allow the student to get an initial feel for them. Now, you could offer a refund if they aren’t happy, but that’s relatively rare for obvious reasons.
The main thing here is that offering some kind of risk reversal shows confidence in your own ability as a tutor. You are confident that this return of money will never be activated simply because you are fantastic at your job.
5. Call to Action
Remember to ask for the sale.
Don’t feel shy about directly telling the student to contact you, or to schedule a first session.
Ask for the sale early. First time immediately after you convey the key benefit to the student. And the next towards the end of your tutor profile.
Pair the risk reversal statement along with the call to action, it removes any friction or doubt the student may be experiencing.
Bringing it All Together
I know I’ve covered a lot, but believe me when I say the points mentioned in this post will make a huge difference to your profile.
However, all this requires one thing from you. ACTION!
Follow the tips, apply them to your own profile on a tutoring website, and see the difference it makes to your response numbers. You need to be on these websites in the first place to be seen.
So, keep in mind these sections.
- Allow your heading to speak to the student. Let them know what you teach at the outset.
- Remember the message match aspect with the description that appears on the search results page. This helps you stand out in the list of results.
- On your bio, add in the benefits of hiring you and why you are so good at what you do. Start with the top benefit, that will matter to the student.
- Still on your bio….Include the features that students receive when they hire you. Remember to communicate features in terms of the benefits they get, because of the feature you provide.
- Include a call to action early in your bio, and repeat that call to action at the end. A call to action in this scenario is to contact you, or to book a first session
- Make sure your qualifications are included. People want to know why you are credible as a tutor. If you’re new to the platform, consider what credibility from outside the platform you can leverage.
- Let them know how you teach. Mention methods, questions, resources, mock exams you can help with, your methodology of teaching. At this point, you want the student to know almost the exact process you employ.
- At the bottom, include another call to action inviting the student to contact you or book a session.
- Finish off your profile with your risk reversal.
Oh, but I have one final tip just before you go…
Consider your own a tutoring website.
A simple single page website.
I suggest this for several reasons.
- It helps you stand out from the crowd.
- You have more space to flesh out your profile.
- You have your own individual link to place on social media.
- A landing page is a wonderful way to generate more leads.
Of course, you possibly have no idea how to create a landing page, but that’s OK….
I’ve got your back. In another post on this blog, I’ve covered how to create your own single page tutoring website that will get you students almost on autopilot.
Now, go and sign up to those tutoring websites. There are students just waiting for you!