For all private tutors in London working at all levels and in all disciplines, the most challenging job of all tends to be actually finding that all-important first job. It seems easy on the surface – you set your business, you know how fantastic you are and therefore expect the punters to come flocking your way. In reality, however, you may find yourself sitting back and watching the clock – your phone disconcertingly silent.
The simple fact of the matter is that while the UK private tuition market has grown in value over the past 10 years to more than £6 million annually, it’s a pool of wealth that must be sought and accessed proactively. Or in other words, unless you are willing to fight tooth and nail to get your business and indeed your reputation off the ground, chances are ground-level is where you’ll remain long-term.
So for those just starting out as a private tutor in the near future, what are the very best avenues available for exploration when it comes to finding those all-important initial jobs?
First and foremost, you need to be aware of the fact that no matter how your prospective clients hear about you – word of mouth, newspaper ad, flyer etc. – the very first thing they will do is check out your website. As such, this means that not only do you need to have a professional business website up and running, but also a website that is absolutely flawless in quality and rich in information. Setting up a website is easy – building up and maintaining a world-class website is something else entirely. And while you may need the imput of the professionals to facilitate the latter, try to bear in mind that this is the first impression the vast majority of your perspective clients will get of you and your business. Or in other words, it’s a crucially important investment that is well worth making.
The same also goes for social media as now more than ever, clients and perspective clients hit those social media buttons and links instinctively and summarily have a comprehensive rummage through who you are and what you do. What’s great about social media when setting up as a private tutor is the way in which it not only opens up a two-way channel of communication between you and your audience, but also allows you to continuously share success stories, tips, advice, news, video clips, pictures and so on. In fact, build a strong following on social media and ensure you are involved in the community and you might find the rest falls into place quite naturally. Once again, even if this means paying for professional involvement, it’s an essential investment worth making.
One of the very best and most effective ways of getting the word out in the first place about your fantastic new business is to work with an online private tuition agency. There are a fair few agencies up and running in the capital right now and some are inherently more capable than others, but simply by looking into their feedback and performance you should be able to find an agency of real quality. Upon registering with these agencies, most of the hard work is technically done on your behalf as your profile will be used to match you up with prospective clients. And in the digital age in which we live today, online agencies tend to be one of the first ports of call for those looking to take on private tutors.
That being said, the Internet certainly isn’t the be all and end all of things when it comes to advertising your services and securing your first jobs. It’s also more than worth considering investing in an archive of leaflets, business cards, brochures and whatnot to be distributed around your locality. And then of course there are local newspaper advertisements to consider, which can often be effective.
Last but not least, never forget that one of the most useful resources at your disposal when it comes to getting your services in front of those who may need them is the local school, college or learning centre. The simple fact of the matter is that if you can build a good enough reputation in the eyes of those in charge of local learning centres, the recommendations they give parents of pupils in need of private tuition can be pure gold to say the least. Get yourself known, make yourself available and network like crazy!