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How To Be A Tutor.

Tips to help you become a self-employed tutor

  • Suggestions for in-person (face-to-face) tutors.
  • Suggestions for ALL tutors.
  • Suggestions for international or online tutors.

    For in-person (face-to-face) tutors only:

  • Meeting Location: You should consider putting your meeting location on your webpage and flyers. Some tutors meet at the students' houses, and I highly suggest you do that only if the parents will be home, or if the student is an adult, you should insist that more than one other person be home besides the student. I usually meet students at a coffeeshop or library.
  • Put up Flyers! I also recommend putting up signs at local college bulletin boards (it is wise to get permission first, but not always necessary). This is how I get almost half of my business!
    Here is a flyer that you can download and just edit to put in your first name,phone number, the subjects you tutor, and your experience. Feel free to change this flyer in any way you'd like.

    The flyer: Tutor-Flyer.doc Consider having this printed on yellow or bright paper.

  • Send out letters/small brochures: Many schools keep a list of private tutors in a counseling office. You should mail a very brief description of yourself, the subjects you tutor, your contact info (of course!), and perhaps references to local schools, including high schools, especially private high schools.
  • Road signs: You may also consider buying small plastic road sign to drive into the ground at intersections near schools. This is usually not legal, but the penalty if you are caught doing this is usually very small. Know the laws in your area before attempting something like this! However!... I often get calls from people who are not needing tutoring, so this kind of unprofessional advertising gets unprofessional results.
  • Newspaper ads -- Don't bother! In the past I have found that newspaper ads are NOT worth the price you pay for them. Don't waste your time and money with newspaper ads!
  • Yellow Pages. Perhaps! The Yellow Pages will get business for you, certainly, but keep in mind that such ads are expensive. I try to consider the amount of revenue per dollar of advertising that I spend. If you get enough business from other avenues of advertising, I would not do this. But if you've tried everything mentioned here, and business is still slow after 6 months or so, you might consider the Yellow Pages. Keep in mind that when you first start any business, it will be slow at first. If you are an individual tutor, you might consider just a small (mimimum size) ad.
  • Free online ads!
    (1) A great way to advertise your tutoring service, and also to find people in need of a tutor, is to look at www.craigslist.org. First click on your country, state and city to select your location, then when you're at the homepage, look under "services" and then under "lessons". You can post an ad there free of charge! Also you can search for people in need of a tutor. Your ad will expire in a certain amount of time, so you might need to re-post your ad every so often. Larger cities have shorter time spans before your ad expires.
    (2) Another way to advertise tutoring is to start a FREE ad on local.yahoo.com so that you can list your tutoring or teaching services in your home town.
    (3) This webpage lists many websites for finding tutors -- Find a Tutor. (4) Here is another website that offers online tutor listings:
    www.tutor-bungalow.com. It's free for tutors to sign up. Enhanced listings are offered. Also it's free for parents and students to search for tutors.

    In short, there are many free ways to advertise and this should be enough to get you all the business that you can handle.

    Advice for ALL tutors:

  • Get a webpage! Build your web presence with links to your webpage. Even if it's something like facebook, a webpage is a good way to let people know about you.

    There are some places that allow you to have sort of a free webpage or blog such as Facebook, Friendster, Xanga, etc. These websites do not, however rank high on the search engines, but they are free.

    On your webpages you should talk about your tutoring philosophy, methods, contact info, price, experience, if you have references, etc.

    This is very important as it allows you to accept PayPal AND credit card payments. There are other companies that allow you to accept credit card payments, but PayPal is one of the most trusted and widely used.

  • Check Your Email! Check your email quite often! Especially if you do online work, but also even if you only do in-person tutoring; many times in-person customers have contacted me through email first.

    Suggestions for international tutors:

  • Good Grammar Gets Customers. Please try to make sure that your English is correct. This is for your own benefit because if a potential customer gets an email from you with many spelling and grammar mistakes, the customer may think you will not be good at the work you do.

  • Get a reliable payment method. I know getting payments is a difficult thing to do because PayPal is slow to send checks overseas, but it is possible. So you should have a PayPal account! A PayPal account is free! You only pay when payments are made to your account.

    For tutors in India: If you need to get your funds faster than what PayPal can deliver, this person might be able to help you get your money faster for a fee:

    Anju Pramod. Email: subudear@yahoo.com

    She has has done work for me many times before and has proven to be a very reliable and honest person.

  • Check Your Email! It helps if you can check your email quite often, even several times a day. Students and customers do not like to wait long periods of time before they get a reply. I know this might cost a little bit, but that's the price of doing business.


    This scam is pretty obvious, but for you naive ones...

    If you get an email from someone "out of the country" looking for a tutor for their child or children, they will want to send you a check (often for several thousand dollars) and then you take out your fee and return the remainder to them via Western Union. They WILL send you a check, but THE CHECK IS A FAKE!!! It will take a few days for your bank to notice this, and the scam artist hopes that you will Western Union the remaining money (after you take out your fee) to them before your bank tells you the check is fake. So, watch out!

    If you get a check in the mail from someone out of the country, it is probably a fake!