MyTutor Tips & Features

Getting started with new private students

This blog post was written by Izzi Strevens, a MyTutor tutor.

Whether you’re an experienced tutor or totally new to teaching with MyTutor, taking on new students can be nerve-wracking, and you may be unsure about how to get started. 

My name’s Izzi, and I’ve been a tutor for three years: here’s my timeline for how to get off to a flying start on the private side.

  1. Make your profile pop! 

Think of your profile on the site as an advert for yourself: it’s the first thing that parents will see, so try to pack a punch with it. 

The best profile pictures are ones of just you, with your full face showing, with no filters or effects. 

Use your blurb as your headline: the best ones are a short and punchy single sentence that offer something unique about who YOU are. 

For example, mine reads: ‘Oxford undergraduate studying Classics and English with a passion for literature and languages’ 

Be proud of yourself in your written description! Parents want to know who you are and why you’re a great tutor: make sure to tell them where you go/ went to uni, what you study, and what makes your sessions stand out. 

TOP TIP: if you’ve got any particular hobbies, mention them! Some parents, particularly parents of nervous students, like to have a tutor who can connect with their child over their interests outside the curriculum. For example, my profile mentions I do a lot of music: a parent of a keen drummer told me that that’s what encouraged them to message me over other tutors! 

  1. Approaching the Meeting 

So your profile has appealed to a prospective student: congrats! Now it’s time to wow them in your first few interactions.

Try to be prompt in replying to messages – parents don’t like to be kept waiting for ages, and a long delay may lead them to pick another tutor in the meantime. 

Obviously tutors are busy people so no one expects you to be on your phone 24/7 – if you’re trying to get new students, it’s a good idea to have your notifications on for MyTutor so you never accidentally miss a request!

Parents are asked to supply you with useful information like exam board, specified texts, lesson frequency etc – if they don’t, be proactive in your reply and ask them for this information! Parents want to see that you’re keen and that you know what’s what: asking questions is a good way to show interest in their child. 

  1. Acing the Free Meeting 

The day has arrived for your first meeting: don’t be nervous! This is an opportunity for you to showcase yourself. Find a good spot for your meeting – the best places are well lit, quiet, away from other people and with a neutral-ish background. 

TOP TIP: About half an hour before the meeting is scheduled to start, I like to message the parent saying ‘Hi X, looking forward to our free meeting – let me know if you have any difficulties launching the lesson space!’

When the meeting starts, make sure you’re in the space promptly – parents don’t want to arrive to an empty lesson space. Don’t be surprised or disheartened if they’re a minute or two late – remember most parents are navigating the site for the first time!

As soon as you see them pop up in the space, I like to start by saying ‘Hi! Can you see me and hear me okay?’. This helps to break the awkward ice, as well as identifying any technical problems.

Assuming everything’s ok, I then lead with ‘My name’s X, it’s lovely to meet you! We’ll start with a little bit about me… I’m a Y student at Z uni…’ etc. 

After this introduction, get down to the meat of the meeting. A good way to get them talking is just to ask them what they’d like to ask you! Answer any questions they have as clearly as you can – don’t worry about getting it perfect the first time. 

Once they’ve asked their questions, it’s back to you: ask them for any details you need that they haven’t given you.

I like to make sure I’ve got written down: 

  • Year of student
  • Point of tutoring – general revision, content learning, exam support etc
  • Exam board, specific set texts
  • Points of weakness
  • Predicted grades, desired grades

Whether you set up your first lesson during this meeting is up to you. If they bring it up, then congratulations, you’re in! However, it can be awkward if you try to bring it up and a parent isn’t sure they want to book you yet – don’t be disheartened if this is the case, though: it’s a big decision and parents often want time to think. 

If you’ve got all the information you need and are looking to end the meeting,  say something like ‘Thanks very much, I hope this meeting has been useful – I’ll be in touch to look at potentially booking some lessons!’

  1. Follow-Up and Setting Up Lessons 

If you’ve already arranged a first lesson during the free meeting, then you’re all set. It’s nice to message the parent afterwards saying ‘It was lovely to meet you today- looking forward to my first lesson with X student on Y date’.

If you haven’t organised lessons: after the meeting, send a message saying something along the lines of ‘Hi X, it was lovely to meet you and Y today. Let me know if you’re keen to book some lessons – I have Z availability. Best wishes, A’ 

Hopefully, you’re now all set for your new student! Keep your eyes peeled for a blog post about how to execute a first lesson. 

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