How to best transition your business to Online Tutoring.
Do not rush into online tutoring. Preparation is the key to a successful transition. There is a vast array of choice available for clients and you must make sure that you have the correct systems in place in order to compete. Your reputation is everything and you must ensure that clients have a positive online experience right from the beginning.
Remember: Bad news spreads much faster than good news!!
Choosing an online tutoring platform
1. Be very clear about what you want an online platform/app to deliver both now and in the future.
To do this, think about how you work in person with a student and find a platform that will deliver an experience as close to this as you can find.
In my experience, the best platforms/apps allow students and tutors to
- screen share
- work together on documents through
- a collaborative whiteboard and
- document annotation
- print or save completed work
- record the lesson
2. Be passionate about the platform/app.
Parents don't want someone just talking to their child over Skype. They will want to know how the online lessons will work before they book with you. If you are convinced that you are using an amazing platform that delivers an exceptional experience, and you can describe this to them, then the parents will want you!!
3. As your business grows, you may need a platform/app that allows students to have their own "room" personalised for them. This means that you use separate features for younger children than you would use for senior students. For example, inbuilt calculators that be simple or advanced may be an advantage for Math tutors as would be equation editors and graphing tools.
4. How adaptable is the platform to this new environment and consumer needs and how much support is provided? Is this easy to access?
Build your business
5. Know your clients and understand what they are looking for.
Many parents who are working from home don't necessarily need a tutor but someone who can easily supervise their children online.
6. How flexible are you and what choice can you offer?
Can you change the lesson length/number of lessons to accommodate for a range of learners and their needs?
7. Focus on the service you provide before you focus on the financial aspects. This refers to the decisions you make and how you respond to customer needs. You need to be authentic, knowledgable, honest and trustworthy to connect with your customers and make them want to stay with you and refer others to you.
8. Revisit your marketing and branding.
How do you stand out from the thousands of other tutors? Are you seen as a specialist in your field or someone who seems to know a bit about everything?
Do you have a business Facebook page and Linkedin profile and a business page?
9. Surround yourself with a team of professionals. This can be easily done through networking groups via your local council or by connecting your Facebook page to networking groups.
10. Stay connected to your clients (both past and present) by sending out regular newsletters or email updates.
Don't overlook a simple phone call to touch base.
11. Don't promise what you can't deliver.
It is better to lose a client than a good reputation.
12. The best free giveaway is your time. You are building a reputation, so spend time talking and, more importantly, listening to your clients.