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How to Find Online Students: 20 Ways to Find Students for Online Teaching + Bonus Marketing Tips
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Are you a remote tutor who wants to find online students? If so, you are in luck! In this blog post, we will share a comprehensive list of creative ideas for how to find online students.
Some of these methods may be familiar to you, while others may be new. Regardless, all of them are effective and will help you find more students for your online tutoring business. So without further ado, let’s get started!
Creative Ideas for How to Find Online Students
1. Know Your USP
Before you can start marketing yourself, you need to know what makes you stand out from the crowd. USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. It is the marketing statement you use to sell your products and services to prospective customers. Every major brand does this to develop brand recognition.
Unless your target audience understands your USP, they may never know why they should use your tutoring business. Figuring out what makes you unique as an online tutor can seem like a daunting task.
Pro Tip: By taking the time to narrow your focus, create a strong profile, and understand your audience, you can develop a clear USP that will attract students.
First, it’s important to pick a teaching niche. This will help you to focus your efforts and stand out from the crowd. If your focus is ESL or math, then you don’t need to try and attract students seeking help with test prep.
Once you’ve decided on your area of expertise, take some time to create a stellar profile. Include information about your experience, approach to teaching, and tutoring philosophy. Be sure to use language that prospective students will understand and be able to relate to.
Next, it’s crucial to know your audience. What are they looking for in an online tutor? What are their needs and concerns? By understanding your target audience, you’ll be able to develop messaging that resonates with them.
Finally, take some time to explain how you can help potential students meet their goals. What makes your approach unique? Why should they choose you as their tutor? By answering these questions, you’ll be able to develop a strong USP to help you attract new online students.
2. Market Yourself
Talk TO Your students rather than about yourself. While they do want to know that you are knowledgeable in your niche, a student will always choose a relatable teacher with no experience over a teacher with a stacked resume but who seems too formal or unapproachable.
When you market yourself to potential students, remember to focus on how you can help them achieve their goals. What are the benefits of working with you? What can they expect to learn?
By focusing on how you can help your students, you’ll be more likely to attract new business.
3. Use Social Media
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach a larger audience and connect with potential students. When using social media to attract online students, it’s important to focus on platforms where your target audience is active.
For example, if you’re targeting high school students, then Instagram and Snapchat may be better platform choices than LinkedIn. If you’re teaching students in China, then you may want to use Weibo or XiaoHongShu instead of Facebook. TikTok is also popular globally.
Once you’ve identified the best platform for reaching your target audience, you can start creating content that will attract online students.
Some ideas for social media posts include:
✔ A day in the life of an online tutor
✔ The benefits of online tutoring
✔ Why X type of student needs online tutoring
✔ How to choose the right online tutor
✔ Short pronunciation and vocabulary tips for ESL teachers
✔ Instrument tuning demos for music teachers
✔ A trick for memorizing times tables for math tutors
4. Use Free Classifieds
Free classifieds are a great way to attract online students. Some popular sites are Craigslist, Angie’s List, and Yahoo Local.
However, look at classified sites that are popular in the areas you’re targeting. Mercado Libre is popular throughout Latin America and Avitro is used often in Europe. Both 58.com and ganji.com are popular in China.
If you post an ad in a country that does not speak your native language, be sure to translate it before posting. For language teachers, post the ad in both the language you are teaching and the common language for the area in which you are posting.
By posting a classified ad, you can reach a large audience with minimal effort. When creating your classified ad, be sure to include the following:
✔ Your email address or contact information
✔ A brief description of your services
✔ Your niche or areas of expertise
✔ Your hourly rate
✔ Any special promotions or discounts you’re offering
✔ A link to your website or social media profile
5. Set Up a Tutoring Email Address
Setting up a separate email address for your tutoring business is a great way to ensure that you stay organized and professional. By using a tutoring email address, you can easily keep track of tutoring inquiries and avoid mixing business with a personal email.
In addition, a professional email address will give your tutoring business a more polished and professional look. You can set up a tutoring email address for free using Gmail, Outlook, or another email service.
Once you’ve set up your tutoring email address, be sure to include it on your website and social media profiles.
6. Register with Online Tutor Directories
Registering with online tutor directories is a great way to attract new students. By creating a profile on a tutoring directory, you can reach a larger audience and connect with potential students from all over the world.
Some popular online tutor directories include TutorMe, Preply, and Wyzant. There are pros and cons to using an online tutor directory, sometimes called an online tutor marketplace. So consider them carefully before you enroll.
When creating your profile, be sure to include:
✔ A current photo of yourself
✔ A brief description of your tutoring services
✔ Your qualifications and experience
✔ Your hourly rate
✔ Any special promotions or discounts you’re offering
7. Write a Free Ebook
Writing a free ebook is a great way to attract online students. By providing valuable information in your ebook, you can show potential students that you’re an expert in your field. In addition, a free ebook is a great way to build credibility and establish yourself as an authority figure.
When writing your ebook, remember that it doesn’t have to be as long as a traditional, printed non-fiction book. A good free ebook should be at least 3,000-5,000 words. In it, focus on solving a solution with which your ideal audience may be struggling.
For example, a math tutor may want to write an ebook with 15 (or more) tips for memorizing times tables. Or an ESL tutor may want to write an ebook on slang words or phrases not normally taught in online curriculums.
8. Customize Your Car
If you drive a car, consider ordering customized window clings or door magnets online. Companies like Vistaprint and Etsy offer affordable, high-quality car magnets that can be customized with your tutoring business information.
By customizing your car, you can attract new students while running errands or driving around town. Be sure to include your name, your contact information, and a very short description of your tutoring services.
9. Blogging and SEO
By creating a blog and optimizing your website for SEO, you can attract new students to your tutoring business. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is how you will make sure Google notices your posts and includes them in search results.
This part does require a bit of time investment, as it can take a while to figure out an efficient way to write quality blog posts more quickly.
That said, when writing blog posts, always focus on topics that your ideal audience will be interested in reading about. Ensure that each post is properly optimized for SEO.
For example, a math tutor may want to write blog posts about how to study for a math test, how to do well on a math placement exam, or how to choose the right math tutor.
Or a music tutor might write blog posts about how to practice effectively, how to find a good music teacher, or how to audition for music school.
10. Write and Memorize Your Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short, persuasive speech that you can use to sell your tutoring services. It should include four parts: an introduction, what you do best/why you’re awesome, an understanding of your audience’s needs, and strong closing so they remember you.
Pro Tip: The key to an effective elevator pitch is to focus on the needs of your ideal customer and how you can help them.
For example, a math tutor might say, “I help students who are struggling with math to improve their grades and feel more confident in their abilities. I offer one-on-one math tutoring online and specialize in helping students who are struggling with algebra.”
A language tutor might say “I’m a/n [language name] tutor and curriculum writer. I love helping [language name] learners with difficult pronunciation. I’m accepting new students if you know anyone who’s interested.”
11. Guest Posting and Guest Podcasting
Guest posting and guest podcasting are two great ways to attract new students to your online tutoring business. By writing a guest post for a relevant website or being a guest on a relevant podcast, you can reach a new audience and show potential students that you’re an expert in your field.
Pro Tip: When writing a guest post, focus on solving a problem with which your ideal audience may be struggling.
For example, a math tutor may want to write a guest post about how to study for a math test. An ESL tutor may want to write a guest post about English idioms and when to use them.
To find relevant websites and podcasts to guest post on or be a guest on, use Google and search for [your tutoring niche] + “guest post” or [your tutoring niche] + “podcast.”
By taking these steps, you can attract new students to your online tutoring business by also offering the website or podcast on which you’re a guest new and interesting information to share with their audience. It’s a win-win!
12. Get a Certification
Getting certified can help you attract new students to your online tutoring business. When parents or students are looking for a tutor, they often want someone who is certified in the subject they need help with.
Pro Tip: There are many different types of certifications available, so be sure to choose one that is relevant to your tutoring niche.
For example, if you’re a math tutor, you may want to get certified by the National Tutoring Association. If you’re an ESL tutor, you may want to get a TEFL certification. History tutors may want to consider getting a certification from the American History Association.
👉 We recommend this TEFL course! They even offer post-completion job support and resources.
There are many different options available, so be sure to do your research and choose the one that is right for you and your tutoring niche.
13. Word of Mouth Referrals
One of the best ways to attract new students to your online tutoring business is by getting word-of-mouth referrals from your current students or their parents.
When someone you know recommends you to someone else, they are more likely to trust you and choose you as their tutor. You can also ask your current students or their parents if they know anyone who might be interested in your tutoring services.
If they do, you can reach out to them and let them know that you’re available to help. You can also ask family and friends if they know anyone who might be interested in your tutoring services.
Whether you text or call them individually or make a general post on your personal social media channels, using your own personal network to grow your professional one can really help.
The best part is by getting word-of-mouth referrals, you can attract new students to your online tutoring business without having to spend any money on marketing or advertising.
14. Post Fliers
Posting fliers is a great way to attract new students to your online tutoring business. You can post fliers in relevant places, such as local community centers, libraries, schools, or colleges.
You can also post them in coffee shops, bookstores, or other businesses that your ideal student might frequent. When designing your flier, be sure to include your contact information, a brief description of your tutoring services, and what makes you unique.
You may also want to include a promotional offer, such as a discount for their first session. By taking these steps, you can attract new students to your online tutoring business.
15. Join Forums and Q&A Sites
There are a plethora of fantastic language-learning forums out there, and they’re all connected. Reddit, Quora, Craigslist, Duolingo Board, and HiNative are all popular. Users on these platforms give each other recommendations and tips.
Try to establish a presence in some of these communities. Such sites are ideal for sharing your background and illustrating your teaching methods, as well as converting readers to new students.
You’ll also discover students recommending their tutors to other users after spending a little time on these forums. If your current pupils are accustomed to using these sites, then don’t be afraid to ask them for referrals there as well.
Don’t forget that word of mouth is every freelance tutor’s best friend!
16. Link Your Tutor Profile
Consider adding the links to your teaching profile to your other online profiles. From VRBO and TrustedHousesitters to LinkedIn or other social media, you never know who might decide to contact you!
If you have a website for your business, make sure to link to it from as many places as possible. Create a free tutor profile to send students with The Tutor Resource if you don’t have a website.
You can include your contact information, rates, tutoring services, subjects you teach, and anything else you think is important for potential students to know. By having links to your profile on other websites, you can attract new students to your online tutoring business.
17. Pay for Ads
Another great way to attract new students to your online tutoring business is by paying for ads. You can create an ad campaign on Google AdWords or Facebook Ads and target potential students in your area or in your preferred area to tutor.
For example, if you are based in the UK but want to tutor language students in Albania, then you can target your ad in Albania rather than the UK.
When creating your ad, be sure to include a strong headline, relevant keywords, and a call-to-action. You may also want to include a promotional offer, such as a discount for their first session.
Ads can also be in print form if you want to work with more local students online. You could get an ad in the weekly bulletin at your place of worship, or in a local community paper. Just be sure to include your contact information and rates so that potential students can reach out to you.
18. Order Business Cards
Business cards are a great way to attract new students to your online tutoring business. You can hand them out to people you meet, leave them in relevant places, or even send them in the mail.
You could even go to the local library or book store and put some business cards inside books there that are relevant to your niche.
When designing your business cards, be sure to include your contact information, a brief description of your tutoring services, and what makes you unique. You may also want to include a promotional offer, such as a discount for their first session or a free demo.
One of the best ways to attract new students to your online tutoring business is by networking. This can be done in person or online. You can attend networking events, social meetups, or even webinars.
You can also connect with potential students on social media or online forums. Some examples of networking opportunities are Meetup.com, Nextdoor.com, online parenting groups, religious events, and school meetings.
Pro Tip: Always have your business cards and elevator pitch ready to share!
You can even meet tutors in other niches than you and ask for referrals. For example, if you teach math and another tutor teaches piano, perhaps your students need each others’ services as well.
20. Connect with Schools
Another great way to attract new students to your online tutoring business is by connecting with schools. You can reach out to local brick-and-mortar schools, online schools, or even homeschool groups.
Some ways to connect with schools are by attending events, sending emails or letters, or calling the school directly. You can also connect with schools on social media or through online directories.
Pro Tip: Find the email address of the principal or head of the school and write them a personalized, introduction email.
When connecting with schools, be sure to introduce both yourself and your tutoring services. They will certainly want to know your credentials, experience, and expertise before taking any action.
You may also want to include a promotional offer to encourage the school to share your information with their students, such as a discount for their first session or a free demo.
Marketing Tips to Help you Find Online Students
➡️ Create an impactful resume.
One of the best ways to find online students for your tutoring business is by creating an impactful resume.
Your resume should include information about your tutoring services, experience, credentials, and what makes you unique. Be sure to use keywords relevant to your tutoring niche that potential students would be searching for when looking for a tutor.
➡️ Do NOT undersell yourself.
If you engage in a race to the bottom of tutoring pricing, you will burn out and fail. In addition to the benefit of getting more money for the same amount of work, you’ll have much less competition.
Plus, you’ll attract the kind of students who will be happy to work with you. The majority of people prefer to work with someone who seems confident in their abilities, and charging a higher rate will help you project that image.
➡️ Focus on quality over quantity.
It’s better to have a few quality students who you work well with and who are willing to pay your rates than a large number of students who are a headache to work with and who haggle you on price.
When you’re first starting out, it can be tempting to take on any student who is willing to pay you, but resist that urge! It’s better to have a smaller number of quality students with whom you can build a good relationship and who are willing to pay your rates.
➡️ Trial Lesson.
If you offer a free trial or free demo, don’t teach anything in it! The key is not to think of a trial lesson as an actual lesson.
Instead, explain your tutoring philosophy and approach, give a quick demonstration of any curriculum materials you use, and ask them questions. Get to know their interests and concerns, so you can address those better during your actual tutoring sessions.
Most importantly, allow them ample time to ask you questions. You’ll learn a lot about the student through the questions they ask you and the concerns that they have before you even start teaching them.
Give thoughtful answers to all their questions, even if it feels repetitive. They’ll appreciate your courtesy.
➡️ Good Customer Service IS Great Marketing!
In today’s day and age, it is more important than ever to provide excellent customer service. This is true for both existing students and prospective students.
If you provide excellent customer service, your students will be happy and they will spread the word about your tutoring services. And we all know that word-of-mouth is still the best form of marketing!
So, how can you provide excellent customer service?
Here are a few tips for excelling in customer service:
✔ Be responsive to your students’ needs. If they need extra help outside of their tutoring sessions, be available to provide it.
✔ Be prompt in replying to their questions. If you say you will get back to them within 24 hours, do it!
✔ Be professional in your dealings with them. This means being polite, respectful, and courteous at all times.
✔ Make sure you are well-prepared for each tutoring session. This means being knowledgeable about the material and having a clear plan for how you will teach it.
✔ Be flexible in your approach. If a student is struggling with a concept, be willing to try a different explanation or approach.
✔ Encourage and praise your students’ successes, no matter how small. This will help them to feel motivated and confident.
✔ Be patient with your students. Learning can be difficult, so it is important to be patient with your students as they are trying to understand new concepts.
➡️ Be Confident.
When you are trying to find new students for your online tutoring business, it is important to be confident.
You can show confidence by being knowledgeable about your subject matter, having a clear plan for how you will teach the material, and being patient with your students. You can also show confidence by charging a higher rate.
👉 Read Peggy Klaus’ book, Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It.
When you are confident, you will attract the kind of students who will be happy to work with you.
➡️ Do your research.
When you are trying to find new students for your online tutoring business, it is important to do your research.
You should research the needs of your target market, the competition, and how to reach your target market. You can find this information by searching online, talking to other tutors, and attending conferences and workshops.
➡️ Be prepared to answer questions.
When you are trying to find new students for your online tutoring business, you will be asked many questions.
You should be prepared to answer questions about your tutoring business, your rates, your approach to teaching, and your availability. You should also be prepared to answer questions about the material you will be teaching.
➡️ Offer bundles and package deals.
Especially at the beginning, when you are first starting to find online students, it can be helpful to offer bundles and package deals.
This will give prospective students a sense of what you offer and how much they can expect to pay for your services. It will also help you to build a relationship with the student by providing them with a discount.
Conclusion: How to Find Online Students
So, there you have it! A few suggestions for how to find online students for your online tutoring business plus some bonus marketing tips to help you maximize your strategy effectiveness.
Whether you decide to try all twenty of our suggestions or just a few of them will determine how quickly you are successful in growing your online tutoring business. Even just a couple of these suggestions will help you get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Now, go out there and find some online students!