Math is a dreaded subject for students of all ages - for many people, it’s the subject that causes the most stress and anxiety. In Canada, reports indicate that math scores are declining steadily, reflecting how problematic math is for so many students.
People that love math - like yourself - may feel a bit perturbed by this news. What has happened to math education? Why are students doing worse?
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You may have also decided that this is a good opportunity to help students through tutoring math. Math degree jobs that truly use your knowledge are not easy to find, so this could also be an opportunity to apply your skills. If you aren’t already a teacher, private math tutoring can also be a great way to get teaching experience or make some extra income.
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This is all great news for struggling math students in your community - however, you’ll need to start thinking about the business side of tutoring. Recruiting students that you’ll support is critical for all tutoring jobs in Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, or online.
So how do you find clients you can tutor in math? Let’s look at a few actions you can take to get more tutees.
Can I Get Math Students Through Word of Mouth?
If you’re just getting started in math tutoring, you might feel a bit lost: with so many others tutoring, and so many boutique math schools, how do you find your clientele? Who do you ask or advertise to? How can you fill up a schedule?
There are plenty of ways to advertise, but the best way to get started is by promoting yourself through word-of-mouth in your community or network. Why? When you start with people you know or are connected to, they will start referring your services to their friends, or be willing to write strong reviews you can post on your site. The stronger your reputation, the more likely people will feel comfortable hiring you.
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Your reputation is everything in today’s economy, so make sure your performance as a tutor is solid by developing high quality tutorials that students look forward to. When your students have strong results, document what you have achieved with them so you can build your portfolio.
If you’re good, the word will spread, and you won’t have to work as hard to find new clients.
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Build your reputation as a tutor by providing excellent services. Source: Unsplash.Promoting your services by word of mouth starts with telling your immediate network of family and friends. Let them know you are starting to tutor clients, and ask them to spread the news. Use social media - post on your community pages and see what kinds of responses you get! Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to start - platforms where you have built a large following.
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Tell your network you are offering math tutoring and about the experience you bring, and who you are best qualified to support. If you’ve ever babysat, worked as a camp counsellor or taken a relevant degree in math or education, share that in your posts or conversation so people will know they are hiring someone with some experience. Offer long term and short term tutoring engagement: students and their families will likely be intrigued by the concept of a “booster class” or test prep so they aren’t making a huge commitment.
Offer free tutoring services for the first hour, so people can feel like they are getting a deal when they test your services out. The more time they have to observe your methods and tutoring style, the more eager they will be to hire you again - make sure you bring your ‘A’ game on that first day! If they see their child show more interest in math, or gain understanding of concepts they struggled with, they will recommend you to other families they know.
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The same goes for your students - if they have good results, they will tell their friends, who may also tell their parents. And when the big math tests come: final exams, MCATs, SATs, or provincial standardized tests, they will look back at your tutorials and feel thankful.
See tutoring jobs here on Superprof.
Is it OK to Tell Neighbours About my Tutoring Service?
When starting a new journey as a math tutor, those that know and see you on a regular basis - your neighbours - can be a great source of business. They are more likely to take a chance on someone they and their kids know, and will likely be excited for you if they have known you for a long time. Going back to word of mouth marketing, neighbours have their own network of contacts they can make referrals to.
Strike up the conversation when you see your neighbours doing things outside the house: mowing the lawn, or better yet, relaxing on the front porch. Catch them when they aren’t too busy so you don’t annoy them, and speak to their needs. How are their kids doing in school? Have they heard kids are losing confidence in math across the board? Remember, you can be versatile and tutor more than one subject if needed: you can likely also tutor in English, Science, or History in addition to math, or even do some babysitting afterwards.
If you live in a large city, you will have even more neighbours you can promote to. Create a catchy flyer you can drop in mailboxes or doorsteps. Include links to your resume or CV online: make a simple Google site or one pager that people can find easily to learn your credentials.
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How do I Promote my Tutoring in Local Businesses?
After sharing your new tutoring endeavours with family, friends and neighbours, you can take your marketing to the next level by promoting in community noticeboards or local businesses. You have probably seen the flyers of other tutors or teachers: why not do the same? Bakeries, pharmacies, and cafes will often welcome such content on their flyers, you might even find a bulletin board in a grocery store you can pin a flyer. These are great places to advertise as many families and students frequently pass through.
The next step is to identify places where learners spend a lot of their time: for example, older students will be in universities and colleges. Find boards there you can post your flyer, or even cafes and bookstores in that area. If your audience is younger kids, see if you can get a flyer on a wall in a local community centre or studio where extracurriculars take place.
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If it feels strange to be posting your advertisement, rest assured that this is a common practice that dozens of people are using. Some will offer languages like English, French or German; others focus on tests like LSAT or MCAT; others even offer therapy or life coaching.
You can make something truly beautiful and eye-catching using apps like Canva, Adobe Spark, or even Google slides. Add colour and simple, effective messaging; get them professionally printed in high quality paper so people will get a sense of your professionalism.
How Does a Tutor Establish an Online Presence?
We’ve discussed some of the major ways to promote your services in person - let’s discuss the possibilities for finding students online. This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to find students.
In today’s digital world, establishing an online presence is the best way to promote your services. Obviously, we recommend using Superprof.ca, where thousands of people search for tutors everyday. This is the best place to find tutoring clients, and the best place for people to look for an online tutor. Superprof helps students and their families to find the best teaching professional that meets their needs. The site is well organized, professionally built, and will make you look like a star to your prospective clients. When you join Superprof, you are joining an established network of thousands of educators around the world - can you think of a better way to promote your services as a tutor.
Putting your profile on Superprof is basically like getting free marketing for your services. Imagine the work you might have to do to set up a website and attract potential users. Superprof.ca does all the work for you, so you can focus on providing the best possible services to students and their families.
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Pricing is variable because rates will depend on the experience, age level, and academic background of the tutor. Superprof’s site is easy to use, and everyone can find exactly what services they want using the search function. They can indicate location, though most tutors can also work online, making the location irrelevant. You might want to think of Superprof as the “Uber” of tutoring services: you can easily find the right tutor when you need it, in whatever format works best for you.
In addition to Superprof, you could also set up a small site, Facebook or Instagram profile that you can use to create a tutoring profile. If you do use social media, be sure to respond to any queries you receive through direct messages, and include a link to your Superprof profile so they can see more information about yourself there. You might want to include the following information somewhere in your profile:
- main subjects of specialty
- other subjects and grade levels you can tutor
- the services you offer (private classes, homework help, test or exam prep)
- any experience you’ve had as an educator or with kids (ie. babysitting, teaching, camp counselling, sports coaching)
- any information about your style of teaching
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