by Graeme Matthews

May 6, 2020

Online tutoring provides cost-effective tutoring with access to tutors that parents may not normally have access to due to geographic and scheduling constraints. Parents tend to have the best experience hiring online tutors that are sole proprietors because they have a vested interest in the academic success of their students. If the students do well in their course and final exams, then their parents will write a glowing recommendation which will help establish their credibility in the local, national and international markets as a tutor that helps their students get the results that they want on their exams.

What is the best way to find a quality online tutor? Most parents start by searching the internet for online tutors in a given subject. And then they see pages of search term results where the tutoring companies have paid advertisements at the top of the page and the tutor clearing houses have websites listed with subject tutors that can be hired for a given hourly rate. At this moment in time, some parents may wonder how they can find a quality online tutor for their child and they resort to hiring a tutor from a tutor clearing website and hope for the best.

As a parent are you looking for an online tutor for your child? Are you wondering if there is a systematic way to sift through the search results on the internet and find a quality online tutor for your child? Are you wondering if you should even search the internet as maybe are you better off using Facebook, posting onto a parenting website or looking on Youtube?

In total transparency, EmPowerMind is a sole proprietor business that offers online tutoring to an international audience of students in A-level Chemistry, A-level conversion courses and AP Chemistry.

Find A Tutor: The Logic Behind Finding An Online Tutor


Before starting the search for an online tutor it is worthwhile to devise a strategy for finding an online tutor. This is a better use of time rather than spending hours sifting through internet search results in the hope of finding an online tutor, shortlisting those tutors whose profile looked promising, contacting the tutor and listening to endless sales pitches. The strategy that will allow you to find a quality online tutor involves thinking like an online tutor. If you were an online tutor who was a sole proprietor, how and where would you advertise your tutoring services in order to be found by parents?

Sole proprietor online tutors who run a profitable business know that running a tutoring business depends on three key areas in order to find prospective clients: referrals, offline marketing and online marketing. As a parent, you don’t need to understand how each area works and fits into the tutor’s business plan in order to find an online tutor. Rather, all you need to do is to understand where to look in order to find an online tutor. If you look in the areas where tutors are advertising their services you will find a quality tutor.

Find A Tutor: Referrals From Family, Friends And Neighbours


The first key area to research when looking for an online tutor is referrals from family members, friends, neighbours, members of their church group, civic and social organizations, work associates, business associations or professional organizations in which they have a membership. Feel free to ask if anybody knows a good online tutor that they can recommend in your desired subject area. You may be surprised at how someone in your immediate circle of influence doesn’t know of any tutors they can personally recommend but they know someone who hired a tutor for their child.

The reason why this is a good starting point when looking for a tutor is that the tutoring business is a referral business. The parent will refer the tutor to other parents and the tutor will ask the parents for a referral after they have finished tutoring their child. If the tutor is a quality tutor then the parents will be willing to refer them to other parents. And, if the tutor is a savvy business person then they will be asking the parents of the children that they tutor if they know anyone that needs tutoring.

Find A Tutor: Offline Marketing


The second key area to research is when looking for an online tutor is the offline marketing tools used by online tutors. Although they work on the internet, savvy online tutors know that they need to advertise their services wherever they can in order to attract potential clients. The marketing tools that they use can be categorised as either passive or active marketing tools.

Examples of passive marketing tools used by online tutors are flyers, bandit signs or signs on cars advertising their tutoring services. The tutor makes the advertisement and then places it in areas where they are allowed to and which they think maybe frequented by parents such as coffee shops, supermarkets or the side of a busy road. Once they have made and placed the advertisement no further effort is required on their behalf except to field enquiries from parents.

Examples of active marketing tools include those activities where the tutor is actively involved in the offline marketing of their sole proprietorship business. Tutors may offer to speak at libraries or schools in order to showcase their tutoring business. Or they may talk with key people such as the headmaster at the local secondary school or host an event table at the local fairs or sporting events in order to showcase their business.

Once you realise these are some of the marketing tools used by online tutors to showcase their business to the local market you may start to notice them in your neighbourhood. And if the online tutor has taken the time to use offline marketing tools which involve time and effort to create and place around their neighbourhood then you can rest assured that they are dedicated to making their online business successful. In order to find an online tutor, you may want to start by contacting the tutors who are advertising their tutoring business through flyers, bandit signs or car signs. Or you may want to attend public talks held by tutors at your local library or talk to the headmaster at your child’s secondary school.

How To Find Online Tutors: 6 Easy Steps To Find A Quality Tutor

Finding a quality online tutor that is running a sole proprietorship is not an easy task for a parent to accomplish due to the sheer volume of tutoring companies and tutor clearing websites advertising their business on the internet. These companies and websites are at the top of the search engine results not because they offer the best option in online tutoring but because they have either paid for advertising or they have optimised the SEO on their website which places them near the top of the search engine results. Therefore, it may be difficult for parents to find a quality online tutor that is not working for a tutoring franchise or is advertising their services through a tutor clearing website.

A strategic way that parents can find a quality online tutor is by completing the following steps:

  1. Devise a strategy where you think like an online tutor rather than sifting through search engine results.
  2. Ask friends, family or neighbours for tutor referrals.
  3. Contact tutors through any flyers, bandit signs or car signs you see in your neighbourhood.
  4. Attend speaking engagements held by tutors at libraries or schools.
  5. Talk to the headmaster at your secondary school and ask for a referral.
  6. Talk to tutors who are hosting events tables at local fairs or sporting events.

All of these are examples of offline marketing tools used by tutors running a sole proprietorship tutoring business. There are more examples of offline marketing tools that could be used but it is important to understand that tutors that run sole proprietorship businesses use offline marketing techniques more strategically than the tutoring franchises and tutor clearing websites. As a parent, all you need to do is to be aware of this and you will notice the offline marketing techniques used by online tutors in your area and you will have several referrals to quality online tutors.

In the next blog post, you will learn about the last key area to find a quality online tutor which involves understanding the tutors online marketing strategy.

About the author 

Graeme Matthews

Graeme Matthews has a B.Sc and an M.Sc in Chemistry and a PhD in Adult Education. He has been teaching a combination of university level, college and A-level chemistry for over 23 years. He has taught over 10,000 chemistry students in his teaching career. He has a proven track record of helping students earn an A* on their A-level chemistry exams so they can attend the university of their choice.

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