Becoming an expert English tutor who can be extremely rewarding for someone who enjoys the profession of teaching. He/ she can aid English learners to pick up English as a foreign language or English as a second language (ESL), help students improve English grammar and English vocabulary skills and also help them converse fluently in English.
Once you become a certified English teacher and feel like you have it in you to offer English language courses to those with specific learning goals - whether it is preparing for competitive exams such as IELTS, TOEFL SAT, CBSE, ICSE in an intensive language program, or simply teach them English pronunciation, the next step is to find interested clients to make your goal a reality. In such a scenario, advertising for your services is your best bet.
Laying the Foundation
Teaching a new language has its share of challenges. Here are some basics you need to take care of initially to kickstart your search for teaching jobs. Keep in mind that you are going to be teaching students who want to learn English and be able to use it as their native language.
State Your Specializations
It goes without saying that you must be an ace in the subject matter of English language and English literature before you can start teaching their nuances to other learners.
However, it also helps to state your particular specializations - areas where you excel most - to help students make informed choices. For example, if a student is specifically interested in English grammar classes, he/ she may be attracted to your profile if it has English grammar, English vocabulary, English composition, and comprehension outlined in it. Or, someone might be interested in learning how to be fluent in American English.
Specify Your Grade Levels
Most tutors focus on a particular grade level or subject levels, such as beginners English or advanced level, high school English or more complex English lessons for undergraduate students. Decide which level best suits your skills. Go online and look up assignments for the grade levels you're considering to see if you can do the work. For example, challenge yourself to become proficient in the proper use of grammar rules, such as prepositions, vowels, consonants, tenses, etc. or learn specific English dialects.
Tune your teaching style to the specific learning need of the students. For example, educate yourself on the learning needs of children with dyslexia.
Upload Your Resume
Don't forget to include any kind of tutoring experience you may have had. This could include tutoring friends and even family members, as well as former classmates. You can also consider including the names of clubs and societies relevant to your field of expertise. For example, the literary criticism team if you want to tutor English.
Set Your Price
Do your own research in checking the prevalent rates for other tutors and coaching institutes for English language training in your area. Remember, both experience, as well as academic qualifications, contribute towards setting the right lesson prices.
If you are partnering with a tutoring agency, find out about their registration fee, apart from the tuition fee you will be charging your students. Check out this comprehensive guide on how much you can earn as an English tutor.
Set the Location for English Lessons
Once you have given your prospective clients an idea about the total cost and payment plan to teach English language skills to non-native speakers, set your preferred location for conducting classes. Some tutors prefer teaching in their own home, others travel to the home of their students and yet others prefer a neutral location such as a coffee shop or the library. Consider all these preferences while quoting your lesson price and fixing your class schedule.
Advertise Your English Tutoring Skills
Now that you have set tuition fees, advertised your specific area of expertise (e.g. bilingual education, undergraduate tuition, reading and listening, etc.), let us move on to the business of self-promotion in the English language instruction.
Create eye-catching flyers with packed with as much information as possible. The title of your flyer should carry the information on the services you are providing - "Certified English Tutor" or "Learn How to Write Perfect Academic English" - with a subtext on your qualifications as a teacher and SME. Don't forget to include your contact details as well as rates of service.
Business Cards and Brochures
Keep your business cards handy because you never know when you might meet a potential client. You can also leave the cards at local newspaper stands, coffee shops or at the local library.
Brochures can be in a hard copy or as e-copies.
Brochures can provide more information about your services and can be especially helpful if your community has a lot of tutors operating in the same place. You can show customers that you are the more professional, qualified tutor by providing additional details about your tutoring services. Having a brochure makes you look polished.
For the purpose of submitting adverts in your local daily or online classifieds, write out a headline for your services (can be the same one you used on your flyer), provide a summary of your qualifications, quote your prices and provide contact information. Keep it nice and short!
For online ads, it is advisable to regularly repost the ad to make sure more and more people see it. There are many online sites in India that offer to post free ads. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Just Dial
Join local groups on social media and post about your services. You can look for parents groups, study groups, and groups that are dedicated to the local schools. Your city or town may also have a social media group that allows locals to advertise services, so look for those as well. For example, look for homeschooling groups on Facebook.
Online Tutoring Agencies
When you are just starting out on your journey as an online English tutor, it is a great option to sign up with an online tutoring agency. They will steer you in the right direction and are a great meeting point for prospective students and teachers. Become a private tutor, either teaching from home (one-on-one English classes) or through online video lessons in English. Gather information on the specific learning goals of students and outline your teaching styles for all to see. Here are our top picks in online tutoring platforms:
Use Your Network
The most tried and tested, and largely successful tool is the personal touch! Leverage the number of contacts in your professional, academic and personal circles and come up with a strategy to approach those who are currently learning English and could possibly be interested in taking lessons with you.
Send a personal message, offering a free trial class over Skype. Tell them this will be a specially tailored one-to-one English lesson!
Don't try too hard though. Ask around in your friend and family circle if they know anyone who might possibly benefit from your English language lessons or are interested in learning English online for conversational purposes or even graduate tuitions in English literature. Be polite!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is a great and necessary promotional tool for those who have a website of their own. There are two categories of SEO: onsite and offsite. Onsite SEO is designed to make your website search engine friendly with targeted keywords such as “TOEFL exam tutor” or "How to learn English speaking skills" that will direct online searchers to your website offering this specific service.
Offsite SEO focuses on getting as many inbound links as possible. Social media “likes” are very important in this regard. Therefore, we recommend focussing on creating your best content, getting the necessary links and “likes,” optimizing your site for your particular niche.
You can probably term this old-school. But, it is the most satisfying for teachers when ex-students recommend them to new ones. It indicates how happy the students have been with the teacher's pedagogic styles and thereby have gone to the trouble spreading the word around.
Do your best to get as many referrals as you can gather! It all starts with organizing your English classes well and taking care of your students in ways that they would want other students to benefit from your teaching methodology. At the end of it, you can rightfully ask your current students to recommend you to others!