5 Tips for Online Tutors

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

For obvious reasons in the past few years there has been a massive push towards tutoring online as it not only prevents meeting in person but also can increase efficiency and can eventually save time or provide more income. I know that it is very likely that you have already to some extent experienced online tutoring. However, it doesn’t always work as expected and I wouldn’t be the first to suggest that as a tutor you always need to be a step ahead of your competitors. That‘s why this article can provide you a fresh new perspective towards delivering lessons online and help you get more leads, retain existing students and spend less time working.

Online tutor marketing leads students online tutoring websites
Being an online tutor usually means being responsible for marketing.

Tip 1. Maximise leads

It is no secret that with no leads there are no customers. The same applies in tutoring. To maximise your potential number of students try different channels. Experiment for a week using each of them and you may discover that certain marketing channels overdeliver, while others are a waste of time.

Inspired by “Traction“ by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares I would suggest the following marketing options for online tutors:

  • tutoring websites, such as, MyTutor, First Tutors, Tutorful, UK Tutors (a separate article about these to come soon);

  • tutoring agencies, you may reach out to an agency that you are familiar due to proximity or even find some compelling options available on the web;

Beware that sometimes tutoring agencies place more restrictions on tutors than websites.

  • Facebook groups and other social media;

  • Through your website;

  • asking your existing students for referrals;

  • Google/Facebook Ads.

Tip 2. Respond quickly

I can‘t emphasise enough how important quick response time is to many parents. By responding within 30 minutes or an hour you could significantly increase the probability that the parent/student will book the first lesson. This doesn’t mean that you should keep your notifications on throughout the night just not to miss any, just keep an eye while you are working or set up some automatic system that increases your response time.

Contacting students tutor leads customer answer request respond quickly
You might be on a conference call or eating breakfast, you can receive a message from a potential student anytime.

Tip 3. Customise lessons

Many people love hearing their name! And they too like when you are prepared for a lesson at least to an extent of knowing what the lesson is about. If you don’t want to read the full book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, you may refer to my suggestions relevant to online tutors provided below.

If you have been provided with a basic information before the lesson about the student and their needs, expectations and topics they want to cover, mention them at the beginning of a lesson and adjust the tutoring session accordingly. You can refer to some of this information even in later communication with the student/parent.

Beware about the GDPR regulations that relate to storing and processing the information about other people. You may find some useful information about the GDPR in the UK at ICO’s website

Tip 4. Prepare resources

Imagine that you book a table at a restaurant just to find out that they have no food in a kitchen but are happy to get some from a nearby Tesco in case you order a meal. Well, it‘s a similar feeling when a student asks you to explain radioactive decay and you start scribbling on a Zoom whiteboard 😕.

Instead, be proactive and show that you are not only an expert in a field but also a professional by having the right resources on hand when needed. You may even ask the student about a topic they want to cover beforehand so that you would be surely prepared.

Some useful websites for extensive resources include:

  • BBC Bitesize

  • StudySquare

  • Maths Made Easy

  • Physics and Maths Tutor

Tip 5. Engage and follow up

The first lesson with a student doesn’t mean success in the long term. It is important to keep the parent and the student engaged by providing lesson reports, enquiring about their performance at school, providing homework and long-term studying plan.

You don‘t have to do all of this manually as other already available tools such as StudySquare can help you automate these processes ( just make sure that you understand the expectations of a customer nowadays.

Tutor automation of tasks lessons better tutoring sessions macbook
Being professional doesn’t mean working a lot - you can rely on available automations instead.


We have just quickly reviewed the critical parts of acquiring and retaining customers. Her is a short summary of what we have discussed.

How to start tutoring online:

  1. Maximise leads

  2. Respond quickly

  3. Customise lessons

  4. Prepare resources

  5. Engage and follow up

You won‘t believe how many tutors completely ignore many of these parts of this framework, which makes your chances of success to get new students higher. There’s of course much more to an online tutoring business; however, these basics can really accelerate it.

Jonas Virsilas, MChemPhys (Hons) is an online Maths, Physics and Chemistry tutor and the founder of StudySquare. Jonas is passionate about making education more accessible and empowering people by providing useful knowledge.


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