Freelancing is now becoming a popular choice for many professionals because of the flexibility it offers. We can select the clients we want to work with, we do not have any bosses to answer to and we can control our schedule.
Tutors, in particular, are the most popular freelancers in Singapore. We can help any student out with their academic needs and even teach them a new language. We have control over our time and the income we take in, choosing to focus on other priorities we may have in life like our family and passion.
Tutoring is not an easy business
Like freelancers, you will need to pitch your services to parents and hope they hire you.
While there are parents who are willing to test your capacity as a tutor and give you a chance, there are those who would reject your pitch even if you have the credentials.
Some parents may tell you why they rejected your services. Others do not send you any explanation at all and leave you uncertain why they rejected you in the first place. Even for seasoned tutors like myself will face rejections from time to time.
For some tutors, they may feel a little down when they do experience rejections. If this is your first foray in the industry, rejection can dissuade you to continue this career. I know I felt this way when I first started in this industry.
Further rejections may even cause others to think that it is not the right career for them or they did something wrong. However, there are ways to get past client rejections and help you move forward.
Here are some tips to help you deal with rejection from your student’s parents:
Sometimes, your profile may not be enough to impress would-be students and their parents. It could be your experiences, your credentials or how you want them to know about you.
Check your profile and take a critical look at it. You may need to revise it to sound fresh or make it catchier. I always find it helpful to have someone to review my profile and ask them how they would like it to sound convincing.
A good tip when it comes to editing your profile is by modifying for each specialised subject you intend to teach. List your teaching methods according to different subjects catering to different learning needs.
Saying that you are good at teaching everything at every level is impossible. My suggestion is to pick out your own specialisation and level, for example, Science at Primary Level.
Price your rate right
Tutors often have different rates depending on how long each session is going to take.
Some tutors may charge more due to transportation, food or their speciality. Others may have a cheaper price but few services. Parents may outright refuse your services if you are charging too high or too low. It can be very competitive especially if your reputation is unknown.
Research for the current rates asked by tutors in your area and adjust your rates. You should also consider extra fees if you will need to travel far to a student’s house. Your credentials and the experiences may also be a factor you can consider when adjusting your pay. For example, current and ex-MOE teachers tend to charge higher fees which is acceptable to most parents. Those with specialised degrees can demand more than those without.
If you use learning aids, you can ask for an extra payment to cover the cost of the aids. Specialised teaching aids like Montessori ones that help young children to learn better are highly sought after by parents.
An easier way is to sign up with a tuition agency who will help to manage your rates and profile for you. This is particularly helpful if you are starting out so you can concentrate on honing your tutoring skills, rather than sweat over marketing yourself and getting new students.
Analyze the rejections
When you get rejected, take time to review what happened and see what may have caused the rejection.
• Are your rates too high?
• Is there too much competition in the area you served?
• Are your experiences or credentials not attractive enough to potential parents?
• Or the subject you are specialised in too niche and not in demand?
Collecting feedback will help you to better market yourself and try to narrow down what are your unique selling points. In order to stand out from the competition, I will strongly suggest looking into what your strengths are and try to take them to the next level.
Don’t take it personally
Finally, don’t take it personally if you have been rejected by a parent. It is a part of freelancing as a tutor. Maybe the student isn’t the right one for you or there’s a better offer waiting in the wings for you.
Don’t feel disheartened when you get a rejection. Use it as a guide for you to review your profile and adjust it. Even popular personalities in the world have faced rejections too but that did not stop them from trying their best. Look at different ways you can upgrade your teaching skills and try to market your services from different angles.
Keep trying your best, persevere and your hard work will pay off.
As you start your career as a tutor or any other similar careers, you will definitely need to find ways to prove to parents and students that you should be hired. If you get rejected, don’t stop.
Remember, you need to keep at it if you want to succeed as a tutor. With a little patience, you will be able to get students that can show the world you have what it takes as a tutor. Good luck!
For more tips on how to be a superstar tutor, here are some to help you: