If you agree that networking is actually quite crucial for your success as a tutor, you might wonder, who should you have in your network? Surely, not just anyone would be suitable.
I’d like to offer a simple guide: S, S, S, M, L
No, these are not the sizes of T-shirts 🙂 These are strategies to find networking partners. They are based on the idea of complements, i.e. you do not offer what your partner offers. By forming a network, instead of turning away customers because you do not provide what they seek, you can refer them to someone you trust.
The first S is “Subject”. Find someone who offers subjects you don’t teach. For example, I teach Maths, so I’ll network with tutors who offer other subjects.
The second S is “Size”. Network with tutors who offer different class sizes. For example, my classes are 1-to-2, so I’ll network with tutors who offer bigger classes. If you run bigger classes, network with 1-to-1 tutors.
The third S is “Style”. Network with tutors who offer different styles of teaching. Some tutors are better with failing students, some tutors are better with coaching top school students. For example, I am patient and encouraging, but I am not strict, or entertaining. I’ll gladly refer a student who needs a strict or entertaining tutor to another tutor in my network, who is much stricter or entertaining.
M is for “Mode”. Do you teach online? Do you teach offline? If you don’t, or prefer not to, teach in a certain mode, you can network with tutors who do that. For example, ever since the beginning of 2019, I have moved all my classes online, so when parents call to enquire, and they are only looking for face-to-face tuition, I’ll refer them to tutors in my network who do that.
L is for “Level”. This is perhaps the most obvious strategy. Network with tutors who don’t offer the level you teach. For example, I teach secondary Maths. So I’ll network with tutors who teach primary level and A levels Maths. The primary level tutors can refer their post-PSLE students to me. I can refer my post-O levels students to the A levels tutors.
Do you find the SSSML strategy useful?
Do you have a strategy that you use to find networking partners?