Are you struggling to attract more students? Does sharing your expertise as a tutor with students excite you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you.
In this article, we will discuss the many ways that you can use the Stories feature to strengthen your profile. First, we will introduce you to the importance of including stories as a crucial part of your teaching strategy. Second, we will walk you through the basics of building a story and getting it published. Finally, we will explain the purpose of a story and how it can help you successfully bring in new students. We hope this section is helpful for you!
Help story’s author attract students
Stories can help you, as a tutor, stand out from other tutors on the Lessonpal platform. Imagine that a student is looking for a chemistry tutor, but tons of chemistry tutors are available for lessons. How can they distinguish between all the potential choices? They can't meet with every single potential tutor. Instead, they can view their profiles and see where the tutor's expertise lies. A tutor who has written many stories and posted them on their profile shows investment and genuine passion for their subject. It also shows the student how well they can articulate complicated concepts necessary for good tutors. Writing stories and displaying them on your profile will make you stand out among a competitive pool of tutors. It will also make you a more credible source of information within the Lessonpal community.
Stories are also critical to display expertise. When you are filling out your tutor profile, you have the opportunity to select which level or age group of students you would like to tutor. However, stories allow you to add more nuance to this. Two tutors may say that they are able and willing to tutor advanced physics students. One "advanced" tutor may teach high school level physics, and another "advanced" tutor may teach complex, college-level physics. By glancing over a tutor's stories before they schedule lessons, a student can better assess which tutors have the expertise best suited to their needs.
Draw people to your profile from Google
Stories draw people into Lessonpal. Imagine this scenario: a student desperately needs subject-specific tutoring for an exam they have coming up soon. They Google a question they have or a topic that has them stumped. While looking through search results, they find the answer they needed - inside the story written by a Lessonpal tutor. Discovering this story helps the student learn more about their subject. Based on the helpful knowledge they have received, the student goes even further and chooses to seek tutoring services from the author of the story. The student trusts the tutor because of their qualifications, and the tutor attracts new students on Lessonpal. Additionally, Lessonpal optimizes stories for search engines, making it the best platform for promoting yourself as a tutor.
Brainstorming a story
So, you've decided to begin writing stories. Great! But where should you start? First, take a look at your profile. What subjects do you tutor? Figure out what kind of students you are trying to target. Your story should be consistent with these parameters because you are trying to draw students to schedule lessons with you, specifically. When you have picked a subject area (music, language learning, math, college applications, etc.), decide what age group and academic level you want to focus on. This selection is essential because it will affect your writing style and voice. Your writing will be more straightforward for younger or less advanced students and focus more on encouragement for beginners. Your writing will be more complex for older or more advanced students and focus more on teaching actual subject material.
What can benefit the student
Now that you have brainstormed a general area, decide what topic you want to focus on. Think strategically - whatever type of student you target with your stories is the type of student that will likely schedule lessons with you. Maybe you prefer to write stories that focus on learning strategies and study habits to attract a broad range of students. Perhaps you should think back to when you were a student. Maybe it was conjugating irregular Spanish verbs in the imperative form. Or maybe it was understanding stoichiometry in your chemistry classes? Focus on areas that are sure to stump students and generate views on Google search. Helping out a student with your stories will further incline them to want to schedule lessons with you. From there, you will brainstorm a successful topic area!
Next, ensure that you are selecting a topic that will draw people into your profile. The first glance matters immensely! The first thing that a potential student will see on a Google search is the article's title. Brainstorm a list of possible titles. Consider using punctuation such as colons to indicate a topic area and its subtopic. You can also use question marks at the end of the title to get as close to the student's potential question as possible. This strategy will benefit you in the long run, as you can encourage students to share your stories with their classmates and peers, which can gain you even more students. A good title will set you up for successful digital marketing after your story is published.
General story ideas
- How students can build their study skills in your subject
- How students can adapt to virtual learning in your subject
- How to ease the transition from middle to high school
- Tips for college applications
- How to prepare for AP or IB exams in the subject you teach
- Improving language learning skills at your level
- Improving writing skills at your level
- Improving math skills at your level
- General test-taking strategies
- Standardized test-taking strategies
- How to make the most of tutoring
- Why studying [your subject] is important
- Recommended reading or resources for your subject
- Potential careers for your subject
- Building relationships with tutors and teachers
- How to practice [your subject] outside of class
- Making the most of your tutoring session
- What majors are best suited for your subject
- Explaining a difficult concept within your subject
- Mastering the basics in your subject
Now you are ready to draft the first iteration of your story! It might be confusing at first - after all, there is no correct way to write a story. However, it would be best if you tried to reach specific targets. A solid length for a story is between about 1,000-1,200 words, but keep in mind that you are allowed to write longer or shorter than this. This target may feel long, but data finds that internet articles around this length tend to be the most successful among readers. They are long enough to offer significant depth but not so long that they bore the average reader. A story that is too short risks feeling more like a tweet and not demonstrating any considerable effort; a too-long story does not retain attention and makes students feel uninterested in the subject.
You also want to create an outline for your story before you jump headfirst into writing it. Think of the outline as a sort of blueprint - no engineer would begin constructing a building before creating a plan first. Start by including room for an introduction and a conclusion, two critical parts of a story that will make it feel intentional and complete. Within the body of the story, create several main topics that you would like to address. For each topic, note several bullet points for details that you want to discuss relating to that topic. Under the bullet point, note any examples, anecdotes, and stylistic notes-to-self that will integrate style and remind you to contextualize the content. That way, as you are writing, you can allow your outline to guide you, giving the story focus and direction.
Finally, don't feel like you have to be hyper-formal or overly academic in your stories if that is not your style. Being authentic to your writing voice will display personality and help your stories sound more convincing. If you are the type of tutor, who loves to crack jokes, do that in your story! If your style is more focused and academic, then stay true to that. All styles are lovely, as long as they are your own. Use personal stories about when you were confused about a subject in school or taught a student who struggled through a topic - personal narratives make stories more compelling and believable. Style comes naturally and improves the quality of your writing immensely.
Editing the story
Correct spelling and grammar
Once your draft is complete, you are ready to move on to editing. One area of writing that is important is maintaining correct grammar and spelling. As a tutor, you are responsible for perfecting your work. A potential tutor's work that is riddled with mistakes makes students less inclined to trust their tutor's authority. A great strategy to proofread a story is to read it out loud to yourself. This strategy makes you slow down and analyze your writing more carefully, which helps you catch mistakes. You can also use online grammar and spelling checkers, such as Grammarly, which is free.
Headings and readable paragraphs
Additionally, avoid long blocks of texts. A good length for a paragraph in a story is 3-4 sentences or about 2 lines of text. You might find this shorter than what you are used to writing in essays for school or reading in books or print journalism. Studies find that retention of large amounts of information tends to be lower for online articles, so you should adjust accordingly. Use headings and subheadings to separate topic areas. Break up your story into 2-4 main points and 2-4 subpoints per main point. A heading will indicate a central point; a subheading will indicate a subpoint. All these strategies and organization tools keep readers drawn in and engaged.
Finally, choose a keyword or key phrase for your story. This tip is a subtle strategy to get your work to show up higher in search results. For example, if you want to attract students searching for "algebra tutoring," then that would be your key phrase. To maximize the effect of using a key term, there are some steps you need to take:
- Use the keyword in your title and some of your headings.
- Integrate the keyword about five to seven times throughout the body of your story.
- Use the keyword at least once within the first couple of sentences of your story.
In doing so, you optimize your article to be discovered through a search engine.
One catchy visual
Now you are prepared to publish your story! Before you do this, you should select one attractive visual to place at the top of your story. The visual should relate to the content or the subject (pexels.com). This aspect serves several purposes. More people will be inclined to click on your story if the visuals make it stand out from other stories. After reading your story, the visual will help people remember the actual content. Visuals can be anything - images, drawings, illustrations, or photos. One is optimal, but you can include multiple if it helps (for example, if your story is about art or photography). You may create them yourself or upload them from free stock photos and art that are available on the internet. You will not be able to publish your story without a visual.
Illustrations or images with bright colors
At first glance, bright colors and engaging imagery draw in readers. Imagine two stories. One has a thumbnail of a basic black-and-white image. Another has a dynamic and vibrant image. The one that catches a person's eye will be the one that engages them the most in a fraction of a second. The second photo commands attention and will use the reader's curiosity to draw them into the story. Choosing attention-grabbing visuals will help you as a tutor because it means more people will be clicking on your stories. When you have more viewers, you have more potential students. So choose and create your visuals wisely!
Finally, when choosing images, double-check them to see if they look good on your story. Some things to look out for are dimension and quality. If a visual is very small, it might be hard for the reader to see it or figure out what it is trying to depict. Similarly, if the visuals are grainy, it gives the reader the impression that the author used minimal effort to put together the story. It looks unprofessional and detracts from the overall quality of what would otherwise be a fantastic story. If you are unsure about your visuals, use a simple gut check - would I want to see this visual in a book, newspaper article, or magazine? If it seems acceptable for a more popular platform, then it's acceptable for your stories, and vice versa.
Publish on Lessonpal
When you are confident in your story, you are ready to publish it on the Lessonpal platform! Start by going to your tutor profile. On the top right corner, select the icon with your profile picture. On the dropdown menu, click on Stories. This will take you to a page called Your Stories. You will see two pages, one titled Stories and one titled Drafts. To post a story, select the orange button on the top right that says Add your story. From where you originally wrote your story, please copy and paste the title into the Title box and the body where it says to Tell your story. To add an image, run your cursor over the three dots on the left. Select either the image or the video icon. When you are ready, select the Publish button.
Now that you have published your story on Lessonpal, you can expand your digital reach by personally marketing it. This will draw more people to your Lessonpal profile and can allow you to potentially gain more students. One area is your pre-existing social circles. If you already have a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or other social media profile, you have a vast reach. Consider sharing your story on these profiles by posting the link in your bio or posting an excerpt of your writing - your future students may already be following you. You might also want to send the story to people you know directly and ask them to share it within their digital circles.
Ask students to help promote - use as a resource
Finally, if you already have Lessonpal students, you can gently nudge them using our chat function to alert them of your story. Not only can your story help them with their studies by educating them on a subject or a study skill, but it expands your digital reach. Most likely, the students you tutor know lots of people in similar academic subjects and levels through shared classes. You can ask them to share your story in a class group chat or with their friends. If they find your story to be relevant and helpful, you might gain new students. Use all your resources to help gain views on your story!
Lessonpal stories will help you move from an average tutor to a star tutor. By writing thoughtful, exciting stories, you can attract more students and build your tutoring career. Stories benefit both the students and the tutors - the students learn more and gain a valuable free resource. In contrast, the tutor gains more profile views, a valuable reputation, and potential new students. These tips will make you stand out from a potentially crowded tutor pool and turn you into a fantastic online tutor with a thriving business. To start writing your stories and building your tutor profile, click here!