“Cooking is an expression that crosses boundaries.” - Ranveer Brar
Cooking is becoming more popular and many cooking shows have helped popularise it. That said, we still love cooking cheap, simple, and fast meals.
As a cooking tutor, it’s your job to help students to become a veritable master chef, but first, you need to find students for your cooking classes.
With that in mind, here’s our advice on how to fill your planner with private cooking tutorials.
Using Word of Mouth to Find Students
So you’ve decided to become a private cooking tutor. The first thing you should do is tell the people you know that they can get a cooking class from you. Whether you’re teaching private baking tutorials, molecular cuisine, Italian cooking, or how to make sushi, tell your friends and family about it.
Normally, they’ll probably know that you love cooking and know your way around the kitchen. Don’t hesitate to mention to them that you’re now offering private cooking tutorials and don't forget that you can also tell people at work, at the gym, and even your neighbours.
You need to find students to get started with your new career. You’ll have to stop offering free tutorials or mates’ rates. That said, you can do practice lessons with your friends and family.
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. It’s often those closest to you that will help you find work. If this doesn’t work, you won’t have lost much money or time.
Your neighbours, friends, and family will know that you’re available to teach private cooking tutorials and if it comes up in conversation with anyone they know, they’ll mention it.
Focus on your culinary experience: your years of experience, the style of cooking you do, how you teach, etc. and mention your teaching approaches, especially if you offer lessons to kids.
Once you get your first students, word of mouth will become even more effective as they start to tell their friends and families about your lessons.
Find out more about teaching private cooking tutorials.
Using the Internet to Find Students
If somebody’s looking for something, where do they go?
Having an online presence is essential in this day and age.
There are a few ways you can do this. Don’t use just one method but rather a multitude of them so that people can find you quickly and easily.
It’s never been easier to make a website or a blog. Every cooking school has a website and so should you. We recommend using WordPress. The platform is intuitive and great for new users and aspiring chefs.
Firstly, choose the name of your site. You can use your name for this but it’s probably better to have something to do with cooking in the title. For example, you could go with “Alex’s Cooking Blog”, “Sandra’s Sweet Treats”, “Paella Pete”, or “Miss Steak”. The name should also have something to do with the type of food you cook and the cooking techniques you teach, too. For example, if you’re offering Chinese cooking lessons, you might want to go with something that makes them think of China.
Once you’ve chosen the name for your blog or site, you should check if the domain is available.
Next, you just have to build your blog. You can publish articles with recipes, which products are in season, your favourite cooking tools and utensils, etc. Don’t forget to do an “About” page so people can learn more about you, your thoughts on cooking, your knowledge of the culinary arts, and what your culinary classes include. Say who you are, what you teach, how you teach, and talk about your experience and qualifications.
Similarly, mention the types of students you teach, the levels you teach, and how you can help them. You might also want to mention if you have a cancellation policy because you don't want to give up a weeknight for a lesson to have your student cancel.
You’ll probably want a page dedicated to the services you offer. Mention what you offer:
- Home private tutorials.
- Home cooking workshops.
- Specialist sessions: French cuisine, knife skills, tapas, street food, Italian cuisine, wine tasting, etc.
- Professional chef or catering services.
Make it clear whether you’re looking for individuals or businesses and whether you offer courses for events like team-building, hen parties, etc. Don’t forget to mention what your speciality is: Fine dining, fresh produce, wine pairings, Thai cuisine, gluten-free cooking, etc.
This is also the page where you should mention how much you charge (or a representative rate if you tailor your rates) and allow students to leave reviews. Reviews are helpful for new students.
Social networks work a bit like virtual word of mouth so use them to tell people about your new career.
For example, you could mention on your Facebook that you’re now a private cooking tutor. Don’t hesitate to make a Facebook page for your cooking tutorial business where students can leave reviews, share news and the articles from your blog, and keep your fans up to date with your life as a chef and your upcoming classes and what they should learn to cook.
After all, since cooking is very visual, you should also use social networks like Instagram and Pinterest to share pictures of your dishes with fans and students. Pictures of food are among the most popular on Pinterest and Instagram. Use them to improve your business.
Show off your cooking skills, put together recipes for cooking with seasonal ingredients, and post your class schedule to make sure that all your fans and students are up to date.
You could even make videos on cooking to draw in customers on a YouTube channel. Cooking is about sharing and you can show potential students how to make certain dishes.
So how do you do it?
Try and make your videos short and dynamic. Write the ingredients and recipe on the screen. You can just add text. You’ll need a few editing skills but they’re easily learnt.
There are plenty of people that go to YouTube to learn how to cook for date night, learn new cooking methods, or just get ideas for things to do with the ingredients they have in the house. If people like your videos, they'll be more likely to want private classes from you.
Classified ads still work. After all, a single method of advertising your business isn’t guaranteed to work; you need to diversify your marketing. It’s better to choose to promote your business through various channels.
Usually, it’s free to create a profile and the clearer your ad or profile is, the more likely you’ll find students as they’ll know what you offer and what to expect.
Just like with your website, make sure you mention your specialities, rates, pedagogy, etc. Also mention who your tutorials are for: children, beginners, intermediates, advanced students, etc. Mention when you’re available to teach: evenings, weekends, weekdays, etc. State your rates (or a sample if you tailor them) or encourage students to ask for a quote.
Similarly, you can use the tried-and-tested method of posting classified ads on notice boards in local businesses. Focus on places where people buy ingredients like bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, grocers, etc. You can also try restaurants but don’t forget to ask before you put up your ad, though!
Learn how to teach online cooking tutorials.
Partner with Professionals
To find students, you can always partner with other professionals and businesses. There are people in similar lines of work that can help you promote your business.
For example, if you don’t offer a catering service, find caterers who do and promote them to your students and ask the caterers to do the same for your tutorials. You promote them and they promote you.
You can also ask the local bakers, restaurants, wedding planners (for hen-parties), etc. Get creative!
Make sure you’ve tried the service you’re promoting, a bad recommendation could tarnish your reputation.
Learn more about teaching tutorials at your students' homes.
Now you can start looking for students for your cooking tutorials!
Remember that you can also sign up to Superprof, make a profile, and start finding students for your cooking tutorials, too.