What I Love About Matchmaking

This story began years ago when I was a Church Youth Director and Youth Basketball Coach.

Part of leading a youth group entails programs such as summer camp. One of my favorite tasks was to put students in cabins with youth leaders.

As a basketball coach, it’s more of a long-term partnership where the players don’t change much, but the dynamics do. At certain points in the game individual players mesh better, perform better or match up better against the competition. It’s a constant chess match that I love.

The reason the examples above are relevant for Online SAT/ACT test prep is because synergy matters.

This part skill, part art form of matching the right tutor and student is guided by profile questions, but ultimately an intuitive process.

There’s never a guarantee when matching two people together similar to online dating. But the chances of student’s being motivated to work harder because they actually like their tutor increase dramatically when done thoughtfully.

Because I don’t do the actual tutoring with students, I experience victory indirectly through the parents, students and tutors. My role is to set them up for success, then support and be a cheerleader along the way.

It’s extremely gratifying to be a part of a successful partnership. It’s the impactful testimonials that drive me.

That’s why I love matchmaking.

How Online Dating Grew My Tutoring Business


Parents are skeptical of online dating because of context (first interaction was in-person).

Parents are skeptical of online tutoring because of context (the tutor meets in-person).

When I first thought about the differentiator for my tutoring company, the first idea that came to mind was: matchmaking.

At my former company whenever there was a refund or complaint almost 100% of the time it was because the student-tutor relationship wasn’t solid.

That’s because larger tutoring companies say they focus on pairing the right tutor for your student, but what they really do is match based on availability.

As a parent, you say Tuesdays at 6 PM works best so whoever comes up in the database with that opening goes to the top of the list. Sales people are quick to take public information such as bios to sell you on the fact they thought this potential pairing through (false).

When I initially used the analogy of online dating with a parent I felt myself cringe (or maybe that was the parent…), but over time I realize it’s a perfect way of describing what we do differently.

As resistant as the average person is to change (tutoring in-person vs. online) it’s important to speak to what’s relevant or trendy for context purposes. Online dating and online tutoring are both Billion dollar industries that cannot be denied.

You may not agree with how technology has changed the two services mentioned above, but you can agree you’ve heard of them before.

Effective marketing is clearly communicating the value they receive in exchange for an investment. I can’t force parents/students to work with us, but I can clearly explain how working with us works.

Matchmaking in online tutoring works with students because they want to like who they are talking to.

Matchmaking in online tutoring works with parents because they want to know who is working with their child and that they don’t hate their tutor.

Chemistry between the tutor and student is the most impactful quality that affects results because a stronger relationship equals more commitment, engagement and motivation moving forward.

Online dating helps us pair the right tutor with your student and that makes for a match made in academic heaven.

Why You Should Be Casting the Customer As The Star


Companies are quick to point out why they’re the star and you should do business with them.

But aren’t you tired of that annoying person in the room shouting at the top of their lungs?

That’s what businesses do. They talk about what makes them better, why you should choose them and what differentiates them from the competition.

As an entrepreneur, I’m guilty of that too.

But as a customer, what if the focus was on you?

Steve Bryant eloquently makes the point in this article.

Since your product or service is geared towards customers, then shouldn’t your marketing focus on them too?

For example, if you start pushing your product/service on someone before you establish any rapport why would someone buy from you? (I wouldn’t)

You and I buy what saves us time, money and makes us better. If you feel a product/service resonates with you there’s a good chance you’ll become a customer.

Too many instances companies cast themselves as the star, when they should be giving that title to their customers.

Currently I own an online tutoring company geared towards SAT/ACT Prep.

I don’t do the tutoring because I’m not trained in it (nor do I have a desire to do it), but I have a group of talented and experienced tutors working with me.

On the other side I communicate with parents of high school students about their needs, goals and challenges. It’s my job to support both the tutors and parents as the middleman.

Without tutors and parents I don’t have a business. Therefore both the tutors and parents are the stars of the company. My role is to defer credit to them while managing the structure that makes the machine run.

It’s easy to play the co-star if you understand the big picture.

At Growing Forward Academy, we aim to pair the right tutor with your student. Our process includes an extra step to ensure chemistry breeds confidence.

In a service business you have to be comfortable enough to defer power.

I’m happy to play the supporting role…it makes the stars shine even brighter that way.