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Q & A with Cecily Jones of Cecily Jones Tutoring

By April 27, 2012November 11th, 2013Client Spotlight

Cecily Jones

Most people dread the mere thought of studying for and taking tests, especially the SAT’s. Cecily Jones, owner of Cecily Jones Tutoring is just the opposite. She actually loves it. Cecily says she’s just an over-achieving high school kid at heart.

SC Website Design: How did Cecily Jones Tutoring come to be?
Well, I worked at a corporate test-prep company for 5 years before I started to think about going freelance. I was paid 20% of what I was billed out at, and all of my clients were referrals. So I was practically giving someone else 80% of my business! I knew the business, I knew I was good and I knew I could be more successful financially by going out on my own.

Taking the SAT’s and taking tests in general is usually not something people enjoy. Some might actually think you’re crazy! Where does your passion come from?
It’s actually a great outlet for my nerdiness! Or, maybe I’m just an over-achieving high school kid at heart. I certainly can’t keep correcting my family’s grammar without annoying them, and who doesn’t love a good SAT word? Truthfully, it’s very rewarding to help my students excel at these high-stakes tests. I’m not afraid of the bottom line nature of them and I don’t want my students to be either.

About how many students do you work with at a time? What is the success rate of your students?
I see anywhere from 6-10 students a week, probably about 30-40 a year. I am very proud of my success rate: my 2011 SAT students went up an average of 250 points.

Here’s your chance to brag………
My proudest achievement yet has to be having a parent tell me her son tested around the 50th percentile for Math his entire school career. After tutoring with me for the ACT, he tested 76th!

What is your favorite part of owning this business?
I love the students and I love the tests. Ye, really! There’s a lot of interesting literature in the passages and the math is mostly practical applications. And, don’t get me started about the importance of using grammar correctly. So to work on this material with super-motivated students is a real treat. Plus, everybody loves the results, higher scores!

How has working with Debbie at SC website design impacted your business?
After working at the corporate test company and realizing my worth I knew it was time to branch on my own. But to do so I knew I had to be “legit.” I couldn’t just be the neighborhood “SAT lady.” To me that meant having a high-quality website that reflected what I do and was on par with industry standards.

Debbie and I discussed how my site would compare to those of my competitors, things like: what kind of image I wanted to project, what resources to include, what stock photos to use and how much or how little copy to use. She was always available to listen to my ideas and came to the table with great ideas of her own.
Basically, I told her what I wanted and she just “got it” pretty quickly. There were no
endless meetings, yet I got the impression she would have done whatever she needed to do to give me a website I would love. I couldn’t’ have asked for a better website. I get so many more referrals now and I have a place for people to get detailed information about my tutoring.

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