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Advertising Ideas For Tutors
Tutoring, whether online or face-to-face, can be a very lucrative business, assuming you have the right number of clients. I recommend sitting down and determining what your goals are, how much you plan to charge, and how many hours a week you plan to tutor. You should also take into consideration time spent traveling if you choose to meet with students in person rather than online. Once you have an idea of how many clients you can comfortably handle, it is time to help them find you. The key to this is name recognition and building relationships with people. You need to get your name out there and help people realize that you are available and willing to help their child succeed. Below is a list of advertising suggestions that have been compiled by successful tutors.
1. Print Business Cards – This is a MUST. Make sure that in addition to your name, email address, and telephone number, you indicate the subjects that you are willing to tutor. Leave them in locations where parents and teachers will easily find them. For instance, many people ask permission to leave a pile of cards at the local library, with school administrators or guidance counselors, at the local gym or YMCA, even on a bulletin board at the grocery store. Think about where parents spend a lot of time and inquire about leaving some cards there.
You can even include a discount code to encourage people to pass them around for you. If a new client gives you the code when they sign up with you, they AND the person they got the card from can get some sort of discount.
2. Get an email address that is easy to remember and indicates that you tutor. Ex. Mathtutor101@yahoo.com. Make sure that this email address is on your business card and any fliers you plan to distribute.
3. Print fliers and post them in locations where students and parents are likely to visit. Great ideas are libraries, pizza restaurants, community centers, and gyms. Consider places where parents wait for children to practice – gymnastic and tennis centers, etc. Also, visit teacher stores and ask if you can leave your business cards on their counter or post a flier on their window/bulletin board. I know a tutor who went to Staples on their annual Back-to-School day and introduced themselves and handed out fliers and business cards to each teacher waiting in line to get in! Some were very receptive while others were indifferent. Give it a shot!
4. Talk to people at the local schools – principals, classroom teachers, guidance counselors. Provide them with copies of your flier and business cards so they can hand them out to struggling students. Visit often so they get familiar with your name and face. Inquire about their curriculum and the textbooks or programs that they use. Explain to them that you will be striving to complement what they are trying to accomplish in the classroom and that you hope to impact the school’s test scores by improving the skills of some of the weaker students.
5. Talk to members of the PTA. Let them know that you are available and are enthusiastic about helping members of the student body. Word of mouth is one of the best methods of advertising. One happy parent will mention your name to parents of other struggling students and the number of people who know your name and what you do will increase exponentially. Showing up at PTA meetings will help these parents put a name to a face and ask you questions directly.
6. Get involved in school activities. Volunteer to read in the classroom, work in the library an hour or two a week, help out in the classroom, show up at school functions such as Back to School Night, etc. The more a school staff member gets to know and trust you, the more likely they are to recommend you to one of their parents.
7. Try to get your name/email address on the school’s website. It would be helpful to get a link from the school’s website to your webpage or email. This will probably only happen after you have built up a reputation with parents and teachers at the school. Be patient but diligent.
8. Try to get employed by the school system as a “homebound” tutor. You will get paid by the school system to tutor their students that are unable to attend school for one reason or another. This will get your name and face out there and make school staff members more likely to recommend you.
9. Order yard signs and post them near the school. However, before you do this, look into local laws regarding posting signs. Some areas have specific rules about posting them while other areas outlaw them completely.
10. Get familiar with dates for progress reports and report card distribution, Back to School night, Parent-Teacher conferences, and step up your advertising efforts around these times.
Notice that advertisements techniques such as the yellow pages, the classified section of a newspaper, or even internet ads were not mentioned. This is because they are often costly and not worth your money or effort. Try the methods discussed above first and I’m sure you will be satisfied with the number of clients you attract.
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