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Want to promote your tutoring business? Want to know how to attract students to teach in your own home or private studio?
Marketing is one of the hardest aspects of running any business, but with the right strategies you can succeed. If you are a good teacher, and pupils enjoy your lessons, you may pick up the occasional referral from time to time. However, if you want to earn a healthy income and find students more quickly, you need to understand how to market yourself as a tutor.
In this article, I’m going to share with you seven methods for promoting your tutoring business, as well as some other useful tips you should bear in mind.
Using a range of marketing strategies
It would be fantastic if you could just use one method to bring in new students like clockwork, every month.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Of course some methods are better than others, but you really need to employ a range of strategies in order to find students to tutor. Spend some time coming up with a detailed marketing system which you can use as a plan to promote your business.
How to find more students for your tutoring business
Here are 7 strategies to help attract more students and start growing your business:
Word of mouth
This is the best place to start. Tell everyone you know about your tutor business and hopefully they’ll spread the word. Tell family members, friends and acquaintances. However, you can increase the chances of it working if YOU take a more active role.
Here’s a 3 step approach you can use which dramatically increases the chances of finding students using the referral method.
You should remember that when someone recommends you to a friend or acquaintance, it’s an incredibly powerful vote of confidence in your skills as a tutor.
If a friend recommends a new restaurant to visit, aren’t you more likely to go there? If you’re looking for a plumber or electrician, you can Google it, but I bet you’re far more likely to go with someone your neighbour recommends.
And with tutoring, people are much more likely to choose you over a competitor if their friend has recommended you.
Get hold of some business cards with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and website address. You can contact your local print shop or do it online. It doesn’t need to be too fancy, but shop around as you can get some great deals, especially online. Keep the design fairly simple, but you might want to consider a theme linked to your profession.
Leave a few of your business cards in local shops, libraries, sports centres and start giving them to people you meet at events. Don’t be pushy, but when people ask what you do, tell them and offer them your card.
Posters and Flyers.
Create some flyers, posters and put them here, there and everywhere – local shops, libraries, sports centres, notice boards schools, music colleges and universities.
Also, think about demographics. This is important.
For example, while many private tutors target younger people, college kids, school pupils etc, they often overlook one important age group.
If you can find an area in your town or city with a predominantly older demographic, pop a few flyers through their letter boxes. Many retired people have time on their hands and would love to learn a new skill.
In my profession, I meet so many who wish they’d learnt the piano when they were younger and I simply tell them it’s never too late. Also, you might meet some who had lessons years ago and just didn’t like their teacher. Don’t forget some ‘old school’ teaching methods would make you wince if you used them in the 21st century!
I’m not saying go and cold call 1000’s of residents in your town, but it might be worth contacting local teachers in schools and ask if their students would like lessons or extra tuition in a particular subject. These people are well connected and once they pass you one student, you can quickly gain some referrals.
While I was building my teaching business, I remember sending about 100 e-mails to local independent schools, offering my services as a piano teacher, with a link to my website, and I got 2 job offers with two full days of teaching!
Contact the competition
If there is an established tutor in your town, give them a call.
If they have a full teaching timetable, they might be turning away students, when they could be passing them on to you. This strategy can work well, and as long as you show it is in their interest, most will go for it.
For example, if they teach maths, and you teach science, you could try and refer students to each other…
I often perform at weddings and if I’m busy I have 2-3 pianists who I recommend people to contact. And these guys do the same for me. I also teach jazz and popular music on the piano and pass on students to classical pianists in my area if I feel they will be a better fit for the pupil. An again these piano teachers do the same for me.
You should learn not to fear competition and use it to your advantage! You can never have too many connections…
Stage a taster event
Depending on your subject, you could hire the local hall and invite people to watch a short presentation showcasing what you do as a teacher. If you’re a music teacher, you could also talk about how your instrument works and even ask members of the audience to come to the stage and have a go! This could also work if you teach art, photography and other creative subjects
This might cost a bit of money to do, but I know some tutors who’ve had remarkable success with this method. In addition to the local hall, why not approach schools and see if you can give free presentations there.
Make it exciting so pupils will go home in the evening and beg their mum and dad for lessons in your subject!
Local celebrity endorsement
See if you can get a local celebrity, or someone really well known in your town or city, to recommend your services as a tutor. They can use their connections with the local media to boost your profile.
Also consider the following…
While these 7 strategies can certainly help your get started in attracting more students to your business, here are a couple of other things you should think about.
Find students to tutor all year round
Tutoring can be a profitable business, but it’s easy to forget that your pupil numbers will often drop off throughout the year, especially if you have a large number of school pupils.
Kids are pulled in many different directions with other extra-curricular activities, and sometimes something has to give. Therefore, expect some of your maths students or guitar pupils to stop during the school year.
However, with the right marketing strategy, you can plan for this.
But you need to start thinking about it months in advance in order to keep your numbers up throughout the year. Furthermore, you may also face a drop in income in the summer months when many of your pupils go on holiday. You could offer a specialised summer course for new students, many of whom will decide to carry on in the autumn.
As a self-employed tutor, you often need to work hard to maintain your income and keep your student numbers up all year long.
Understand how to advertise your business
Effective advertising is crucial to bringing in new students.
Although some tutors claim word of mouth is all you need to get started, this single approach just won’t cut it these days, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Surely it’s better to be proactive in growing your business rather than waiting for a friend of one of your pupils to call about lessons for their son or daughter?
Here are some common mistakes many tutors make with advertising.
These are just some methods which can help you start and expand your business. I hope it’s given you some more ideas on how to attract students for tuition in your own home or private studio.
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