Regardless of whether you’ve got experience working as a tutor or not. If you’ve got expertise in a subject, tutoring is a great way to earn some money while working remotely from the comfort of your own home. Learning how to advertise tutoring is an essential skill that’ll set your business up for success.
While tutoring platforms will help you get started really quick, you probably have already found that you don’t get many students, given the number of tutors, or you don’t get paid very much after the platform takes off their fees.
Having your own online presence and advertising your services is the best way to attract students, and keep most of your earnings for yourself. Not to mention the referrals that existing students will bring in over time, negating your need to advertise in the first place.
The only problem is… you don’t know where to start!
Private tutoring is an incredibly competitive market. The overall global market is estimated to be worth a staggering $173 billion!
If you’ve tried private tutoring, you already know that word of mouth and recommendations alone may not be enough to get the number of students you need.
Traditional marketing methods like leaflets, business cards and posters do work. But these restrict you to your local area, and if that’s your goal, then by all means they work really well. Consider a mix of leaflet drops, posters in libraries and public notice boards. They do work pretty well.
If you’re looking to expand your audience, and I recommend you do. Then advertising your tutor business online will give you exposure to a much larger number of students, which means you reverse the tables and you now get to pick the students you want to work with, rather than scrambling to try and sign up the rare student who contacts you.
In this blog post, I’ll show you three great ways you can drum up support for your private tutoring business, and get online traffic that you can convert into paying customers!
First, you’re going to need a web presence
The easiest way to do this is to build a simple website. There are plenty of free templates and hosting services you can use. And quite honestly, for a new business, that’s all you need.
But if you’re more established, and once you start seeing the benefits of having a web presence, I’d recommend you get a proper website that you can build on. I’ll explain why you need one shortly.
I don’t know how to set up a website…
Don’t worry! There’s a ton of free web templates you can use. Just search for “tutor website template” or “freelancer webpage template”. You’ll find a bunch of options available, but you’ll need to then make it your own.
If you need some help with setting it up, you can always get a freelancer from platforms like Fiverr, Upwork or People Per Hour who can set a website up for you. Or just email me, and I’ll give you some tips. No problem.
Remember this though: When you’re putting together your website – it’s for your audience. Not for you. Think in terms of your audience and what is their biggest pain or their biggest need, and address that on your website.
For example, if you’re tutoring young students, remember the audience most likely is their parent – address their concerns. And if you’re tutoring an MBA student, their concerns are going to be very different. You know (or should know) your audience. If you don’t, ask. And then answer those concerns as you would in a conversation.
Once you have set up your website, you need to think about how you’re going to get people to it. Here’s where the fun stuff starts. There’s a ton of ways you can get traffic to your website – both paid and free. Just keep in mind that you don’t need to apply all the methods. Just pick one or two, but stick with it.
Here’s a few ways you can attract an audience to your website.
1. Online forums
Online forums are a great way of getting the word out there. They are free to use, but there is a little bit of work involved. You need to provide value to the people who use them, rather than just dropping your website link and running, otherwise you’ll get banned very quickly!
Which online forums do you recommend?
Two of the online forums I recommend are Quora and Reddit. No matter the subject you tutor, I guarantee there will be people asking questions about the areas you specialise in.
In 2018, 47,000 questions were asked on Quora every single day, and this number is growing and growing! Quora and Reddit questions also rank exceptionally well on search engines, meaning your answers have a high probability of being seen.
There are also specialist online forums dedicated to particular areas of study. Search online to find the ones most relevant to you.
How can I use online forums to promote my business?
Once you have found your online forum of choice, set up a profile, with a link back to your website. Always include an avatar, either of your face or company logo.
Do research every day to see what questions people are asking in your particular niche and take the time to answer them in as much detail as you can. Over time, people will come to see you as a voice of authority in your field and want to find out more about you.
2. Social media
You can post on groups (or use hashtags) where your audience hangs out, and that will get you some traffic as long as you’re consistent. But advertising is more set and forget – and you can turn it on when you need more students, and off when you don’t.
The benefit of advertising on social media is it’s free to set up an account and has tremendous reach. Facebook is where I usually recommend you start, but there are lots of other widely-used social media networks out there too. I also recommend Google to reach people who are in “searching mode”.
Be careful with advertising though. If done wrong, you can burn through a lot of money in no time at all.
Which social media platform should I advertise on?
It depends. Do you know where your audience hangs out? Are you able to target them on the platform?
If you’re targeting parents, Facebook is a great place to start. And to be honest, you can also target students on Facebook. But other platforms are just as good, but you might have to get a bit creative with your targeting. Can you think of the schools or colleges they go to, and target people who follow those pages? Think about the age range of your typical students (or parents) and narrow down your audience.
With online advertising, specificity is key. If you reach a broad audience, you might get a lot of eyeballs, but none that matter to you.
- Facebook is popular with people between the ages of 30 and 60
- Instagram or Pinterest are good choices if you specialise in a creative or artistic niche
- LinkedIn will work well if you provide business-specific tutoring
- TikTok is popular with young adults between the ages of 18 and 24
- YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world after Google and is an excellent option if you want to SEO optimise your content to push people to your website
- Google Adwords, although not social media, is great to target people who’re in search mode. Much easier to engage with someone who’s proactively looking for a tutor.
What are the next steps?
Once you have decided which platform you want to use, you need to determine how you’re going to use it. As tempting as it may be to set up your account and wait for people to come to you, you’ll need to do a little more work, especially when you’re starting your private tutoring journey.
As an example, you can promote your tutoring on Facebook and LinkedIn by joining relevant groups and answering people’s questions. Similar to the online forums above, don’t just spam these groups with links to your website. If there isn’t a suitable group… you can even make your own and encourage others to join!
With social networks that prioritise video content like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, provide fun and exciting videos that offer value to your prospective students. This will entice visitors to subscribe to you as well as visit your website to find out more about your services.
You can also consider spending money to advertise on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Social media advertising will amplify your presence on social media and promote your services to people who may not necessarily be aware of who you are and what you do.
You can drill down, so your advert is only served to the people who you want to promote your private tutoring service to, helping you to keep to a budget.
Speaking of paying for advertising…
3. Pay per click advertising (PPC)
At this point you may be thinking… “Why would I pay to advertise my tutoring business when there are lots of ways I can promote it online for free?”
However, if you have a small budget to spare, PPC platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly known as Bing Ads) can supercharge your advertising!
Why should I use PPC to promote my tutoring?
Let’s say you have $100 to spend on advertising. As a result of your PPC advertising:
- 16 people click on a link to your website
- Eight of these people sign up for more information
- Four of these people sign up to your tutoring programme
- This means you have spent $25 to acquire each person who you now tutor
- If you charge them $25 for an hour of your time, everything after that is pure profit!
The most common form of PPC advertising is in search engines. Search engine advertising is where you pay for an advert to be promoted on search engines like Google and Bing when people search for a specific word or phrase like “tutor for calculus”.
You only pay when someone clicks on your ad and visits your website. You can also promote your ads on other websites, on YouTube and in mobile apps.
The good thing is you have full control of your advertising budget. You determine who sees the ad, which specific ad they’ll see, how much you’re prepared to spend, and once your budget is spent, your ad will no longer be served.
PPC advertising is not something you can set up and forget about. You need to check your stats regularly and make changes if people are not visiting your site. However, the results are worth it, and there are people out there who can help set up and maintain your account for you if you’re not confident.
Advertising takes a bit of work upfront – in the early days of your brand new private tutoring career, you’ll probably spend more time advertising than you do tutoring students. However, it’s worth it and will result in more and more people over time visiting your website and making enquiries.
Have you tried any of these yet? Let me know in the comments 🙂