One of the most common questions I get from tutors who are looking to grow their tutoring business is this…
“Richard, how do I get more students?”
In this post I am going to discuss 7 different ways to grow your business that you can begin implementing today to get more students, make more money and make more impact.
First things first…
Who is your ideal customer?
Before starting any marketing strategy or lead generation tactic...You want to get very clear on who your ideal customer is.
Many novice marketers think that every person is their customer, that is not true! If you specialize in helping 5th graders in math...You can talk about tutoring and how you can help all day long to a single dad with no kids...they’ll never buy from you!
Don’t use the “spray and pray” (put your marketing everywhere and pray you get a customer) model when trying to market yourself...Spend some time figuring out who you want to serve and be more strategic about it.
If you are someone who wants to market to college students, they are going to take a different strategy then if you were marketing to moms with kids ages 8-15, right?
A few questions when trying to identify your core customer…
Where do they hang out?
What kinds of hobbies do they enjoy?
What are their needs and demands?
What are their objections?
What problems do they have?
Take a piece of paper and write down everything about the customer you’d like to serve. It will make your life much easier after you have clarity on who you are trying to serve.
After you have identified your ideal customer, you want to decide where you’re going to market to them. These tips will provide you with some options.
Some of these methods will be free and just require time, hard work and hustle and other methods will require an investment.
If you are just starting out, I typically recommend you start with the free methods and then eventually move onto adding some of the paid methods when you have a few paying students.
Note: You can use one of these ideas, or all of them! Choose what feels right for you and your business.
Marketing strategy #1: Start with your inner circle
- Your family.
- Your friends.
- Your co-workers.
- Your friends on Facebook.
This is something that might seem basic, but it’s something that most people overlook! Don’t! Your inner circle is going to be an incredible place to begin when starting your marketing strategy.
The reason many people tutors neglect this method is because they are scared they are going to be pushy or they don’t want to sell to their family. Let me show you a way that isn’t "salesy" at all.
The script should go something like this…
“Hey mom, as you know I’ve been studying XYZ and I know a lot of people need help...so if you know anyone who has kids who are struggling in school, would you mind handing them over my information so maybe I could provide them with the help they need? That would be really great!”
And of course they are going to say yes!
You don’t always have to go straight for the sale. Just give them a call...Let them know what you are doing, what you are offering and begin getting the word out about your tutoring services.
Bonus: Facebook post example…
“I want to share something exciting!
I have been studying XYZ for years now and I want to be able to help others who may struggle with it! So, I’m letting everyone know on my Facebook that if you, or someone you know could use some extra help...I have opened up 10 spots for tutoring.
If you don’t need help or know of anyone, sharing this post with your friends would mean the world to me!
Thank you guys! I’m really excited!”
Marketing strategy #2: Basic Guerilla Marketing
2. Knocking on doors
4. Business cards
These are all methods that require a tiny investment and a lot of work but can really get your tutoring business generating some additional students.
With flyers (Example below)...You want to strategically place them anywhere you’re allowed.
Anywhere that your ideal customer is hanging out...See if you can place a flyer there.
Door knocking is something a lot of people are intimidated by and I totally get it. You don’t have to use this method but it’s something that I used when I first started and it worked out well for me!
I would go into local areas that had a little bit more money, maybe a public park area and I would knock on every single door in the area.
I would say something like “Hey my name is Richard. I just started opened up a tutoring center in town and I am trying to help the community”. Then I would pass them a flyer and say “If you know anyone who could use some help it would be fantastic if you could give them this flyer”
And for about every 100 doors I would knock on I would get roughly 1-2 people who were interested in what I had to offer.
My post card strategy was a little different....
What I would do when a school would have a local sporting event or some event where there would be a large gathering of parents…
I would go out there to the parking lots and gently place a postcard on every single car there!
Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk. I am sure that this method is frowned upon and some people won’t like you putting anything on their car. If you decide to try this...Be respectful of people and their property. For the most part...People won’t mind and you may get some business out of it.
Now one of my favorite of these strategies is the DIGITAL business card…
I learned this technique from a guy a long time ago at a conference that I went down to in vegas and thought it was an incredible idea!
Instead of handing out traditional business cards that get lost, thrown away or forgotten about…
When meeting someone new or when someone asks me for a business card I will say…
“Sure, let me send you my digital business card...What’s the best number to send that to you?”
And I will send them something that looks like this…(Have this already written out and saved in a note on your phone)
Tutoring business name
Your phone number
(A small message that’s personal and related to the conversation you had with them AKA It was great talking to you today at the grocery store!”
Then a call to action - Download my free XYZ here
Now you have their phone number so you can follow up with them in the future and they have your information too! It’s an awesome and unique way to share your business with someone. It also makes you stand out! Pretty cool, huh?
Marketing strategy #3: Social media.
When it comes to social media...I highly recommend only picking one to start off with. Pick one that you’d enjoy doing consistently and stick to it! Once you have mastered one...Add in a second.
If you try to do all of these at once...You are going to be overwhelmed and you won’t be consistent and do a good job. So start with one and add in others later.
Social media tips:
1. Post consistently, 1-3 times a day if possible!
2. When applicable, make a social media banner with a call to action.
3. Mix up the types of posts you create.
4. Go LIVE once a week if possible.
5. Always provide value to your audience.
6. Use hashtags on instagram! (This makes it a no brainer! http://best-hashtags.com/)
Marketing strategy #4: Email marketing
This is something you should be doing from day 1! If you consume a lot of my stuff...You have probably heard this by now!
Email marketing is something that most tutors neglect but it’s something that every single tutor needs to be doing for their business.
Email marketing tips:
- Grow your email marketing list daily.
- Send out a minimum of one newsletter a week.
- Send value with a call to action in every email.
- Use catchy subject lines.
- Use storytelling.
- If you think you’re emailing too much...You’re not!!
Here is an example of an email I sent out that got a lot of responses…
Marketing strategy #5: Search english optimization
This is a long term strategy that you should begin ASAP! Search engine optimization is also known as SEO.
Typically when you begin an SEO strategy it will take you roughly 6-9 months before you can begin ranking in the google search engines. This is why I always recommend beginning this strategy as soon as you can.
SEO refers to getting your website ranked in the google search engines
For example, let’s say a parent types into the google search engines “Best math tutors near me”...You’d want YOUR website to be in the search results so they could find you!
Now, there are two ways to do SEO…(I am not going to get into how to actually do SEO yourself, but I do recommend one of these two methods)
1. You can learn SEO and do it yourself.
2. You can outsource your SEO (This is what I did)
SEO can be a lot to learn but I highly recommend learning it yourself first and then outsourcing it later. I learned this unfortunately when I wasted a ton of money on SEO people who didn’t know what they were doing. I had no idea because I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for. I just wanted someone to do this whole SEO thing for me (ha, huge mistake)
Learn first, outsource later!
Where can you find affordable SEO experts?
And a whole bunch of others if you simply did a google search. But these are three places that I like to search for when looking to hire someone.
Marketing strategy #6: Paid advertising
I have done free marketing and I have done paid marketing. I will choose paid, every. Single. Time.
What are some places you can pay to advertise?
- Facebook advertising. (One of my favorites!)
- Instagram advertising.
- Nextdoor advertising.
- Youtube advertising.
- Google advertising.
When you first begin a paid marketing strategy, pick one! Don’t try to advertise on every single platform out there...You will lose your hat. But instead, choose one and master it.
If you focus on one platform...You could become proficient within two to three months.
Don’t look at paying for advertising as a cost. It’s not! It’s an investment in your business. I understand it can be scary at first...But start with a low budget and increase it once you’re comfortable.
Note: You do not want to do any form of paid advertising without retargeting! Retargeting is so important, especially when paying to stay in front of an audience.
Once someone becomes aware of who you are...You want to constantly stay in front of them.This is why retargeting is so important.
Have you ever browsed the internet only to head over to facebook or instagram and see an ad for that product or service? That’s retargeting!
Companies understand that life gets busy or you won’t buy right away...So they never let you forget about what you were interested in at one point.
You should do the same!
Retargeting ad ideas
- Offer - Some sort of way to hook them into your business.
- Videos - Different videos of you providing value to your audience.
- FAQ - Address the different questions your customers may have.
- Content*** - You must become a media company in 2021 if you want to have a chance.
- Testimonials - Showcase some of your most amazing success stories.
Last bonus tip for getting tutoring clients: Consistently and regularly follow up!
When a lead comes into your business...You must be following up with them regularly! This is something that 99% of tutors do not do and they wonder why their business isn’t growing.
If someone takes the time to pick up the phone or reach out to you...They have a level of interest in what you offer. The sad reality is this...Not everyone is going to invest in your tutoring services on the first contact. In fact, most won’t!
Don’t waste a lead
No matter what form of marketing you choose, you must nurture the leads you get.
This is why we developed the SmartTutor systems and automations...To do just that. Follow up and nurture your leads automatically.
If you’d like a system that can help you turn more leads into paying customers and help you make more money. Claim a 14-day free trial today!