You’ve set your tutoring business up for success by making your initial investments, establishing pricing, creating a budget, and defining your offerings and curriculum but all of that effort is wasted without students to teach! This can be the most difficult part of starting a tutoring business and can feel overwhelming when you are on your own as a freelance tutor. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to find students if you’re willing to actively put yourself out there. Outlined below are a variety of easy ways to create “brand awareness” and ultimately find clients.
Word-of-Mouth Referrals – The easiest way to begin marketing is through word-of-mouth and leveraging your existing network. Most tutors will say that they rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals so be sure to tell everyone you know! Start by communicating your tutoring services with your network and let them know you’re accepting new students. Don’t be shy in asking them to kindly recommend your services to potential clients in their networks. Use testimonials from past or current students and ask them to refer you to their networks. If they are happy with your services, they will likely be willing to share their experience, but you need to be sure to ask them directly to do so.
Email – If you are starting from scratch and don’t have any students, draft an email overview of your services to send out to your network and let them know you are actively accepting new students. This email can also be sent to local schools, teachers, and admins. Inform them of your offerings and ask them to consider sharing your information when students/parents inquire about tutoring.
If you already have students but are looking to expand, start a weekly email newsletter that shares current success stories, and asks for word-of-mouth referrals from your current student base. Always be asking for feedback and testimonials that can be used for building the trust and confidence of potential clients.
Create Videos – With mobile devices readily available, you don’t have to be very tech-savvy to grab a short video introducing yourself and talking about why you love tutoring. Even better, if you are comfortable in front of the camera, create a series of short YouTube videos related to your content area expertise that will help generate interest in your services and help build your credibility. Videos can also be used as promotional materials on your website, social media, or email newsletters. They can help put students and parents at ease by making them feel connected to you before you ever meet.
Social Media – Social media can be a really powerful marketing tool! With a little effort, you can drive business traffic organically through social media by:
- Sharing your services within your social media networks (a professional looking post with information about your particular niche, rates, offerings, etc)
- Creating accounts on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – leverage these accounts to connect and share information about your business
- Joining parent groups on social media and actively participate in discussions, gaining credibility and visibility
- Connecting and networking with other online tutors
- Joining local Facebook groups where you can promote your services
- Creating and sharing educational content, engaging people in discussions
Creating Content – This is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise. If you are an English teacher, you probably are already a skilled writer. Consider creating a blog and set a goal of writing about topics relevant to your subject matter each week. Share these posts on your website, social media, email newsletter, etc to gain traction and help people get to know you. The more content you publish, the more potential leads you’ll gain!
Online Directories – Get your business listed on as many relevant directories as you can. Some common directories include:
More Creative Ideas That Don’t Require Technology
- Computer decal/stickers – a quick google search and you can have your own business decal/stickers created easily online. (Put them on your laptop as a great conversation starter when you’re working at a coffee shop)
- Door magnet for your car (especially if you have kids and are at sporting events or activities where other families congregate)
- Business Cards – to give out anytime you meet someone new (even if it doesn’t have to do with tutoring, it gets your information into people’s hands)
- Flyers posted in coffee shops, libraries, college bulletin boards, etc
Next-Level Marketing Opportunities
If you really want to optimize your exposure and are willing to dive deeper into business marketing tools, and are willing to invest in advertising, consider the following options:
- Purchase Ads through social media (Facebook Adbuy)
- Google My Business listing – to ensure your business is appearing in keyword searches in your area (local SEO – Search Engine Optimization)
- SEO Enhanced website – Use a website builder like Wix to make your own website. Use tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest for relevant keywords and search rankings. Analyze the traffic and conversions with tools like Google Analytics.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways to find students (and for free!) as long as you put forth a little effort. Trying to do all of these things is unrealistic and it’s best to pick the two to three that you feel most confident in tackling and set goals related to the efforts you’ll make and the desired outcome.