The most effective way to market yourself as a private tutor online
Editors note: This post has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of 09/06/2015.
Word of mouth marketing may be the lifeblood of the private tutoring industry but when students and parents can’t get suitable recommendations from friends or family, they turn to the internet to find the perfect tutor for their children.
In this post, I’ll be focusing on specific ways that private tutors can find more students by using online marketing techniques.
Private Tutor Directories
Most private tutors who are serious about running a private tutoring business market their services from their own website. However, with or without a website, private tutor directories can provide a steady stream of new clients, especially if you make an extra effort to promote your listing in other ways online.
In the UK, you’ll find both free and paid directories.
Those that allow tutors to advertise at no cost tend to have a lot of tutors in their database, which means the chances of your profile being found are lower than those in directories that charge for registration.
Directories that operate on a free registration basis usually charge the student or parent for releasing the tutor’s contact details, which can put prospective clients off. On the other hand, with no fees to pay, it’s a risk-free option for private tutors.
Personally, I believe that paid directories tend to be more consistent in generating leads for tutors as the upfront fee ensures that only private tutors who are serious about tutoring register, keeping competition lower.
In any case, by becoming more actively involved in directory platforms by participating in forums etc., you can help increase your profile’s visibility beyond your listing.
But with all those directories out there, how do you know which ones will be the most effective in finding you work as a tutor?
Well, the easiest way to find out is to put yourself in the shoes of parents looking for tutors. What would they search for in Google?
Make a list of all the search terms that you’d expect a parent to use to find a tutor where you live and take a note of which directories appear highest in the rankings. The chances are that those nearest the top are ones that will bring you the most work.
Marketing with your Own Website
Having your own website gives you more opportunities to market yourself online. If you have some initial money to invest in your online marketing efforts, paying for advertising on ad networks like Google Adwords can yield some good results and help drive traffic to your website. Likewise, paying to advertise on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can also help you find new clients in the initial stages of your business.
However, for most small businesses, paid advertising is only a short term solution and once your investment runs out, so does your ability to attract new clients.
A far more effective (albeit a long-term) strategy is to optimize your website for search engines. There are a tonne of fantastic resources out there that will provide you with all the information you need to know in order to improve your website’s rankings in search engines and investing the time to learn about these strategies is a smart move.
The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it will provide you with some SEO points to research further:
- Long-tail keyword research
- A content marketing plan
- On-page optimization
- A backlink strategy
When it comes to SEO, getting the basics right from the start will serve your website well in the long term. There are many different elements to SEO and to attempt to implement absolutely everything you read will leave your burnt out. In a nutshell, if you aim to provide as much value as possible in the content that you post on your website and in the engagements you make on social media, you’ll create a good grounding for Google to index your website.
Engaging on Social Media
Traditionally, social media has always been a useful tool in helping private tutors reach a targeted audience of parents and now that Google has confirmed that social media shares is a ranking factor for websites, it’s certainly a good idea to embrace social platforms.
Unlike other marketing methods, social media isn’t about directly selling; rather, it’s about engaging people and starting conversations. Social media provides private tutors with the opportunity to establish credibility in their local area by sharing their insights into particular subjects and promoting content from their website, which in turn can generate leads.
Online Tutoring Platforms
If you’re keen to embrace the digital side of marketing, then embracing the growing trend for online tutoring may be a logical step for you. There are several online tutoring platforms in the UK, many of which have become firmly established very quickly.
One of the biggest benefits of online tutoring is that you will have somewhat of a ready-made audience waiting for you. Lessons take place from computer to computer via a virtual classroom, where you can interact with students much in the same way as you would in person.
Once you get used to the technology, which is generally intuitive enough for younger students to pick up quickly, online tutoring can be a great way of earning from the comfort of your own home.
If you’d like to learn more about how to find more students and grow your tutoring business, you can buy our eBook ‘The Marketing Guide for Private Tutors’ for £21.99 – it’s packed full of useful advice and costs less than the average tutor charges per hour!
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