Where you should advertise your tutoring business online is such a great, commonly asked question, but a difficult one to answer.
It is difficult because it depends largely on the type of tutoring you are providing: Law to university students or phonics to 6-year olds.
So the answer that I give you here is based upon my experience over the past 8 years of building up Clara James Tutoring. From me working in a corner of the living room at home by myself, to the national brand that it is immerging into today.
But before I say anything else, the main place you want to be is where your audience is. If the people you are seeking to tutor are on Facebook, start their, if you are looking for businesses to support, maybe linked in is your starting point.
Here are my experiences:
Facebook has been fundamental in growing the business. So many people have asked for recommendations in local Facebook groups. People can then come to our Facebook page to find out more about us before getting in touch.
It also provides a platform that testimonials can be offered as well as recommendations.
Using Facebook organically has been phenomenal. However, the use of Facebook Ads has driven that reach much further. Facebook Ads are also considerably cheaper than Google Ads and potentially easier to master.
I’ve never really found much traction with twitter. I blame myself as I’ve not taken much time in learning about it.
Don’t dismiss it, but, for me, it has offered me few if any leads.
I know I need to spend more time getting to grips with Instagram. I’ve been told this many times, but when working with children you can’t take photos in the lesson and I suppose, I take the lessons that I have created for granted and can’t imagine people been interested. This is a mindset I need to change as I am sure many of the people who would recognise the benefits of a more holistic approach to education.
Pinterest was poo-poo’d a few years ago when I suggested to someone I ought to investigate it. Sometimes you need to listen to your own gut feeling. I think the ability to offer screen shots of the resources, tweaked and annotated on Canva would be a brilliant platform for the style of support we offer. Becoming competent on Pinterest is to be one of key focuses in the coming months.
I have never had any potential students get in touch via Linkedin. However, people have frequently got in touch asking for support in getting started as a tutor. Depending what you are looking to achieve, Linkedin isn’t a platform I would actively promote for those starting a tutoring business.
Your own website
This has undoubtedly been a game changer. An expensive one but it has paid for itself many times over.
However, please be aware of scammers. Not long after I put my first website live I was watching the TV whilst doing my ironing, which was my routine on my day off. The phone rang and I answered it. A salesman asked me about my business, my dreams and aspirations. I poured my heart out.
He told me about the business he represented and how they specialised in helping small businesses, just like mine, get found on the internet. Because he was so impressed with what I was trying to do, for the first six months of promoting my website through them, he could offer me a discount so I would only have to pay something like £450!
I wanted to grow the business and he had just been telling me what a great thing I was doing. How, so many children were struggling at school and needed more individual support. I signed up but I neglected to read the very small print…
6 months later the company called me back. I hadn’t cancelled the contract, so I now had to pay the invoice of several thousand pounds. The balance needed to be settled that day.
I was newly separated and new to business. I didn’t have that sort of money. Apologizing, I said I could pay £500 that day and the rest in instalments.
He told me if I didn’t pay it all, they would send the bailiffs around that evening.
I was terrified!
In the end the man on the phone accepted the £500 upfront payment and to take instalments thereafter. He took the details for the deposit from my credit card and said he would call back with the details for the ongoing payments.
As he hung up, I was phoned by my credit card company. Had I authorised a payment for £500 out of my account. I agreed that I had authorised one payment for that amount.
Un beknown to me, the company then took multiple payments from the card to a value of £13,000!
Because I had authorised that first payment, the bank gave them access to keep going.
I went to the Citizens Advice and they talked me through making a claim at the small claims court.
When they went to retrieve the money that company had moved on and there was nothing more they could do.
I went back to the credit card company and in the end they relented as they acknowledged that the scammers had told me they would build me a website (that I didn’t need) and because they hadn’t fulfilled their contract, the credit card company would give me back the money.
It took nearly 18 months to sort out. Hours of heartache and tears and hundreds of pounds in interest and “overspending on my card” fees.
Your website will present you as a professional and it will undoubtedly transform your business,
but just be aware there are companies out there which will try and convince you that their offer will get you on the front page of Google and transform your life and your business for ever. Be careful before you jump straight in.
There’s a lot more I could say about marketing with these companies, and they’re not all scammers, but it is hard to dictate your keywords and you can’t see the individual metrics. It is worth getting to grips with Google ads and doing your marketing yourself (or finding a Google ads specialist to do it for you).
These are great as they have a large marketing budget and are free for tutors. However, bear in mind, if you’re not paying, who is? The answer, the parents. When parents can get access to details from Facebook and websites for free, I have found that many parents begrudge paying for information. In addition to this, the more you charge per hour, the more they will be expected to pay for your details.
In conclusion, go to where your audience is. For me, Facebook and my own website have been fundamental. Like I say, my next step is Pinterest and potentially Instagram. I would love to hear your experiences on advertising your tutoring business.
If you are thinking about becoming a tutor and need more support, we can help. We can help through the Clara James Franchise Opportunity CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE or with the CLARA JAMES APPROACH which provides training and materials to make your lessons more engaging including specialist modules to help students who may have ADHD, dyslexia, or other learning difficulties.
Click the links or email me with any questions that you have, and I will always promise to do my best to help: [email protected]