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Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by sabram86, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    Greetings, fellow tutors!

    I have been doing tutoring for some time now - I am registered with the usual sites, get referrals from parents and even interest via social media, but I have been wondering about other marketing methods for some time now.


    I'm in round 2 of trying this (I tried 18 months ago without any success) - I ordered some leaflets and I have dutifully posted around 500 through various letter boxes, but without success again. Is there any advice on improving this?

    Personal website

    I even have my own website and it is getting a couple of hits per day (mostly due to a paid FaceAche ad). Is there any advice on how best to target this as well?
  2. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    If you live in an area such as mine (Enfield) where most people don't care about education, then any form of local advertising is only likely to be seen by people who aren't interested, and is therefore a waste of your time and money.
    catbefriender likes this.
  3. Ian1983

    Ian1983 Occasional commenter

    Vehicle Graphics (containing website address / Facebook page) on back windscreen of car.

    By far my most powerful form of advertising past few years. It's like having a 24 hour mobile billboard driving round.
  4. lyoung361

    lyoung361 New commenter

    Hi I left teaching after 11 years to be a full time tutor. All my students are either by word of mouth or from my business page on Facebook.
  5. Informant

    Informant New commenter

    Good advice here, notably from Ian1983 as a web address is easier to memorise than a phone number. You could try notifying Head of Dept at local schools, even those outside your immediate catchment. At least one of my local schools maintains a list of known tutors for parents who ask, although others won't do it.

    You could pay a modest premium to google to have your website listed at the front of search listings. Alternatively you can use SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) push your site up the rankings for free by careful use of key words in the title and summaries on each of your pages. I've done this for a few search engines (not Yell as they insist on publishing your address online). It's fairly easy, but you could always ask for help from a friend with an interest in computing.

    When I become fully booked I refer enquirers to other tutors who I know of. You could try contacting others and asking if they'd be happy for you to do that........and maybe they'd do the same for you.

    Social media participation helps. Why not ask friends to post a comment to improve your presence? My daughter teaches piano and acquires most of her pupils by word of mouth or mumsnet.

    Good luck with this.
  6. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I've never done a leaflet
    I had a website and it brought me nothing
    I get a fair bit from Facebook and a good few from word of mouth
    If I get a space that I need to fill, I do a Facebook post and get friends to share it. It usually works
  7. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @sabram86 Had the same question asked to me by a tutoring agency who are apparently doing so well, and yet asked me how to get clients.:rolleyes:

    The problem is parents can't find the qualified teachers due to the numbers of tutors available, and an estimated 2.5 million tutors are operating in the UK and the mushrooming of tuition centres everywhere. There's probably one operating on your street right now offering 11 plus tuition to local parents desperate to get their children into grammars.

    The usual tutoring websites are inundated with students posing as tutors and parents simply haven't got a clue what a qualified teachers means. I mean a GCSE is a qualification so a teacher with one GCSE is a qualified teacher.

    One agency said to me today all her tutors weren't qualified teachers, but all had to be at least 2nd year undergraduate student. A bit of questioning and I found out they were teaching only private school children.

    I had a call the other day from an advertiser who is connected to a local MAT's newsletter and they wanted £350 for a year's advertising in the newsletter. I mentioned that the catchment for that MAT was one of the poorest in the whole borough and I am echoing what David Getling as said. You need to market where the money is. And the private schools' newsletters in my area offer zero advertising. Therefore getting your services known to a particular area is very, difficult.

    I've put in Gumtree ads and I am stuck getting enquiries from poor parents in my borough and am looking at advertising in my more affluent neighbouring borough. Leaflet dropping came to around £500 inclusive and putting an ad in the local newspaper (print and online) will be around £150 inclusive.

    Very expensive. Haven't done it yet and would welcome advice as to whether it is worthwhile.

  8. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    IMO, whatever approach you take to Marketing, in order for it to be effective, it needs to be targeted.


    Dropping leaflets through letter-boxes as a means of marketing is very hit and miss. It's the marketing equivalent of firing off a shotgun, and hoping the pellets manage to hit something. This is especially true in the situation described in post #2. Leaflet drops are an exercise in number-crunching at best. In the right areas they could generate enquiries. In an unsuitable area, they'll probably end up as landfill. Sometimes they may pay off, but a lot of times they won't be cost-effective.

    Personal website:

    As mentioned by other posters, there are a number of things you can do to improve the 'visibility' of your web site, which would more than likely increase the numbers of hits your site gets. But the real issue isn't how many people visit your site, but rather how many want to take it any further once they get there. So again, unless you have an insatiable desire for number-crunching, you need some way to target specific groups of people.

    Personal Referrals:

    In a previous incarnation, I worked for a while in Financial Services, and all our clients were from personal referrals. You provided a good service, and the client recommended a few friends or colleagues. For every 10 referrals you got, you might reasonably expect to convert two or three into new business. But you still need to ask for some referrals from those people you don't do any business with, in order to keep the momentum, or the river soon dries up.

    My advice, for what it's worth, would be to spend some time thinking about the kind of people you want to reach, and try and target those groups specifically.

    If you can identify where they live, the kind of places they frequent, and the sort of things they do they when not working, you can figure out the best way to make contact with them. Not an easy thing to do, but at least then you're only spending time and money reaching out to likely converts, rather than any every man and his dog.

    Best of luck with it all, and I hope you manage to increase your numbers of tutees. :)
  9. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Once again, @catbefriender 'tells it like it is'. Around Uxbridge, there are about a dozen 'Tuition centres', offering tuition at all levels, KS 1 to university entrance. Tutoring websites are stuffed with what @David Getling called 'everyone and his dog', trying to muscle in on the 'tuition game', confusing parents and reducing rates. What else could you expect from an entirely unregulated market?

    The private tuition market is becoming saturated. My number of private students this year, was noticeably down on last year. Another factor is that money is getting tighter, even for better off parents, and tuition is becoming an unaffordable luxury. Whereas before you might have a number of regular students, now you are more likely called in to give one or two 'fire engine' sessions.

    At out local Tesco, aside from 'Rug Doctor', all the cards are from purportedly qualified teachers offered maths, English, science, and 11+ tuition. On Uxbridge tube station, there is a large poster on the wall advertising a tuition company, which boasts a 90% success rate in getting students into Russell Group universities.

    As others have said, personal advertising is generally expensive and ineffective, unless very specifically targeted, which can be difficult to do.
    catbefriender likes this.
  10. ajs12345

    ajs12345 New commenter

    I agree with other posters that the usual sources of tutors are awash with pretenders and ‘learning centres’ and it creates a very confusing and diluted space in which to work.
    Therefore, and it may sound obvious, putting some work in with your existing tutees can yield a lot in terms of expanding your client base.
    At the very beginning I advertised via the usual sites but soon didn’t need to because ‘so and so’s friend has asked me for your number’.
    This got me thinking. Giving a few business cards to each of your existing parents is a great way to build a network in the right circles, as they have your details and services to hand over to a prospective parent rather than just a number.
    Also, offering a free session to any parents who refer you helps to build things up a bit and gets parents bringing up tuition in discussion. Everyone loves a freebie!
    suzyshepster, Piranha and elder_cat like this.

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