Are you looking for marketing ideas that you can implement that are cost effective and simple?
When I started Starr Tutoring in 2012 my marketing budget was small, and even today there aren’t hundreds or thousands to spend regularly…
These are the 10 techniques that have proven best value for money and had the best return on investment. I know they won’t work for everyone, but maybe they will work for you in the form that they are in or with a bit of a tweak.
I’ve always had quite a good return when I’ve done a leaflet drop. People will however, often hold on to the leaflets for a while before getting in touch.
I also always put in the leg work and deliver the leaflets myself and with the help of family members. This way I know they have been delivered and I get the exercise.
When I design the fliers, I ensure they are double sided. The advert on one side and then testimonials on the other. That way regardless of which way they fall onto the floor on the other side of the letter box there is something to catch the householder’s attention before it finds its way into the bin. Use colour and also use a suitably good quality paper.
Before sending the fliers out I know exactly where my ideal tutee will live. I know where to focus my leaflet drop. (I go into getting to know your ideal tutee in far more detail in the membership group).
Whenever I go to someone for the first time I give them a small gift. It contains all the stationery that will be needed in the lessons.
It doesn’t sound like much but most people love to be given something no matter what it is.
I started doing this after I realised that other tutors were turning up to lessons without any resources and much of the first lesson was spent trying to find the equipment that would be needed in the forthcoming hour. Presenting this gift also increased efficiency and scored “brownie points” with the parents.
The pens and pencils in this pack are personalised with the Starr Tutoring website details. This meant that if they ever found their way into the child’s school pencil case and then into someone else’s pencil case, my company name was spreading.
Word of mouth
This has to be the easiest and cheapest form of marketing.
Bad news travels fast but so do good news! If you go above and beyond what is expected, your reputation will spread and it won’t cost you a penny!
Never be afraid to ask for feedback either, most people are more than happy to write a comment for you to post on your website, your Facebook page, etc.
A Facebook Page
This links to the last point.
I’ve received so much work over the years via Facebook. People will often ask for recommendations of a good tutor. Having a Facebook page, lets the potential family have a quick stalk and learn something about you before drawing their own conclusions.
The Facebook page is also a free method (apart from any paid advertising you choose to do) of raising your all-important online profile.
Magnets on the side of the car
When I first did this, I didn’t think it had been that effective and nearly took them off never to be seen again.
During a conversation I had several years after an incident that I realised how much money those magnets had earned me. I think they cost roughly £24 for the 2 when I got them.
I had been parked on someone’s drive in a lesson when the mum left with friends to go out for dinner. A couple of days later someone phoned and said they had been given my number by this mum and could I help with tutoring their son with Maths and English. The following day, the same thing happened though this time just with maths.
These two ladies have between them passed my details onto a further 8 families that I am aware of, there maybe more.
What I hadn’t realised was the reason I had come into conversation was because one of the mums had mentioned my car when they had been out at dinner and said her son needed help. The mum whose daughter I had been working with then started to say how well her daughter was, how much she enjoyed the lessons and how happy they were.
Just over a year ago, when parked in town, someone approached me and asked for my details. She didn’t get in touch again until 2 weeks ago. They had moved from the area briefly but were now back and could I support her 3 daughters!
On one occasion when I was getting petrol 2 people asked me for my business card having spotted the magnets on the side of the car.
(I don’t have them on the car at the moment as I have more work than tutors, but I know it is something I can easily call upon in the future if I need to).
Bags and T-shirts
Earlier I mentioned I gave each new starter a stationery pack. I often present these in a draw string bag which has the Starr Tutoring branding on them. They’re bright and colourful and definitely stand out. I accept many people will never leave the house with the bags. It only needs to be seen by 1 person who stays with you for a couple of weeks for the return on investment to justify itself.
Tutoring for Charity
This is something I tried for the first time last summer.
I dedicated 5 days over the summer holidays to offering tutoring lessons for a donation to our designated charity. We didn’t raise much but we did help a few people and we helped to raise the company profile.
I was interviewed by the local radio station about it. Consequently, we had many likes and shares on Facebook to help advertise it.
It had been an impulsive idea and the last minute. I know that if I had had more time, I could have inexpensively spread the word much further.
This year my plan is to create a times tables course to support parents in teaching the times tables through games. Each time a course is purchased I will donate it free to a family that needs the help. Parents can either nominate themselves or someone that they know. The more I can raise the profile of the course and sell it, the more people I can help in return.
If you’re interested let me know and I will send you more details once the course is downloaded in the next few days.
I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration.
If you are starting your own tutoring business or trying to expand your existing one why not join us in “The Tutor’s Group” a place where you will receive support inspiration and guidance in your journey.
The “Tutor’s Group” is the Facebook group for the “Starr Tutoring Association.”
I hope to see you there soon.