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View Full Version : Marketing Advice on a small (local) scale



Lostvalleyguy
02-25-2014, 05:13 PM
I offer tutoring services and have been doing so for about 15 years. I have acquired most of my clients through word of mouth and have had more work than I knew what to do with until the last couple of years. My original students graduated, their younger siblings have now graduated, and it seems that I am gaining very few new students. I have tried a variety of small things to regain my numbers, but I have not had much success. I have tried a few internet options, but have spent more time deleting spam than landing clients.

I need to get the word out in my local area (I don't think a city wide approach is practical). I can not officially advertise in the schools and we don't really have a local paper in the area.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have.

pahagwl
02-28-2014, 08:08 AM
I can see that you are in a tricky situation. You can not be too open with your advertisements because you would run the risk of being caught by your school. In my opinion, the best method you could employ is giving some sort of discount to your existing students if he/she is able to get a new student for you to tutor. By this method, you could build up on the existing number of your students easily and this method is less risky compared with the traditional methods of advertising.

Lostvalleyguy
02-28-2014, 08:38 PM
Thanks pahagwl. There is no risk of being caught by a school - nothing underhanded going on here it is just that our public school system doesn't want to get into the mire of supporting some tutors and not others and then having to explain themselves. I think you are suggesting a referral program you find me a new client and I pay you / give you a discount. It has crossed my mind but now that you mention it, I will think about it more seriously to see if there is a way to implement this.

Thanks again!

coffee
03-01-2014, 12:24 PM
Make flyers and business cards to hand out and to post on bulletin boards in the area. Around here there are boards at gas stations, in the hallway of a mini mall building, at the library, and at grocery stores. You could reach out to daycare centers by telling them who you are, providing references, and leaving your contact info. Have you checked your local craigslist.org? Sometimes people will post the needs for a tutor, or you could create an ad.

Perhaps talk to your local librarians to see if you could teach a small class or maybe they know of regular patrons that are in need of your services. The best thing you can do is talk to new people and make new connections.

cpefley
03-01-2014, 12:54 PM
First, I would create a Facebook page, and hopefully your previous clients, friends, and family will 'like' it. Then, you can start spreading the word, offering your services to a wider audience. You could put a post in a classified like Pennysaver or Craigslist. Also, maybe you could call some schools that your previous students went to, and maybe, because of the success with their former students, you could get teachers to recommend your services.

crucider
03-01-2014, 04:04 PM
Look into advertising on social media places like Facebook, then try advertising on craigslist and try looking into other tutoring services online. You may be able to try out Fiverr.com which is a freelancing site and you may be able to sell your tutoring service but not for much ($5).

CSomm
03-01-2014, 04:27 PM
Nothing is better for this than social media. Get active and get your former students active---you need to spread the word within your friend circle and get a good quality website for all the extra information prospective clients would need. You can build a more more solid referral system through this platform than through any other, and if you find yourself posting through your tutoring profile every day, you'll find clients who had forgotten you were an option giving you a call. Good Luck!

mameeker@cuse
03-01-2014, 05:41 PM
Advertise in the local newspaper! Also I would suggest going to the local schools and passing out brochures.

Lithium
03-02-2014, 03:20 AM
Advertise in the local newspaper! Also I would suggest going to the local schools and passing out brochures.

Indeed, there are a lot of potential customers reading a local newspaper. It's always a good choice for a local business. However, a Facebook page could be as successful as a newspaper.

pahagwl
03-02-2014, 12:38 PM
Nothing is better for this than social media. Get active and get your former students active---you need to spread the word within your friend circle and get a good quality website for all the extra information prospective clients would need. You can build a more more solid referral system through this platform than through any other, and if you find yourself posting through your tutoring profile every day, you'll find clients who had forgotten you were an option giving you a call. Good Luck!
Well, creating a referral system is the one thing that all the relies are pointing towards. But, a referral system is only successful if the person who introduces a new client to the business is compensated in one way or the other, only then, he will really work towards introducing more and more clients to the business. And by following this system, you will be able to create a huge base of clients.

CSomm
03-02-2014, 02:03 PM
Well, creating a referral system is the one thing that all the relies are pointing towards. But, a referral system is only successful if the person who introduces a new client to the business is compensated in one way or the other, only then, he will really work towards introducing more and more clients to the business. And by following this system, you will be able to create a huge base of clients.

At the scale we are speaking about here on this topic, I disagree that compensation for referrals is necessary to make it work. Whatever happened to goodwill, and the satisfaction of steering someone who wants good advice in the right direction? We aren't talking about the need for more than maybe 10-20 new clients in order for Lostvalleyguy to have a pretty full schedule. If he wants to start a tutoring service company, that's a whole different thing entirely---but we are only talking about one tutor's needs, which needs to be marketed for free (or incredibly close to free) for it to be worth doing.

Lostvalleyguy
03-03-2014, 02:34 AM
Thank you for all the advice. I am going to start with the Facebook page idea. Spring break is almost here in my area and I will try to sort out some other ideas at that time. You got me thinking in the right direction anyhow.

vivagoaproperty
03-03-2014, 03:37 AM
the best and most economical marketing way for small businesses is via social media and word of mouth for local ones.

delusional
03-03-2014, 04:35 AM
the best and most economical marketing way for small businesses is via social media and word of mouth for local ones.

It doesn't work if you don't have any reach. You have to start somewhere before people get to know your company online. If you start with social media, all your followers will be friends and family. You have to go beyond that.

foduu1
03-05-2014, 05:06 AM
First, I'd develop a Zynga page, and also ideally your previous buyers, buddies, and also loved ones will certainly 'like' the idea. Next, you could start distribution the word, featuring your products and services to some wider audience. You may set a article in a very labeled including Pennysaver or Craigslist. Also, you may might call up a number of colleges that your particular previous pupils attended, and maybe, due to the achievement using ex- pupils, you can get professors in order to propose your products and services.

Lithium
03-09-2014, 04:38 AM
I've never heard of Zynga, but it looks like they're US only.

eppie
03-09-2014, 05:04 AM
I offer tutoring services and have been doing so for about 15 years. I have acquired most of my clients through word of mouth and have had more work than I knew what to do with until the last couple of years. My original students graduated, their younger siblings have now graduated, and it seems that I am gaining very few new students. I have tried a variety of small things to regain my numbers, but I have not had much success. I have tried a few internet options, but have spent more time deleting spam than landing clients.

I need to get the word out in my local area (I don't think a city wide approach is practical). I can not officially advertise in the schools and we don't really have a local paper in the area.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you may have.

Maybe you can try posting print ads (or hand out flyers) in various local places like the public library, public parks or other places being frequented by parents and children. You can also try approaching other tutors and arranged an exchange referral deal or something to that effect. :) But I believe it's easier to just market in social media. Connect and be visible in some of the FB pages in your locality and market thru your friends and your friends' connections. :)

angelicagapit
03-09-2014, 05:47 AM
Since you're targeting your local area, try putting up tarpaulins around where your workplace is. Basically, the best advice I can give you is to put some posters or tarpaulins on the main road. Place promotional materials in places where there's a lot of foot traffic or even car traffic.

You can easily get the word out with promotional materials. It's a visual so people can read your services, where to contact you, where they can inquire, etc.

Good luck!

albertj786
03-11-2014, 02:14 AM
you should try to promote your business on facebook you should create a page tell all the specifications on your page and invite your all friends on your page and and tell your friends to promote your page on other school sites and other palaces and invite their friends to visit your page i guess this is the way that people will attract on your site

Tony Manto
05-06-2014, 05:43 PM
Why not try some sponsoring at some of your local sports clubs. This way you can target the right age group. You could also try renting some space at the local shopping centre.

businessgurl
05-06-2014, 06:22 PM
So much to discuss! Social is definitely where it is at...and tutoring with an online presence means parents can find you too. I also suggest looking at Pinterest, there are TONS of teachers there who pin lesson plans. Hope that helps!

Geethan
04-07-2020, 08:14 AM
I worked as a zero-day hire at a computer shop in Florida as a manager-in-training after the business was bought out. In most cases, we found that the traffic coming to our website were either other businesses we had done work with in the past or otherwise people who would come by the shop locally and looked us up before actually visiting the store.

One of the biggest misconceptions I see about social engineering and internet marketing is that simply posting everywhere you can will make people show up. It doesn't necessarily raise the community's awareness of the company by itself without other elements coming into play. Depending on the reach you're looking for, we found that we could drive more business to our website through no-tech means by passing around flyers or placing pamphlets with basic service information and contact information as well as a link to our website.

When it came to increasing our sales numbers and conversion rate numbers, we found that attending local events had the largest impact on our internet traffic coming from new addresses. Theoretically, we could have sent people out to different nearby communities to do the same thing and bring even more people into the shop.

A previous co-worker of mine used the same techniques with his fundraising efforts in downtown Chicago with similar results. College Campuses are also a great place to reach out to as they cover a large number of demographics and generate a lot of social media traffic.

PS: If you're hiring, I'd love to work with you on both the technical and marketing aspects!

PPS: A marketing company says you need a marketing company to manage your campaign for you in the same way that a lawyer says you need a lawyer or a hooker says you need a hooker. If you're a new small business, don't overextend yourself. Marketing costs enough money as it is without bringing in an outside group to provide questionable results.

vinitha seo
04-08-2020, 01:35 AM
Marketing doesn't have to be hard or expensive. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective. 10 Simple Marketing Tips for Small Businesses