How to expand your online tutoring business and create a constant inflow of clients
Covid-19 has opened new doors for online tutoring and given a substantial boost to this industry.
If you are one of those online tutors looking to make the most of this time to scale up your online tutoring business, you have landed at the right place!
This blog series about online tutoring is divided into three different sections, each of which talks about one important aspect of starting and growing your online tutoring business:
- Setting up your online tutoring business
- Getting initial clients
- Expanding your business and creating a constant inflow of new clients
This is the third blog of the series that talks about expanding your business and creating a constant inflow of new clients. If you’re looking to set up your new tutoring business or getting initial clients for the same, you can refer to the previous blogs in the series from the links above.
Or, just leave your email address here and we’ll send them straight to your inbox!
How to setup your online tutoring business and build an initial client base?
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In this blog, we will cover everything you need to do in order to expand your online tutoring business. Here’s what you’ll find inside!
- How to expand your online tutoring business?
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How to expand your online tutoring business?
The marketing strategies for scaling up your tutoring business differ slightly from those that you used to acquire your initial clients. While the former may have involved a lot of experimentation, the latter will be largely based on the results of your initial marketing efforts.
At this stage, making data-driven decisions is the way to go!
Track the performance of each and every channel – your website analytics, SEO rankings, social media engagement, etc. and use these results to channelize your efforts in the long run to boost your business growth.
Here are a few actionable steps to accelerate the growth of your online tutoring business:
1. Establish yourself as a thought leader in the community
In the education sector, parents and students simply want to ‘learn from the best’.
Whether it’s learning a new skill or acing their classes at school, most of your target audience would just want to place their bets on the best, most trusted tutor out there.
So, that’s exactly what you should aim to become – a thought leader in the community – someone that people look up to and who is seen as an expert.
When done right, thought leadership can completely transform your brand image. It can place you and your business as leaders in your industry, open doors to new opportunities, and build lasting trust with your audiences.
To achieve this,
- Focus on bringing value to your target audience by educating them, sharing new ideas, and being helpful. When you help people with what they’re interested in and engage them with your content – blogs, videos, webinars, audiences will look up to you.
- Take guest lectures, seminars, or webinars, to reach a larger section of your audience. To be a true thought leader, talk about what matters most to your audience – trends in the industry, the impact of new policies on education, etc. Your thought leadership and reflection of good knowledge will portray you as an industry leader in the community and build the audience’s trust in you and your services. Which in turn, will help you build your brand and strengthen its public image.
- Be consistent with delivering valuable educational content to your target audience and don’t let them forget about you. A sustained trust of your audience in your content, knowledge, and brand will attract more people to your services. And consequently, you will get more customers for your online tutoring business.
2. Scale up your brand’s online presence
Since your tutoring business depends completely on the Internet as a medium to deliver your services, a strong online presence holds a great significance to increase your reach.
While a professional website and business profiles on social media are a good way to begin, your advanced marketing efforts should be targeted towards reaching and building a connection with your target audience in every way possible.
Your potential clients are all over the internet, and to be on their radar, here are the things which you can do.
a) Improve your website ranking
You probably know that it is important to rank high in the search engine results. But how important?
That means that most people would not even look below the top few search results for their searches. Which makes it imperative that your website ranks in the top 5 organic search results.
You can accomplish top site rankings by gearing up your SEO game with the right strategies and tools. Here are a few of them:
- Once your website starts ranking for organic search, find out the most performing keywords and search phrases. These can be the ones that drive the most traffic to your site, your competitor’s site, or even the keywords that are generally trending on Google search. Make sure to use such keywords/phrases in your content to improve your rankings.
- Optimize everything on your website – content, URLs, meta description – for search engines. Include the right keywords for your industry to rank higher.
- Get professional help or invest in the best online keyword analysis tools, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, for instance, to optimize your content for search engines. These tools identify keywords relevant to your tutoring business and even allow you to analyze your competitors’ keywords and ranking. Include them for higher rankings and to compete with your competitors.
- Focus on local SEO if you’re targeting certain geographic areas. Use long and specific keywords for more qualified leads. For example, “English tutors in <your town>”. These keywords might not have a lot of search traffic, but they will surely get you the customers that you’re looking for.
b) Socialize online
In the years (or months) of your online tutoring, your brand probably would have attained a certain image.
Your business profiles are likely to have attained a considerable number of followers. The same goes for the likes and engagement on your posts. Now it’s time to scale up your social media profiles and start getting real clients from them.
To do this:
- A good place to start is tutor industry forums. This is where your prospective clients are hence, you should be too! To truly build a brand presence on these platforms, engage with other members, and be a part of their community. Talk to people, answer their questions, provide them with valuable solutions. Enhance their trust in your brand and gain credibility. You can also directly promote your services in groups that allow you to post the same (like buy/sell groups).
- Not just this, boost your social media presence by responding to comments and queries on your posts and DMs, preferably on the same day. This will reflect your accessibility and professionalism.
- At this stage, you can even start your own online community or forum. You can provide them with useful resources for your particular course while building a reliable place for you to connect with your audience. You can simply start by creating a Facebook group. Define an objective of the group before you create it. The title of the group should clearly indicate the same. Start by inviting your existing customers to like it. Post educational content including blog posts (your own and external, which you find valuable), YouTube videos, links to resources, etc.
For social media growth, interaction is the key, be it with other tutors or clients. Other tutors can help you with the questions you may have about business growth, while student or parent interactions will help you win the trust of more people, bringing in new clients to your tutoring business.
c) Start taking bookings from social media profiles
While having good business profiles on social media channels and engaging with your followers through appealing content is quite significant, there’s more you can do for an upper hand.
Boost your social media conversions with Book Now button on your profile, that prompts interested people to schedule a demo or a session with you.
Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business – all allow you to add these buttons to convert more and more leads into clients.
You can try an online scheduling software (like Appointy) which partners with these popular social media platforms and allows you to add book buttons to your profiles to acquire the maximum possible number of clients you can from these channels.
d) Start blogging or set up a Youtube channel
One of the best ways to showcase your knowledge online and build a trustworthy brand is to post blogs or Vlogs. With most students resorting to the internet for solutions to their academic issues, you can utilize this as an opportunity to build trust in your brand.
The best content is the one that provides value. For tutors, it is possible to generate value-driven content since you are aware of the common doubts and problems that students face.
- There’s a plethora of content that you can create through your blogs like how-to guides for parents and children, unique tips and tricks to improve speed, solutions to most common problems faced by students, etc.
- Create content that is engaging and provides value to clients. Don’t forget to use the relevant keywords to optimize your content for search engines.
Promote your blogs or Vlogs as answers to people’s questions through your website and social media handles. You can share these posts on the online forums and communities that you’re a part of.
You can also Include customer testimonials in your content to support your teaching methods and skills. It will help you build trust and credibility, and strengthen your brand image. When students find your content helpful, they will look forward to more of it – and even pay for your tutoring sessions in the future.
Experiment with guest posting
In the initial stages, it is tougher to bring people to a website that they rarely ever visit. It is much easier and beneficial to leverage the popularity of a site that your target audience visits often.
You can consider posting blogs on a popular blogging site as a guest. Connect to the relevant sites or people and talk it out. This will help you take advantage of the popularity of these sites to increase your brand awareness and credibility.
If you regularly blog as a guest on famous tutor sites, your business will gain recognition. Once this happens, more people will be willing to take your services.
So set up your YouTube channel or blog, plan out a content strategy and don’t forget to promote your channel on your social media channels, website, and in your personal network.
3. Start building your marketing collateral
Now that you have an initial client-base, it’s time to use their experiences and stories to attract new clients and drive conversions.
Marketing collateral is helps you do it. It is any print or digital media used to promote a company’s products or services.
There are three ways in which you can start building valuable resources for the effective marketing communications of your brand.
a) Customer testimonials
A substantial promotional asset is the voice of your existing customers. It connects with prospective clients at an emotional level and immediately grabs their attention.
Seeing what someone they relate to has to say strengthens their trust, and gives them the much-needed nudge to try out your services.
Since yours is an online tutoring business, online reviews posted on your website have another implicit value – higher SEO rankings.
Search engines work for the benefit of the organic traffic, that is, the general users. And since they place their trust in reviews and testimonials, so do the search engines.
Google often shows sites with high volumes of quality reviews first in the search results, for the benefit of general users. Coming directly from users, they contain more keywords, which means better optimization for search engines, which, in turn, imply better rankings.
To get more reviews:
- Request your existing customers to leave a review on your website, Facebook, Instagram, Google MyBusiness pages.
- Ask them at the right time – after a result is announced, or when they are most happy with their services.
- Show them simple examples from other clients on how to write a review so that they have somewhere to start from.
- If your customers have academic success stories, ask them to share the same.
You can harness the power of customer reviews to the fullest using online scheduling software that has a review management feature (like Appointy).
This can help you automatically request reviews from happy parents and students after a session and promote these positive reviews on your social media with just a click.
b) Case studies
Over the course of your tutoring experience, there might be clients who have seen a considerable improvement in their academic performance. Such clients would be particularly happy with your tutoring.
Present the success stories of these clients on your website and social media as case studies. Results have a better impact as compared to just stories. Show the improvement in the marks/grades of the student.
Don’t forget to take permission from the corresponding student and their parents. Support the genuineness of your case study by including a testimonial of the student/parent.
Case studies will further strengthen your brand image and credibility, and positively influence the buying decisions of your potential customers.
c) Interviews with students and parents
Interview your clients who have been taking your services for a while. What they have to say will give you a chance to better understand what they feel about your tutoring.
Moreover, when you put these interviews up on your website, visitors and prospective client might find them interesting and check them out. Genuine interviews will also reflect your professionalism and accessibility as a tutor.
- Take some time to prepare a set of questions that you’d wish to ask your customers during the interview. It should cover everything you need to know, as well as everything that prospects should know about your tutoring services.
- Share these interviews through your website and social media, with due permission of the corresponding client, of course.
4. Run referral programs
Talking of leveraging happy clients to get more clients, let’s discuss another direct way to do this: a referral program!
While making a purchase, most people trust the recommendations of their friends, family, neighbors, and other acquaintances above any other marketing or research.
That is exactly what makes referral programs so important. And we are not the only ones saying this. 60% of marketers say referrals generate a high volume of leads.
A referral program involves your customers referring your services to their friends and family, relatives, neighbors, or acquaintances, who might need online tutoring. In turn, you offer them an incentive as a reward for referring new clients to your business (a discount, free sessions, credits, etc.)
There are a few things which you must keep in mind, though, before you start a referral program for your online tutoring business.
a) Keep it clear from the beginning
When you’re beginning to take up a new client, after your consultation and demo, it is a good idea to ask them if they’d like to be a part of your referral process.
It’s great if they agree right then. It is also okay if they choose to decide after taking your services for a while.
b) Seize the opportunity when they compliment you
When your clients are happy with your teaching, they’d be happy to help you. Make the most of this opportunity.
If a client feels delighted with the academic improvement their child has shown, thanks to your teaching, it is a good idea to ask for a referral.
For example, you can say, “I’m so happy to hear that. Please tell others you know who might need online tutoring about the same.”
c) Offer incentives
Referral programs can become easier and work wonders for your business if you offer incentives to both your existing clients and the person they refer to you.
Offer tempting deals and discounts to both parties. You can offer a 100% discount on the first session.
Also, offer discounts in accordance with your financial capabilities. Don’t undersell yourself.
5. Build valuable partnerships
Another excellent way to reach larger audiences and acquire a larger number of clients is by partnering with relevant organizations.
The organization could be a club, group, or company. For ex: If you’re a music teacher, you could partner with a music club or a company that sells musical instruments, for instance.
This way, you reach a larger number of highly qualified leads – people who wish to take music classes. And you could refer your clients to buy instruments from the same company to avail offers. This makes it a win-win situation for both parties. You can also organize events as an alliance.
Chalk out the businesses or organizations with whom it would be feasible for you to associate. Just remember that the target market of both the partners should be the same or at least have a lot in common. Your proposal for the partnership should include the benefits for both the stakeholders.
6. Invest in paid digital advertising
Content marketing and search engine optimization to attract organic traffic are good to get your business into action, but they are slightly long term strategies. If you are looking for some instant new signups for your online tutoring business, you can try paid digital advertising.
In this type of marketing, you pay a publisher (be it a search engine or a website owner) each time someone clicks or views your ad in a search result, website, or on social media.
Online paid advertising can be a remunerative way of bringing in quality traffic to your website – if done right. To get the best bang for your buck, your advertising needs to be highly targeted.
You will need to refine your advertising based on the keywords, type of audience, geographic location, etc. and be very specific about these filters in order to reach the right target audience.
Strategizing and executing a digital paid advertising campaign is a big step in itself. While it can take significant time to put it together, it can also yield great results for your online tutoring business.
That’s why we are putting together a special resource for tutors who want to dig deeper into paid advertising.
Since it is a highly targeted resource, we might only distribute it via our newsletter. If you are interested in learning about paid digital marketing for online tutors, just leave your email address below. We’ll add you to our list and send the resource straight to your inbox!
Paid digital advertising for online tutoring businesses: The ultimate guide
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7. Automate your administrative tasks
When you’re looking to scale up your online tutoring business, managing all your marketing efforts and staying on top of the admin work can get overwhelming.
You can hire people to carry out the work for you. But the investment for a human resource might be quite high.
A more affordable option is to turn to tools that automate the admin tasks for you and also aid you in your marketing efforts.
If you are interested in trying an all-in-one tool like this, Appointy’s tutor scheduling software does the job pretty well!
With an intelligent timezone scheduler, group scheduling, booking automation, and more tutoring essentials, it has everything that you need. It also has all the necessary integrations like Zoom, Google Calendar, Square, PayPal, etc. to cater to all your tutor management needs.
Don’t take our word for this. Listen to 5,100+ happy customers, tutors as well as learning centres, worldwide!
Online tutoring requires you to have a good knowledge of the subject(s) and have an excellent delivery of the same. But being a good teacher is not enough.
To expand your online tutoring business and create a constant inflow of clients, a huge part of your time and effort is consumed in the business part of it. And that is exactly what this blog was about.
The long list of steps to be acted upon can seem overwhelming at first. But a little patience and constant determination with continuous efforts will lead you through it.
With the scope and reach of technology growing persistently, online tutoring is here to stay even post-COVID19. Your efforts to grow your tutoring brand will pay off in the long run.
So start your efforts to expand your business today!
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium business face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
We love a good talk!