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One of the great benefits of online marketing over offline marketing is that much of it can be automated to run itself. Unlike your offline marketing, the digital world can be connected up, so one method automatically feeds another.
With automation set up, when you update your own website, your accounts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc can be automatically updated.
Similarly, much of your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work can be automated in a similar way (although you should tread very carefully with SEO automation. More on this later).
We'll go into more detail below on how exactly you can automate the different parts of your online marketing, and connect the different parts automatically to minimise your workload. For now, just keep this in mind as you look at each different online marketing strategy.
Online (Internet) Marketing To Increase Clients
Below is the table of contents - the index - of all the different online marketing strategies you might like to consider.
This table is interactive. You can click any of the marketing methods to view that section.
It is also a powerful business reference tool.
Consider your business. Where is it lacking?
Do you have too few new leads (potential new customers)? Do you need to get more people interested in your business? If so, then look at the "Traffic Generation" column and take action on one of those marketing methods.
If you are talking to lots of potential new customers, but they are not actually making the decision to start paying, then you need to action (or optimise) one of the "Conversion To Sale" marketing methods.
And if you find that your paying students are not staying as paying customers for long, then you need to action as many of the "Retention" marketing strategies as methods.
(Click to go to that section)
A "Maven" (ancient Hebrew word meaning "one who understands") is a trusted expert or connoisseur in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. So you are a maven within your field in which you are a tutor.
The term 'maven' usually refers to the thought leaders in a certain field. Most importantly for your purposes, mavens have a large following and influence over their followers. Their followers pay attention to them.
Ideally, you want a trusted maven/social influencer to recommend your services.
So seek out mavens to partner with, to encourage them to recommend your tutor services.
If a maven were to recommend you to their followers, with a clear reason why, your sales would inevitably increase.
This concept of 'maven partnership' (or partnership with someone who already has contact with the audience you want) should underpin your marketing efforts.
It is the quickest and easiest way to business growth.
Who, or what business, already has contact with your target audience?
Assuming the target audience (for demonstration purposes) is parents with children at secondary school. Try to think of companies who already have that audience, online and offline.
Sports clubs? Online clubs? School uniform retailers? Family holiday travel agents?
What maven has your audience already?
Chase that audience.
You will find this Definitive Guide helps you a lot more once you have that concept.
Directory Of Tutors
There are a growing number of tutor directories and services that match tutor and student together, a bit like a dating agency. Some are more akin to a Yellow Pages of tutors.
With some, you must pay to register, with a range of prices. Some are free for example here. If you can find some free, then it is probably worth your time to register and promote your website there.
What you get with the paid adverts there is more exposure (allegedly). But, that said, you might want to register for the free ones anyway, because it is free, and for the sake of about 5 minutes to register and enter your details, you only need 1 student enrolled to make that investment of your time worthwhile.
Even where the directory is for tutors in another country, it might still be worth registering if it is free, for 2 reasons...
Use this list as a start point and register for each in turn...
It is worth mentioning here that if you register with a tutor agency, they source the students for you and take a (fairly large) cut of the student's lesson fees. Most tutors don't want to go down this route as it boils down to being an expensive option for the sake of making the business marketing easier.
It also means you don't own the business. The agency does.
But we have simply mentioned here as an option.
Some tutor agencies...
With most promotions, you can either pay with your time and effort, or you can pay with money. So you may like to consider a fast-start option to pay a small amount of money to use online paid advertising.
The 2 quickest and easiest methods to get started using paid advertising online are Google AdWords and Facebook ads.
2 principle reasons these are worth experimenting with are
With as little as £10 invested, you can start testing if this will work for you, and how to improve it.
You can target a very specific audience. For example, let's imagine you're a maths tutor in Dudley. With Google AdWords, you can have your advert only show to people who do a Google search for "maths tutor in Dudley". With Facebook, you can have your advert show only to people who live in Dudley and are parents between age 25 and 45 (for example).
Once you have your advert targeted at the right audience, you need to be showing a targeted advert. The more targeted and relevant, the better.
Some pointers for you to get started;
Some specific pointers for Google AdWords;
For Google AdWords, create a Google account and login at https://www.google.com/adwords/
For further help with Google Ads, get the Paid-Ads Extra Tips below
Some specific pointers for Facebook Ads;
For Facebook ads, login to facebook.com and click the Ads Manager in the top left.
For help with Facebook Ads, get the Paid-Ads Extra Tips below
Retargeting / Remarketing
This is quite an exciting option within the 'follow-up marketing' category. Have you ever visited a website for the first time, then after that, seemingly coincidentally, seen adverts for that same website all over the web, wherever you go?
It is not coincidence.
This is remarketing or 'retargeting'.
It is a method of following up on people who have visited your website once. How it works is the retargeting software on your website places a cookie (a tiny text file that records that they came to your site) onto the visitor's browser.
Then the remarketing advertising software on other sites (eg in Facebook) knows that this visitor has previously been to your website before, and can show your chosen adverts again, to increase your business's awareness. This can massively increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts - especially your paid advertising.
It would be easiest to start with Facebook Ads retargeting or AdWords retargeting, before getting more complex with the external platforms.
Before doing retargeting, get the Paid-Ads Extra Tips above.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
For a maths tutor in Winchester, someone who searches in Google for "maths tutor in Winchester" is a very targeted and valuable potential customer.
Google (and to a lesser extent, Bing and other smaller search engines) bring high quality, relevant visitors. The chance of you converting a Google search visitor to being a paid customer is much better than converting a paid advert visitor, because they are actively looking for your services.
The science and art of getting your website ranked in the search results for what you offer is called "Search Engine Optimisation" or SEO.
The words your audience types in to search for something related to what you offer are known as 'keywords'.
SEO is a very detailed and long term, slow process. This means we are not going to be able to go into full detail here, to avoid this guide being too long. Further details are available at the link below.
Here are the main overview details...
SEO comprises of 2 main parts;
1. Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO is about getting your own website optimised for your keywords and phrases so Google looks at your site and categorises your site for what you want to be found for.
This is about getting your keywords in the right place and your site structured in the right way.
Site 'silos' can help – or you can manually structure your site intelligently. Just make it right for the most important person there is… The customer.
What would help them most?
Figure that out, then do that. The simplest way to 'silo' your site correctly is to structure it like a family tree, with topics and sub-topics. Create a page in your site as the main topic and add any new sub-topic pages with the 'parent page' defined as being the main topic page. This will then make your site web addresses structured like this...
And Google likes that, because it helps Google to know how to categorise your site.
Now there are lots of highly technical things we can look at to correct your ONsite SEO.
Rather than go into that, we can just take the fast-and-easy route.
There is a 5 minute route that does 95% of the technical work for you. You can leave the rest – at least leave it for now, and only get into that if you are in a very competitive market that needs the finer edges.
The quick-and-easy route is this...
Install an SEO plugin into your website. If your wesbite is build using WordPress, Drupla or other CMS easy-build system, there will be a plugin for this SEO automation. If you have WordPress, install either 1 of these 2 plugins on your site;
1. All In One SEO Pack - https://wordpress.org/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/
2. Yoast SEO - https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/
(If you build your own site on TutorTube, this covered with a similar SEO derivative plugin)
There is not a lot of difference between the 2, because they more or less do the same thing. Just take your pick.
Then tweak the settings of the plugin you choose, to use your keywords in all the right places.
Thereafter, just focus on creating great content that is going to be
Don't over-complicate this
Just install 1 of those plugins, and move on.
Once you have 1 of those plugins installed, when you write a new post or page, include your keywords in the title and in the content a few times, and make it natural and readable.
It must pass the “Grandma test”.
If your grandma were to read it, would she think it was useful, entertaining, interesting, and/or educational?
Again, don't over-complicate your ONsite SEO. This is pretty much all that matters. Anything else is just tinkering with the 1% or 2% last bits that don’t really matter and are not an effective use of your time.
Yes, there is a lot more to writing and creating great content, but right now, we’re talking about SEO. And that is all you need to focus on for ONsite SEO.
Move on to OFFsite SEO. If you want to understand more about onsite SEO, get the SEO books listed below.
2. Offsite SEO
Offsite SEO is primarily about backlinks.
A backlink is where another site links back to your site.
Why do backlinks matter?
Google (and other search engines) see a link to your site from another site as a 'vote', a bit like an academic might reference another academic's work and thereby increase the credence of that other academic work. If lots of other websites link to yours, then yours must be worth linking to.
Similarly, and more importantly, if an important and relevant website links to your site, then your site must be *really* worth linking to.
This is why backlinks matter.
It is also why social referencing (people talking about your site on social networks like Twitter and Facebook) matters.
How to get other sites to link to you
This is a detailed and large area. Too big to go into here. It needs creative and adaptive thinking, of any opportunity that arises within your specific industry.
NOTE: Always choose relevant and powerful backlinks over quantity of backlinks. 1 link from the bbc.co.uk website is better than thousands of small and irrelevant sites linking to yours.
There are many ways you can get started with getting backlinks to your site.
Now, in all blunt honesty, if you are going for a keyword like...
[subject] tutor in [town]
(for example "maths tutor in Dudley" or "French tutor in Chichester")
... then you're probably going to be fine with everything you just read, plus some content marketing and guest posting (see below). If you get that all in place, then you will most likely rank well with just this. Don't over-complicate it (SEO beyond this does get complicated).
NOTE: The more 'longtail' your keyword is (ie the more specific the search term is), the easier it is to rank for in Google. Start working on longtail, then get more 'big head' ie the bigger search terms like "tutor in [town]".
If you do find yourself wanting or needing more search engine optimisation help, then get the Full SEO Guide for free (this SEO Guide will actually get you up to the skill-level of running an SEO agency for other people! You won't need that much detail, but it won't hurt to skim-read it and know the general gist).
One of the best ways to get quality backlinks, as well as to drive quality human visitors, is content marketing; having great and useful content that is worth linking to, then getting the word out manually to relevant Mavens and social influencers to tell them about your useful content, to get them to link to it, and tell their people... who then link to it and socially reference it on Facebook, retweet it etc.
Note - the content must add value. It must be useful and actionable.
Content marketing can and should be done for its own purpose of getting direct quality traffic, not just primarily for the backlink. The backlink is a bonus. The traffic matters most.
Another good option for quality backlinks, and more importantly, great quality pre-qualified visitors, is guest posting, where you write truly unique and helpful content on someone else's site. First, do your homework and make sure that other site is relevant and powerful. A more detailed tutorial on guest posting is here and more here.
LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. You won't find the fluffy frivolousness of Facebook. It is about connecting with other people like you and helping share each other's skills via each other's network of contacts.
As such, it is perfect for you to speed up the more traditional 'old school' business networking. If you know a great Dentist, then you can help your network and your network's network by sharing that.
In a similar way, you can connect with other tutors via LinkedIn. Yes, other tutors. You don't need to see them as competition. If you have the same target audience but don't teach exactly the same subject or in the same way, then you can help each other. A maths tutor might recommend and refer an English or French tutor for example.
You might also like to consider using the LinkedIn blogging system to add value there, to show off your depth of subject knowledge, to help potential customers, and to be the perceived expert.
See the blogging section for more details.
Twitter is a weird online phenomenon. A communication tool limited to 140 characters, to update people. And it now has over 304 million monthly active users!
You can use Twitter to attract new potential customers, to convert visitors to paying customers, and to retain existing customers.
Whether you should use Twitter or not should depend entirely on whether your specific audience uses Twitter. If they don't, then there is no reason for you to. Go where they are.
If you go to Twitter.com and search for a tutor in your town with your specialist subject, what do you find? Ask around with any potential and existing customers - students and parents (you need to attract both) - if they use Twitter. If they don't, then ignore it - or at least pause it until you might later find it useful.
If you find some customers are on Twitter then simply sign up for a free account and post regularly, with relevant, interesting updates, and outline why and how you can help potential students.
This is one to automate. Use ITTT or Hootsuite (see automation section below). You can also use certain website plugins to automatically post to Twitter if you make a new blog post. Or you can schedule updates into your Twitter account, to future-post automatically (Hootsuite can also do this in the free version).
Note that even if you cannot directly find potential customers on Twitter, because the automation is so easy to operate, it is most probably worth taking the 5 to 10 minutes to set it up to automatically post from your blog updates into your Twitter account. Then future potential customers on Twitter will see your history of updates and click through to your site.
Flickr is the photo-only equivalent of Facebook. You can store and share photos, as well as edit them.
It can be a handy method to store photos for free, but also to show off some of your tutoring services. With creative use of your camera smartphone, you can take fantastic photos of your tutoring environment or images to portray your tutoring skills, and upload them to Flickr for potential new customers to find.
In exactly the same say as using Flickr, you can use Google+ Photos to upload photos of and for your business. They will then obviously get indexed and ranked by Google, so that will help your search engine ranking.
More on the Google+ (Google Plus) system below.
FourSquare is a location based marketing and information service. If you have physical premises like an office that someone might be near, your business will show up to them. Also when you are out and mobile, you can 'check-in' to the local place you are at, and it will update to your FourSquare account. You can also have your FourSquare account automatically post your update to your Twitter and Facebook account, thereby adding more updates there.
There are a few benefits to using this. You can attract random passing trade, you can engage more with your existing customers and you can offer local 'special offers' to passers-by.
Signup here and use your business name as your account name so that your updates are branding your business. Then check-in when you go to local places, so you can show your prospects where you go. If you check-in to local schools and colleges, you are showing your connection there.
When you use FourSquare in this way, use your longtail SEO keywords because you are connecting the location with you and your keywords. Twitter, your Facebook page and your FourSquare page are all readable by Google - so help Google know more about you to rank you better!
Google Maps / Places / My Business
When you do a Google search for a local business and a box shows in the results on the top right side which has a collection of information about that business, that is Google "My Business" (previously called Google Places).
It looks very professional. People instantly perceive those businesses as 'proper'. That is what you want to achieve for your business. Your conversion to sale will be much better.
Using your Google Account login, login here set up as much of your details as you can - make sure it is complete. Add images of your logo and business. Add opening times etc, to help visitors click through to your site and convert to being a buying customer.
The setup process is simple enough. Just follow the instructions. Use the same Google Account email as you do for Google Analytics and Google Webmasters Tools (more on this later).
With correct setup in the My Business, after a few days your business will show up when someone is using Google Maps.
Make sure you use the identical business name, address and phone number here as you use in every other place where your business details are listed eg in Yahoo Local and Bing Local.
Add a "Virtual Tour" if possible, so visitors can have a virtual tour around your business.
When you are doing this, set up the Google Reviews (click the top right icon) so that reviews can show up in your search results. When you have done that, ask existing customers to write you a glowing review for your tutor service.
Yahoo Local Basic Listing is meant to be similar to Google My Business. For USA users, it is quick and easy to setup here. Business owners in the UK have to go via Yahoo's chosen partner company 'InfoServe'. Expect a call back if you register here as they 'verify' your details are correct and then try to upgrade you to a paid listing. Don't bother upgrading. Just say "Thanks but no thanks" and take the free listing. You do not need to pay.
Simply sign up and complete your details in as much detail as possible. Once listed, your details will show here.
Before you sign up for Bing Local (now called Bing Places), sign up here.
Then follow the simple instructions and search if they already have your business listed (to a limited extent). If it is listed you then need to 'claim' your business listing. Otherwise set up a new business listing.
Add as much information as possible. For business category, add as many different categories as possible, which are relevant to your students or parents.
You can use Yahoo Answers to answer questions about your expert subject, and thereby become the perceived expert.
You can either help with advice in your answers or offer your tutor services. For example if you look at this question here you can see that there is a range of answers, and one has added a link to their website. You could check weekly for such questions searching for "tutor" or similar, and answering to help and to introduce yourself and your website.
Be wary of the time-suck, but it can also be educational and interesting for you. You might find a new angle to help communicate ideas with your students.
Quora is Yahoo Answers for more educated professionals! As harsh as that sounds, it is true. On Yahoo Answers you will get a lot of brain-dead questions. On Quora, you will get intelligent questions. Pick and choose on both.
Again, like with Yahoo Answers, find a relevant question, and answer with a helpful response. If it leads to a click to your website, great. If it doesn't, that is also fine, just be the expert.
Online forums have been around since the beginning of the internet, back before the turn of the century!
They are a simple interaction point, for numerous people to pitch in and talk together.
There are many online forums for parents. The big one is NetMums.
There are also numerous forums for tutors. For the nearest and latest, just do a Google search for "tutor forum" or insert your town or county in a search for "tutor forum town/country".
Rule number 1: Don't spam.
Instead, be yourself and build up a genuine profile there and help people. You can also simply ask something like "Does anyone here know the best way to help new students find and use my tutor service?" (or something to that effect).
Look out for any forum threads that you might be able to help with. Give helpful answers.
Usually the best way to subtly promote your business without being annoying or spammy is to only answer with helpful responses, without promoting your business (or at least only obliquely), but to have your forum signature contain your 'advert' in text promoting your tutor services. This will then display under each of your forum responses each time you comment.
Competitions & Prize draws
Running a competition can be a great way to create buzz and viral talk about your business, if done right.
The aim is to get people to enter, and then to promote the contest to their friends on social media. By promoting it on social media, they get more entries into the competition and hence more chance to win.
And all entries should go into your email list for this competition, so you can develop your relationship with such potential students and parents.
You don't have to pay for software to do this for you. You could piece together the component parts yourself and then have a randomization method to select the winners. You could use this plugin to manage the contest for you.
What prizes to give away?
You don't have to give away an iPad or anything expensive. On the contrary, giving away something so uniformly desirable will not filter out the wrong people from entering.
You only want parents or students to enter.
So your prize should be desirable to parents or students, but not to other people.
What would parents want?
Anything to make being a parent easier or better. That might be for them as a parent, or for their children. You don't have to give away a parents-only holiday retreat.
Some free lessons might be an obvious choice. Anything that costs you little or nothing. You could give away a digital book on your subject as second or third place prize (the first place should be more attractive) - but this option means more people win, so people have more chance to win, so are more likely to enter.
Rather than a really big prize as the first prize giveaway, often contestants assume they have more chance to win if the prize is a little more achievable, without being normal.
So the best option is to find something that is not expensive but is outside of the "everyday purchase" category. Something cool, quirky, interesting. Something related to your tutor business - either within the general education category, or your specific subject. General learning equipment or learning tools. Or something more specific to your subject.
You can use Amazon to find and buy some great, low-cost prizes that will get attention.
Or search in Google for "Cool things for [subject]" and have a play around searching for that. Think of "bendy". Think of "Fridge magnet". And think of other things that are cool, unusual, and related. A bendy calculator. A flexible protractor. A fridge magnet periodic table.
Also consider giving away some customised mugs (you can buy them for around £5 on VistaPrint here.
Add your logo and website address to the mug design so they get a reminder of your business when they use it.
You might giveaway a customised T-shirt (also available on VistaPrint and other such sites). You will get the added benefit that they will (hopefully) be a walking advert for you. To get this to work, the T-shirt needs to be funny or cool enough that they will wear it. And add your website address so others can see it.
With both the mug and T-shirt customisation, you can add funny or fascinating quotes to make it more interesting to the winner - and more frequently used.
Here are just a few (Google search "funny [subject] tutor quote" for more)...
"F.A.I.L. = First Attempt In Learning"
"Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers." Socrates. 420BC.
Dear Parents: If you promise not to believe all your child says happens at school, I'll promise not to believe all they says happens at home
"Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." Daniel Boorstin
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr Seuss
"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa.
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men." Roald Dahl.
And then add your tutor logo and website address.
The end result you want is for it to be desirable, cool and relevant to your business, so lots of people will enter the competition. They get the chance to win, you get the chance to contact potential customers again in the future, because you store their details as part of the competition registration process.
Remember, it doesn't have to be a world-beating competition. It just needs to go viral in your town or area. Which is exactly what the Facebook network effect is for. Friends of friends in your area.
When you run a competition, email out to them throughout the course of the competition, encouraging them to spread the word and get more chance to win, and update everyone on the course of the competition.
You could run a leader-board which announces who has got the most points from promoting the competition. The software we use creates this automatically. In this way, you can create a competition within a competition - "who can promote this competition the most?"
In this way, you can encourage the social spread - the buzz - of the competition.
TRAFFIC & CONVERSION
Your Own Website
You probably already know that you need a business website. Maybe you've already got one. More specifically, you need a business website that you personally can control the pages of. You need to be able to add any kind of content - pages, words, images, document, video etc.
You need to be able to add and update it regularly and easily.
Once you can add pages and content yourself, you are no longer at the behest of an expensive web designer to add pages for you.
The conversion and retention elements of a website can only be improved and optimised over time when you can edit and add your own content.
How do you create such a website without spending a fortune on a web designer?
There are a few options, but top of the list is WordPress. Alternatives are Joomla and Drupal. We would recommend WordPress. It used to have a perception of being 'small town', or for beginners. Like all good things that grow up, this old view is no longer the case. Here is the up-to-date truth.
25% of all websites on the internet are built with WordPress. Some major websites using WordPress include BBC America, Variety Magazine, Sony Music, MTV, Beyonce.com, Fortune, Time Inc, and many more. Within our Web Marketing Agency, we had over 100 websites, almost all of which were based on WordPress. It is incredibly customisable.
And yes, TutorTube is based on WordPress. You can actually use TutorTube to create your website in seconds, then tweak and customise its style, and even have your own website address point to it. More on this later.
WordPress is quick and easy to use, and easy to understand. In an hour you can have your website up and running.
For around £25-£30 per year you can have your own website address (called a 'domain name') and web hosting. Two recommended places are HostPresto and UK2. We have used them extensively and they are well proven.
Once you have your domain name and web hosting, you login to your website control panel, and install WordPress using the installation app, which takes about 60 seconds.
Then you can spend as much or as little time as you wish, customising your website to look as you want.
Below you can download the step-by-step tutorial showing you the best way to create your website using WordPress. Also, because WordPress is free and opensource, there are many guides on YouTube giving you extra tips.
An alternative is to generate your site in about 2 minutes using TutorTube (plus you instantly and automatically get all the additional benefits, such as lesson payment automation, automatic lesson invoicing and your own private online classroom for your students).
You can also do something called 'Domain Mapping' which means having your own domain name website address point to your TutorTube website, and no-one would know the difference!
With all of these options, your can have your own website where you can add your posts and pages, quickly and easily, so you can keep your potential clients and existing clients updated.
This falls into the conversion and retention categories, rather than strict traffic generation, but the video marketing part can be used for traffic. TutorTube is about the benefit to your students, their parents, and also to you as the tutor.
This is fairly clearly explained here
TutorTube does 2 main things...
TutorPay (part of TutorTube) makes life easier for parents, so payment is made automatically, like the ease of just knowing it is sorted by Direct Debit. Set and forget. So you get paid more easily, without chasing payments or taking cheques to the bank. The parents will thank you for making their life easier.
Hence it helps with your conversion and retention.
And the parents will thank you for adding the benefit of your own online classroom, bespoke for their child, with their own tailored learning material, just for them and no-one else.
This will add perceived value to your business. Using TutorTube in this way, you can either charge more for this added service, or charge the same, and you'll sign up new students more easily.
So the TutorPay and TutorTube systems will help you to convert more potential customers into paying customers.
Plus you get paid automatically so you don't need to spend hours of slightly awkward conversations and paperwork trying to chase payment.
(And you get your invoicing and admin done automatically for you).
Find out more here.
Blogging crosses over with content marketing. With blogging you simply regularly post articles and updates on your site. Content marketing is about creating detailed helpful articles that other sites will drive traffic to, because you actively tell other sites about your new great content.
Blogging on your site is about that too, and also more steady 'normal' updates, to keep your existing clients and customers happy, updated and informed. You might aim to write a blog post once every week or fortnight. Make it consistent so your readers expect it. Then email your list of subscribers to tell them of the new blog post and why they should read it.
If it is a wider-audience article that is genuinely helpful to non-customers, seek out other websites where you could get the word out about your content.
Vlogging means video blogging. More or less the same rules apply as with normal blogging, just in video format. You can create the videos using your smartphone. For more details on the video creation see the "Video Marketing" section below.
Video blogging is better than standard blogging for 1 principle reason...
People will see the real you on screen and know, like and trust you. That means you are more trusted and more real, so they are more likely to buy from you and to continue to buy from you.
See the Video Marketing section below for details.
YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world, after Google. More people search in YouTube than in Bing, Yahoo and all the others. This demonstrates that YouTube has a huge amount of visitors. You can use video marketing and YouTube to get traffic - real, live people - to your website.
Create short, helpful videos that answer 1 single question in each video.
You can upload your videos to YouTube if you want to drive traffic - new visitors - to your site. When you upload the video, add an interesting title which contains the main words you would want to be found in the search results for, and include a 200 to 500 word outline of what is in the video in the 'description' field, starting and ending with a call to action to visit your website, or to subscribe to your YouTube channel.
Or use https://www.tutortube.com to create a video classroom that only your logged in paying clients can view.
This photo below shows part of how to set up your video kit quickly and easily. Full details are in the TutorTube Video Guide.
The Video Guide outlines the exact equipment you need, which is far cheaper than you might imagine, yet gives professional-finish videos.
To learn more about how to quickly and easily create these videos, what technology tools to use and what content to include in your videos, download the TutorTube Video Guide
While we are talking about video marketing, you would be well advised to get as many video testimonials as possible onto your website, Facebook page, and every web property you have.
They are hugely convincing.
Follow the TutorTube Video Guide for creating videos and ask your existing students and parents to be interviewed by you on video. Ask them to answer the interview questions outlined in the TutorTube Video Guide.
Also make use of past-students' accolades. Did any of your former students get into Oxford or Cambridge University? What Grade examinations did your students pass? This would impress many parents. Shout about such accolades.
A webinar is a voice and screen-sharing communication method, to teach, sell or chat.
The nice thing with a webinar is that you can control how you interact and what the purpose is.
You can teach one way, to many, live.
Or you can open the floor to have an all-access question and answers or feedback session - ie as a customer retention strategy.
Or you can hold a 'sales' or first-session seminar, to convince potential students and parents to sign up with you - ie use it as a conversion strategy.
There are other webinar tools out there which are slightly better such as GoToWebinar, but at £59 per month this is outside of a practical budget for most tutors and frankly unnecessary. Google Hangouts will suffice just fine.
Login here to start a Google Hangout and invite people to it, which will send them an invite email with the necessary link to join.
If you want to hold a private webinar, you can use Google Hangout for free, then upload the recording into your TutorTube for only your students or parents to view in the future (ie not public on YouTube) and delete any such recording from your YouTube account.
CONVERSION & RETENTION
Google Webmaster Tools
Google very helpfully gives you Google Webmasters Tools (GWT) to show you any recorded errors or issues with your site. If a page has a problem, you can discover it here and correct it.
Simply sign-up to Webmasters Tools and get your site verified (there are a few different ways to do that). Then make a weekly reminder to yourself to check in to GWT to see if there are any suggestions or things that need improving.
There are specific, detailed steps to watch out for in the "ReBounce" book listed below.
One of the key elements that makes online marketing 'better' than offline marketing is its measurability. You can track and analyse what your website visitors do on your site, how many visitors you have, where people are leaving your site most often etc.
You need to have some kind of analytics package installed on your website so you know how many, who and where people are visiting your site.
What gets measured gets improved
If you measure your stats with analytics, you can track if things are improving or not, to form a baseline from which to improve. You can also see if a certain page has a particular problem.
Some of the best tools to do this are ClickTale, Clicky and CrazyEgg. These cost money. A very good, free alternative is Google Analytics, and is actually as advanced as many of the high-priced analytics tools.
Beware of the vanity metrics. Make sure that the numbers you are analysing serve a long-term purpose, to improve your business. Ultimately, the metrics you measure should help you to consider if you are improving in one of the 3 important areas...
Your 'bounce rate' is an important number to watch (outlined in detail below). Also watch your time on site, your unique users (number of individual people on your site) and your site engagement.
In your Google Analytics account, you can specify what timeframe to study each metric. This will help you to be aware of seasonal changes or a genuine problem such as a decrease in unique users.
A very helpful beginner's tutorial for Google Analytics is here.
"Bounce Rate" is the percentage rate at which people 'bounce' ie click back from, or leave, your website page. A high bounce rate means a higher percentage of people are leaving. If you see in your analytics that a certain page has a higher bounce rate than other pages, then you can see that something is going wrong with that page, so you work to fix that one page.
One tool that can help you ascertain exactly where on a page people are clicking or not clicking is Crazy Egg. It tracks where on a page the mouse is hovering and people are delaying, where they are clicking and not clicking. They have a 30 day free trial so you can use that period to test your site. It might be wise to not start your 30 day free trial until you have had your site working for a few months, so you can manually fix the obvious things first, then let Crazy Egg tracking do its clever stuff using the free trial.
For detailed specific pointers on improving your bounce rate for better website conversion to sale, get the "ReBounce" book for free here...
One very common high-click page is your "About Us" page. This is a general rule that will apply to all sites except for the known brand sites like Amazon and BBC, because people already know what those sites are 'about'.
People will be clicking to the About Us page because they have trust questions. They don't yet know, like and trust you. They are asking themselves "Why should I trust these guys?"
Most websites fail to make maximum effective outcome from this opportunity. Many sites just say a short, boring blurb about when they were founded, by whom, and a short line about what they do. Don't do that. Use your About Us page to take the visitor on an exciting journey that answers their sequence of questions, from "Who are these guys?", on to "How can I benefit?", to "What is the next step?"
Look at the About Us page for TutorTube here.
You can see there, it takes you on a journey answering those questions of
So it takes a visitor from sceptic and answers their questions through to the point of 'tell me more' through to sign up.
That is how you should structure your About Us page.
Have you ever been to a website... clicked on the link to it.. and... waited... and... waited... ?
What did you then do? Most people simply click back and go to another website.
You need to make sure your website is not slow.
It annoys your customers and it annoys Google.
Google has stated that it will not rank slow-loading websites because it is bad for its customers (people searching).
Amazon found that for every 0.1 of a second increase in page load time, sales decreased by 1%.
40% of visitors will ditch and bail (bounce) on a site which doesn't load in 3 seconds.
How do you fix this and make your site load blazing fast?
To be honest, it gets technical. The easy-wins and the less technical parts are these...
To download the manual on speeding up your website, get the "Lightning Loadspeed" book here...
Follow Up Marketing
99% of visitors do not buy on their first visit.
You need to be able to follow up and repeatedly contact your potential customers over time, to build a relationship until they...
Know, like and trust you.
To do that, you need visitor engagement, relationship building and follow up.
(This is why content upgrades and unlocks, below, are such a good idea)
To be able to follow up, you need a method of contacting them. So you need to ask for and store their contact details.
This might be Facebook Likes and Shares, their mobile number for SMS text messaging or their email address.
Of course, make sure you get their permission to contact them and always have an opt-out or unsubscribe option in every communication you send to them.
Content Locking / Content Upgrades
Consider offering extra resources that can be downloaded. Maybe a spreadsheet, a file, a document etc, that gets emailed to them automatically.
Then you can contact and help these people again in the future, to help them decide to become a client.
The simplest and easiest way to do this is via email.
You can also use a 'pay with a Like' system (see the Content Upgrade Guide for details).
To learn more about how to set this up, so you don't need to manually do the work to send this, download the Content Upgrade Guide here
Yes, you'd be right - that was a content upgrade right there!
Here is the short-hand version of how to be successful with email marketing and follow-ups...
This is how to use email marketing as a follow up process after they have subscribed to be emailed by you ie as a conversion or retention strategy.
You can also use email marketing as a traffic strategy, to attract new potential customers. This can mean renting a list or partnering with another person or business who has a list of subscribers who are your target audience ie parents or students. Depending on what age student you teach will impact what other business has such a list of subscribers.
Who could you partner with so they could email out to their subscribers recommending your tutor services?
This is covered in more detail in the "Maven partnership" section".
For more detail on successful email marketing, download the Email Marketing Guide here
Setting up your own Facebook page is an obvious quick win. It is fast and easy, and is a handy method of both attracting new customers and engaging with your existing customers.
NOTE: Don't get lost in Facebook. It can be a time suck - for you and for your students. Be sensitive to the tendency to drift off into the "ooh I'll just have a look at..." and they're gone for an unplanned hour. We all do it.
The best way to avoid this, to the benefit of your business, is to use Facebook for a quick update, then bring them to your own main website for the full details or more info, or bring them to a video which is uploaded to Facebook (because Facebook likes this process) - and then bring them to your website. That way you use Facebook to your benefit, and then as quickly as possible get them off of Facebook to your website, where it is all about how you can help them.
Best Facebook Page strategies include;
More detail of how to set up your Facebook page is here.
Facebook Group or TutorTube Group
Within Facebook or within TutorTube you can create your own group so you can talk en-masse with your students. You might also like to create a group to talk to the parents only.
Equally, you can join an existing Facebook Group for tutors with your speciality. You might either see this as a chance to socially and professionally connect with other tutors to gain help and insight, or to attract potential customers.
Google+ (Google Plus) is now quite different to what it used to be.
On the whole, nowhere near as many people use it for its original intended use of social networking as people use Facebook.
But, it is still worth using because
Simply setup your Google+ account, complete the details including a link to your site and your Bio background, then have your updates setup automatically to go into it (see Automation section below for details).
Automation In Detail
One of the key benefits of online (internet) marketing is that you can automate and you can track. You can make the workload easier, and you can analyse exactly what is working.
How and what can you automate?
Much of the 'spread' of social marketing can be automated. That means you can set up automation such that when you post to your own website, it automatically updates your page at Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus etc. You can do this with a few tools. If you are using TutorTube.com then built in, it has the option to auto-post to your Facebook page.
In addition, you can use IFTTT to set up rules. IFTTT stands for "If this then that", meaning "If A happens, then do B".
So you define your own rules with the apps within their system. Using this alone you can get most of your automation done for you. For instance;
If there is a new post in Twitter, then automatically post it to Facebook
If my website has a new blog post, then automatically post it into Google Plus
There are hundreds of these types of 'recipes' within IFTTT that you can benefit from, or you can adjust or create your own. There is currently no charge for using IFTTT.
Other (paid) options include;
To future-schedule your social media you can also use Buffer to schedule tweets.
Another alternative to Hootsuite is SocialOomph.
The only SEO automation worth considering is SE Nuke, but it is expensive and not advised without a lot of knowledge and work (it is too easy to get it wrong and spam your website, which might get you removed from Google).
You will very likely find that by following the SEO steps outlined above, for your local area, you will have the Google results you need.
Google Alerts can automatically send you an email when Google has just found and indexed certain types of new content. For instance, you might create an alert for "[subject that you don't teach] in [your town]" so that you can find other non-competing tutors to partner with.
Feedback & Add-Back
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