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Whether you're an exemplary college student working your way through school or a teacher looking to earn extra money, tutoring allows you to keep a flexible schedule, earn an income and actually help other students excel in school. In order to be successful, of course, you need to get clients, and the best way to get clients is through advertising. Before you rush out and put your classified in the local paper, though, there are a few things to keep in mind to make your ad as cost-efficient and effective as possible.
Create an ad. List your credentials (experience and education), the subjects you specialize in (be specific, for example, don't say 7th-grade math, say pre-algebra), how much you charge per hour, and all necessary contact information.
Check out places to post your ad. You don't want to spend too much money, and fortunately, there are some reasonable options. You can post your ad on Internet sites, some of which allow you to post for free. You also can run a classified ad with your local paper; however, to avoid spending an excess amount of money, you may want to do that only during peak tutoring times such as in the fall -- when school starts -- and spring -- when standardized tests are blooming.
Make a poster. You can enlarge your ad into a poster format and put it up on community boards in grocery stores, churches, libraries, nearby apartments, etc. Make sure your poster is eye-catching (you might want to get a little creative and add some color to it) and features accessible contact information; for example, put your name, email and phone number on tearaway tabs at the bottom of the poster so people can grab it and go.
Make a business card. This can be as easy as visiting your local office supply store, picking up a pack of card stock and printing out the cards using your computer. There are also Internet sites that allow you to create a business card online, and then they will print them out and send them to you. Keep your card simple but attractive. Perhaps you could design a logo or come up with a catchphrase. Include your name, services offered and contact information.
Hand out your business cards. That's what they're for! Go to guidance offices at area schools, and introduce yourself. If you're lucky, they'll let you put a poster up with your contact info, but at the very least, you can leave your card (you might want to attach it to a short resume listing your credentials and hourly rates). Take your cards with you to your tutoring sessions, and give some to your students. They can be the best advertising you have, and if they have your card, it will make it easier to refer someone to you.
Consider registering with an online tutoring service. This allows you access to more students than the ones in your local area and gives you just as much flexibility. However, you don't get to have face-to-face time with your students, and you may be required to pay a commission or registration fee.
The best advertisement is word of mouth. Make sure that you do your best in your job so that your students can give positive reviews of your work.