Grow Your Business with Advertising – Free Advertising

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Before we get carried away, at the end of this blog there will be a link for you to advertise your company for free.   Yes, FREE!  If you just want to post your service for free and miss out on all the great info below click here.

     You read a title like Grow Your Business with Advertising – Free Advertising and you probably think there is a catch right?  Well not always.   As a Tutoring provider you may offer classes like SAT/ACT Prep, College Readiness, SES and many others.  But how do people find out about them?  A few weeks ago we blogged about Word of Mouth Advertising which is probably the best way for potential clients to learn about your business.  The question becomes how do you reach people who are not in your sphere of influence?  

     You can always use paid advertising and there are several ways to go about that as long as you are willing to pay for it.  Below is a list of paid advertising methods with realistic expectations:

  • CPC – Cost per Click:  you may have tried this or at a minimum heard about it but here is some basic truth for you.   The premise is simple, someone sees your text or picture advertisement on Google, Yahoo or any website.  They click your ad and you get charged.  Seems pretty good right?  The simple truth is you are looking on average at a 1% conversion rate.  For every 10 clicks on your ad you will get 1 contact.  In digital marketing land they call that a conversion.  In sales speak we call that a lead.   So to be clear, 10 click = 1 lead.  An average Sales person converts 10% of the leads into sales.  So every 10 clicks = .1 sale.  So for CPC, 100 clicks on your ad = 1 sale.  Is that good?  Depends on your product.  But what if the clicks cost $5.00 each?  Is a new client worth $500?  
  • CPI – Cost per Impression:   so this is crap shoot.  Whereas CPC you can at least quantify actual engagement on CPI you are praying.  CPI means you pay for every time your ad is shown.  Normally this is done in blocks of 1000 called a CPM.  CPI is great for branding.  If you are advertising on any major website and you are paying for that nice big skyscraper ad on the right hand side with a big visual this could be great.  But if you are trying to attract clients this might not be the most cost effective way for you to do things.  Not saying it doesn’t work, it’s just hard to quantify. 
  • Social Media:  The book is still out on this one, but how much are those followers on Twitter worth?   How about Facebook likes?   We haven’t been able to find a detailed study but these companies make millions if not billions on advertising.  They offer CPC, CPI and paid sponsorship opportunities.  Do they work?  We would like to think they do and we will blog in detail about Social Media advertising in the future. 
  • Print Publications:  Print is dead!  Well not really.  But with more and more consumers going to the internet first, print advertising has become somewhat archaic.  What makes it worse as internet advertising has become more successful as the cost for traditional print advertising has actually gone up.  If this seems odd it is.  It violates the basic supply/demand principles we learned in ECON 101.  But the reality is the ink, machinery and other supplies required to produce our newspapers, magazines or trade journals cost money.  Lots of money.  As advertisers have left this venue, Publishers have been forced to charge more for ads to cover costs and to maintain profits. 
  • TV or Radio:  Well this is plain ole expensive.  Also for our client’s, how effective would mass market advertising be to attract tutoring clients?  It can work and judging from some Saturday afternoon TV watching, I did see a few companies advertise for tutoring services.  Keep in mind this is expensive.  The ad executives we have spoken with have said depending on what type of geographic targeting you want to do means you must plan on at least a $10,000/month budget. 

     Ok, FREE was promised.  So we give you free…especially for those of us in the academic market.  And we will give you 3 types.

  1. Google Business Directory:  It’s free!  Simply create a Google+ account for yourself (feel free to follow us on Google+).  Then create a business page by click here.  Choose the business type that suits you best and you are now in the Google Business Directory! 
  2. Social Media Group Pages:  Pay attention to LinkedIn.com or Facebook Group pages where you can list your services for free.  Great way to get exposure for free!  Click the appropriate link for the Oases Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter page.  
  3. The Tutor Report:  Our personal favorite!  The Tutor Report has a free Business Directory that can be used for anyone looking to market services to the academic market.   Simply click here or paste this link (http://thetutorreport.com/business-directory) into your browser follow the instructions for adding a service.  It’s quick, simple and free! 

To be 110% honest Oases Online uses most of the paid services and all of the free services we mentioned.  Feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts or ask a question. 

If you are interested in a Tutor Management System for your company contact us at 866.327.0035 or email us at sales@oasesonline.com!  

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