How to Write a Good Craigslist Ad
Craigslist is a free and popular site so posting your tutoring ads there has huge potential. Anyone can post an ad and it’s an easy process. The hard part is writing an effective ad and making it stand out without looking sleazy. Here are some guidelines to follow in order to write an effective Craigslist ad:
Stick to advertising one specific subject in your ad.
A common misconception is that you can get more clients by appealing to a more general population. Advertising specifically as a ‘middle school chemistry tutor’ is much more effective than advertising yourself as a general ‘science tutor’ because on a board full of ‘science tutors’ the ‘middle school chemistry tutor’ stands out and, if your niche is in demand, you will be the first choice of that potential client. All of the other ‘science tutor’ ads will be ignored.
Be descriptive in your title and location fields.
Be descriptive in your title; include the specific subject you’ve selected to tutor in as well as why you should be chosen. Reasons you should be chosen can be ‘graduated with 4.0 GPA,’ ‘helped over 20 students!’ and so on. Avoid meaningless adjectives such as ‘experienced’ and ‘helpful.’ Terms such as those are too vague and it is already assumed that a tutor will have experience and will be helpful. In your location field make sure to tell your specific city or town as well as a note stating you’re willing to travel (if you’re willing to travel).
Clearly and concisely state your experience, qualifications, and why you should be hired.
People will not read long posts. If it takes you more than 45 seconds to skim your ad, it’s too long. That being said, after briefly stating your qualifications and experience, tell your prospects why you should be hired. Make sure that you focus on a quantitative benefit. For example, “I have the knowledge and experience to tutor any student!” is something you want to avoid. If I’m looking for a tutor then it’s a given that they should have knowledge and at least some tutoring experience. Instead, use something like: “75% of my students have increased their World History scores by a full letter grade within just one month!” The most important thing is to be honest. Don’t promise anything you can’t deliver.
Provide as many ways to be contacted as you can.
I personally provide my email, Facebook profile, LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, and cell number (making sure to tell potential clients to call or text me anytime). When I make posts for RocTutor, I also include a link to Facebook, Twitter, and the website. Your prospects will all have different preferred modes of communication and you want to be easily accessible by whatever means they prefer. Make sure you check your voice mail greeting and would be okay with customers hearing it.
Do not include a price in your ad.
Generally, it’s best to negotiate your prices with each individual client as opposed to setting a rate in stone. Discuss your rates with your potential clients in person or over the phone. People will make judgments about you based upon your price so make sure that there have been interactions before discussing the price. For instance, a prospect may ignore your ad because she thinks your price is too high. However, that same person would pay virtually any price if they’ve met you and both her and her child likes you. This is an excellent reason to consider offering free trial lessons.
If you already have clients, ask them if they’d be willing to be references for new clients.
In my experience, my clients have been happy to help me out by volunteering as a reference for me. If you give them your best work they will feel obliged to help you in return. Including references can help to win over skeptical first-time customers and they also let potential clients know that you’ve been successful tutoring in the past. Creating a tutoring portfolio is an excellent sales tool.
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