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Advertising for a coaching class

Hi All

I have started a coaching class for school and commerce students. To advertise the coaching institute, i tried pamphlet distribution through newspaper inserts.

However the response was not that great.

Next I tried to distribute the pamphlets through book stores , retail outlets (kiranas) next to the class.

The response was better.

However the best response was when I distributed in front of schools and colleges.

But I have now met a roadblock. The students have a tendency to throw the pamphlets on the road and this resulted shelling out some money to save myself from a huge fine. Though I am not sure, if there is a penalty for this.

Can you pls help with some innovative ideas to help me market the coaching class. Also  – is pampleting against the rule. I clearly believe that the city should be kept clean and if my activity results otherwise then should be prohibited, but I am not sure if the penalty that was charged is as per  the rule book.

Added by Alok (Basis Additional info requested):

Reply by Hardik Khanna

My coaching class is called eStudy Tutorial. The class is targeted to 5th to 10th standard students and Commerce (BCom, BBI, BMS, BAF.etc.).

Location: Andheri East , near Shere Punjab club.

Duration since start-up : 3 months.

Number of students: 10

Have got e-content from LearnNext to teach students.

Challenge:

There are issues I am facing with Marketing – especially Pamphlet distribution:

1. Paper inserts does not give good response.

2. Distributing in front of schools and colleges is prohibited.

I have to get students quick since post 1-2 months, almost all would have taken tuition somewhere.

The strategy that I have applied is as follow:

In this location (Andheri east) there are lots of home tutors (generally lady teachers) who teach 10-15 students at their homes . I have tied up with one of these teachers who gets her students to teach in my class.
This has helped me to quickly startup my class. Any new student that I get, the teacher and I do a 50:50 share of fees.

This has helped me save from paying teachers on hourly basis-which would be unaffordable in current scenario. (Note: in almost all classes the teachers are paid on hourly basis)

Now the challenge I am facing is to get more students.

There are 5 schools in 1 km range , 1 commerce college (Tolani Commerce College) less than 5 mins away from the class.

I am not sure on how to tap this market.

Please guide me on this.

****

First Published on: Jul 8, 2013

 

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43 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I have no experience of marketing for coaching classes. But still see if this could help..

    1) Pamphlets may turn out lucky. You never know…. even out of 100 if 2 people are inspired to come and enquire, it would then depend on your manager to convince them to join. Regarding law for it, no idea sorry.

    2) The most important thing here which you could do is keep free seminars. You can keep it in college. Some festivals in colleges attract large crowds which you could target. (If you city is Mumbai, this mob would have many potential customers). By keeping seminars you would more impact on the students. Additionally you can also have Parent’s seminar as eventually they will be taking the decision to pay!!!!

    3) Have a Facebook page, twitter account and tell your friends to like and then they will tell their friends….
    this would help you gain exposure. Brand recongnition is important. Maximum people should know that there is a coaching class which is different and can be given a try..

    Of Course there are many other ways(costly) in which this could be done. But you can definitely try these 3 as they wont require great bucks…
    for the 3rd point we have Digital Marketing stalwarts here like Aneja, Abey and many others. They would help you.

    P.S- Select your class manager(the one who would talk to students or parents) very carefully(better if you handle it)
    That would enable better conversion.
    Digital and non-digital world have same thmb rule– Traffic is important…Conversion is more important!! :))

    All the best!!

    Tejas

  2. Hi Hardik,

    As I was myself running two coaching institutes, I’ll give you one in all solution.

    Buy plastic bags, the kind of plastic bags you get when you buy a shirt. Brand those plastic bags with you institutes logo, contact, etc. Insert the pamphlet inside the plastic bag, arrange for a free 2 day session for the subject which is percieved to be most difficult, then distribute these plastic bags near schools and clgs, specially during ongoing school admission, try to hand over it to parents as much as possible.

    Indians have habit of collecting nice plastic bags, so they will not throw your plastic bags or pamphlet and they will definitely consider your proposal too!

    I hope this will help you.

    Regards,

    Aman A Jha

    9892621090

    aman4apex@gmail.com

  3. Hello Hardik,

    First of all, I am really glad that you are concerned about keeping your city clean. Kudos to that . 

    Being a digital marketer my suggestion would be to start of marketing online. May I know what city you are based out. 

    We work closely with Google so maybe we can hook you up with some Google Adwords vouchers to start off with. We can also help you maintain and create campaigns which can bring a considerable amounts of traffic to your website ( if you have one ).

    You can contact me on sanjay@clickmeister.com so that I can explain in details what are the other content marketing techniques that you can use to promote yourself online. 

    Cheers!

  4. Thanks a lot Aman. Great suggestions

  5. Hi

    Thanks for the reply. I am not sure if this will work. Since its a small time setup targeting parents and students from a very specific geo-location (andheri east).

  6. wow – this is a nice, unique challenge.

    let me try and promote this on my network.

    Can you add more details of your classes, a copy of the pamphlet you designed, location etc etc?

  7. Thanks for your reply Hardik,

    Then the best option for you would be to focus on content marketing. Have you heard of the Khan academy?It was started by this guy called Salman Khan ( not the actor ) . He started off making videos about amth and science so that he could teach his cousins who were overseas but he ended up getting a total of 268 million views and more than a milion subscribers. That is content marketing at its best.

    But Salman Khan didn’t do it for money ( Khan academy is a non profit organization ) . Since your is a more commercial approach you can start off by making teaser videos and distributing it. Eventually people will love what you are teaching and they would want to pay you for your expertise. Its a long term strategy no doubt but it is one of the most effective ones. 

    You can use Youtube videos to help your students to keep it as a reference also. So when they get back home and are studying they can always refer back to what you have taught. The more value you add to your users the more they are going to love you and the more they will be willing to pay you because through these videos you are demonstrating your expertise. 

    If you need any kind of help please feel free to contact me. 

    Cheers and all the best!

  8. My coaching class is called eStudy Tutorial. The class is targeted to 5th to 10th standard students and Commerce (BCom, BBI, BMS, BAF.etc.).

    Location: Andheri East , near Shere Punjab club.

    Duration since start-up : 3 months.

    Number of students: 10

    Have got e-content from LearnNext to teach students.

    Challenge:

    There are issues I am facing with Marketing – especially Pamphlet distribution:

    1. Paper inserts does not give good response.

    2. Distributing in front of schools and colleges is prohibited.

    I have to get students quick since post 1-2 months, almost all would have taken tuition somewhere.

    The strategy that I have applied is as follow:

    In this location (Andheri east) there are lots of home tutors (generally lady teachers) who teach 10-15 students at their homes . I have tied up with one of these teachers who gets her students to teach in my class.
    This has helped me to quickly startup my class. Any new student that I get, the teacher and I do a 50:50 share of fees.

    This has helped me save from paying teachers on hourly basis-which would be unaffordable in current scenario. (Note: in almost all classes the teachers are paid on hourly basis)

    Now the challenge I am facing is to get more students.

    There are 5 schools in 1 km range , 1 commerce college (Tolani Commerce College) less than 5 mins away from the class.

    I am not sure on how to tap this market.

    Please guide me on this.

  9. Don’t distribute just pamphlets. Instead distribute sort of a small book (10 – 15 pages book).

    For commerce students example: List of all the important formulas by subjects. Students will keep this last minute revision book with them forever!

    — Shailesh Jain

  10. The best answer would be giving them something free like last time revision notes or something similar. This is called ” Moving the Free Line” . I had a blog related to MBA, I offered them free ebook to get 99%in CAT Quant and I got more than 800 subscribers in 40 days. I just spent 750 bucks on advertising.

    In your case, give them last minute revision book and advertise about your class or your full courses at discounted price, as people absolutely love discounts, if they love you free book, then they are going to come to you for your full course or your advanced notes.

    Also , tell them that if they bring 10 more students for that free book , you will give them 20-30 % discount upfront. 
    I have may more such strategies, feel free to contact me on my email sukrut@mbakakeeda.com

    I will love to help you.

  11. Few Suggestions

    1. 2-3 Big Size banners that you can place in your institute area

    2. Make a FB page and promote it as much as you can. Add informative data and notes/shortcuts etc so that people could get actual benefit from it.

    3. Tie up with other coaching classes who teach diff. subjects than yours.. they can provide you with commerce students and similarly you an provide them the non commerce students. its a win win situation.

    4. try contacting schools for free monthly seminar. monthly is more important than free.. be in front of students every time..

    Hope my suggestion would help 🙂

  12. Sure. nice suggestion. Thanks

  13. Nice suggestion. Thanks ! Will surely try.

  14. Dear Hardik,

    I run ManagementParadise.com – World’s leading management portal. 

    Alongside I run BMS.co.in which has complete market share of the BMS audience. The last event we did with them was the job fair that saw 700 tybms grads visiting VESIMR institute pitching themselves to 25 companies.

    A little prior to that we did BMS academic excellence awards which was the first of its kind.

    With BMS, we have 100 % market share and have 16,000 + fans on facebook.

    Apart from BMS, we have  BMM , BBI , BAFBFM blogs too which are growing slowly.

    Since, you are want to reach out to the same audience that we cater to, we can help you get immense exposure by implementing suggestions of fellow rodinhooders here.

    For example :

    1.) Sukrut said you should do a giveaway to reach out to them. We can help your ebook gain traction. 

    2.) Shailesh said, distribute a small book. We can help you reach out with that.

    3.) Rahul and Sanjay said do short concept videos. We can put those on our youtube channel and blog with your author bio.

    4.) Sanjay said, advertise online.. we are the best place to advertise 🙂

    5.) Tejas said do seminars in college fests.. and create presence on social channels..we can connect you to the right guys in college fests and help you with social presence

    If you have any more ideas, we would be happy to explore them.

    You can mail me on ceo@managementparadise.com or our general manager for bms vertical – parv@bms.co.in.

  15. Why don’t you give facebook ads and google adsense a try.

    Dont keep a high budget, probably 4k/5k per month for fb ads, and similar for google ads. You will be able to target the age group as well as geographical targeting.

    Most students are hooked on to fb on mobile too.

    Do let me know if you need any assistance on the same.(unisplashmedia@gmail.com)

    I have a venture of my own where we promoted events and businesses on social media channels. (http://www.unisplash.com)

    Cheers

    Ameya Nisal 

  16. Hi, 

    I run a mid size creative and animation studio where we deal with such problems quite often as we target mid size and small sector companies.

    For a sector like yours few suggestion like that works wonders in long term

    1. the content is very powerful medium to attract the students.Most of classes do not share or make their content freely available. in order to reach to more number of people you have to distribute few key articles, easy learning ideas, shorkuts etc.. make it easily available and share-able.

    2. tie up with local newspaper and start a column on easy learning, education articles, help subjects.

    3. Make a your self and teachers of your institute available to all specially during the exam times on various platforms like, email, phone, sms, FB, etc to answer their doubts, queries etc, even if they are not your students.

    4.Yes, advertising is imp, but i consider as a lazy man’s job,, try creatives which are useful for the recipient, some mind blender, quiz sort, and motivate to share them on your fb page.

    5. regularly update your FB page with interesting and useful contents. 

    6. Do not do student get student scheme…. i would personally not send my kids to such institute.. 😉

    For the business like yours credibility of teachers and word of mouth publicity is very imp, thus the above activities shall be aimed to fulfill both the objectives.

    Hope the above helps… cheers..

  17. I used to have my own personal coaching classes for English Fluency Development. I did all the things simultaneously – newspaper ads, posters & handbills. It worked. The most significant part was, I kept getting inquiries for many years even after I discontinued; from those who got reference from my old students.

  18. :-))

  19. When I started taking engineering classes, I did many things and learned few things out of it. It might help you.
    1. Most important while starting up, use free stuff as much as you can: Facebook page, uploading videos on youtube, messaging close ones (students, friends, family etc).now you can use whatsapp.

    2. I listed my classes on justdial, again for free. Initially, I was skeptical about it. But I got the best response from justdial. Received many calls. ( Tell your students, to give rating for your classes on justdial. If you are good teacher, they will definitely do it. 🙂 )

  20. Anoher way

    basic litter free stuff..might work

    Start an FB page / own website which has all details and the contact id.

    Use a QR code generator and get a code for the url.

    Print out the QR code / or make stickers. 

    You could speak to the college principals and have a small mail with the QR code placed within the school intranet (nowadays most schools have this)

    Give your expert opinions on school related blogs with backlinks 

  21. i am facing similar problem . solution what i have found is free seminar in college , or tie up with young  prof. , as they  cant take tutions , but can recommended them surely , just give them reason to recommended them , you can use this for b.com n all

     Pamphlet to student conversation might vary from 1000:1 to 10,000 :1 i have tried , in Ahmadabad  Pamphlet wont work and it will only work somewhat if you have perfect timing 

    school will take 3-4 years to make an impact and only when you are ace in the subject that you are teaching

  22. How about

    1. Printing some maths Formula on back of the sheet and your add on front. use better quality paper and they would love to keep it instead of throwing.
    2. Distribute book mark cards, Print some motivational Quotes at one side and your add on the other side.
    3. Have you tried Local cable Channel Ads? 

    Thanks

  23. Hello Hardik,

    Talking on to point. We are presently working on a platform specially for Education Sector solving exactly the concern you have pointed out. Our Platform is in the pilot stage right now and will be live by August 15th. Right now you can Pre-Register and we will send you a link where you can register and start using  our platform which will help you in reaching wider target.

    Pre-Register on http://www.guruhub.in 

    You can connect me on karthiky@guruhub.in

    Cheers!!

    Karthik Yanamandra,

    Business Head & Co-Founder

    http://www.GuruHub.in

  24. Thanks for your reply.

    Please suggest that how do you connect with colleges for free seminars.

    I mean …represnting a coaching class – the intent will be quite clear to the college. Why will they let me in.

    Also could you tell me the topics to choose for free seminars.

  25. Hi Kartik

    Would like to connect with you. Please share your phone number @ hardikkh@rediffmail.com. Thanks

  26. Nice ideas. Thanks!

  27. Hi Hardik

    Not sure how this will work…but is worth a try. Why don’t you organize an inter-school quiz competition related to your subject…focusing on all the schools in your area? Any of these schools will readily offer you their campus free as the venue. All you have to do is to organize the event in such a manner that your academy’s brand gets all the focus. Your expenses might be somewhere in a few thousand rupees (for the prizes). You can even try in to rope in a sponsor. I’m not sure if this idea sounds practical…but I know this will build your brand! Good Luck.

  28. One more idea….

    Why don’t you design the flyer with some teaser questions –

    [BIG FONT]like – “What is deferred revenue?” (most students don’t know, so are zapped)

    Then write below – get answers to basics of accounting concepts from our classes.

    Or

    one more tag line would be ” Rs 1 lakh(rupee number attracts eyeballs) deposited in bank, what is the journal entry?”

    Get accounting transaction concepts cleared at our classes.

    Not sure how much this would click, but just a suggestion.

    All the best! 🙂

  29. Registered. Awaiting leads from your site 🙂

     

  30. Superb idea 🙂 Thanks a lot

  31. have sub part of your classes which does a complete workshop and seminar , btw i have not given any free seminar , either i charge students or college , but i m not sure about how it will work in mumbai and for your topics ,

    we have topics like cyber security , Game development , android , iphone development which they cant learn in colleges

    i cant help much in selection of topic because it is not my field , i will glad if i can in process of making sub part for workshop and all , cos i have some experience on that , if you want you can contact me

    number is 8866066012

  32. Hi Hardik,

    I believe a little commonsense can win you hearts.

    A student comes to a tutorial class with hope that he will learn better (i mean concepts). He thinks that the institute will understand him and make him a star in his life by helping him learn and succeed.

    So the most powerful tool of winning more students, is with you already! YOUR CLASSES and it’s content (teachers and knowledge)

    Once a student experience your classes and likes it, than you win. If not, design your classes (i mean the way you teach and what you) which suits students. This CLASSES will be your differentiator and your STRENGTHS. Simple and straight.

    So, how about inviting students to “EXPERIENCE OUR CLASSES” programme where you offer your teachings for 4-5 days (or for a shorter duration) without charging students. Allow them to experience and decide. If your teachings are better i believe you will win their heart and confidence. And rest will be a story to share.

    And I am sure you will find a better way to invite them. 

    Remember, if you are in people’s knowledge, you are a NAME. If you are in their hearts, you are a BRAND.

  33. Hi Hardik,

    Let me start by congratulating you on your new venture and also wish you all the best for the same.

    You have already been doing things for the promotion, please continue.

    Apart from that my suggestions are as below :

    • Try reference scheme – You may give out small gifts (educational aids) for people getting their references in.
    • Try group booking discounts. (Ex 2+3=4)
    • Try ad on local cable television channels.
    • Check with LearnNext for joint promotion programs/channels.
    • Conduct an art workshop for your target zones.
    • Host a Slogan design contest with goodies as prices.
    • Apart from the above i could also assist with community specific ideas if you are comfortable.

    Do let me know how it goes.

    Regards,

    Basheer

  34. We recently had two clients who run coaching classes. I will share their stories:

    1)

    The first one which restricted itself to Traditional Marketing methods, pamphlets, dabbawala and newspaper insertions, putting lots of money and efforts. Though they got a website developed from us but they dint want to go for Social Media Marketing. They dint agree to do any online marketing. Although they got some students initially but that count dint increase because they were running out of budget and they had to stop all their offline campaigns.

    Even the website that they created was just business website, I told him let us make more than that, give some free educational materials, make it more of a community website rather than just having flashy stuff which would be of no use at the end. But he refused and said “Ye educational business hai dost, yaha jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai” I agree with this k bhai “jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai”. But you should understand k whats that jo dikhta hai???? Your target audience is students unko kya dihta hai?

    I shared a bad experience with this guy, he ultimately closed his classes in 6 months.

    2) The second case is quite exciting. He was a young passed out from college and had only one year of teaching experience, but energy and enthusiasm. We build his website and helped him understand the power of social media. After four months he started he has 12 hours classes running full on flow almost everyday, with one more branch to open soon.

    His strategy was to give something valuable to students:
    1) His website is more of a community website where students can come to get some free stuff.

    2) Free Notes, University Question Papers,

    3) Colleges Information

    4) Expected Questions at the time of exams

    5) Last year cut offs etc etc….

    I know all these stuff might be already available, but he wanted it give from his website and that paid off.

    The Most important thing He focused was his Facebook Page:
    The First Batch was formed from Facebook only.

    I dint browse to other comments, I just read your post and replying to it, many people must have suggested the same thing. It may be a repetition. But I believe Focusing on the content part of your website  and a Good Social Media Profile will help you a lot to get more audience attracted. 

  35. Hi Hardik,

    Nice to hear about your coaching classes and wonderful suggestions shared on this platform. Among all the comments the latter part of Mohammed Faizan Ansari is quite meaningful and in today’s world it makes sense to promote your venture online. But where to promote is a big question, you can’t survive on pamphlets being distributed outside schools. I have tried variety of online and offline marketing but nothing works better than online.

    For that I suggest you run your Facebook page or go for Google adwords, if you are not internet savvy then you can outsource this at a minimum cost. And of course free online classes on Youtube is not bad at all.

    I myself run a Career Consulting portal i.e. http://www.SabkaCareer.Com for Institutes/Tutors/Trainers/Students etc. where anyone can register for free, we recently started promoting our tutor/trainer section for which I recommend you to register on the following link http://www.sabkacareer.com/register-tutor.php

    We will do our best to help you promote your coaching institute, for that kindly fill all the details required. Alongside I will also ask my team to upload a banner of your institute on any of the inside pages you may require to promote eStudy Tutorial.

    Do not worry about the fee or anything like that, would like to hear from you soon. You may also write to us at sabkacareer@gmail.com

    All the Best!!

  36. Hi Hardik,

    It’s almost a month you posted the question and I hope you must have implemented the wonderful suggestions you’ve got. My 2 cents :  Build a website with awesome social integration. Post free stuff and encourage people to share online.

    On Facebook & Twitter – Build your coaching class page & like/follow all the institutions / student groups your potential students are hanging out. Post relevant information & news – which will get people interested in you. 

    Register in all the local directories – people have a tendency to do a generic search on google. Use Google Adwords to get yourself listed in all the local enquiry for coaching class. May be, you could have an option of calling them back after they leave their number..

    Another thing you can do is : 100% money back guarantee anytime within the 1st month with no questions asked. That way, people will be more willing to try. 

  37. Thanks for the suggestion. 

    After recv’ing feedback from rodinhooders , I have tried the following:

    1. JustDial subscription:  This has been fairly useful. It has actually help me to get connected to people searching for coaching , to talk to them and understand their requirements. I tried speaking to all leads ( irrespective whether they are relevant or not). E.g. We do not provide coaching for BSc students, however JustDial helped me understand the opportunity that exists. 

    Its more about now pivoting my business model to suit the market requirement. 

    2. I have also tried free demo lectures. However that has not helped yet. Believe need to be more persistent with my approach. Someday it might click 🙂

    3. Next would try google and facebook ads. 

    Will keep all posted on whats working and whats not. 

    Thanks to one and all for helping me out and a big thank you to Alok!

    Keep your suggestions flowing!

  38. hie can you please forward your no. for assistence.

    prem dubey

  39. Sounds great..you should also try some more local directories like AskMe. Once you have the website up & running, make sure you enable Local Checkins through Facebook and / or Google as that will give a good bump in traffic..

    My office is quite close to yours (Mahakali Caves Road) & we should definitely catch up sometime 🙂 I ll keep an eye out for more local advertising options..

    All d best..

  40. sir,

    i agree with you,but something that is put on you tube by us,that is no longer ours,people can copy it ,

    even misuse it.then how is it safe

  41.  I  am facing a similar challenge ,as to advertise  for a coaching centre,please mention what innovative methods you have used since last year,which method was most sucessful and what is your progress now,your experience will help me certainly

  42. hey hardik,

    i think you really need to update us on how your coaching classes are doing now. 

    btw – do check the number of views on your post – a lot of people find the comments on this post a goldmine of insights 🙂

  43. Hi Hardik,

    Your post was one of the most read articles on therodinhoods.com and we are happy to have featured it again on the home page! Check out – http://therodinhoods.com and congrats!

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