In the past you may have relied on word of mouth recommendations to help you build your tutoring business, but today it’s just as important to build and maintain your online persona, too.

On the Social Media Examiner, David Garland spoke to the topic of effectively managing one’s online reputation. In the article, he spells out . He asks people, “Are you a Sketchy Sam or a Likeable Laura?” Likeable Laura is a trusted resource online while Sketchy Sam is just….sketchy.

For anyone in the service industry, being likeable online is extremely important. The same goes for tutors and education consultants. Just as you wouldn’t want to buy a car from someone who, when you Google them, has a bunch of bad reviews about their business practices, you wouldn’t want to work with a tutor who has a bad reputation online or just as bad, no reputation at all.

If you’re curious how you can build a positive reputation online, here are a few steps to get you started.

Get People to Vouch for You Online

Most people don’t want to hear from your lips you’re a great tutor. They want to hear from the parents of the students you’ve helped or from the student themselves. They want to get reviews from the principals of the schools with which you”re affiliated.

The question many tutors ask, however, is “How can I start building reviews about my company online?”   Well, you might want to start by making sure your business is listed locally on Google Local, Bing Local, Angie”s List, and  Once you”ve created a (often free) business listing, people can start writing reviews about you.

Here are a few ways to drive more reviews:

  • Include links to your review pages at the bottom of emails, asking people to write a review if they have time. You usually can set this up by modifying your email signature so that every email contains it in the bottom. That way, when you correspond to parents, it will be in the bottom of the email.
  • Include links to the review sites you”re listed on in your website sidebar.
  • If you’re already getting referrals from parents, consider asking them at your next meeting to take their comments online at LinkedIn, or another review service such as Angie’s List.

Create Helpful Content

One great way to build a positive online reputation is to be helpful to your prospects without selling at them. Giving away free content is a great way to build a positive vibe around your goods and services.

Remember, you’re helping paint yourself as a trusted and valuable resource to prospects. It will not happen overnight, but if you’re persistent, you should start seeing people finding your website based on the content you’re creating. You should see people linking and sharing your website more often.

What kinds of content are appropriate?

  • Content that answers a need of your prospect.
  • Helpful resources and links on Twitter & Facebook.
  • Videos! If you’re normally accustomed to speaking directly with customers, film one of your lesson plans and post it on YouTube, your blog and website.
  • Listen to Others

    Imagine you’re at a party and you meet someone who can’t stop talking about themselves. They don’t ask you one single question about you, and though you might be entertained for a bit, they walk away and you feel sort of…used. Just as it is important to build helpful content, it’s also important to share the content of others and listen to their thoughts and ideas, too. Some great, free listening tools that Social Media Examiner recommends are Google Blog Search, Twitter Search, Ice Rocket, BackType, and Google Vidoe Search. These tools are also super helpful at finding content to feature on your blog or website.

    featured image by Kalense Kid

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