Embarking on the marketing journey for independent schools can sometimes feel like exploring a labyrinth – full of twists, turns, and occasional dead ends.

Fear not though! Let’s illuminate the path by delving into some common pitfalls, offering insights, and ensuring your school’s marketing ship sails smoothly.


The Ivory Tower Syndrome

The mistake: operating in splendid isolation, believing that your school’s greatness speaks for itself.

With so much competition out there, it’s so important you publicise your school’s excellence. Don’t assume prospective families know why your school is great.

Here’s how to fix it:
Identify your school’s compelling story and make it clear. Share success stories, engage with the community and articulate what makes your school stand out across all your online and offline platforms.


The Silence of the Social Media

The mistake: Treating social media as an afterthought, assuming that a couple of posts here and there will suffice is a huge mistake.

Social media is a dynamic space for community engagement. Consistent and meaningful interactions can strengthen your school’s online presence. But, remember, social media is only one piece of the puzzle!

Here’s how to fix it:
Become a storyteller on social media. Share the vibrancy of school life, how your USPs are lived and breathed every single day and engage with your audience. Consistency is key – post regularly and interact actively.


The Jargon Jungle

The mistake: Drowning prospective families in a sea of educational jargon and acronyms will just put parents off.

Effective communication requires clarity. Complex terminology can alienate your audience and so can long emails with lots and lots of information (keep it digestible!).

Here’s how to fix it:
Speak the language of your prospective families. Break down complex concepts into digestible nuggets and communicate with warmth and clarity.


The Brochure black hole

The mistake: Relying solely on traditional brochures, assuming they alone can convey your school’s essence.

Brochures can be great marketing materials but in the age of digital dominance, static brochures might end up being filed away and never looked at again.

Here’s how to fix it:
Infuse life into your content! Create dynamic online materials – videos, interactive presentations, and virtual tours. Be sure to invest in a digital prospectus that is easy to navigate, accessible and available to download.


The Blind Spot

The mistake: Neglecting feedback and overlooking the importance of understanding your school’s perception.

Blind spots can lead to missed opportunities but feedback is your compass, pointing to areas of improvement (it’s easy to spot when you know how!).

Here’s how to fix it:
Get a mystery shop in place to find those missed opportunities. Also, regularly capture feedback from parents, students, and staff. Conduct surveys, focus groups, and listen actively on social media. Use insights to refine your approach.

At The Stickman Consultancy we help you deep dive into to uncover the real picture, find out more about stakeholder research for schools here.


The Invisibility Cloak

The mistake: Believing that the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy works in the digital age.

In a sea of options, visibility is everything. A great school needs an audience to ensure it is exposed to prospective families. Do you have the right amount of exposure?

Here’s how to fix it:
Invest in your online visibility. Optimise your website, engage in digital advertising, and harness the power of search engine optimisation (SEO) (lot’s of school’s overlook this).


The One-Size-Fits-All Approach

The mistake: Assuming that a generic marketing strategy suits all.

Each school is unique, and a cookie-cutter approach won’t highlight what makes yours special.

Here’s how to fix it:
Tailor your marketing strategy to your school’s strengths. Highlight distinctive features and personalise your approach to resonate with your specific audience


Get equipped & stay on the front foot 

Sometimes you just need a little helping hand because you shouldn’t have to waste money, time and resources on marketing that doesn’t work. 

We pride ourselves on helping you generate revenue for your school through REAL tried & tested strategies. 

Get in touch with us.


The Stickman team help school leaders, bursars, and marketing and admissions managers to boost revenue via powerful and simple marketing strategies.

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Emily & the Stickman Team

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