Define your unique selling proposition (USP)
Before casting your net, identify what makes your school stand out.
Is it a specialised curriculum, exceptional extracurricular activities, or a unique teaching philosophy?
Clearly articulate your school’s strengths to create a compelling narrative that resonates with prospective families.
Craft a compelling story
Your school has a very important story waiting to be told. Develop a narrative that goes beyond statistics and highlights the essence of your school.
You must share success stories, showcase your school’s values, and illustrate the transformative impact it has on your pupils.
But, it’s not just posting a social media post every week and that’s your story shared, it’s about embedding it into everything your school does. And, that’s how you change perceptions.
If you’re not sure how to create a compelling narrative read our guide to creating a compelling school story [new blog].
Know who your targeting
Do you know your audience inside and out?
- Who are your ideal pupils and families?
- What are their aspirations and values?
Understanding families’ unique qualities that resonate with them sets the stage for tailoring all your marketing to create an emotional connection with them.
Top tip: Create personas for your target audience and consider their interests, challenges, dreams and more.
Optimise your online presence
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, but you haven’t optimised your presence online you’re already losing out to the school down the road.
Your school’s online presence is often the first point of contact for prospective families, whether they start with a search on Google, head over to your socials to check you out and then make an enquiry.
Here’s some blockers we usually see on school’s websites that stop potential families from enquiring:
- Slow website speed – did you know 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load!
- Difficult navigation -if your website is challenging to navigate, with confusing menus or a lack of clear paths to important information, parents may become frustrated and will abandon your website.
- Outdated design – an outdated or unprofessional website design may convey a lack of attention to detail and modern educational practices. Make a positive first impression!
- Unclear information – ambiguity or lack of clarity about the school’s mission, curriculum, extracurricular activities, and admissions process can deter prospective families.
- Limited accessibility information – Inclusivity is essential. If the website doesn’t provide information about accessibility features or the school’s commitment to supporting diverse needs, it may discourage families with specific requirements (and don’t forget about your website accessibility too!).
- Sparse visual content – missing those lively photos and videos that capture the heart and soul of school life? Parents are craving a peek into the dynamic vibes and vibrant atmosphere they’re looking for. Make sure you have these placed correctly within your website.
- Ensure your website is user-friendly, visually appealing, and provides comprehensive information about your offerings (we provide desktop audits that can highlight those areas you’re falling down)
P.S Don‘t forget to leverage your social media platforms to share engaging content that reflects the vibrant life within your school that aligns with your website!
Implement targeted advertising
Do you know where your target audience is? Identify the channels where your target audience is most active and invest in targeted advertising.
This could be out of home advertising like:
- Local newspapers
- Buses advertisement
- Local advertising
You can also harness online advertising too, like Google ads, social media advertising and more.
Top tip: we see lot’s of school’s losing money from paid advertising that doesn’t work – make sure you hire a specialist to get the highest return!
Get a GOOD CRM
But we don’t just mean a spreadsheet, we mean a CRM that is fully optimised that will help you manage the relationship between your school and prospective (and current) families.
Here’s what your CRM should be doing:
- Prospective pupil management – your CRM system will help you track and manage prospective families, tracking their interactions, communication history, event attendance and other relevant details.
- Personalised & targeted communication – Personalised communication is more likely to resonate with potential families, increasing the chances of enrolment (your CRM system will allow you to segment and target your communications).
- Lead nurturing to boost enrollments – we’ve seen schools lose prospective families because they lack the right follow up and don’t have a sales strategy. Your CRM system should help you nurture leads to increase enrollments.
- Automated workflows – your CRM is more than a database, it can actually help you save time (lots of it!) by automating processes, tasks and emails.
- Boost retention strategies – Beyond just enrolment, a CRM system can also assist in student retention efforts.
- Improving parent engagement – A CRM system can help you engage with parents, providing updates on their child’s progress, upcoming events, and other important information. Positive interactions with parents can contribute to a positive perception of your school.
- Feedback collection – CRM systems can be used to collect feedback from prospective and current families. Understanding their needs and concerns allows your school to make data-driven improvements to your enrolment processes.
Need help choosing the right CRM for your school? Get in touch with us today.
Let them talk
One of the best ways to attract more pupils to your school is through the authentic recommendations of parents.
Let them talk – it’s not just a phrase; it’s a powerful approach that can elevate your marketing efforts.
To harness the influence of word-of-mouth it begins with addressing parents’ feedback and actively working to enhance your school’s reputation and perception.
Because, if parents are unhappy they’ll talk about the wrong things with prospective families.
Top tip: Find out what parents say about your school by being in the places they are, this could be community boards, Facebook groups and more.
Find out what parents really think about your school here.
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 and marketing that doesn’t work.
We help UK and international school leaders, bursars and marketing & admissions folks to boost revenue with strategy, simple and savvy pupil recruitment and retention services.
We’ve helped generate over £4 million for school. Get in touch with us here.
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