While some schools may have an entire team focused on enrollment or marketing, many institutions lack the resources to staff a multi-personnel enrollment, marketing, or admissions office.
So, if your team consists of one person (maybe that person is you!), that individual is suddenly in charge of admissions, retention, enrollment, marketing, social media, parent ambassador programs, your school website — and the list goes on and on. But that’s no problem, right? One person can simply put on a superhero cape and add extra hours to their day to get it done!
We know it’s not realistic to add hours to your day, or become a superhero overnight, but we do have five tried-and-true techniques to help you maximize results.
Make sure you’re using as many automated resources as possible.
- Schedule social media using tools like HootSuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Use the inquiry and admissions checklists within the FACTS Application & Enrollment platform to automate and personalize communication so no one falls through the cracks.
- Create a Google alert of your school’s name so you get notified once a day for any time your school is mentioned in the news, blogs, or online discussion forums.
Parents are your biggest advocates. Designate some as “social media ambassadors” and task them with keeping an ear to the ground in Facebook groups and on online review websites. They can step in and guide the conversation about your schools. Give your parent ambassadors talking points about your school – stats, outcomes, and just plain good news. Any time you can get parents talking positively about your school, it helps lessen the burden of marketing being your sole responsibility.
Educate your teachers on their role in retention. If they understand that they play the largest part in a family’s decision to stay at your school, the burden of retention doesn’t lay squarely in the admissions office.
Explain to your faculty the nuts and bolts of the admissions office. They should know your school’s enrollment goal, admissions process, and be able to clearly articulate your school’s value proposition. Give your faculty visual tools to do just that and free up some of your time!
Invest in your skills.
It can be difficult to stay up-to-date on best practices when you’re wearing so many hats. However, the admissions landscape changes rapidly, and you need to understand how your current parents select schools. Thankfully, there are tons of great (and free) resources on private school marketing online.
- Read articles about what millennial parents value, how they make decisions, and which ways they prefer to be contacted.
- Follow other schools on social media that are doing a stellar job promoting themselves to get inspiration.
- Put a webinar on a tablet next to your workstation so you can soak up some professional development while entering data or processing applications.
Have a life.
When the burden of enrollment and marketing falls squarely on your shoulders, it can be very difficult to unplug and turn off. You can be tempted to answer prospective parent emails, work on your website, create social posts, and tweak your enrollment reports until the wee hours of the night. Don’t do this!
Recharge your own batteries when you get home from school so you have the energy and capacity to effectively promote your school when you’re in the office. All those emails and application packets will be waiting for you!