Private School Marketing: Making First Impressions

If you are like most schools, you spend alot of time (and money, too) seeking to impress families, showcase your very best, and eventually convert students into full-pay families for not just one year, but until they graduate!

Typically, I see 4 main areas where schools spend alot of resources:

  • WEBSITE – while some schools still insist on risking their first-impression on unprofessional web platforms, I do run across private schools who have invested time and money on a nice website.  I’m not suggesting you have to spend a million dollars on the site.  Just ensure your site is professional, easy-to-navigate, and offers a nice first impression.
  • COLLATERAL – while some schools still insist on self-printing (or worse, poorly photocopying a photocopy of a photocopy), I do know the cost involved in printing slick brochures, marketing kits, interest packets, etc.  I would strongly urge you to consider the ROI of these before going to print next; but until then, you should at least spend the money to make them look nice.
  • VIDEO – I love professionally-edited videos!  With the right mix of background music, photos, video interviews and a great voiceover talent, a beautiful 10-minute video will capture the prospective families who have the time to explore.
  • OPEN HOUSE EVENTS – I suppose every school has recruiting season events where you put on your very best suit, order the prettiest banners, scrub and paint the walls, and then pray that all the students are on their best behavior!  With the right plan, having families visit on campus can offer some of your best conversion possibilities.

But let’s be honest:  while these are likely necessary elements in your overall marketing mix, there are many prospective families who are not yet ready to commit.  One of their most obvious questions is:  does everyone really look that nice? While some families are easily convinced, others shout out for proof:  Sure, you’re a great school, but show me the evidence!

In the next post, we will deal with how to showcase this evidence.

*UPDATE*  Winning Over Families: Part 2 of 2