You Are Really NOT the Best Private School in Town

Sorry to burst your school's bubble!

Sorry to burst your bubble . . . but . . .

You are not the best private school in your city.

You do not have the best teachers.

You do not have the most amazing students.

You do not have the world’s most challenging curriculum, the best teachers, nor do you have the prettiest campus in town.


These are subjective claims most likely also made by your competitors. I once did an exercise with a Christian school client where I extracted all of the copy off their website and their competitors’ home and about pages. Then I removed all the graphics and even replaced each school name with a made-up school name. I then asked them to read through both and pick which one was actually their school. It was shocking to them how long it took for them to decide (and one Head of School even got it wrong!)

Now, if you do get voted “Best Private School” by a local newspaper, you are allowed make this claim with a badge and banner on your website. However, do not put your entire strategy behind this gimmick because you and I both know that the voting next year could go to another school.

Boast about the things that make you unique, different and the things that stand out to a prospective family:

  • the dollar amount number of merit-based scholarships received by your graduating seniors
  • the number of years your school has been in existence
  • the longevity of certain faculty members or your administration
  • the specific and recent athletic successes
  • the extracurricular offerings you have (which might set you apart if you are the only school in town with MS volleyball)
  • the distinct values or worldview by which your school operates and how this is realized on a day-to-day basis
  • the fact that your school has all grades on one campus (if it can boast of that)

The above items are just a few examples of what you can state about your school that will be unique, different, or exclusively part of your value proposition.

However, you know what is even more important than bullet points and stats?


Your stories are your #1 guarantee against subjective copycat marketing.

  1. STUDENTS: Your student success stories tell of accomplishment, achievement and academic or attitudinal transformation that no other school can promote. Their personal journeys are unique to what your school provided them. The power is in their testimonial.
  2. ALUMNI: Your alumni success stories lay out a consistent future path for prospective parents worried about which college preparatory option can truly produce results.
  3. PARENTS: The positive experiences of parents who have invested heavily in your school speak volumes to other parents contemplating what educational option offers the best ROI. Positive 5-star online reviews on Google, Facebook and are essential in your marketing strategy.
  4. INSTITUTIONAL: Whether academic, artistic and athletic, your school’s success stories are more than trophies in a glassed-in case in your hallway. They give prospective families an optimistic outlook about their son or daughter experiencing success on stage, on the court, or on the field.

When you listen to the radio, do you ever hear car dealerships claiming things like “we offer the best customer service in town” or “the friendliest staff”? Now ask yourself: do you really believe them?

No, me neither.

When schools make subjective and generic claims that could easily be mirrored by the competing school down the street or across town, they are not offering prospective parents the best story they can give. Rather, give these future moms and dads very specific and unique stories that make your school stand out. Let your school become the new standard in their search for the best school for their child.

Let us help  you install a customized marketing system for your school that will help you clarify your unique story.

Open House Guide for Private Schools

Randy Vaughn, Christian School Marketing Consutant

Randy Vaughn, Christian School Marketing Consutant

Are you struggling with marketing your school?

Are you struggling with marketing your Christian school?

Are you struggling to market your school? Do you know how to properly target your promotional communications? What factors should your school consider when implementing an effective and practical marketing plan?

Learn the do’s and don’ts of effective marketing, and discover new and innovative strategies to improve your school’s outreach. Participants will learn how to develop a highly-targeted communication strategy, as well as creative approaches to improve marketing efforts.

Join me on December 11, 2014 at 4p (CT) / 3p (ET) as the guest presenter during the NBOA Winter Webinar Series.  (NBOA is the National Business Officers Association.)


* Free for NBOA members; $75 for non-members

Should our school’s domain name be .com or .org?

Should our Christian school's domain name be .com or .org?

In the post-secondary market, most colleges and universities are registered as .edu.  However, for the rest of you in other schools in the U.S., what domain name should you select for your school?  Should your school select .com, .org, or even .net?  Or something else?

Let’s look at a few examples: (more…)

3 Ways Your Teachers Can Be Your Best Source of Referrals for Your Christian School

3 3 Ways Your Teachers Can Be Your Best Source of Referrals for Your Christian School

I recently spoke to a Christian school about marketing and social media. During the full-day marketing clinic, I got to spend 90 minutes listening and facilitating a discussions with this dynamic group of front-line soldiers. They had some great ideas on developing, capturing and sharing content about the students they were with every day.

Your front-line soldiers are sometimes parents of current or former students, sometimes former students who have returned to your school to teach (that’s a story I would capture on video because that says a lot about how great your school is), and sometimes your teachers just love teaching in a Christian school environment.

Here are 3 ways to encourage your teachers so they will be a solid source of referrals for your school: (more…)

Is There a Magic Formula for Marketing Your Christian School?

Are Your Looking for a Magic Formula for Marketing Your Christian School?

Doesn’t every marketer, whether you are selling soap, automotive repair or a Christian school education, wish there was a magic formula for marketing?  Well, I would not call it magic, but I can suggest a formula to follow.

The big picture is a formula is broken up into 3 macro sections:


Now let us break this down into the specifics of the formula: (more…)