#1: Establish Your Marketing Strategy
As you plan new initiatives, update the curriculum, and create innovative solutions for the new year, don’t neglect your marketing strategy. Marketing your school does not stop just because the school year does. Determine specific goals your school has for its marketing efforts this summer. The goals can be creating awareness of your school, increasing conversion rates, or boosting engagement with your parent community. Once you set goals, you can move forward with the strategy, planning, engaging, and analyzing.
#2: Advertise Your School
Using a multi-channel marketing campaign is an effective strategy to meet your enrollment goals and set your school up for success in the fall. With your goals in mind, build a campaign that highlights your school’s strengths. Consider the demographics and geographics of your target families to choose the most effective channels. Be mindful that reaching enrollment goals typically takes a 3-step approach: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Take an active role in each one of these steps to increase the conversion from prospects to students. This process usually consists of organic social media posting, targeting and retargeting, and analyzing which methods are driving results.
#3: Focus on Student Retention
In addition to attracting new students, it is vital to retain your current students. While student churn is typically when a student unenrolls mid-semester, schools can still face this challenge over the summer when families choose to enroll in a new school for the upcoming semester. To increase retention and decrease churn, take action over the summer. Ensure families still feel connected to the community by providing parents updates via newsletters, phone calls, or emails. Additionally, give parents and students a voice by asking for feedback and collaboration. Asking families for suggestions on new activities, processes, and improvements makes them feel like valued community members. In turn, students are more likely to re-enroll in your school.
#4: Invest in your Staff
The summer is an optimal time to leverage the flexibility of schedules to connect with staff members. Staff members are on the front lines for serving students, so it is vital they are being poured into to enhance student success. Take time to understand their perspectives, assist with professional development, and provide the guidance and affirmation they may need. This strengthens the school community and contributes to fostering an encouraging and achieving environment. Additionally, the positive reputation of your staff is a crucial component in gaining and retaining students!
#5: Maintain Work-Life Balance
Burnout is real and can inevitably hit school leaders during the summer months when the rest of the school community is relaxing on vacation. Though the grind seems endless, take the summertime to practice work-life balance. It is easy to get caught up in the combined excitement and stress of new initiatives and forget to attend to your own mental and physical needs. Recognize which events and activities are non-negotiable for you and your family and make them a priority. Make sure to keep the primary goals in mind while working to prevent schedule overload and allow time to decompress. Focusing on your well-being helps you better serve your staff and students.
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