Teachers, Principals, Staff, School Board Members, and Parents,
Have you ever wondered what your school would be able to do if you were able to fill every class to capacity? Are there plans your school has made or projects you want to complete, but you just donít have the recourses? What is your private school marketing plan? As a member of the school board of Family of Christ Christian School in Tampa, FL (weíve launched a new, custom CMS site), these are questions that I thought about a lot and I think Iíve found an answer to these questions.
I should start by telling you a little about Family of Christ. Family of Christ is a great school with great people. Itís also a growing school. We started eight years ago with a Kindergarten and have been adding a new grade level every year and even added two grade levels in one year a few years ago. With that kind of expansion and growth, it meant we had at least an additional 20 students to enroll every year not including the normal come and go of students. Easier said than done. Last year we added our final grade level of 8th grade and had our first graduating class. As I'm writing this we currently have about 135 students, though that number is growing.
Every school board meeting we would cover the normal topics which included discussing and planning things for the coming months. One of the problems, however, was that we had a lot of really great ideas, but didnít always have the budget to implement them.
As with most schools we were limited by our budget. We would get requests for the school to get a great new math curriculum or have another video projector for teachers to use or we would see things that needed to be done, like painting the hallway or re-mulching the playground, but that budget kept getting in the way.
And then there were the teacher salaries, something in which I had particular interest with my wife teaching third grade. As one of the school board members put it, ďWe want to have the best educational environment and the best teachers, but we are paying our teachers less than the public schools pay. We canít expect to get or keep the best if we donít pay them well.Ē
Fortunately for the school and our students, teachers tend to be a different breed. They arenít in it for the money. Letís face it, even when teachers are paid well, they arenít paid well. Family of Christ has been blessed with great teachers who care more about teaching and sharing Christ with children then making more money; however, that didnít make it alright to pay them less Öbut thereís that budget again.
We were limited by our budget and our budget was limited by how many students we had. We needed a good private school marketing plan.
We knew we wanted to have more students. So, we were occasionally sending out direct mailings to thousands of homes and occasionally getting some advertising in the newspaper. The problem was that every time we talked about doing one of these school marketing efforts it was discussed as an expense; but marketing isnít supposed to be an expense. The point of marketing is to bring in more revenue. In the case of a school, you want to bring in more students.
One day it hit me. Why are we ringing our hands over spending a couple thousand dollars on a school marketing campaign when every student was paying about $5500 in tuition and fees? I asked the board, ďHow much additional cost is it for us to enroll and teach a new student?Ē There are some supplies and additional costs, but like most schools the answer was that it didnít cost the school much extra to add a student. In fact the vast majority of that $5500 the student paid was additional revenue for the school that would enable us to either more easily meet our budget or give us the opportunity to do some of those things weíd wanted to do but were unable to do because we didnít have the money.
So, we realized that we needed to a better job with our private school marketing plan. It doesnít matter if we spend $10,000 marketing a school, if we bring in three additional students, we will have more money than when we started. This was a great opportunity for our school to change the way it thought about school marketing from an expense to a way to increase revenue.I also happened to have another opportunity. As the Director of Marketing Services with OurChurch.Com, I had the opportunity to develop an effective way to market schools online, something that could not only help the Christian school I was involved with, but also thousands of other private schools. And thatís what we did.
The Private School Marketing Plan
Remember, marketing isnít an expense; itís an investment. Itís a way to increase revenue.
I was talking with our Director of Customer Support, Karl the other day. His wife teaches at another school in the area. He mentioned some of the issues his wifeís school was having. I responded that they should get the Top School Search Rankings service. He commented that the school was struggling financially and recently had to make some cutbacks, so he didnít think they would spend the money.
So I told him, ďWhen schools (or businesses) are struggling to meet their budget and cover expenses, thatís usually the time they need to market their school the most. You can try to balance the budget by cutting back expenses, or you can balance the budget by bringing in more students and thus increasing your income. Which is more helpful in the long run? Which has less of a negative impact on the school and its staff? Which will help your school grow?Ē
If your school is struggling to meet its budget or if the school is doing just fine but would like to grow even more, I encourage you to try the Top School Search Rankings service. Itís the perfect school marketing plan for any private or Christian school. Parents are searching the Internet for schools for their children; the Top School Search Rankings service can help those parents find your school.
You can learn more about the Top School Search Rankings service and watch a short informational video about the service at:
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