The challenge is real.
Growing your training organisation by getting more student enrolments is tough – it’s time to change the way you’ve always done it.
Why you need to rethink your marketing strategy to attract more students.
Competition for students is fierce. And yet while you know you provide outstanding education, simply telling prospective students that isn’t going to win them over.
Because everyone says they are great. Think about it. How many training providers would ever say ‘We’re not great and our courses are average’.
This type of thinking with marketing is no longer enough. It’s not going to make students leap at enrolling at your training organisation. You’re simply telling them what they’d expect from you already. A great course and education that they’ll be paying for.
So how do you stand out above your competition? How do you compete against the TAFEs and Universities to encourage students to choose you over them?
As simple as it sounds, you need to build relationships with each and everyone of your prospective students. These relationships help guide them to your RTO and reduce the friction of them making that all important enrolment decision.
But the problem is, most organisations don’t have a marketing process in place to do this – consistently and reliably with every single prospective student.
How your RTO can be different.
As a smaller provider you’re used to thinking you’re at a bit of a disadvantage. You have less people in your team, less marketing budget and less resources overall.
Yet strangely the larger training providers (TAFEs/Universities especially) with more people, more marketing budget and more resources still disappoint students when it comes to making them feel like they matter.
Because as you grow in size (student numbers), everything needs to grow as well.
So sure they have bigger budgets and more people, but they’re still dropping the ball when it comes to building relationships. Because they simply don’t have the time.
And yet the tools exist that allow you to do this – to build one-to-one student relationships at scale.
Because prospective students want to feel like they matter to you.
And when they feel like they matter and that you actually care about them as individuals, half the battle is won.
Because now you stand out. Your training organisation is different.
They’re no longer a number but a person that you’re going above and beyond for.
And if you do this before they enroll, then your courses and you as a training provider must be outstanding.
And that’s what will help you get their enrolment.
So why aren’t bigger training providers doing what I’m talking about? Well, one of them is, but generally because the larger the organisation the slower they are to change.
And that’s your advantage.
You’re smaller, you’re more agile and you can get things done much faster.
By the time they’ve finished discussing whether they should do something, you can already have it in place.
And because you’re competing with their ‘bigger is better’ perception, you need to be leveraging every advantage that you have.
Marketing that’s all about your students.
While you care about your students deeply, you need to get more enrolled students or you won’t be around for long.
Many people think marketing is only about awareness and conversion/sales/enrolment.
But there’s an entire section between those two activities that so few people do, yet is so important.
And that’s building the relationship (nurturing in marketing terms).
So while getting more students is all about marketing, it’s not the marketing you’ve probably done or thought about before.
This isn’t about events, mass marketing, using agents or just advertising. Everyone does those. Those simply tell people you exist.
This is about creating a relationship with your prospective student. The relationship needed to help a prospective student go from, ‘I know about you’ to ‘Oh wow, I really need to go here’.
And that’s where most training providers and wider businesses, completely drop the ball.
They leave the entire decision making process up to the prospective student.
‘This is us, now go make a decision’.
And sure, you have student advisors that might call them to follow up and try get the enrollment or answer any questions – or worse ‘sell’ your courses and your school.
But how pressed for time are they? Plus no one likes being sold to (but they like to buy).
You need to shift your focus away from what works for you and build the processes that work for your prospective students. To help them understand what makes you great, helps them feel like they’re important and helps you stand out from everyone else.
And the best part is, once you set up these systems they run pretty much automatically with only minor intervention.
Your new unfair advantage.
So how do you actually get this done?
And what is this about anyway?
It’s a process of strategy, combined with implementation and tools that create a dynamic personalised experience for each prospective student. One that moves them closer and closer towards reaching out to your advisors to discuss enrolment.
Think of it this way:
Imagine an international student saw a digital ad (Google, Facebook) for a business course from your school.
She comes to your website and is shown only information that relates to international students and business courses (the dynamic personalisation).
Because she doesn’t really care about other courses or local enrolment details.
She lands on a page that is highly relevant, she doesn’t need to ‘find’ what she’s after. You’ve made it easy – unlike those other providers she’s researching.
But she’s still not sure. She’s still in the evaluation phase. Yet you have a way for her to register (sign up) to get additional valuable information.
She signs up and now you ‘drip’ feed her information (via email) about your course, your school, studying in Australia and so on over the next week or two.
In effect you’re establishing a relationship between you, your school and her. A relationship with a person, not a corporate entity.
She comes back to the website to read a few more articles (that relate to her), the course page or even the enrolment page.
Your email automation tool tracks this and now we know that she’s a warm lead. So she’s automatically sent an email with a link to book a call with one of your advisors online.
At a time that suits her and a time she expects it.
But she doesn’t respond. So we personally (and automatically) follow up again with a different approach to reaching out to her.
Maybe we address her concerns, or fears about making a decision, or getting on the phone and ‘being sold to’.
This time her fears are allayed and she books in a call. Your student advisor barely needs to ‘sell’ the course and just needs to get the enrolment process started.
And they haven’t wasted a second trying to ‘sell’ a lead into a course.
This type of marketing process works.
Because it’s less about ‘selling’ to a prospective student that you’ve just had as a lead and all about guiding them, nurturing them and moving them through the buying process.
Using automation and intelligent marketing tools.
And when done properly it’s invaluable to your business.
Using these very principles I’ve generated 5104 signups, 2522 bookings, 1639 people attending an offer and 438 new students for a client of mine (as of the end of 2018).
All automated and all built around developing a relationship with prospects before they even speak with you.
So if you’re ready to:
- stand out above your competing providers
- reduce the stress, workload and pressure of ‘selling’ on your student advisors, and
- increase the number of enrolments that you generate from your marketing
Take the next step – book your discovery call now and we’ll discuss the options for your getting your training organisation more student enrolments through marketing that gives you an advantage.
I look forward to speaking with you.
How We Might Work Together
RTO Marketing Implementation Programs
If you currently do minimal marketing or want to implement more effective marketing processes, then my RTO Marketing Program will completely change the way you build relationships with prospective students – to help you drive more enrolments.
RTO Marketing Strategy Development & Support
Have a junior marketing team or student support team that can do some marketing but need a bit of strategic guidance? Want to validate a new marketing idea, need to setup marketing reporting or get a little monthly support?
We thought step 1 was getting students to rock into the business, but we weren’t aware that was step 5, until Michael showed us everything we weren’t doing that needed to be done before it. Now our students get tailored ideas about what to expect, and by the time they walk in the door, they are well equipped with more than enough information that it makes the conversion easier.