Storytelling > Strategy > Success = School Growth

Everyone loves a good story.

Whether you are reading a book, watching a movie, listening to a speech or talking to a friend, stories grab your attention and help you understand and connect.

Think about it.

We live in a story. We relate to stories. We love to listen to stories. And, we can see ourselves in a story.

You certainly have many stories to tell about your school—your people, your programs and the difference your school makes in students’ lives.

Storytelling is the foundation of your marketing strategy that leads to success and growth.

The key for you is to create a system for collecting and sharing your stories. I believe the problem is not in your lack of stories, but the lack of a coordinated effort to tell your story. You need a process to collect and distribute stories.

A good story can also inspire word of mouth. This is why storytelling is essential for your website and social media channels. It is critical for you to share stories in which prospective parents can envision themselves in the story you are telling.

In my review of school websites, I believe that storytelling is still one of the most common areas of weakness. After a while, all of the school websites begin to look the same. Instead of engaging an audience and drawing them into a compelling story, we opt for the dry, boring and typical school presentation that doesn’t connect.

What if your website and social media channels focused on storytelling? What would that look like for your school?

It should look different.

Take a look at Ben Lippen School’s website. Rebecca Austin, Director of Digital Media, has done an incredible job incorporating storytelling in Ben Lippen School’s website and on their social media channels. This has been the foundation for their school’s marketing strategy and has led to their successful enrollment growth (see Ben Lippen’s story of growth). In addition, this is the perfect compliment to Kelly Adam’s aggressive and intentional work in admissions.

Take a minute and quickly review your school’s website. How many stories did you find?

How many stories of your students, parents, faculty and alumni are posted?

What methods did you use to tell your stories? Pictures? Videos? Blog Posts? News Posts? E-Books?

Your website should be the home for your stories. Your social media channels should be used to distribute your stories and drive traffic back to your website.

During the upcoming VirCon7, there will be several virtual sessions devoted to the topic of storytelling and how this applies to your website and other marketing strategies. I am excited to listen to Emily Cretella discuss “The Do’s and Don’ts of Breakthrough School Storytelling” and Cheryl Fisher answer the questions, “How strong is your school’s story? Is it as strong as it needs to be?” (as well as all of the other outstanding presenters). I will also share some real examples of storytelling during my virtual session. Make sure you register now to take advantage of the early bird discount.

As you can see, there is a lot of focus on storytelling among school leaders and consultants today. Your school’s marketing effort will look different and it will be more compelling when it is focused on storytelling. This is the foundation for your success and school growth.

In addition, make sure you register to join my upcoming free webinar with Rudi Gesch on Thursday, September 26, at 1pm EDT, as he will discuss “10 Content Strategies (+1 Brand New One) Proven to Drive Enrollment Growth.” Rudi’s content and storytelling strategies have been the foundation to his marketing strategy and this has led to their 18% enrollment growth at Eastern Christian School. You don’t want to miss this webinar.

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