Inspiring More Word-of-Mouth from your Parents
Every year I conduct hundreds of surveys and focus group meetings with parents in schools. And every year it’s the same as word-of-mouth continues to be the number one way that a prospective parent discovers a school.
I have been in the enrollment and marketing coaching business for over twelve years now. What baffles me the most is that school leaders do not typically have a word-of-mouth marketing plan, or an effective way to inspire more influential conversations between current parents and their friends.
Driving More Word-of-Mouth
While we rely on word-of-mouth, we often just sit back and wait for it to occur. Most school leaders are not inspiring parents to be word-of-mouth marketers. You have to actively and creatively implement a word-of-marketing plan for this to thrive.
In my E-book that I wrote a couple of years ago, I discussed nine drivers of word-of-mouth in a school setting. If you understand these drivers, you can proactively and intentionally work to drive more word-of-mouth in your community.
Your most important driver is people. These people are the parents in your school. They have the story to tell about their experience and know the right people to reach in the community–their friends.
The Bigger Concept of a FAN Program
By understanding this focus on driving word-of-mouth through people, I believe that the most effective strategy is to launch a FAN program. This isn’t your average parent ambassador program that involves 12 over-committed parents helping at your open houses and in your new family mentor program.
Rather, this is a program that includes hundreds of parents that are inspired to be intentional about telling their story and reaching their friends. Yes, you read that correctly: Hundreds of parents!
I can relate to the concept of a FAN. I am a sports fan. My favorite teams include the Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Pittsburgh Steelers. You may wonder how a Pittsburgh team made it into this Florida mix. During the 70’s, I grew up in Michigan and our home team was the Detroit Lions. However, they weren’t very good, so I followed the Super Bowl Champions of the 70’s—Pittsburgh Steelers. This is one of the things that Brendan Schneider and I have in common—our love for the Steelers.
The Steelers are my favorite football team, and I am a loyal fan, even though it has been a rough several years. I have taken my youngest son to several games and have enjoyed our visit to the Steel City. We proudly wave our terrible towels. We tell stories about our team.
Your parents are exactly the same as many of them are fans of your school. They love your school and the impact that it has made on their child. They wear spirit wear and brag about your school to their friends. They tell stories about your school. Your parents are your fans.
Rather than launching an ambassador program that has little external reach into the community, your goal should be to develop and implement a FAN program. This FAN program should include as many parents as possible. You will want to think big, and then to think bigger. This is a key first step.
Launching Your FAN Program
After you develop the list of your FAN’s, you must plan and schedule an exciting launch event where you can inspire your parents to help you in your word-of-mouth marketing effort. This is where your word-of-mouth marketing plan takes shape and your FAN’s are motivated to help. By intentionally asking parents to share their story to their friends and online, you will have an effective game plan to generate more word-of-mouth.
During this past decade, I have helped many schools implement and launch their FAN program with great success. I coach school leaders through this process as part of my Enrollment Catalyst Program.
In addition, I have developed an online training program that guides you through the step-by-step implementation of your FAN program. This program includes 13 recorded lessons that will guide you each step of the way to implement your word-of-mouth campaign and your FAN program. You will also receive sample materials that will help you successfully launch your program.
Discover how you can launch a successful word-of-mouth marketing program at your school to better reach your community. It is the most important marketing strategy that you should have in place. This will be one of the best uses of your marketing dollars this year. It really is a no-brainer. Click now to purchase this program and save $100 by using the coupon code: Catalyst100