Since powerful, effective digital marketing and communications are more important than ever for enrollment and development, many schools turn to outside consultants—firms, sole proprietors, and freelancers—for help. While outsourcing can be more expensive than doing the work in-house, the benefits to the school can outweigh those costs.
A consultant has an objective perspective of your school that you’re not likely to have. This is particularly important for brand development and enrollment marketing, when discovering and promoting what makes you truly distinctive can be the difference between full enrollment and empty seats. The benefit is that this kind of perspective can bring clarity that cannot be found internally. Sometimes the lens you use needs to be refocused in order to gain a fresh or different perspective.
A consultant can give your internal team tools to maximize efficiency, consistency, and results such as brand development, visual and editorial style guides, and a magazine template. Armed with these, your internal team can hit the ground running, focused on content instead of reinventing the wheel. The benefit is brand-centric marketing and communications that don’t rely on consultants after the initial engagement. Capacity:
First, a consultant can be a gift when your internal team is maxed out and needs a hand with overflow. Second, a consultant can devote large chunks of time to critically important projects like brand development, developing a viewbook, or campaign marketing—anything that’s a one-off—when an internal team can’t fathom adding one of these to their workload. Third, a consultant can be a boon for ongoing, time-consuming projects like design of the magazine or annual report. The benefit is that a consultant can expand your school’s capacity to get things done and done well.
Outsourcing Marketing Talent:
A consultant often leads a team of professionals with more expertise than you are likely to have in-house. Examples include strategists, photographers, designers, digital media designers, or others. The benefit is that you don’t have to seek out and bring together these people yourself, and the consultant can direct them without you using your valuable time. Turnaround:
A consultant can turn a project around faster than your internal staff because they are focused and freed of the inevitable interruptions that a small school office encounters. The benefit is projects that are completed in a timely fashion. Payroll:
A consultant can help with perception issues if the current school community would frown upon hiring additional staff to get the marketing work done. Engaging a consultant for a specific task or on an “as-needed” basis may be a way around that. The benefit is that the work gets done, but a new desk isn’t occupied.
A well-respected consultant has worked with tens if not hundreds of schools whereas your internal team can probably count their experience on one hand. The best consultants are on top of trends and have a proven track record of success. When all of the previously mentioned attributes come together, a consultant can provide far more value than the monetary cost. The benefit is a solution to your challenges and a foundation for your internal team to build on. One Caveat:
When considering who to work with, schools should strive to outsource to consultants who truly understand independent schools. Marketing a school is not like marketing a pair for an e-commerce business or a restaurant. For parents, sending their child to your school is an emotional, long-term decision with a significant financial commitment. Find a consultant who “gets” schools in general and your school in particular to make your investment worth it.
At Thor Social | Digital Marketing Agency, we have worked with schools all across the country. We have been contracted by Public Schools, Independent Schools, Private Schools, Charter Schools and even Religious Schools. We know what it takes to attract and recruit prospective families and students. We can help you in all facets of digital marketing. Let us take the burden off of your desk, so you can get back to operating your school.
Learn How We Help Charter Schools HERE.
Learn how we helped one of our charter school clients boost their enrollment through Digital Marketing HERE.
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