By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services
“What are other people saying, Jeremy?” “What are you seeing?”
I can’t remember the last week when I wasn’t asked one or both of those questions in an email, text, DM, or during a phone call with a college admissions counselor or leader.
If we’ve met before or you’ve connected with me at some point, you know that I’m always happy to share. It’s not a client only thing. There is no catch. I’ll give you all the answers that I have, namely how the right communication strategy will grow your college’s enrollment. And I’ll tell you how to improve the confidence, skill set, and strategic thinking of you or your team. All you have to do is ask.
While some of the bigger themes from all my conversations over the past few months have ended up turning into articles like this one that I wrote in August, much of that information has been sitting on note cards on my office desk or in a Word document in my MacBook.
This past weekend I decided to do some fall cleaning in my office. As I was organizing things, I thought this week’s article would be another good opportunity to pass along many of those conversation points as well as the other recruiting reminders and strategies that I’ve been recommending and sharing.
- There needs to be a bigger focus on storytelling, specifically training admissions counselors and tour guides how to effectively incorporate it into their communications with prospective students and parents.
- How a prospect is made to “feel” when you meet them at a college fair, high school visit, or when they’re on your campus continues to play a significant role in their final decision.
- Recent student outcomes (by major) are becoming more and more important to this generation of students. Unfortunately, this information is lacking on many college campuses.
- If you want to improve your team’s customer service, help them be more instinctive and empathetic.
- Phone calls and high school visits will continue to offer massive ROI to those who can execute them correctly. “Voice” leads to deeper relationships.
- Using video in your recruiting communications creates higher engagement.
- Very few colleges have a social media strategy for recruitment, let alone one that creates engagement.
- Most colleges do not produce social media content native to each platform.
- Facebook ads and Instagram influencers. Educate yourself on both if you haven’t already.
- By the way, you have micro-influencers on your campus. Do you know who they are and how to use them as part of your social media recruiting strategy?
- In many conversations, context matters more than you think.
- You need to help a family create a conversation about cost long before your financial aid award letter is distributed.
- Leave your email inbox open for an entire day and respond to messages from prospects and parents immediately after they come in. Small change, big return.
- Ask your current students for two or three things that make your college unique and then start talking about those more with prospective students.
- Don’t give up on students who don’t seem to be engaged with your story early on. Keep consistently sending emails and letters. At this point, many are still listening even though they’re not responding.
- Asking the right questions the right way at the right time. This separates a great admissions counselor from a good admissions counselor.
- As the recruiting process moves forward, the story should get more and more narrow and be focused on them specifically.
- Get an answer to these two questions from your prospect (if you haven’t already): “What scares you the most about the college search process?” AND “Walk me through how you’re going to make your college decision.”
- Most parents will vote to have their son or daughter stay close to home or go to the school that costs less UNLESS you clearly tell and show them why your college is the smarter choice.
- Execution over ideas.
If you want to talk in greater detail about one or more of these 20 things and how they fit into your recruiting strategy, here’s your next step. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org OR you’re welcome to call/text me at 612-386-0854.
P.S. I snapped this picture of the snow covered mountains on my descent into Montana last week.