Have you ever debated, argued, or persuaded? Have you ever tried to convince someone of the value of your viewpoint? Then you’re a marketer. We all market and sell our thoughts and ideas on a daily basis, seeking to convince others of why they will benefit from our perspective.
As I work with schools and colleges around the country, I frequently hear teachers express the idea that marketing is someone else’s job, not theirs. People in the field of education often do not see themselves as salespeople or marketers, but the fact is that teachers and professional educators market and sell their strategies, concepts, knowledge, credibility, importance, and more all day long. By the sheer power of their job description, teachers sell and market for a living as they impart knowledge and skill to their students.
Maybe as a professional educator, you don’t really want the task of marketing—but that’s like giving the keys of the kingdom to someone else. Instructors should feel empowered when it comes to recruitment, because they are in the ideal position to sell the power of their programs.
You are a firsthand witness of your students’ positive outcomes and the many opportunities that your program can deliver. You chose your field because there was some compelling reason to do so. No one else can be as convincing or as credible as you. You are the expert in your field and therefore you know, better than anyone else, the advantages it can deliver.
Not only that, but you may have industry connections and contact with successful program graduates—the building blocks of a dynamic marketing approach.
Telling the story
If the concept that you’re a marketer is a new one to you, it can be helpful to think of marketing as telling a story. This story is shared in many different ways and in many different places, but the narrative remains the same and it is all about the value and power of your program for prospective students. You are always answering the unspoken question, “what’s in it for me?”
To craft your marketing story, drill down to why someone would want to complete your program. What kind of lifestyle could they enjoy as a result? What career experiences can they pursue? What advancement is possible, and what are the perks and benefits of the field? What are the enjoyable and interesting things that students will get to experience as part of your program? What successes have your program graduates enjoyed? What is the job forecast for your field? What are the latest trends and technologies?
People need to hear about the value of your offerings in order to take action. It’s imperative that they understand why your program is meaningful to them if they are going to enroll. And that means they need someone to tell them. You’re that person, because marketing is an intrinsic part of what you do. The truth is, everyone is a marketer. No matter what your job is, marketing is your job. And far from being a burden, this is an exciting opportunity to make a bigger difference.