To stand out from the competition and optimise student recruitment at your language school or educational centre, a new approach must be taken, and new solutions found. The education industry is constantly evolving, and creative solutions are essential. The market itself is pushing towards new ways of teaching, so students now have many more options available to them when selecting a language centre. Does your language centre offer students enough possibilities and choices?
But what options do I have?
Well… In this article, we cover 6 ways in which you can boost student recruitment.
Let’s break the mold and think beyond our routine lesson.
How to boost student recruitment at your language centre: 6 surefire tips
The task of attracting new students each year can be a real challenge. Although languages are among the most sought-after extracurricular and educational activities for children and adults, it is also true that there is a lot of competition. And why not say it: the competition is fierce. However, you should not be discouraged as you can use multiple opportunities to excel and stand out. To do this, it is important that you use all the tools at your disposal: from the effective deployment of marketing strategies to offering an attractive educational offer that encompasses various methodologies, such as online, blended or face-to-face teaching. This allows for a much broader fit and will enable you to attract new students.
And don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth, a lifelong formula that continues to yield the best results in combination with modern techniques, such as social media.
#1. Use marketing strategies
Every year, students have a much wider choice of places to study English and other languages, and this increases competition in the industry, both locally and online. To keep up, you can learn some marketing strategies and apply them at your centre. Some of the most interesting actions you can put in place are:
- Market Research: It is important to identify the priorities of your school’s marketing strategy.
Who is your target audience? What do they want from a language school? How can you introduce your language school program in a way that compels your target audience?
- Solve the pain points: You need to recognize where your language school meets or fails to cover the needs of potential customers. Conducting surveys is a good way to find out if you are missing crucial pain points.
- Build your message: What is your sales pitch? What would you say to someone if you wanted to convince them to consider your school? Make sure to identify a few key statements that define your school.
- Appear in search engines: Many of your potential students search for language schools online. An updated website, visible email and active social networks will help your centre appear easily in their searches. You can also invest in advertising.
Make sure you set goals and take steps towards them. Or, in other words, create a long-term marketing plan campaign that follows a specific target. This will not only improve your existing campaigns but compel you to think about audiences you may not have considered earlier. If you do not have specialised personnel to accomplish these tasks at your centre, you can always hire outside help to get you started.
#2. Improving your brand image
In conjunction with your marketing strategies, you need to know what image your school has in the eyes of the community. Your brand should not be merely a logo, but an entire experience. You are the person responsible for it. From your online presence to the appearance of your classes, every little detail matters.
A good way to promote your brand and make a statement can be to make sure your logo appears in your content. Whether branding your own books, learning pills or even virtual platforms, having your image appear at the top will surely help students and potential clients remember you better.
On our educational platform (Voluxion PRO LMS) you can customise the colours of course interfaces, as well as add your own logo. This way, when a student accesses your online courses, or their homework, they are in an environment which represents your school’s image.
As you carry out marketing and advertising efforts, your brand should get stronger. The way you manage your image will not only establish your school as a desirable option for potential students but will also determine the success of your entire marketing plan.
#3. Make a difference by creating a unique offer that differentiates you from the rest
Language lessons should not be your main proposal. At the end of the day, every language school offers lessons. You need to have a different approach by creating a solution that meets the needs of a particular segment in your market.
As an example, you could specialise in “Business English classes” or any other specific sector (healthcare, legal, services, military, etc.) and create a promotional package combining individual lessons with both oral and written exams based on the chosen specialisation. You could also offer courses to prepare for the international Dexway English exams or certifications (DIECE).
Not only that, but you can differentiate your center by implementing flexible options for your students in your offer, such as opening different class modalities: Face-to-face, phone classes or even online lessons. All this, paired with free schedules, will allow your center to have extended enrollments, optimization of teachers’ schedules and improvement of overall profitability.
With this, you help your potential customers to differentiate you from the rest of the options and it will be easier for them to understand what is exactly what they can achieve with your courses.
#4. Optimize your website for online presence
Nowadays, having an online presence has become a necessity. So much so, that it has become uncommon to find a language school that doesn’t have a website.
If you haven’t done so already, you want to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, is easy to update and covers every possible question that your users might have.
But in order to stand out, make sure you offer features that go beyond the basic website that everyone has:
- · Give them access to online lessons and courses.
- · Offer your online courses with videoconference.
- · Provide an in-depth analysis of your students’ advancements in different subjects.
- · Capabilities to attract and get in touch with new students.
- · Sell online lessons through your website.
At the end of the day, having an online presence through multiple digital channels makes you more available to your visitors and acts as a letter of introduction when a potential client is interested in your school.
The potential of online reviews
Many of your students look you up online before contacting you, not only to find out about the courses you offer and the schedule, but also to check out your reputation. Online reviews have become a source of information that users tend to rely on a lot. We can’t control what people say and write about us, but we can ask our students to leave reviews, especially those who have been at the centre for a long period of time. Their experience could be very useful for potential students who are undecided.
#5. Use technology to your advantage and stay updated with new resources
In this day and age, it is vital to offer resources and ways of learning that are up to date with your clients’ needs. Technology plays a big role here, and having the means to offer reliable and useful methods of learning can help you reach those undecided students that are looking for a new way to learn a language.
There are plenty of tools available at your disposal, some are more expensive than others, but in the end, you must cover the increasingly technological needs of your clients.
An interesting approach being taken by an increasing number of schools is the blended learning method: this method is gaining ground because it offers the best of both worlds: face-to-face classes and virtual classrooms. But it is also interesting to have the ability to offer 100% self-paced courses. With Dexway courses and the Dexway educational platform, you have everything you need: courses to teach in different modalities (online, blended, face-to-face) that offer a program structured by objectives aligned with the CEFR. In this way your students can take their course completely online and learn without gaps and in a natural way.
#6. Use your current clients and learners to find new leads
Your current students are, in a way, the strongest option you have to develop new potential leads. To take advantage of this, you can use satisfaction surveys, interviews, or even discounts for a referral program for current students.
Be open and honest and tell them that you’d love to know if they know anyone else who might be interested in your school. Most students might not even know that you are actively looking for new customers if you don’t tell them directly.
To optimise student recruitment at your language school you can use these 6 techniques, all designed to help you boost your visibility and enhance the growth and recognition of your school. Some may be more effective than others depending on the needs of each school. Some other powerful methods to boost recruitment at your school are implementing referral programs or offering free trials (attend a free class, give an online class to make yourself known).
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