Marketing your pre-school doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Use these top tips to upgrade your marketing, grow your preschool’s presence and gain more happy customers.
#1 Use WhatsApp like a professional
- Make sure your profile photo looks professional. If you have a school phone, use your school logo as the profile picture. No logo? How about a nice photo of the school.
- Tip: under settings, use the about section in WhatsApp to share your school’s name. E.g. “Principal, Happy Apple ECD Centre” helps people see your profession.
- Promote your WhatsApp number on all your marketing material. Don’t change your number, because then you have to change all your marketing material!
- Most importantly, when you receive messages from potential new customers, be ready! It is best to have a draft on hand that gives an introduction to your school and/or an automated response message e.g “Thank you for contacting (name of school). I am principal XXXXX and I will respond as soon as possible.”
- Idea: Create a list of frequently asked questions and replies on your phone in your notes app. For example, What does your school offer? How do school fees work? Curriculum info? Aftercare info?). Save these FAQs on your phone, then simply copy and paste them when parents send enquiries. This will help you quickly respond to questions and look professional.
- Top tip: have a folder with 4 or 5 of the best photos to showcase your school grounds and classrooms. Saved in your gallery. Share these photos along with the FAQs with any parent enquiry.
- Use your status update to share photos from your school’s activities (remember to NEVER share photos of learners’ faces unless you have parent permission)
#2 Load your centre on Google Maps with your contact details
Everyone is using Google and Google Maps to find the services and products they need, including parents looking for creches, daycares, and preschools in their own neighbourhood! Make sure your business is easy to find and that people know exactly how to get to your front door.
You can add your business information to Google Maps and the Google Search result pages with “Google My Business”.
Before you start
- You must have a Google Account to get your business on Google Maps (e.g. a Gmail address)
- Sign in to your Google account on your phone/laptop/tablet before you start.
- Do NOT Google My Business from someone else’s phone unless you have logged into your Google account on their phone.
- You must have a working email address to use Google My Business
Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and follow the instructions
#3 Treat potential customers like gold. Full? Start a waiting list.
- When you receive a question from a potential parent, it is important to give them great information and to capture the person’s details (name, cell number & email). This becomes an active lead. The objective here is to convert this lead into a customer. Having the details, you’ll be able to reach out and market your school.
- You can invite potential parents to meet & greets, a tour of the school or attend open day events.
- Share important information with parents such as your pre-school curriculum, pamphlets and your school business card. Share your enrolment form, policies and procedures and pricing structure. (Don’t have one? You can download form templates from our app).
- Is your school full? Or is someone asking about “next year”? Start a waiting list. Details of new potential learners should be captured and placed on a waiting list. You will then be able to easily contact the parent and fill a spot immediately should a spot become vacant.
- It is recommended to create your list in a document like an excel spreadsheet, or on your phone. This way it’s easy to track and modify. Above all it’s convenient.
- Important: don’t leave people’s personal details lying around. It’s your responsibility to use the details wisely and keep them safe.
#4 Make sure your school’s signage is professional and visible from the road
- Your school’s branding should be visible from the street and on school property. i.e. transport vehicles, staff uniforms, children’s school t-shirts and apparel, forms etc. Resources that you download from the GROW App can all be customised with your logo.
- Your school’s name should also be clearly seen on the school itself. From the pavement or the road while driving up. It is important to have a large bold sign of your school name/logo/slogan on the building of your school. Also your contact number
- The objective is to have your pre-school stand out from the rest and to be seen and used as a landmark.
#5 Treat your parents like gold. Ask for referrals from satisfied parents.
- The best form of marketing is word of mouth. People who trust and love a product or service will always talk about it or share it. When you deliver a great service such as weekly parent bulletins, school events, professional learner assessments and report, and parent resources, parents will start to love your school! (These resources are available on the app for free)
- Seek referrals from existing parents. Share your leaflet or advert with them and inform them when you have an opening in the class. Remind parents that there is limited space in each class – their child will not be negatively affected because you maintain the required teacher-to-child ratio.
- Ask parents to review your school on Google (if you have a Google Business account).
- Have pamphlets ready and accessible for distribution to parents and in the community surrounding areas.
- Strong services, happy children and ongoing relationships with parents are fundamental to encouraging word of mouth marketing.
#6 Host open days and holiday classes to show off your teachers and activities.
- Host a fun open day at your school during important times of the year (e.g. November and January when people need to enrol learners). Promote your open day via WhatsApp and with signage outside the school, balloons and bright colours. Make sure to use the opportunity to collect parent names (use your sign-in register) so that you can follow up with everyone afterwards.
- Have your teachers ready with fun activities at every table – show parents and children how much fun they will have and what they will learn at your school.
- Holidays and weekends can be tough for working parents – how do they keep the children busy!? Host a morning craft lesson (which you charge a small fee for) over a weekend or on a Saturday morning. This is a great way for current and new parents to see your work, to serve your community, and to raise some extra funds for your school. It can be open to children who don’t attend your school to build your school’s name.
#7 Create a Facebook Page for your ECD centre and post updates regularly
- A Facebook Page is essentially a business page for any organisation. It’s not your personal account – it’s only about the organisation.
- If you do not have an active Facebook account for your pre-school yet, see below:
- Visit: https://www.facebook.com
- Refer to the following blog post https://blog.hootsuite.com/steps-to-create-a-facebook-business-page/ for a step by step to create your business page.
- If you already have a page, plan to post a photo or video once a week. Make sure to add an explanation of what you are posting. Remember to NEVER share photos of vulnerable children or any child without express permission from their parents. You can get creative (you don’t need to show faces).
- Post ideas:
- The art or craft activity you did this week
- A teacher’s theme table
- Playdough or blocks creations made by children
- Examples of how children have written their names
- Photos of a healthy lunchbox
- Photos of staff doing their first aid training
- Tips for parents on activities they can do at home
- Make sure your Facebook Page profile and details are up to date (e.g. your number, your operating hours, your location)
- Need inspiration? Follow other pages to see what they are doing.
- Benefits to having a Facebook page for your pre-school includes:
- Your Facebook page is a place where you can publicly showcase your business name, address and contact details, and briefly describe your pre-school. You can also talk about your staff, history, or any other aspect of your school that is likely to attract customers/parents and create interest in what your pre-school is about.
- You have the ability to post messages/texts. You can upload fun pictures and videos about your pre-school. This is a powerful way to communicate with parents and potential parents, allowing them to see your school without having to visit your premises.
- Facebook enables you to offer support online. Parents (existing and new) can post questions directly on your Facebook wall, and you or your staff can answer them right away. People visiting your page will have access to view these conversations and learn about your school too.
- Facebook helps market your brand without all the heavy lifting. Brand awareness and word of mouth are huge benefits when using Facebook.
- Like referrals, you can encourage existing and potential parents to click the ‘Like’ button and share posts so that their Facebook friends will also see them and engage.
- Facebook allows access to a broad audience, which can also be targeted specifically to your business.
- Should you want to learn more about how Facebook can help you boost your Pre-school. Watch the following “Introduction to Facebook” web-series.