Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Networking at Your Child’s school: Do and Don’t

September 11, 2017

class

Back to school! Even for a busy professional like yourself, that can mean plenty of activities. School plays, concerts, home and away games, field trips, and let’s not forget Career Day. (Hopefully, nobody in your child’s class has an astronaut as a parent – everything’s a letdown after that!)

While you will be interacting with your children and your classmates a bit, you will also be interacting with other parents, teachers, school administrators, and staff. Are you going to reach out to them professionally? Of course, but you also don’t want to run the risk of making a school function about yourself. Here are some tips for making that effort without “crossing the line.”

DO have business cards. You may not keep your personal number or contact info on your business cards. That’s okay! There are situations where it’s appropriate to give out contact info to teachers, staff, and other parents. Writing it on the back of your card gives them the info and also creates a connection.

DON’T be too forward. Gear any personal conversations toward the other adults. Ask them questions about their professions. Focus on making connections first, clients last – you’ll find that it progresses organically that way.

DO respect everyone’s time. If you are taking part in an activity during school hours, remember that the other parents have likely taken time off from work to volunteer. As for teachers and staff, they ARE at work! At afterschool activities, people are there to focus on their children, and teachers are adding hours to an already long day. Do not try to manipulate conversations toward your business if they don’t go there naturally.

DON’T take on your child’s teacher as a client. At least, not immediately. While educators do have needs that you can help with, you also don’t want to create a situation where your business could conflict with your child’s education. Keep in mind that if you have a younger child, they may be assigned to the same teacher at some point in the future, or that same teacher may move on to teach a higher grade and your child could have them again. If you want to reach out to your child’s teacher, talk to them after the school year is over, and be informed.

Respecting the time and boundaries of school staff and parents may mean developing friendly relationships now, and reaching out to them at some later point, down the road. You can cultivate that relationship and maintain it through occasional greeting cards and other mail and email outreach. www.Marketing.Pro offers vibrant, relevant content that will help you maintain that bridge.

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Education as a Marketing Tool

July 17, 2017

The outreach that you provide to your clients and prospects has two roles. It should educate them, as well as provide value – meaning that your efforts do something to enhance their lives. For this reason, any sort of educational outreach is a marketing tool. These outreaches should be carefully considered, so that they are both of value to potential clientele, as well as economical for you.

  • Newsletters
    How frequently are you sending out an informative newsletter? Is that frequency right for your targeted group? How much outreach is engaging to the reader, and how much becomes white noise? Separate your contacts into groups and determine how frequently they would like or need a newsletter, as well as what type of information will be valuable to each group.
  • Blogs
    If not adequately promoted, blogs may sit in a dank corner of the Internet, unloved and unread. Carefully select search terms, and if you cite an author, be sure to include them. Publicize your efforts on social media, email signatures, and even business cards.
  • Gatherings
    These may take many forms. Whether it’s a seminar, “Lunch & Learn,” or an educational dinner series, don’t attempt to ‘pack the house.’ Smaller events, aside from being more economical to cater, allow you to give focused attention to each attendee, and begin forming a professional relationship with each individual.
  • White Papers / eGuides
    These are also an important part of the outreach process. Unlike newsletters and blogs, this is a ‘one-and-done’ exchange of information. These types of educational pieces can be very useful when it comes to lead generation – allowing you to offer something of value in return for contact information.

Whichever elements you choose to utilize, the best guideline is to Keep It Simple. Remember to balance cost and benefit. You can make your marketing much simpler and more cost effective by subscribing to a service like MarketingPro, which offers compliance-reviewed content as well as automation tools. Visit www.Marketing.Pro to learn more.

Five Great Client Appreciation Events

October 7, 2013

Client Appreciation Events may seem like a no-brainer, but experienced professionals know that they are effective tools for keeping your name on the tip of a client’s tongue. Keep these five great event ideas in mind, or perhaps they’ll help to spark some creative ideas of your own.

The Holiday Party
Whether it’s dinner in the private room of a fine restaurant or hors d’oeuvres and music in a hotel ballroom, the holidays are a fine time to show your clients your appreciation for their business. Small party favors and/or games may keep things lively. Don’t forget how important scheduling is this time of year; hold the event early in December, so as not to conflict with travel plans. If your clients have visiting relatives, invite them as well! Keep in mind that December isn’t the only month of the year associated with celebration. An Independence Day barbecue under local fireworks can be a memorable and relatively simple event for your clients and their families.

The Retirement Party
It’s an exciting time that your clients have been working for their entire professional lives, and something you’ve likely had a big part in securing for them. If they are already being feted with a big party by their colleagues, get creative with options like a golf trip or a wine tour. If appropriate, throw an annual celebration with your retiring clients as the guests of honor, and invite all your clients to attend. Inviting your other clients and prospects to such an event can put them in a mind to talk about their own retirement options.

The Anniversary Party
If you’re looking at the calendar and realizing that you’ve been in business for a while, it may be time to consider an anniversary party. Reminding your clients that you’ve been on the job, helping people for a long time will remind them that you are here to stay, and that you’re going to be around to help them, their friends, and their families. 25 year, 20 year, 15 year, 10 year … even the first anniversary of being in business can be cause for celebration.

The Educational Event
Such an event should not be combined with any of the above, but you still want to make it a fun and engaging time for your clients. A lecture and a few sandwiches probably won’t cut it. Fine dining in a comfortable atmosphere, or, if you have the resources, a weekend getaway can give your clients time to relax before they direct their full attention to your informative and worthwhile seminar. Mixing business with pleasure is the proverbial spoonful of sugar.

The Sports Event
Few Americans live more than a few hours from a stadium where professional sports are played, and even people who don’t follow sports are known to enjoy the thrill and excitement of a live game. Don’t forget that many cities also have minor league baseball teams; a summer day at the ballpark can be fun and surprisingly affordable when you’re entertaining clients with young children.

There are many different routes a Client Appreciation Event can take, and just reading through these suggestions may have inspired ideas specific to your area and your own clientele. As I said, get creative and make these events count!