Hey Educators! If You’re –
1. Clueless about marketing and want a system that works straight out the gate (without wasting money, time and effort on trial & error)…
2. Have failed multiple times at marketing (whether it’s doing it yourself or hiring an agency that failed to deliver)…
In the next few moments, you’ll find out what you’ve been doing wrong (and what are the steps you can take to accelerate your business growth immediately).
Myth-Busted: Why Branding Isn’t The Answer To Beating The “Big Boys”
A typical 1st time consult with an education client would be something like:
“Nick, I think I need a branding campaign to increase my exposure!
That way, once people know about me, they’ll come right?”
Tons of educators have posed our GrowthTribe team this question multiple times. And although we try to explain otherwise, they usually go with their “gut” and invest in a costly branding campaign anyways:
Putting out fancy slogans, “creative” and “witty” ads, using “minimalist” and “aesthetically-pleasing” websites and stuff like that.
They usually return $15,000 in the red, asking for my advice again.
So let me quickly save you some money and share this open secret:
Yes, branding is important once the company reaches a certain stage (usually $3-$5 million) because by then, parents already know and TRUST your brand — so referrals would be pretty consistent and regular enough to keep the business running without heavily investing in marketing.
But in order for your business to even reach that critical stage, you need to first COMMUNICATE CLEARLY to parents why they should choose YOU over those bigger, more established education-centres in the market.
And the fastest way to do that (and to create a massive stream of income for your business) is through Direct-Response Marketing
Direct-Response Marketing – The Secret To Competing With The “Big Boys”… Without Having To Splurge Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars On Marketing
Here’s the thing:
You can’t afford to be spending your precious dollars on advertising if you don’t have the certainty that parents will IMMEDIATELY sign-up for your free trial classes/consultations —which is why “branding” strategies just don’t work for less-established centres.
The “big boys” can afford to splurge tens of thousands of dollars on “creative” ads and fancy slogans, and sit around waiting for parents to eventually sign up for the free trial classes/consultations they push out…
Because they already have a HEALTHY CASH FLOW from the referrals they’re naturally getting from the credibility of their brand.
But if you’re a lesser-known education-centre in the industry struggling with a declining rate of referrals… you don’t have the same “safety net” to fall back on.
So let’s strip away the fancy logos & cool slogans for a moment to focus on the important thing for you RIGHT NOW:
You need to know that every dollar you spend on advertising will give you back a certain amount of ROI (return on investment).
Every piece of marketing you push out needs to convince parents to have interest into YOUR programs, and to take action IMMEDIATELY.
And according to Peter Drucker, the father of marketing, the best way to do that is to “understand the customer so well, such that your product/service fits him and sells itself”:
And this is what Direct-Response Strategies do best.
When you apply Direct-Response into your marketing, you’ll be able to press all the right “hot” buttons of every parent reading your materials… and make them EAGER to whip out their wallets to sign their kids up for ANY program you offer.
How does this give you an “unfair advantage” over the bigger, more established brands?
When your ads are so persuasive that they can convince a higher percentage of parents reading them to come down for a trial class or diagnostic session…
You can get more students for your programs FASTER — meaning you have to spend far less money than the “big boys” on advertising… and YET be able to not only reach your sales targets…
But to outright SMASH through them — bringing your education business to even greater heights.
Imagine Being Able To Get A Consistent Influx Of Hungry Parents, Rushing To Pay You Top Dollar For Your Programs (ON DEMAND)!
What if I told you that with the “no-frills”, “no-bs” Direct Response Strategies, you can consistently get NEW student sign ups for your centre?
Whether it was during the off-peak season (Nov/Dec)…
Or during the rush hour (January to March)…
And we’re not talking about the 2 or 3 lone signups from referrals.
I’m referring to 10,15,20 student sign ups a month (MINIMUM).
Would that be something you’d be interested in?
I’m not sure about you.
But with the heavy competition big brands are currently dishing out…
As an educator, I’d be very comfortable if I had access to a strong student acquisition machine that helps me compete and OUTMARKET more established players in the field.
And over the past 10 years of working with tons of “lesser-known” education-centres and growing them into the powerhouses of today…
We’ve extracted FIVE key Direct-Response components you MUST have in your ads in order to attract new students consistently, week in, week out, month after month.
Ever since then, we’ve used it time and time again to help struggling education-centres to quickly and consistently pack their classrooms, massively grow their businesses and dominate the respective areas they’re located in.
And now you can too 🙂
Here’s Our Simple, 5-Step Ad Formula To Creating Ads That Magnetically Attracts Parents To Your Centre… Even If They Have Never Heard Of Your “Brand” Before
The first thing you need to do is create a message that resonates deeply with the market by identifying a UNIQUE problem.
The best way to do this is by explaining a specific problem that ONLY you can help with.
This is where many little-known education-centres who play the “branding” game crash and burn.
Saying those generic “have fun while learning” kind of slogans simply just doesn’t separate you from the rest of the herd… making you just “another education-centre” in the eyes of the parents.
In other words — you’re just a commodity to them, and they’ll just choose the cheapest option.
Naturally, this is why many education-centres think the only way they can compete against the “big boys” is by lowering their prices.
You’re depriving yourself of much-needed cash flow and revenue, and sabotaging your own growth.
But if you’re able to create a CLEAR, unique message that your target parents can connect with…. it’s a whole different story
For Example, Instead Of Just Saying You’re Helping Kids Do Better At Math…Go One Step Deeper And Explain That You’re An Expert At Solving PROBLEM SUMS.
What this does:
Parents who’ve identified that word problems are the most challenging aspect for their child, will pay attention to what you have to say in your marketing.
Because the moment you tailor your messages to fit their specific needs, parents instantly perceive you as an expert in your field!
Parents want specific education solutions, so offer them that!
And the best way to COMMUNICATE how you can solve a specific, unique problem in your ads is to:
Create An Attention-Grabbing Headline That Forces Parents To Stop In Their Tracks And Read Your Ad
Like I mentioned earlier, saying stuff like:
“We Will Help Your Child Get An A* For PSLE Math” just doesn’t cut it anymore.
EVERYONE is saying messages like that — and as a smart business owner, you know that in order to stand out from the crowd… you’ve gotta say something different.
And To Give You A Better Understanding Of What Kind Of Headlines Work Well For The Education Market, Here Are Some “Did You Know” Examples From The More Successful Ads Our Clients Ran:
Now, to show you why this format is so effective, let me give you another example for the PSLE Math market:
This headline is attention-grabbing because of 3 main reasons:
1. The phrase “Did You Know” implies that what you’re about to say next is something that’s LITTLE-KNOWN — which is an excellent “curiosity-booster” to draw parents into reading the rest of your headline… and your entire ad.
One important thing to note when you use this “hack” is you have to make sure that the “little-known” fact you’re about to reveal in your ad… really IS litte-known. It has to be something that parents have no idea about, and is not commonly-said by your competitors… otherwise, this “curiosity booster” will be practically useless.
2. The phrase “70% of Potential A PSLE Math Students End Up Scoring A C” is a statistic — and this adds more credibility to your headline… because parents can’t refute cold, hard numbers.
And the number “70%” indicates that almost THREE-QUARTERS of Potential A students end up scoring a C — that’s a huge number of students… and parents reading the headline will be wondering whether their child belongs to the 70%, forcing them to “stop” in their tracks and read the rest of your ad.
A word of caution though:
If you’re using stats in your ad headline, you’ve gotta be sure to explain HOW you got those stats… otherwise parents will feel that you just pulled the numbers out of thin air.— was it from a research study done by a respectable source? or could it be from your own experience of analyzing your students’ work over the past XX years?
3. The phrase “Lose A Huge Chunk Of Marks In Problem Sums” presses the “pain” buttons of the parents whose children are struggling with Math… and tells them “hey, the reason why your child is struggling is cos’ he is weak in problem sums”.
This is a very powerful tool as it sets up your teaching methodology — which following from the earlier example, is your specialisation in helping kids score in problem sums — as a highly-effective solution to help their child excel in Math.
Now, the only way this “linking” tool can work is if you build up a strong case in your ad — showing them a logical argument that points UNDENIABLY to the fact that their child is struggling in Math BECAUSE of their weakness in Problem Sums…
Which brings us to:
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll remember I mentioned that if you’re using stats in your headline, you have to explain HOW you got those stats later on in the body copy of the ad…
Otherwise parents will just think you’re spouting random numbers and trying to “smoke” them.
But not to worry — explaining the source of the stats you used in your headline can easily done by:
1. Quoting a research study done by a respectable source (e.g MOE)
2. Or quote that it’s from your own experience of analyzing your students’ work over the past XX years
Now, I’d definitely recommend Option 1 if you can find a research study done by MOE or a recognised school like Raffles Institution…
However, in our experience, finding such studies can be tough and takes a lot of time and effort on your part — especially if you’re searching for studies done SPECIFICALLY in the area that your teaching methodology helps.
So, in the interest of saving your time, I’d strongly suggest the easier and less time-consuming Option 2.
The great thing about quoting stats based on your own experience of analysing your students’ work is… it’s a great way to brand yourself as an “expert” in the eyes of the parents.
To give you a clear idea of exactly how you can do this, here’s an example of how you can apply this to your ads immediately:
It’s as simple as that!
I’m sure you can adopt this pretty quickly to your own experience as an educator, and incorporate this in your ads right away 🙂
If Not, Here’s Another Example To Guide You Along:
Now, on to the next step of our Parent Ad Formula!
Every single person makes a decision based on two factors:
1. Obtaining Pleasure — desirable outcomes like good wealth, health, relationships, etc.
2. Or Escaping From Pain — undesirable outcomes like diseases, poverty, loneliness etc.
In our Parent Ad Formula, we usually press the “pain” buttons first to get the parents to realise how big of a problem their child is actually facing, so that they’ll see the need to act immediately after reading our ads.
You see, most of the time, parents know that their child is struggling in Math and that it’s a problem that needs fixing…
But the challenge is:
When they see your ads or flyers, they don’t take action RIGHT AWAY.
They might take a few days to “think about it”… and eventually forget even seeing your marketing materials…
Or worse, your marketing might have made them realise that their child has a big problem, but because you didn’t press the “pain” and “pleasure” buttons enough…
They end up enrolling in your bigger and “more established” competitors programs after seeing THEIR ads on Facebook. (This happens far more often than you know).
This is why it’s CRUCIAL that you — as an education business owner — have to know how to achieve the delicate balance between these two motivations in your marketing and advertisements, in order to have parents rushing to your centre to enrol their kids in your programs right away…
Otherwise, you’ll be losing a ton of potential student signups!
Now, you’re probably wondering:
“How do I “press the pain buttons” like what you’ve mentioned?”
Well, one of the ways you can do this is to:
In the case of pre-school enrichment, some examples of challenges would be:
… And if you’re wondering what some of the challenges you can talk about in the O Level Physics market, check this out:
… And using the problem sums example, the challenges that I would talk about would be stuff like:
- It seems like no matter how many hours they practise, they still end up getting confused by the “tricky” wordings of the problem sums
- Or not knowing the right models to draw
- And even if they do know how to solve it, they end up committing careless mistakes that cost them precious marks.
By doing this, you are illustrating to the parents that you KNOW the precise problems their child is facing when it comes to problem sums… which further cements your authority as an “expert” in their eyes.
Pretty cool, huh? 😉
This is exactly how Elsie and Li Su from ISun Education Got More Than $80,000 Worth Of Student Sign-Ups Within A Matter of Weeks (You can find out the system that helped them achieve these results here)
One important thing to note, however, is that you NEED to have a deep understanding of your target market (be it PSLE, O Level, or A Level students) and the exact scenarios and challenges they’re facing… in order for this “pain” element to be effective.
If you list down a set of challenges that the parents’ children are NOT facing, then the parents will immediately disconnect from reading your ad… losing you potential new students.
Do thorough research on your target market and understand the parents deepest fears and desires, so that you can create more compelling and persuasive marketing materials.
(NOTE: Or you can save yourself a ton of time and effort by coming down for our free 1-on-1 strategic session (Worth $388) specially for educators— where we will share with you some of the challenges and desires of parents you can use in your marketing to “push” them to enrol their kids in your programs. Get the full details here.)
Now that you’ve understood how to press the “pain” buttons of the parents, you need to balance that out by stimulating their “pleasure” buttons so that they can see how amazing your program is and how it can solve the challenges their kids are facing:
You know that feeling you get when you watch a really amazing movie trailer that makes you so excited to catch it in cinemas the moment it’s released?
That’s the movie studios’ way of pressing YOUR “pleasure” buttons to make you eager to spend your money to get a ticket to the movie!
And this is exactly how your ad should make parents feel when they read it — excited and itching to come down to your centre to sign their kids up for your programs at the first chance they get.
Just like how an excellent movie trailer gives you a “sneak peak” into all the exhilarating scenes of the movie…
Pressing the “pleasure” buttons in your ads simply mean:
How does your centre’s unique way of teaching help solve the problems their child is facing?
And what kind of results can the parents expect to see?
Will he jump 2-3 grades in the subject?
Will he be leaps and bounds ahead of his peers?
These are some of the questions you must ask yourself — cos’ the answers will help you paint the benefits the parents can expect in much greater detail…
Which pushes the parents’ “pleasure buttons” and drive them to sky-high levels of desiring your program for their children 🙂
Now, because we at Growthtribe love delivering massive value to you — and we want to make sure you fully understand how to apply this to your marketing…
Here’s some of the benefits I would list down to build the desire of the parents, for the problem sums example in this article:
- Your child can be skilled in problem sums… without having to continuously drill assessment books for hours
- Your child will start LOVING Math, and become motivated to do better and better
- Your child can finally secure that A* he rightfully deserves
Can you see how parents would love hearing this?
These are the things that would get a parent — whose child is struggling with problem sums in Math — excited to learn more about the program I’m offering! (If I was an educator, that is)
Now, I’m sure you can definitely come up with a list of benefits for YOUR program like the ones above.
… Or you can always reference these winning examples from our clients here:
O Level English
PRO TIP: To get a clear understanding of YOUR target market’s pleasure points, just do some simple research by asking these questions:
- How does your centre’s unique way of teaching help solve the problems their child is facing?
- And what kind of results can the parents expect to see?
Once you have the answers, you’ll realise coming up with a list of benefits to put in your marketing will be a piece of cake 🙂
Now, up to this point, you’ve learnt 4 out of the 5 steps of the Parent Ad Formula:
… but all of these steps would be in vain without the final piece of the puzzle:
Like I mentioned at the start of the article:
You need to know that every dollar you spend on advertising will give you back a certain amount of ROI (return on investment).
Every piece of marketing you push out needs to communicate clearly to parents what your programme does for their child, and to take action IMMEDIATELY.
Unfortunately, this is where tons of education business owners fall short.
They just don’t know HOW to ask parents to take action right there and then, when the parents are reading their marketing materials…Which is why they end up losing scores of potential new student signups to their competitors.
It’s a pity. A real pity.
But here’s the good news:
I’m going to share with you exactly how you can give parents that “final push” to give you a call to enquire about your programs immediately after reading your ads 😉
It all boils down to one thing:
Makes sense, right?
If you want parents to take action right there and then, you need to explain — and more importantly, DESCRIBE in great detail — the consequences of them not taking action:
- Will the child continue struggling in the subject, while all his peers continue to improve and excel?
- Will the child forever be robbed of the A* he deserves?
- Will the child grow to hate the subject, which in turn, causes him to deprove even further?
The list of consequences of non-action are endless.
All you need to dig them up is by — yes, you guessed it — doing deep research into the fears of the parents.
In fact, you can just ask the parents of your current students about why the sent their kids to your centre in the first place!
What were they afraid would happen to their child if they didn’t decide to enrol their kid in your program?
Once you have these answers — and CORRECTLY execute them in your marketing — I can guarantee that the percentage of parents calling in to enquire after reading your materials will be WAY higher than what it is right now.
Just like our clients are enjoying right now, thanks to some of these ads:
So There You Have It: The 5 Steps Of Our Parent Ad Formula To Creating Ads That Magnetically Attract Them To Flock To Your Centre… Even If They Have Never Heard Of Your “Brand” Before
One thing’s for sure:
If you correctly apply ALL the steps in our PPA Formula, you’ll be able to:
- Be viewed as an “expert” in the eyes of the parents
- Convince parents to choose YOUR education-centre over the tons of competitors out there
- And most importantly… get them to call in to enquire about your programs immediately after reading your marketing materials.
And the best part?
Chances are your competitors have never even heard of these techniques I just shared with you… let alone, use them.
This is YOUR perfect “weapon” to get ahead of your competition and to enjoy a massive influx of student signups, sales and revenue 😉
All you gotta do is EXECUTE it.
Oh, and if you have any questions about any of the steps of the formula, just drop a comment in the section below, and I’ll answer them as promptly as I can 🙂
Or you can drop us an email at [email protected] OR drop Gary a call at 9152 5081
Other than that, all I want to tell you is:
Enjoy your newfound persuasive powers, my friend!