How to start a trade school

Starting a vocational school is a long process, but not necessarily difficult if you prepare well. The one truth about getting a vocational school approved to operate is the more your staff prepares, the easier – and faster – it will happen. So do the all work ahead of time; not only before your first site […]

marketing for vocational schools: targeting

Marketing is a comprehensive plan that targets the right demo and caries them all the way through the process. Advertising is the first part of marketing – Advertising alone is not marketing. I make that distinction because too often, a school’s marketing plan basically stops at the point they book some ads and hope for […]

Converting leads to students, marketing funnel

Let’s assume you’ve implemented a great, highly-targeted advertising plan and you have lots of high-quality leads keeping your admissions team busy. As you know, having a lot of leads does’t mean you’ll have a full class, so… now what? Well, now you have to nurture those prospective students with a good admissions plan: The admissions […]

marketing budgets

A successful School Marketing Plan (SMP) needs a well funded School Marketing Budget (SMB). This is probably the most controversial aspect of any School Marketing Plan. 1. Make the Budget Realistic Various people within each school community have differing views on the amount which should be afforded to the School Marketing Budget. School Principals and […]

The intent of PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing campaigns for vocational schools is to capture the lead so your admissions team can then get them into the school for an appointment. That’s it. Pay Per Click can be your highest unit cost referral source, so you don’t want to waste it on email lists. If at first […]

There are plenty of large (and very expensive) CRM  systems (Customer Relationship Management) available that are “designed” for private, post-secondary and vocational schools. Why? Because they are THE tool for your admissions team to help usher potential students through the admissions process. Having some form of CRM is a need for virtually any business, honestly, whether […]


As an industry, private and vocational schools spend millions of dollars advertising every month – The Apollo Group does that on their own (and that’s just search engine marketing). Most of us, however, don’t have that sort of budget, so need more viable advertising ideas for our school. In this article we’ll cover the two […]

school marketing ideas: free seminars

Offering time and information for free is very important for schools. Free on-campus seminars accomplish many things for higher education institutions. Doing so demonstrates that you are an authority on the topic and more importantly it gets prospective students into the school, which is your best change and convincing them to enroll in one of […]

Vocational school sales funnel

In a nutshell, tracking your conversions allows you to more accurately create your marketing budget, as well as identify which marketing efforts are working and which are not. One of the biggest mistakes we see in small business is that marketing efforts are not accurately tracked in some sort of CRM (even if it’s one […]

We talk a lot about conversions in relation to marketing schools. Here, we thought we’d quickly note exactly what that means, and the various points in the marketing plan where you can actually measure them. The most common conversions for schools to measure are: Website visit to lead (inquiry) conversion Lead (inquiry) to Application conversion […]

build relationships sign

There are thousands of other private post-secondary schools out there, only a small fraction of them are in direct competition with your school based on your programs and what you teach. All the others who are not in competition re potential partners. There are hundreds of ways to create symbiotic relationships with other schools and […]

targeted search engine marketing for trade schools

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the foundation for targeting new and interested leads. If you are not currently running search engine marketing campaigns on Google: start now. Depending on your area of training, the estimated and average cost per click can be higher than what you get on social media marketing, but there’s one reason […]

email marketing with courses

Free email courses have always been one of the most successful ways to pull in new students to shorter programs with a relatively low price point. The key philosophy: people won’t give you their email address unless you give them something in return. If you offer them a free email series on a topic they […]

Have a web camera and an Internet connection? Then you’re ready to start broadcasting your school. To get started you need a minimum amount of technology and a good general topic to be the theme of your online show / webcast / webinar. Piece of cake, right? 😉 But why for free? As mentioned before, […]

We’ve covered “the HOW” of marketing communication, but why is that important when it comes to marketing to a student’s culture? Why does culture at a school matter? Because for “kids these days” – and virtually all ages given how much time even adults spend online – a school needs to feel like it’s operates […]