Category Archives: Miscellaneous

How to Build a Successful Platform Without Email

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Keeping In Contact With Customers & Prospects Without Email

In this post I want to share a recording I did with my colleague Ian Brodie. Ian is Mr Email and wrote the definitive book on the subject. So me saying I don’t use email is an interesting proposition for an interview.

Did sparks fly? Of course not.

But you might find a few thoughts that create flames for you and your business.

[Podcast] Stefan Drew on How He Built a Successful Platform Without Email Marketing

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Caring for Customers is Like Painting Your Premises

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Caring for Customers is Like Painting Your PremisesWe’ve Painted Our Premises And It Looks Great. 

Well, Caring for Customers is Like Painting Your Premises

In some senses it felt like a waste of time and money as we went for the same colour as before. Continue reading

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Are Education & Training Bots Such a Huge Change?

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Are Education & Training Bots Such a Huge Change

I Was Recently Asked Are Education & Training Bots Such a Huge Change

I Was Recently Asked “Are Education & Training Bots Such a Huge Change?”

My answer is given in one of my One Minute Video Answers and you’ve probably got a minute to check it out!

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Why You Shouldn’t Delegate

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Why You Shouldn't Delegate

We Are Told To Delegate, To Outsource, To Do Less Ourselves. But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Delegate

We Are Told To Delegate, To Outsource, To Do Less Ourselves. But Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Delegate

If you delegate everything you miss huge busienss growth opportunities. You also lose the opportunity to spot what isn’t working in your business.

This short video explains it all … viewing time is about a minute.

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Pricing Strategies: How To Display Prices in a Small Font to Maximise Sales

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Few Providers Use This Pricing Strategy. They Need to Know How To Display Prices in a Small Font .. and More Importantly, Why They Should Do Use a Small Font

I often suggest FHE institutions should consider this Pricing Strategy for Full Cost Courses …. because it works.

See How To Display Prices in a Small Font to Maximise Sales

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A Really Simple Guide to Bots

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A Really Simple Guide to Bots can be downloaded by clicking the link below

AReallySimpleGuidetoBotsVol1 ..

but don’t forget to browse the numerous bot posts here.

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Mergers: Does Size Matter? Is Bigger Better?

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Merger: Does Bigger Mean Better? Does Size Really Matter?Lots of Colleges are Merging. It’s Meant to Make Them Sustainable. Does It?

See my latest Featured Article in FE News

Merger: Does Bigger Mean Better?

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Understanding Searcher Intent is Vital

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Searcher Intent, What is It, How Do You Define Searcher Intent?Searcher Intent? What Do Online Searchers Intend

We read a lot about SEO and ensuring that we use the right keywords in our content to ensure we come high up on the Search Engine Results Pages.  But to do this, and get highly ranked, we need to know what the online searcher intent is.

Are they just merely curious, doing actual research, want to buy, want to recommend to a friend or something altogether different?  People’s intentions are not always obvious, so, when writing content, we need to make some assumptions if our webpage is to match their actual needs. Continue reading

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How to Transcribe Audio & Video Quickly & at Low Cost

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Transcribe and transcriptionTranscription of Video and Audio is often needed for use on websites and YouTube.

DIY transcription tends to be slow, inaccurate and ineffective. So I recommend using online services such a SpeechPad, simply because they are accurate, quick, inexpensive and they operate 24/7.

Find them at  https://www.speechpad.com/

 

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Could Numbers Be Gender Specific?

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Research by Wilkie & Bodenhausen (2015) Indicates That Numbers Are Gender Specific

My gut reaction was that this was highly unlikely. But then I thought some more.

My logic was that if this were true then it might influence how we use numbers to influence the purchase of courses .. especially online.

So I’m conducting some research of my own. It’s only a simple one question survey but it will cast more light on the question.

Answer this single question and I’ll explain the rationale as soon as I have some results.

Click the link below to see the question

Numbers & Gender Research

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How to Turn Website Visitors into Students

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website conversionTurn Website Visitors into Students

So many people write or blog about the black art of getting more website visitors; but far fewer focus on getting those visitors to become students (customers).

Converting visitors isn’t a black art. It’s not magic. It’s the application of a very simple marketing process.

There are three parts to it.

Continue reading

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Value Based Pricing Strategies for FE Business Development

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Value Based Pricing Strategies are an FHE business development strategy essential in FE Value Based Pricing is an Alternative Pricing Strategy Few FE Providers Use

Most FE Providers ignore Value Based Pricing Strategies and go for Flat Pricing with a single option. For example, a course is charged at £195 per person. There are no other options.

This is a quick and easy way to quote but it means you are going to be compared with your competitors on price. And that means someone will always try to do it cheaper and, even if you get the work, the margins are very slim.

Continue reading

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Once Upon a Time There Was a College Restaurant

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Why some college restaurants need to closeCollege Restaurants are about to hit the news.  Some providers are about to announce expansion plans with city centre commercial premises .. and others are quietly closing their restauarants.

Neither route is necessarily the one other providers should follow.  But we all should ensure our commercial activites are there for the right reason.  And that has to be to provide our students with the very best training and education we can provide.  They deserve no less.

Sadly many providers close over the summer period and, whilst i agee that staff need a break, I’m not convinced college restaurants should close over the summer.

You can read more about my views in my latest FE News article entitled ……..Why Some College Restaurants Need to Close

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Employers Will Pay Much More

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employers pay extra for luxury Frequently I’m Told Employers Will NOT Pay a Premium .. or sometimes anything at all. 

That’s NOT True

Employers will pay much more than most people think when buying courses for themselves or highly valued staff.

The trick is to tap into what they value or need most.

Employers are people and people value the little extras in life .. such as
Luxury (the feeling of)
Time
Clarity
Experience
Process (if it’s unique)
Passing Responsibility (the transfer of it…to you)
Think about the businesses that YOU pay a premium to…

What do they give you that makes you happy to pay extra?

Coffee shops; most charge a high premium on coffee fees. In return you get a distinct ambiance, great coffee, comfortable seating and (usually) good music.

Apple, Their computers and phones are really expensive. You can pay 100% – 400% premium on their computers. But in return, you get a Apple shops which provide a much better experience, a great feeling when opening the box plus good  customer service.

Even the simpler, more innovative design implies clarity.

 

What Employers Will Pay For 

Employers will pay extra if you provide some, or all, of the above.

The first step is to answer the phone correctly. These people are responsible adults that run businesses.  Far too often when I speak to providers on the phone I feel like they are treating me like a school leaver. There is no need to be abrupt or appear superior!

I’m sure staff don’t set out to appear like this .. but sadly some definitely come over like this.

So start by thinking about the people you are dealing with and what they expect.  Provide this as a minimum and then try to exceed their expectations.  You can then base your prices on this level of service and see significant income improvements.

You will also stand out from the crowd when bidding against other providers.

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Customer Profiles: Social Media Profile Scores

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Customer Profiles: social media responses from surveymonkey survey of UK students

Click to Enlarge

Knowing Our Customers Social Media Profile is Essential for Cost-Effective Marketing

I’ve talked about profiling our customers social media responses before,  And you probably realise I have concerns about the volume of poorly used social media being used by providers. Customer profiles are a vital marketing tool.

It isn’t that I’m totally  against social media.  It is that far too often the wrong platforms are often used, messages sent tend to be a bit vanilla and there are far too few calls to action for my liking.  Certainly social media is meant to engage. But it should never bore. And every marketing campaign should have some measurable outcome; preferably a sale of some sort.

Customer Profiles: How to Profile Your Customers

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Client Acquisition: How To Avoid Client Chasing

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Client acquisistion isn't easy; unless you market effectively. Client Acquisition: Getting More Business Clients Can Be Hard When Your Emails and Phone Calls Don’t Get Answered.

So how do you get the clients without appearing desperate? Try this method of Client Acquisition

You know the situation. They ask for a proposal, you write and send it and then you can’t get an answer from them.

Sometimes their priorities have changed but often it is just that you keep missing one another.  When this happens you have to decide if you should give up or keep chasing.  But chasing looks desperate.

How to Avoid Client Chasing and Looking Desperate

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Martin Doel on Area Reviews and the Future of FE

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Martin Doel on FEs Future Has FE a future?  Will Area Reviews ring the death knell or a new future?

Hear what Martin Doel told us at the AOC conference

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The Prospectus in the Digital Age

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Hartpury prospectus circa 1990The Prospectus is a Major FHE Marketing Expense.

Major costs are incurred in aggregating the course and other information required.  More costs are incurred in designing the hard copy publication. Printing is a huge cost.  And distribution, especially via the post, can add another huge bill to the total cost.

Continue reading

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Putting it simply! Basics that go wrong – all the time!

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MVJ logoPutting it simply!

Basics that go wrong – all the time!

Morgan Vincent Jones (MVJ) Associates

Sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau

Sharing information on getting the basics right and lessons learned from experts in the field.

Inputs from:

Stefan Drew – Further education marketing specialist and best-selling author

Colin Evans – Former inspector and highly experienced sector guru

Mel Hollands – Apprenticeships and work based learning consultant

Rachel Jones – Funding and data specialist and former Vice Principal

Ioan Morgan – Leadership and management, values, behaviour and recovery expert and former college Principal.

Allan Shaw – Maths and English Consultant, experienced inspector and former acting Principal.

Lawrence Vincent – International student, governance specialist and former Principal.

MVJ is a partnership between:

Ioan Morgan CBE, a Principal with 30 years’ experience of leading outstanding colleges and former Chair of the 157 Group;

Dr Lawrence Vincent, the recently retired Principal of Bournemouth and Poole College with a wealth of experience with growing international work and is the Author of “10 Difficult Questions No Principal Wants To Be Asked”; and

Rachel Jones, a data and funding expert and is the turn to consultant for colleges refining their data, and a former Vice Principal.

Date: Friday October 23rd 2015 – 10 am- 2pm

At: Shakespeare Martineau:No 1 Colmore Square, Birmingham, B4 6AA

Cost: £25.00 per person RSVP:

To book then please contact stacie-shakespeare@live.comShakespeare logo

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How To Improve Customer Service

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A smile is essential for good customer serviceStart with a Smile

Smiles are free.  They are also the best Marketing & Sales tool ever devised.  But they have to be genuine.  Forced smiles are sensed by customers as soon as seen.

Continue reading

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