Grow Your Program

  1. Marketing Courses as Gifts: An Easy Way to Sell More Classes

    Holidays and other special events like birthdays or anniversaries offer an opportunity for enrichment and education programs to sell courses as gifts. All you have to do is convince shoppers that your course will put a smile on the gift recipient’s face. It should be an easy sell.

    Popular wisdom tells us that experiences are better than things, especially when it comes to receiving a gift. According to a Harris Poll, 63% of US adults say they would prefer an experience gift over a material one. Meanwhile, more than half of U.S. shoppers believe giving experiences is easier than shopping for material gifts. 

    So all you have to do is make sure that shoppers think of your courses when they think of experiential gifting. Bonus points if you can show them the value of taking the course with the recipient. It’s pretty easy to market courses as gifts, all you need are these marketing tactics aimed at gift-givers. 

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  2. 6 Easy SEO Tricks to Search Engine Optimize Your Course Guide

    The secret to search engine optimization is there is no secret. There’s just a list of techniques you can apply to make your page more SEO-friendly. It comes down to user experience. The factors that Google is looking for when it decides on your page rank also make your course guide easier for potential students to find and navigate.  

    We’ve gathered six tips that will help search engine optimize any course guide to meet the latest Google standards. Why Google specifically? Because they account for more than 86% of the global search market share.

    You won’t find any advice about hiring a pricy SEO firm or rebuilding your entire website from scratch. These are real changes you can make today to improve your SEO performance. Because the truth is, when it comes to search engine optimization, small changes can make a big difference. Let’s start optimizing your course catalog.

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  3. 5 Questions to Help Trim Your Course Catalog and Improve ROI

    Deciding to remove a class from your course catalog is never easy. You’ve invested time and money to develop it. You may have an instructor or board members who have adopted it as a pet project. Former students may even speak fondly of it. Yet all of those reasons may not outweigh the practical considerations. 

    Every course you offer demands time and resources. Holding on to an underperforming course can stunt program growth and negatively impact how students perceive your program. That’s a situation you just can’t afford.

    If you’ve found this article, you’re probably thinking about cutting at least one course from your catalog. Before you make your decisions, we have five questions you should consider.

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  4. Publicity 101: How to Promote Your Class For Free

    When you think about ways to promote classes for free, you probably think of social media or blog posts. Both can be valuable channels for class promotion, but they’re not the only options available. Publicity in the form of local media coverage helps spread the word about your adult ed or enrichment courses. Members of the media can share information about your course with a much wider audience than you could reach on your own. 

    Journalists, editors, and media presenters have to keep up with everything happening in their communities and then make quick decisions about what might interest their audiences. Getting their attention isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are some tried and tested ways to cut through the noise. Better yet, these strategies don’t have to cost you a thing. Let’s take a look at some proven ways to promote a class for free. 

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  5. Keep Students Coming Back: Quick Tips on Student Retention

    Keeping the students you have is easier than attracting new ones. They already trust you and they know how interesting or valuable your classes can be. But easier isn’t the same as effortless. Ensuring that your current students keep enrolling takes effort and planning.

    It all boils down to giving students a positive experience from registration through follow-up. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to enroll in your program. Then, offer the support and sense of community they need to keep coming back.

    Of course, all of that is much easier said than done. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out alone. We’ve found six ways to increase student retention and keep students coming back class after class.

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  6. Promote a New Class: 6 Parts Every Press Release Needs

    A press release is a powerful way to promote a new class. You might think that they’re old-fashioned, but writing a press release is still a good way to organize the information you want to share with the press. A well-written press release can grab the attention of journalists and editors. Plus, they’ll be more likely to run your story since you’ve already done some of the leg work for them.

    Press releases tend to follow a consistent format. It includes everything the editor needs to know to decide whether the story will be interesting to their readers. If you leave out an essential part, you’ve made their job a little harder. Since journalists often receive hundreds of pitches and emails a day, they’re unlikely to follow up on a press release that’s missing details. Here are the six parts of a press release you absolutely must include to promote your new class. 

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  7. How Education Programs Validate New Courses With Google Trends

    Whether you’re offering online classes or in-person workshops, you know the best way to maximize enrollments is to offer the right classes at the right time. That’s easier said than done. It can be hard to uncover what students are looking for. Of course, you could survey your existing students, but that won’t necessarily help you reach new audiences. So how can you validate new courses and program offerings to expand your reach? 

    The simple and free Google Trends tool is a powerful place to start. It can show you what people are searching for and help you gauge local, national, and international interest in subjects you might want to build classes around. Here’s how, and why, you might want to start your class validation process with Google Trends.

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  8. How a Free Course Can Pay Off for Your Programs

    Giving away classes for free may seem counterintuitive. After all, it costs money to bring in instructors, develop a curriculum, provide supplies, and set up spaces where students can learn. Unless you’re running a non-profit (and often even if you are) it might seem like you can’t afford to offer free classes. Then again, maybe you can’t afford not to. 

    Offering a free course, or even just making some seats in a class free, can help promote your programs. When chosen carefully, these freebies can give students a taste of what you have to offer so they’re more likely to enroll in the future. They can also promote goodwill in the community and help you fill your class roster. All these benefits sound valuable, but you might still be skeptical about whether a free course is really worth it. So before we jump into how to make them work for you, let’s take a closer look at how free courses can help you meet enrollment goals.

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  9. In-Demand Classes for the Workforce in 2021 and Beyond

    Even if workforce training is your primary focus, the latest labor news might seem confusing. That’s because we’ve entered new territory. The pandemic disrupted many of the patterns we’ve come to expect from the labor market and accelerated an evolution that would normally have taken decades. Business and industry have increased their reliance on technology, shifted priorities, and placed new emphasis on soft skills in the workplace.

    For administrators of workforce training programs, making sense of the headlines is a vital task. We’re here to help. We’ve sifted through the latest workforce news to find the workforce training classes and skills that are in demand for 2021 and beyond. Offering the following classes can help you grow enrollment and empower students to meet personal and professional goals.

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  10. What is the Future of In-Person Enrichment Classes?

    For in-person enrichment programs, the pandemic changed everything. Classrooms, theaters, and workshops fell silent when in-person classes were paused. Organizations scrambled to enable online learning and experimented with HyFlex learning models. Through it all, enrichment programs stayed true to their mission of enriching the lives of children and adults through educational opportunities. 

    Now, as we look forward to a post-pandemic world, leaders are applying lessons learned during the crisis to future-proof their programs. We turned to members of the CourseStorm community to gather their insight on what the future of in-person enrichment may look like.

    All agree that in-person enrichment classes are too valuable to lose, but remote learning can help meet student needs as well. Like improv performers, administrators of community education programs have learned to say, “Yes, and…” As in, “Yes, we will have in-person classes again, and asynchronous, hybrid, and HyFlex learning options, too.” 

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