October 26, 2016
Do What Scares You In Higher Ed Marketing
With Halloween just around the corner, we’re right in the middle of “scare season.” Why do we like to be frightened? The adrenaline rush? Our insatiable curiosity for what’s behind that creaky door? An outlet to unleash our desire to take down monsters of all kinds? Whatever the reason, marketers can learn from this time of year, because sometimes it’s good to do what scares you.
You might be thinking: “Me? Scared? No way!” You’re a higher ed marketing pro. You pride yourself on crushing your goals & moving forward with confidence, but let’s face it…we all have a few things that make us sweat. (For you, it might be the word “procurement”- *shivers*)
Somebody once said, “the minute you stop taking risks is the minute you stop growing.” So let’s face a few fears head on. Before you know it, you might feel like a kid again, post trick-or-treat, sprawled on your bed sorting through the motherlode of candy you brought in, reflecting on the wins that came from conquering your fears.
Be willing to (really) listen
Listening? Scary? You bet. Ever tried asking someone what they really think? There’s a good chance they might actually tell you…and that can be terrifying. But we can’t expect worthwhile change without real, open listening. If you’re willing to embrace the scary task of truly opening up to feedback, you might be amazed at the positive, lasting results.
Take a bold step in differentiation
True differentiation in higher ed marketing can feel like a Herculean task. With so many institutions offering similar experiences, what makes you stand out? With the pressure of U.S. News rankings, awards, and fierce competition from other schools, it’s easy to take the road of least resistance, throw some “lifelong learning” on that home page and just sound like everyone else. What’s that bold move you could take to make your school truly stand apart? The one that makes you a little bit afraid? Think it through, then go for it.
Truly test your messaging
We all know what it’s like to pen a golden word nugget. Once your magic pen inscribes that beautiful phrase, you don’t want to lose it. (Even if it doesn’t exactly fit your purpose.) It’s scary to send your baby out into the world, but if you’re willing to take on the unnerving task of testing your messaging with multiple audiences, you won’t regret it!
Share your vision with confidence
Do you have a vision for where your school’s marketing could be in 5 years? Do you have a finger on the pulse of the school that’s going unheard because of fear? Your perspective could spark powerful change. It’s time to set those fears aside. You could be the difference!
Go forth and conquer the scary tasks you’re facing! The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Well, that, and pretty much everything in Australia.
Tell Us What You Think
What have you conquered recently that scared you? What did you learn? What advice would you give your colleagues as they conquer intimidating tasks & projects?