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How to Market a Private School

As a private school marketing agency, we know a thing or two about marketing private schools. Go figure right? In this post, we’re spilling all of our secrets and giving you the exact formula that we use to market our private school clients. 

how to market a private school

Why? Well because it proves that we know what we’re doing (which is a vital piece of the marketing plan that we’re going to outline for you below). Yes, we practice what we preach. Here’s how to market a private school. 

Marketing for Private Schools

Be as Helpful as Possible

The first step in marketing a private school, or marketing any business in today’s world for that matter, is to be helpful.

The days of cold calling salespeople are dead and gone. The way of selling today is what I like to call selling 2.0.

Selling 2.0 is heavily reliant on being as helpful as possible for as long as possible. By following this model you naturally attract people that are interested in your services WITHOUT ever uttering a word of sales copy or spewing a sales pitch. 

This is beneficial for a couple of reasons; one, you prove you know what you’re talking about and two, the prospects find you on their own while looking for answers to their problems.

That second point is an important one.

By finding you on their own a prospect is more likely to be receptive to what you have to say. In other words, your helpful content will do all the talking for you.

What you’ll find is that by going this route, most of your prospects will be ready to enroll their kids by the time they contact you. How would it feel to have prospects asking you how to enroll when they call. No need for an open house or nothin’! 

We’re working on a post dedicated to expanding on the idea of selling 2.0, subscribe to the newsletter to be updated once it is released.

Attract Your Audience Through Lead Generation

If you’ve ever given your email or contact information in exchange for something on the internet, chances are you’ve taken part in a lead generator. This is one of the best ways to find people that are potentially interested in what you have to offer. 

Anyone who downloads the lead generator is someone that you should spend your time selling. 

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Rather than trying to get every parent under the sun to enroll their child in your school, you put out a lead generator and only market to those who have shown interest.

By downloading, they are letting you know that they are a pretty good candidate for your school. 

Spending your time ONLY on the people that have shown interest you’ll save time, money, and your marketing will return much better results.

Get Reviews & Optimize Your Google Business Profile

how to market a private school - nick laiuppa marketing

Reviews are one of the most important, and cost-efficient ways to market your school. Not only do they play a vital role in helping parents choose your school over another, but they also help your school show up in Google’s search results.

In fact, reviews are in the top three most important factors used when google decides which local business to show over another. That means getting as many 5 star reviews as possible should make up a large part of your marketing strategy. 

The problem is that asking your most engaged parents and students for reviews is often an afterthought or not a thought at all. So, the majority of reviews that schools get are from the HIGHLY motivated negative experience crowd, which drives schools’ overall rating down the tubes. 

We use simple software to systematically ask your best customers for reviews via text messages and emails. The beauty of this process is that the review requests automatically go out with minimal effort from your staff. All we need is a simple spreadsheet with name, email, and phone number to send the campaign. 

The other benefit is if a user selects anything less than a satisfactory rating they are directed to an internal feedback form rather than the review site. This throttles the potential to get a negative review and keeps that feedback internal rather than public-facing. We’ll send out 30 review requests for you absolutely free, no credit card or commitment required. Get started here. 

Use Search Ads to Show Up

Search ads are usually the first place to start advertising any private school. Why? Because when people are searching on Google (or Bing, but let’s be honest… it’s Google), they are looking for an answer to their problem. In other words, they’re telling you exactly what they are looking for and you just have to show up.

how to market a private school - nick laiuppa marketing

Because people go to Google with the intent of finding a solution, we’re able to get quick results (often within a few weeks) making it an ideal platform for private schools to start advertising with. 

Now, head this warning. Although Google Ads are extremely effective, they are not easy. 

Do not get caught up in the “smart campaigns” that Google has been pushing on its customers. 

They are simple to implement, yes, but they lack the effectiveness of a manual campaign. We often see clients that come from these types of campaigns spending 60%-70% more per conversion than we get them through proper setup and optimization.

Advertise to Cold, Warm, and Hot Audiences

Cold, warm, and hot is how we approach all of our advertising strategies. Those audiences breakdown into the following;

Cold audiences are people that have never heard about you before

Warm audiences are people who have had some sort of interaction with your school

Hot audiences are people who know the most about your school

The reason we split these audiences up this way is that each of these segments needs different information. The people in the cold segment need the most information before making a decision so they respond best to educational and storytelling content. 

On the other end of the spectrum, the people in the hot segment need the least amount of education and respond better to claims, proof, and special offers. 

By segmenting this way we’re able to deliver different messages to each audience. 

Better yet, we’re able to deliver the exact messages that each one of these audiences needs to hear as they move through the buying process. 

This is a process that we’ve developed and deployed for dozens of our clients across different industries. View our case studies to see some of those results for yourself. 

Long Term Marketing with SEO

The benefit of paid advertising is instant exposure. Once you click the start button on your paid ad campaigns, people start to see your ads. But, that is also its main downfall. 

how to market a private school - nick laiuppa marketing

The benefit of paid advertising is instant exposure. Once you click the start button on your paid ad campaigns, people start to see your ads. But, that is also its main downfall. 

See, on the flip side of that coin is this; once you stop paying the ad network your ads stop showing. Immediately. 

That is where SEO comes in. SEO will bring you traffic for free for years to come & (if done right) it’s hard for competitors to displace you. 

We always recommend a two-prong advertising strategy. Quick results with paid traffic & long-term results through SEO. 

This is how you build an impenetrable fortress around your school. If done correctly, you will eventually eat up 90% of the traffic and make it nearly impossible for other schools to take any of your prospects.

To read more about the specifics of SEO check out our SEO page here.

How to Market a Private School Recap

Properly marketing your private school requires a few different areas of focus and expertise. 

First, you’ll want to be as helpful as possible for as long as possible by providing valuable content. 


how to market a private school

Secondly, you want to use lead generation to attract the audience that is interested in putting their kids into the private school system. 

Next, you’ll want to generate as many 5 star reviews as possible to help prospective parents choose you when they’re looking for the right school. 

After that, you’ll run search ads on Google so that you show up when prospects are shopping for a private school. 

Then, you advertise to the cold, warm, and hot audiences on social media by showing them specific messages depending on what audience bucket they are in. 

Lastly, you can implement SEO to ensure that your school shows up in the organic search results which will bring in FREE traffic for years to come. 

This is the exact strategy that we use for all of our private school clients. Is it a lot? Yes. Does it work? Absolutely. 

If you don’t have an in-house team of experts in each of these fields we can guarantee that the execution of these strategies will cost you more money and be less effective than if you had experienced professionals doing them on your behalf. 

To get information about how we would apply these strategies to your specific school, fill out your free quote here. Our experts will review your submission within 24 hours and set up a call to review a customized strategy based on your goals. 

Important: the call is not a thinly veiled sales pitch. We will give you valuable and applicable information for free. Click to schedule your call.

There you have it, how to market a private school. Let us know if this was helpful for you and how you’ll be applying these strategies through a DM on social media. 

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