Why we can’t afford to be afraid

Why we can't afford to be afraid

As of this writing, Nido Marketing is approaching 100 members. I can’t begin to express how proud I am to announce that. During our soft launch late last year, we only expected 10 to 20 sign ups. We are absolutely overwhelmed by such a positive response. Thank you to everyone for your interest and support!

 

During the launch, we offered new members a free consultation call to see how the Nido team could help craft a go-forward plan for their marketing. Many members scheduled the consultation and we are thrilled with the conversations, what we were able to learn and how we provided help.. (Members: if you haven’t scheduled your coaching call it isn’t too late! Click here to choose a time.)

 

A pattern emerges...

The calls were as unique as our members, with each school having different interests and struggles. Even so, a pattern quickly began to emerge on nearly every single call. Montessorians were afraid to market their schools.

 

When we brought up the importance and power of email marketing, the unflinching response was almost always some variation of: “We don’t want to bug people.”

 

When we discussed the immense power in remarketing and retargeting, the consistent reply was nearly always something along the lines of: “We don’t want to be overbearing.”

 

When we advised the use of lead magnets and gated forms in order to capture contact information, we were met with  a fear that the approach might be a little too “salesy.”

 

If you were one of the folks that took advantage of this offer, please don’t think that I’m speaking to you specifically. This was a universal truth with our entire memberbase.

 

Please know that this is not an indictment. In fact, I think this is the response I should have expected had I taken the time to consider the Montessori paradigm. Montessorians have committed their lives to a philosophy that promotes individuality and empathy; of course they are going to challenge the status quo of  the marketing world!

 

We know what works

I didn’t realize this would be as large of an issue because, up until this point, I had been spoiled. Matt Hillis, our Founder and the creative mind behind everything that Nido does, is a lifelong Montessorian and the Executive Director of Bergamo Montessori School. Prior to working together to build Nido Marketing, Matt was a client and, my agency (Solutions 8) performed all of the digital marketing for his school.

 

The interesting thing about Matt is that he is a unicorn of sorts. He’s an amazing and very passionate Montessorian. He’s also an excellent marketer. This is an uncommon pairing.

 

Working with Matt, I was given a first hand look at how important digital marketing was to the Montessori model. I have been a digital marketer for nearly 12 years and I have rarely seen digital marketing have such a substantial impact, so quickly.

 

When Matt brought up his idea for what eventually became Nido Marketing, I was sold! I knew the potential we had to really make an impact and I had long ago fell in love with the Montessori Method. We want to help Montessori schools grow and Matt knew exactly how to do that.

 

A challenge

I would like to challenge you to change your view about marketing. My experience is that Montessorians think marketing is an “ask.” - meaning we are making requests of people  to infringe on their time, inbox, and maybe even their privacy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

I challenge you to view Montessori marketing as a “give.” If we believe that Montessori is the best option for all children (and I know that we do) then we need to ensure that message reaches every single family, in every single community.

 

If someone expresses interest in your school, you aren’t bugging them by following up with an email or adding them to your remarketing list. On the contrary, you are doing them a service by giving them all the information needed to make the right decision..

 

Please consider your own experience when making any major purchasing decision. We all  research and gather information online. However, the sheer volume of options, coupled with the unlimited distractions of modern life make is difficult to decide.  

 

By allowing potential parents to submit an email address in exchange for relevant information (like your tuition schedule) you provide an opportunity to learn more about your school, Montessori and the amazing benefits it will have for their child.  If they didn’t want that opportunity, they wouldn’t opt in. It’s not your job to make that decision for them.. As long as what you communicate remains interesting, they’ll continue to engage. The moment it becomes irrelevant, they’ll unsubscribe!

 

Marketing is educating

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war." - Maria Montessori

 

Montessori is important for children, for families and for the future of our world. It is so vitally important, in fact, that we need to do everything we can to educate our parents about what it is and why it is valuable.

 

Here’s where we connect the dots: Montessori digital marketing is nothing more than educating parents through the use of high value content that helps them make the decision that is best for their child. Marketing is not sales, marketing is education.

 

The current construct of digital marketing is there for a reason. People have minute attention spans and very little time. The repetition in marketing isn’t about beating down doors or wearing people out. On the contrary! It is about building them up and providing more and more value over time until they’re equipped to make an educated decision.

 

Remember, these are parents who are interested in what you have to say. We aren’t cold calling, we aren’t soliciting, we aren’t even selling; we are simply educating through the most effective means available to us.

 

Imagine if you went to a store, asked the salesperson a question and, after answering, she immediately turned and ran away. That’s the digital equivalent of what we’re doing when we continue to communicate with and nurture prospective parents.  .

 

If we don’t…

… your competitors will.

 

Do you think the bigbox daycare center down the street cares whether or not they’re being too intrusive with their email marketing? No! They are going to go after their market with everything that they have.

 

Our parents are going to wake up to emails from the generic, cookie-cutter, conventional education programs, extolling the virtues of whatever fly-by-night model they’ve adopted that day. They need to have the counterargument in their inbox as well. It is our responsibility to provide them with a logical alternative.  

 

We can’t be afraid to market our Montessori schools. If we REALLY believe in Montessori, marketing is one of our highest responsibilities.

 

We’re here to help you in any way we can. Schedule your free consultation here.

3 comments

Deanna Buoniconti

This is a great article! Thank you so much for sharing. 

If we don’t…

… your competitors will.....  Going up on my reminders!

Read more
Read less
  Cancel
Jason Antonitis

Kasim, I completely agree with assertions you make in this article... both the fear, and the value.  

The point that resonated most with me was your comment of "view[ing] Montessori marketing as a “give.”".  I know when I'm researching service providers in my personal life or for our Montessori school, I place a tremendous amount of value on providers that have developed their own content... content that educates me as a consumer, content that demonstrates the credentials of the service provider... and the natural thing for me to do is pick up the phone to learn more.

At Lupine Montessori, we're thinking big, and want to stimulate a Montessori revolution.  If we're afraid to get our message out to the masses (i.e. educate), Montessori will always be dominated by industrial education.

Read more
Read less
Kasim Aslam Staff

Thank you so much for your comment Jason! I couldn't agree with you more and I love the line: "stimulate a Montessori revolution." We are on board with that!

Read more
Read less
  Cancel

Leave a comment