The Importance of Alumni Stories On Your Website
In the world of marketing, results sell. People want to know what benefits they will be gaining from a product or service, and ultimately, that will drive their decision to make a purchase. What Montessori schools have to offer goes beyond a simple "product benefit." What Montessori offers its alumni is the foundations to reach their full potential, both academically and as active, curious citizens of the world.
But how can you show parents this while they have a quick browse through your website?
The answer to that is to incorporate alumni and parent stories into your website and let those who have experienced the full impact of a Montessori education speak for you.
Prospective Parents Want to Know Outcomes
In the same way that "actions speak louder than words," proven results speak louder than spoken promises. Virtually every school website will promise a quality education that will "set your child up for success" or "help them perform academically." While those statements might be applicable, they will not do much to help your school stand out amongst all the other options out there. Prospective parents are much more likely to be drawn to a school with proven results to back these big claims.
Having a place on your website specifically for alumni stories is like having a "click here to see results" tab. It gives prospective parents a real insight into the value of your work. It shows that your school values each student and, more importantly, that you create success stories.
It will allow parents to imagine their own children in similar scenarios. Stories help make your school feel relatable. It creates a sense of excitement when parents can imagine their child having a similar positive experience of their own. Providing these stories also shows that you follow each individual journey, proving that you observe, listen, and enjoy each and every child's unique educational path.
Parents want reassurance that their child will have a good experience attending your school. They want to hear from other children and families who benefitted and were able to excel later in life through a Montessori education. A story will have so much more impact than a simple guarantee.
Ask Alums To Describe How Their Montessori Education Has Affected Their Lives
There are many different ways you can approach getting alumni stories. It's positive to provide stories of both short term and long term results.
You can ask existing students what they love about their school. Give prospective parents snippets of what their own child might love about attending a Montessori school. These can be short and simple, statements like "I love that I can choose to work with my friends," or "I love helping to keep my classroom beautiful." These are immediate benefits that the child will get to experience while they attend Montessori.
Ask final year children what they've learned at Montessori. Let children share what they feel they have gained during their time at Montessori. Every child has a unique experience, gravitates towards a specific area of work, and gains a series of new skills to carry onwards in their educational career. This will show prospective parents that they will begin to reap the benefits of a Montessori education immediately.
Keep in touch with alums beyond their Montessori experience. A few years after they've finished their time with your school, ask if you can catch up for an interview and ask them a few questions about how Montessori has benefited them years later. You'll find that most alumni jump at this opportunity and love to share their success stories. Perhaps they received advanced placement in their next school, or they pursued their passion for science which they first discovered at your school. These stories draw prospective parents in, as it's what they would love for their own child to experience. You can even choose to go further beyond and follow up with alumni as they attend their dream university or pursue their careers. This will further reinforce what you can offer your students years into the future.
Finally, include testimonials from the parents and families who have observed the changes in their child throughout their Montessori experience. Montessori parents are going to be some of your biggest advocates. They are the ones who have witnessed, firsthand, the transformation that their child has gone through. Montessori children are gracious, well mannered, kind, empathetic, and independent. Parents will take note and be thrilled to share with others how much their child has grown.
You Can Use a Q&A Format
A great way to set up this information on your website is to opt for a simple Q&A format. This gives you a bit of control over the feedback you will receive from parents and students, and it's very digestible for prospective parents as they navigate your site.
This is a great opportunity for you to strategize, ask the questions you know that prospective parents would ask. Ask questions that highlight the excellent qualities of your school and the benefits of receiving a Montessori education.
- "What did you enjoy most about attending Montessori?"
- "How did your experience at Montessori help you when you transitioned into a new school?"
- "Do you feel that Montessori shaped you into an independent thinker?"
- "Did you observe a transformation in your child during their time at our school?"
- "Do you feel that you made lifelong friends here?"
- "How did Montessori inspire you?"
- "Do you feel that your child has gained a sense of independence during their time here?"
All of these are great questions to ask and highlight the core benefits of choosing Montessori.
Another formatting option is to simply have testimonials. You can choose to leave it quite open-ended and ask students and parents to share their thoughts on Montessori and what it means to them. This could lead to some incredible, organic stories. You could even opt to create a video of testimonials. This could give more life and expression to the stories your community may have to share. People love to see and hear success stories, and they want to envision themselves in that same position. Having students and parents who are willing to express gratitude and speak highly about the education you offered them is an incredible asset to have on your website. This is something that prospective parents will not come across often, and it will push your school over the top.
Ultimately, having alumni stories on your website will ensure that prospective parents understand the outcomes of choosing a Montessori education. Take the opportunity to show off happy parents, and share the success stories you helped to shape.
If you are interested in talking more about online strategies one on one, and gaining some more insight about how you could further optimize your school's website, please don't hesitate to reach out to us here.