How to Attract Students to Your Community Education Classes

Connexeo - 07/10/2018

You have developed your community education course meticulously. The curriculum is well-organized and the materials are all highly relevant to the subject matter. You are confident that at the end of the course, your students will have gotten the most out of their time and effort.

Now, how do you market to and entice those students to register for your course?

An adult education class isn’t “Field of Dreams”: Just because you build it, doesn’t necessarily mean they will come. You have to market your course to prospective students the way a company markets a product to its customers, or the way job-seekers promote themselves to potential employers.

You’ll have a head start from the organization through which you are offering your course, be it a school, government entity or independent entity. The class will be listed in print and online, and you’ll likely be the one writing the course description. This is the most basic, yet most important piece you will write to attract people to your class.

Some tips:

  • Know your audience. Segmenting your target personas for each of the class types you offer is essential. If you’re offering a computer programming class, you want to write for the tech-interested individuals, and those who are looking to expand their professional skills. If you’re offering French cooking for couples, your audience is completely different, and so is the way you’ll write the description and set awareness campaigns.
  • Explain the benefits – or, as an article on the Internet Marketing Inc. website states, create a connection. State how the course will change the participants’ lives: improve their chances for workplace promotion or enhance their relationship. Just a bland overview of the class won’t sway anyone.

Now that you’ve written your course description, it’s time to go farther. Yes, the organization’s website will run the description, but it will also likely let you link to your own website and, either directly or indirectly, to your social media accounts. This is where you can reel in the participants to your class. Organizations can display pages dedicated to their teachers and bios to further promote their courses.

  • Have a compelling bio: Why are you the one to teach me this course? Maybe you have a sparkling personality, but that’s not what people are looking for. If you are an accomplished professional in the field you’re teaching – and have the skins on the wall to prove it – prospective students will be drawn to you.
  • Show your work: If you have taught the class before, display some video or still pictures of the class in action. Prospective students will know exactly what they’re in for, and if they like what they see, they’ll sign up.
  • Testimonials: Get permission from those past students who wrote you glowing reviews to republish those compliments online and in promotional material. In a community education program, it’s quite possible those satisfied customers will know quite a few others who will read those positive statements.
  • Social media: Community education organizations should have their own social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram at the very minimum – and seek followership from their participants. “Fun”-oriented classes can also have their own Instagram and SnapChat groups, while work-related courses can have groups on other networks to share work and ideas. Organizations and instructors can share these stories and groups with prospective students to help promote the next session of the class.

The best way to attract people to community education classes is to ensure the right people are finding out the right resources. If they know what to expect, and if they expect what they want, the course offering will be successful.

Javascript is not enabled. This may affect content rendering. You can enable Javascript in your Settings Menu.