A clear focus on your ideal audience is the most important thing you can do for your school.
The ability to focus in on your ideal takes great strength. Schools often keep their focus very broad to mitigate the risk of missing out on families, students or donors who might be interested in their school.
The reality is, if you try to be the perfect school for everyone, you will connect with no one. The essence of your story will be lost and you will sound like every other school "dedicated to the individual needs of each child to grow to their fullest potential". You need to focus on your ideal to express the essence of your story.
Your ideal will drive everything you do to share your school’s story in a particular situation.
Notice I said, "in a particular situation". You need to determine your ideal for each strategic goal, i.e. admissions for your lower school, fundraising to grow your endowment, or engagement from your alumni.
Here are 3 characteristics to look for in your ideal:
#1. They are ready. They have a sense of urgency you can address with your school's story and the situation you are solving for.
#2. They are willing and able. They are eager to co-create, be a contributing member of your learning community and share your school’s story with more people just like them.
#3 They are who you would love to see and work with every day. This can often be overlooked, yet this is the most rewarding and empowering characteristic to look for in your ideal!
Your ideal will drive the way you share your school’s stories – from the type of events you host, to the apps you develop to support your site, to the specific words you use to evoke emotion and action.
Like I said, focusing on your ideal is the most important thing you can do for your school. It is also very worth it and where we always start when working with a school to strengthen their story.
Have a great week in school.
See you next Monday,
P.S. Want HelloJOE updates?
We will send you our HelloJOE Monday email. Saddle up with your cup of joe and get a quick list of fresh ideas to start your week off strong. We will share links we love to learn from, methods to help you focus your school's story and tools to help you deliver your story to those who need to hear it most.
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