Customer Stories with Joselina Guitierrez
Looking for promotional strategies for your educational institute? ? Here’s what you need: passion, consistency, and a vibrant marketing plan.
Joselina Guitierrez, owner of Eco English Academy, possesses all three.
PosterMyWall spoke to Joselina, a Latin American entrepreneur, parent, and experienced teacher, about her school, her promotional strategies, and how she uses PosterMyWall to elevate her marketing.
Hi, Joselina. Let’s start by talking about your business. How did you decide to open Eco English Academy?
I’m an English teacher. In 2018, I decided to run my own school. It’s a small school. I’m from Nicaragua, a non-English speaking country. Here, learning English is very expensive. The bilingual schools are in expensive neighborhoods and cater to the people who live there. My school is not for those people. I offer bilingual education that is more affordable and more accessible for working parents who want a quality education for their kids.
I’m teaching a kindergarten class right now. Next year, I’m going to start with elementary school, but only the first grade.
On Saturdays, I offer free English courses for anybody who wants to learn.
That sounds great! So how many people do you have working with you?
We’re operating with a staff of 10 people right now. Some work in administration, and there are seven teachers. All of them teach their respective subjects in English.
What has been the biggest challenge you face when promoting your business?
The biggest challenge we’ve faced is making sure people know about us, because we are a brand new school. So my biggest goal is to make sure I’m reaching the right people.
For that, I decided not to hire someone to help me with marketing and publicity, and took it all upon myself. So I handle everything; the promotion, the publicity, the image. And in all of this, PosterMyWall has been one of my favorite and most useful tools.
Speaking of marketing, what methods do you use to promote your business?
For marketing purposes, I mostly rely on social media. I’m very active on Instagram, Facebook, and even regularly update my Whatsapp status. This helps a lot because I’ve noticed that I get a lot of calls and messages on Whatsapp when I post a status on there.
My biggest audience right now, is on Facebook. It’s mostly parents of the students I’m teaching or trying to reach. Instagram is new to me, but I have gotten some followers over time, and I’m learning a lot about how to engage people with interactive posts. Whenever I have something new to share, I make sure to update every social media page I have.
1) Use video and animated graphics to capture attention
What kind of posts do you create for Facebook and Instagram?
I started by creating image-based posts that I share on all major platforms. And then, I discovered videos and animated templates. I found out that people get more interested when they see something moving on screen. It catches their attention more easily. So, I love to use videos and animations and anything that keeps a customer interested in what I have to say.
I also like to create engaging and interactive posts by making videos of my students while they work or participate in activities. This showcases that my school is a fun, engaging learning environment.
2) Maintain brand consistency through color and image-style
That sounds great! And do you use any specific colors, images, or animations?
I love to create brightly colored posts that appeal to kids and parents alike.
I’ve noticed that people love colorful posts. Since I run a school, my posts have to be bright and attention grabbing. That’s why I chose green and yellow as my signature brand colors. My school also promotes environmental awareness, so the colors match that theme as well. I like to include at least a hint of these colors in my posts to increase brand recognition.
But I also like to add in new tints and shades to shake things up. It all depends on the type of post I’m creating. Vibrant colors are my go-to. And if I manage to find a template on PosterMyWall that has a bunch of these colors, that just makes my job even easier.
I also like to add fun imagery that matches my brand image. PosterMyWall’s templates help me out a lot here. I’ve found a lot of lovely templates that have classroom-related imagery on them like colored pencils, graduation caps, and other school-related animations.
3) Share the information your customers need to make their purchase decision
I also see a lot of information on all of your posters and social media posts. How do you decide what to include?
Information is really important. We’re targeting parents, and parents want to know a lot about where they’re enrolling their children. As a school administration, we’re expected to provide them with all the relevant details needed for them to make a decision. And what better way to publicize our best features than through our vibrant posters?
Of course, it’s impossible to add everything to a single template. So we have to be clever about what to say. In my posts, I try to give a general idea about what our school offers. I also try to keep in mind what parents like to hear, since I’m a parent myself. I know what a parent looks for, so I try my best to deliver.
For instance, I know people in my country really value bilingual education. And I know bilingual education is very expensive in most other schools. There are some less expensive schools, but they usually only teach one class in English and the rest in Spanish. My school does the opposite. And I openly advertise our English-based classes with my marketing strategy.
The key is to add the most attention-grabbing details on your poster to get people interested, and then provide contact information that they can use to reach out to you and get the rest of the information they need.
4) Ramp up your marketing during the months when parents are looking for schools
How often do you post on social media?
I try to post frequently all year, but I increase the frequency of my posts in November, because in my country that’s when parents are looking for new schools for their kids. So this is a time where you will see more action from me on your timeline, because this is the busiest time of the year for schools.
Use photographs to communicate what you provide
That’s great! Another thing I noticed on your Facebook page was a ton of screenshots of online classes. Was it challenging to market your school when you were offering only online classes?
Last year, we were online because of the pandemic. That was challenging in terms of marketing, yes, but also in terms of accessibility. We’re the second poorest country in Latin America, so not everyone has the resources to attend online classes with all the proper equipment. People had trouble engaging.
My job was to make sure people knew that we’re here to listen to their concerns. The reality is, even when classes remained online, parents had to work. So I made sure our online classes were easy for kids to attend and for parents to set up. We provided all of thee materials, and reduced class times. Our students just had to open the material and follow our instructions. And parents just had to turn on the computer and check the audio and the camera – that’s it.
I made sure to advertise all of this with the photos I included in my marketing.
Speaking of the pandemic, how did it impact your marketing?
PosterMyWall was very helpful during the pandemic. With the ability to edit templates so easily, I could change key information and add new updates in minutes and repost on social media.
Another thing I found useful was the wide range of COVID-19 informational posters on PosterMyWall. I had to communicate a lot of safety protocols and SOPs to parents and children, and I found it much easier to do with your premade templates on COVID-19.
And what are your plans for the future?
As I mentioned before, my plan for next year is to expand into an elementary school. After that, maybe I’ll expand to offer high school classes.
What I can say with certainty is that my current marketing strategy works for me, and I’ll continue using PosterMyWall.
Thank you so much, Joselina. Best of luck with your school!
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