Analysis of your web marketing is incredibly important, including knowing when to learn from your mistakes. It is no different for your language school.
DEFINITION OF INSANITY
Albert Einistein is quoted as saying that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Here are some examples of my insanity in language training marketing in the last few months:
- Doing the same presentation on the language training market again and again with far too much information so that people come away with less than I want due to information overload
- Packing too many exercises into a sales training session so that there is not enough time for role-plays, which are what people usually want to do the most.
- Spending a large budget on some Pay-Per-Click key words, refining them down and down until I have the most powerful ones. But then forgetting about them and not trusting my analysis so I did it over again only to come to the same results. Current Click Through Rate is 6.72% so there was no need to go through the analysis again. I had all the information 3 months ago….
Analysing your lead generation techniques is a cold, cold business, and no emotion is needed. It can be cruel because you think you’ve finally understood what works, what people are looking for, and then you realise that the people you’re attracting are not good traffic.
I’m not a big believer in hype. Huge amounts of prospective language students don’t just come in over night. It is a drip-by-drip business. It takes time, effort, sweat, tears and more until you will start to see more and more people arriving regularly.
Agents need reassuring: that they get paid the agreed commission, that they get paid on time, that their customers are happy, that you have the capacity for more, that you are reactive, that you treat them with care.
Natural SEO needs strong backlinks from other quality sites, social networks talking about your courses, constantly updated shareworthy content, a good structured site, webpages in many different languages.
PPC campaigns need constant surveillance, are the ads being displayed properly, are the keywords performing properly, are they converting (and is the conversion code working), are they being pointed to the right landing pages.
ERROR MANAGEMENT IS THE NEW ERROR AVOIDANCE
How quickly you to get to that point where everything is being managed properly, and the students are coming to you rather than you going out to get to the students, is actually more to do with your error management.
Traditional improvement techniques are based on examples of success and where the elimination of slipups is emphasised and desirable. Errors are annoying and can be difficult to fix. They can even erode your confidence. However, organizational scientists Nina Keith and Michael Frese examined the results of 24 separate studies and found that the Error Management model is far superior to an Error-Avoidance Approach.
Errors are good. As long as you know how to learn from them.
It’s actually very psychological – you must accept that making mistakes is not a defeat, is not a reason to give up nor lose confidence in yourself. But you must not play the role of an “error hunter”, more the role of an “error opportunist”. Any error that you see, anything that is clearly stopping you from getting you from where you want to be, is an opportunity to be examined, reflected upon and put right. It is leaving the mistake alone, or making the same mistake again that is so dangerous. It has been worked out that companies that learn quickly from their mistakes are likely to be 4 times more profitable than those that don’t.
The pursuit of perfection is a fool’s errand. Especially in this business, where the results are so dependent on the variations of human endeavours. During a week’s language course, consider what can affect the end-results of a language course:
- The motivation of the learner
- The motivation of the teacher
- The training environment
- The physical well-being of the learner
- The physical well-being of the trainer
- The impact of the other learners – e.g. level of interaction
Luckily, the variables of the marketing of how to get the language students to your school can be a lot less complicated, but learning from your errors no less so.
It is actually even more important when you consider that without learning from your errors you might never get to the point you of realising you’ve reached a decent ROI.
Let’s go back to my earlier examples of “insanity” and see what I should be doing
- PROBLEM: Doing the same presentation on the language training market again and again with far too much information so that people come away with less than I want due to information overload.
ERROR MANAGEMENT: Take feedback from participants, see what they found the most useful, cut out what’s not
- PROBLEM: Packing too many exercises into a sales training session so that there is not enough time for role-plays, which are what people usually want to do the most.
ERROR MANAGEMENT: Re-design the program with the role-plays as the main focus-point of the training.
- PROBLEM: Spending a large budget on some Pay-Per-Click key words, refining them down and down until I have the most powerful ones. But then forgetting about them and not trusting my analysis so I did it over again only to come to the same results. Current Click Through Rate is 6.72% so there was no need to go through the analysis again. I had all the information 3 months ago…
ERROR MANAGEMENT: Leaving comments and notes next to any data so that any review is much easier. Trusting the data from the past rather than getting frustrated with doing the same things again at great expense.
Error management is of course important anywhere in your business, but I wanted to make the link between your sales and marketing because it really is the lifeline of your business and too often we try one thing and then abandon because we’re disappointed with the initial results.
Learning how to cope with errors and deal with them as opportunities can turn out to be a fantastic way to get ahead in this competitive business.
As ever, I’d love to hear some comments. It would be good to get your feedback. It would be great for you to share this article to with your networks by clicking on one of the buttons below. Thank you!