The follow-up process for students is different than that for buyers and collectors.
Once someone has studied with you, they are likely to take additional classes from you, which means it’s just as important to follow up with students as it is with your collectors – if you want to grow your class sizes and offerings.
You have to show students that you care before, during, and after the program they enroll in.
Here are five ways to do that.
1. Ask for Evaluations and Testimonials
Evaluations can help you improve your offerings while showing students that you care about the experiences they’ve had with you. You’re asking to hear their opinions.
Evaluations can also be a source of testimonials for your programs – if you ask the questions the right way.
Keep your evaluation short. I suggest some variation of these three questions:
What did you most enjoy about this class?
What was your biggest accomplishment?
What are you still struggling with?
When you get an enthusiastic response, write back immediately for more details that might help make a powerful testimonial. The most effective testimonials are in this format:
Before I took Sally’s class, I [this is how I was struggling]. Now, [this is how my life/work has improved].
You don’t have to use the text exactly as it was written. You’ll get a stronger testimonial if you edit or rephrase what you have and send it back for approval to use as a testimonial.
One last thing: Always ask for permission to use someone’s name. Real names from real people are infinitely more powerful than anonymous testimonials.
2. Invite Students to Continue Working with You
Chances are good that your students love you. Don’t miss the opportunity to suggest what their next steps might be to keep working with you.
Perhaps they are ready for:
- Another class
- A live workshop
- Private mentoring
Telling people how you can continue to support them goes beyond marketing. It’s being of service.
3. Use Real Mail When Appropriate
If you provide a variety of teaching levels, you don’t have the time to treat everyone equally. Consider the level of service you gave when planning your follow-up with a particular group or person.
Private students and clients always receive a higher level of attention from you than those in larger group programs. These are the people who paid more for your services and are likely to repeat their investment in the future.
You would do well to add special touches to your follow up for private students – touches such as handwritten thank-you notes or even gifts.
4. Extend Personal Gratitude
Send private emails or Facebook messages of gratitude to individuals who were especially active and attentive, who were helpful to other students, or who gave you a good testimonial.
Here are some other high-touch ideas:
- Create a gratitude badge (a graphic JPG) that you can share on students’ Facebook profiles.
- Brag on your best students on your own Facebook page.
- Tweet student accomplishments.
- Share student art on Instagram.
5. Share Helpful Tips & Resources
My favorite way to stay in touch with former students is to send them useful content.
They are my students because they trusted me to teach them specific knowledge. If I can give them more knowledge than what they signed up for, they’re likely to become bigger fans than if I gave the minimum required effort.
Useful content is everywhere and might include:
- A tip you’ve learned since the end of your program.
- A new resource that just came out, such as an art material, business book, or app.
- A link to an article you read or wrote that expands on a concept you taught or a question that arose in class.
- Your new favorite podcast.
By the way, sending helpful tips and resources is also a great way to warm up a list of students that hasn’t heard from you in awhile.
How do you follow up with students?