9 October 2018

Six tips for making sure your opportunity stands out, gets attention & gets customers/applicants

If you want the opportunity/service you’ve posted on A2:Connect to stand out, here are six tips to turn your post from boring to brilliant:

1: Make it easy for people to find you – using fields, and key words/search terms

Key StagesMake use of the Key Stage, Artform, and Specialist experience fields in the upload form to help people to filter their search and find you. When a visitor clicks on one of these fields (eg artform – visual arts, or Key Stage – 3) they’ll be shown all the opportunities in that category, so it’s really important that you fill these in.

 Also, think about what words the people you want to attract might type into the search field – jot them down and try a few different words and phrases – and use these in your title and/or body copy.

This is a little bit like ‘search engine optimisation’ which you may have heard about. It simply makes it more likely that you’ll be found by people searching for what you’re offering.

You can test this once you’ve published your opportunity too: does it appear when you type in words that people would use if they’re searching for something like it? If not, you can go back in and edit it.

 2: Be clear about who you want your opportunity to appeal to, and what they want

The more you can put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, the better you’ll be able to communicate with them. You might want to ask yourself:

  • who do you want to read and respond, who would be your ideal customer?
  • what issues might s/he be facing that you can help with, what problems can you anticipate, solve, solutions can you offer?
  • what are the benefits to them, to their pupils, school of contracting you?

Then try to actually write about that in the first paragraph, to grab their attention. Eg Are you finding it hard to bring certain subjects to life for your pupils? Do you have students who always moan and roll their eyes when you start to introduce certain topics and themes? We can help, by using circus skills to shine new light on …. etc.

3: Talk about the benefits of your opportunity/service, in their language/terms

It helps to be specific about what you offer and the benefits, rather than including a general description that describes what you’re offering. Marketing professionals always stress benefits over features (eg   ) – they answer the ‘so what’. So a toy isn’t just ‘with batteries included’, it is ‘ready for you to use, straight out of the box’.

Feature: I offer circus workshops for all ages of pupils

Benefit: Pupils have fun and while doing so, learn about a range of subjects such as science (weight, mass, and gravity); maths (counting through juggling) …

Titles are particularly important here: so instead of: ‘Rapping workshops for primary schools’, how about ‘Rapping workshops to improve confidence, presentation and literacy skills.’

In the main text, explain what happens in these workshops? Why are these activities effective/fun? How do they link with other areas of the curriculum?

Think about anything you can include that might make a teacher choose you, over someone else.

Try to talk about about learning goals and links to the National Curriculum in Wales.

4. Break down any barriers to clicking the ‘contact’ button

Think about:

  • what they might want to know before getting in touch – try to answer some of the most important questions eg Do you do one off workshops, weekly sessions, long-term programmes; how far ahead do I need to book; do we need to provide any equipment
  • are there any myths might you need to dispel about your artform – to lessen the chance of a teacher dismissing what you offer?
  • have you given them enough information about what you do? See 2 above. It isn’t enough to just say ‘I do x workshops for y schools’. Bring it to life for them.

5. Include testimonials/quotes and photos

Photos of you in action in a classroom are a great idea – they’ll help people to instantly get what you do, and to see pupils enjoyment/concentration etc. Or if you’re a teacher wanting to arrange a studio visit, how about a photo of (the backs of) your class on a previous school trip?  If you fill in the text fields (it can be tempting to ignore them if you’re in a hurry!) using key words that people might search for (eg mosaic artist, Cardiff, year 6) then it’ll make it more likely that your opportunity will show up when people search using those terms.

Testimonials are called ‘social proof’ in marketing terms and are really important. They can make the difference between a teacher choosing you, and someone else. Wherever possible use people’s names and schools (otherwise it can look like you made them up)!

A2 Connect Opportunity Publish6. Don’t forget to publish your opportunity!

We’ve been seeing that some people are adding an opportunity, but forgetting to publish it! We’ll be setting up automatic reminders soon, but in the meantime, make sure to hit the publish button when you’ve finished writing!

And finally … make sure to share your opportunity on social networks using our new social sharing buttons

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Plwg is the place for artists and teachers to find and share great arts education opportunities

plwg.cymru is the all-Wales arts, culture and education matchmaking website to support collaboration between teachers, creatives, arts and cultural organisations.