Have any high school age children at home? My sympathies; me too.
And, if they’re at the age of considering colleges, you’ve probably noticed a barrage of snail mail flying through your door every day from said colleges.
One intriguing piece of mail that arrived at our house got me thinking (as do most things) about solo professional marketing and the importance of standing out.
Click below to watch… (Move slider at bottom of video to adjust volume!)
That was informative and hilarious – a good combination! Of course, that’s what I’ve come to expect from you. Your emails always stand out in my inbox.
Thanks so much Steve!!
Great, and a little bit of trivia….guess what the only other college that accepted me for undergrad, besides the University of Maine, which I chose to attend? You got it, Macalester. I chose the one with lesser winters, and the joke was on me my freshman year, with 38 inches of snow in one snowstorm.
You picked some coooold places. My older son’s primary requirement was “warmer than here.” He’s in Memphis.
A friend of mine and I started a gifted game night about 2 years ago. One of the parents who comes with her 2 kids just sent me this video. You see, I have a 19 year old junior at…..Macalester College. And, yes, it is an amazing school all around. She tried to transfer to Madison, thinking it was a better choice for her, and ended up staying at Macalester. Yes, their marketing is superb, but so are the people behind the marketing. She is going to Macalester on grants and scholarships making her tuition less than if she went to UW-Madison. The respect you feel on campus is like something we have not experienced anywhere else. And, yes, they market that. It is sort of like going to Nordstrom’s where you expect the service in the shoe department to be wonderful, as they have told you they are known for, and it is.
So, yes, marketing works. PLEASE do not discount your Emily going to at least visit Macalester. Cassidy would love to show her around and tell her what she loves about the school and how it develops the whole child. However, she is probably going to study at St. Andrews next semester as Macalester has reciprocal tuition all over the world.
So, how did I do with my marketing strategy?
Thanks for sharing your comments!!!
Nicely marketed, Janet! Not quite the right spot for Emily, although my nephew goes there, so we’re somewhat familiar with what a terrific place Macalester is.
Brilliant. Michael is the man! Gets better all the time.
TIE-Bell!! Thanks and great to hear from you. When are you buying me a beer?
blah, blah,blah, blah, blah… me too, my Chloe is now a sophomore in college … blah, blah, blah, blah… so we went thru the very same thing 2 and 3 years ago…. blah, blah, blah, blah…. Macalester admissions folks are brilliant and I would add quite courageous as well! …. blah, blah, blah, blah… hang in there this year Michael and Emily!
Hello Ken! Sorry I could not attend your talk this week. Had it on the calendar but too many things were happening. And thanks for the encouragement – a busy time of year!
Well, yes a 17 year old high school senior for me too…yes, my mailbox is full too….yes, beautiful pictures of the colleges…..well no, her name is actually Rachel but you hit the nail on the head! Now to market and stand out…..
Good luck Coleen! Exciting to watch as the choices and options narrow to the finish.
I recommend a l-o-n-g h-a-r-d look at the value of college. You mentioned $50,000 a year so you’re contemplating a $200,000 outlay. But once Emily graduates . . . will there be a job? Even an entry level $8 an hour job? Maybe not in this economic climate.
Maybe Emily is better off becoming a plumber or electrician or appliance repair woman. That’s practical stuff that people will NEED in the future. But computer programmers, political science majors and philosophy gurus may not be that employable.
Or maybe Emily could use that $200,000 to start a business?
Let’s face it, how many of your clients ask you for proof that you graduated from a college? Most likely no one. Why? Because they are most concerned with competence. That’s why every employer wants to hire someone with a college degree because like a high school diploma used to do, it PROBABLY means that the sheepskin holder can construct a sentence and is competent in simple math — NOTHING MORE.
So why subject Emily to 4 years of go nowhere schooling along with a lot of boozing, partying, and the Girls Gone Wild atmosphere. More and more it is a dead end and just like MacAlister College chose to march to the beat of a different drummer maybe you should too.
I urge you to think long and hard about this choice — for Emily’s sake.
All good questions, William! I’ll run it by her.
Thanks for another great post, Michael. I’ve learned a lot from you from your weekly (and now daily) posts and webinars. Good luck with the college decision.
Glad to hear it Pete! And thanks on the college stuff (my wife and daughter are off on a 48-hour touring jaunt as we speak).
Thanks for your comments, Michael. As the author and signatory of that letter to Emily, I have to share a story. I had a band director in high school who told us a tale about a farmer who had a wagon-pulling mule that he just couldn’t get to move. One day, he took the biggest 2×4 he could find and whacked that poor mule over his head as hard as he could. A neighbor, watching this, was incredulous and asked, “Why in the world did you do that?!” The farmer replied, “Well, first you have to get his attention.” That band director was a smart guy – he managed to both get our attention and threaten us with bodily harm simply by sharing a little story.
Now the students to whom Macalester sends letters are considerably smarter than that mule was and their popularity with great colleges makes it a whole lot harder to get their attention. But it’s good to know that, if nothing else, at least I got Emily’s Dad’s attention. “Not quite the right spot for Emily,” you said. Are you sure about that? I’d sure like to have a reason to write her another letter or two… 🙂
Honored to know the video made its way back to you. Again, I salute you for your creativity and whatever inside pressure/reassurance you had to provide in order to sell it internally.
And thanks for the Emily offer as well. I’ll let her know she’s got a friend (in addition to her cousin) at Macalaster!
Now that you have a lot of great comments, all true, about Macalester College, I will just have to comment on the weather. Having moved here 5 years ago from central Massachusetts, I can say that Minneapolis itself does not get as cold as northern Minnesota (or northern New England), and we get less snow than Massachusetts. And oh, we did not get snow last Memorial Day (!) like parts of New England did. Winter does tend to start a bit earlier and end a bit later, though.
And I thought it was too cool here for tornadoes so I never even thought to ask about those — ha, they fooled me there!
And thanks for the weather insight (although I have to say, when you have to reach for “not as cold as northern Minnesota” in order to put a positive spin on it, I’m not sure I’m convinced!).
That said, my belief has always been that Minnesota must be a great place to live, because why else would anyone put up with the cold?!
Stay warm, regards from balmy New England.
Excellent stuff, as always. Not just theory, but a nice example that shows “the proof of the pudding”. Thanks!
Hello Edgar! Thank you and greetings from across the pond (or whatever the expanse between Boston and Norway is called!).