Schools Don’t Buy From You. They Buy From Schools.

by | 20 Jul 23

So, back in the day (yep, I’ve been around EdTech that long I can say that now!) my Co-Founder, Dave, and me came up with the idea of having a referral program for schools. The concept was simple: if you referred another school to us and they ended up subscribing, then you’d get £100 off your annual bill for every year that the other school stays subscribed. It was such a hit! Who wouldn’t want to save some money, right? Our schools loved it, we loved it, and everyone was happy!

Now, in the current day, that will still work – but(!), the world is much more connected now. Schools are no longer confined to their old LA clusters based on small geographic areas. Those days are long gone! Nowadays, schools are more connected than ever before thanks to social media. Even though they still have close relationships with their neighbouring schools, social media has brought schools from all over the country together!

So, if you want to get people talking about your product and recommending it to others, then you need to do things a little differently. You ready for the answer? It’s all about building a community and network on social media! In this blog, I’m going to share some tips on how you can make it happen.

Table of Contents

Use these links to jump straight to the part of the article that interests you most.

> Schools are No Different to You and Me
> So, What Do You Do?
> Here’s the Proof

Schools are No Different to You and Me

There’s a bit of a myth that selling to schools in EdTech is completely different from any other kind of sales. While I think there’s merit in the thought, I don’t fully agree with it. In fact, I think schools are just like any other person who is in the market to buy something. And here’s why:

  • When you read the company’s product description on Amazon, you don’t believe it until you read the reviews.
  • When you read the publisher’s book summary on Audible, you don’t believe it until you read the reviews.
  • When you read the hotel’s description of their own hotel on booking.com, you don’t believe it until you read the reviews.

Well, I’m sorry to tell you this: when schools read your website, they don’t believe you.

It’s a harsh truth to swallow, but as much as you think your website sets you apart, it doesn’t. To a school, it doesn’t set you apart from your competitors at all. They need more than that. They need some sort of review. Unfortunately, there isn’t an EdTech Amazon platform that is widespread – like the go-to marketplace for schools. They exist but, as I said, they’re not widespread.

So, What Do You Do?

You know how I mentioned earlier that there isn’t really an Amazon-like platform for EdTech? Well, here’s what you can do instead: create your own marketplace! Now, hold on a second – I’m not suggesting that you build your very own Amazon for EdTech. And while it’s important to have quotes and case studies on your website, trust me when I say that that’s not enough to seal the deal. Let me ask you this: do quotes from other customers on someone’s website ever really make you want to buy something? Probably not. What you need is more than just quotes and case studies, and so do schools.

So, here’s my suggestion: become an influencer on social media! And no, you don’t have to have millions of followers or be a TikTok superstar. What you do need is a solid social media strategy for everyone on your sales, customer success, and marketing teams to follow. This means:

  • having a great profile
  • connecting with the right people
  • creating and sharing content that resonates with the people that you want to buy your product
  • do this each day, make this a habit (after all it’s prospecting)

I’ve got some good news for you. When it comes to connecting with schools or MATs, you don’t need to reach out to a huge number of people. In fact, all you have to do is target the key decision-makers in each organisation, and typically, that’s less than 50 people. So, forget about needing millions of followers – that’s not what you need to succeed here. Sounds more doable now, right?

Now, the trick to make this work is to use a proven social media strategy and turn those tactics into habits. That way, you can consistently connect with the right people and grow your network over time.

Here’s The Proof That It Works

Let me give you an example of our own social and digital selling strategy. We wanted to establish ourselves as a leading voice in UK EdTech, so we put our plan into action. And guess what? It worked! Now, we have the biggest share of voice in that space. We actually have over 88% share of voice for that topic!

UKEdTech Share of Voice July 2023

This means that whenever people are browsing that area of work, they’re sure to come across us in their news feeds. If you want to make a splash on social media and establish your own strong voice, you can do it too!

But you might be wondering, “So what?” Well, with our dominant share of voice, we’re consistently now having 15+ meetings each week with prospects. And there are only three of us here at Accelerate! Just imagine how much of an impact a share of voice like this could have for your business. And if you’re an individual salesperson, customer success manager or marketer, think about what kind of extra results you could achieve by establishing a strong share of voice in your own area. And all those meetings with your prospects and/or customers.

Social Selling Training & Coaching

The only ISP Endorsed Certified Social Selling Programme

Our DLA Ignite Social Selling and Influence course stands apart as the only training and coaching programme endorsed by the prestigious Institute of Sales Professionals.