Let’s be honest: school marketing is not for the faint of heart.
There are long hours to work, packed to-do lists to complete, and lofty goals to meet. There are traditional communications to produce, and new strategies to research. There are things to update, and things to create. There are simply lots and lots of expectations.
As one of my clients recently confided to me after she worked 18 days straight on both a conference and commencement: “I just need a mental vacation!”
And she’s right. You do.
Because marketing is inherently a creative job. And being creative requires space. Space to think. Space to explore. Space to do.
So how can you create this creative space for yourself when you’re completely overwhelmed with work? How can you connect back to the reason you became a marketer in the first place?
Here’s how to find the joy in your job, even in the midst of the crazy:
I was speaking with one of my school clients this week about parent engagement, and how the excitement many parents feel when they first find and visit the school fades over time. They’re no longer wowed by the programs, the faculty, or the student progress — because these things become normal. Routine.
It’s the same thing with marketing and communications. When we first enter the field, we’re passionate and motivated and ready to create measurable impact. But over time, our jobs can start to feel mundane. Administrative. Dare I say boring.
But wait! It doesn’t have to be that way!
Think back to those optimistic feelings you had when you became a school marketer. Remember the opportunities you saw. Remember the butterflies in your stomach — the ones that both exhilarated and terrified you.
What was it about the opportunities that lay ahead that made you excited to start on this journey? Because if you think about it, you have the same — if not more — opportunities today. As I wrote in a recent InspirED article:
You are the stewards of your school’s story. You value the story you’ve been entrusted to share, and you take that responsibility seriously. You are thoughtful and strategic, and you are able to make things happen with little time, resources or support. You are the ultimate content marketers.
Remember that. Remember that. Remember that.
This week I also had the pleasure of helping a client put together an online portfolio that showcased all the meaningful projects he spearheaded as marketing director — and let me tell you, it was super impressive.
To see all of those accomplishments in one place, and to review the results of all that hard work, sparked something. We spoke about the passion behind the projects, and how each of those projects helped strengthen the school story. You could hear the excitement in his voice as he reflected upon each one.
I think, too often, we move quickly past our wins, pushing them aside to tackle the next project or problem. So take a moment to celebrate all of your accomplishments — big and small. Revisit your past work. Read your old brochures. Watch your old videos. And give yourself a really big round of applause.
For real. Give your brain a break and let it have some fun.
Read a trashy summer novel. Buy yourself an adult coloring book. Listen to a super-interesting but not-at-all business-minded podcast. Watch Bravo. Follow your creative passions — outside of your day job — and you’ll be more energized and creative when you get back to your desk.
[Read more: How Slacking Off Can Help Your Content Marketing]
So there you go — some ways to refresh and rejuvenate your role as school marketer. But I want to know: how do you recharge your storytelling batteries? Share your secrets in the comments below!