Coveting books stems back to my childhood. I would sit on the floor of the library for hours before selecting one to bring home, gazing at the lovely cover designs, flipping through the pages to get a sense of style, and even reviewing the check-out date stamps on the back pocket — because of course, the more it’s been checked out, the more people enjoyed it.
Today, not much has changed — although the library is now my home office and the potential new reads are business and marketing ebooks. I go through the same process: reviewing the designs, scanning other content produced by the author, and reading reviews and recommendations from the experts I admire. I don’t download lightly, and I love it when I find hidden gems to curl up with.
Ebooks are now something to be coveted.
As an ebook reader, you can access insights and ideas that, until recently, were often tightly guarded as brand secrets. You can learn and grow as a school professional by learning from the best — and often simply for the price of your contact information. And you can support and connect with some of the industry influencers you appreciate.
By authoring a compelling ebook for your school, you can position your school as an expert in your niche while reaching new students and families on a deeper level. You can explore a topic near and dear to your educational philosophy in richer context. And you can create something of value for your dream families that will help you gain their trust — and potentially their enrollment.
Writing an ebook can be a seriously strategic content marketing step. But it’s also a big commitment. And if you’re not sure when to begin, it can seem like an impossible endeavor. So we’re here to help get you in the mindset of writing that ebook we know is in you.
1. Write a how-to guide. You know those FAQs you have kicking around your website or marketing kit? Look at the top five. Is there enough substance behind one of them to warrant a deeper dive? Consider turning that persistent question into a comprehensive how-to guide that provides evergreen tips your audiences can use to find the answer. For example, a Montessori school can write an ebook titled “How to Know if a Montessori Environment is Right for Your Child.”
2. Combine blog posts on a topic to create a rich resource. While I love reading blogs, they’re usually not written in a linear format. I often start reading a post on one topic, only to link off to another until I find myself lost in a maze of ideas and information. Take the work out of your blog content by turning some of your bigger, more popular topics into ebooks that provide a linear narrative. You most likely have the bulk of the content written; now you just need to string it together.
3. Create an illustrated storybook. Bring life or simplicity to a complex topic by developing a storybook modeled in a children’s-literature style. Your audience will enjoy the playfulness and appreciate the straightforward storytelling.
4. Develop seasonal resources. Look for ways to promote your school’s differentiators by connecting them to seasonal interests. Do any of your programs or innovative offerings have a seasonal connection? For example, a school with a significant outdoors component could write a “Teach Your Child With Nature” ebook and publish it when the weather begins to warm.
5. Create a workbook. You know the tools and resources you use to help solve your dream families’ problems? Give those things away! Create a workbook that helps your families work through an issue they’re having. Your book will become a working document that they’ll consistently use and reuse – and remember you as the source. An example: The Quaker School at Horsham’s “Best Week Ever” workbook.
6. Help your dream families get started. “Getting Started” ebooks are pretty popular – because they work. For schools, this type of ebook could help families start the school-search process — and keep you in mind while they consider their options.
7. Test your next printed piece — before printing. Use your ebook as a way to test your content before you publish it as an evergreen brochure or view book. See how many people are interested, and if it performs well, go ahead and get that puppy printed and distributed. This will allow you to save on printing costs if you find your content isn’t working hard enough for you.
8. Tell stories. Highlight powerful, emotional stories that put your school in context of the bigger world. Create an ebook of short stories around an emotional theme to help uplift or enlighten audiences. These don’t have to be testimonials or case studies — stretch your creativity.
9. Write a manifesto that shakes up the status quo. Think something in education has to change? Have a new way of approaching a traditional practice that deserves to be shared? Know a secret that your customers would love? New ideas are power. Claim them as your own.
10. Feature your experts. Your walls are filled with faculty and staff who are smart and opinionated — use their perspectives to create an ebook that showcases your best asset: your teachers.
Those are 10 ebook ideas for schools — but there are many more directions you can go in to capture dream families’ attention. Find even more ideas in our FREE Resource Library.