Homeschool Business Reports and Trends
Embracing Marketing Shifts in Homeschooling
We all know it.
We all must face it and embrace it.
The new homeschool family is an online family.
Budget and culture are leading the homeschool family to “do life” via cyber waves.
In the past, our local library offered free access to knowledge. I know it kept my homeschool budget on track! Our family would spend at least one day a week for a couple of hours gobbling up all that was free and easy to access. Today’s homeschool family is no different. Many, if not more, are on that same tight budget with one BIG difference, the ultimate in access to free knowledge, the internet. Hours in the library are now traded for hours on the internet.
In the past, we homeschool moms craved support, encouragement, and instruction. Now with the internet, a homeschool mom can find all of it online with podcasts, chat rooms, Facebook groups, as well as get hundreds of blogger reviews on any homeschool product.
Understanding the next generation of Christian homeschool families is key to the health of the service we provide. Millennials ( 19-36 year-olds) are leading and teaching their children differently than we did in the past. Forbes has an interesting article that looks at Inside the Millennial Mind for the purpose of marketing. The new generation is driving the next marketing trends and that can’t be ignored.
Getting the Word Out About Your Business or Service
This article, Four Digital Advertising Trends That Are Reshaping Advertising is just one of many, all saying the same thing. Video advertising will have a secure place in all our marketing budgets. The good news is it is easier than ever to put together video advertisements. We are blessed with inexpensive options that can produce quality videos. Also, we can’t hesitate to tap into a 19-25 year olds’ natural bent for technology. Hire a Millennial and trust their insight. We sure do at Here to Help Learning!
Changing Up Your Service/Business to Serve the Online Homeschool Family
Information on demand is today’s primary commodity. Customers don’t want to wait to pick up a book in your store the next day when they can order it at 11:20 pm while drinking a cup of mint tea before they go to bed. They don’t want to wait for the yearly homeschool convention; they are going to look for encouragement online when the kids are outside on their lunch break. How can we break from traditional systems of information delivery? One word…. listen.
We recently received a call from a millennial mom who gave us insight about a need that online homeschool families face. I loved her confidence in us, “If anyone can do it, I know your company can!” You can bet, we are figuring out how to meet the need!
Today’s Business in Action
Bloggers/Affiliates: Want to drive more traffic? Add podcasts to your reviews.
Brick and Mortars Owners: Share your expertise about your products via podcasts or vlogs. Web stores are a must. Become an affiliate for digital products. Offer onsite classes that moms don’t want to do at home. Build community in your neighborhood.
Homeschool Convention Leaders: Consider monthly/bimonthly online mini-conventions for your attendees. Invite homeschool speakers. Advertise well and charge small fees. Be there all year for your families. Checkout HTHL’s Speaker Page.
Website Based Distributors: Build community with active forums and social media. Free giveaways are always appreciated. The most successful distributors I have seen invite their readers into the day to day life of their own homeschooling experience. I love following businesses on Facebook like Rainbow Resource or The Homeschool Gathering Place. They both post lots of pics about what is happening in their office or store. They include bits about their families. Even though I don’t really know them personally, I feel like I know them. And it makes me want to buy from them!
Co-Op Leaders: Tired of everyone missing the meeting? Increase meeting attendance with Google Hangouts. They are an easy way to have a meeting with multiple moms. They can be recorded and posted in case a mom can’t attend. Moms who missed the scheduled time can leave a comment and still feel a part of the group.
From the CEN’s (Chief Executive Nerd) Desk
Is your website user-friendly? That’s a great question! As a web developer, “user-friendly” is my top priority! However sometimes, just when I think I’ve reached my goal….I get a call from a customer asking me to help her locate a particular feature, or I get a support ticket asking for help with navigation. In those moments, I’m reminded to look at our website through the user’s eyes.
One of the best ways I know how to assess if a website is user-friendly is to watch a user interact with the website. I carefully study where and how a user travels through the web features. I always learn a lot. Also, I have learned three very important keys to user-friendly success:
- Build a large library of FAQs. We continually collect questions from our users and make sure the answers are there. Most of our returning customers visit when office hours end. You can take a look at how we built HTHL’s FAQs. Click here.
- Put key information in more than one place. We found this is crucial! Internet readers are skim readers and often miss key information.
- Cross-link information . I think of cross-linking like leaving crumbs to help our users find their way back to key information.
Another way to see if our site is user-friendly is to check the bounce rate!
Bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors who leave after visiting one page. You can’t serve a customer who has left! In this article, How to Lower your Site’s Bounce Rate, the author gives some great practical suggestions to make your website a place where your users want to stay. The industry standard for bounce rate is about 50%, meaning half of the people stay, the other half exits your site without interaction. Google Analytics offers a free service to track your bounce rate. At Here to Help Learning, I’m happy to report our bounce rate fluctuates between 3-11%. That didn’t happen overnight; we work hard to pay attention to our web user’s needs, meet expectations, and offer content-rich material.
Thanks for spending a few moments with us. Hopefully, it gave you some food for thought. Drop us a line, if you either want more information on a business topic, or you want to know more about Here to Help Learning’s daily business operations or our products. We are an open book. Leave us a note below.
From our Business to Yours,
Do you have a website? Would you like to earn extra money? Consider being a part of Here to Help Learning’s Affiliate Program.