How to Lose Students

How to Lose Students


You want to attract more students, right? And you want them all to be the kind of high-calibre individuals who will turn into top-quality professionals? Well, it’s a competitive market out there. Not only are you vying against other beauty schools, but you also face tough competition from other industries keen to attract the brightest and the best.

Or maybe you’ve got enough students already; maybe you’d rather these bright young things took their enthusiasm and their talent elsewhere. If that’s the case, you need to work on deterring candidates, not only from choosing your school, but from choosing a career in the cosmetology industries altogether. At Nuts & Bolts, we’ve been travelling state to state advising schools on the best ways to get great students, but we can also show you how easy it is to deter them. So how to go about putting students off and watch admissions tumble?

Well, you could start by giving up on any ideas about reaching out to them.
It’s a fact that the schools that do best at attracting good students are those that invest in strong brand and communication programs that make their schools attractive to young people on the cusp of choosing a career.

In contrast, those that sit back and wait for students to come to them avoid:

  • Time-consuming visits to high schools and career events.
  • Making any connections with local employers or the business community.
  • Putting on events to connect with potential recruits.
    And I guess, if a student made the effort to find and pick a college that has done nothing to put itself out there, it shows an admirable degree of determination. But it results in eerily empty corridors and a short roll call.

    Ignore social media
    Some beauty schools still seem convinced that websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are distractions designed to waste users’ time with idle chatter and videos of cats doing funny stuff. Never mind that online channels are the primary way young people communicate these days. If you don’t want to engage them, just keep on doing what you’ve always done and forget about finding inventive ways to encourage applications from the ‘like’ generation.

    Don’t worry about building relationships
    We all know high school teachers hate the beauty industry, sending only their duds our way, so why engage with them? Setting up meetings with the careers adviser to introduce your institution might just have them laughing in the staffroom. But more likely it will help end the negative perceptions of our industry. Then again, some admissions managers would rather stay at their school and rearrange the empty chairs.

    Or try a different approach…
    I suspect that you actually do care about attracting high-quality students who will be a credit to themselves, your college and their chosen profession. If so, a more proactive approach will pay dividends. And here’s our advice:

  • Seek out new and relevant ways to connect with potential students. Think about the best methods of reaching them.
  • Go out of your way to make connections with local high schools and businesses and the wider beauty industry.
  • Market yourself through social media channels. Optimize your website’s SEO to tune into students’ search terms; put inspiring and informative posts on Facebook; use Twitter to keep people up to date with college news and events; post pictures of students’ work on Instagram.
  • Work out what you are looking for in new students, understand what motivates them and think about why your school is the perfect fit for their needs and aspirations.
  • Use the interview as a two-way process to gain an in-depth understanding of potential students and give them the knowledge and understanding to make the right choice of school and career.

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