7 Winning Ways to Maximize Client Value and Grow Your Business

Independent educational consultants (IECs) face a wide range of challenges when developing their practices. Speaking with consultants throughout the country and around the world reveals two common concerns: time and money, and how everyone wants more of each.

The good news is that there are a number of simple ways to leverage technology and enhance client value, saving you a tremendous amount of time while simultaneously increasing the amount of money your practice generates.

In this free report, we offer 7 easy and effective ways to increase your efficiency and grow your practice, while optimizing the exceptional value and service your clients expect.

1. Team up with another education-oriented company that complements, rather than competes with, your services.

If you provide college admissions support, contact a local tutoring company that handles test prep but does not help students select their colleges or complete the essays and applications. You can refer clients to them and vice versa, building each other’s businesses in a mutually beneficial way. Your clients will also appreciate that you are a trusted resource for their broader educational experience.

2. Provide your services to a student for free.

To reach potential new clients, offer schools a “scholarship” for one student to receive your services free of charge. This can be as simple as, say, 5 free hours of advice and guidance. Make clear to the school that you are not trying to replace the guidance counselor but rather will offer special skills that the school does not have the time or expertise to provide itself. This way the school views you as an ally, and is excited to provide a worthy student your services without charge. The impressive results of your work will encourage the school to recommend your services to others.

3. Increase your revenue by offering college essay guidance.

Many IECs focus exclusively on college selection and academic advising, leaving the college essay process to students, their parents, and outside editors. In doing so, IECs miss the opportunity to provide necessary guidance to students on one of the most important and challenging pieces of the college application process, and forgo the chance to increase the overall dollar amount clients spend on their services. Adding support for the college essay process, from brainstorming to final drafts, can yield better results for applicants and grow an IEC practice at the same time. Pouring their hearts and souls into great essays is often the most life-changing and memorable experience students will have as they complete their applications, and college essay support is a necessary part of that process.

4. Provide free College Essay Organizer reports to existing or potential clients to close more sales.

Many IECs offer their students advice on the college essay process. However, many focus on just the personal statement without spending time on the myriad supplemental, program-specific, and scholarship essays required by most colleges and universities. By offering your students free lists of their required essays (which College Essay Organizer can create for you), IECs can generate additional essay guidance revenue while demonstrating that they are tech-savvy and in the know. If you don’t want to share an account, you can simply direct individuals to the “Free Essay RoadMap Preview” on the College Essay Organizer homepage, which will indicate the number of essays that are associated with a client’s college list. After all, when students and parents are confronted with, say, 20 or more essays, it can often lead them to engage your services in ways above and beyond what they initially thought they needed.

Similarly, for those who ask only for guidance on the Common App personal statement, you can point out that any disparity in essay quality between the personal statement and supplemental essays will be viewed negatively by colleges. Consistent guidance throughout the entire essay process breeds the best results for applicants.

5. Increase credibility and efficiency with clients.

Being a quality IEC is first and foremost about offering your clients accurate and comprehensive information. By providing students with essay questions soon after they appear on the colleges’ own applications and the Common App, IECs can place themselves firmly ahead of the curve. This timely communication will ensure not only that clients know you are on top of the most up-to-date information, but also that you have an organized and efficient writing plan that parents and students can agree on. This helps clients avoid procrastination and decrease sloppy essay work.

Utilizing the most innovative technology can further cement your reputation as an IEC on the cutting edge. Students are voracious consumers of technology. Providing them with access to their essay questions and a clear essay writing plan that allows them to work smarter, all through an easy-to-use interface, puts your service in a context they are familiar with while reducing the need for tedious paper and email exchanges.

6. Promote yourself nationwide (and even internationally).

Finding credible platforms with which to promote your services beyond your geographic base can have huge benefits for your practice. IECs are increasingly doing work remotely over the phone, and through the internet, utilizing technologies such as Skype and iChat, which do not require you to be physically present in order to provide expert guidance.

We all know that students and parents are overwhelmed by the application process and, in an increasingly wired world, the advice they are seeking does not necessarily need to be from someone next door or even in their own community. With the overall rise in competition from applicants both in the United States and around the world, IECs who can offer the best advice will be those whom competitive families seek out. To that end, overseas students looking for an edge or even simply additional clarity are responding to IECs who can provide quality service over the internet.

7. Offer (and enhance) your public workshop presentations.

Many IECs promote their practices with presentations and workshops held at high schools, community centers, and local libraries. Such face-to-face interactions are invaluable opportunities to distinguish yourself from others offering similar services.

At these presentations, collateral material for those in attendance can be the difference between receiving a follow-up phone call and simply getting a cordial round of applause. Providing a written explanation and timeline of the various steps of the college admissions process allows you to continue the conversation and reminds them how you can help at different stages in the months and years ahead.



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