2021 has been called the year of unlimited potential, of accelerated growth and positivity moving out of 2020. To take advantage of the hype and take real steps to growth for your training organisation, take a look at these 10 tips for accelerated business growth (pun intended).
Using a system that’s in the cloud can remove many limits for your RTO. The cloud essentially allows access anywhere and anytime there is internet connection, so students and trainers aren’t limited to a specific space like a classroom when learning and training. Whether you deliver training on a boat, in an underground mine or in a traditional classroom, a cloud-based student management system is the best way to go. Removing the limits of digital confinement is the first step to ensuring growth for your training organisation.
If the global pandemic has taught us anything about the VET industry, it’s that many RTOs didn’t have online learning capabilities until last year. Those who had a growth mindset and were agile enough to make the switch to online training not only survived the pandemic, but also thrived, and are now equipped with the E-Learning tools needed to provide blended learning. Blended learning, such as mixed delivery of face-to-face and online training, and E-Learning will continue to be important for VET delivery in terms of meeting learner expectations, flexibility of training and learning, being able to have an agile response to events such as COVID-19, and continued growth of the capabilities of your RTO’s training.
Although compliance isn’t the most loved topic for RTOs, embracing compliance to a point where a culture of compliance is created can have great benefits. We all know compliance is a large and scary part of VET, but if every department in your organisation makes it a part of their processes, a solid structure will develop, making it less scary and more manageable. Treating compliance in this way will naturally lead to better working relationships, and is a way to invest in personal development.
Aside from investing in compliance for personal development, there are many other ways to ensure every employee is constantly improving, learning and achieving to the best of their ability. A good starting point is doing a basic SWOT analysis of your RTO, which will help with identifying where employee skill sets need more attention, and with linking employee growth to business outcomes. Feedback from all staff can also be highly valuable, for both strategising PD plans and after the PD has been completed. Getting this feedback when planning is valuable for considering different viewpoints and concluding at the best plan for everyone. With employees having high satisfaction, professional growth and productivity, your RTO will follow suit.
As we get busier and busier throughout the year, it can seem like there’s never enough time to do the important tasks that will contribute to growing your training organisation, especially when your day is bogged down by repetitive admin tasks. This is where workflow automation, and specifically marketing automation, can help. Marketing automation manages your marketing processes, including automatic email marketing, lead nurturing activities, personal connections and messages, accurate reports and improved brand presence. In a nutshell, marketing automation will not only save you time, but also help to grow your business even while you sleep.
Every RTO should understand their target audience, and one of the most effective ways to do this is by creating learner profiles, or outlines of particular students. Putting a face to a learner allows for better education design by ensuring learner needs are met. Learner profiles are also great for brand development, learner retainment and creating maximum value for everyone involved. Learn more about learner profiles from the Founder/CEO of Oppida Bianca Raby here.
Buyer personas are similar to learner profiles, but are more focused on your brand and developing more effective and targeted messages to appeal to your target audience. The creation of buyer personas is an ongoing process that should guide your content. This content can then be automated with marketing automation, whilst ensuring the content is meaningful and valuable to your customer base.
If you’re compliance experts and have targeted, meaningful content after following the previous steps, you’re halfway there to building a solid brand reputation. The next step is to develop a brand identity, including a style guide. Your buyer personas and learner profiles can guide the process of starting your style guide, but it’s also valuable to look for inspiration and templates in organisations such as MailChimp, Cisco and Spotify. A style guide will ensure your brand identity stays consistent, with good recognition, recall and positive brand association amongst your target audience.
If you’ve nailed your style guide, your website should reflect this. Your website is your organisation’s shop front to the digital world–it should reflect the same standard of professionalism and competency as the training you deliver. You don’t need to be a design expert to make a visually-stunning website either, as most common CMSs like Wordpress have pre-made templates and other helpful tools. Once you’ve got your website looking good, doing things like showcasing course info and schedules and writing relevant blog posts to boost search engine rankings will be the finishing touches. Here are some more tips for leveraging your RTO’s website.
One of the most important things for your RTO to do is to consistently review and improve your learner experience with your trainers. Although social media can be very useful for marketing, it can also be used effectively as a learning tool. Its highly collaborative and interactive capabilities make it a great tool for creating online learning spaces. One example is YouTube being used to share recorded presentations or other educational videos, and allowing learners to share videos of themselves performing a task for a particular learning outcome. Having a great cloud-based learning management system should also allow for embedding YouTube videos into learning content or online assessment.
If you’re looking to take your training organisation to the next level in 2021, find out how aXcelerate can help you here.
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