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Episode #9
Filling Seats Podcast | April 26, 2022

Creating a better culture in enrollment from an enrollment strategist

In this episode:

You’ll hear from Jeremy Tiers who oversees Admissions Services at Tudor Collegiate Stratgies, which provides Advanced Recruiting and Training Strategies.

You'll hear him talk about:

  • Why inconsistency and outdated tactics are the holding back enrollment marketers
  • How enrollment leaders can create a better culture to retain staff
  • What students truly want in terms of personalization
Jeremy Tiers

Jeremy Tiers

Senior Director of Admissions Services

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Host: You're listening to filling seats, the state of enrollment, marketing, and higher ed. Hosted by StudentBridge. In this podcast. You'll learn, what's working to grow shape and sustain enrollment. At colleges and universities directly for marketers thought leaders and ed tech innovators, because anyone can design a brochure, but not anyone can fill seats.

[00:00:30] Host: Welcome to episode nine of filling seats. In this episode, you'll hear from Jeremy tears' who oversees admission services at tutor, collegiate strategies. Tutor provides advanced recruiting and training strategies and is based in North Carolina. You'll hear Jeremy talk about why inconsistency and outdated tactics are holding back enrollment. Marketers. How enrollment leaders can create a better culture to retain staff and what students truly want in terms of personalization let's meet jeremy

[00:01:03] Jeremy Tiers: I started in higher ed.

[00:01:04] Jeremy Tiers: in 2014 and that's when I came on board to tutor collegiate strategies. Prior to that, I did a couple of things working with a lot of young people and families, which is pretty much how honestly I've spent most of my career. I was a college basketball coach for eight years at three different schools.

[00:01:21] Jeremy Tiers: W two in Minnesota and one in Indiana. And then I also was a high school, college and career counselor For a couple of years in Minnesota as well. And so when I got into higher ed space, I had a lot of familiarity, having obviously worked with a lot of high school students and families on a daily basis for a number of years.

[00:01:39] Jeremy Tiers: And I tell people all the time, if you don't know those, either listening, a lot of the coaches on your campus, regardless of what little. your institution is I really encourage you to talk to some of them just because they have so many good ideas that will be applicable on the admissions and enrollment side.

[00:01:55] Jeremy Tiers: And one thing, a lot of coaches are really good at is personalization because they're not recruiting thousands of students. They're just recruiting handfuls of students. And I know some of the best ideas that I've given to admissions counselors over the years are things I did as a coach or things that were passed along to me from good friends who were still.

[00:02:14] Host: So tell me a little bit about tudor, collegiate strategies and what it is that y'all do.

[00:02:19] Jeremy Tiers: .

[00:02:19] Jeremy Tiers: So we're a higher ed partner that works with colleges and universities all across the country. And we've got two arms to the company. If you want to think of it that way, we've got what I call the athletic side of the company and then the admission side of the company, which is what I oversee.

[00:02:34] Jeremy Tiers: And so our CEO and president Dan tutor oversees the entire company. Hence the name of the company tutor, collegiate strategy. as long story short, Dan's had the company going for about 16, 17 years now. And prior to getting going, Dan also has a background in athletics and, radio broadcasting, higher education, a little bit as well.

[00:02:57] Jeremy Tiers: And Dan realized really quick when he started working with college coaches and athletic departments on things like staff training and communications, that there was a need across campus in the admissions and enrollment. And the more he started to see admissions and enrollment folks sitting in on his trainings in the early two thousands.

[00:03:15] Jeremy Tiers: The more he got closer to making the decision, Hey, maybe this is something else that we're going to expand into. And in 2014, honestly, I reconnected with him when I was, in between careers, my wife and I had just had our daughter. She was a couple of years old. I was getting out of coaching and trying to figure out what I was going to do next with my career.

[00:03:36] Jeremy Tiers: And honestly, I reconnected with Dan through a mutual friend and it just so happened a couple of weeks later, he was going to be in the area where I live in the Indianapolis Indiana area. And I said, Hey, I'll meet you at the airport if you've got a few minutes and I'd love to just catch up with you in the Concourse and long story short and have a 30 minute conversation.

[00:03:54] Jeremy Tiers: I got a job offer. I don't know. And it was this idea of what has worked so well on the athletic side with college coaches and athletic departments, there's something here that will work with admissions and enrollment teams as well. And it will have to be tweaked, but I think I'd like you to be the person to do that.

[00:04:12] Jeremy Tiers: And fast forward to eight years later,

[00:04:15] Host: That's amazing. I'd love, if you could tell me a little bit more about your role and then what types of schools that you work with.

[00:04:23] Jeremy Tiers: As senior director of admission services, which is just a fancy way of saying, I'm the senior most person on the admission side. I oversee, a small team that includes myself and, my colleague, Ethan Penland, who used to be the director of admissions at Appalachian state university up until last summer.

[00:04:42] Jeremy Tiers: And then we've got a handful of writers and other people behind the scenes who assist us with a number of things. But ultimately we're a very small company that partners with colleges literally across the entire county. I don't know if you can see the map, over my shoulder here, but there's logos for every school we've done work with over the last eight years.

[00:05:02] Jeremy Tiers: And I think we're north of one 50 now, which is super exciting for me and for the company they're all across the country. They're small privates, they're state flagships they're schools that are mid-size in-between ultimately anybody that needs help with staff. Or communication work. We are happy to partner with.

[00:05:22] Jeremy Tiers: And as I said, we don't have one part of the country we work with. Primarily, we literally travel all around the country. I literally flew in last night and landed at 12, and ultimately got home just after 1230, but I spent yesterday in San Antonio, Texas, working with.

[00:05:37] Jeremy Tiers: a small private college admissions.

[00:05:39] Host: . you piqued my interest earlier when you said, that coaches, aren't recruiting thousands of students, they're recruiting a handful of students. And so initially I was thinking that you were going to say in the admissions work, we work with a lot of small institutions so how do you apply this kind of personalized. Approach to larger institutions that are trying to recruit thousands of students.

[00:06:03] Jeremy Tiers: , it takes a massive amount of communication, as you might imagine. the challenge, I feel like anytime you start working with mid or big size, state institutions, Where your student population is in the tens of thousands, you still apply the same approach. I would argue. It's just, you have to scale it right with hopefully the help of technology, AK a good CRM, something like slate Salesforce, and obviously there's other ones in the marketplace as well. And then it just takes a massive amount of communication because typically.

[00:06:32] Jeremy Tiers: The larger you go, as you're familiar with the more people, not only that work in the admissions and enrollment space, but you've got all these different other arms on a campus, marketing communications, financial aid, student services, enrollment operations, which may on some campuses include campus, visit people, people who do events, train, tour, guides, all of that.

[00:06:53] Jeremy Tiers: And so ultimately you take the same approach, but it just requires leadership to really be on the same page either with. Or what I'm starting to see more is, it's happening more, probably a small privates and mids than it is at a big institutions. You're starting to see the org structure B everybody's reporting to one VP.

[00:07:13] Jeremy Tiers: And that obviously makes things a little easier from a communication standpoint. When one person obviously has ownership of all those different arms, but ultimately at the end of the day, the biggest challenge with a lot of big campuses is it's not, they don't know how to apply. And they usually have the tech to apply it.

[00:07:31] Jeremy Tiers: There's just so many different people who are part of the process. And so that sometimes, causes confusion or it leads to a lot of additional conversations and things that quite honestly take a lot longer than they should. cause there's a lot of backup.

[00:07:46] Host: from your perspective, getting to work with all these different types of institutions, how would you describe the current state of enrollment marketing? I was thinking about that. And the two words that popped immediately are inconsistent and outdated. Meaning. I think there's some great people doing some amazing things in the enrollment marketing space right now. But as a whole, I would argue most of what is being done is being done and consistently mean there's not a thought out plan.

[00:08:18] Jeremy Tiers: There's a lot of one-offs let's tweak this message. Let's tweak the way we did this last year. When a lot of people need to look at the whole strategy and go, yeah, but that's part of a bigger strategy. And that only helps us accomplish 5%, 2%, whatever it is. And I say outdated because as somebody who works with a lot of colleges on communications, we do things like calm audits and we write a lot of messaging and I kid you not.

[00:08:45] Jeremy Tiers: I see messaging and I'll ask the admissions director, the VP, Jeremy, we haven't changed that in 20 years. Yeah. It's still uses Deere at the beginning. Like those of you listening, right? This is one of the plot platforms all die on, or the Hills all die on. I've been saying it for eight years, no, 18 year old or 17 year old wants to see deer at the beginning of anything.

[00:09:04] Jeremy Tiers: They get none of us communicate with each other that way. So why do colleges still send stuff, right?

[00:09:10] Jeremy Tiers: And the problem with that is because communication has become so much more mature. The platforms have grown on the internet over the years, Ultimately students, Are just in a different spot and a different generation that's not what they're used to. I was used to, right when I was growing up in the eighties and nineties getting things that said dear on it. And, I'm sure it felt weird at the time, but it was you're just used to seeing that.

[00:09:33] Jeremy Tiers: Now, unfortunately, none of us communicate with each other, our boss, our colleagues, our friends, our family that way. And yet colleges, and that's why I use the word outdated. Still do that a majority of the time, or they're using all kinds of big words because there's this thought of with Jeremy, we're a higher ed institution.

[00:09:51] Jeremy Tiers: We have to sound super professional. And I'm like, I understand the thought process behind that, but here's what your target audience, AK perspective students say about. It has nothing to do with big words. It's more about, does this feel authentic? And can I relate to what you're sending me?

[00:10:08] Host: So Do you see any of that changing over the next few years?

[00:10:12] Jeremy Tiers: I do. ultimately I think colleges are going to be forced into change. I, somebody who's familiar with the space as I'm sure you are right. Higher ed is very averse to change in a lot of cases. And I think a lot of it's just fear of the unknown. But to me, if you've got data to back up, why you need to change, that's directly from the target audience that you're trying to ultimately get to do something to me.

[00:10:38] Jeremy Tiers: Why would you not come up with a plan that incorporates that data and feel confident that there's a pretty good chance. This is going to work better than what we're currently. All that to say, right? With the number of high school students, graduating, going down over the next few years in this country, there's just going to be less students to choose from.

[00:10:57] Jeremy Tiers: And all of the other options now where you can make six figures without a college degree, which you really couldn't do very much. When I, again, graduated from college in the nineties. I just think at the end of the day, colleges are going to be forced into changing, even if they don't want to, because their enrollment numbers will continue to go down and dwindle.

[00:11:17] Jeremy Tiers: If they do not start to do things in a more student-centered way. And it has to be what their target audience wants. And there has to be an understanding of not every single student wants to be communicated with. And not every single student, right? If they live close to campus, they're far away, they're a first-generation student or a student of color.

[00:11:37] They all may need different things from you, even if there is crossover. And so I'm starting to see a lot more of that happen in enrollment marketing. But if we're talking about, the grand scheme of enrollment marketing, we're not there yet as a whole. It's just, again, it's bits and pieces, which is why I go back to those terms inconsistent.

[00:11:56] Jeremy Tiers: Now.

[00:11:57] Host: You mentioned earlier that you do a lot of staff training, so I'd love to talk a little bit about the great resignation, and how you've seen that affect schools and some things that they're doing to combat.

[00:12:10] Jeremy Tiers: I really believe there's a misconception around this. Let me explain. Does everybody want to be paid potentially more for their time?

[00:12:19] Jeremy Tiers: No question. I don't know anybody who wouldn't absolutely love to make more than they currently make. But ultimately I think a lot of people also understand when they get into higher education in a lot of positions, not all positions, but anything that involves student recruitment events, things where you're going to be.

[00:12:36] Jeremy Tiers: Front-facing. There's going to be a lot of requirements for you to, again, work a typical, I gotta be in the office X number of days for X number of hours because we have students and families and other people coming and going. And I have other people on campus I have to interact with and just things that are much more, efficient and easier to do when you're in person.

[00:12:57] I don't think it's as notion of, if we all of a sudden paid people more and we let them go hybrid or completely remote that, like all of a sudden this would fix this great resignation. And I feel like that's the narrative that at least I hear more often than not. There's no question. Like I said, that conversations around flexible things need to happen, especially at certain times.

[00:13:18] the director I was talking with at the school, I just got back from San Antonio. We were talking about how during reading season, when his staff reads, There's flexibility there that if they want to read from home and not come in for a day, ultimately that's totally those types of conversations.

[00:13:32] Jeremy Tiers: I would argue, need to become standard practice if they're not already in every admissions office, but where I really think the conversation needs to go. We need to have a conversation about what it means to be a leader in the enrollment marketing and or admission space of higher education in 2022, because I do one-on-one meetings with every single admissions and enrollment person who does those trainings.

[00:13:55] Jeremy Tiers: And so you can imagine after doing thousands of those, not just over the last two years, but over eight years, right? All the different things I've heard. so much of it when I talk to people and they're contemplating leaving, contemplating, moving to a different role across campus, or contemplating going into a completely different profession.

[00:14:15] Jeremy Tiers: So many of them don't talk about, I want a hybrid job, or I want more money. What they want is they want to feel valued more by leadership by their colleagues. They want to enjoy if I'm going to work crazy hours and Saturdays and weekends, like we do in higher. Like I understand it's going to be stressful, but I also want to enjoy it a little bit more.

[00:14:36] Jeremy Tiers: I want to have fun. And I think there's just, unfortunately, a culture, more of stress and everything is a priority and everything's on fire every day.

[00:14:47] Host: . The hair on fire.

[00:14:48] Jeremy Tiers: No question. And everybody hits a wall at some point, right? It's just, what do you do when you hit the wall? Some of us bounce right back until we hit the next wall.

[00:14:55] Jeremy Tiers: And some of us just don't know how to deal with it and say, I can't do this anymore. And so I get asked all the time, Hey Jeremy, what are the highest functioning admissions teams, enrollment marketing teams that you've worked with do. And the answer always is the same. They communicate unbelievably well together, but that's a by-product of.

[00:15:14] Cause leadership sets the expectation and it doesn't mean they don't argue and they don't disagree in it. All of that, a hundred percent still happens. And so I think we need to have a real serious look at what it means to be a leader in higher education. In 2022, there are some amazing people out there.

[00:15:32] Jeremy Tiers: There are some amazing people who I think could be good leaders out there. but I think it requires things like training around leadership. That's not happening consistently enough before people get into those leadership position. then I think, my philosophy, I, I tell people all the time is as a leader, you have to remember you work for your staff, not the other way around.

[00:15:50] And I have too many leaders who basically say, I don't want to micromanage. I want my staff to figure it out. And I'm like, that's fine. But guess what? Your staff's all different. And some of them don't function that way. And so you have to be able to take each one of them as an individual and figure out

[00:16:06] Jeremy Tiers: What does this other person need from me? If you're going to be, in my opinion, an effective leader, not just in higher education, but quite honestly, in any industry.

[00:16:15] I was recently listening to a podcast about burnout and one of the things that they were saying was that burnout doesn't occur necessarily just because you're being overworked. It occurs when you are. Working towards something that you don't believe has a true end and that you don't think the things that you are doing are contributing toward your ultimate goals.

[00:16:39] Jeremy Tiers: Yeah.

[00:16:40] Jeremy Tiers: it is it's leadership setting expectations, which doesn't happen back to inconsistencies. We use them on the enrollment marketing side of things. You could use it in a bunch of other spaces, including the admission. There's just inconsistent leadership, unfortunately, and the style and the way that right people are managed.

[00:16:58] Jeremy Tiers: And we, again, as human beings, we're all emotional. It's how we're created. And things like inconsistency don't bode. Well, to your point for things like, being productive day in and day out and feeling, positive more than negative. Then on top of that, I would argue, it's just understanding when we onboard people, not just at the leadership level, but even brand new staff.

[00:17:23] Jeremy Tiers: What are we doing in those first couple of days, couple of weeks, couple of months to not only give them a foundation for what they're going to encounter. But continue to not just check in, cause that's not intentional enough, but follow up in a very intentional way as leaders to try to figure out is She was getting this, do I need to micromanager and hold her hand because she's not doing what I'm asking her to do because I tell leaders all the time.

[00:17:51] Jeremy Tiers: I understand you don't want to micromanage, but at the end of the day, when your boss comes to you, if you don't make enrollment numbers, That admissions counselor typically does not lose their job, That vice president of enrollment or that director of admissions or enrollment loses their job because they're in that leadership position.

[00:18:07] Jeremy Tiers: And so if your staff unfortunately needs something different than what you would typically give, I feel as a leader, that's your number one job to recognize that. But then number two, to be able to say, all right, how do I get the most out of everybody? And sometimes that's not always the same. And then as we're doing things, to your point of being stressed and everything being, hair on fire, we're going to have wins along the way.

[00:18:33] are we celebrating that as a team? Because I don't see that enough either. Right. Andit's back to culture. That's one of those things that can Trump people being exhausted and tired. 'cause they're like, you know what? As for all the bad days I have boy, I like working with these people and boy, we all work hard.

[00:18:51] Jeremy Tiers: And boy, I actually like coming into the office more days than I don't like it. And there are some places where there are amazing cultures right now. I just think, again, this is a conversation that needs to be had on a much bigger level because it ties back into this whole concept of the great Renaissance.

[00:19:09] Host: what are some things that you see schools doing in terms of marketing that you think are really.

[00:19:16] Jeremy Tiers: Number one, it's understanding your target audience, right? The best enrollment marketers do a ton of what I would call market research. we do it in, as a company, every single time I do a training or my colleague, Ethan does a training or we do on the athletic side with coaches, we are surveying current and prospective students about not just the school, That they may have chosen, but about their college search and then tutor collegiate strategies also throughout the year partners, alongside companies like net. And we've done multiple surveys. We'll have just released our latest survey, where we talked to almost 10,000 high school juniors who will be seniors this fall about what they're seeing and how they're feeling about their college search.

[00:19:58] Jeremy Tiers: And when you are able to go down on a micro level inside the macro, if that makes sense, you're able to really see, there are some common pain points year after year. And the best enrollment marketers, don't just say, I'm just going to send them what I think they want. No, I'm going to figure out what do they want?

[00:20:17] Jeremy Tiers: What medium do they want it in? What frequency do they want it? What gets them to engage and have a conversation? And so I'm starting to see more of that because I think more data is available as well. Technology has helped with that a ton. if you have a good CRM like slate again, you have access to so much data.

[00:20:37] Jeremy Tiers: That you can mine. But it requires again leadership and it requires onboarding and not just a, let's do a slate training one time and let's hope everybody remembers it, which unfortunately happens way too frequently. So ultimately the increase in data, I think, has led a lot more enrollment marketers to do a lot more segmentation and personalization, which honestly, personalization is the number one thing.

[00:21:01] Jeremy Tiers: I continue to see students talk about . they feel like a number in this process. and if it's a school, like large public colleges. It becomes harder because you're starting with an even bigger number of prospective students than you would be if you're at, whatever a small private institution would be that you'd want to choose.

[00:21:19] Jeremy Tiers: And so at the end of the day, it's segmenting and personalizing, but then it's how do I figure it out? What we were supposed to talk about and how do we do it in a way that actually feels like a back and forth conversation like you and I are having now and not like we're vomiting information all over students and families, which is what admissions counselors, and mineral at marketers.

[00:21:40] Jeremy Tiers: Tell me all the time, Jeremy, I feel like I'm vomiting information on them and I'm like, then stop. You don't have to tell them everything all at once. There is no expectation of that. In fact, that's what they don't want because it overwhelms them in what is an already scary, confusing, and overwhelming.

[00:21:56] Host: So personalization is something that's come up probably on every episode of this podcast, but something that has also come up is lack of bandwidth. And those two things don't really go together. And so what do you believe that prospective students want in terms of personalization? what do they want to be personalized?

[00:22:15] Host: And then if you are, a small shop you've got one or two people you're really low on bandwidth, what are the top three things that you can do to just start to, bite away at the elephant in terms of personalization?

[00:22:29] Jeremy Tiers: . There's misconceptions sometimes about what personal. Really means, it used to be , 10, 15, even 20 years ago, you put their name on a parking spot when they came to visit campus. don't get me wrong. It's still a nice touch to do that in 20, 22.

[00:22:42] Jeremy Tiers: But every school does that. Now you don't stand out as much as you used to. So like a going trend also is let's put, the student's first name in the subject line. I'm not telling you that can't be a factor. The problem is when you do it every time and every other school does it almost every.

[00:22:55] Jeremy Tiers: It just runs together as students skim, for example, the RamBox right. It doesn't stand out personalization?

[00:23:02] Jeremy Tiers: to me. Means I'm going to find ways to create a conversation with as many students who are willing to engage with me. All right. then let's talk about what step one is. Step one. Is, are you going to engage with something that feels like a mass message that comes from an

[00:23:21] Jeremy Tiers: Maybe, but students say probably not because that's code for us for you just blasted this out to however many tens of thousands of students. So change number one is you have the ability in almost every CRM, for example, to make messaging, either come or appear to be coming. If somebody else writes it from all of the admissions counter.

[00:23:42] Jeremy Tiers: And I have data that basically says the first person they want to hear from is not the director of admissions or the vice president of enrollment or a faculty member, or even believe it or not a current student, a lot of cases when they start their college search, it makes sense in their brain that we know there's these people called admissions counselors at most schools.

[00:24:00] Jeremy Tiers: And we don't really know what they do, but like we think, or we know they're supposed to help us. And we've heard this from our high school counselor, our peers, Other family members who are. And so it makes sense to them that, okay, that might be the person who reaches out well, then it's what do you initially say when you reach out?

[00:24:17] Jeremy Tiers: Because if all you do is list off a bunch of bullet points about your school and facts and figures, right? Number one, you don't stand out. And number two, even though you got them to open the email, it doesn't feel like a personal message. And now you make getting their attention even harder. going forward.

[00:24:33] Jeremy Tiers: And so it's saying I'm going to slow down and I'm going to do three things that I talk with admissions teams about all the time. When I do trainings, I'm going to humanize my content. I'm going to empathize. And I'm going to the third one is what we're talking about personalized. how do you combine that all in one, you recognize, you don't know this student yet, but you're excited.

[00:24:53] Jeremy Tiers: They want to learn more about whatever school you work with. And so it's what can I ask them? That's a direct intentional question. Not just, do you have any questions or what can I answer for you? Because while that may seem helpful, students tell us, I don't know where you want me to start. There's 600 things I could ask you.

[00:25:07] Jeremy Tiers: I don't want to say the wrong thing. So you know what I say? No, I'm good. Now. I don't think I have anything right now. So if you ask a direct, intentional question based on what you know, or don't know, for example, at the big. That allows you to get a conversation going and then get a feel for where they're at, what they're looking for, why they're interested in your school, what they want to do with whatever major they think they want to do.

[00:25:30] Jeremy Tiers: And then back to the personalization, the way you personalize is you then provide relevant information as a counselor in that follow-up based on whatever engagement you get back, and you can scale that. If you've got, for example, people in enrollment marketing, whether you have one, 10 or 12, and of course it's easier.

[00:25:49] Jeremy Tiers: If you have more bandwidth who either have created comms ahead of time or who realize I don't have to in any of these responses, whether I'm a counselor, I'm an enrollment marketer, writing communications say 1600 things in a response. All I have to do is keep the conversation. And that might be a sentence that might be a paragraph, but it doesn't need to be something where I spend two hours editing an email five times when all I'm trying to do is say, okay, she's interested in this.

[00:26:17] Jeremy Tiers: She's wondering this. All right. Now, I'm going to go here and see what she says when I send her this information. And then if she engages again, maybe I'm going to ask her if she's thought about going and coming to visit campus, or if she's taken any other campus visits. And if those have been helpful for her.

[00:26:32] Jeremy Tiers: As she's been able to get a feel for what those schools are like, that type of conversation can be done at scale, when you have good communication, regardless of your bandwidth. And you just say, I'm going to trust the process and understand that the goal is just to keep conversations going and then ultimately right.

[00:26:52] Jeremy Tiers: Try to get them to do these things. Once they've engaged with me or shown some level of. AKA, I'm going to wait to ask them to visit or apply or ultimately enroll until I've got some reason to think they're ready to do that.

[00:27:05] Host: . And I will say, as a marketer, who's sent. Plain text, personalized email from an admissions counselor. You also need your entire team to be bought into that. This is something that's going to happen, and this is why we're doing it again, back to all working towards a common goal, because you send that email at, three o'clock and then the next day, all the counselors open up their inboxes and they.

[00:27:29] Host: Way more emails than they typically do in the morning. they need to know Hey, this is a strategy that we're doing, and this is why we're doing it because otherwise you're going to have a revolt on your hands.

[00:27:40] Jeremy Tiers: , you're a hundred percent. Right. And it's a huge pain point when I do trainings. And it's why, again, trainings, accompany, the comms work we do, because to your point, there has to be, you need to give it like a marriage between those two things. If you're going to see the result you want to see because you're right.

[00:27:56] Jeremy Tiers: It's a super annoying thing for admissions counselors are when they're like Jeremy, I don't know what our enrollment comms team sending, and if it has my name on it, and all of a sudden my inbox blows up. I'm like, what are these people talking about? I don't, and we don't see it till after the fact, or we don't see it ever.

[00:28:11] Jeremy Tiers: And we're expected to then do something with this. So it all goes back to a couple of things we've talked about already, right? It's leadership and it's communicates. And that has to be, again, something that is prioritized. Otherwise there is a trickle down effect in so many different things that ultimately allow you to hopefully make your class in a given.

[00:28:34] Host: What about your non high school student population? people always forget about transfer students, adult learners. And then of course, beyond the undergraduate world, we've got, graduate students, law, business, all these other things, any other nuances in the strategy or the tactics based on those different populations.

[00:28:54] it's understanding that there are different nuances to your point, But the core foundational things don't change, do all students want personalization? all students want to be less overwhelmed and more feel like you're helping and trying to understand them and get to know them.

[00:29:09] Jeremy Tiers: No question, whether they're pursuing an MBA, whether they're a transfer student, whether they're an international student, Or whether they're a high school student, they all want that. They all tell us that in surveys, but my advice would be, you still have to understand your target audience. It's just your target audience is obviously different.

[00:29:27] Jeremy Tiers: And as a transfer student, this whole process shrinks and happens in a matter of days or weeks on most college campuses, regardless of size when it comes to transfer students. And you have to understand what the pain points are and every person who's listening, who does nontraditional recruitment knows the faster I can tell students 300.

[00:29:46] Jeremy Tiers: How many other credits are gonna transfer, how long it's gonna take them to graduate and what it's going to cost. In some cases, literally, if you're the first to do it, that's where the student enrolls, because they've already done enough research ahead of time, or they already considered you when they were considering out of high school, right before they're transferring from the community college or the four year they might be at now.

[00:30:06] Jeremy Tiers: They don't need what I call wining and dining and all the back and forth that you might do with a traditional. And so it's just understanding that and saying, okay, then we don't need all right. A long drawn out calm flow, but we do need comms that feel personal. We do need to create opportunities For connections.

[00:30:24] Jeremy Tiers: And what I unfortunately see on too many campuses is transfers get lumped in with first-time freshmen all the time, and it drives them insane. please send me something that sounds like you understand I'm transferring and I'm not a high school student. Or please can you do a different job? That is specifically for transfer students and not like anybody who wants to show up.

[00:30:47] Jeremy Tiers: And then on the grad side, it's the same thing. It's just understanding you have to, why are they even considering doing a master's degree? They don't like their job. They want a different career. They want to get to a higher leadership level and it's required, or they think it's required. There are a whole bunch of reasons.

[00:31:04] Jeremy Tiers: But before you can give this person all this information and expect them to be able to utilize it. And for it to be impactful, you have to understand their why and their why. If you do your data and your research usually is a handful of those things and the pain points are usually pretty obvious regardless of where you are in the country, With non-traditional students. And so at its core, it's the same foundational things, but it's understanding they have to be. Because of the way students who are non-traditional and go through this process.

[00:31:36] Host: I'm curious if there's anything else that you would add that you think is a big impact, like start doing this now kind of thing.

[00:31:45] Jeremy Tiers: Yeah, I would tell you a couple of things. Like I get asked all the time. All right, Jeremy, if my admissions team or my enrollment marketing team becomes really good at four or five, six, things like these will be game changers. what are those things? these are in no particular order, But one of the things we haven't talked about, but this ties in with all of this is storytelling. you become a better storyteller. You'll be a better enrollment marketer and a better. But step one is you have to get somebody's attention first to even read your story, listen to it.

[00:32:13] Jeremy Tiers: If it's a video, whatever, and I think higher ed, unfortunately, skip step one way too often and just assumes, oh, I've got this person's attention. They'll a hundred percent read this or watch this video that I spent all kinds of time on, or my team's been all kinds of time on no, because of how much information is coming at all of us.

[00:32:31] Jeremy Tiers: Especially young people. in 2022, We're all overloaded. It takes a lot more to get and keep our attention. And so it's understanding if I'm going to try to incorporate storytelling. what does my target audience want and what medium should I use? And what kinds of stories do they want me to tell?

[00:32:49] Jeremy Tiers: And higher ed again, is very good at saying, I think I know the answers and I don't really have any data to support other than my gut tells me

[00:32:56] Jeremy Tiers: And I'm like, listen, unless you have data to support it. It's a hunch. And if it works great, I'm not telling you it won't ever work, but chances are when you have data, it's going to work a lot more often than it doesn't.

[00:33:07] Jeremy Tiers: And so if you become a better storyteller, if you understand just how to get and keep somebody's attention, like that is such a basic skill that people do not take time on. And if you're an extrovert like. I've been blessed. Like I suck at a lot of things . But it's not hard for me to talk to somebody either.

[00:33:24] Jeremy Tiers: I don't know. I just met or to get a conversation going in a crowd or one-on-one, I don't know why. I don't know if it's DNA. I got what it is. That's not hard for me, but I feel like that's a skill that is lacking. Like I have a 12 year old daughter. That's the biggest thing that freaks me out about her generation is I'm not tech averse.

[00:33:44] Jeremy Tiers: I love. But my fear is because they're on text so much, they're not forced to do what you and I are doing right now, as much as I was when I was younger. And yet I would argue if you were thinking of overwhelming themes that we've talked about in this episode, communication is like one a or one B. And being able to just hold a conversation with somebody and empathize and that to me, right?

[00:34:06] Jeremy Tiers: If you can do that, that sets you at a whole different level, leading the conversation as I call. it's an understanding. Students need you to guide them in this process as an enrollment marketer, as an admissions counselor, it's not asking them, do you have any questions? They don't know what to say.

[00:34:23] Jeremy Tiers: That they don't know what they don't know. They need you to be the guy.

[00:34:27] Host: We did a webinar about the importance of live chat. And I looked up stats about, phone and email usage by gen Z and millennials. And I was astounded that it gives gen Z anxiety to have to pick up the phone and call. you don't think about that. When I was a kid, I had to call over and say like, oh, hello, Mrs.

[00:34:48] Host: Tiers is Jeremy available? May I please speak with him?

[00:34:52] Jeremy Tiers: No, they have DMS and they have all kinds of other ways, text messaging, To be able to get a hold of. And that.

[00:34:58] Jeremy Tiers: again, back to one of the things we talked about earlier without data is just something that I'm like, this is something that higher ed needs to do more of now, because before you can share all these things and expect a student to want to learn more, do all these next step.

[00:35:13] Jeremy Tiers: You just have to get their attention first. leading the conversation will help with that. Just understanding how to start conversations in different common situations that you're going to deal with in your role, whatever it might be asking direct and intentional question. so important.

[00:35:27] And I get pushed back up, but Jeremy isn't that going to be pushy? students tell us all the time in the surveys we do, we'd much rather you narrow it down and tell us what you really want to know, but try to be empathetic and like nice when you do that as well. And we're more than happy to share.

[00:35:41] Jeremy Tiers: And then the last couple of things, you gotta be able to communicate with parents. I would argue it might be outside of stories. It might be for enrollment marketers, and for admissions counselors, the biggest opportunity in the space right now, meaning there's not enough of it being done. And yet the impact when you do it well, ROI is off the charts, right?

[00:36:01] Jeremy Tiers: Because parents will tell you even more in this process. And very few students go through this process completely alone, whether it's from bouncing ideas off of, or a financial support, AK parents are contributing some or all of the cost of them going to.

[00:36:16] Host: How can someone get in touch with you and what are some things that tutor collegiate strategies can help them with?

[00:36:23] Jeremy Tiers: We've got all kinds of ways we can help you. And none of it will cost you anything, but your time. I am more than happy people think I'm crazy when I say this, those people listening who have done what I'm encouraging other people to do know that I'm more than happy to take time.

[00:36:36] I will give you my email address right now, first and foremost, which is my name, Jeremy If I can ever help anybody listening, or somebody is writing an email and wants an outside set of eyes, literally send me an email, introduce yourself. People do it more often than you would think.

[00:36:54] Jeremy Tiers: And I will give you quick feedback and it will cost you nothing but your. If you want to go check out and learn more about what we do. You literally go to admissions dot Dan, and you can check out the website and see all kinds of stuff about the trainings and the communication work we do. And then the biggest thing I would encourage everybody to do that I have been told is very helpful as I do a weekly newsletter that goes out every Tuesday morning, I've done it for eight years.

[00:37:20] I'm very proud of the fact that for eight years running, knock on wood, I have not missed a Tuesday.

[00:37:26] Jeremy Tiers: And every Tuesday I'm writing about probably something we talked about today on this podcast or something else as to what I'm seeing and hearing in the enrollment, marketing and admission space and saying, Hey, if you're dealing with this and you're looking for tips and suggestions, here's a couple of things for you to think about.

[00:37:44] Jeremy Tiers: You can subscribe to that newsletter by going to the website and at the top, you'll literally see you put in your first and last name and your email and hit subscribe. That's it done? There's no account to create no password. Everything is free on the website. You can also see it says blog at the top.

[00:38:01] Jeremy Tiers: Literally every single article I've written over eight years is archived. There. They're a hundred percent free. Most of them are two to four minutes. You can read those at your leisure any single time from anywhere, you can get an internet connection. So I encourage people.

[00:38:16] Jeremy Tiers: If they're looking for some quick, easy professional development, that's actually something they can take and apply in their day to day. And isn't like, oh, I have to go ask my boss for a budget money, or I need five more people to do that. Subscribe to the newsletter. I think that would be something that will be beneficial.

[00:38:32] Host: Definitely. thank you so much for interviewing with me today and I love talking to you.

[00:38:37] Jeremy Tiers: , I appreciate the opportunity .


[00:38:41] Host: thank you for listening to the filling seats podcast, hosted by student bridge. If you'd like to connect with this episode's guest. Check out the show notes. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a rating and review and don't forget to subscribe. For more information about the podcast or to let us know, you'd like to be a guest.

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