Back-to-School for higher ed marketers: 5 ways to stay relevant in your #highered job

August 25th, 2016 Karine Joly 7 Comments

In higher ed, learning is ALWAYS part of your job

Back-to-School BusNow that most students and faculty members have made it back to campus (or will soon), it’s time for you to think about YOUR back-to-school, right?

If you are a communication professional or a marketer working in higher education, you know that learning is always part of your job description.

It comes with the ever-changing territory that is the digital realm AND the organizational culture at institutions of higher education.

If you want to stay relevant in your higher ed job, learning new skills or topics is NOT an option as you know.

So, here are 5 (+1 bonus) ways to do so this fall:

1) Earn a Higher Ed Experts professional certificate recognized by hundreds of institutions in the US, Canada & beyond

Higher Ed Experts Professional CertificateThe next session starts on September 12, but registrations will close soon and places are limited.

You can earn your professional certificate in 4 weeks in most of the cases (it takes 8 weeks for social media marketing) by studying online whenever it’s convenient for you as long as you follow the weekly schedule & deadlines with your classmates – all working in universities and colleges.

There’s a certificate for the professional skills that will make a difference in your career: web and social media writing, social media marketing, social media measurement and web analytics and

Oh, and if you are already trained in analytics and want to get to the next level, check out our program in predictive web analytics. It’s the only program that will turn higher ed digital professionals into real “analytics ninjas.”

2) Attend a conference

Higher Ed Marketing Conferences DirectoryThere are few great conferences taking place this fall: HighEdWeb, ConfabEdu, the AMA Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education and the 4th Higher Ed Social Media Conference (Nov 30).

If you want to find out more about these conferences, check out my guide of the top higher ed marketing conferences and classes.

Oh, and if you attended one of these events in the past, just leave a short comment to say what you enjoyed at this conference.

My conference directory is a permanent resource for the community where conference reviews that will be useful in the future can be crowd-sourced. Each conference page in this guide of higher education marketing conferences gets updated every year with new location and dates, but your reviews will always be available to help your colleagues make their decision or their case to attend a given event (well, you know, like on TripAdvisor :-).

3) Present at a conference

The big conference proposal season has come and gone, but it will soon open again.

If you have never presented at a conference before, you have to try. This is always a great learning opportunity and also a fantastic way to boost your career in higher education.

Submit to present at the 4th Higher Ed Social Media ConferenceSo, get out of your comfort zone to get into your conference proposal zone. Why not start to think about it now instead of waiting for the calls for proposals to drop when you are too busy to write your best proposal (oh, and if you work in social media, it’s actually the perfect time to submit your proposal for the 4th Higher Ed Social Media Conference. The CFP will be open until Sep 21):

  • Use my guide to top higher ed conferences and events to check the conference websites – and programs – and look for what’s missing or maybe a new angle on a very popular topic.
  • Come up with a catchy presentation title and a short description of the session you’d like to present.
  • Focus on what your audience will learn after listening to your presentation.
  • Keep the description short (2 to 3 paragraphs maximum).
  • Get a good headshot ready (your social media photo works usually great) and write a short speaker bio.
  • Save everything into a folder on your computer and just wait for the calls for proposals to open.


4) Read my weekly newsletter

Not because I say so, but because more than 3,000 of your higher ed colleagues – all newsletter subscribers – can’t be wrong, right? :-)

For almost 8 years now I’ve been reviewing and curating the most important news, blog posts, trends, research studies and events that matter for digital professionals working in higher education. Your colleagues often tell me how they rely on this newsletter or its web archives to keep up with what’s important for their higher ed marketer job and their career.

So, if you don’t get it already, subscribe today if you want to stop missing important news for your job, because you’re just too busy doing everything else.

5) Follow professional twitter hashtags

If you’re a social media professional, you’re probably doing it. If you are not, time to follow some of the most active and interesting twitter hashtags or chats where great conversations happens and where you can find answers to your questions.

Here’s a selection of my favorite twitter hashtags/chats:

Bonus: Write and publish an article

Higher Ed Marketing MemosIf you are one of the 800 Higher Ed Experts Alums, this is easy as you can have your work published as part of the series I edit, Higher Ed Marketing Memos.

It’s easy because we work together to select a topic, I edit your piece and bam, you become a full-fledged author with your own byline on Higher Ed Experts! Obviously, I also make sure everybody I know knows about your article by sharing it in social media and my newsletter.

But, that’s not all. Because our professional online school site ranks very high for the keyword phrase “higher ed experts,” your article might end up doing well for keyword searches including your topic and “higher ed experts” – thus giving you added quality exposure.

Do you know who often searches using this type of searches?

Reporters, journalists and bloggers looking for knowledgeable sources.

One of our authors – who hadn’t done any blogging anywhere else – was recently interviewed for a national publication on the topic of the article she wrote for Higher Ed Marketing Memos. Exposure indeed.

If you’ve earned a Higher Ed Experts certificate, just shoot me an email so we can talk about this publishing opportunity available to you.

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Learn more about this online conference now!