Guess what? It's not just about getting pats on the back. There is purpose in marketing what you do. If your stakeholders are more aware of the amazing work that you do, they can increase the buy in for teaching lessons or time with students. You can work to decrease extra duties so that you can spend your time being a counselor rather than a monitor. You can connect with parents and teachers so that when they are seeking extra support, they come to you as an expert in mental health and child development. Most of all, the more that our stakeholders are aware of what we do to support students, the more time we can spend in prevention rather than reaction.
Find Your Why
The only way to do great work is love what you do. ~ Steve Jobs
Find Your Voice
Once you have an idea of how information is sent out and accessed, think about where you are comfortable. If your school has a news show but you dislike being on camera, that might not be a good fit. If you love to write, a blog might work well for you. Where you are most comfortable, you will shine the most!
Quantify the Work
I'm a big proponent of the ASCA National Model, but if you're not there yet, I have some tips on Comprehensive Counseling Like a Boss. By quantifying our work, we can increase the understanding so that:
- Your stakeholders know that you work with students on purpose and not just whoever might show up in your office.
- Your stakeholders can quickly see that your work aligns with the work of the school as a whole. You are a valuable asset to learning.
- Your stakeholders can see what types of topics you will cover in your lessons so that they can ask follow up questions if needed.
- Your stakeholders will know that you make a plan for what your students will learn each year.
- Parents can see the amazing proactive support the counselor provides so that time with the counselor is no longer stigmatized.
- You know what you're going to do - no more rushing around last minute.
Bring It Together
- Social Media
Tip: Use the element "icons" to find the simple picture graphics I used here. To see the graphic more closely, check it out here.
If you don't have a school counseling website, create one now! Most people use the internet to find information they are looking for. Find more on creating a school counseling website including a tip sheet to help you out.
I love social media for sharing fun information with parents. Use the same tool that your school uses so that you can connect to their accounts and get a wider following. Here are a few tips:
- Share pictures of your work with students
- Use hashtags
- Connect to your school’s account & tag them
- Maintain confidentiality - cover faces with emoticons if you need to :)
While you're at it, make an awesome video to share on social media. I've got all the details including screenshots here.
Here's a fun video that I created in about 20 minutes using the Legend app and iMovie.