We hear from many prospective members that their general discomfort with technology is the roadblock holding them back from implementing a student management software platform. Although "old-school" methods are acceptable, they take up unnecessary time and could very well be stalling business growth opportunities.
If you are timid about diving in, here are 7 tips for overcoming your fears and making the most of the CollegePlannerPro platform.
1. Schedule a demo or training
You don't have to go at this alone. We want to be your guide to help you explore and utilize the CollegePlannerPro platform. Start by scheduling a demo either prior to starting a free trial or during your trial period. Once you get the lay of the land, you can then start exploring on your own. But don't stop there! If you get stuck, need help troubleshooting something, or just want to ensure you are maximizing your use of the platform, our team is there to help by offering live, one-on-one training. Moving through the platform with an expert by your side will ease the learning curve and make you feel comfortable applying the tools to your practice.
2. Ease yourself into the platform
Just because you have decided to use software for your business does not mean you need to sell off your filing cabinets, take down your physical calendar and burn your paper notebooks right away. Simply put, implementing software does not have to be an all or nothing approach. Start by finding small ways that CollegePlannerPro can replace or compliment your existing processes.
For example, if you currently jot down hand-written notes when you are meeting with students, you can definitely keep working that way! After your meeting, clean up and transfer the relevant notes into CollegePlannerPro. Use the CollegePlannerPro Checklist and To-Dos to set up any follow up tasks for you and for your student. Taking this small step within the platform will provide you with a handful of benefits. All your notes will be saved, backed-up, and organized in a central location. You can easily share these notes by emailing them to the student and/or parents so that everyone is on the same page. And, you can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks with automated reminders attached to the tasks you set up for yourself and for your students.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Like most things, hands-on experience is the best way to learn to navigate software. This is why we suggest all new members start by creating their very own sample student within CollegePlannerPro. This eBook walks you through this process in a detailed, step-by-step manner.
Now that you have your sample student and have populated their profile, watch our tutorial videos and read our knowledge base articles. Reinforce the knowledge you gain by practicing right away with your sample student.
4. Collaborate with other users
Over 1700 IECs actively use CollegePlannerPro, which means you're likely connected to current members through your extended professional network. Tap into these individuals to get specific tips for how they are using the platform. Keep an eye out for our live webinars, conference sessions, or in-person events which will give you an opportunity to connect with the CollegePlannerPro team and other members to gain tips and best practices for using the platform.
5. Get your students to help
Don't let these technology wizards go to waste! Tap into your students by asking them to provide you with feedback for interfacing with the software. Watch how they explore and utilize the features.
Do you have a high school aged child of your own? Set them up as your sample student and have them help you navigate the platform's modules as you move through your standard process.
6. Turn your fear into excitement
Use this endeavor as a learning opportunity. Many individuals who find themselves in this industry are natural educators and life-long learners. Ever-changing and evolving, the field of college admissions requires an adaptable and knowledgeable professional who is dedicated to staying on top of the trends. You have likely spent countless hours developing your expertise, maybe even completing a college consulting certificate program. Treat learning to use software with your students as a similar growth opportunity. Rest assured that properly implementing a student management software platform will make you more effective and efficient and help you deliver the best services possible to your clients. So, believe in yourself!
7. It is OK not to know something
It is our goal to make the platform as intuitive as possible, but we do not expect every user to have all the answers. Don't let yourself get frustrated if you find yourself stuck or overwhelmed. We offer unlimited support and are truly here to help. If you have searched through our knowledge base and tutorial videos and can't find the answer to your question, then we are just an email away!