23. Imagining the Future of Digital Marketing for Independent Schools

In this episode, Aubrey and Tara chat with Truth Tree’s Principal, Trevor Waddington and Director of Innovation, Liz Yee – together they imagine the future of digital marketing for independent schools discussing newfangled topics such as NFTs, the metaverse, voice first technology as well as brand alignment and mindful marketing that will set up your digital strategy for the year.

About Trevor Waddington & Liz Yee:

Trevor Waddington and Liz Yee combined have 30+ years of working in independent schools as directors of admission, enrollment management, marketing, communications, and financial aid (and recess duty!).

They have been in the trenches—giving tours, developing marketing strategies, crunching numbers, and strategizing to grow enrollment and know the pressures (and joys!) schools face.

Today, they support private schools in their digital marketing efforts and obsess about how to use data-driven research, analysis, and testing to engage with prospective parents.

 

Show Transcript

Aubrey: Welcome to Mindful School Marketing your go-to podcast for personal and professional growth. 

Tara: We’re school marketers, business owners, and moms passionate about connecting other school professionals with tools and strategies for success. 

Aubrey: We love solving problems, exploring new ideas and thinking outside the box, let’s transform your school in life. Starting right now.Welcome to Mindful School Marketing. I’m Aubrey. 

Tara: And I’m Tara Claeys. Today we’re joined by Liz Yee and Trevor Waddington of Truth Tree consulting, Trevor Waddington and Lizzie combined have 30 plus years. I’ve working in independent schools as directors of admission, enrollment management, marketing communications, and financial aid, as well as recess duty. They’ve been in the trenches, giving tours, developing marketing strategies, crunching numbers, and strategizing to grow enrollment. They know that the pressures and the joys that school face. We’re so happy that they’re here. They support private schools and their digital marketing efforts today, and obsess about how to use data-driven research analysis and testing to engage with prospective parents. I’m so excited to geek out with you guys. Thanks for joining us. 

Trevor: Thanks for having us. Thanks, Tara. Thanks Aubrey. 

Aubrey: Yes, and we are so happy you’re here. We’ve been looking forward to this conversation for some time, but before we dive into some questions, can you tell us a little bit more about yourselves and like your journey into the school, digital advertising space? 

Liz: Trevor, you go first.

Trevor: Well, I started I started off as a social studies teacher, way back when I guess turning the Malone. I guess maybe I was the last one to step backwards when they said we need some marketing help. I’d had some marketing background in college that, morphed into admissions and marketing and then communications and then financial aid moved more full-time into an administrative role and it grew from there. And, [00:02:00] I always had a, became, it became a lot more the nagging, just desire to, to have my own business to, do what I do now. And I really saw that there was an absolute need in our space for better marketing overall and where I excelled professionally was through digital marketing. So I I took that expertise. I started Truth Tree and we are even bigger company now obviously, then we started off with just me and my computer and a notebook. And now it’s me, my computer, a notebook and nine other folks. So it’s been a great journey so far. 

Liz: I did not start out as a teacher, but looking back having developed this whole career of working in education that kind of accidentally happened. I think I didn’t go into the workforce thinking I’m going to work in schools but have worked at universities. I’ve worked in with charter schools, private schools, public, I have this career of really just supporting schools in all shapes and sizes from a marketing lens. And most recently was at a private school, a pre-K to eighth grade school as their director of enrollment and marketing – fun fact Trevor and I worked at competitor schools as competitor admissions directors which is how we know each other. And it’s just been a really interesting, fun ride to think about how schools work, how to improve their marketing. I was always jazzed and excited to try new things and was really passionate about working in schools. And I think most folks that work in schools are, and so I was always interested in dabbling and what was happening next to how can I improve our marketing and admissions work? I knew I needed to do digital marketing. I knew that parents were getting younger and younger. And that I wanted my school to be front and center in front of those parents, but I did not go down the obsession rabbit hole that Trevor did. I outsourced that – I didn’t want to become a digital marketing guru expert. I knew I needed it. But it’s been fun to now be on the Truth Tree side and working with [00:04:00] schools all over the country to hear about their marketing challenges and strategize with them. So it’s been a fun journey. 

Tara: What great experience you both have. I’m really excited to talk about what you all are doing. But I’m going to start with a big overview question. And lot’s happened in the past couple of years due to the pandemic with marketing and especially with the growth of small schools. So I’m going to ask you, if you could look into a crystal ball – what marketing and digital ad trends do you see impacting schools going forward in 2022?

Trevor: If you asked me that question tomorrow I might have a totally different answer. I don’t see Google ads, social media ads going anywhere at all anytime soon. It goes back and forth from both platforms, the two main platforms making it easier, making it harder, making it easier, making it harder. So it’s just really, it’s so difficult to keep up with that. What new apps and what new platforms and what new spaces you’re going to need to be. Something actually internally that we’ve been talking a lot about [00:05:00] really three areas. And one of them I presented on last year and I’m starting to see some schools pick up on it and that is having a presence on a voice first technology. So whether it is a Alexa skill, a Google assist. This is this, people are asking their devices. They’re not typing things in like they used to, or, actually, talking on a phone. And this is really an area where schools can make can really differentiate themselves from a communication standpoint. Hey, we have the best communication. We can show you. Why? Because we have an Alexa skill where you can go in and you can find out what the sports schedule is for the week, or you can order. through it, if you can get Alexa to talk to whatever CRM that you’ve got going on, or however parents can do that, I’d love to be able to be driving my kids to school and say, oh my goodness, we forgot to pack lunches. Hey Alexa, Hey Siri. Hey Google. And they’ll take you through the process of doing that. The other one that we talked about, Liz, maybe you want to talk about is NFTs. And before we even get into that, 

Tara: I have to say that I was muted and I had an alarm. I have one of those in my office and all of a sudden, she thought you were talking to her.

Trevor: Oh, I apologize. Sorry. A person. It happens with us too. When someone says that, that name on the television and she speaks up in the corner, but you know, one thing I will say is that at Truth Tree, because we have, our team has grown. It allows us to explore what is next. And, we may spend 40, 50 hours exploring ways that schools, independent schools, charter schools, public schools can use NFT. And we may come out of that at 40, 40 hours and say, we don’t see a way, but we always want to be able to explore that for our partners. Liz, 

Liz: yeah. We love going down those rabbit holes and I think there’s a competitive nature in truth tree as well. It, positive competition means. Let’s see how far we can take this. And what are you thinking and what do you see? And let’s try this. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. So there’s this kind of culture. Really being curious and seeing what’s coming next and having the Liberty and the direction to really explore all of those pieces. Yeah, I’ve gone down the NFT rabbit hole which has been exciting professionally and personally, to just think about where could this be for school. And thinking about being on the leading edge of that and, helping schools understand what it is, what potentially it could be and what we could support in terms of thinking about that. So there’s a lot of curiosity and excitement on the team for what’s happening next. And it’s, there’s a lot I just also feel like whatever the NFT thing is going to be, whatever Bitcoin, the blockchain, whatever these things are going to be. Eventually this is the start of thinking about the world and in this case schools in a different way in a different time, a different space, different plane, it’s the start of reshaping how we think about the world. And that is overwhelming slash exciting. 

Aubrey: I have a follow-up question. So for those school audience, like our audience members who maybe don’t know an NFT is, can you please tell them a little bit more about that so that they can be enlightened? 

Trevor: NFT stands for non fundable token. So the best way I can describe what it is is uh, you’re a 40 20 person, uh, maybe you have them locked away or maybe they’re in the, the foray of your house. You walk in and I’m like, oh my goodness. Monet and there’s a Daga and there’s a DaVinci in your house. This is completely amazing, but they’re in your house unless you invite people over, which we’re not doing too much of right now. You’re not going to be able to show those things off. So instead of something like that, if I went to one of your social platforms, or if I did walk in your house, instead of having them up on the wall, There’s a screen that just goes through them. You own that. And then, people are like who cares? You can cut and paste. I could have a picture over here of the Mona Lisa that [00:09:00] I printed off the internet. It doesn’t make it the Mona Lisa. So essentially what it is, and I’m just using it, from the art standpoint, but it is a digital, something that you own, you can own clips of LeBron, James dunking, a basketball. You can own a pair of sneakers that were developed by some famous artists. You own that pair of sneakers. They’re not, you’re not going to be able to put them on your actual feet, but you will be able to put them on your feet, which was going to segway me into the other thing that we’ve been thinking about, and that’s the metaverse, we’ve all heard about this in the past few days, weeks for those have been really in for months, I predict maybe by the end of 20, 24, there will be schools in the metaverse. I don’t see any way around that we’ve been doing it virtual. For some it’s worked for some it hasn’t, but I think the big piece of that is that the actual human contact and in the metaverse, you’re going to get close to that. Obviously you’re not going to have, that level of [00:10:00] it, but if you can actually interact with other people in your medical class it’s better than what we’re doing now is great and we’re able to have this conversation, but if we wanted to do a project, it would be really difficult to do it the way we’re doing this is going to allow more of that hands-on learning and this is where people, some people just want to be. And, with any business you need to provide uh, you know, whether it’s your clients, your customers, or your families in, in, in our world, what they want and what they need. And I think that’s something that schools really need to be on top of, because we, in this space tend to evolve much slower than in other spaces. And I think many cases over the last 20 years to the detriment of indigent. 

Tara: I keep envisioning that, that gif of the mind blown, like where the top of your head blows off with what you’re describing. It is, it’s amazing to think about where things are going. And I, in the web world, we’ve been in SEO world. We’ve been talking about voice assist for years and it’s not really sticking, but it’s going to, I think it’s something that’s really important when it comes to when it comes to the content on your site and making it searchable for voice, which is very different from written. Yeah, super interesting. 

Aubrey: Yeah. And I really appreciate that you’re taking the time to think outside the box and explore these opportunities that some may pay it out some may not, but it’s the exploration process that’s going to really benefit schools because I do see that when you’re looking at like marketing for businesses and marketing for schools, there is a bit of lag time and sometimes we’re a little bit slow to catch up. So I’m excited to see what this year comes, especially with your predictions right now. But I also would love to hear your thoughts on what’s happening with schools now. So what are some common challenges maybe schools are facing or mistakes that they make when trying to, or market or advertise their schools? And I’m sure you’re familiar with quite a few of those. So anything you have to share on that would be much. 

Liz: I think for me, I’ve been with Truth Tree now about five months, and it’s been really fascinating to just talk to so many different schools all over the country and hear about their challenging challenges. Spoiler alert – they’re pretty much all the same. Like we’re, every school is unique, but every boat school is trying to figure out how to find those prospective parents and kids and mission-appropriate families and fill their schools. I think the biggest shock to me has been either misalignment or no alignment between admissions and marketing shops in schools. And I, this has been a real shocker. And I think, in my S my experience, I, because I have the admissions and marketing background, it’s always been very clear to me that, that’s in partnership. And so I’ve always had really collaborative teams and really saw the connections there. And I just don’t know how you can not have that. When you’re talking about you’re building schools and you’re building enrollment, you’re building communities. And those are so intertwined in terms of the marketing function and the admissions function. So I think that is an important. First step for schools is to get those folks talking to each other regularly aligning goals, aligning, you know, what are, what’s the, what’s our, what’s our passion and our purpose this year. What are our enrollment goals? What are our marketing goals and everything really coalescing together under that kind of larger umbrella, I think is really important.

Trevor: Yeah, I would go with the misaligned piece as well. Most schools, hopefully all schools now understand the importance of digital marketing. It is people I’ll have an argument with somebody that says word of mouth is number one. Word of mouth is not number one anymore. Digital marketing is the way to do that. Word of mouth is now. Okay. I found these schools. Now, let me go ask on Facebook, go into a group, email someone. What can you tell me about these. schools Where I really see a lot of the misalignment is schools focusing on [00:14:00] Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat I’m not going to Facebook saying, or we’re really hoping for those that are just listening. I’m crossing my fingers here. I really hope that I see an ad for a school because I’m going to, I’m going to apply to that school for my child. When they want to sit down and they want to look for a school, they are going to go to Google. They’re going to go to Bing they’re going to go to one of the search engines and type in private school near me, best independent school, top high school. They’re going to have a conversation along with those keywords and whatever pops up first is going to be in front of them. I think where other schools make mistakes. And I think this is, cheap plug for Truth Tree. We look at what the competitors in, whatever area city region are advertising on there. And we want to differentiate our ads. So it sticks out and speaks as much as it can to the benefits that these families want for their child. What is the school going to do for me? If you’re not the number one school in your market, nobody cares about the name of your school. They care about what you can do for their child. And that is really hard to do in 30 characters. Cause that’s the first thing that they see. You’ve got 30 characters for a first headline, 30 characters for a second headline, rarely is the third one going to show. So how can you make those 60 characters stand out to a family? So they’re like, oh my goodness, this is what I want. They’re going to click on the ad. And then they’re going to go through the process of going to a landing page going through that landing page. And then exploring that school more. So those are that’s, that’s really where I see schools making the mistake is focusing on social, less on search, and it’s just pretty vanilla. What they’re pushing out there initially, because, you know, they don’t want to make a mistake. Um, and I think there’s also a lot of pressure from the administration and the board that, “Whoa we can’t get, you know, that’s a little too edgy, you know, we, we need to be, you know, right down this lane here.” And I think that’s where, schools, continue to push the same narrative they had and the other schools are for a long time now. 

Tara: Yeah, I’m so glad that you’re talking about that because having ad stand out is super important and it’s also really intimidating. And I think advertising in and of itself is intimidating. There’s a dollar figure associated with it. So I want to ask you to us to talk a little bit about maybe for a school, who hasn’t done advertising. Kind of what the process is for the advertising, how you measure the results of that. How would you tell someone, if you’re going to be placing an ad, you mentioned a landing page, right? So people have to click. There has to be some step that they take that you can then measure. So talk a little bit about the accountability and the measurement of advertising and how somebody who wants to undertake it might sell it to their board or someone else. 

Trevor: All you need to do is go to google and type in digital marketing statistics. And you can see everything from what other industries are doing and how much money they’re putting into that, to how much money they’re putting [00:17:00] into content that they’re then using to attract families to their landing page or to their website. So I think from the statistic point of view, it’s pretty easy. I think the piece that it’s tough to get away from is what we’re full or we’re near full. And we put an ad in the local parent magazine and we put a sign up in front of our school that says open house coming up in two weeks or whenever it is a quick sidebar, you can not use the term open house any longer in social or search ads. Reason being is that it violates housing discrimination law. So if you’re trying to use open house and you keep getting a message that says that the ad has been disapproved. That’s why. But getting back to the crux of the question is I think that is the number one thing is this, here’s the data. Here’s what brings it in. And then what, when we look at that data for different schools, that’s going to look different. So for a super niche, let’s just say it’s a school for students, a GT lb, all boys school. In the middle of kind of nowhere, you’re not going to get a lot of people that are searching for that school. So you’re not gonna get a lot of clicks. You’re not gonna get a lot of click-throughs. It’s also going to be less expensive. And then if you want, if you’re a K to 12 nonspecialized school in New York city, it’s going a little bit, it’s going to look a little bit different, so it really does matter what region you’re in. I think we’re where we hold our feet to the fires. We have a great infographic for our school partners that says, here are the expectations that we have here. The average. If, for example, it’s a call to action ad. If your ad says, take click here and we’re going to give you 50% off tuition your first year, you’re going to get a lot more clicks on that than an ad that just says, hi, we’re a school. It’s nice to meet you. You’re not going to get as many clicks on that. And you’re not going to get as many people to fill out the form on the next page. So what we really do is provide those expectations to our school partners as to what we expect. With these ads ahead of time. And, we’re fully transparent. Everything that we see, they see, we plug into all of our school partners accounts. It’s not behind a veil. We’re doing it on our own proprietary platform. So when we see, for example, one of our standards is for a standard extended text ad 3.7 is typically what our click-through rate is. Now we don’t keyword the school’s name to prop it up and make the cost per click go down a 3.7. If we’re performing under that, it has two benefits. One, we can pretty quickly say this ad is not working. We need to change it to if we see ads that are performing really well with high click-through rates. They go through the landing page that come to the website and they’re spending a lot of time on the site. And that’s an ad for stem and the other ones about your character, education, character education pointed. The other one may be about travel experiences or Hey, these things are good, but people are really drawn to your stem stuff. So to the admission director out. You want to focus more on the stem and possibly less on the other pieces of it because this is what’s really drawing people to your school. This is what they see value in. So it has that residual piece as the market the market research that comes out of it. What I would say is when you’re doing the ads, if you’re seeing people coming to your site, through the ads and spending meaningful time, they’re not just bouncing off in two seconds, they’re going to the right page. Those are the ads that are performing best. And it’s a long game. Certainly, if inquiries are higher, that’s great applications are higher, even better. And then obviously new enrollment coming in, being higher. That’s the best thing that you want to see. So don’t run an ad for two weeks and be like, oh, this isn’t working. It takes time for those things to kind of unfold.

Liz: We also talk a lot internally about turning up the volume on schools. Um, And making sure that, you know, as Trevor has said we’re getting brand awareness for our schools. We’re finding, we call them the known unknowns. So you as an admissions director, you as a marketing director, know that these parents are out there, but where are. And so getting your school’s name and some attributes in front of the right eyeballs at the right time is really our focus and then getting them to your website. So you’re going to see more web traffic, hopefully, more inquiries as I’m moving through that funnel. And it’s really about just bringing that attention to each school in really unique and creative ways.

Aubrey: Thank you so much for sharing. I have a follow-up question for that. So. A lot of times I’ll be working with schools and they really want to just advertise, but they haven’t really figured out, like what makes them unique or they haven’t done X, Y, and Z. They actually don’t know why people are coming to them. Like the main reasons. So they don’t have the information to move to the advertising step. Is this something you notice as well? Or are there some, perhaps things you would say to a school, like before you come to this step, here’s some background research. You probably need to have, 

Trevor: 100%. We’ve, I guess temporarily turned down school partnerships because. They did not have a marketing plan. They didn’t have a platform. They didn’t have messaging. Other than small class size global community caring teachers that every single independent school on planet earth has maybe not small classes, but I digress from that. I’m of the belief that you were there’s 5% of every school that makes them truly unique unless it’s like the super-duper niche-y at school around, and that’s where you need to get really uncomfortable with your marketing in that. Uh, I want to pull myself back into these tried and true bullet points. That’s the expectation, here’s the exception and that’s what you do exceptionally is what you want to market. So that’s really where I think schools are going to do so much better as we move into a more rapid digital age where small class size, whoa, they have, what is this? Oh my goodness. This sounds incredible. I’m going to stop on this. I’m gonna at least going to pay attention for a second and a half instead of half a second. And that extra second is it’s going to transform your funnel. It really is. 

Liz: Oh, I was just going to say, we just did a webinar on digital marketing as the new market research. And even for schools that, are, not quite there yet, a little bit behind the eight ball in terms of just knowing. They’re distinctiveness that whole point of what our parents clicking on is a clue too. And I really love that as information for schools to guide them through that exploration and nudge them in that direction of okay, we hear you talking about small class sizes, but this is what parents are actually clicking on. These are the webs, the pages that they’re going to on your website, it’s information and data that can shepherd the. To getting closer to that messaging and a little bit more brand awareness. And the longer we work with schools, the more data we can provide, which is amazing. So we really do get to know your school, your admissions process, your open house schedule. And then that combined with, we really see ourselves as a partner with that school and an extension of their marketing team that combined with the data, over time, you can really start to shape and see what’s resonating with parents, which I think is a different perspective in terms of thinking about your brand.

Tara: Yeah, it’s so interesting. And I love the data-driven approach to it. I’m going to step back from data now, though. And I’m going to ask, because we also like to talk about mindfulness. That’s what part of this podcast is about in addition to marketing. So let’s transition a little bit and mix in mindfulness and how it applies to advertising. I would imagine, what you’re describing and what Aubrey asked us. It takes some patience to set it up and then to wait for it to work How does mindfulness play a role in digital marketing, in advertising for schools? 

Trevor: I really, I mean, it’s mindfulness is it’s just concentrated self-awareness and I think some schools sometimes are just not as self-aware of their brand, their ethos. Um, They may have misconceptions of it. And, you need to be able to look inward to say, are we really this? Or are we just saying, we’re this? Parents are really, I mean, especially with all the information on the internet and ways of getting other information, if you’re really trying to position yourself like this and the perception really is, and the reality is that you’re like this, that disconnect is a huge turnoff for parents and a huge value dropper in what you do. I would say it’s really a hard look at who you are. And if you are in alignment with that, then I think, you are in a mindful state for who you are as a school. And I think that needs to resonate around the school and not just be your own opinion, whoever you are listening or watching this, that means, if you’re like, oh my gosh, yeah, that’s what our schools is like, you need to really take that bull by the horns and plan around that. That can really be a slow spiral down for a lot of schools. 

Liz: I would add too, on the digital marketing, like you’ve alluded like it does take patience. You can’t throw an ad up and expect a miracle in a month that you’re going to have record attendance at your open house. And I think it’s really important for schools to take that kind of annual. And really being crystal clear about what your cycle is, what, when our parents looking, what kinds of parents are looking when and where Trevor and I were just talking yesterday about the July, August parents. That’s an overlap of parents that are, really desperate. Like it just clicked in oh my gosh, we have to switch schools. So you have that group of parents. And then you also have the eager beaver. Got their spreadsheets ready to go, are looking, and want to start planning and mapping out their calendar for their open house cycle. So, you know, knowing when parents are coming what does your admission event cycle look like and mapping out your strategy around that? It’s really, it’s a mindful exercise. It’s an awareness exercise that will set up your digital strategy for the year. Obviously with twists and turns along the way, something changes you want to reboot something you want to shift a little, obviously, the data will reflect and we’ll be making changes along the way, but you really have to plan and really be aware of what that cycle is and then layer in the strategy and advertising on top of that.

Aubrey: Thank you. That was great. And it’s so true to be mindfully aware, in all those areas, in order to see the outcomes, you’re building the foundation and then see the outcomes, annually and then year after year. So thank you so much for sharing. Um, So we have some, I’m going to switch gears. We have some questions. We ask all our guests and we’d like to ask them to you. So I’ll kick us off with the first one. What are the most important things you do to grow personally and professionally? 

Trevor: Um, I usually spend about an hour walking uh, our dog in the evening. My wife takes care of it in the morning and I’m always listening to an audiobook. I’ve tried to shift recently. I put something on LinkedIn very recently. I was always listening to business books, leadership books, and it just occurred to me like why. You know, I want to be the best father. I want to be the best husband. So I need, I should start listening to some of that as well to balance myself out. I always have a book sometimes two or three or four books that I’m ping-ponging back and forth. And Liz will tell you I’ll come to our morning meetings with an idea. And then the next day I’m like no, we’re going to go in this direction. Cause I read a different chapter in a different book so sometimes yeah, I know, sometimes it is for the benefit of myself and the group sometimes. A benefit to me, a detriment to the group. So that’s, what I try to do to keep up and then listening and watching stuff like this, I’m seeing what colleagues are doing. But I think just as important, maybe even more important as what are leaders and marketing, digital marketing professionals. Doing and other spaces. Because I think that it’s important to understand what they’re doing, whether it’s a product or service, I want to be able to know that, okay, this is something to understand. NFTs, the metaverse is that affecting schools right now? No. Will it? Yes. And I want to see how that it goes from those industries through them and how it can affect schools and how we can help our partner, our school partners take advantage of those new things coming down the line,  I would say I literally every meeting, Trevor has another book that he’s reading and I’m like voraciously writing down all the books and I’m starting to get into audiobooks, so that’s been nice. And so I do a lot of like personal development and professional development books, and I’m always looking for like little nuggets here and there. I think for me, my. The thing is I can, I love having conversations with all sorts of different types of school folks in different areas of the school world. And I can see themes and trends quickly. And so I love the idea of having that big network, seeing what’s bubbling up. What is emerging as a thing in the school marketing admissions world? And then. Jump on it. Take a risk, try something. I’m very much a throw spaghetti on the wall girl and see what sticks. I’m not afraid to throw myself out there and try something new. And just see what works and what’s resonating. I also love just learning new things. So I’m just constantly asking questions to the betterment or detriment. I’m just always curious. And so I just keep the questions coming because I really want to understand how things work and how we can do it better. And what’s coming next. It’s fun to be following Trevor’s reading list. It’s very inspiring.  I don’t know if it’s backwards for you, but the book I’m listening to right now is “Marketing that Can’t be Ignored” by Mike Michaelowicz. So it’s a great book, the fun facts.  

Tara: a lot of great books if you’ve –

Trevor: If you’ve listened to it, so I, I tell you, one of my only talents is I can, if I hear a voice, I know [00:31:00] exactly who it is. He sounds exactly like Paul Rudd and is energetic like Paul Rudd in some of his comedic roles. So it makes it like, I smile when I listened to it, as opposed to, and I’ve got to get through this book because it’s read by someone other than the author. So, uh, “Get Different” marketing that can’t be ignored. Um.

Tara: All right. Well, we’re going to skip one of our rapid fire questions. Now Trevor’s shared that. Our next question is maybe it has been covered a bit, so if it has, you could, we can move on. But what’s one of the most important things that we can do to be more mindful? 

Liz: I have a good one. One of my biggest, my it’s been a revelation in 2021 and I’m taking it with me to 2022. Is the idea that what do I want to feel every day? How do I want my days to feel my weeks to feel And making it happen. So I, as Trevor knows, I’m obsessed with my calendar and I do a lot of pre-planning and pre-thinking so what do I want Monday to feel like Tuesday, Wednesday obviously moving projects along and doing the work, but scheduling it in a way that works for me and has the pieces of myself that I really want to maintain and care for during the day. So I do a lot of pre-work. And then I schedule it and then I know, and I trust my calendar. She’s completely in charge because I know I’ve done that pre-planning and working, I just do what she says. I show up where she says I work on a project when she tells me so that’s a big strategy for me that I tell everyone to just do the pre-work and then follow it. And, you can have that kind of intentional life that you want.

Tara: Do you time block then? So do you do time block? 

Liz: Yeah, I do some time blocking. I do a little bit of everything. I don’t have one strategy. It’s just, being intentional about what it looks like over the day and, making sure I have breaks and, reading and planning and doing. But sticking to the calendar is key. Yeah. 

Trevor: Yeah, same here. And actually my break is coming up in one minute, so no, I’m kidding. Uh, For me um, it’s uh, I meditate four to six days a week in the morning between 10, 10 minutes. And if I’m lucky I can get half an hour in for a guided meditation, YouTube. I have a whole bunch that I’ve saved. I’ll listen to them and something that’s really important to me because it’s. It’s important to the people that I’m talking to, whether it’s in person on the phone or this is. I’m an easily distracted person. Other screens are all phone as a way. I can’t sit here and say it’s a hundred percent all the time. It’s not, but it’s something I’m always working towards is being mindful, listening to the people that I’m talking to. Not thinking about my answer halfway through what they’re asking, but really listening to what they’re saying, you can tell when someone is fully involved in a conversation, you can tell when you are an afterthought because they’ve got other stuff happening, even though they’ve just asked you a question. So that’s what I’m continually working towards. I’ll never get there, but I’m loving it until I can get as close to it as I can. 

Tara: Yeah, multitasking is hard to avoid for sure. Okay. So we’re not going to multitask. We’re going to move on to rapid fire questions. Aubrey, you want to do the first one? 

Aubrey: Sure. Now, if you could put one book as mandatory reading in high school curriculum, what would it be? 

Trevor: Uh, any, Any book about what was the book that the woman wrote? And it’s like a Reddit, like phenomenon now I’m totally blanking. If anything, about personal finance? Anything I, when I was a teacher I’m a huge flyers Philadelphia flyers hockey fan, and I would show the kids and every year it got bigger. I’d say, you know how much this card is worth? They’re like, oh, three bucks. I was like, no, it’s worth $8,000. What? I’m like, yeah, because I’ve I put $8,000 on this card because I am spending more than I am making in a month and it’s not going to catch up. Oh, I’m going to be, I’m gonna have a lot more money next year and the next year in the next year. So that was something that I had to learn the hard way. And I don’t want to poo square dancing, but instead of maybe that square dancing in gym class, maybe you could, teach us. Personal finance, balancing a checkbook any, investing. I think that’s where we fall short in a big way. 

Tara: Yeah. I learned, I lived, my first finance lesson was from, I love Lucy. If anybody has old enough to watch, I love Lucy, but there an episode where she made salad dressing and it was delicious and she went on TV and she got everybody to buy it and they had all these orders coming in the mail and they had to make all this salad dressing and then she realized.

She was losing money on every jar. So then she went back on TV and pretended that it was the worst thing she ever tasted and everybody took their orders back. 

Aubrey: That’s hilarious. And Trevor, I think that’s a recurring theme. I think in our conversations, Tara and I have had. The finance aspect of it. Like, It’s what I want my kids to know. I feel like I wasn’t taught any of that. So I definitely want my kids to a future generation to be there. 

Liz: Uh, Trevor and I are very much in sync on that one. All about getting your, getting those lessons in early. 

Tara: All right. Here’s the next rapid fire question? What’s one app you could not live without. 

Liz: So mine is connected to the finances. Of course, my favorite app is my budgeting app. Which also, if you get to know me over time, I really, can’t stop talking about it. So I’m constantly tracking what’s coming in, planning for the future all of that. So I’m constantly in there. Another way of orchestrating your dream life. 

Tara: What app is it? 

Liz: It’s called you can need a budget. You need a budget. Oh yes. you’ll be obsessed. 

Trevor: I’d say for me, you do audiobooks. Yeah. I would say audible is probably, I could get another, I’m making this, the answer to this question a lot more difficult, you know, something that I have uh, you know, I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight in the last three years plus, and I’m a diehard orange theory person. So you out there go to, you go to orange theory, you’ve got the app and you schedule your classes on there. So making sure that I’m scheduled for all of my classes and don’t miss any of them. So that’s probably my favorite app, and then you can track all your results. So I love to be able to see um, you know, how, if I, last time I,I rode 2000 meters what my time was compared to my most recent one, because, as Liz said earlier, we’re competitive as a team, but I’m also very competitive with myself. 

Aubrey: I love it. I love it. That it’s all data oriented. Like both you’re responses, you’re looking at some data and oh, how can we make this better next time? It’s fun. I love it. It goes really well with their personalities, I’m sure. Okay. The next question I’m going to ask and Trevor, you already mentioned this, but you can, if there’s another one you’re reading, please let us know. What are you reading right now? 

Liz: Trevor just sent me purple cow. So I’m about halfway through this. I’m loving. Uh, So that’s on the professional side personally, I just finished Untamed by Glennon Doyle, and I’m also obsessed with her. So highly recommend both. 

Trevor: The paper book I’m reading it’s upstairs, and I always take the book jacket off if I don’t like those, I think it’s a Great by Choice. It’s the book after a good degree. Um, I’m about halfway through that. So, you know, The next chapter, I’ll probably be coming to our team meeting with like, we need to do this now. Um, No, I’m really enjoying that book as well. I love the first one. 

Tara: Excellent. All right. Our last question is what is one piece of advice that you’d like to leave us with? 

Trevor: Kind of the, you know, every sort of commercial with a uh, tattoo artists, you know, his writing, no regrets, but no regrets. I mean, Started Truth Tree, full time. I love my job. I love the school that I worked at. My oldest daughter was going there. My youngest daughter was about to start there and I pulled the plug on all of that. And I’ve told Liz this story too. I had uh, I had not officially told the school that this was going to be my last year, but a group of admission directors that I met with, I said, this is going to be my last year, ’cause I’m start, I’m going, full-time into Truth Tree. I was doing some out of market stuff here and there. Um, so, you know, I I’m putting it out in the universe, so I gotta make it happen. Um, And people you’re crazy to do this. And I said, honestly, like if I don’t do this um, uh, I’ll regret it. And I love my school. Still love it. Loved all the schools I’ve ever worked with. I would not trade it for anything. 

Liz: I love it when we’re in sync, Trevor. Um, My also, you know, I uh, loved my school as well. I’ve always loved all the schools that I work at. My big piece of advice is follow the energy follow where the open doors are, where the open windows are, and this will be like my life’s journey. So I’m trying to manifest it for myself and putting this out here for folks. I really try hard to open doors. So really being aware of what doors are closed, because there’s something opening next door and just following that and really just being aware of your own intuition and your own gut and what’s happening and where you should be moving to next.

Aubrey: That’s amazing. I’m going to put a sticky note, follow the energy on my computer. Good one. These are both great pieces of advice. Thank you so much. And thank you. 

Tara: This has been a great conversation. Thank you for joining us. Where can people find you online? 

Trevor: Uh, You can go to truthtree.com. You can find us on LinkedIn. You can find us on Facebook. But yeah, truth tree.com. You can read all about what we do and who we do it with and how we do it. All that good stuff. 

Tara: Excellent. Thank you so much for joining us, best wishes in 2022. 

Trevor: Always good talking to you both. 

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