10 Must-Listen Podcasts for Independent and Private School Marketing and Enrollment Teams

May 06, 2024

As independent and private school marketing and enrollment professionals, our time is scarce, yet the expectation to remain informed about the latest trends and to foster personal and professional growth persists. Factor in parental responsibilities and the demanding nature of our jobs, which often exceed the conventional 40-hour workweek, and accessing professional development becomes quite challenging. 

That's why my team and I curated a selection of outstanding podcasts, incorporating recommendations from school leaders. These podcasts are perfect for enjoying during your commute, while tackling household chores, or as a relaxing way to unwind during the summer months.

In this blog post, we'll explore 10 podcasts that are tailor-made for independent and private schools. From interviews with experienced educators to discussions on cutting-edge technology, these podcasts cover a wide range of topics designed to support and inspire school leaders. 

So, grab your headphones and get ready to tune in to these insightful podcasts that are sure to make a positive impact on your school community.


1) Mastering Social Media for Schools with Andrea Gribble

 About the Podcast: Listen HERE

If you're tasked with managing social media for an independent K12 school, this podcast is tailor-made for you! 

Packed with exclusive interviews and in-depth strategies, each episode is carefully crafted to empower and inspire you on your journey to mastering school social media. Whether you're part of public schools, private schools, charter schools, online schools, or tech/career centers, this podcast is your go-to resource in K12 education!

About the Podcast Host:

Andrea Gribble is one of my favorite people in the school marketing space. Not only have I had the honor of co-presenting alongside her, but she's also been a recurrent speaker at our Small School Leaders Conference. Andrea's expertise shines brightest in her ability to offer actionable advice to school leaders on all things social media. That's precisely why we've included her podcast in our lineup.

Andrea, the founder of #SocialSchool4EDU, is your ultimate resource for school social media! She and her team directly oversee social media operations in over 90 school districts and provide guidance to more than 200 schools. Andrea provides training to staff, turning them into social media storytellers who can help schools stand out, celebrate students and staff, and reach thousands in school communities every day!

Episode Highlight: Lose the Fear: Use the Power of Social Media with Student Interns.

Discover how to harness the power of social media with student interns on this episode! Join us as we hear from the intern coordinator and a media associate at a career technical school in Pennsylvania. Overcome your fears and learn from Jeanise's experience, while Emma shares her insights into creating and promoting content on social media. Explore the impact of student storytelling, including one viral video!  Check out the episode HERE.  

Episode Highlight: Driving Big Marketing Results on a Small Budget – What Independent Schools Can Teach Us 

I had the honor of being a guest on Andrea’s podcast. In this podcast episode, we delve into the universal importance of social media strategies for schools, whether independent or not. We explore how to pinpoint the most effective social media channels and reveal insights on which platforms most schools prioritize.

Additionally, we highlight four essential types of content that schools should incorporate into their social media presence, and chances are, your school might be overlooking at least one of them! Tune in to discover what these content types are, supplemented with real-life examples.

Moreover, achieving stellar social media presence requires the establishment of effective systems. Andrea and I dissect some recommended systems tailored to the schools we serve, offering practical insights for optimization. Listen to the episode HERE

Guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast: Tips and Strategies for School Social Media

Andrea Gribble was also a guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast. In this episode, she shares powerful social media techniques, including how to engage and captivate your school community, tackle common obstacles in independent schools’ social media management, and leverage popular hashtags and trends to boost interaction while developing authentic, consistent, and imaginative content for your platforms. Listen to her episode HERE. 


2) Upgrade School Marketing with Matt Soule and Angie Ward

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

Join hosts Matt and Angie as they connect with experts across various fields, uncovering information that independent and small school marketers can apply immediately. Their goal is clear: help you surpass your enrollment goals!

About the Podcast Hosts:

Matt Soule, Director of Marketing and Communication at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, MA, knows the many hats we wear in this role and focuses on impactful tactics. 

Angie Ward, the Founder of Enroll Media Group, has supported more than 200 nonprofit independent schools and colleges in launching digital ad campaigns that boost enrollment and fundraising. Her dedication lies in optimizing marketing budgets by leveraging free tools and data. Beyond her expertise, Angie is a friend and colleague, and she frequently shares her insights as a presenter at our Small School Leaders Conference.

Episode Highlight:  Don’t Fear the School Website Redesign

The term "website redesign" can be daunting for marketing and communication professionals in schools. Fear not, as we're joined by Tara Claeys of Design TLC and Lysa Miller of Ladybugz Interactive, experts in website design, especially for schools. Your school’s website is often the first impression for potential families, so it’s crucial to have a well-designed, user-friendly site that showcases your unique values and strengths. In this episode, we’ll share tips and strategies for creating a website that truly reflects your school’s brand. Listen to the episode HERE

Episode Highlight: Retention Marketing: Reaffirming Each Family’s Decision

I had the opportunity to join Angie and Matt as a guest on their podcast. The topic we delved into is one close to my heart - retention! We discuss how independent and private schools are (and are not!) effective marketing their school for retention efforts. From strategic planning, to emails and surveys, this episode is packed with tactical tips school leaders in any role can take away and put into practice. Listen to the episode HERE. 

Guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast: LinkedIn & Digital Advertising Tips for Schools.

Angie Ward is one of the people I always email to ask questions about industry trends. So, of course, with all that knowledge we had to have her as a guest on our podcast. In this episode, Angie emphasizes the importance of returning to basics to find direction and purpose in our marketing efforts. Providing insights into LinkedIn's trajectory and its effectiveness for small school marketing, Angie shares key insights from uplifting 250 colleges, universities, and K12 schools with result-driven digital marketing solutions. Listen to the episode HERE. 


3) Mindful School Marketing with Aubrey Bursch and Tara Claeys

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

Well, without sounding too boastful, Tara Claeys and I are incredibly proud of our podcast and the exceptional guests we've had the pleasure of interviewing, along with the diverse topics we've explored. Therefore, we couldn't resist including the Mindful School Marketing podcast in our recommended list!

Trying to increase enrollment and get more visibility for your independent school? Burned out from working too much, worrying and struggling to keep up and find the right solutions?

Check out Mindful School Marketing. We’re the go-to podcast for K-12 independent school professionals working in marketing, admissions, development and technology. In every episode, we bring you thoughtful conversations, ideas, strategies and tools that will help you find mindful, meaningful success at school and home.

From burnout and enneagram to social strategy and marketing trends, we’re covering topics that support school leaders. We’re revolutionizing the way school leaders learn and grow. We’re using personal growth tools to help you succeed at home and at school. 

About the Podcast Hosts:

Aubrey Bursch is the Founder and CEO of Easy School Marketing, also a mom, green smoothie lover, Peloton enthusiast, and podcast host. She’s dedicated to helping small independent and private schools increase enrollment, retention, and revenue through tailored marketing strategies, positioning them as an easy and enthusiastic "yes!" for ideal families, and highlighting their uniqueness in a competitive market.

Tara Claeys is the founder of Design TLC, a professional website agency specializing in small schools. With a background in both parenting and marketing, she brings a fresh perspective to branding, messaging, and website usability.

Popular Episode Highlights: 

Teaching Happiness at Your School with Greg Angily

In this episode of Mindful School Marketing, we're celebrating 3 years of the podcast with Greg Angilly, Head of School at Virginia Beach Friends School. Greg introduces a groundbreaking curriculum empowering students to explore the complexities of the human brain and find genuine happiness. Tune in as we delve into the intersection of neuroscience and well-being, discovering how Greg’s innovative approach is reshaping education. Listen to the episode HERE. 

UnMarketing Schools and Listening To Faculty with Terry Dubow

In this episode delve into the art of authentic school marketing with guest Terry Dubow, Director of Communications and Story at Marin Montessori School. Tune in as we explore the importance of understanding parents’ needs and fears in marketing strategies, emphasizing the value of showcasing faculty work and aligning with the school’s values. Through practical examples and insightful discussions, we share effective ways to create genuine connections with the school community, offering valuable insights for school marketers striving to make a meaningful impact. Listen to the episode HERE

Should Schools Run Ads In-House or Outsource? with Liz Zweigle

In this episode Mindful School Marketing. we’re joined by Liz Zweigle, Director of Marketing and Sales at TruthTree. With a background spanning nonprofit, university, and K-12 marketing, Liz brings a wealth of expertise to the table. In this episode, she demystifies digital marketing for schools, delving into online ads, AI-powered chatbots, and the ever-evolving landscape of digital outreach. Should schools outsource their digital marketing efforts or bring them in-house? Liz weighs the pros and cons, offering invaluable insights to navigate this crucial decision. Listen to it HERE

4) InspirED SparkCast Podcast with Rob Norman

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

This is one of the go-to podcasts for independent and private school marketers and leaders. InspirED's SparkCast features in-depth discussions about private school marketing and communications with top administrators and consultants. InspirED is also home to the annual Brilliance Awards, honoring excellence in private school marketing worldwide.

About the Podcast Host:

If you’re an independent and private school marketer, you’ve probably heard about Rob and Liza, the Brilliance Awards, their Daily Jolt email newsletter, and this podcast! 

As InspirED's electrical foreman, Rob Norman ensures all internal and external wires are connected. With experience running a branding, marketing, and design firm with his wife Liza, Rob manages client relationships, production, and administration. 

Episode HighlightStrengthening MarCom in Small Private Schools 

Being a huge fan of Rob and Liza’s work and The Brilliance Awards, it was a true honor to be invited onto their podcast. Rob mentioned that it’s one of their most popular episodes (hooray!).  

Here’s a bit more about the episode: In small private schools, silos can often hinder communication and collaboration. Budgeting decisions significantly impact these silos, as limited resources can lead to compartmentalization within the school. It's crucial to understand how to see and implement a big-picture strategy and messaging to break down these barriers. 

Recognizing when your messaging isn't effective is key to making necessary adjustments. Aubrey specializes in helping small private schools align their external perceptions with reality, particularly through brand-driven social media channels. Additionally, heads of school and board members play essential roles as brand ambassadors and need to fully grasp the school's brand identity and messaging strategy. Listen to the episode HERE. 

Guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast: Key MarCom Trends for Your Independent School

When Tara and I were gearing up to launch our podcast, we compiled a list of our dream guests, and Rob was at the top! Needless to say, we were absolutely thrilled when he agreed to be one of the first episodes we recorded.

As a guest on the MSM podcast, Rob shared “Key MarCom Trends for Your Independent School.” In this episode, we are joined by Rob Norman, co-founder of InspirED School Marketers, a free, professional development resource and community for private school marketers worldwide. Rob dives into his 2022 InspirED Private School MarCom Survey Report, assessing current marketing trends and the trajectory that small schools are heading toward in the upcoming year. Listen to this episode HERE

5) School Marketing Journal Podcast with Andrew Sculthorpe and Brad Entwhistle

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

With the same editorial mission as the print publication, we provide practical and concise content that empowers Heads to make better decisions, saving time and money while bringing their vision to life and enjoying their school’s success.

About the Podcast Hosts:

Brad Entwhistle is the podcast’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. With his strategic mindset and deep business acumen, he uncovers communication and marketing insights that add value to schools. He's also known for his unhealthy obsession with Pepsi Max and his Jedi-like ability to steer you away from the 'dark side' of Coke.

With 30 years of experience, Andrew Sculthorpe is a unique blend of communications practitioner, accountant, and business advisor. He leads 'insight' programs with the same dedication he gives to his favorite sport, cricket, although his team allegiance might be questionable!

Episode Highlight: Preparing for a DeepFake Crisis

In “Preparing for a DeepFake Crisis,” Brad and Scully explore the rise of deepfakes and the myriad concerns they pose for schools, from communication and reputation to safety, along with potential for misuse. We offer a comprehensive approach for schools to address deepfake risks, including key actions for school Heads to prepare for these challenges. Listen to the episode HERE

Guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast: Branding to Make an Impact for Your Independent School

Brad Entwhistle has been a guest on our podcast, recommended by several esteemed colleagues in the field. This recommendation is well-deserved, given his wealth of knowledge and experience in school marketing.

In this episode, Brad delves into the important yet often misunderstood topic of branding. We engage in a compelling discussion, where Brad emphasizes that branding encompasses far more than just a logo. Listen to the episode HERE. 

6. Enrollment Insights Podcast with Angela Brown and Will Patch

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

Angela Brown shares her tips and strategies and insights along with co-host Will Patch. The Enrollment Insights podcast features 20-40 minute conversations released twice a month. They speak with professionals in preschool through grad school enrollment and marketing to explore the processes they use to tailor solutions for their institutions.

About the Podcast Hosts:

If you work in the independent and private school marketing and enrollment sphere, chances are you're familiar with Angela Brown. I've had the pleasure of both meeting her in person and interacting with her online, and she's consistently a fantastic source of expertise on all things marketing. Additionally, she has been a recurrent guest speaker at our Small School Leaders Conference.

Angela, Manager of B2B Brand Strategy at Niche, supports content and partner engagement strategy in Niche's work with K-12 and higher education institutions. Before joining Niche, she was the director of marketing and communications at Flint Hill School, a PK-12, co-ed day school outside of Washington, DC. In addition to developing research and content for Enrollment Insights, Angela is a frequent conference presenter, guest author, and podcast guest.

Before joining Niche in 2019, Will served 9 years at Manchester University in roles as an Admissions Counselor, Associate Director for Admissions Operations, Social Media Coordinator, and ultimately as Digital Strategist. Will surfaces tactical insights from user behavior and surveys to help higher ed build recruitment strategies. In addition to the Enrollment Insights blog, webinars, and podcast; Will is a frequent conference speaker and podcast guest. He has presented at NACAC, AACRAO-SEM, AMA Higher Ed, CASE V, EduWeb, and EMA. Will's work has been featured in Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, CNBC, CNN, the LA Times, and The New York Times among other outlets.

Episode Highlight: 2023 School Marketing Resolutions

Aubrey and Tara were delighted to be featured on the podcast, in an episode titled, “2023 School Marketing Resolutions.” In this episode, we talk about what schools should start and stop doing in 2023 when it comes to recruiting families and managing their digital presence. Although this episode talks about 2023, many of these strategies and topics are still relevant today, so be sure to check it out. Listen to it HERE 

Guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast

Angela's ability to engage in insightful conversations and share a wealth of knowledge beneficial to independent and private school marketers makes her an invaluable guest for our podcast. It's why she's been invited back multiple times! Dive into her episodes below.

What Schools Can Learn From the 2023 Niche Marketing and Parent Surveys

In this episode, titled "What Schools Can Learn From the 2023 Niche Marketing and Parent Surveys," Angela shared valuable data and insights that left a lasting impact.

We discuss recent surveys on K-12 parents and enrollment marketing trends. The parent survey reveals the surprising role of admission events and a reduced appetite for rising tuition costs. Angela emphasizes the continuous increase in the role of children in school choice and the need for schools to adapt their engagement strategies for prospective students. The discussion encourages a mindful approach to survey design and strategic planning for schools, urging professionals to prioritize self-care amidst their busy schedules. Listen to it HERE

The Power of Social Proof: Strengthening Your Independent School’s Reputation

In this episode, Angela shares her wisdom from years of developing content and research to advance admissions and marketing roles to strategize, plan, and execute for success – she discusses social proof in action, parent survey results, how schools can stand out in the marketplace, and much more! Listen to it HERE

7) SPARC Effect Podcast with Travis Walker

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

Nearly every independent and private school either has an auxiliary program or summer camp or is considering launching one. Take a listen to this fantastic podcast hosted by Travis Walker and SPARC (Summer Programs And Auxiliary Revenue Collaborative). "The SPARC Effect" features Travis Walker sharing stories from SPARC collaborative members, fostering connection as we collectively learn and grow. 

About the Podcast Host:

Travis Walker is the Director of Auxiliary Programs at an independent school in Beaumont, Texas, where he has significantly advanced these programs. He's an active member of the SPARC community and created this podcast to expand learning opportunities for auxiliary program professionals worldwide. Travis enjoys family time with his wife, twins, and two dogs, and in his free time, he's pursuing an MBA and working out at his local CrossFit gym.

Episode Highlight: Trends and Best Practices for Auxiliary Staff Recruitment

Krystal Speed from Your HR Strategist shares, “Trends and Best Practices for Auxiliary Staff Recruitment.” Krystal gave great practical insight into focusing on employee well-being, aligning your school's policies and practices with its stated mission, and recognizing the growing force and expectations of Gen Z staff. Learn how we should be approaching recruitment, onboarding, retention, and more. As you prepare for summer, know that you are not alone in your HR busy season. Check it out HERE.

Episode Highlight: The Magic Behind Auxiliary Programs

I was honored to be a guest on the SPARC Effect. Check out my podcast episode “The Magic Behind Auxiliary Programs” where I discuss strategies for reaching auxiliary and summer programs' target market, effective methods, and considerations for marketing efforts. Tune in for a deep dive into what we should be doing right now! Listen to the episode HERE. 

8. Help One Hundred Schools Podcast with Karl Boehm and Rich Suttie 

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

This podcast regularly shares industry trends, stories, and insights to help you grow your private school!

About the Podcast Hosts:

Karl Boehm is the founder of Help One Hundred Schools, Everest Private School Growth Group, Spiral Marketing, and a long-time champion for marketing schools. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Karl on a few initiatives including the No-Fail Fall Enrollment Challenge. In addition, Karl was featured as a speaker in our 2024 Small School Leaders Conference. For more than 20 years, Karl has been actively growing brands in education including Johns Hopkins, Westminster School, Dogwood Academy, and the Cortana Academy.

Rich Suttie has pretty much been on all sides of independent and faith-based private schools from being an involved parent, board member, Head of School, mentor, advisor, and consultant. He brings a view from beyond as well as within – he has been a professor and Dean of Academics at two tier one universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Naturally, Rich loves helping schools and school leaders — and is a self-described data geek and loves systems and processes, which makes him very weird.

Episode Highlight: Navigating AI in Education – Maximizing Potential and Addressing Challenges

In the episode, “Navigating AI in Education – Maximizing Potential and Addressing Challenges,” Karl and Rich discuss the rise of AI in education and marketing and the emphasis on AI’s revolutionary potential for schools. Listen to it HERE

Guest on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast: Making Sense of Social Media Audits for Schools

Karl was featured as a guest on Mindful School Marketing, where he shared his expertise in the episode titled "Making Sense of Social Media Audits for Schools." In the episode, he discussed his expertise on social media auditing and its crucial role in school marketing. Join us as we delve into the importance of auditing, key elements to consider, and how it shapes a school’s online presence and engagement. Listen to it HERE



9. Enrollment Management Association Podcast

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

The Enrollment Management Association’s vision is to champion transformational education journeys. Our tools and resources provide essential insights so schools can empower students to seamlessly navigate their unique paths to success. 


Episode Highlight: The Ride to Independent Schools Report: 3,000+ Families Tell Us About Their Journey

“The Ride to Independent Schools Report: 3,000+ Families Tell Us About Their Journey” is a must-listen. The 2023-2024 edition of The Ride to Independent Schools Report (The Ride) is The Enrollment Management Association's (EMA) fourth edition, offering insights into the behaviors and opinions of families applying to independent schools. Previous studies were conducted in 2014, 2017, and 2020, with this edition being a collaboration between EMA and Mission & Data, EMA's strategic data partner. Join the discussion with Ari Betof, Co-founder and Partner of Mission & Data, and Sarah Enterline Roch, Institutional Research Consultant at Mission & Data and Director of Institutional Research at St. Mark’s School (MA). Listen to it HERE.  

10. The Human Chronicles Podcast with Dana Nelson-Isaacs and Liz Zweigle

  About the Podcast: Listen HERE

While not specifically geared towards schools, my friends and colleagues Dana Nelson-Isaacs and Liz Zweigle have created an exceptional podcast. It's perfect for listening while driving or during the summer break. Their vision is for a podcast that helps listeners feel they have truly walked a mile in the shoes of remarkable guests. They believe that every life is a story worth sharing and aim to support communities by fostering compassion and empathy through hearing from regular people who are neighbors, cafe employees they love, colleagues, and loved ones.

About the Podcast Hosts:

For the past 15 years, Liz has successfully led independent schools, charter schools, and universities in award-winning admissions, financial aid, retention, marketing, and branding efforts. They have been in the trenches—giving tours, developing marketing strategies, crunching numbers, and strategizing to grow enrollment.

Dana has more than 25 years of experience working within and between all levels of administration and faculty, parents, students, board members, and other community stakeholders regarding a range of topics including marketing, communication, enrollment management and feasibility, and parent and student satisfaction.

Episode Highlight: What's it Like to be a Literary Agent?

Apparently, it's not like the Hallmark movies. Too bad, looks so glamorous. But reading a manuscript and instantly "knowing" it's a book to shepherd into the world seems like a gift to an author and future readers. Riding the highs and lows of editing, bad reviews, BookTok (yes, it's what you think), and taking beautiful words on a page and getting into the hands of readers. Yesssss please! Listen to it HERE

Guests on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast

I have immense respect and admiration for these skilled professionals, whom I also consider friends and colleagues. They offer invaluable assistance to independent and private schools and possess a wealth of knowledge to share with school leaders and peers. Tara and I were thrilled to welcome both Dana and Liz as guests on the Mindful School Marketing Podcast.

Should Schools Run Ads In-House or Outsource?

Should schools outsource their digital marketing efforts or bring them in-house? Liz weighs the pros and cons, offering invaluable insights to navigate this crucial decision. Listen to it HERE

Taking a Mindful Approach To Surveys & Marketing Data

Does your school know how to use data? In this impactful episode, we chat with Dana about how data can impact your school’s marketing, the mindset behind receiving data, what to do with the data, and common survey mistakes. Listen to it HERE


The Secret to Finding Time for Podcasts

In this blog post, we've highlighted ten incredible podcasts with thousands of episodes. But how do we manage to find the time to listen and absorb all this valuable content? Below, we've shared some insights.

From discussions on AI's impact on schools to insights into branding and auxiliary programs, there's a podcast episode addressing nearly every challenge faced by independent and private school marketing, fundraising, and enrollment teams. Yet, finding time to listen can feel like a hurdle amidst busy schedules.

During our recent Small School Leaders meet-up, attendees shared some ingenious strategies:

  1. Pair it with daily tasks: Listen while doing chores like unloading the dishwasher or during your commute.
  2. Lunchtime or desk dining: Take a walk during lunch or listen while eating at your desk.
  3. Combine it with exercise: Tune in while working out or going for a run.
  4. Professional development days: Utilize in-service or teacher professional days to catch up on podcasts and enhance your skills.

We hope these tips help you carve out time for podcast listening and continue your journey of learning and growth! 🌱

With the abundance of podcasts available, we might have overlooked some gems. If you have any recommendations, we'd love to hear from you! Feel free to email us at [email protected]. After all, we're always eager to explore new avenues for learning and development!