It’s planning season! Everyone’s favorite time of the year, am I right? *Insert eye-roll here* Okay, so maybe trying to plan out your continuing education (CE) program strategy for an entire year is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly is an important step in setting your firm up for a successful year. And if we learned anything from the past two years, having a flexible plan in place can help you reach your goals, even if unforeseen events arise.
So, when it comes to planning how you’re going to incorporate CE delivery in your 2022 plan, where do you start? And how do you adequately prepare for uncertainty? We may not be able to predict the future, but we can share what we consider to be three key focus areas for creating a year-long plan.
Keep Your Budget Top-of-Mind
First things first, you have to figure out how much money you have to spend on your CE efforts and align that number with your overall company goals. When you consider just how many firms were forced to undergo digital transformations or pivot business strategies over the last year and a half, it’s no surprise that “the old way of doing things” just doesn’t fit the bill heading into 2022. For example, if there’s a goal for increased revenue, but you’re having a hard time hiring on new wholesalers, on-demand CE can help supplement them by improving brand perception and better positioning the business as a premium offering for potential advisors to work with. By offering continuing education on your website, this can help to convert new audiences into loyal customers. Think through what you’re looking to accomplish in the new year and make sure your budget is aligned with the big-picture goal.
Don’t Let Your Content Fall to the Wayside
Another way to prepare for the new year is by placing an emphasis on your CE content needs. This includes deciding which courses will be reevaluated, updated, and refiled, which ones will simply be renewed, and which ones will be retired. Looking past what’s currently in your program, you also need to decide whether you will be creating any new CE content. Keeping content fresh and relevant is important to getting new advisors in the door, so it’s not something that should be rushed or forgotten about during the planning process. On top of that, content management carries some cost, so you’ll want to tie this into your budget planning.
For more information on things you need to consider before updating your content, check out this blog.
Test New CE Delivery Methods
Before the pandemic, Classroom CE was definitely the delivery method of choice among wholesalers. In the last year and half, however, a lot has changed. If your goal is to get back to classroom in 2022, build that transition back into your plan for the year, but we also recommend setting aside a testing budget of at least 15% of your overall event management budget for channel and tactic testing.
Since there are several CE delivery methods available to firms, determining which ones work best for your firm, at each stage of the sales cycle, is a critical part of the planning process. For instance, you may choose to offer On-Demand CE for advisors who are at the top of the sales funnel and just starting to learn about your business. Alternately, you might be working with some advisors who you already have a well-established relationship with, and therefore something like Webinar CE might be perfect. As each CE delivery method comes with its own set of guidelines and requirements, you’ll want to have a plan in place ahead of time. For more on how to diversify your CE delivery, click here.
At the end of the day, planning out your budget, your content needs, and your CE delivery, can be quite daunting. That’s why Quest CE is here to help you every step of the way. To request more information on how Quest CE can help you plan and manage your 2022 CE program, click here.