Attract prospective clients by marketing your services within your community

Running a family child care business involves mastering many different roles. You’re often the CEO and the janitor, the teacher and the receptionist, the bookkeeper and the salesperson – all at once. Consequently, the job requires you to have a basic understanding of many different angles of both running a business and working with children.

Advertising your services and attracting new customers is an essential aspect of any business, but it can be difficult to do if you have other obligations or less experience with marketing. The good news is that you don’t have to have an enormous budget and a full-blown branding campaign to establish yourself as a professional within your community. Consider the following options for marketing your services in an affordable and effective way.

Get involved in the community

The best way to build awareness in your local community is to get involved. Either host your own open house event or participate in local family-related events by buying a booth, sponsoring a program, or donating branded items or services.

You can also expand your network by volunteering on a personal level for a cause related to children and families. Join the board of a nonprofit or donate your time and expertise to helping others – doing charitable work can pay off in many different ways, from personal satisfaction to business referrals.

Be sure to introduce yourself to other local businesses or community centers, such as pediatric offices, libraries, play places, etc. Stop by with a dozen cookies for the staff, and ask if you can leave a stack of flyers.

Establish yourself as an expert

The popularity of content marketing has grown as traditional advertising has flooded the market in a way that makes it easy for consumers to ignore. The key to content marketing involves positioning yourself as an expert in your field and providing information that’s truly helpful to your audience.

As a child care expert, you could write about educational activities or early childhood development. Start a blog, approach local publications about writing a series of articles as a guest contributor, or host an informational video series on YouTube.

Even something as simple as chiming in with helpful advice on local online parenting forums or community groups can help raise awareness about what you know and do.

Create an online presence

Content marketing paired with an online presence is often an effective strategy. Create social media accounts where you share your philosophy, activities, information, or entertaining content that’s interesting or relatable to parents and families. You can also create a monthly email newsletter full of helpful information or business-related material for the parents and prospective clients who sign up through your website.

Also, ask parents to review your services on Yelp, Facebook, Google, or anywhere that you’re trying to build a presence. People trust reviews from their peers.

Encourage referrals

The very best form of advertising for any business, but especially for something as important as child care, involves word-of-mouth advertising. Let parents know how many available spaces you have to fill, and ask them to help you find prospects. Offer an incentive, such as a discounted month of care, in exchange for new families who join based on a personal referral. Be proactive in asking for help in securing new clients.

While it’s true that good service speaks for itself, boosting your message can pay off in dividends. Have a clearly defined philosophy, committed to quality care, seek out activities in your local community, and expand your professional network through your expertise, involvement, and enjoyment of what you do. Marketing is an important part of helping your business grow.

The Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network helps improve the quality of care for infants and toddlers through extensive resources, services, and education for caregivers. Learn more about how we can help you improve the standard of care.