While word of mouth may be the best form of advertising for your family child care business, online classified advertising is a close second.
Young parents today grew up with the Internet. They are comfortable using the Internet in all aspects of their lives, including looking for child care.
When parents do look for their child care provider on the Internet, will they find you?
Although family child care providers are using their Facebook pages and business websites to reach parents, I want to focus on how you can promote your business by using online classified advertising.
Craigslist is a website where you can post a free classified ad about your program. There are hundreds of cities across the country that have a Craigslist site. Go to the “Community” section and click on “Childcare.” It’s easy to post your own ad where you can describe the benefits of your program. For ideas about what to write in your ad, see what other providers are including in theirs. You will also find parents looking for child care.
Vflyer is a company that offers templates for professional-looking ads that will make your Craigslist ad stand out.
Other Online Classified Ads Websites
How do parents look for child care on the Internet? It’s simple. They type in “looking for child care in (name of town)” into Google. Do it for your town and see what comes up. You’ll see a variety of websites that list child care homes and centers.
In some cases you can be listed on these websites for free. For some there is a small fee ($2 a month, $5 a month, $10 a year).
When doing this Google search you will also see centers and some family child care providers posting their own ads.
Because of prevalence of young parents using the Internet in their child care search, you want to be found on these websites. I would recommend going to these websites and pretend to be a parent searching for child care in your community. See how many other family child care providers you find. You will see differences in the number of child care programs that are posted.
When I looked under a particular zip code for Madison, Wisconsin I found 6 – 44 providers, depending on the company. In general, the more child care programs you find, the more you want to be listed on that site because that is where you will tend to find more parents searching.
There is no guarantee that you will enroll parents through online classified advertising. Talk to other providers about their experiences. Try one out and see what happens. Across the country I see more and more providers using these services.
It’s probably one of cheapest ways you can promote your program.
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com.
Image credit: www.geeky-gadgets.com
For more information, see my Family Child Care Marketing Guide, 2nd edition.