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Old 03-29-2012, 05:16 PM
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Default Most Effective Advertising?

Hi everyone! I've done a lot of research on ways of advertising, and so far all I've done is put my ad on CL. It's not doing as well as I'd hoped, so I made some flyers and I am going to put them up. So my question is, where is the best places to put them? From your personal experiences, where did you have the best luck? And any other ways of advertising that has been effective. Thanks everyone!
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:22 PM
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sharlan sharlan is online now
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I've had my best luck on CL.

I tried word of mouth, local newspaper, Penneysaver, even a local restaurant menu.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:48 PM
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Daycare.com, what else would I suggest.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:07 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is online now
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The best way to promote your business is to understand that no one way is going to work. You have to use several different means. I network with a lot of child care providers that always ask me how I do so well when the odds are stacked against me. I live in a condo, I have a small patio, I don't have a lot of indoor or outdoor DC space, I don't have as much experience in providing child care in my home as other providers, I have even less experience in licensed child care, I don't have a degree in child development (which many child care provider's in my area now do), I'm young and look even younger so people don't always take me seriously etc. but I have as many clients as I want and still get calls even when I'm not advertising or looking for new clients. The key is to get your name out there as much as you possibly can. Sooner or later the work will be done for you.

Flyers and printed materials are great if you post them in businesses that are somehow related to children (pediatricians, children hairstylists, child dentists etc) so you can ask them if you can leave your flyer or business cards in their office. Return the favor and take back some of their business cards and printed material to pass out to the parents. For dentists it works if they give you "goody bags" with toothbrushes that have the dentist's name on them and a business card in the bag. My familes love it when I pass the bags out. Gas stations, parks and schools are also great places to post flyers but make sure you check your city ordinances and always make sure to get permision to post them first. Here are more ideas for advertising your daycare.

1) talk to EVERYBODY about your daycare ALL OF THE TIME. Shamelessly plug your daycare in everyday conversations no matter who you're talking to or where your are. Example: Grocery store and the woman at the checkstand comments about something you are purchasing, you say "Oh yeah, I HAD to get that. My daycare kids love it". I've commented about my daycare to the checkers at my grocery store so much that other employees now will walk by me and say "Hi ____, shopping for good stuff for the daycare again I see" and then other people in the aisle now know that I do daycare. Happens all of the time at the dentist, at my doctor's office, at restaurant you name it. Even my friends and ex-coworkers regularly promote my daycare and send me referrals (just make sure that you at least send a thank you note to show your appreciation when someone sends you a referral). And be EXCITED and PASSIONATE when talking about your business. Make people feel about your daycare how you feel about it.

2) I know alot of people don't like to post their addresses on their advertising however I just don't think it's businesswise. I added my daycare on google maps so that when people googled child care in this area I'd pop up. This generation of parents are younger and use the internet to find businesses in their area including child care so take advantage of that. I had a woman call me last week and I offered to refer her to other providers that I knew that had openings. I gave her names and general areas of the other providers (all within a mile of me) and she said that she had seen them in her google search but called me because she immediately knew that my location would work for her. She actually told me that she wished that other [family] daycares would do that because it would make it a lot easier to find a daycare in the area that she needed. And don't stop at Google, add your daycare to Yahoo business listings and other major search engine directories. A basic listing is free but you have to list your address (no PO boxes). If you have a website you can link it to your directory listing too.

3) Have a website. If you don't have one yet, get one. You don't have to get all fancy but make it look organized and clean. You can create one easily and for free if you use sites like webs.com or weebly.com. Put a lot of useful information on it like your hours, contact information, information about you, your program and your equipment/toys etc. Whatever the people ask you about most during interviews should be on the website. Put your contract and policies on it so that parents can read them in advance. Update your website frequently. Updating it pushes you up higher in search engine searches, if you don't update it regularly search engines like Google will put you lower in search listings because they want people to find websites with the most relevant and up to date imformation as possible. Make the information stuff that people want to read. You can even make a section for parents only where they can view photos, see a calendar etc. The more people that view your website the higher the listing you get in search engines.

4) Submit your website URL to Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ucanto, Self Promote, Addpro, Free Site Submission, Quick Register etc. Otherwise it can take FOREVER for you website to be added to the search listings or you can be placed really low on the list.

5) Create adds EVERYWHERE (online) with your contact info and a link to your site. There's tons of places online that help you create at least a basic ad for free. Craigslist, ebay classifieds, sales spider, Angies list, care.com, yahoo classifieds, yellow pages, google local, iNetGiant, and of course Daycare.com (you get a free listing for a period of time after you make a certain number of posts).

** posting an ad on craigslist with a link to your website can give people the opportunity to find out more about your daycare than a typical ad and is your chance to stand out from other providers.

6) offer incentives to your current clients. Give them $50-$100 off of a weeks tuition if they refer someone that signs up and stays for at least 4 weeks. Give your clients a reason to want to refer you to others that will benefit them.

7) Meet and network with other providers near you and stay in touch about what openings they have. Offer to refer clients to them if you get a call for a child that you can't take and vice versa. For example if you have an opening for an infant but don't offer SA care and another provider doesn't do infant care but offers SA care you could refer clients to each other.

All in all this is just some of the things that you can do to promote your business, there are tons of other ways to do it but like I said, it's a combination of things that really works and not just one thing alone. Hope this helps
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Last edited by MarinaVanessa; 03-30-2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Tons of misspelled words. Ooops. I was thinking faster than I could type.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2012, 11:02 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for the great advice. And Thank you MarinaVanessa, your advice was really helpful. I'm gonna start working on it right away!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:17 AM
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rhondawarren rhondawarren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pout View Post
Hi everyone! I've done a lot of research on ways of advertising, and so far all I've done is put my ad on CL. It's not doing as well as I'd hoped, so I made some flyers and I am going to put them up. So my question is, where is the best places to put them? From your personal experiences, where did you have the best luck? And any other ways of advertising that has been effective. Thanks everyone!
If I do flyers I place them in the laundromat's and the Library If they will let you

Im having the same issue with CL. I actually think I am getting more spam calls from there than I am babysitting calls. Pretty sad but true.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:25 AM
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Yeah, ay first I got some results with CL, but not lately! But where I live there's a lot of posts a day, so I think it's harder to get noticed with so much competition! I'm definitely going to put up flyers at laudromats (which a couple of people have said gets good results) and churches, coffee shops and places like that. I want to call other daycare providers and ask them if they could refer people to me, but I don't know exactly how to put it! This question is probably pretty silly but how did anyone else go about this? What did you say to the other providers? Did you meet with them in person or just talk to them over the phone?
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:33 AM
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I agree with MarinaVanessa, but also,

When shopping - even if I have no plan to buy daycare stuff that trip, I go to the baby and children's aisle. I walk up and down til someone comes near me then I sort of say to myself - outloud of course- "the daycare kids will love this!" and put it in my cart - even if I put it right back in a few minutes!! A couple of times I have gotten a new kid out of it! The person who was shopping asked me if I worked at a daycare center. I told them I own a home daycare and quickly told them some of the things I do with the kids then gave them a business card which lead to being hired!

Even if you work at home and don't wear them during work hours, you can buy yourself company tee-shirts with your daycare name and phone number on them to wear. I wear them when I go shopping, out on a walk in my neighborhood, to the park, the library, etc.

You can also get shirts for your current daycare kids - there's no guarentee, but they might wear them sometimes when they are out with their parents at the park, shopping, etc.

You can give parents car stickers that say "My child goes to ... Daycare and the phone number" on the stickers. Not everyone will want to tell the world where their child goes for safety reasons, but some might be comfortable putting them on their cars.
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:14 PM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhondawarren View Post
If I do flyers I place them in the laundromat's and the Library If they will let you

Im having the same issue with CL. I actually think I am getting more spam calls from there than I am babysitting calls. Pretty sad but true.
Great idea with the laundromat's (most will be okay with you posting a flyer) and with the library.

As for the CL SPAM issue, I found that I could drastically reduce the spam that I got through CL by not posting my email address directly on my CL ad. I post a link to my website and say something like "For contact and detailed information about Blankity-Blank Daycare go to our website". Spammers won't waste their time sending spam to your CL email because CL monitiors spam. Most only want your personal emails. No matter what though, you'll always get some spam from posting on CL . So sad, but true. If you post a link to your website, most parents will follow the link and get your email address or phone number off of the site and contact you directly instead of using CL to contact you. I found this out kinda by accident
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:48 PM
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I started out with CL and some signs I placed strategically around my area, just outside of certain subdivisions I wanted to target. It filled all my spots and I have a waiting list now. I also do a business card exchange with my dcp's, and keep theirs on display on my entryway. They have now been sending me potential clients, so word of mouth goes a LOOOOOONG way once you get rolling.

Of course, the easy way would be to join a church that has an emphasis on "being fruitful" and schmooze with all the members.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:58 PM
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I had a postcard created that matched the design of my website. On vistaprint.com you can create a mailing list (I specified that the homes have children ages 2-4). Vistaprint mailed out my postcards for me to the mailing list I purchased through them.
Every single one of my families has come that way, thus far. I have been open 1 month. Word of mouth is starting to travel about my Preschool in our small community.
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