If you’re like many child care professionals, the idea of marketing your program – or yourself, for that matter – is not at all appealing. Maybe you’ve found yourself thinking something along the lines of the following:
If people are right for our program, they’ll find us.
I’m just too busy to worry about marketing right now.
I don’t want to bother people.
I am here today to officially bust you on every one of these (but it will be kind of fun, I promise). Let’s get started, shall we?
Unhelpful mindset #1: If people are right for our program, they’ll find us.
This is just plain not true. Parents of young children, in addition to being bombarded with all kinds of stimuli (not to mention airborne Cheerios), are so tired and distracted that you really have to get in their face – which can be done in a good way – to get them to notice much of anything.
I say this as a person with a Wiggles-addled brain who just received a call from the local library because I returned to them a Curious George DVD that actually belongs to our personal collection and not the library’s. Mind of Mush, I tell you.
Look at it this way: If you don’t take pains to get the word out about your great program, that mush-minded mom down the street may well be swayed by a flyer from a far inferior child care program across town – and that’s a shame, both for her family and for you.
Unhelpful mindset #2: I’m just too busy to worry about marketing right now.
No, you’re not. If, in fact, your program is humming along and you are full to capacity, that’s wonderful! And it’s also precisely why you need to be working on your marketing right now so that you stay full and humming when the next lull happens, as it invariably does.
And if your program is not currently full to capacity? Well, then, marketing your program is pretty much the most important work you could be doing.
If you’re overextended doing other stuff that’s not directly related to generating new leads, conducting tours, and securing new enrollments, you need to clear the decks to make some time for these crucial business-builders.
Unhelpful mindset #3: I don’t want to bother people.
As my wonderful business coach, Michael Katz, put it so well in one of his blog posts:
If you found a cure for a deadly disease, you wouldn’t hide it in your basement. You’d be out there telling the world, day and night, until everyone who could benefit knew about it. Not only would people be happy to pay for it, they’d be angry if you didn’t give them the chance.
The same is true of your child care program. People will always want, and need, great child care. If you offer that – and I’m sure you do – then you owe it to your community to tell them about all you offer and give them the chance to enroll.
So get out there and get marketing.