Corners of my World

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Advertising on the internet or as I like to still call it...the world wide web

What a week! Heck, what a friggin month!!
I have been abused by customers, had a tantrum like one of the preschoolers I care for and yelled "I'm done! If you can't play nice then I'm not going to play...daycare CLOSED!". Then decided I have done this too long..I ammm Ms. Erika.  I need to put on my big girl panties and figure some things out.

I have then in the last 72 hours had supporters come out of the woodwork and compliment me on review sites; had a local tv news choose my childcare as representative of a quality program that accepts childcare subsidy; had a real nice provider call me today to tell me that she spoke with me a year ago and made big changes in her program & marketing thanks to my suggestions ... she is now full, successful and happy; this same provider was prompted to call me because while browsing Living Social she saw that my childcare was the only one listed on their list of 365 things to do in Omaha and I'm #160! (for that I have to plug Living's like Groupon's sister).  I don't know how I got on there but I'm thrilled I did!

The sudden kindness of so many, many who barely know me and some who didn't know that I was so horribly burned out, has been almost overwhelming.  I am sitting here wobbling between having a big head and feeling not quite worthy.  I think it would be best for me right now to go with the big head.  We all should bask in the shade that our own noggin provides sometimes.  Lawd knows that we get enough negative shade thrown our way at times and I have certainly sat in other's negative shadows for the last month or so.

So I'm sitting here with my big head bobbing to some good old fashioned hustle music (you know Busta Rhymes , womanopoly, Rick Ross ,Dolly Parton ) and questioning if so many think that I'm good how come I only have two children enrolled?
I know part of my problem is that I tend to tell the truth, "Little Johnny isn't crying when you leave because he's having separation anxiety.  Little Johnny is crying because as soon as you leave he won't have an adult around that he can manipulate. I said out loud, hunh?"  I'm working on my edit button as well as my patience.  This has been a lifelong struggle for me but I won't give up.
Now in order for me to practice my own self-control I need to have clients to practice on.  The world wide web has done wonders with my Scentsy business so I've decided to explore Google and find other avenues to advertise for free instead of just Craigslist .

This is the little bit that I've learned and if anyone is interested, I will continue to post more as I go...
When a person enters a service that they are looking for in Google...because trust me, LOTS of people want to make sure that your business pops up on the first page under as many different ways to search for your business as possible.  For example, if a person enters "Omaha Daycare" I show up on that first page.  If they enter "Omaha Home Childcare" I pop up.  I think I pop up under "Omaha preschool", too.  The reason I pop up on all of those searches is because I am a world wide web junkie.  I am all over this thing.  Mainly because I have so many friends that live in the monitor and I'm chatting with them all the time.  Whenever I chat I am identified as either Ms. Erika or The Kids' Spot.  I'm kinda a brand now..and that's a good thing!  I NEEED to be a brand.  If you have a business, you NEEED to be a brand!!  When you tell your kid to grab some mac-n-cheese from the store, do you tell them grab some Kraft or do they just automatically grab it?  They just grab it because "generic store name" hasn't put in the work to be at the front of their brain.  I need to put in work and flood their brain with The Kids' Spot.  When a wife tells her husband, "we really need to put little johnny in childcare because now that he talks I really have no clue" or when a husband tells his wife, "we really need to find a childcare for Little Johnny because I have decided that that I really should get a job instead of just fantasy football."  I want them to know to call The Kids' Spot because I am the spot for kids!!
So I'm on the front page, and a lot of other people are, too.  How do I stand out from the crowd?  For starters go to Google Places and claim your business! It's FREE. Free is my friend :)  There you can put in all of your business info and add pictures and even a coupon if you want.  After, you can sweat it every day like you do the mailman when expecting a refund check.  It has an analytic thingy that shows you how many people saw it, how many clicked on it, etcetera. What claiming your space will do is put your listing in with the search results that have that little red bulb next to them and are placed on the map in the Google results.  Now I have learned the hard way that if you have a potential client that is pissed at you then they can blast negative reviews all over the net and Google Places does add reviews from other sites.  That being said, I have had my Place on there for a few years and have only had this problem once.  And since so many amazing people have left positive reviews, I'm thinking he's not a factor so much.
Okay, so you have your Google Place but there are a lot of businesses similar to yours that have theirs, too.  How do you get up in the list?  Well, the more positive reviews on your Google Place the better BUT also the more times Google sees you on the world wide web the more important they think you are. So I am searching now for free advertising spots.  One that I am doing right now is  I am currently creating an ad for Family Child Care with All Day Preschool
This will be just one more place that I show up on the web and hopefully, will help to  bump me up to the number one spot in the listings.
Of course, I already have a website for The Kids' Spot so that helps a lot and believe it or not, even my Facebook page shows up in Google.  Which is so cool! Anyone who knows me knows that if I can rationalize being on Facebook to be beneficial in any way...oooh I feel all tingly!

Well, that is the extent of my knowledge at this point.  My knowledge on internet marketing that is .... always a donkey with jokes in the crowd.  I'm going to see if that whole html mess I entered up there worked and finish off the to see if it helps like I believe it will.

Before I go, I'd really appreciate it if tonight, everyone that is reading this, if tonight when you see a toy that hasn't been put away or realize that you are low on toilet paper or just generally wish for an extra 15 minutes of complete solitude in your day....that you think of me, look up and ask the Daycare Fairy to please send me some sane families with funny kids.
I thank you :)

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