I’m writing this post to show how a child care specialist can use the internet to make money and launch your own business.
Specifically, I’ll focus on setting up a blog and publishing great content as a primary way of generating business and income.
If you’re in the child care field and dreaming of doing something new with your life that generates more money, freedom, and satisfaction, I hope this post inspires you.
My sister has been in childcare all her life. Since she was young, I remember her babysitting and she kind of never stopped.
She moved into childcare professionally at an early age and worked her way to become director of a large center in the Baltimore-washington area.
The downside of childcare is it doesn’t pay well. Facility owners can do financially, but staff in these facilities aren’t paid much for the huge responsibility they carry on a daily basis.
My sister is one of the most skilled and respected childcare operators in the country and yet she struggles to make ends meet.
She’s spoken to large groups on behalf of her employers on weekends, only to be paid a normal hourly wage for her time.
Yet, facilities are paying hundreds of dollars a head to send their staff to hear what my sister has to say because she is so well known in her field.
I’ve told her: “You could become a speaker and keep all that money for yourself!”
But she doesn’t know how to do it.
I told her I’d help her and that’s what this post is all about: How a child care worker can use the internet to launch a new career as a public speaker.
Hopefully, if she really wants this, she will follow my advice or ask for my help to implement this strategy.
And if she doesn’t, that’s ok, too. I know someone will find it useful.
What I envision is this: She starts by teaching her own class, on her own, on a Saturday.
This alone will be a big shift because now you are responsible for everything:
- Booking the space
- Arranging refreshments
- Hiring help, if needed
- Setting up audio/visual in the room, making sure everything works
- Accepting payments from guests
- Promoting the event
- Writing the curriculum (she already does this)
Getting that first class under her belt will be a big deal. She’ll learn a lot.
Of course, it will go great! She’ll get incredible feedback – she always does – and people will want to know more.
They’ll have so many questions it will be easy to setup follow up training sessions.
This could even lead to another revenue generator: Being a child care facility consultant.
In this role, she would do what she has already done: Go into failing child care facilities and help turn them around.
This could be a one week assessment, or a month long program, or however she wants to set it up to fit her lifestyle and benefit the facility.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I get excited about this stuff.
Since making my own shift from corporate America to running my own business, I’ve seen how this is the only way to live.
If my sister decides she wants the same thing, I’m going to help her.
So here goes.
Step #1 – Setup a Blog and Start Educating Others
Everything I’m about to write will make you scratch your head and think, “I don’t know what any of this stuff means.”
Don’t worry. I do. And I will help you.
a) Buy a keyword rich domain name, ie “childcarespeaker.com” or “childcarespecialist.com” or “marylandchildcareexpert.com”
b) Install WordPress and a simple theme
c) Optimize the home page for what she wants to do and where, ie “Child Care Speaker – Maryland, DC, Virginia”
d) Setup an “About” page with her experience and background, especially as it relates to her public speaking experience
e) Setup a “Contact” page where people can book her for specialized events
f) Setup a “Speaking Events” page that has her speaking event calendar.
Yep, this is where the rubber meets the road.
If she is serious about doing this, she is going to need to setup her first event.
It can be 3 months from now, but you got to start somewhere.
Pick a topic, a city, a venue.
Write it up in a way that’s engaging, ‘what will it be like’, ‘what will you learn.’
g) Start writing blog posts – this can be done over time.
Begin with a topic you’re passionate about and that people always ask you about.
I don’t know childcare, but I bet my sister could come up with a dozen topics off the top of her head.
Pick one, sit down and write about it. Make it good. Share your experience. Give to get.
Make it authoritative, but keep it friendly in tone.
Be authentic and honest. Don’t hold anything back.
I know that just this first step is going to seem overwhelming, but lucky for her, I can handle the first 6 steps and guide her on the 7th.
Max out of pocket expense for all of step one is going to be approximately $170 for year 1 and $100 a year for subsequent years.
- Domain name purchase $10
- Hosting (each year) $100
- WordPress theme (1 time cost) $60
Step #2 – Start Marketing
a) Blog – I know it doesn’t seem like it, but blogging is a fantastic form of marketing. When you write an authoritative, helpful blog post about something other people want to learn, they will find you.
I’ve experienced this first hand in my SEO and ORM business. People are searching Google for answers every day!
Imagine this: My sister writes a great post on “How To Keep Your Child Care Staff Motivated.”
A few weeks later, the owner of three child care facilities in Chicago has become frustrated with her team.
Her business is growing but she is having communication issues with employees and has already lost one key staff member because of it.
She turns to Google and searches for “ways to keep child care staff organized” and reads several different posts on the topic.
Then she finds my sister’s post and is blown away.
“This is just the person I need to help me!” she thinks to herself.
She bypasses the contact form and calls my sister directly, she is so excited to talk to her and possibly hire her.
My sister receives the message and goes into shock (a) because here is someone who found her online and ways to pay her and (b) the person is in Chicago, 700 miles away.
Knowing my sister, her first feeling might be fear, “How am I going to go to Chicago and do this?”
Well, sis, you’re going to do it. You can do it.
This woman is going to cover your travel expenses (airfare, cab, hotel, meals, etc.) and pay you handsomely for your time.
Since she wants you to visit her facilities and talk with her and her team, you don’t have to worry about setting up a room to speak in.
But you’re scared, you’ve never done this before and now you have to travel to Chicago.
You’re gripped by fear – “I need to take a couple days off to do this,” my sister thinks.
Ok, figure it out.
I’d be honest with the woman, “Tell her, ‘This will be my first consulting deal on this topic, but I have lots of experience doing this at facilities I’ve run.’”
Spend time qualifying her, ask questions, “How can I help you? What are the problems?”
Then put together a program that will help her address the issues.
Yes, it will take time, but do your best.
Give this woman the attention she wants and you’ll have your first testimonial.
Get paid 50% up front to cover expenses.
Take 2 days off work and book your flight to Chicago.
Go do it. Be nervous, but be great. Enjoy the experience.
Yes, this is what can happen by writing one great blog post.
b) Blog more – But what I described in #1 above might not happen.
Don’t get discouraged.
Commit to writing (or making videos) on a regular basis.
You have so much knowledge to share and you have a desire to be your own boss and set your own rules for life.
So this is how it starts. Keep at it.
c) Tell the world.
I got my first SEO client by sending a mass email to everyone I knew.
A friend I never expected to hear from replied, “I think this might be good for my friend Nick and his Beach Body business.”
I reached out to Nick and he became my first client.
I didn’t make much money, but I worked my butt off for him.
My sister has a LOT of contacts in the child care field.
Email them all. Share your website on Facebook.
Tell people how they can help you – so, they can.
Of course, when you’re just starting out, you may have to use some discretion on how wide you cast your marketing net, depending on whether or not you want your current employer to know you are moonlighting.
The best part of this initial marketing is it is free!
It will only take time and effort.
Step #3 – Advanced Online Marketing Techniques
a) Videos – Videos are just another way to reach people the way they want to be reached.
I recommend keeping educational videos short, less than 3 minutes.
Whereas you might write a mammoth blog post 2,500 words along to thoroughly answer a question, employing this same technique for video is not as effective.
I’d recommend making several short quick videos that cover smaller sub-topics within your blog post, but don’t try to cover the whole topic in one video.
You’ll wind up droning on for 20 minutes and people will lose interest.
Instead, make short videos and let them know where they can get more information.
Videos do take extra work, but you don’t have to be really fancy.
Check this out – I just Googled the phrase, “how to use smartphone to make great youtube videos” and found this excellent no nonsense guide for making a great Youtube video with your smartphone.
Roberto strikes me as authentic and honest.
He’s right. It’s about the quality of your content.
I find the best videos have adequate lighting and sound, little fluff, and great content. I’d suggest making one video and see how it feels.
Then setup your Youtube channel and publish it.
Now you’ve got a second way to promote yourself and there is plenty of help online for how to optimize your video.
I’d help my sister with that if she decides to make videos. It’s easy.
b) Email Outreach – This technique can be done by you manually, but I’d prefer to hire someone to help to do, in which case you’ll need to set a budget.
Decide who you want to reach with your message and use Google to find them.
Let’s say my sister decides after a while that she doesn’t enjoy travel that much and she’d like to focus only on speaking engagements within 50 miles of her home in Baltimore.
She wants to reach directors and owners of child care facilities in Baltimore only.
She can begin by going to Google and finding all of the facilities in Baltimore by searching for “child care facility Baltimore.”
Make a list of all the websites on a spreadsheet in one column and their contact info (email address or contact form URL) in the second column.
What you want to work toward is a complete list of all the child care centers in Baltimore and who the key decision makers are at those centers, ie directors and owners.
We’re building a database you can market to over and over.
You can use LinkedIn for deeper research and to find out who’s who.
You can use Upwork to hire someone overseas for $5/hour to help do some of the research, but the emails should come from you.
Without investing in fancy email marketing programs that cost money, simply send personal introductory emails from your own email address.
Sending 5 emails per day to make new connections could help you uncover some new business.
You can do both of these advanced strategies yourself if you have time, otherwise, stay focused on the basic marketing strategies outlined in Step #2.
As long as you are patient and keep at it, people WILL find you and opportunities will arise.
Other Marketing Methods & Ways To Make Money
Let’s say my sister decides she doesn’t want to speak anymore. Here are some other ways she could make money and market herself and/or her products:
- Write a book and use her blog to promote it. Sell the book on Amazon.
- Create a course and sell that.
- Host a webinar and discuss child care industry topics and best practices. She could do it herself or have guests, or both. Use the webinar to help promote book or course sales.
Who knows where this could lead.
As your business evolves, you will begin to learn what works and what doesn’t. More importantly, you might find things go in a different direction than you thought.
When I started in SEO, I never thought I’d be a Google Autocomplete and Related Searches specialist, but here I am. I didn’t even know what those things were until I was in the business for over a year.
I hope my sister decides to take the chance on herself and launch a side business. If she does, I’ll be there to help her.
I encourage you to dream big and then begin. The internet will connect you to opportunities to earn an income that you’ve probably never imagined.
If you’re a child care specialist looking to make more money, I hope you found this post helpful.