Marketing advice for paid carers
When you’re working for yourself as a paid carer, and not through a provider or an agency, you have to find the right clients, which means getting involved in a bit of marketing. If you’re lucky, you might find clients easily through word of mouth and personal connections, but for the majority it can take a little time and effort to start the ball rolling.
Here we have some top tips and ideas to get you started. While you will need to be proactive about it, you don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even that much time, to get your name out there.
Know your target clients
Before you start doing any real marketing, the best thing to do is sit down and think about the kind of people that you want to work with. What services are you offering? What kind of clients are you looking for? Be specific, as this will help to tailor your marketing. When you know who you are targeting, think about where in the community you can reach these people. For example, if you are interested in working with elderly people, then there might be local church groups during the week that will be happy for you to pop in and hand out leaflets. You may be interested in providing care and support for disabled adults, and a support group at a community centre might be more appropriate.
Don’t be afraid to try the simple approach to marketing your services. It’s easy to forget how effective a card in a shop window can be when there is so much emphasis on using digital tools and services. You want to provide a service to local people, so place adverts where local people are likely to be. Think about village halls, community centres and churches, many of which will have noticeboards that you can add an advert to.
Leaflets and posters
If you want to be able to tell people a little bit more about yourself and the services that you offer, then consider a leaflet or poster that you can distribute around your local community. You don’t need to be a graphic design wizard either; why not try a leaflet template, which you can quickly change the wording of to suit your business, print out on your home computer as many times as you need, fold up and start using.
On the web
If you want to have a web presence, then start small. You don’t need a fully fledged, interactive website with bells and whistles to attract clients, but some people prefer to have an email to contact, rather than a phone number. Don’t use your usual email address – it’s better to keep your business correspondence separate. You can easily set up a new online email account through services like Gmail.com and Outlook.com. Make sure that it isn’t too long and is easy to remember, for example firstname.lastname@example.org is sufficient. If you want to have a page on the internet, then you could set up a Facebook Page for your services, where you can give more information and invite past clients to leave recommendations for your work. There are lots of easy-to-use website creators as well, when you get bigger and you want something more customisable.
Use online services
There are a few websites out there that you can place an advert on offering your services as a paid home carer. The steps for creating the advert are usually very straightforward and you know that people who visit the site are looking for a paid carer, so you are automatically targeting the right people. Try http://www.simpleneeds.co.uk, as one example of this kind of service.
If you want to spend some money to help build up your business, then you could consider some media advertising. Local newspapers are the most budget-friendly, though cost is usually determined by the size of the advert that you want and the returns are not always great. TV and radio advertising is a lot more expensive, but if you do want to go down this path, research your target audience and find out which local television or radio channels they listen to.
What to include
From a small card in a window to a massive radio campaign, there are certain things that you need to make sure are included. You should make it obvious what services you are offering and to who, you need to ensure that it is easy to contact you and there should be a little information about you too – for example, your training, qualifications, whether you are DBS checked and if you have insurance. If you answer the questions that people are likely to ask, they will feel confident coming to you knowing that you are able to provide the services that you need.