Building Your Babysitting Reputation

Posted on by admin | in Babysitting Jobs

Once you’ve decided to expand an occasional night here or there watching kids into a real babysitting business, it’s crucial that you build up your reputation. Watch as your job offers soar with these tips to enhance your reputation as the go-to-sitter of choice.

Take It Seriously

If you want babysitting to be a full-time business – or even just a reliable part-time money maker – you need to treat it just like you would any other job. Get your certifications in order, keep them current and mention them when talking to prospective clients. Consider joining LinkedIn, where you can not only list your experience and credentials (include any child development courses taken, along with CPR/First Aid, etc.), but also ask parents for recommendations that will be easy for them to complete. These will then be verified by the LinkedIn system as proven real professionals and easily viewed by others.

Check Your Attire

First impressions are important and a big key to the parent-caregiver relationship is trust. Don’t test that by opting for questionable choices in your clothing. If you arrive in heels, super low slung jeans or in a less-than-conservative length or too nice skirt, it doesn’t lend credibility to the idea that you’ll be sitting around the coffee table playing a game or crawling around engaging the kids at their level. You should also make sure you aren’t sporting any logos or messages that could offend parents. Showing up in a casual but professional outfit is going to let the parents head out on their evening feeling comfortable, without any lingering doubts about how kid-centered you are.

Take Referrals with a Smile

When building both a business and a reputation, sometimes sacrifices need to be made. It might be worth giving up seeing that new movie on a Friday night to accept a referral and expand your client base. Sitting for multiple kids in a social group can also keep your name at the top of the list since kids tend to share their preferences with each other.

Leave your Problems at the Door

If you’ve had a personal upset, are going through a breakup, had school or car issues or are suffering from anything else that’s negative, take a deep breath and find your happy place before knocking on the door. Faking a smile as the parents head out isn’t going to cut it if you’re short-tempered or emotional around the kids because of outside issues. Be professional and focus on having a good time with the kids, who did nothing to deserve the fallout of your problems. Remember, kids report back to their parents, often in surprising detail.

Maintain an Appropriate Online Presence

In a field where your reputation has a direct effect on your moneymaking potential, make sure your online presence is something to be proud of. Your Facebook friends might enjoy pics of a wild girlfriends’ night out or bikini clad selfies, but that sort of vibe isn’t bound to impress parents. If you want to keep that sort of account and lessen the risks clients might happen onto it, consider skipping any ties to your name – just keep in mind that’s not a foolproof solution.  Additionally, off color jokes and political or religious talk could turn off parents and kill your income or dry up your client base without you even realizing what happened.

Highlight your Achievements

The flipside of the online pitfalls is the easy availability of a public platform to share your positive feedback. Consider starting a website for your business. A free, easy-to-use Tumblr can be a good option, with the only cost being a few bucks a year for your domain name. Offer your contact info, credentials, rates, availability and samples of fun things you do or games you play with different age ranges. Also consider uploading photos of seasonal crafts you’ve done with kids in you care. Keep a notebook and ask clients to sign a quick recommendation or reference. They’ll respect your proactive nature and you can post those to your website for others to see, skipping last names and just listing the ages of the children (i.e.  “John and Judy, parents to a 6-month-old and 4-year-old”).

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