As a parent you already know that your time is your most important asset. The choices that you make about using your time for your Parenting by Connection work will set the tone for your work success. It can be very helpful to set a time budget for your work and then divide that time out for the various tasks you need to complete.
If you decide you are going to dedicate 15 hours a week to your Parenting by Connection work, what you do with those 15 hours will depend, in part, on the type of work you want to be doing. If you want to teach classes to parents locally then you need to take into account both the class teaching hours and the recruiting hours you will devote to each class. If during any given month you are teaching both a BEU class and a TT class, that’s travel, prep, and teaching of 21-24 hours a month right there. If some of the time you have left is devoted to consulting, SkillBuilding, or leading call groups for Hand in Hand, that’s another chunk of time to consider. You need to be very strategic with the time that is left to focus on what you want to see coming down the pipeline.
Here are a few thoughts about how to use that time effectively:
Keep in touch, by individual email, phone message, Facebook, periodic newsletter, funny cards in the mail to say “Hello” or any other method you like, with your key local supporters. If you don’t yet have any key local supporters, devote some time every week to getting some! There are people in the community looking for your help. Find them and let them know how you can support one another.
Groups vs. Individuals
You will want to balance the time you spend between group cultivation and the cultivation of particular individuals. 15 minutes sharing quality content on Facebook, or several hours a month spent on a newsletter, reaches a lot of people and can help keep them thinking of you when they have questions or a need for parenting help comes up. The hour that it takes to have a 15 minute visit with a local preschool director, pediatric center office manager, or library speaker coordinator might help you build a relationship that could introduce you to parents for many years. Both are valuable so that you can continue to welcome more parents into this work and you can encourage the parents who already know you to get the support that makes transformations in their families possible.
Set up teleseminars with other instructors who want to grow their outreach too. Share the recordings with contacts you are cultivating and remind them you could speak to the audience they serve on a similar topic. Find the local elementary with the most discipline problems. Talk to the principle or the PTA president or the school board about how a Setting Limits workshop might help both staff and parents see the kids needs in a different way. Connect with business owners who already serve parents, young child, babies or families. How can you work together to build strong relationships with the parents in your area so they will develop a kinship with both your brands?
Engage with Hand in Hand staff and other Parenting by Connection instructors to share the work load. Offer your services in a part of the work you enjoy in exchange for someone else taking on a part that’s not your thing. Get a group of instructors together and form a co-op where each instructor takes on a part of the outreach puzzle for the whole group.
Take Advantage of Hand in Hand Resources
1. Share the newsletter with your constituents each month. Add your own thoughts about the articles, blog posts, or free parenting calls and remind them that you are part of a dynamic community that has lots of support for them and parents they know.
2. Use the free parenting calls as an example of the services you can provide, as a free resource for parents, as a way for the local community to get to know the value of Parenting by Connection, or as a “demo tape” for your own speaking engagements.
3. Share content on social media from the Hand in Hand Facebook page or Twitter feed. It’s already there. Add a thought or two of your own and pass it along. It’s fast yet still very useful for the parents who are connected to you.
4. Give away the New Parent Podcasts, the free booklet download with newsletter subscriptions, the Parenting by Connection physical booklets, the sample Setting Limits and Building Cooperation class, and lots of articles from the website.
Ideas to Share? What practices make you most effective in getting your work accomplished? Please share your ideas and what works well with us all in the Discussions.