When you market to families with kids, you market first to the parents but your product or service is for kids. Easy? Not always. Let’s look at the different ways to reach your clients and market to them.
We have the special guest today, who creates and reads the stories for kids Angela Ferrari.
Angela is an artist, children’s book author and illustrator based in Portland Maine. She is also the creator and host of the Story Spectacular podcast.'Playing it safe is actually a risk' ~ Angela FerrariClick To Tweet
She wrote and illustrated three children’s books: Digger’s Daily Routine, An Extraordinary Book and What Do You See. Most recently Angela has launched a children’s story podcast Story Spectacular. The show features original stories and classic retellings.
In this episode, we will cover:
- [00:22] About the episode and Angela Ferrari
- [02:31] Angela shares her journey from painter to children’s books author and illustrator to children’s story podcaster.
- [04:25] Angela describes how scary it was to change identity and therefore audience too
- [05:14] What Angela’s marketing plan looks like to reach parents and grandparents with children in their lives
- [06:18] How good content will attract more clients
- [06:34] The importance of attending live events to market your product
- [07:40] How you can market to families with kids
- [09:14] What you can do if you’re shy or marketing is not your strength
- [10:10] Where and how Angela sells her books
- [11:11] How people that share your product with their friends help you
- [11:53] How a podcast can help you to market your business
- [12:57] Angela shares a fun way to promote her podcast using Audiograms on Instagram
- [13:45] What other channels you can use to market to families with kids
- [14:00] How to show up more in Google searches
- [14:47] Where do you get the inspiration for the blog posts?
- [16:06] How parents can come in contact with your blog or social media directly
- [16:48] How to plan your day to manage multiple tasks at once
- [18:24] Angela’s tips to people who question whether your work can be fun
- [19:17] The three steps you can do to start this marketing to families with kids process now
- [20:44] Create content that’s for a specific avatar, perhaps based on someone real
- [22:26] Where to find Angela online
- [34:40] For the show notes go to marinabarayeva.com and subscribe to the Marketing for Creatives show
3 Steps you can do to market to families with kids now:
- Step 1: Find what you are passionate about and ask yourself how you can solve a problem
- Step 2: Make valuable content that people want to keep using
- Step 3: Get out in person to meet and connect with people, matching your face behind your business
Pin the quotes on your Pinterest:
Download podcast transcript [PDF] here:
Resources from this interview:
- Learn more about Angela Ferrari on storyspectacular.com
- Check Audiogram for creating audio files for your Instagram
- Learn more about business at Assets for Artists
- Listen with kids to the stories on Angela’s Story Spectacular podcast
- Follow Angela Ferrari on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Connect with Marina Barayeva:
How to Market to Families with Kids – Interview Transcription
Angela, it’s Christmas time. Share with us your fairytale. Tell us about yourself. You can even talk with that voice as you read the stories on your show (laughter.)
It is: it’s the holiday season.
I’m a children’s podcaster and a children’s book author and illustrator. This week I just released an episode called Chilly the Snowman about a snowman that comes to life and he loves to sled and play in the snow. He even does a song and dance called The Snowy Show.
That’s Christmas time.
It is (laughter.)
How did you get to podcasting? Where did you start from?
It was a long journey. It took me years to get to this point.
I was always a creative person and I made my living as a painter for a long time. It was something I was really passionate about and I made a good living off of but I really wanted to expand my art. I had so much more to say. I had so many stories in me and it was something I had wanted to do since I was a child.
After some training through a program called Assets for Artists, I learned about business finance, personal finance, and marketing for creative entrepreneurs. That gave me the confidence to take my art to the next level, which was writing and illustrating children’s books.
Then from there I had to decide, do I go the traditional route of publishing or do I have what it takes to self-publish? For me I came to the conclusion that self-publishing was the best fit for me.
With that decision, I also decided that I had to find a creative way to self-promote my books. And so, I decided to launch Story Spectacular, a children’s story podcast.
What’s your main business now?
My main business is the podcast and the children’s books. Those two things work in synergy together. I use one to promote the other and vice versa.
But you’re still doing the illustration, right?
I do that on the side as well, so I’m very busy. It’s really funny how entrepreneurs, they’ll work 80 hours a week to avoid the typical hour 40-hour workweek. I’m definitely working all the time but it’s all things that I really enjoy doing.
How was that switch from painter to illustrator to podcasting?
It was really hard. For so long my identity was a painter. That was what I was known around my community as. So when I decided to switch, it was really scary. I thought I was going to lose a lot of my audience because my clientele completely shifted.
It’s been a lot of re growing and choosing to go by a new identity now. I’m actually a writer, an illustrator first and a podcaster first, and even calling myself an entrepreneur is new for me too, so I’m excited for this new chapter.
Who is your main audience now?
My main audience is parents and grandparents with children, two to five years old, in their lives.
How do you market to them? How do you market to those families with kids
First you have to market to the parents and grandparents because they’re the ones choosing the content for the kids.
I chose to find old stories in the public domain that are kind of forgotten. I chose to give them an update. The story still has the emotional core of the original story but is relevant more for today’s world.
What I like about that is it sparks a memory for the parents and grandparents; they listen, they get to revisit their childhood but it’s something new and exciting for the kids in their lives too. It’s a really nice experience for families together to listen to the content.
Another way I like to market to the parents and kids is that I like to inject a lot of humor, a lot of music, a lot of creative sound design, things that really inspire and ignite creativity in other people.
Putting out good content, that’s been a huge step. In marketing, you want to have a good product. You want to be solving a problem that people are going to want to listen over and over again because they enjoy it so much.
Another way that I’ve been marketing is doing a lot of live events. Any place I can go that’s going to have parents and kids, I like to show up, volunteer, read books, talk to people, and get inspired by the kids I’m around.
This Halloween there was a big parade in our neighborhood. I dressed up as my favorite artist and I handed out candy with bookmarks attached to the candy to promote the show and overnight got a lot of listeners that way.
Anything I can do in person is my favorite way to market, but of course I’m on social media. I have a newsletter. I have a lot of pots on the stove. Each one is contributing to spreading the word.
Amazing. Now you have the audience already but when you just started to reach out to those people or if you would like to get more people to your audience, how would you find those people? How would you find those families with kids to market to?
You have to go out into the world. I was going out. The first month that I launched I was guesting on other people’s podcasts, specifically other people who were making content for children. I started out sharing my story with their audience through the podcasting world and then going out in person to other schools.
I went to eight schools the first month, meeting with librarians and sharing my books with the schools, and also going to preschools, daycares. There’s even a little restaurant for kids to play at. I’ve gone to that studio too, hanging up flyers, meeting with parents and kids. A lot of it’s in person.
Then once you have those loyal people, they start spreading the word for you too. Especially when they met you in person, they have the face that goes with the business. I feel like those connections that I’ve made have been so authentic and people get a lot more excited about Story Spectacular when they know the person behind it.
Networking seems like a lot of fun, meeting new people all the time, but some people are shy. What would you recommend to them? If you would come to the schools or events, what would you tell them? “I’m an illustrator, can I market myself there?” What would you do?
What I try to think about first… “When I think of marketing, I think of giving, especially at the beginning. It’s all about what problem are you solving and what are you really passionate about.”
Even if you’re a shy person, if you have something you’re really passionate about, you’re going to be a little bit more comfortable sharing that with other people. There are a lot of parts of the business that I’m not great at, it’s not my strength but it’s still so important to the whole collective that I know I have to do it and I’ve surprised myself. Like something that I was afraid of, once you do it a few times, you get more comfortable and you end up enjoying it too.
I would say you have to go for it. The person with the grit, the person that’s going to really take the time to do these steps is the person that’s going to succeed.
What do you sell now?
I sell my books. I promote them through my website and on the podcast. I have three books that came out this year and then I have three more coming out next year as well.
How does it work? Some people are curious, “Ah, selling online.” You have the podcast and you’re an illustrator, and you go to events, so where does the selling process go?
It’s all online at this point. Sometimes I’ve sold in person but mostly people like to go through my books on Amazon and on my website. A lot of the people that I’m marketing to, busy moms on the go, that’s their preferred method of shopping and that’s where I’ve been doing most of my sales.
How do you find moms? Probably moms are the people who like your books the most, and because they buy for their kids.
At the beginning, a lot of friends my age were moms and what’s so cool about moms is they love sharing things with their friends. If something’s really working for them, they’re giving people and they like to share with others.
Even places where I wasn’t expecting to market, like I go to a yoga and dance studio down the street from my house, I’ve been able to network and connect with lots of parents that way too.
Again, it’s through social media, it’s through all the online channels but as many in person ways you can connect with people, that’s been the most rewarding way for me.
How did podcasting help you with that? When you started your podcast, sharing your kids’ stories, how did it help you to market your business?
The podcast has been a great way to market because I get to show rather than tell. I wanted to tell the world, “Hey, I’m a children’s book author.” I like to tell stories, so what better way than to tell stories on a podcast?
That’s been so much fun because it’s content based marketing instead of just telling people, “Oh, I write books.”
Where does your podcast go? They just listen on iTunes or you do something else with it?
The podcast is on all the major outlets, so it’s on iTunes, it’s on Google Play, Stitcher. I just got accepted onto Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. So pretty much anywhere people listen to podcasts, they can find Story Spectacular.
Sorry, what was the other part of the question?
Where does it go? Because I was checking your Instagram today, “Oh, I found you on Instagram,” and I saw you post some little pieces of audio there. How does this work?
Yes, that was an Audiogram. I have a YouTube channel as well. Anytime I can incorporate visuals because I am an illustrator and that’s one of my favorite parts. I like doing visuals because they’re fun to share on social media.
An Audiogram, you take an image or a short video and then you attach a snippet of your podcast episode to it. That way people get to hear a little bit on social media, they get to preview the show, and then they can click through and listen to the full episode.
I found that to be a really fun way to share the show with others.
So, Instagram, YouTube – two channels. What other channels do you use to market to families with kids?
The YouTube channel has been really big.
I also just started a blog: I call it a bloggy. These are more for parents. It’s the story behind the stories, so you get my perspective as an adult looking back where I talk about what was it that really got me excited to tell this story. That has a picture and I also provide links to other activities based on the theme that week.
That’s another great way to show up in Google searches because I get to tag with unique keywords every blog post, and so I’ve been found that way too. Hashtags and keywords, you never know who you’re going to find by using the right ones for promoting your show.
How do you select the content to post? For example, for podcasting you share the stories. For blogs, you said you write something behind the scenes. Where do you get the inspiration?
The inspiration comes from all over. It’s usually whatever I’m excited about as an adult. I think about how can I simplify this and turn it into a children’s story?
For example, this summer I was really into bats and learning about bats because they scared me as a kid but now, the more I learned about them, the more I really appreciate them. I think that’s true with so many things, that if you’re scared of something it just means you have to learn a little more about them. I like getting to incorporate that idea in stories.
I wrote a story around Halloween about bats and got to share it on Twitter, Instagram, and I found all these people that were passionate about bats were really excited about that story too. Even if they weren’t parents or kids, people outside my target audience. That was such a surprise that they were really excited about this story too.
(Laughter) that’s funny. You just read the stories and you share them everywhere. How do parents react to that? How do they found you? If you want to market to them, go so
Yes. The Facebook group, I think I have the most direct responses and I have had people directly email me.
I even had a little kid. His dad set him up on Facebook so he could record a message for me. It was a kid from Australia that found the show and said that he wanted me to write a story about a dinosaur that does yoga. He was even able to send in a special request for an upcoming story.
That’s amazing. Did you send it to him?
Yes. I messaged him back and I have a story coming up for this kid in particular too.
There’s a lot of stuff going on. How do you manage all of this?
The biggest way that I found is having a really strict routine, especially when it’s just me doing all this.
I wake up every morning and have breakfast and then I start with, I call it the worst first, usually the tech issues. The things that I’m not as excited about that I need to have a fresh brain to solve these problems, I like to tackle these things in the morning.
Then I do a search, usually two hours of that kind of work, that’s usually when I’m doing my social media posts in the morning as well.
Then I take a break. I like to get out and do something physical like yoga or dance class. It helps refresh me, I get to take a break mentally from the work and interact with people, and I usually come back feeling a lot more refreshed and inspired.
In the afternoon, I usually devote my time to the creative side of things: the storytelling, the illustrations. The things that are fun for me to do, that I enjoy that’s like the dessert at the end of the day that I get to do
That’s interesting that you love your work and it sounds like it’s not work for you. It’s like you’re always having fun, even if there’s hard work behind it. Some people do not believe in that. What would you tell those people? Some people think if I have fun, or I enjoy my work, I cannot get money out of that.
For me, I think playing it safe is actually a risk. I don’t think you have to choose between being successful and being happy, especially nowadays with the access we have to technology. You have so many things at your fingertips that you can really pursue your passion, not only create content that you want but market it and promote it all yourself.
Wonderful. If you would put the steps, how to reach the audience, how to market to families with kids into a few steps so our listeners could begin with and start marketing to them, what would you do? How would you do it? What would you do if you would start all over?
I think the biggest thing is planning. Right before you even start doing any kind of content, you think about what you’re passionate about and you say, “What problem do I want to solve and how can I give to an audience?” Because that’s how you’re going to grow an audience, by first giving to people, helping making the world a little easier by solving a problem for them.
Then the next step would be creating valuable content. Because no matter how much you’re marketing or promoting, if you’re content isn’t good, if it’s not that something that people want, it’s not going to be successful. So really taking the time to put in the work and make something that’s great that you’re really proud of. I mean, it doesn’t have to be perfect but do it as best as you can. I think that’s step two.
Step three, get out in person, meet people, and make connections. Even if you’re a little nervous at first, especially being the new kid in the space, it’s so important. It’s really validating, motivating and it’s going to help you succeed that much more.
Many people get confused with their audience. Our audience today is families with kids and you market to them. If you would give them the directions, what would you suggest to them how to find this audience?
The first thing I did for my process when I was creating content, I had a very specific kid in mind. I have a mom that I’m really close friends with and she has a little two year old kid. He became my avatar, the niche that I was specifically creating my content for. I thought every time I was writing a story, “If he’s doing to like it, then a lot of other moms and kids are going to like it too.”
When you’re creating content, really having that focus of keeping your very specific niche audience in mind all the time. Don’t try to go to broad with it. That was a mistake that I’ve made in a few stories that I’m definitely tailoring my content to fit my specific audience better now.
Again, finding those specific groups on social media too. Not just the private podcasting groups but I’ve found a lot of preschool groups on Facebook, other mom groups that are in the local area where I live.
Instead of just blanket marketing across social media, finding ways to add value to those groups, becoming a member of those groups where you’re answering questions, not just self promoting, you’re giving back to that community. I think that’s a really great first step to find your audience and also help tailor what problems you want to solve to make their lives a little easier.
Angela, you’re amazing. We got the whole kids and family fun today in this show.
Tell us how can we connect with you? How can we find more about you?
Storyspectacular.com is my website and it’s the one stop shop: you can find the podcast, books, you can watch videos, and even look at the blog to see stories behind the stories.
I love hearing from people so please send me a note and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
Fantastic. Thank you so much and Merry Christmas Angela.
Merry Christmas to you Marina. Thank you so much for having me on your show.