Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday's Wisdom: Branding Your Group

My family and I had just moved back to my hometown after nearly a decade away. With a homeschooling first grader and two toddlers, I was looking for some like-minded friends and a field trip or two.

To be honest, I didn't really have a clue what a support group could offer my family, but when the local librarian offered me the name and number of the homeschool group's president, it felt right to call.

Perching myself atop the bar between my dining room and living room, I dialed the number and rehearsed my list of questions quickly in my mind.

The mom who picked up the phone set me instantly at ease. Down to earth and passionate about homeschoolers, she explained the basics of what I needed to know about their support group. They were a Christian group open to all, met monthly at a local park and stayed in touch online through a Yahoo web site. I asked my questions, and she patiently answered. Then she did a very powerful thing.

She invited me to the next event. It happened to be an art class held in her garage that next Wednesday (don't ask me how I remember the day). I was delighted to be included so quickly and to be able to offer my kids something fun to do where they could meet some other kids their age.

That was the year my daughter learned how to draw roses and to shade objects. That was the year, I fell in love with homeschool support groups.

When someone contacts you with questions about your homeschool group, you can follow the lead of my friend and shed some light for them.

1. Purpose--Why do you get together? What is the biggest thing you plan to accomplish as a group? Is your purpose purely fellowship or is your group mission-minded?

2. Personality--Are you practical or carefree, structured or free-spirited, or a little of all of it?

3. People--Who are your people? Are they ranchers spread out over Timbuktoo or city slickers savvy to the ways of Fifth Avenue? What are their personal goals for being part of a support group?

Like my friend who laid it out plain and simple for me as a new homeschooler to the area, you can lead others plainly and simply, too, by making it clear upfront who you are as a group, what your greater purpose is and showing them how they can get to know you better.

As Confucius once said, "Wherever you go, go with all of your heart." If new homeschoolers like who you are and what you're doing, they will be along for the ride, just like I was!

Enjoying the ride!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this!