Finding clients is something every birthing professional needs to know how to do. It can make the difference between a successful business and one that fails within a few months.
If you’re a new birthing professional, see if you can mentor with another birthing professional. You’ll learn a lot and she may refer you to clients if she’s already booked. You should also get to know the childbirth educators and doulas in the area since they’re often asked for recommendations for lactation consultants, doulas and childbirth educators.
You should also see if your area has a community group for birthing professionals to meet in person, network, share their secrets, promote healthy pregnancy and birth and maybe advertise together.
Contact massage therapists, fitness trainers, photographers, mom and pop baby businesses, chiropractors and other people who may come in contact with pregnant women. Ask to do a trade with them; tell them you’ll hand out their brochures and business cards if they’ll hand out yours.
While many hospitals and doctor’s offices won’t give out information about private birthing professionals, some will. Contact office managers, women’s health or health education departments about sending brochures or business cards. When you do send them in, include a personal note to the person you talked to reminding them that you discussed your business with them. Avoid doing a blind mailing since these are expensive and your information is likely to be tossed.
Midwives and birth centers may be more open to giving out your information.
You need to become web savvy so potential clients can find you. Most expectant parents start their search for birthing professionals on the internet. You need to have a GOOD website as a successful birthing professional. Nothing spells amateur like a website with spelling mistakes, navigation problems or with a common template. See here about getting an evaluation of your website by TheOnlyBabyStop’s website designer. Don’t have a website? Click here about getting one designed for you.
But you can’t just stop at owning a website with your contact information. You should also consider starting a weekly blog, doing an e-mail newsletter, twittering and starting a Facebook page for your business.
Finally, you need to be listed on websites for birthing professionals so expectant parents can find you easily. Some websites will just list your name and contact information. Others (like TheOnlyBabyStop) will give you a webpage to personalize with a picture and bio to help you stand out from the crowd. Click here to learn why you should list on TheOnlyBabyStop.
Don’t stop with getting your name onto the internet. Come up with imaginative places for potential clients to see your name. Try listing your services on Craigslist or other classified web pages. Get a business magnet for your car and a little business sign to put in front of your house. Put business brochures beneath your windshield wipers when you park at the grocery store, school or mall for people to grab as they walk by. Put business cards on bulletin boards or stick them into jars for free drawings. Buy t-shirts, bags, pens and other marketing products with your business name on them (be careful with this since it can get expensive) and carry them around with you.
Do a good job in your birth –based business and your clients will give other expectant parents your name. You could even leave them business cards or brochures to make it easy for them. You should also use your clients for references (just ask first!).
It takes time to get your name out there. Many birthing professionals find it takes several months to get a client list and it may be years before you’re so busy you have to turn down clients. The more patient you are though, the higher the likelihood of your business working.
Know of any other ideas? Let us know and we’ll include them in an addendum article in a few months.