New subscribers to the Inspired Birth Pro updates receive an email requesting their burning business questions. I’ve compiled the list of questions over the years, and I’ve started posting them on Facebook, because honestly, I don’t have all the answers! I also learn from other birth pros, so I really appreciate it when fans take the time to share their wisdom.
If you have not liked the IBP Facebook page yet (why haven’t you?), I’m going to start compiling the questions and responses into a blog post, along with the link to the question, in case you want to add to the conversation. I also imagine that at some point the Facebook updates may disappear, or at least get lost and buried, so it would be nice to archive them in some way. If you notice that your comment was not included, please contact me to let me know.
If you want to add a comment to one of these questions, just click on the word “question” preceding it to go to its respective page on Facebook.
Okay, here we go!
Question 1: Name one important step you took to ramp up your part-time birth business to a full-time practice?
Question 2: What are your budget-friendly ways to advertise your birth business?
- Smooth Transitions – Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) is great for creating awareness but referrals are the best way for us to get new clients.
- Rachel Mueller - www.doulamatch.net, very affordable!
- Desirre Andrews – No advertising. Marketing with fliers, referrals, website, car magnet, tshirts, etc.
Question 3: Is your birth business an LLC? What tips would you give other birth pros who would like to form an LLC?
- Desirre Andrews – Yes it is. I believe it adds professionalism and protection while still allowing for simple tax accounting.
Question 4: Please share one creative marketing technique you’ve used successfully.
- Motherjoyca – I donate a small amount of my time for silent auctions and end up getting contracts for more.
- Krystal Bartz – I got $100 for Google Adwords and actually used it. I developed amazing key words and actually got 3 clients.
Question 5: (for Birth Doulas): How do you find paying clients?
- Andrea Donaldson Lythgoe – My web site, hands down. I don’t even do any other marketing. A *good* website will get you farther than anything else you do.
- Jessica Bejot – I agree with the website. Networking for referrals is also profitable. Attending everything birth related in your community. Most of all be professional and value yourself with confidence. Set your price stick to it, then earn it, you’ll get referrals from clients that way too! It snowballs after that.
- Danielle Rylander – I have a top notch website, but I live in a tiny town so I’m not seeing much from the website. My clients all look at it after they’ve heard about me while they’re trying to decide if they want to hire me. Definitely crucial, but not much traffic from this small town. I think the way I get paying clients is through birth classes or through referrals.
- Desirre Andrews – Website, word of mouth, referrals, marketing materials, magnetic sign on car, office sign, about in that order.
- Gentle Balance Birth – There are many people in my region that attend births for very low cost or even for free. I believe over time though I have turned down a few births here and there, I get paying clients by continuing to act and treat myself as a professional. Like all professionals I do volunteer my services and time in certain specific arenas, but I do not volunteer my services for people who are just looking to save a little money. When I was a younger, newer doula it was more challenging for me to stick to my price and let some births go, but I realized I didn’t want my reputation to be as the doula who was willing to work for almost nothing. I wanted my reputation to be the doula who was so hard working, professional and dedicated to her clients that she was worth every penny. And guess what? That’s what it is!
Question 6: (for CBEs): How do you attract students for out-of-hospital childbirth classes?
- Desirre Andrews – Word of mouth, provider/birth pro referrals, website, SM, marketing fliers, networking, schedule,reputation.
Question 7: What elements do you think make up an attractive website home page that draws people in to find out more?
- Donna Schulz Rubens – I like simple front pages that are easy to navigate. Too much stuff on the front page looks messy to me. It should be brief with one or two pictures. I don’t like harsh colors or the use of different fonts. I don’t like waiting for flashy “flash” things to load and will not wait and move on to another page. I think with front pages, less is best.
- Andrea Donaldson Lythgoe – Make it personal, include your name and photo. Make it simple, no flashing, not crammed with stuff. NO MUSIC! Easy to navigate. No spelling mistakes.
- Donna Schulz Rubens – I have to add, if your website is about cakes, don’t put up a picture of a rabbit, lol. I have seem websites with pictures that have nothing to do with what the website is about. ; )
- Krystal Bartz – My home page is what’s current in my business life. It’s simple, clean and easy to navigate. My menu is always on top. I think your webpage is a reflection of you and your business. I have been to sites where they look like they have been slapped together with banners and free ads flashing “webpages in 5 minutes” (not for doulas, for other professions) and I exit as quickly as I entered.
- Krystal Bartz – Does everyone have a website to share? I’d love to see how you set yourselves up on the web. Mine is:
- Donna Schulz Rubens - www.VCBN.Homestead.com is mine for the birth network I started and I have done several doula sites for friends.
- Donna Schulz Rubens – Here are some I have done. I do them and the client has control over going in and changing things once I set it up. Not always what I would recommend but I think the client should have control and do what they want with their own site. www.donnascreativewebdesigns.com/Portfolio.html.
- Krystal Bartz – My husband is a web and graphic designer. For birthy sites he had only done mine but does lots of freelance stuff.
- Andrea Donaldson Lythgoe – Mine is www.pamperedbirth.com.
Here are a couple questions that haven’t received attention yet, so please chime in if you want to share your view:
Question 8: Do you live in a small community? How do you successfully promote your birth business?
Question 9: (for CBEs): How much do you charge for out-of-hospital childbirth classes and what part of the world are you at?
If you don’t do Facebook but want to chime in, feel free to add to the comments at the end of the post. In addition, if you have a burning question you want answered, either email me or post to the comments or on Facebook and ask away!