Who to Contact
Starting this week and each and every week, introduce yourself to at least one new business person. Within your community, consider talking to:
- Professionals in your field
- Doctors and midwives
- Birth professionals outside your field - if you are a doula, contact some midwives or a childbirth educator in your area. If you are a childbirth educator, introduce yourself to local birth doulas. Find placenta encapsulators, belly cast and henna artists, pregnancy and birth photographers, postpartum doulas, and people who do blessingways.
- Holistic Health Providers such as naturopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, chiropractors and herbalists
- Bodywork Therapists such as massage therapists and reiki practitioners
- Owners of locally-owned baby stores, maternity stores, or herb stores
- Yoga instructors and prenatal/postpartum fitness experts
- Small business owners who provide services to women
- Nonprofit organizations and support groups leaders like La Leche League, Attachment Parenting International, postpartum support groups, other mom groups, and groups that can help mamas who need financial or emotional support.
- Expand your list to other service providers too - what about your realtor, hair stylist or eco-friendly pest control guy? They have pregnant clients too!
What to Say
Give a quick call or send an email to someone you're really interested in meeting and invite him or her out to coffee or ask if you could drop by his or her office for a brief meet and greet. Tell her a little about yourself, that you came across her website or heard about her from a colleague or friend, and that you'd like to meet with her to learn more about her services and tell her about yours. If you think you could possibly work together in some way, say that too.
The worst that can happen is that she declines your invitation, but most likely, she will be more than happy to make a new contact. It's beneficial for the both of you because you can both start referring clients to one another, and it's great to get to know about another person's passion and how their services can help you or your clients. If she is unable to meet, ask if it's a good time to talk and find out more about what she does, or request to call back at a time that works better for her.
What About Busy Doctor's Offices or Maternity Floors?
For some businesses like doctors offices, you may not be able to meet with a doctor or midwife, but you can call and ask if you can drop off business cards or brochures and perhaps meet with the office manager. For doctor's offices in particular, you might bring some goodies (like chocolate) to drop off. You can even drop off a basket of goodies to the nurses' station on the maternity floor of your local hospitals.
What To Do During and After the Meeting
In Ronnie Noize's guest post on IBP, she lays out all the steps to follow to have a great meeting. I recommend you download her Power Partners worksheet too. In addition to her suggestions, I also recommend that you add your new contacts to the resources list you have on your website with a link their website, and like their business pages on social media. Share their relevant events and informative articles with your social media followers. Get to know them, let them get to know you and what you're offering, and refer business to them.
If you can make one new contact every week, after a year you will have 52 business contacts with whom you can share referrals. And just think what would happen if you reached out to more than one new contact each week. How would that expand your network? A word-of-mouth referral is one of the most powerful marketing tools we can take advantage of, so start building your network today!
Who Do You Want to Network With?
Here's a goal for today: Make a list of 5 professionals that you would like to get to know better. Next to each person's name, write down why you would like them to be a part of your network. Then, contact one person on your list today and invite her to coffee or lunch next week.
Share your success with me by connecting with me and hundreds of birth professionals in the Inspired Birth Pros Facebook Group. If you already network this way, I would love to hear your story and any additional tips you have.
photo credit: striatic via photopin cc