Booking out your childbirth classes can take a lot of work, especially if you're competing with inexpensive hospital-based classes that require a much lower time commitment from couples. Here are a few tips to help you promote your classes.
Who is your ideal student?
First and foremost, you need to understand the type of people who benefit from your specific course vs. others that are around town. What need are you filling that other classes can't? Create an ideal client avatar that describes your one perfect student. Does she enjoy green juices, yoga and Reiki? Does she appreciate knowing what her options are and spends her free time researching facts online? Do you want to work with teen moms or same-sex couples? If you teach a particular method, what is it about the method that appeals to your ideal student.
Write up a profile of your ideal client (or couple) so you understand who you're talking to, where she does business, what her lifestyle is like and what her objectives are. Figure out where she hangs out online and whether she has a doctor or midwife. What kind of job does she have and what does she do in her free time? This picture is going to drive everything you do next.
How will your ideal student benefit from your classes?
What problem does your ideal student have that your classes will solve? Lack of knowledge about the process? Fear of the unknown? Worried about knowing how to help partner? Identify the problems your students have.
How will she and her partner feel after attending your classes? Increased confidence because she has more knowledge? Relief because mom feels her partner has tools to help her? Write down how your students will transform by taking your classes.
What to do with this information
Website updates: Now that you know who you're talking to, where they hang out and what their hobbies are, update your website and talk to your ideal client. If you just have a list of what students will learn, you'll need to add how they will feel and what they will gain from taking a class from you. What will understanding the risks and benefits of various medications do for them? How will a birth rehearsal help the birth partner? Help your ideal students who are visiting your website understand why your class is perfect for them.
Connect with other birth pros: Get in touch with area doulas and care providers about your classes. Offer to meet with them to educate them about your course and see if they'd be willing to hand out your brochures or list you as a resource on their website. Is there a professional doula group in your area that meets regularly? See if you can do a presentation so you can not only introduce your classes, but you can explain to them who your ideal student is so they recognize the perfect referral for you. Also consider who of these professionals you would be willing to refer, and add them to your own resource list.
Grow your referral list of other types of professionals: Who does your ideal client do business with? Are they taking prenatal fitness classes? Do they need to buy a new house for their growing family? Will they need a women's health physical therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist? Do they need to be personally fitted for nursing bras? A hair stylist that stays away from toxic chemicals? Personal chef or nanny placement company? Brainstorm a list of 100 professionals who your ideal client might use or need and start making contacts.
Offer free talks or mini-classes for the community: Choose a topic that you cover in depth in your classes and do a free talk on the topic. What does your ideal student really want to know? [Hint: I've noticed topics that involve partners are well-received] Partner with another professional who works with pregnant women, or approach baby stores to see if they have guest speakers present. Get a room at the library or community center or offer to have a meeting for members of your church congregation. See if there are any meetups for expectant moms and ask if you can present, or create a monthly meetup.
Anita Hernandez of Dulce Birthing Services shared the following in the Inspired Birth Pros Facebook group:
I had great success with my (free) class… 15 couples signed up and actually showed! It was titled, "Getting Ready for the Big Day." I focused on labor coping techniques and partner support. I used a friends studio/office for free space and I had local vendors donate prizes for fun. (Cost-wise) I was out only the snacks and copies I printed at home, so about $20. But I gained business from it!!!
Have a birth story night: Once you've taught some classes, invite past students to come and share their positive birth stories as a theme for one of your meet-ups or mini-classes. It could be a whole event or maybe just one couple who shares during a portion of the class.
As you can see, most of the tips here involve getting out in your community to either network with other professionals who can send you referrals, or meet and interact directly with potential students (this works for individual clients too!). Your website is a necessary tool to inform people about your offerings and tell them who you are, but what has the most impact is you going out, connecting with others and educating people about what you do. Filling your classes will take active participation on your part.
What have you done that has helped increase your class enrollment? What will you commit to doing this week to get the word out about your classes? Comment below or share with us in the Facebook group.