Connection. Could it be this is the missing link in successful birth work? In business? Our lives and our businesses flourish because of the connections we make and nurture. People will refer to and think about you because you've made a connection with them.
It's not because you dropped off cookies and brochures, it's not because of the one time they walked by your table at that baby fair. It's because you took the time to make a heartfelt connection. You touched something in them that said, "That doula is special."
So today, and tomorrow, and the next, when you're wracking your brain thinking, "Why am I not getting any inquiries?"... ask yourself:
Who have I made a connection with today?
Connecting with referral partners
When considering possible referral partners, think about people in your community who you'd like to get to know better. Reach out and ask if you can meet for 30 minutes to learn more about what they do and see if their services would be a good fit for your clients. Ask them to do a guest post on your blog or join you for a Q&A in your Facebook group.
With your existing referral partners, call or email them to check in. If you have any upcoming events, let them know about them, and ask if they have any new promotions you can share with your audience.
Finally, if you don't have a resources page on your website yet, create one and include your most favorite referral partners. Be sure to let them know they've been added to your site.
When you make an effort to forge relationships with other business people in your community to help their business, those people will start looking for ways to reciprocate.
Connecting after a baby fair or community event
When you're nervous about reaching out to those you met at that baby fair last weekend, if you can come from a place of "How can I serve?" rather than, "Hey, we should talk and see if you want to hire me," you'll be better able to communicate with them.
If you've gotten permission from people you met to add them to your email list, create a series of emails that offer them value and gets you into their mailbox over the course of a week or two.
Seeing you just one time at an event likely won't be enough to get them to hire you, much less remember you. Keep in mind that it takes an average of seven times of seeing your name and likeness before people will think about contacting you.
Connecting with past clients
Create a contact schedule to touch base with past clients. Do you send birthday cards to your clients and babies? Send an email to check in and see how they're doing. Share a link to an article that made you think of them. Ask them for their referrals.
We're all busy (especially when little people are involved) - if your past clients valued your services and love you, of course they want to help you out. By contacting them every few months, you remind them you're around and they're more likely to remember to tell their friends about you.
Connecting through your website
Your website should be doing your heavy lifting. Check your analytics to see how many visits you're getting. Learn some easy tricks to optimize your site so you show up higher in search engine results. See what other changes to your site can help people share your blog posts. Ask yourself (or get some opinions) - does your site draw people in? Do visitors understand the results you can get them, and are those results compelling enough to contact you?
Your website is open 24/7. Do you remember the time you were up at 2 a.m. researching a new product or service? It's super important to make sure your online home is working hard to introduce you to your potential clients.
Connecting in an email or blog post
When your mind is spinning because you don't know what to write in your newsletter or blog post, consider these questions:
What really matters to my ideal clients?
What keeps them up at night when it comes to pregnancy, birth, and beyond?
What do I want to take a stand about with regard to my ideal clients?
...then write about your responses because that's what's going to connect with the people who are meant to work with you.
Connecting through email and blog posts are an excellent way for people to get to know you and the way you think. They will connect with your humor or sarcasm, get some valuable tips from you, and the more you communicate to your email subscribers and blog readers, the higher the chance that some of them will want to hire you.
Connecting through social media
How social are you in social media? In Facebook groups, are you being of service by answering questions or sharing helpful information (good), or are you spamming people with your stuff (bad)? Are you sharing your blog posts? Are you sharing what your referral partners are up to? Think about how you are connecting with people or pushing people away.
Combining social media, your email list, and your website is a trifecta of connection potential. Learn how to use them to your advantage.
Connection is one of the keys to gaining more clients. If you're not as successful as you'd like, it's time to make more connections.