No matter what kind of business I've run over the last 15+ years, both online and in my local community, I've learned that while there is a long, overwhelming list of marketing strategies and tactics that business owners can try, there are four in particular that have the biggest impact for birth professionals.
Just so you know before you get too far into this post, there are a few things in common with these strategies that are important to understand:
- While these strategies won't cost you a lot in dollars, they will take some time to implement and execute, particularly when you first start doing them.
- For the most part, plan to be doing these tasks for as long as you run your business.
- They are designed to provide insane value to your future clients and your community, which turns them into fans and friends and inspires them to refer you.
- These strategies are the absolute best ways to personalize a potential client's experience before they hire you. They get to know, like and trust you through your ability to connect with them.
Still with me? Okay, let's look at each strategy!
Build a highly engaged referral network
In business, you'll often find that what you know is not always as impactful as who you know when it comes to growing your client base. You've probably also heard that word-of-mouth referrals are pretty powerful, and that's because the person inquiring about your services got your name from someone you know who they already know, like and trust. That referral can eliminate all kinds of possible objections they might have had when it comes to hiring you, so the hiring process is quicker and easier.
How do you build this network? By connecting and nurturing relationships (giving value), one person at a time. Who is in this network? People you already know, current and former clients, and professionals all over your community (and not just in the birth world).
Let people in your community experience what you have to offer
Visibility is one of the big keys to getting clients. Look for opportunities for people to put a face with your name by volunteering your time with support groups, guest speaking for groups or events, offering free or low-cost workshops or creating support communities like birth circles or new parent groups, serving on committees with business groups and more. Being visible in your community also helps to grow your referral network!
By talking about your field of work, doing hands-on demonstrations, advocating for causes that mean a lot to you, or even just getting to know those in your community by working side-by-side with them, you strengthen that connection with people in your area, and you may even give potential clients a chance to "try before they buy."
Direct people to your online extension of you… your website
A birth pro's website, whether it's polished and looks gorgeous or is very simple, often has one glaring problem – content-wise, it's indistinguishable from everyone else's website. They all have the common "this is what a _________ does," a list of services that looks just like everyone else's, a bio that is a mini resume, and a contact page.
What these sites lack is the birth pro's personality. What makes the owner of one site different from the owner of another? What unique talents or personality traits does each birth pro have? Does the birth pro write blog posts so readers can get to know what the owner is thinking?
It's not that one birth pro is "better" than another; it's that online visitors can explore different websites and get to know a birth pro better. The sites that draw visitors in and gets them clicking around are the ones that are highly personalized – it not only showcases the business owner, but it also makes clear who that birth pro's audience is. If a visitor can identify with and feel a connection with a business owner through one's website, there's a higher likelihood that they will contact that birth pro for a deeper conversation.
High-value online marketing efforts
There are so many different places to connect online, from one's email inbox to a variety of social media channels and online forums, to YouTube videos and Pinterest. The birth pros that kill it online are those who know their target audience well and provide valuable content that followers… you guessed it… connect with.
They're the ones sharing curated content they know their followers love. They know how to create engagement (likes, comments, shares) by creating videos, compelling long-form text posts, or powerful images that their peeps love. They ask the right questions that people feel drawn to answer. They offer support in their own Facebook group. Birth pros might not do all of the above, but they discover what works best for them and get to work. They keep in touch with their clients and fans with their email newsletter.
And, these content creators leverage their referral network, blog posts and websites on their online marketing channels to help attract clients to their own businesses as well as to their referral partners (and that circles around later back to their own businesses again).
Your future clients are excited about meeting you, but they need to be able to find you, see you for the expert you are, and they want to get to know you before they pull the trigger. The more of these four marketing strategies you put into place for your business, the more effective you will become at attracting more potential clients and booking yourself out.
Need some help sorting through specific marketing activities so you can choose the best ones for you? Make sure to get your copy of the Unknown to Booked Out Roadmap!