Whether you are trying to get your birth business off the ground or you are simply trying to ensure that you have covered all of your bases, finding new clients is important. This is particularly true when you realize that even with repeat customers in this business, the vast majority of your clients will only use your services two or three times at most. This increases the need for finding a new customer base or a way to continually generate customer leads.
The Internet is a great place to find new pregnant or birthing families that may be interested in your services. Here are a few of the many ways that you can help them connect with your services.
1. Have a Web Presence
For most people, this may be a website. Your website can be a free page, or it can be a paid page. It simply needs to have some basic information about your business, about you, and about the services you offer. If you teach childbirth classes – do you describe what type of classes and what certifications you hold? If you are a birth or postpartum doula, do you talk about what areas you serve?
2. Participate in Local Forums
Nearly all local communities will have a Facebook group or other local forum where parents gather to talk about pregnancy, baby, and parenting related topics. If not, this is a great way for you to start one. The key here is that this is not a place to actively promote your services, even if you are the owner of the group. You should answer a few questions here and there and establish yourself as an expert – then when someone says: Where is a doula? With whom should I take childbirth classes? Other people will say your name.
3. Have a Pinterest Board for Local Resources
If you have a Pinterest account, create a board that contains links to a variety of baby-related resources in your area, including your services. You might consider linking to local parenting groups, La Leche League Meeting schedules, various hospitals or birth center pages, local baby shops – anything you think is pertinent and that you would actively feel comfortable promoting. You can also link to informational pieces here – even if it’s your own blog post. Think about things like Local Hospital Cesarean Rates, Questions to Ask a Pediatrician, etc. Here is an example of a very basic local board.
4. Ensure You are Getting Referrals from Certification Organizations
This seems like a no-brainer, but many times you might not realize that you have out of date information at your certifying organization. I suggest that twice a year you put it on your calendar to go to the organizations that you are a part of and search for yourself. Is your email address correct? Is everything spelled correctly? Does your website link work? Mistakes happen, letters get transposed – just double-check. If there is an error, get it corrected.
5. Join Referral Resources
Another place that you may not have thought to get referrals are online referral sources that are not your certifying organization. This might be a local birth network, or organizations like DoulaMatch.net (They do both doulas and childbirth classes, despite the name.). There may be membership fees involved but they are usually not much money. If you decide to invest, be sure that you track where your referrals come from so that you can decide if it’s worth the investment next year. Though I generally recommend that you wait at least two years where possible, to see if you think it’s viable.
Implementing even one of these ideas will increase the likelihood that you will receive more referrals. A good referral tracking system is a must to monitor where you are getting your referrals from for future reference.
Want more great business advice? Check out our sister site: 100% Doula Business Blog