With the huge emphasis placed on social media these days you could be forgiven for thinking that all other forms of small business marketing pale into insignificance. And sure, social media platforms do offer the opportunity to reach thousands of users. But are the majority of those users your potential customers?
If you’re a doula, baby photographer, lactation consultant or other pregnancy, birth or baby professional looking to target a mainly local audience, social media isn’t the be all and end all of your marketing options.
In fact, there are actually lots of other really effective other ways promote your doula business. Here are some of our favourites.
1. Harness the power of SEO and optimise your website for local searches
3.5 billion searches are made on Google every day and according to stats, roughly four out of five people use search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to find local services. Optimising your website for local search results can make a huge difference to the number of people who discover your business online. And the best news, SEO is free!
Here’s how it works. Search engine ‘spiders’ crawl your website on a regular basis and use the content to understand who you are, what you do, where you are based and who you serve. To help them understand these things make sure the words on your website make these things ultra clear.
Here’s an example: <Your name here> is a birth and post-natal doula based in <where you live here>, I offer a variety of pregnancy, birth and baby services, including <a few examples here>.
If you’re a local yoga studio offering pregnancy or baby yoga, make sure Google knows it by using words such as: From gentle pregnancy yoga to bouncing baby yoga classes <Your name or business name> welcomes all to our yoga studio in <your location here>.
2. Try out a local networking event
That’s right, it’s time to go meet some actual people! Local networking events are a great place to spread the word about your biz with other local business owners. Pick the right meeting and you might also have the opportunity to investigate potential collaborations and even make some fab new business besties.
There are probably several dozen networking groups within your county and whilst not all might suit your personality or your business there’s bound to be a good fit closer to home than you think.
4Networking offers UK-wide events with over 5000 active groups, whilst BNI boasts over 12,000 members across the country.
Female only and mums networking meetings are also on the rise. BizMums offer small meetups across much of the country, as do the Mumpreneurs Networking Club and the Mums in Business Association.
Take along a smile and a fistful of business cards, who knows what might come of it!
3. Get your biz listed in local and niche directories
Listing your business in respectable local directories can help to get more eyes on your website and also helps to boost your SEO. Check with your local newspaper’s website and Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a local business directory you can get listed on. You can also do a search on Google using the phrase: <your city> business directory.
Once you’re listed locally, try searching for online directories that specialise in your niche, like our own Nurturing Birth Directory! Type <Your niche> business directory into Google to get started.
4. Consider advertising in your local paper
Local papers often have a small but very loyal readership which makes print advertising within your local or regional paper potentially worthwhile. If you think your ideal customer might be a newspaper reader, it’s well worth looking into the opportunities on offer. Poppy Rose Matless is an Advertising Agent on the Eastern Daily Press in Norfolk and gave us this advice:
“Local advertising provides lots of great benefits, here at the EDP we reach over 100k readers a day. We treat each client as an individual, when a business buys an advertising slot we’ll design a full colour advert to the exact size they need, free of charge. We feed back to them so they can make changes and have full input in the design process – this service alone can save our advertisers several hundred pounds.”
5. Invest in a direct mail campaign
Door drop leaflets are an excellent to showcase your services to the local community. According to research from the Royal Mail, 35% of recipients respond to door drop leaflets and 30% of recipients made a purchase as a direct result of having read a direct mail leaflet.
Use a local designer to whip you up a postcard sized leaflet or jump onto Canva and create your own. Whilst you’re on there, why not whizz together a few posters and see if you can display them in prominent spots around your local area.
6. Exhibit at local baby shows
Pregnancy and baby shows can be a great way to get your business in front of local mums and mums-to-be. But they can also be costly. There will be an exhibitor fee to pay and then you have to hire a table. You’ll also need plenty of leaflets, business cards and perhaps a pop-up banner to attract attention. Before you sign up, do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask the organiser questions about expected visitor numbers. If you know similar businesses who have attended previous shows get in touch and ask how it went for them.