1. Don’t join a networking group
Ok, I confess. I used to view networking
groups with a wary eye and admittedly I’d still rather pluck the hairs from my
cats bottom than sign up to one of those suited and booted networking groups
where you ‘have’ to introduce a certain number of people each year and pass on
a certain amount of business. Ick!
However, times are changing and as more and
more people (and particularly more women) choose to be self-employed, lots of
small friendly networking groups have popped up across the country. And they
can actually be quite fun!
Fancy networking with other working mums? BizMums
have a growing community of meetups across the UK.
Based in the countryside? Visit the Women
in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) website to fine your nearest meeting.
Do your research, find a meeting that suits
your style, then take a deep breath and get networking. Don’t forget to take
some business cards!
2. Don’t bother creating a cover image for Facebook and Twitter
Your cover image is the first thing
potential customers see when they land on your Facebook page or Twitter profile
which makes it business promotion gold!
So, rather than just a plain image, use the
space to communicate your mission or values. If you’re running a special offer
or want to draw attention to a certain aspect of your business your cover photo
is a great place to really shout about it.
We often switch up the Nurturing Birth
social covers to reflect and promote what’s happening in the business at the
time. We use Canva to create our cover graphics, why not give it a try?
3. Never create a gift guide on your blog
Recommending products and services you like
and including an affiliate link is a great way to bring a little extra pocket
money into your business and as a doula you’re perfectly placed to signpost
your community to the books, equipment and tools you like to use. Visual gift
guides are a great way to display lots of products and services without a pushy
sales message in sight! Think inspirational and informative and let the images
do the rest!
4. Don’t sign up as an Amazon Associate
Going deeper into affiliate
opportunities… if there’s a product that your customers would love, chances
are it’s sold on Amazon. And if you have an Amazon account it’s quick, easy and
free to sign up as an Amazon Affiliate. Review books on your blog, create ‘best
of’ or ‘best for’ shopping or gift posts and link to the products you’re
talking about using your Amazon Associates account. If a customer clicks
through your link and buys, you’ll get a cut of the cash!
5. Never ever swap social media mentions with other businesses
Expand the reach of your content on social media by
tracking down other pregnancy, birth and baby businesses in your local area or
industry and asking them if they fancy doing a mutual shout-out. Ideally you’re
looking for people who have a similar target market to you, but sell different
products or services to your own.
Drop them a line to introduce yourself and ask if
they fancy sharing a recent post or even giving your latest blog post a shout
out on their social media in return for the same on yours. You’ll be surprised
how many people say yes!
As a doula, potential people to approach might be:
- Lactation Consultants
- Pregnancy and Baby Yoga Instructors
- Maternity, birth or Baby Photographers
- Hypnobirthing Practitioners
- Antenatal Class providers
6. Don’t ask for testimonials and even if you get them, don’t bother using them
When it comes to convincing potential customers
that you are all sorts of wonderful, nothing makes a bigger impression than client
testimonials. Testimonials Ask for them and use them everywhere you can. Got a
great Facebook Page review? Use it on your website, make memes using Canva and
share them on all your social media channels.
7. Do a disappearing act on your customers
Regular contact… and regular content
makes your customers feel safe, secure and connected with your business and
whilst life may sometimes get in the way (and family always comes first) try to
maintain regular contact with your customers.
Don’t pressure yourself though, find a
rhythm that suits you. Don’t have time for a weekly blog post or newsletter?
Aim for one a month. Taking some time off? Pop a post on your Facebook page
that says so, turn your out of office on and use scheduling tools like
Hootsuite or Later to post for you whilst you’re away.
8. Forget to set your alarm for customer-o’clock!
Do you know what time your customers are
online? Is it early morning or… right now? Take a look at your Facebook Page
Insights and schedule your posts when your stats are highest to reach more of
your crowd. With organic reach at an all-time low, it’s little considerations
like this that can give you a slight advantage!
To find out when traffic to Facebook page
peaks, go to your page, click on ‘Insights’ in the top menu then on
9. Keep your website and social media links totally secret
It sounds so simple doesn’t it? But you’d be amazed
at the number of people who don’t bother adding a signature block to the end of
their e-mails. C’mon doulas! You want potential customers to connect and
communicate with you? Tell them how to find you every time you have an
10. Avoid the press like the plague!
Getting coverage in local and national media can
get more eyes (and attract more clients) to your business. Be aware of relevant
event days and offer to provide relevant and informative content in advance. If
there’s a news story breaking that covers your industry then offer yourself for
Twitter is a great place to pick up press opportunities.
Check out these hashtags a few times a week for promotional opportunties:
or use them in your own
tweets to showcase your products and see if anyone would like to use them for
forthcoming gift guides.