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 cat’s 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 opportunity.
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 commentary.
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.