Midwives: how did you start your business? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 44 Old 11-09-2008, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, good idea! I'd forgotten about that tip, which I heard a long while back.

Mama to ds#1 (7) and a ds#2 (1 1/2)
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#32 of 44 Old 11-10-2008, 08:04 PM
 
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a word of caution on that though is that many women may find that intrusive and could be turned off by that. (the cards in books). Also- many libraries or stores may get mad about it- some people have even been banned from the stores! (read that on a doula forum).

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#33 of 44 Old 11-16-2008, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to follow-up to this thread and say that I finally got a better placement in the search engines this past week (YAY for meta words !! , and I've already had 2 inquires for my services! YAY!

Mama to ds#1 (7) and a ds#2 (1 1/2)
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#34 of 44 Old 11-16-2008, 09:05 PM
 
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I just wanted to follow-up to this thread and say that I finally got a better placement in the search engines this past week (YAY for meta words !! , and I've already had 2 inquires for my services! YAY!
That's awesome, Reha!! Congrats! :

Sprat , Certified Professional Midwife, loved very much by Sprig , the most open-minded, loving, gentle man in the world, little Sprout and now someone new! on begins with .
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#35 of 44 Old 11-17-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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that's awesome!

Mama to bftoddler.gifand belly.gif

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#36 of 44 Old 11-17-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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That's great. I have gotten one client since we started this thread and a lot more hits to my website. I wasn't able to use the meta tag thing, because of the type of program that I am using to build my website.

Comforts of Home Midwifery

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#37 of 44 Old 11-18-2008, 10:24 AM
 
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Another thing you can do is to use google analytics, which lets you know what search terms are leading people to your website, where they are clicking from (to let you know which of your listings is working) and which of your pages they are interested in.

I have not had huge success with marketing directly to birthing families via things like business cards sprinkled liberally, attending birth fairs, etc. Being listed in every local and national internet directory available to me has helped. I get lots of referrals from birth network and birthpartners.

What has been more helpful for me is developing relationships with the other people who are working in childbirth in the area. Have an OB who helped out a client of yours? Send a thank you letter. Host a doula support group or throw a party for childbirth educators, doulas, and other midwives. When you get the people who are excited about birth to be aware of your awesomeness, then they tend to talk about you. And if they happen to think you are awesome because you make a mean guacamole? Doesn't really matter.

The other thing that I think has worked for some of the practices in my area is to host some kind of continuing community for women who have come through their practice. I get lots of referrals from one particular playgroup that has lots of 2 and 3 year olds in it -- a lot of those women are having 2nd and 3rd babies. One local birth center has a pretty huge yahoogroup that serves as a nucleus of the local ap community. In many cases these groups can come to include people from the wider community who haven't used your services.

Good luck! I'm in my 3rd year of practice and feel like I'm just hitting my stride, but it does happen!

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#38 of 44 Old 11-18-2008, 10:58 AM
 
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Unfortunately no one teaches childbirth classes here except me. My former preceptor is the only midwife in the area. And we have one doula who does hospital births and doesn't recommend home birth. (She also works at one of the hospitals as a LC as well.) So it is really hard to promote myself in that area. I am going to a LLL meeting on Thursday both to promote business and because I am going to start BFing in January and haven't done it in over 9 years.

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#39 of 44 Old 12-19-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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Unfortunately no one teaches childbirth classes here except me. My former preceptor is the only midwife in the area. And we have one doula who does hospital births and doesn't recommend home birth. (She also works at one of the hospitals as a LC as well.) So it is really hard to promote myself in that area. I am going to a LLL meeting on Thursday both to promote business and because I am going to start BFing in January and haven't done it in over 9 years.
Do you think the other midwife would be willing to refer women to you if she gets overbooked, or maybe if the woman can't afford her fees? (I'm assuming you'll charge less since you're just starting out).

Erin~ Mommy to 3 curly-headed children and expecting #4 in December. ***4***8***12**16***20***24***28***32***36***40**
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#40 of 44 Old 12-19-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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As a matter of fact, I just got my second client from her. We travel pretty far for clients sometimes. Well, she was in communication with a woman who was thinking of hiring her that lives about 3 hours south of us. She got a call from a former client that is pregnant again. This will be her 5th birth with the other midwife, but she lives 2 hours north of here. And they are due around the same time. The midwife felt that 5 hours away from each other was too far to possibly have them in labor at the same time, so she referred the first woman to me. So now I have 2 clients. Yea!!!

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#41 of 44 Old 04-21-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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This is a tip that I have been trying to get my website noticed more and listed higher up on the search engines. Google (or use whatever search engine you like, I actually did this on many search engines) things like Rockport midwife, Corpus Christi midwife (nearest big city), Texas midwife. This will #1 see how high up you are on the search. It also will help you find different sites like yellowpages.com, WebMD, Doctor.com, Local.com etc. You can list yourself free on these. On the Dr. sites, it is a multiple choice on profession. My title wasn't listed, so I selected CNM. I then immediately contact tech support and let them know that I had selected an incorrect job title because they didn't have mine listed. They then add it for you. I have been coming up higher on the search engines and also with multiple listings.

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#42 of 44 Old 12-06-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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I wanted to bump up this thread again.

I am trying to get my new practice up and running now. I have gained a few clients, which I think is a great start. I am trying to build a very solid practice though, so I am trying to do as much as I can right now. I moved to an area that has not had a homebirth midwife for quite some time, so I am mainly just focusing on getting the word out that I am even here. Here are a few of the things that I am doing:

1. craigslist ads. Once a month I am posting an ad on my local craigslist. I do get quite a few website hits this way and have gotten a few contacts and 1 client this way as well. Totally free

2. I have a website and have worked to try to get it bumped up in searches. It still isn't coming up the best, but my profile for birthpartners.com comes up right away in a search for a midwife in my area and through that people can find my website. I have submitted my site to all the free directories that I can find and have paid for a few as well. I am keeping track with google analytics to see which ones actually bring about website hits compaired to which are wastes of my money.

3. I have been putting business cards out at local businesses.

4. I recently got 200 free postcards from vistaprint that I typed out a message on. Just stating who I am and what services I am providing and I am sending them to all the local chiropractors, herbalists, massage therapists, etc.

5. I sent out an email to childbirth educators and doulas letting them know who I am and what I do. Most are quite a distance from me, there are only 3 doulas here who are not affiliated with the hospitals and there are no childbirth educators down here, just more up in the metro area.

So, that is kind of where I am. I am considering a few things as my next steps. I would love to hear from people who have tried these things as to if they work or not:

1. Offer free childbirth education classes. They could be geared towards homebirth or not.... I am not sure which would be more beneficial for getting my information out. The ONLY childbirth education in my community is through the hospitals so far.

2. hosting a movie night once a month, focusing mostly on homebirth movies. This could get pricey though.

3. Starting a homebirth meet-up style group. it would be nice to grow that community down here as Minneapolis/St Paul has a large homebirthing community and it is quite a bit smaller here.


Any other ideas? What has worked for everyone else?

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#43 of 44 Old 12-06-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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Contact and get your info to ALL the local health food stores, chiro's, natural path doc's, lactation consultants, doula's, childbirth educator, pregnancy & baby photographers, pediatricians, pregnancy centers, wic offices, health departments, play groups, maternity & baby/kids shops, local Birth Networks, local Yahoo/Goggle and meetup groups. Babies/Toys R Us usually do a once a month informational thing that maybe you could do. See if there are any baby expo's or craft fairs where you can set up a booth and do them. Trade links with any one who has a website. Check with all the local Cities to see if they have a once a month venue that you could attend. Get into every news letter/paper you can.
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#44 of 44 Old 12-12-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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Our local newspaper oftentimes writes articles about new businesses in town. If it's a slow news day, new businesses have even made front page. :P

Try having a facebook page for your business.

If you have a space to use, host movie nights, prenatal yoga classes, bellydancing classes, knitting groups, reading groups, childbirth education and breastfeeding classes. Communicate with food co-ops, peace groups, etc. Put fliers up at churches, natural foods markets, pharmacies that provide alternative medicine, coffee shops, clinics, public assistance offices, daycares, YWCA, YMCA, and other gyms. If you're supportive of the LGBTIQQ community, advertise at their gathering places. If you feel comfortable providing support to teen moms, advertise where the teens may be.

Wherever you put your information, be sure to get brochures/fliers regarding what services they offer, too!
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