50 Ways to Market your Midwife Business
Marketing is essential for branding and success of your practice. Unless you buy an already established practice with huge customer base, midwives need to market their services to the target market. Knowing your competitor and what you have different than them will be placed in the marketing campaign. Do you offer a unique service to area (pelvic floor rehab or sexual health therapies)? Do you offer insurance coverage for care while competitors are all cash basis for home birth? Do you have training and licensure that allows you to offer more value during care?
Midwives offer expertise in normal birth. Physicians, like Family Practice doctors and Obstetricians, get training in medical management of birth. They are great at caring for sick women, but midwives give high quality, family focused care. Birth is a normal process, make your marketing revolve around that!
Here is an extended list of marketing examples to get your business going or bring it to the next level of branding:
1 . Facebook: you can post or pay for ads to bring people to your website. Getting involved in closed groups and commenting on conversations will help create your brand and expertise in the midwifery community.
- Twitter: I am not as familiar with this option, but similar marketing tactics as Facebook.
- Linkedin: professional online networking community allow you to connect with other businesses and people of like minded goals
- Website: getting Google search engines to find you is a complex algorithm of different levels of exposure. Making a website with valid content stressing your skills and services allows people to find you.
- Community business network groups: networking and referring people to each other businesses only creates a stronger business community in your area. Brag about your knowledge and available services.
- Business cards: always carry your business card to pass out at family get-togethers, doctor appointments for kids, stopping to bank to deposit checks, or run errands at the grocery store. You never know when your contact information on a professional looking card will be warranted.
- Radio ads: focusing on your target market like podcasts about home births, midwives, natural parenting, or controversial topics like vaccinations will get your awareness out.
- Mail Chimp: an automated marketing platform and email marketing service
- Newsletter: creating your own articles and sponsorship collaborations with other businesses to educate the community awareness is vital
- Health Fairs: attending expos and exhibits to network and put a table for consumers to learn about your services can do wonders short and long term
- Giveaways: free births or tubs to use for water births gets everyone talking. people love free and will spread the word of your business for you.
- Hand Sanitizer Containers: having a goody to disperse that has your logo and promotes clean hygiene is always a great way to brand your name
- Billboards: having a large sign next to a high way where millions of people see your logo and business name can make your customer list grow by leaps and bounds.
- Warm Market: friends and family already trust you and want to see you succeed. Let them be your cheerleader to the community. At family get togethers, brag about your services and what you are working on to promote women’s health care.
- Road Side Signs: it is a cheap and very effective way to put your message in almost any yard. Have your past patients, friends, family, and collaborating businesses place a yard sale type sign with your logo, message, and contact information.
- Open houses: having a beautiful facility like an office or birth center should be shown off to the community. Have a “Meet the Midwife and Muffins” night to informally open your doors to the public for a tour will get you lots of clients. Women want the bed she can see for birth compared to a hospital bed. Tours show what the homelike environment is really all about.
- Postcards: Vistaprint has amazing business marketing tools at affordable prices. I am part of their email list and get coupon codes sent to me a couple times a month. Take advantage of mailing out post cards with your current service promotion with class. You can purchase mailing lists, pay Vistaprint to mail out the cards to a specific population, or google search business addresses you would like to directly connect with.
- Mailing campaigns: hiring a marketing company to send out MASSIVE flyers or postcards is a great branding technique in the beginning or wanting to branch into new services. You can focus on specific populations, income types, educational backgrounds, zip codes, and so much more.
- Mom Groups: getting connected with a home school group in the area, mom to mom garage sale Facebook group, or local support groups for working mothers can really create a trusting personalized connection to your market.
- College class presentation: going to local colleges and talking with nursing students about midwifery, business students about running your own business, health professional degrees about maternity history in United States always gets your business promoted. You also will change the next generation of consumers about normal birth options available.
- In Network Insurance Status: many people will see a positive pregnancy test and instantly search for a care provider. She may call her friends, mother, or Primary Care Provider for suggestions. With rising health care costs, increasing numbers of women are calling their insurance company to find out who is in network in their area. Especially if they want a midwife, I was the ONLY choice with insurance plans in our area to choose from. That made the decision pretty easy when they knew midwifery was the care for them and they wanted their insurance plan to cover it!
- Radio Talks: I was invited to a Chiropractor’s podcast and interviewed for over an hour about politics behind birth in United States, hot topics like circumcision, medical management vs physiological birth, water births, and so much more. It was a great way to get my expertise out into the community and patients using a chiropractor were already one step closer to picking an alternative care provider for birth.
- Networking: my favorite professions to connect with to learn about each other’s businesses were Chiropractors, Naturopaths, privately run Primary Care Offices, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, and schools. Pick places where consumers already fit midwifery philosophy of care.
- Parades: I would walk with my team in community parades during 4th of July, seasonal traditional events, or any celebration the area was having. Handing out candy to kids while handing parents a brochure got exposure to thousands of people. Your smiling face during a positive event really sets the stage for success!
- Flyers: creating large posters to place at schools and supportive business offices, like chiropractors, doctor clinics, and yoga studios, really placed a repetitive exposure for families to see.
- You Tube Videos: make 3-5min videos educating about midwifery, touring birth center, testimonials, tips and suggestions for discomforts of labor and pregnancy, and demystifying what a midwife brings to a home birth are all great topics to get your expertise out onto consumer computer screens when browsing.
- T-shirts: this is one of my favorite options. Staff can be given them at orientation, patients can be given one after delivery while really on a high from your services, and they can be sold at your boutique shop for additional revenue. T-shirts are walking billboards. My husband almost always wears a shirt supporting midwifery. He gets lots of comments and people stopping him to learn more, especially being a man!
- Pay per clicks: Google, Facebook, You Tube, and so many more have options to pay for your ad to be put on top of search page or to pop up as ads during videos that potential customers are watching.
- Testimonials: personalized comments that families leave about your amazing practice are vital. Potential consumers wanted to hear it repeated from established patients: this midwife is amazing, pick her!
- Blogs: talk about anything. The passion and knowledge I have about midwifery topics gets awareness of what my practice’s mission is all about. Your blog can be informational, inspirational, or interactive to get families engaged. Blog posts can be shared and can spread information about your business quite quickly.
- Pens: everyone uses pens. They can last for years and will continue to keep getting your name out there. Make sure you spend the extra money and get pens that don’t partially wear your message as people use it. Last thing you want is name half present and look sloppy. People will get a subconscious image of your business being that way, too.
- Referrals: treat others how you want to be treated. Good care is worth its weight in gold. Women will not stop talking about their amazing experience at your clinic to friends and family. Quality care trumps cost factors any day of the week!
- Brochures: place details of your services and brand in a well designed pamphlet to place in educational packets to patients, hand out to family and friends, and provide to other businesses to set out for other people to grab.
- Onsies: babies get TONS of picture in the beginning. Having a new shirt from a birth center stating, “born at [birth center],” with your logo will be seen by anyone looking at this adorable, new baby face.
- Accredited Organizations listing you on their website: American College of Nurse Midwives has a website that lists midwifery practices all over the United States. American Association of Birth Centers also has a similar registry. Local midwifery chapters, like “Michigan Midwive’s Association,” has their own website with practices listed for consumers to easily view with a click of a button.
- Doulas: Midwives and doulas are sister professions. We both support women during labor, but in different aspects. Becoming friends with your local doulas will greatly increase your professional referrals. If a women chooses a doula, she has already decided she needed additional support during labor.
- Calendars: life is busy and if a family can have a helpful resource on their fridge to organize the hectic weekly tasks that has your name and logo on it, all the better. Repeated exposure from a colorful calendar gets your brand in everyone’s home.
- TV Ads: I spent minimal amount of money to get on PBS Station to have my ad play for 30 seconds during the show “Call the Midwife.” How perfect was it for consumers to be interested in this historical show about midwives, just to find out that a local practice offering those unique services was right next door!
- Car Magnets: it is amazing the comments you can get waiting at a stop light in the summer time. I love fresh air and rarely use the air conditioner. With your window down and having a midwife sign on your car door, I had phenomenal response of people telling me their birth stories with the use of a midwife. Some people would honk in support and smile as I went by.
- Certifications: having professional certifications or practicing national licensures really branded professionalism, security in a less usual choice for birth, and awareness of what skills were present with a midwife’s practice. Getting Neonatal Resuscitation certification or birth center accreditation only strengthens the public’s confidence in you!
- Magnets: business card magnets with your contact information were great to hand out at the first prenatal visit. Stressed out dads during labor had a concrete number to call that had been listed on the fridge for nine months. Anyone that came over to the house saw your business name on the fridge.
- Classes offered at the clinic or birth center: having free educational events, childbirth classes, support groups, or tours of the practice create consistent exposure that people in community can rely on to learn more. Current patients could bring families to these classes to help get support for choosing your clinic and get other women interested in your services.
- Sign outside of the office: when people drive by your clinic, it is a free billboard that can show your presence in the community. Birth centers have a huge advantage over home birth practices. There is a building attached to their midwifery entity that all the world can see versus a car doing home visits.
- Award bragging: Midwifery Matters, only CNM birth center in Michigan at that time was given some prestigious awards from ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives). We submitted our birth statistics yearly to this national organization. There were awards for good outcomes, high breastfeeding rates, low amount of postpartum hemorrhages, and some other important markers with birth statistics. Our practice won almost every recognition possible. We were ranked with some large, national midwifery practices and really stood out for years to come with our brand. It was used to help promote legislative change for birth centers and midwives in Michigan, promote safety of our practice to skeptical community members, and helped negotiate contracts with insurance companies.
- Stress balls: women during labor want something to squeeze, whether it is her husband’s hand or a squishy ball. Why not put your name on that useful tool so mothers can take it home as a sweet keep sake from her birth experience?
- Conferences or educational events: whether your practice hosts this event for others to attend or you network at local community events. Like minded individuals will be more likely to use your services and refer others to what is being created in the area.
- Branding: anywhere you go, talk about your business. Be passionate and the message will always shine through. This is your baby and everyone should know about your services!
- Henna art: host a free event where pregnant women can have gorgeous art work placed on their bellies, hands, and feet. You can choose to have your logo incorporated into the design or give unique henna art that women will brag about for weeks before it fades. It is always a great conversation piece.
- Waiting room slideshows: Having a TV running your tips, fun facts, staff bios, and lists of available services is a great way to advertise. Pregnant women repeatedly come into your office for care and will learn something new you offer each time they are waiting to hear their baby’s heart beat again. Why not have them learn you offer well women care after the baby is born?
- Photography: having families provide you candid first moments of family together after baby is born in the water can be priceless for advertising. These are local families really had the ecstatic births that many dream of. Let your family’s tear of joy and smiling faces brag about your midwifery practice. Place the pictures throughout the clinic, on Facebook posts, newsletters, and email subscriptions.
- Donate to charities: giving back helps the less fortunate, creates great tax deductions for your business, and gets your name out there as a giving, positive image to the community. Staff going green and picking up trash on Earth Day should be promoted on blogs, posts, and practice walls.
- Precepting students: if your practice can support a student and still give amazing care, consider the benefits. You will exposure students (especially nursing students) to a world many are very unfamiliar to. Changing the next generation to birth requires exposures to other options for obstetric clinicals than large scale hospital birth assembly lines.
This is just a sample list of possible marketing tools and techniques available. Be creative and anything is possible with promoting your business. No matter the budget, awareness can be made. Many things on this list takes time while others require more resources, like finances. Some ideas will work better than other depending on the end goal for your practice. Repetition to some form of marketing will really determine how quickly your success is accomplished!