Marketing a midwifery practice is incredibly important. You can have the greatest product in the world, but this doesn’t matter if no one knows you exist. Admittedly there are midwives whose practices are well established and they are content with their current client volumes. But there are many others who are just starting out or who want to expand their outreach, perhaps even add another midwife to their team. If you want to your practice to grow, this post is for you.
Many midwives have tight budgets and opt to do their own marketing to save on costs. This might save money at the outset but isn’t the best strategy for the long term. I challenge you to think about how much faster your practice could grow with a proper marketing campaign run by an expert. Budget a portion of your overhead to marketing from the beginning. A rough estimate is that 5% of your incoming revenue should go towards marketing until you hit the point where you have a waiting list or don’t want to continue expanding.
The majority of midwifery clients are 20- 35 years old and born in the digital era, so most are very tech savvy. They can probably be found on social media platforms every day. In today’s world there are many ways to reach them. You can create very affordable, highly impactful marketing campaigns with a great website and by engaging on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to promote your services. Posting on some of these is ostensively free but can consume a lot of your time, while other platforms have a cost associated when you create ads or provide content to be widely distributed. Depending on your skill set and time constraints, it may make sense to hire a marketer whose job is to manage these for you. The way that I look at it, if a midwife can hire someone for less than $100/hr it is worth the investment – this saves the midwife from having to do the research and actively engage in the project; that time can be better spent seeing clients and being at births. Our time is our most valuable asset, and we, as midwives, should focus on midwifery, not on building a website or keeping up with social media.
Before starting a marketing campaign you first want to assess the community you’re trying to reach. This will be essential as you design your logo and plan for the type of branding you want, to guarantee that your outreach conveys both your services and your overall mission. The next step is to decide where to direct your marketing budget to get the best “bang for the buck.” Think about where you are at now with your practice and where you want to go. Do you want to expand current resources, add to your team, or introduce new services to the community? Do you want to transition from a home birth practice to a birth center practice? Do you want to transition from cash paying clients to insurance contracted clients? There are many things to consider, and having an expert as part of your team will make those answers easier to find. There are also great resources available to help with marketing, even marketing companies specific to the midwifery business; Messmer Marketing and Wild World Momma are among my favorites.
If you’re not yet ready to hire a marketing company, you can start small by getting in the habit of running simple marketing campaigns aimed at finding your ideal clients and expanding your service market. Make a goal of networking with at least one new person every week. Send out a survey to past clients to ask how your practice might better fit the community’s needs. Run an ad in your local newspaper’s online platform. Set aside an hour each week to visit Facebook groups aimed at midwifery-minded potential clients where you can promote your expertise and direct them towards your services. Small and simple acts such as these, especially when done consistently and purposeful in nature, can have a big impact on any midwifery practice.
If this post has roused your interest, please consider taking this great online course that expands upon the many ways to market a midwifery practice on any budget: 50 Ways to Market a Midwifery Practice | Empowering Midwifery (teachable.com)