Networking & Marketing Midwifery
Marketing your practice can’t be stressed enough how important it is. In general, businesses can’t survive without consumers knowing about their products and services. There are many ways to market, but want to focus on the power of referrals and networking. Midwives have high patient satisfaction scores and really need to take advantage of our established families power to support the practice. Many midwife businesses need to invest heavily funds into marketing when starting up. With time, that need for marketing costs will decrease due to power of this referral system in place. Our goal is in time your practice will have a waiting list and not put a dime into marketing costs!
Women are gold when it comes to marketing your skills and business. Whether you have a home birth practice, birth center practice, women’s health clinic, or breastfeeding clinic,referrals will dominate your incoming phone call requests. It takes time for that. Treat your women with respect, phenomenal care, and remind them to post reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google, and your website will also accelerate that referral marketing technique. Have raffles and giveaways for mothers that post a review. Have a survey mailed or in office that families can complete and ask permission to post their feedback.
In the beginning, take the time to meet with local business that would be a potential at referring to your office. Learn about their business and create value for them but sending referrals to their practice. Alternative friendly health care practices like chiropractors and naturopaths really are great cross referral options to be connected with. Great options to also connect with are yoga instructors, massage therapy office, herbalists, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultations, and hair dressers. The last one was a gem for me! There are so many women that regularly go to get their hair done. Hair stylists talk with LOTS of women!!! Get your advertising material at lots of hair salons and buy the staff lunch and talk about your services in more details.
Other great starting points for networking are private Family Practice offices where OB/gyn services are referred out. Obstetricians and Pediatricians would be more creating collaboration relationships. Obstetric providers may refer to you if a patient is adamant about transferring to a home birth practice and now doctor knows of a reputable place to refer to. Many larger system doctor offices are strongly encouraged to refer within the greater organization for specialists. Private medical offices don’t have those limitations and like sending their patients to similar style private practices for continued care.
The great thing about many of the start up marketing ideas are low costs and just taking time. Figure out your business plan and what volume you want to have. If you want to be low volume and another midwife is retiring that you will be taking over her established families, spend the time and resources another direction. Most midwives starting out will have no brand or reputation in area to get clients from. Build your name and mission to the community with your voice and great marketing material like business cards, brochures, and postcards.