Marketing your practice
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 you 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 family’s power to support the practice.
Many midwife businesses need to invest heavily in marketing when starting up. With time, the need for marketing costs will decrease due to the power of this referral system in place. Our goal is that, 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 and phenomenal care, and remind them to post reviews on Facebook and Yelp. Your website will also accelerate that referral marketing technique. Have raffles and giveaways for mothers who post reviews. Have a survey mailed or in the office that families can complete and ask permission to post their feedback?
In the beginning, take the time to meet with local businesses that would be interested in referring to your office. Learn about their business and create value for them by 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 offices, herbalists, doulas services, childbirth educators, lactation consultations, and hairdressers. The last one was a gem for me! There are so many women who regularly go to get their hair done. Hair stylists talk with lots of women! Get your advertising material at lots of hair salons, buy the staff lunch, and talk about your services in more detail.
Other great starting points for networking are private family practice offices where OB/GYN services are referred out.
Obstetricians and pediatricians would be better at creating collaborative relationships. Obstetric providers may refer to you if a patient is adamant about transferring to a home birth practice and the doctor now knows of a reputable place to refer to. Many larger system doctor offices are strongly encouraged to refer specialists within the greater organization. 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 is that they are low-cost and just take 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 and you will be taking over her established families, spend the time and resources in another direction. Most midwives starting out will have no brand or reputation in the area to get clients from. Build your name and mission in the community with your voice and great marketing material like business cards, brochures, and postcards.
Check out our amazing course at www.midwiferybusinessconsultation.teachable.com