1. Publicity, like laundry is never done. Do something every day to promote your business.
  2. Create an elevator speech that briefly describes what you do, so you can explain to people quickly the nature of your business. Practice saying it out loud until it flows easily. Be positive about yourself and what you have to offer.
  3. Identify any specific concerns you have about marketing or delivering your services. Develop a positive affirmation or two that focuses you in the direction you want to go. Write it down and place it in a prominent place (computer screen, refrigerator door, bathroom mirror) and read it out loud frequently. For your business to succeed, you must believe you are offering useful services.
  4. Network. Join or start perinatal Facebook pages and Yahoo groups for your area. Be active on the CAPPA Facebook page for your region.  Also meet face to face when possible at events such as conferences, workshops, meet the doula nights, or birth professional support teas. Support other birth professionals in your area. Refer families to other competent local professionals when appropriate. Never badmouth other birth professionals.
  5. Contact past families you have worked with, tell them what services you currently offer, and ask them to the pass the information on to their pregnant friends. Follow up every referral with a thank you note.
  6. Volunteer your services to give back to your community and gain valuable experience and exposure.
  7. Follow up with every potential client or student promptly. Families often hire the first professional they speak with. Several days after an initial interview, phone call, or email, reconnect to see if you can answer additional questions.
  8. Brainstorm where your potential customers are. Get permission to post fliers in maternity stores, toy stores, baby stores, libraries, coffee shops, chiropractor, ob, midwifery, massage, and acupuncture offices, etc. Consider being a guest lecturer at a childbirth class, centering pregnancy appointment, chiropractor information night, or breastfeeding support group. Table at baby fairs; if this is cost prohibitive, share a table with others offering related services. When families contact you about your services, always ask them how they heard about you, and follow referrals with a thank you note.
  9. Develop a niche. Are you interested in developing an expertise in working with VBAC, homebirth, or multiples families, women who are experiencing complicated pregnancies, teens, or same sex families? Are you fluent in another language? Do you have other related services to offer, such as belly casting, henna, or photography?
  10. Design a website that clearly presents what you offer and where you are located. Include testimonials from past clients. Go online and look for services as if you are a pregnant woman in your area. List yourself on whatever free sites come up. Print business cards. Offer gift certificates for baby showers. Start a Facebook page for your business; ask your Facebook friends to like it, and frequently post relevant, positive, information. Link your website and Facebook page to your iCAPPA account.
  11. Charge what your services are worth. Consider your education, your experience, and going rates in your area. Undercharging other professionals in your area is a disservice to you and your birth community. If you charge more for similar services, be prepared to explain why. As you are able, offer sliding scale to low income families, or discounts to teens or military families, without lowering the stated value of your services.
  12. Participate in ongoing continuing education so you stay current, meet other professionals in your area, maintain your certification(s) and have an increasing skills base to offer your families.