Not ready to shout it out from the rooftop that your birth business is the best in your area?
I get it. You don’t want to brag, be cocky, or hurt any feelings. You definitely don’t want to make enemies among your colleagues but let’s face it: Business is business.
When writing copy for clients I try to be sensitive to the clients’ desires and their place in their local birth community, but it’s also important to market your business effectively. This can be a delicate balance and a balance that I stopped trying to juggle with my own doula agency.
Want to know why?
Well, for starters, we are the best! Not only is my team knowledgeable and experienced, I have taken steps to ensure my agency is a cut above the rest. We have all the systems in place needed to provide clients with the support they need when they need it. Our professionalism is always a priority with clear contracts, liability insurance, up-to-date certifications, ongoing training, and a large career driven team of compassionate doulas. If you don’t believe your business is the best, how are you going to effectively sell your services?
Be the best in your industry.
Being confident that you are the best choice for clients is a key component of landing clients. You must be sold on your products and services if you plan to sell them. “We’re just as good as everyone else!” isn’t exactly inspiring! If you don’t feel like you’re the very best, you have some work to do! What do your competitors have that you don’t? What can you do to offer more value than they do? How can you compensate for what you lack or gain what you need to come out on top?
If you are not completely convinced that you’re the best, fix that first. Make it so!
Are you here to make friends or make money?
I don’t know about you but I started a business to make money. I have friends, and as my success grows, more and more people want to be my friend (or want to see me fail). When I first started my doula business I worried about alienating other doulas by making grand statements about my own business. In my DONA birth doula training, I was told that I could expect to get referrals from other doulas and that I would find valuable support among my colleagues through the local doula association. If I dared to say my doula support was better than theirs, my company more professional or my placenta encapsulation methods safer than my competitors, I would be out all these referrals and would be all alone. Guess what?
I’ve only gotten a handful of referrals from other doulas. (thank you!)
And that supportive local doula association was more like a monthly middle school lunchroom experience. All those potential referrals never happened and in the end, the same people who told me to play nice weren’t playing nice themselves.
So, I walked away. I focused on treating my doula business like a business. I worked hard to ensure my company really is the best and then I marketed the hell out of it, not using a bunch of birth business fluff but with real-life business strategy. And some people got mad. A few are still mad (although none of them ever say so to my face). Most of them are also still Facebook friends with me, too! Some of them have even tried to collaborate with me along the way.
And how do I survive without my local doula association? I built my own community, true colleagues who either work with me on my team, hire me to manage their blogs and social media, or work outside my local community and have become sources of encouragement and advice. Real friends who care about my success and whose success I am invested in, too.
Potential clients lose when you don’t sell them on your products or services!
Once you have established yourself as the very best choice in your area for whatever services you provide, you better be telling people! Shout it from the rooftops! Tell everyone exactly why they should hire you or refer to you. When you don’t effectively sell what you offer, your clients lose. You’re failing them if you let them think someone else can do a better job than you can. You let potential clients down when you don’t show them you’re the right choice. People deserve the very best. If that’s you, you have a duty to show people your value.
The only people who benefit from you “playing nice” are your competitors. These people are not paying your bills, they’re not sending you referrals and let be honest, they are not your friends. Stop buying into this bullshit. If you aren’t willing to talk about why your business is better than someone else’s, you may as well start a referral service and send all your clients their way.