8 Marketing Tools for Your Doula Business
When you’re starting out in the birth and doula world you probably aren’t going to have a massive marketing budget, and that’s ok! Today we’re sharing some of our favourite marketing tools that are accessible to a growing doula businesses. These are tools we’ve personally used and have seen Doula School alumni leverage to take the next step in their career. Our team here at Doula School are not affiliated with any of the products or services below.
What are some of your favourites not listed? Make sure to tag us on Instagram.
CANVA has become the graphic design platform of choice for anyone who isn’t actually a trained designer. Founded in 2013, it has truly brought design to the masses, allowing small and medium size businesses to create assets for websites, social media posts, brochures, signs, Facebook ads, and basically anything else you can think of. They currently boast over 100 million users worldwide. It’s intuitive drag and drop interface makes it easy to understand and learn. Within minutes you’ll already feel like a pro. They have a variety of pricing plans available, including a free option for when you’re first starting out. It’s a must have for doulas and birth workers looking to build their brand without a big marketing budget. They also have a logo design feature that will make creating your doula brand easy and fun. You can try out CANVA by clicking here.
Is there a more powerful tool for small businesses than Google Ads? These are the ads you’ll see at the top of a google search with the word “sponsored” attached to them. They launched in 2000 and have been steadily growing and adding new features ever since. What makes google ads so incredible is they appear at the top of a search. For example, imagine someone searches for “nike shoes” and a local department store has their ad for nike shoes appear at the top of the page. It’s a huge advantage over the competition! The same is true for birth workers. You’re able to advertise your business in a specific geographic area, to potential customers that are already searching for birth and doula services. There are many layers to google ads, meaning it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re not familiar with their platform. Thankfully google has created tiers of service, so that even small businesses without a dedicated marketing employee are able to set up and monitor ads. You can learn more about google ads and the available options here.
Facebook and Instagram are both part of the same company – Meta. If you see the term “Meta Ads” it refers to ads that run on both Facebook and Instagram. This is super handy for small businesses since you can run your ads from a single dashboard. Advertising on these platforms allows you to be a bit more creative than google, since you can easily integrate images and videos. You’re still able to target potential customers based on location and demographics, to help avoid wasting ad spend. As a birth worker Facebook and Instagram is the perfect place to generate a new lead. A “lead” is someone that might be interested in your services. Facebook has several tools where a potential customer will provide their email. You can then use that email to contact them about your doula and childbirth education services. Meta ads can be complex to set up the first time through. If you have bit of marketing budget many marketing freelancers will assist with your set up for a one-time project fee. You can find available freelancers on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Learn more about Meta ads here.
Are you using email for your birth business? Even though email has been around since the 1990s, it remains one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Unlike social media, where you’re forced to compete with hundreds (if not thousands) of accounts all vying for a customer’s attention, email allows you to get right to the top of the inbox every time. Tools like Constant Contact allow you to grow and manage your email list. For example, imagine a potential customer lands on your website. Maybe they see a sign-up form where they can download a free guide on 10 ways to improve the postpartum experience. After downloading the guide, they are added to your email list. You then automatically send them a message about all your available doula services. Something like this can happen PASSIVELY, allowing you to spend more time with clients and focusing on the work you love. Growing and developing an email list will take time, but it will make an important difference for your business. Read more about Constant Contact here.
Slack is THE place to organize your team members in a growing small business. If you’re part of a doula or birth practice that has multiple employees, slack can offer you a place to communicate and collaborate. Instead of having a bunch of emails, texts, and whatsapp messages in various places, Slack brings company correspondence into one easy to use spot. You can also create channels that are only accessible for certain team members. Have 3 doulas covering an area of the city? They can have a channel dedicated to checking in with one another and making sure all clients are covered. Have a sales and marketing team that needs to work hand-in-hand? They can do it all in Slack. They have a few different pricing options, including FREE if you’re just looking for basic functionality. Check out their website here.
A complaint we often hear from doulas is that “I want to do birth work, not become a marketing expert.” One of the biggest drains on time and energy is creating and managing a website. It’s not something that always comes naturally and that’s ok! Squarespace is one of the best turn-key website design services available. They have dozens of professional, beautiful templates to choose from. Unlike WordPress or other website builders, Squarespace removes some of the bells and whistles so that you can get your site up and running quickly. As birth workers we aren’t likely to need a super complex website, just one that flows nicely and has information about our services and pricing. As an added bonus, there are a number of website designers who specialize in using Squarespace, so if you have a little marketing budget available you can hire help during the design and launch process. Learn more about their site options here.
If you’re a birth brand that has multiple social media accounts then a tool like Later.com might be useful for you. It allows you to plan and schedule content to Instagram, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Their easy to use drag and drop interface will help you move quickly and visualize upcoming content. If you have multiple team members assisting with social media content generation, they can all log into Later.com and ensure the process is collaborative. There is even a tool built-in that allows you to research content trends within your industry to inspire ideas. If you’re into analytics there is a plethora of data available to understand which posts are performing best and at what time. You can read more about Later here.
Social Media Examiner Blog
It can be difficult to keep up with the social media world. Just when it feels like you’re starting to get a handle on one platform, a new one launches! Or changes are made to existing algorithms and options. The Social Media Examiner is a free online blog that stays up-to-date with everything social media. Founded by Michael Stelzner in 2009, they provide daily news updates, how to articles, content ideas, free guides, and more. Whether you’re working on organic social posts, starting a you tube channel, or diving into google ads, they will have something for you on the Examiner. If you scroll down their homepage you can find a section that segments their blog posts based on platform. For example, if you’re working on a LinkedIn page, you can see ALL their social media posts and information related to LinkedIn. Add the Social Media Examiner to your bookmarks bar and make sure to check in every week or so.