where are the clients?
In an ever growing world of birth businesses what makes the difference isn’t always having the best products or services. While one may strive to have the best, heck even if you have the best, no one will know who you are if you are not able to get in front of your audience. Marketing is a must. Marketing is what will get you in front of your audience so they can go from your audience pool to your customer pool.
I have spent years helping birth-preneurs get their businesses off the ground and heading towards success. Almost every one of them says their biggest struggle is marketing and finding clients. Good thing these topics are stuck together at the hip.
Some of you might not put much thought into marketing. That is okay. Kick it up ladies. Others of you are saying, “I have been marketing, but I am not getting clients.” Whether you just getting in it or you have some things to fix here are: 10 Reasons Why Your Marketing Is Not Bringing in Clients:
1. You are not Really Doing Any Marketing
This first one may seem kind of obvious. If you do not put in the time and effort marketing you will not bring in the clients. Businesses cannot stay afloat without clients. So if you do not market your business is not going to make it.
We would all love to believe that if we just had great content or services people will buy it. That is called "Hope" marketing. It does not work. The old cliché of, if you build it they will come doesn’t really work. Even if you have the most amazing product, the most amazing service, no one will buy unless you are able to get them in front of your audience.
Even if you have the most amazing website ever, no one is going to see it if you don’t drive traffic to it. You also can’t post a few things social media and call it good.
Strategy is key. Make marketing part of your day to day for your business. Budget for it. Block out time into your calendar. This is one of things that follow the Pareto Principe. 20% of the things you do in your business will result in 80% of your sales. Make this a priority. Don’t let anything else take its place. Spend time on your website, branding, marketing materials, networking, ect.
2. Marketing to Everyone
When you start out people are tempted to take on any job that comes their way just to get out there or just to get paid. Photographers may shoot anything they can get their hands in from weddings to newborns to family portraits. Doulas may take on clients that don’t want to pay them full price because they do not value what they do. Coaches may try to coach people on every subject under the sun.
It is hard to say no, but it just doesn’t work. When there are so many options on your website you may be trying to appeal to everyone but you fail to really appeal to anyone. You end up blending into the background with everyone else who may offer similar services. If you specialize in everything you really are not specializing in anything. You are just a generalist and generalist do not stand out from the crowd.
If someone is looking to hire someone for their birth photography do you think they are going to hire someone who dabbles in all kinds of photography or the person who is the expert on birth photography? You know the expert is going offer you a better experience and higher quality than the generalist photographer. The more you can be specifically appealing to your audience the higher the chances you have of getting those clients to hire you.
3.You Have Yet to Master Your Ideal Client
This one is so huge. It is part of the foundation of your business. If you are trying to be everything to everyone than you do not have a specific ideal client. Your ideal client is NOT anyone with money willing to pay your prices for your product or services. Your ideal client is NOT all pregnant women. Your ideal client is very specific.
If you want effective marketing you have to get to know who your ideal client is very well. Your marketing will vary greatly based upon who you are marketing to. Women respond differently than men, people with children respond differently than those who do not, and younger individuals respond differently than older ones. You get the picture. If you do not know who your ideal client is, it is going to be near impossible to create effective marketing.
4. You Fail to Overcome the Noise
There is so much noise out there. People have become so used to being bombarded by advertisements and marketing everywhere they go, much of the time they tend to tune it out. You have to be remarkable in some way to stand out. Be different from what they would expect. Not in a weird way, but in a good way. There are most likely other people who offer the same products or services that you do. They might even have the same business model as you do. So how do you stand out in your market? What can you be different?
If you are in a saturated market with low cost competitors, be the high-end competitor who offers something your low cost competition can’t. The people who are looking to spend money are those looking for value not the cheapest discount. They value you what you do and why you do, it so they are going to be willing to pay the premium price for it. This is a great way to stand out.
Make your brand something that sticks out in their minds. Avoid using template for your website specific to your niche. It may be hard to do your own thing when it is so easy to just buy a template made for your market. When everyone uses the same template just with different colors and different photos things tend to start bending together for your potential clients. How can you be different on your first impression that will make you memorable over the others?
5. Your Trying to Give Too Much
People like simple. Your goal is to make is as easy as possible for people to hire you. Sometimes less can really get you more. More clients that is. Try to offer less products and packages. If you have too many options it will just overwhelm potential buyers. Don’t offer every product you can just because you can. You probably do not want more than 3-4 options. If you do, your potential clients will get what is called decision fatigue, they will just get too overwhelmed and give up. They are more likely to walk away and not hire you at all.
Try not to overload potential clients with lots of wordy things to read. Most people will not read what you have to say and too much words equals annoying in their mind. They will scan your content, but most often they won’t remember what is says. They also don’t want to navigate through your entire life story in order to find what they are looking for. Your story is important for branding, but you want to give them just the right amount of information.
Give them prices, but you might not want to send them your contract along with your price quote. You need to figure out what the minimum amount of information you can give them in order for them to make an informed decision to work with you. Don’t hide things, but know when the right time is to disclose things. Don’t talk about your cancellation policy when they inquire about your services. Unless of course they ask. This is something that you can save and provide after they have hired you.
6. You Are Not Giving Them What They Really Want
People do not buy things they do not want. They also do not usually buy what you are offering, they are buying your why. Don’t offer them things you think they want. Create offers that fit what your ideal client it looking for. Sometimes this means offering them what they want and sneaking in what they need. Say a guy is looking for how to get better dates. You get better dates by being a better person, but what they think they want is better pick-up lines. You may have to sell them pickup lines but also give them how to be a better person.
Do some research in your market. Ask some questions. Be specific. Don’t ask them what they want. They may not know what they want. Find out their why. Find out what their problems are. What keeps them awake at night? What are they struggling with?
Why do people hire photographers? It is not because they want more stuff. It is all about preserving memories. Why do people seek marketing help in their business? It is not really because they love marketing. It is a deeper why. They want to be able to spend more time with their kids, they want a big vacation, they want more freedom in their day to day. This will help you create content, products, and services that are best for your ideal client.
7. You Only Use Free Social Media Platforms to Market Yourself
Social media can be a great way to get business, but it can’t be the only way you seek to get your clients from. With free platforms you cannot control who sees your posts. The algorithms keep changing. Often times, less than 1% of your audience sees the things you post on Facebook. These days even massive engagement does not ensure your social media posts will be seen. Having all your potential leads in one place is a risk. You risk losing those leads.
Think about Myspace for a moment. What kind of business would you have if your entire business had been based on potential clients that were only on Myspace? You wouldn’t have much of a business anymore. That is not to say that we think Facebook or Instagram will be going anywhere any time soon. You need to be in control.
Instead of using all the free stuff as your only option make sure you are able to get your potential clients email. Use an email service like Awber or Mail Chimp that puts you in control. It is really not as scary as it sounds. It is also good for just about ANY market. This includes online business, physical products, and even local businesses. This gives you the control to get in front of those who said they want to hear more of what you have to say. They want you to send them emails. You don’t have to pay to get yourself into peoples email. MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Don’t wait to build your list.
8. You are Unwilling to Spend Money
Sometimes you have to spend some money. If you could make $1000 for every $50 you spent in advertising would you do it? Wouldn’t you put that $50 back into your business over and over again? There are things worth paying for. Figure out what is best for your business. You are not going to make any money if you are not willing to invest in yourself and your business. If you do not value what you do people will be able to tell you do not value your business and they won’t either.
Think about investing in things that appeal to your ideal clients. Are there complimentary services that go along with the business you have? Pregnant women have a multitude of them. Maternity care, chiropractic care, massage, photography, doula services, childbirth education, childcare, ect. Look into making strategic partnerships with businesses who relate to what you do. Maybe they have a directory they are willing to add you to for a small fee.
Invest in things that educate you on how to make more money several times over. Invest in learning how to do business better faster. Many entrepreneurs start out thinking they can do everything themselves all the time. While you can teach yourself to do anything these days it will cost you. It will cost you your most precious commodity, your time. Your time is worth a lot. So if you can invest in something that will save you time and increase your profits do it.
9. You’re Not Converting
You are driving traffic to your website, but nothing is happening. There are several common reasons. First, you may be using a free website domain. www.yourbusinessname.otherbusiness.com gives others the idea that you are amateur and not professional. First impressions add up. It is not expensive to get your own domain name and with all the information out there it is easy to find out how to build your own website. It can be the difference between getting clients and not getting clients. Having a hobby or having a business.
Second, your website does not appeal to your ideal clients. If a potential client comes to your website looking for something specific and is bombarded by things they don’t want they are likely to leave your website. If a client is looking for a childbirth education classes and they have to shift through your newborn photography stuff first, they are likely going to leave your page without you gaining anything. Make sure you are turning your website traffic into leads by making your sire appealing to your target audience.
Third, you don’t have any call to actions to tell them what to do next. Sometimes people just need you to tell them what to do. At the end of your blog post put a call to action. Click here to book a consult. Put an opt-in, in the first section of your website to collect their email. You don’t want to bombard them too many things to do, but studies have shown that if you ask someone to do something in a call to action they are far more likely to do it.
Fourth, your website is not optimized to show up in search results. So this one may not quiet count as not converting, but if people can’t find your website they will not be able to find you. Search engine optimization (SEO) may seem like a foreign language. It is really not that hard and not that time consuming. It would only take an extra 5-10 minutes per blog post to add SEO tags. This can be a great way to get more clients. How simple. People looking for your services converting into clients because they found you in their search.
Other problems included missing links, your contact form is not working, your site is missing information like your service area or multiple ways to contact you. If your ideal clients can’t find what they are looking for they will likely not take the time to contact you to find the information they are looking for. Make sure your website is working for you to get you clients.
10. You Get in Your Own Way
This is one of the biggest reasons why your marketing may not be getting you clients. Not because you are doing it all wrong, but because you have things going on in your own mindset the block you. For example, not following up with a lead because you feel like you would be annoying them. Follow up is crucial. It’s your business. It is your job to follow up. You are not annoying them. You are serving them. If they are not interested they will tell you.
Another way you may be getting in your own way is not using the phone. You may be doing this because you don’t like to talk on it. Big mistake. Get over yourself. Getting you on the phone makes you real, gets you a great first impression, and could give you competitive advantage. A huge portion of the businesses out there today are not getting on the phone. Maybe you will get hired right there on the spot because it was convenient. Potential clients didn’t have to go back and forth through email to get their questions answered. Maybe they would have never emailed you because they felt like they were going to annoy you. Don’t be afraid. It can give you a huge advantage.
Maybe you struggle with selling because you don’t want to come off as pushy or sleazy. You will only come off as these things if you are pushy or sleazy. You run a business. Without sales you don’t have a business. You are not trying to push people into buying something they don’t want or selling them something you know they will be unhappy with after they have bought it. More often than not people do not want to ask for the sale because of something deeper. They do not value themselves. They do not want to be rejected. Shift your mindset and remember you are helping them. If you really value what you have to offer and feel like you are the best fit why would you not try to sell to them? You are helping them. Just be genuine.
You are afraid your work is not good enough. Enough is good enough. If you are constantly afraid that something isn’t good enough or you are too much of a perfectionist to get yourself out there than you never will. No one is perfect. I will hold off on branding because I don’t want to take new head shots until I have lost a bit of weight. I don’t want to launch my course because I am still making adjustments to it. Don’t let fear hold you back.
Sometimes people are so afraid of failing they will let it stop them from taking action. Remember that if you are not taking action you are already failing. Don’t let the fear of failure get in the way of your passion and your dreams. Shift your mindset. If you have something that people could benefit from than you are doing a disservice not offering what you have. It is not about you. It is about them.
We are all about helping make your birth business a success. You are the only thing standing in your way of success. If you are looking for more ways to bring success into your life be sure to sign up for our newsletter.