Growing up, I was notoriously unpopular with the Italian community I grew up in. My family was pretty hardcore Neopolitan – I learnt to play soccer before I could walk! The status quo demanded minimal risk taking, saving for your mortgage at 16, being married by 20, babies by 25. My dad was adamant I adhere to the ‘plan’, unless I became a pro soccer player then I was pretty much free to do whatever. My grandparents, bless them, just as confused at my general disinterest in living my life in a box. So when I left home to live in Hawaii, alone, at 16, they nearly had a heart attack. Unphased, I packed and off I went to explore at every chance I had.
My grandmother (who doubled as my best friend/wise woman/straight shooter/crone) and I chatted regularly throughout my travels. About everything and anything mostly, but each time we spoke she would ask the same question.
“Aren’t you scared?”
“No? Never. Not once.”, I replied.
I got lonely, I missed the people I cared about, sometimes I felt worried or overwhelmed. But never scared. I guess she hated that answer because she would immediately follow it with 3 mega Nonna accented, “But-ta how? But-ta why? But-ta why you no come-a home? Why you no a-fraid?”
Upon further reflection, her reactions made total sense.
My grandmother was so afraid of crashing her car and dying, she refused to drive one. As in, I have never seen her drive a car. A fear, of which you can imagine, was incredibly stifling.
My grandmother was so afraid to perish on an airplane, she never once returned to her home country following her arrival in Canada. Never to see her family again.
I looked at her fears, how they crippled her. It made me so sad to see her live a life that was so burdened by heavy worry. And the truth is, she always looked sad, always looked worried. Her fears actually scared me out of ever letting my own fear dictate my life’s journey. I could die at any given moment but I was more afraid of missing out on a life well lived. I tried to explain this logic to her and I could tell that although she didn’t necessarily understand my fearless nature, she enjoyed living vicariously through me.
At one stage, she stopped trying to convince me to come home. She laughed, she loved me and every inch of my wild little heart.
Years passed, things changed. My grandfather became very ill, dying only to leave my grandmother alone and heartbroken. The last time we spoke she wasn’t feeling very well and I vividly remember feeling very worried for her. This was the only time in many years of travel I felt selfish and confused. I asked if I should fly back to Montreal but she insisted I don’t and that I have fun.
One sunny day, I found myself walking down the CBD in Melbourne. Another big adventure in a new part of this big world. Excited to share my stories, I rang my Nonna only to find out she had passed in the night.
I felt a blow to my chest that stopped me in my tracks on Bourke street. This would be the first time in my life that death would felt real to me and I suppose that this is how most young people who feel invincible are reminded that they too, have something to fear – when those they love start to die.
My naivete became abundantly clear to me in the days following her death. I closed up. Retreated within myself. Not even making my way to the funeral because I couldn’t bear to see her. I imagined her body lifeless, it broke me. I hated what I felt and I chose to hate death for robbing her from me. Should I have succumbed to the anxiety, I too would have been crippled. So I avoided it. I avoided death and that is how I coped. This is how I chose to hold on.
Life resumed, adventures continued. To Thailand. Malaysia. Singapore. London. Mexico. The Dominican Republic. To Australia, again & again. Avoiding the idea of death kept me free from the constraints most people were commanded by. And this is how I liked it. This is how I felt safe. Even when people I cared for began to die around me – I lived boldly and fearlessly in their honor.
But seeing as death is death, and there is nothing more certain than a beginning and an end for each of us, the day came where I had no choice but to meet that truth.
And so I did, in the most agonizingly beautiful of ways…
The day I became a mother was the day I could no longer escape the realities of my mortality.
The births of my children were unbelievably remarkable human experiences, transforming me from the inside out. Feeling the most alive I have ever felt, exploring realms of consciousness and physical feelings unseen to the eye. Palpable feelings of new life, I felt strong and like I had defeated my sworn enemy, you know, he who must not be named…Death.
I had a moment that looked like me being the kid in class sticking out my tongue at his teacher, shouting, ‘Na Na Na Na, I win! I beat you!’
But holy shit balls was I wrong, so fucking wrong. This great teacher had yet so much to teach me and he was going to hit me while I was down. Although happy and chuffed with my new chapter as mum, fatigue and overwhelm created the perfect breeding ground for negative thoughts. And it was my brain that became death’s playground.
Little did I know, compulsive thoughts about death (dying or losing someone you love to death) are pretty common after birth. Especially in the case of parents suffering with post-partum anxiety. A quick Google search will show you how rampant this issue is, and always more of a presence among mothers after birth.
The foreign dialogue between me, myself and death was depressing me, to say the least. I would try and explain those feelings to my husband and my best friend. I spoke to dozens of women, many I worked with personally, all going through the same thing. One week I slept a mere number of hours as I wrestled the panic of my impending death in my mind.
What would happen to my kids if I died? What would I do if my children died? How could I go on? Just 3 of 100’s of questions I asked myself daily.
A characteristically positive & strong person, I reached out to the most inner parts of my soul for strength. I went searching for my happy place. I resumed lots of physical activity, ate lots of nutrient dense foods, spent lots of time in the sun, started a business I loved, kept busy with my children, travelled…and it disappeared.
The obsessive worry, the anxiety, the fears. They dissapeared. Almost overnight, at the 6 month mark. After BOTH my babies. After two eerily similar bouts of crippling anxiety and insomnia and two very successful turn arounds using holistic healing – I came out of the fog. I felt human again.
When my second child turned 1, I flailed my middle finger in the air, glass of champagne in the other hand. We were living in Mexico at the time, I felt so complete, so whole, so unphased about my expiration date. So excited that I even managed to find a deep peace with death. I was cool, we were cool.
And then just like that, I was brought back down to earth with a hammer. A few nights ago I was in a car accident. And although minor, it shook me to the core, a tsunami of intense emotion bubbling to the surface. The what ifs paralyzing me in my bed. Already feeling fragile, my beloved pet fell very ill. Our connection was so strong, she called me to her open cage with one soft, long chirp. I knew something was wrong and I made a mad dash to meet her eyes, to let her know I heard her and I was there. She looked at me, struggling, taking her last breathe and taking a part of me with her.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurting. Because I am. But there is an unprecedented clarity, too. I am stronger from each lesson this life has taught me, from each reality check death has brought me. I can tell that acknowledging the truths of my mortality makes me a better human, one who is present and engaged, appreciating each moment in life as one to be treasured. And for that I am grateful. I am not running from the sadness, not running from my self-reflection. I want to instill equal parts values of fearlessness, and a respect for the delicate inner workings of how fear fuels us, into the hearts of my children.
I only wish I could have showed my grandmother how to make light of her fears, too.
Have you experienced something similar? Are you still struggling with it? Have you made friends with Death?
Melbourne Doula, Birth Photographer and Mother
I am super duper obsessed with queen fronted, feminist drenched, badass babe based businesses. I have made really conscious efforts to buy and support a wide variety of these same businesses because of said obsession. Every month I will be showcasing one of the people, products or companies I am crushing on and share my experiences with them in my new blog series, ‘Things I Love’.
Early last year, a friend recommended I scope out this range of undies created by Thinx self proclaimed Period/Anxiety/Patriarchy-Proof Underwear. (If you haven’t lurked their Instagram yet please do because they are amazingly sassy!)
Why was I recommended them?
Basically, after Odin’s birth incontinence was a real thing. Every single time I laughed, cried or moved too suddenly the flood gates opened. And gurl, the struggle was real. None of my shit house K-Mart granny panties were doing the trick plus I felt like a non-functional frump wearing them. I didn’t like wearing wee pads either because their bulk factor was super problematic for my skinny jeans. (Sexy skinny black jeans who saved my ass post partum!)
Anyway, I got turned onto Kejal, who was one of the queen bees behind ICON undies. We run in similar circles and she was like, ‘You need to try these undies ASAP, send me your address!’.
Can I just get a Kejal appreciation moment here? Besides saving my life with this revolutionary panties, she showed such patience and generosity when not 1 but TWO packages never made it to me.
Third time was totally a charm and when my package finally made it to me it was instant crotch crush connection. I am not shitting you when I say I have not touched nor worn my 32 other pairs of underwear since getting my ICON undies. I got about 13 pairs (a mix of the available styles) and have worn them on rotation for the last 72 days. The Hi-Waist and the Bikini are my favourite!
“Why are you so obsessed Angela?!”
– They are RIDICULOUSLY comfortable. No seams cutting into my jiggly (gorgeous) bits. No wedgies. No bulk. No odd material folding. Just super soft and cushy on my tushy. Totally true to size. They feel like gloves for my vagina.
– They actually do what they claim to do. And even more. Not only are they pee proof but they have also covered me with period leaks over a dozen times. I can’t tell you how handy that was!
– After having babies, the PH and general health of my vulva changed. I became allergic to 99% of every pair of panties I bought. (The pain in throwing out underwear that cost you a fortune to buy….) The reaction is hard to explain so I will leave it at this and spare you the gory detail – most underwear material made me smell & itch. ICON undies are the onllllllllllllllllly underwear I have bought and not thrown out because of their performance. Not only can I wear them without the above BUT I can run, sweat, have sex, get my period without a problem…they whisk away moisture and keep me feeling clean. No smells, no itch…it’s sorcery.
– I know that my purchase supports a company whos ethos I genuinely love. ICON and THINX are doing amazing work in their respective fields (Like with the Fistula Foundation, every pair of Icon sold helps fund life-changing surgeries for women in developing countries!) and it feels good to know I am playing a small part in that.
The peeps behind ICON were sweet enough to give my readers a little something something – use code GALLO at checkout to nab 5$ off your purchase! Pick up a few pairs and let me know how they work for you!
Did you have any strange and inconvenient stuff happen down south, after having babies? Share your experiences with me below or by heading to my Instagram and Facebook pages.
The vulva vixen in me honors the vulva vixen in you,
Angela is an incredibly charismatic, caring and heartfelt birthworker with so much to offer. She so clearly loves what she does and is passionate about serving women and families. Angela has a beautiful ability to make you feel at ease comfortable and like youve been friends forever, while challenging you and your thinking at the same time. This is a rare skill that makes her services unique and sought after. Heart and Hustle in particular has been personally poignant in helping me push past a number of business blocks, to challenge me, to force me to be clear about my goals, and to be part of a community that keeps me accountable. Well done Angela for starting something so needed in this community to keep Birth workers from hopefully becoming another statistic of burnout, but instead thrive and be able to keep serving the way we want to.Katherine Eden Lech
If you have recently certified or accredited in your respective field, you can probably attest to the fact that there ain’t nothing straightforward about choosing, crafting and creating the trifecta of a great business name (business name + location/role + tagline/slogan). It really takes guts to own your birth biz – and the glory part starts here!
Your birth business name has the potential to get you seen and recognized, just as it has the potential to deflect clients far, far away from booking you.
Not sure where to start? Here are a couple of hot tips to point you in the right direction…
+ Consider using your own name as your business name. Taking ownership of your business and of your brand starts here. It is original and when combined with a tagline or slogan, makes you easier to find. Not keen on your own name? Create an alias of a different version of your own.
+ Include a tagline or slogan. Your tagline should tie your business name and offer together in a really eloquent way that speaks volumes to your visitor.
+ Brainstorm a list of words and ideas that you feel accurately reflect your vision and message. Bust out the thesaurus if you have to. Crack your own code with some killer language. Inject your energy into the mix and make sure that the name you choose truly is am embodiment of you and your offer. Remember you want people who read your business name & tagline to feel intrigued, enticed and connected to you. What sort of words will achieve that desired result?
+ Have you previously worked with any clients? If so, touch base with them and ask them to provide 5 words they feel best describe their experience with you. Did they enjoy working with you? Why? How did you make them feel? What did you do for them? This is such a wonderful, reaffirming exercise that almost always provides the inspiration we need to creating the ultimate business name & tagline.
+ Research other businesses in your market. Worldwide, baby. I want you to Google your face off here. Triple check your ideas and make darn sure you check if they are already being used. Anywhere. Check business name registries, Facebook and other popular social media platforms too. In many cities, using the same business names is illegal so please be aware of your local copyright & trademark laws before being lazy and using something that’s already been done. In addition to this, it is super confusing for clients to sift through exact replicas of business names when trying to choose a professional service or product.
+ Include rich keywords that tell people who you are and what you do. As much as I want you to be original, it’s critical to include a few keywords that at the minimum, let people know where you are and what you do. (I.E Birth Doula, Dallas Pregnancy Services, Melbourne Birth Photographer) By creating a keyword rich name will make it easier for Google to rank you and for people to find you.
+ You want your business name to work seamlessly with your tagline, logo, message and overall branding. Conflicting business names and branding are a no-no. Cohesion and consistency is both sexy and professional!
You can catch the replay on this exact topic up for a limited time HERE. And don’t forget to share it with friends who may benefit from it, too!
Want access to ALL of me, all the juicy info and all of the strategy? You can get all of that and more by signing up to my business for birth pros course today.
All my love,
“I maintained my edge by always being a student; you will always have something new to learn.”
– Jackie Joyner Kersee
In 2014 I made the decision to become a Doula. At the time, I knew very little about training organisations and chose my study path based entirely on the only locally available in person workshop. If you listen to any one of my webinars, you will often here me say how disconnected I felt from that particular community. (It was actually quite frustrating but I did manage to use those feelings to motivate me to create something that would connect & inspire women way past their original training.)
Following receiving my certification, I made every effort to expand on what I learnt. I have always been an eager sponge and it was critical for me to live my passions to the fullest and be the best birth professional I could possibly be. I knew that the best way to do that was with a variety of experience and continous professional development. This is how my journey with Doula Trainings International came to be!
It all started when mid way through last year I made the decision that I wanted to recertify with a new Doula training organisation. You may be wondering, ‘But Angela, if you already had your qualification, why bother getting them again?’ And you know what, that is a pretty fair question. But my answer is even fairer – being the best Doula we can possibly be and serving women & their families in the most compassionate and comprehensive way, does not happen by hindering our willingness to learn. I knew deep in my heart that I wanted to keep learning, but to find the perfect place for me to learn was a bit more of a challenge.
With dozens (if not hundreds!) of Doula training organisations around the globe, I had to refine my search parameters if I was going to find the Doula community of my dreams. As a busy mother and business owner, this list of my non-negotiables will give you some insight on what I was looking for.
– Super engaging, jam-packed-with-goodness, easy to listen to and easy to digest course content available online for me to follow whenever I had the time.
– In person workshops available in the event I wanted to attend one.
– Modern, inclusive, maternal/infant/reproductive/human rights focused, heart centric at the core.
– Supportive of go getter gregarious business types like me (you wouldn’t believe how many training org’s were eliminated with this one!).
– A genuinely amazing community of like minded individuals available in a busy Facebook forum. (With so many divisive & preachy Doula groups – this was so so so important.)
– Opportunity for growth (possibly teaching or being involved in some larger capacity in the long term).
– Excellent price points and payment plans.
– And the most important – finding a training org that was in line with my philosophies as a human and as a birth worker.
Would I ever find one? Did anything like this exist? Was I being too picky? I often doubted I would find anything that would fit the bill.
And then one day…BOOM. Out of The sky I fell onto this…
I came upon DTI’s Instagram and lurked really, really hard for a few months. What struck me was their involvement and commitment to varying types of people in different places, as well as their unapologetic views of maternal care. Their tone was fierce but soft, and it really resonated with my own Doula style.
I finally decided to stop crushing from a distance and write to Tara and Gina (founders and general bad-ass, big hearted babes behind DTI!). From here, we went back and forth on Doula Training Internationals offerings. It felt organic to enroll in their Path2 program; re-certification course for established and previously certified Doulas. This specific program would not only enable me to brush up on my general knowledge as a Doula (with a ton of awesome videos and workbook content) but also get me access to mentorship calls, option to purchase other Learning Labs relevant to my needs, initiation and guidance through our Slow Doula Method™ and the SDM approach and access to their expert affiliate video program in Advanced Doula Trainings covering topics such as Advanced Business Development, Bereavement and Loss, Birth Advocacy, Comfort Measures, Navigating Induction and much more.
The program itself cost 1197$ for their online Path2 option and has been worth every single penny. I am currently 35% complete and the stand out points for me right now have been flexibility, affordability and genuinely amazing content. I am learning again and I love it. My clients are getting a better version of me, and that in itself is worth it’s weight in gold.
The course is super easy to follow with a brilliantly functional member/students area. You log in and simply follow the prompts that guide you through. Easy peezy world class training at the click of a button. Most welcoming are the videos – super pleasant and straight to the point. To be honest, the course has fit in perfectly to the wild rhythm of my life so really can’t fault it. I know alot of the trainings I looked into required you to do tideous tasks, read a million books and hand in 3 essays a week. Although this might be your learning style, it sure as hell isn’t mine. It’s been so refreshing to buy an online course and actually follow through with it!
If you are contemplating joining the DTI community – stop thinking. Just do it. To sweeten the pot, Doula Trainings International has offered my readers an exclusive promo code when signing up to their re-certification Path2 program. (Freaking awesome, right?!) Just head on over to their registration page and use code WOMBWARRIORPATH2 at checkout. And after you do that, I would love you to leave a comment below and let me know how your own Doula learning journey is going!
To being the best you and delivering the most impact,
P.S I have got a rad FREE webinar coming up on February 11 ALLLL about helping you choose the purr-fect business name. Hurry though as you need to register to lock in a limited invite. CLICK HERE to join the party!
If there is one thing birth workers know almost nothing about – it’s marketing.
By definition, marketing is the act of reaching and retaining customers.
Sounds so blah, right? But it isn’t! In fact, it’s thrilling. Think about it…
What the heck is more exciting than creating tangible results, from boldly putting your offer out into the world?
It certainly doesn’t have to be the cold, manipulative sales pitch that throws so many of us off. For a long time, I too, avoided this part of my business like the plague. The marketing aspect of my Doula work, REALLY scared the crap out of me. In fact, anything sales/marketing/networking intimidated me. I was giving things away for free, till people wanted to pay me.
Riggggggggggggght. (Spoiler alert – it didn’t work!)
When I look back at the kind of approach I employed, I am completely mortified. And you know what? Many birth workers are making this exact same mistake. Many birth workers are operating with that same mentality.
Because the fear of rejection is real and it holds us back.
Because the fear of disappointing a paying client is real and it holds us back.
Because the fear of fu*king up and being called out on it is real and it holds us back.
Because putting ourselves out there, means being uncomfortably exposed; and that too, holds us back from putting our offer out into the world.
There are still many women who believe their life’s calling cannot be classified as work. It is really hard for these women to believe that their work is worth something or worth of any financial transaction. So naturally, the idea of marketing something, of which they don’t value themselves, makes them feel like absolute frauds. And feeling like a fraud is a sure fire way to feel apprehensive about any marketing at all.
Marketing challenges don’t come exclusively to new business owners, either. Those of us with existing businesses may find it particularly difficult to move past what we haven’t been doing successfully, even though we have been doing it for years without the results we want and hope for. It is important to let go of what isn’t working, to try something new.
On top of it, marketing and networking means effort. It takes guts, and it is hard work. Work that is intimidating to the best of us. Most of us want to believe that our clients will magically fall into our lap. True, sometimes they do (thanks, manifesting mojo), but almost all of the time; our success relies on the effort we put into interaction & impressions.
All of the above are examples of classic money blocks; self-sabotage at its finest. If you, too, are feeling overwhelmed at the idea of moving forward with marketing, consider this…
When I finally realized I was holding myself back…
When I finally realized the people who needed my help didn’t have access to my services because I was too afraid to be seen; a huge shift happened within.
It became less about me and my insecurities and more about the importance of reaching my tribe. If I got my offer to them, I could positively impact them. If I didn’t market, how could I reach them?
I would love for you to say these out loud and accept them as truth…
You can be compassionate and strategic.
You can live out your life’s purpose and make a profit.
Your perfect customer is out there waiting, aching to be found by you. They need you.
There is nothing remotely manipulative or unkind about marketing your product or service.
Putting yourself out into the world, is saying YES to abundance.
It is saying YES to success.
It is saying I have something special to offer, and I am here to offer it with pride.
Feeling vulnerable? That’s good, darling. Vulnerability yields the sweetest kind of growth.
Ready to rock those Mick Jagger Marketing Maven moves?
1) Get your business recognized locally. Being actively involved in the community, as well as reaching out to local groups, will really help you in your mission to establish your presence in your town or city. The idea is you want to start warming the public up to who you are, and what you have on offer. Don’t know where to start? Introduce yourself and your business when the opportunity presents itself. Join Facebook Groups (relevant to your industry or market) that meet up regularly in your area. Volunteer at schools, offer to speak at events, set up at markets, or use ads from Facebook to target the peeps in your city.
2) Getting your brand & business recognized nationally or internationally. Keep the momentum going! Take the same principles you used in establishing a presence in your community, and amplify them. The idea is broadening the horizon, expanding your reach & market, solidifying your brand authority, and building up your persona & credibility. If you want your brand awareness to reach national and international proportions, you are going to have to seriously think about getting your amazeballs message out to the masses. Don’t know where to start? Network your face off, collaborate, submit articles, contribute your work to other blogs, be a part of other people’s podcasts, speak at events, use targeted ads, connect on social media, and focus on reaching a global audience through marketing techniques below.
3) Search Engine Optimisation. May sound Chinese to some of you, but it is pretty straight forward. It’s basically the methodology of using clever strategies or techniques to draw more visitors to your website, by getting your business ranked higher on big name search engines. The idea is that the people who search products or services, are more likely to commit to purchasing from the first 3 rankings on the first page of that particular Google search. SEO is a whole other ball game, but have no fear. What you need to know is this: search engines use algorithms to sort the crap from relevant good stuff. From there, they use popularity to decide what gets higher rankings (better SEO). There are some pretty simple ways to improve your ranking right now. Don’t know where to start? You want your page to be easy to find. Make sure your domain, home page, indexed pages, images, and text are CLEAR, AND KEYWORD RICH. It is also important that you are producing fresh quality regularly, and driving traffic from the various channels you use. Being seen on search engines like Google, is hugely important, because it gets you seen!
4) Set up profiles with the big honchos – Google, Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, and Instagram. They are excellent tools when it comes to connecting to likeminded people, professionals, and prospective clients. While you are at it, ensure that your ‘handle’ is identical (or very similar!) for each of them. Not only will it give you extra SEO brownie points, but it makes you easy to find. (You will hear me say this a million times, but it really is important!)
5) Create a newsletter and attract subscribers with your irresistible free opt in. Email lists are the bee’s knees. The ultimate commitment and budding friendship. When someone voluntarily gives you their email address – you’re in. Get a collection of emails, and you’ve got direct contact to people who chose to keep in contact with you. But even more importantly is email lists equals sales. This is a fact. Let’s say you have 100 people on your list, usually 2.5 of them will turn into some sort of sale. This is what we call a conversion rate (we will chat about that another time!) If at some stage you are looking to create passive streams of income; you want this list. If you want to build a database of loyal followers (and buyers), you need this list. If you want to connect with other passionate birth workers, and make sure you are keeping in touch with people who matter to you…you need this list. Catch my drift? Don’t know where to start? There are a few really fantastic options available online to get you started. I use MailChimp and LOVE it. Could not live without it. Once you set that up, your next task is to start building that list! How are you going to do that? Opt-ins! You are going to make your visitors an offer they can’t refuse. It could be a graphic, a small EBook, a worksheet, art – get creative. You want to keep your list alive and well. Ensure they are engaged, they stay interested, and that you have a call to action in every update. You can find more information on email lists online, too.
6) Physical Promotional Materials. Stickers, car magnets, bumper stickers, business cards, flyers, tee shirts, key rings; whatever your choice, be mindful of one thing. Physical promotional materials can either be the best decision you have ever made, or the worst. They cost money, and don’t come cheap. If you are going to try it out, I recommend testing the waters first. I.E Testing a small amount of product in a small segment of your specific market. Weigh up the costs & effort, vs your return. Trial and error is best in these scenarios. Oh, and be frugal when it comes to unnecessary spending. You don’t need to give out 5000 stickers to get people’s attention. You would be much better off paying for Facebook advertising! Don’t know where to start? If you do want to get some promo materials made, have a gander on Google. There are dozens of companies and products to choose from! My advice – be creative. And make sure that your promotional materials are coherent with your branding & message!
7) Your Own Podcasts or being a guest on someone else’s podcast. If you have the time to create continually great content, have access to a fair amount of bandwidth, are enthusiastic, passionate, and a pleasure to listen to; you might want to consider creating a Podcast. It is an AMAZING way to connect to a niche market. Online radio is being listened to on a daily basis, in some pretty big ways. The time people spend listening to podcasts, has doubled since 2003. For example, ITunes has over a BILLION people listening into audio podcasts. Hosting a regular podcast is a great way to communicate who you are, what you believe in, and what you offer. It is also a platform where you can share your what you know; which helps enormously in establishing expertise and building trust with your clients. The human voice holds so much more emotion than text, which keeps people engaged and invested for longer periods of time. Podcast audiences typically spend an average of 22 minutes listening; which is a hell of a lot more time than 1 minute visitors on your website! Your listeners get the option to subscribe, so they get automated bleeps on an RSS feed to let them know a new episode is ready. Which is great, as it saves you the hassle of creating an invitation email for every show you make. If you don’t have time to make your own – no worries! Hunt down the email addresses of the people who host Podcasts that you LOVE. They might be experts in the field, personalities, artists, mothers. Reach out to them and offer to guest speak on one of their episodes. This gives you an IN to established audiences who share the same interests
as you. (Free publicity, anyone? ) Don’t know where to start? You don’t need any specific technical experience to be able to launch a killer podcast. A quick search will let you know exactly what you need to make it happen. Keep your content exciting, clear, and consistent. Have fun! For more stats on Podcasts, head on over to Nicolette Beard’s blog http://www.toprankblog. com/2014/01/podcasting-content-marketing/
8) Your Blog – Your blog has the potential to draw serious traffic to your site, as well as lock thousands of names into your email list. Plus, if your content is kick-ass; you’re looking at changing lives & making sales. Blogs are easily shared, so when linked on platforms like Facebook, there is the potential to reach MANY people. When sharing blog on your social media platforms, only include a small highlight in the caption. Firstly, because you want people to follow the link to your OWN Facebook page. Secondly, you want to encourage your readers to click through to your website and read the rest there. More traffic to your website, more people getting offered an opt in, more people subscribing to your email list, more people finding out about who you are & what you offer. Which means more clients. If you include the entire blog post on Facebook, they won’t have reason to visit your site! My favourite part about blogs? They get archived and become a one stop hub of incredibly valuable information for your clients!!! Don’t know where to start? Write about what comes naturally to you! About what you are passionate & knowledgeable about. Zone of genius type stuff, nothing less will suffice. Writing about something you aren’t personally invested in, will come across to the reader. Keep it around the 600-word mark, because even your biggest fans have short attention spans. Not sure what to write about? Consider sharing your own personal experiences – people want to connect to you. Pepper in some heartfelt emotions, epiphanies, beautiful images, honestly, love, a dash of controversy, a call to action and a link to an offer or event…and voila! The makings of a share worthy blog that reaches your people. Be yourself, just don’t exaggerate and don’t be boring – finding that middle ground is important.
9) Contributing your writing to another person’s Blog. Here in lies the same ideas behind being a guest on someone else’s podcast. This is a perfect way of getting your name & message out to different audiences. It also really helps builds up your reputation and expertise in the field. And it attracts traffic to your own site! Do you have any favourite blogs? What do you love about them? Don’t know where to start? Reach out to professionals and people whose content you are totally smitten with. Do you share the same market? Offer a collaboration that will benefit the both of you.
10) Press. The potential with press is truly remarkable. Get something shared on big wig sites like Huffington Post, Buzz Feed or The Daily Mail and you are looking at WILD amounts of traffic coming your way. Firstly, this does WONDERS for your ranking on Google. Secondly, with a great opt in, you have the possibility of nabbing thousands of new subscribers to your email list. Which in turn, would open up your passive income sales pool by SO MANY more folks. Thirdly, being featured in the press gives your brand incredible authority. Especially with birth work, it is so rewarding to see incredibly important conversations taking place around the world, all because relevant images and stories are being share on major sites. Don’t know where to start? Sites like Bored Panda, Design Taxi, and Buzzfeed allow you to secretly submit your own articles and work. Make sure the articles follow the recommendations above for Blog posts. Short, sweet, easy to read, make impact, are informative, and have great visuals! If they get shared or picked up from these sites, watch them spread their wings and ffffffffffly.
11) Contests or Giveaways. These are both great ways to get your business noticed. It also helps gain the interest of followers who have the potential to be your perfect customer. Facebook just tightened their rules on Giveaways, so be sure to read the fine print on what you can and cannot do. Don’t know where to start? Consider teaming up with a business or professional to give away a special bundle. Use both your platforms to share and garner interest. Make it obligatory for people to tag 3 friends and repost the image with link back to your page. Alternatively, you can link the entry to the contest on your actual website. A perfect way to collect the email of the person entering. Keep contest open for 1-2 weeks, as people lose interest very quickly. You might want to give away 5 secondary participant prizes that could involve promo codes for your services or product.
12) Collaborating with other businesses. Locally or Globally – this is such a great way to network AND build brand awareness. Don’t know where to start? Midwifery clinics, Midwives, Hospitals, Obstetricians, and basically any other Perinatal Professionals can be the gateway you need to reach your people! Sometimes it is good to give them incentive to get them to commit to meeting you. For example, a photographer friend of mine offered use of her birth images for free in a Midwife clinic, if they agreed to recommend her to all of their clients. She included a promotional offer to entice said clients to contact her. And this clinic had use of a ton of gorgeous images to create a warm, inviting space. Winning! Sometimes collaboration comes in the shape of sharing communal work spaces with fellow birth workers, or including product from other companies to include in your own packages. Collaboration with the right people is so rewarding and beneficial! Word of mouth is a powerful thing in these instances, too.
13) Speaking Events. Talk about a brilliant way to command respect and good vibes in your field! Speaking events are a fantastic way to network and build up your expertise levels. They are also a fantastic learning experience as they push you to communicate clearly and confidently. A great platform to consider! TedTalk anyone?! Don’t know where to start? Host an informal information session to test your content and practice speaking your message!
14) Webinars and Video Blogs. I am slightly obsessed with these two. The power of face to face marketing is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Video is proving to be a game changer for a dozen different reasons. The ultimate way to connect the people who matter most to you. All the while picking up subscribers to your list, showcasing your special sauce, sharing your knowledge, and building your brand/business. I owe the growth of my birth biz directly to Webinars and Video Blogs. I use them to show the real me. I regularly record Webinars, even if no one is there. I like communicating my beliefs and message, over and over again, until I am confident it is clear and can create impact. Adding archived Webinars or Video Blogs to your existing packages, adds value and information. You can get them turned into transcripts, which you can then turn into Ebooks or graphics. Honestly, what are you waiting for. Do it now! Don’t know where to start? I use Zoom (paid service) but will be moving to Easy Webinar. Go To Webinar (Citrix) offer 30 days to try it for free. Afterwards, it’s a paid service. There are plenty of free or cheap options available! A Video Blog is easy and just requires a smart phone or webcam to get started. Please make sure quality is not sub par. You want good lighting, good clear sound, and no distractions. Put some great content together and watch your people interact! Ask questions and get people involved.
Like what you see? You can find this and more over on Heart & Hustle, an epic business course I created specifically for passionate birth professionals. I designed this program specifically to give both new and established perinatal professionals the business savvy and confidence they need to kickstart the business of their dreams.