Marketing Your CBE Business - Part 2

As you read in Part 1 (and probably already knew), it can be a challenging task to set out marketing and advertising your classes so that you have a steady stream of students. Once you have named your business, set up your online presence and printed some materials, take things to the next level with these additional steps:

4. Use Social Media Effectively

We’ve mentioned that it is pretty critical to be online. In today’s era, social media is growing and evolving at record speed. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube, and Yelp have all been called “critical” for small businesses. However, this can quickly get overwhelming (and may change a few months from now), so we encourage you to start with one or two of  your favorite forums and go from there. As you dive into social media, keep these tips in mind:

  • Set up business accounts separate from personal accounts
  • Develop a system for posting/sharing information on a regular basis (there are apps that can make this easier)
  • Link everything you post to your website
  • Consider using an email marketing service like MailChimp (for sending regular emails/e-newsletters to your clients or potential clients)

5. Develop a system

Having a master plan will keep your stress levels low and get much more effective results than diving in without a strategy. Create a business “master calendar” with tasks and deadlines to make sure you’re staying on top of marketing. Get your class schedule established, then schedule your strategies:

  • Advertising your class schedule (3+ months in advance)
  • Order your marketing materials and custom handouts
  • Outline/schedule for posting on social media
  • Outline/schedule for posting on your blog
  • Networking with local birth professionals (CBEs, doulas, medical providers/practices, birth centers, hospitals, etc)

To start networking, begin by making lists of essential and possible partners (a spreadsheet or Trello board can work great for organizing your list). Add their contact info (address, email, website, phone) and have columns or notes with the dates of each interaction. Follow up monthly or quarterly to ensure these partners always have a stock of your resources and to remind them of your amazing business. Drop in with a plate of cookies or muffins, bring a basket of brochures they can place on a waiting room table, or think of some other creative way of brightening their day and making yourself memorable.

6. As your business grows

As you experience success in your endeavors, you can take your materials and marketing up a notch:

  • Add customized CBE resources branded with your logo/name
  • Consider ways to expand (your 5 and 10 year goals)
    • Add other instructors/employees
    • Add different services or classes
    • Partner with other similar businesses to cross promote
  • Paying for advertising
    • Social media
    • Google ads
    • Local groups
    • Local magazines or websites

The Internet is full of additional, more formal steps to starting a business.

We wish you the very best in your teaching endeavors. You are doing extremely valuable work!

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Plumtree Baby, LLC

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