By Kristin Laffrey, business coach for women leading impact in fertility, birth, postpartum, motherhood, parenting and matrescence.
One of the most essential parts of building your doula business is being able to create a replicable marketing strategy for increasing your visibility and reaching potential clients.
Whether you are starting your doula business or looking to grow your established business, there is no doubt that social media is a valuable tool in being able to do that. However, like any marketing you are looking to undertake within your business, social media requires a clear marketing strategy that you are able to execute and replicate to be able to attract, not just your next client, but a consistent flow of clients, to always ensure you are attracting new clients and growing.
This becomes particularly powerful if you decide to grow your business outside of in-person support and decide to launch online offers and resources to strategically grow your business. Because that takes being able to reach more potential clients and grow your business.
There are many different purposes of your social media content. You need to ensure your content reaches new ideal clients but then also builds credibility and trust, and then is effective in moving them into your offers (also known as client conversion). To be able to attract a consistent flow of pregnancy, birth and/or postpartum doula clients, all of these are essential.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to be focusing on one of the key ways to increase reach and visibility through social media and that is through hashtags.
You may already be using hashtags however this article is going to focus on HOW to use hashtags to increase visibility and reach more potential doula clients.
Why do hashtags need to be part of your marketing strategy?
There is no denying that Instagram is such a powerful was to showcase your doula services, build an engaged community and attract potential clients. BUT it's not just about using the platform but rather HOW you are using the platform because you want to be ensuring the time and energy you are investing is being put towards strategies that are going to maximise your visibility and impact.
This is why as a doula, hashtags are an essential part of your marketing strategy - because they allow you to maximise your reach. However not all hashtags are created equal so to truly harness the power of hashtags it's crucial to have a well-defined and purposeful strategy.
As you will see as part of this article, people search different hashtags based on the different stages of their decision-making process and so it's important to include different layers of your hashtag strategy to ensure you are reaching your ideal clients at different stages of their decision-making process.
In this article I will break down your 3-part hashtag strategy to attract doula clients on Instagram. Whether you are starting your doula business or looking to expand your reach, this hashtag strategy will be your secret weapon for elevating your Instagram presence and connecting with potential clients effectively.
So what is your 3-part hashtag strategy?
There are three components to your hashtag strategy that are essential:
As you will see below, this ensures you are capturing your ideal clients as different stages of their decision-making process because they may be searching different hashtags based on the different levels of awareness they have (whether they know what are doula is, whether they are looking to make a decision of which doula to use or whether they have not knowledge of what a doula does and is just researching for their pregnancy, birth or postpartum).
Let’s break each down.
Part 1: Industry-specific hashtags
These are hashtags that relate specifically to your industry as a doula BUT also showcase who it is you are attracting in terms of your ideal client. The reason these hashtags are essential is that they allow you to reach people that are starting to connect with the idea of what a doula would look like as part of their journey. This is generally a stage in the decision making process where a potential client is looking at whether a doula is something they would be interested in considering further.
Some examples of industry-specific hashtags include:
PostpartumDoula: For attracting clients seeking postpartum care and support.
VBACDoula: For attracting clients that are looking for doulas specialising in supporting vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) clients.
NaturalBirth: For attracting clients that are focusing on working with a doula that is interested in natural childbirth.
Part 2: Location-based hashtags
The reason these hashtags are essential is that they will allow you to reach people that are more seriously considering a doula and now looking at options for what is directly available to them. This is generally a stage in the decision making process where a potential client is looking at which doula would be a fit for their journey and are therefore weighing up different options. Using location-based hashtags will ensure that you are searchable for people looking within their local area.
Some examples of location-based hashtags include:
Part 3: Content-specific hashtags
The 3rd piece in your hashtag strategy is including hashtags that relate to your core content pillars to capture key topics that your potential client may be searching. The reason these hashtags are an essential part of your strategy is that your ideal client may not yet be looking for a doula (they may not know they need a doula or may not know what a doula is) and therefore using content-specific hashtags allows you to reach potential clients that are in the process of learning more about pregnancy, birth or postpartum but may not necessarily be looking for doula support.
Some examples of content-specific hashtags include:
How many hashtags to use per post?
As you can see above, a combination of the different types of hashtags are necessary to ensure you are maximising your visibility and reaching potential doula clients. But this doesn't need to be a combination on every post however your portfolio of content should ensure a combination of all (for example, across 4-6 posts, you should have used a combination of industry-specific, location-based and content-specific hashtags).
According to Fohr Insights, Instagram sees an engagement spike of 12.6% through using one hashtag compared to posts with no hashtags. However, just because Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags per post, it doesn't mean you need to use all 30 in each post. 5-10 specific and strategic hashtags will boost your engagement and ensure your content is reachable by your ideal client.
By applying your 3-part hashtag strategy, you will ensure that you are maximising all features of Instagram to get the most from your content and leveraging every opportunity to market your doula packages and reach potential doula clients to grow your business.
Ready to start attracting more potential clients, booking more client interviews and converting more doula clients into your packages?
My free Massively Intentional Action Plan breaks down my step-by-step client attraction process to support you in building visibility, cultivating connection and selling your services with confidence to your potential clients. Download now to start implementing your action plan immediately.