The history of Heart Tones Birth
In 2015, Beth started Heart Tones Birth Services after moving to Utah. Beth saw a great need for excellent birth services, especially in marginalized communities. Starting at the end of 2018, Beth felt the need for a doula partner. Most doula’s burn out after 3 years, and she wanted to avoid that for herself. It had already been 3, so as far as that statistic went, Beth was due for a burnout. She put out a very specific ad for the kind of partner she was looking for.
It took Beth about 6 months to act on her desire to get a partner. When she did, she was shocked at the amount of positive responses she got. After her research and interviews, she added Chelsea Udell to her team. Chelsea was a newly certified doula, who had already established her own doula services company. She hadn’t been doing it for long when she had to have an emergency surgery, causing her to give up one of her clients. This devastated her and gave her a taste of what a future as a solo doula would be like.
Upon meeting, the two were a match made in heaven. They shared a desire to focus on underserved communities in the birthing space. Together they make up a great duo.
Finding a partner that shares your vision
It’s daunting to share your ideas, dreams, and passions. Finding a partner isn’t easy. You have to be willing to be vulnerable and put your ideas out there, talk with people who share some but not all of your ideas and dreams for your business, until you finally land on someone who will help you make your business what you want it to be.
But fielding a search for a partner can also benefit your business plans. It forces you to define what you’re looking for, what you’re wanting to achieve, what are the skills you need but don’t have to help you get there, what things must you see eye to eye on and what can you be persuaded on.
In her search for Chelsea, Beth was able to narrow in on what she wanted her doula services to be. Her focus on serving the LGBTQ+ community was something she knew she had to have a partner agree on and it was a huge factor in attracting Chelsea to the position.
Sometimes being specific can frighten us, can make us think we are decreasing the amount of pie we have a chance of getting. It can make us feel like we’re narrowing our chances for success. The opposite is actually true. When we define, refine, and focus our business offerings, we find a market that isn’t just ready for our offering, but has been waiting for and anticipating it.
When you find a partner that shares that specific vision, you strengthen your business and its footings in the area of the market where you provide a solution and you immediately double your ability to penetrate that market.
Talk to everyone
Selling your idea as an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Not everyone is endowed with natural salesmanship. But the benefit of being an entrepreneur is the passion that drove you there in the first place, which can masquerade as great salesmanship if we just let that passion take the wheel.
Share it with everyone and anyone. And be careful not to dilute it with any of your other passions or projects. When it’s something you’re building and looking to get off the ground, strengthen, or reinforce, make it the focus of your conversations. Talk to everyone about it.
Know how to best approach people
Most people don’t like being sold to. But this is where your passion comes in handy again. By focusing on your passion and asking questions like Beth modeled (“Have you considered what you’re going to do for birth support?) you can win more people over. Your salesmanship turns into consulting and advising them toward a solution or offering they may not have considered, may not have known about, or may have thought they didn’t want or need.
Making sure your questions are open (like Beth’s above), and not closed, tends to open the conversation because you’re asking about their opinion, thoughts, feelings, and process while still lending your expertise. It’s also not a leading question. The question lends itself to your area of expertise, but it doesn’t have an agenda to it. The genuine inquiry gives them an opportunity to share what they have thought about or turn to you for advice if they don’t have much of a response.
Beth built her business, ran at it alone, and then added a team member. Her three takeaways are focused on that brainstorming that came from pinning down the specifics of her business before bringing in a partner, to preserve what she was hoping to solve.
1. Find your ideal client. Imagine them, get specific, make a vision board (where do they shop, workout, what do they do on the weekend, where did they go to school, what’s their religion, what’s their orientation, what kind of pets do they have). When you’ve identified them, you’re better enabled to talk directly to them, whether that’s in person or over social media, blog posts, and emails.
2. Come up with a list of questions that keep them up at night. It’s pretty taboo to ask people directly “what keeps you up at night?” If we have a solution to pains, we should have a pretty good idea what kind of pains we’re solving for. But the trick is to get as nuanced as possible. What are ancillary worries? Shoot-offs from more primary or larger, more obvious worries and pains? If you follow those down a path, what are the secondary pains they trigger? And how does your solution address them as well. Use that to then blog or post about the answers to those questions. It will help your content be immediately relevant and further attract your ideal client.
3. Find the people who are what you want to be. We hear so much about finding a mentor. Combine that with how their career lines up with where you’d like to be. And always follow it up with a thank you note, gift card, or taking care of the meal where you met up to discuss things.