This is the story of the first professional website for my birth practice, and how it allowed me to double my childbirth education and doula practice. Ok, to be fair to my brother, I did have one website before this one. He built it for me with lots of love, but it was 2002 and it was very basic and neither of us knew all that much about code or design.
It worked for me in a basic way. Clients could find out the schedule for my childbirth classes, or availability for doula care. They could find my contact information and email or call for more information. No online forms, no pretty pictures, no branding at all, and social media didn’t even exist yet! I hadn’t even really begun to think of this as my business yet – it was still very much a hobby. I recently actually found an old screenshot of it to share with you!
Fast forward a few years, and some dear family friends hired me as their doula. In exchange for my work with them through pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, the dad offered his professional services in web design to build me a new website. I had no idea what a gift that would be!
A few months later I was the proud owner of a brand new professional custom website. Built from scratch, it featured custom graphics that I had drawn by hand, a completely unique layout with a beautifully belly forming my navigation along the side of the page, and the SEO structure needed to make my site show up well in search.
My Website Birth Story
Within one month of launching, things began to change in my practice. While my childbirth education (Birthing from Within) classes had already been filling nicely, suddenly I had a waitlist. When I added more classes to the schedule, these too would fill with ease. My doula practice was overflowing, and I was able to limit clients to just those who had taken a childbirth class with me. One or two months later, my practice had literally doubled and was bursting at the seams. That practice, Dancing Star Birth, grew over the years into a wonderful team of childbirth educators (up to 8 of us at one time!) and I was able to bring on a full business partner to share in the growth.
Perhaps the most important change is that I was finally visible with a professional online presence. My old site hadn’t really shown up in search, and even when people found it, it was really basic and hard to navigate. Now I was on the first page of results, often in the first three listings, and when potential clients clicked on my link, they got a great first impression that made them curious to learn more.
I dearly wish I still had a copy of that first professional website site to share with you, but it was rebuilt a few years later when I was ready for something more, and again a few years ago. No matter how happy you may be with a website, as time passes you will find you are ready to take your website to the next level to better reflect your brand and services. This is the normal life-cycle of website development!
Whether you are ready for a custom wordpress website, or want to build your own website, this is your chance to create a strong foundation for your practice. Like it or not, having a good website makes a world of difference in your ability to market your services and convert site visitors into paying clients for your doula practice, prenatal yoga classes, or childbirth classes. If you’re going to invest the time and money into a website, remember that doing it right from day one will be one of the best moves you can make to find the clients you need for a thriving birth practice