It’s often said that the most magnetic personal brands stem from entrepreneurs who are on a “heartfelt mission” to drive change.
UK Doula, Founder of The Wise Hippo birthing programme, and author of The Birth Path Tamara Cianfini, is testament to that theory.
She overflows with passion when it comes to supporting pregnant women to recognise that by empowering themselves with the right skills and knowledge they can massively influence their birth experience for the better. She also runs a training programme (now bringing in seven figures), to help spread the message and she trains NHS midwives throughout the UK!
You can hear our full conversation on the Interviews With Experts podcast.
Recognising the story behind the brand
Storytelling is a popular way of building and nurturing a community. Tamara didn’t have to look far to uncover hers!
Unfortunately she had a traumatic first birth, so much so that she vowed never to have more children. Five years later when she fell pregnant she thought her only option to avoid a horrific second experience was to have a caesarean section, and then she stumbled on the concept of hypnobirthing.
Tamara: “Hypnobirthing sounded too good to be true but I was pretty determined to try anything I could because I had nothing to lose. I threw myself into all the practice required to change my mindset and get to know my body, and when the day came I achieved the most magical birth even though my daughter was 9.5lbs. I declared there and then that every woman needs to know what’s possible; I am going to shout it out from the rooftops!
I couldn’t believe that I’d achieved something so amazing, so natural and remained in a state of calm. I actually enjoyed giving birth! It was the absolute opposite of my first experience. I felt like I had discovered one of the world’s biggest secrets and every pregnant woman needed to know what I knew.”
Taking massive action
Tamara didn’t sit on her obsession to create change, within three months of giving birth she trained as a hypnobirthing teacher, and proceeded to become chair of UK Hypnobirthing, and launch World Hypnobirthing Day (March 21).
Eight years later she birthed a whole new movement and started to train people to teach her programme.
Tamara: “Some of the stuff that was happening in the world of hypnobirthing didn’t sit right with me. I was already in a position of influence so I decided hypnobirthing needed a modern facelift and it needed to be more relevant to women in the UK [Tamara had been teaching a course created in America]. I’ve trained thousands of couples and teachers through The Wise Hippo. It includes antenatal education, but more importantly it reduces pregnancy anxiety and fear, strengthens the mindset, transforms the birth experience, and changes lives.”
How a brand can learn to stand on its own two feet
Tamara clearly had a natural ability to teach and share the hypnobirthing message. I was keen to find out when she started to build it up as a brand in its own right.
Tamara: “Having a brand was a way to reach more people in a really serious way. The word hypnobirthing makes it sound a bit airy fairy or something that only hippies would do so I wanted to change how it was perceived.
I wanted to share the message in a way that would attract professional pregnant couples who value education, couples who read books and want to educate themselves so that they have the information they need to birth their babies in the best possible way.
The Birth Path [published in 2020] is written to connect with the ‘everyday woman’; we need to share the message as widely as possible!”
Using a graphic of a mother and baby hippo Tamara has branded her training programme to convey authority and humour, and it’s memorable.
Reinforcing the brand identity
Tamara: “I encourage all of our teachers to use the brand logos and we have a shared vocabulary. They love the hippos. Hippos start to pop up everywhere and once you become a teacher you see hippos everywhere. Couples post into our Facebook community that they found a t-shirt with a hippo on it or hippo toys. There are even sleepsuits with images of hippos on them. It’s become an increasingly recognised brand which is fantastic.”
I love finding out the journey that people have been on to build and strengthen their brand, Tamara’s seemed to include a sprinkle of magic.
Tamara: “To be honest I didn’t consciously go out to do it. I just trusted and everything fell into my lap at the right time, in the right place, with the right people. It feels like it was meant to be which all sounds a bit spiritual but it’s just the way it is. I don’t plan ahead, I live each day as it comes and trust that the right people will step into my path to help me on my way, which is also how I came to write my book with the support of Write Business Results!”
It’s refreshing to hear how easily Tamara pulled together The Wise Hippo brand, but what’s even more impressive is that it’s endorsed by celebrities! England Football Captain Harry Kane’s wife Kate used the teachings to birth their baby, as did TV personality Ferne McCann.
Tamara has found a way to unite teachers and pregnant women to share her powerful message.
Nurturing a community
Tamara: “We focus a lot on the community spirit. We have a private supportive community specifically for our teachers which is full of the most incredibly wise women who know so much about hypnobirthing but also lots of complementary therapies including reflexology, massage and the importance of mindset.
Our separate Facebook community for the couples who participate in our programme provides ongoing support for the rest of pregnancy, labour and birth.”
If you’re pregnant and would like to find out more about how to set yourself up for the right birth on the day check out Tamara’s book, The Wise Hippo website, or email her.
And, if you’re feeling ready to birth your personal brand and bring a new book into the world, get in touch with the team at Write Business Results. We’ll support you through your literary pregnancy, labour and birth (and help you raise the baby too!).
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