Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Hope for Compensated Surrogacy in Washington State; SB 6037


I traveled to Olympia this week to support the new SB 6037 Uniform Parentage Action Bill.  I was told that within the next week or so we will know if it moves on. There are several parts to this bill but the biggest hitch is the surrogacy portion. Most of us feel that this will be the best law regarding surrogacy in the USA. I invite you all to read it yourself and comment here, PM me on Facebook or email me as I would love to hear your thoughts. NEW SECTION. Sec. 702. ELIGIBILITY TO ENTER GESTATIONAL OR GENETIC SURROGACY AGREEMENT. http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/.../Senate%20Bills/6037.pdf 
I hope to be testifying when the bill reaches the House. I will keep you all posted. This will mean some big changes for WA state! The entire state would be open to new possibilities in the realm of Third Party Family Building!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Modernizing the Patient Experience within Reproductive Medicine: Part 1- Nothing Can Replace Great Customer Service!


I spoke on a panel at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine a few years ago on the Patient Experience and the ways that would make it easier to reach people who need Assisted Reproductive Technology to build their families. As I was putting together my power point (By the way I hate doing power points but apparently that's what people want when they attend seminars!) I thought that the information I was giving to clinics can and will work just as well for Surrogacy, Egg, Sperm, and Embryo Donation Agency owners as well as Reproductive Attorneys , Mental Health Professionals, Adoption Agencies and Pharmaceutical Companies.

I am going to blog about all the great information that came out of this panel here on The Business of ART topic by topic. Please feel free to comment and add your own ways you feel would be helpful to patients suffering from infertility and/or using some form of ART to grow their families.

So ideally these Top 10 Customer Service tips are something that you and your staff are already doing. Do you have anything to add to this list? Is there something that you can improve on? How are your communication skills? How about your staff? Is their attitude 'customer friendly'? This is the first step to making your company better than anyone else's!



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Business Coaching for Surrogacy Related Companies

Do you feel overwhelmed with some aspects of your business? Are you a sole owner and need occasional support? Or are you dealing with a new problem that you have never encountered before? It may be time to ask for help! Sharon LaMothe has been working in the field of surrogacy for over 18 years and she can help you navigate through any problem or situation you may have. If she doesn't have the tools needed to help you solve your situation she can refer you to a professional who can. 


This service is aimed at professionals who:

  • Have new projects that are under consideration
  • Working with business clients that are difficult or complicated
  • Are exploring options for additional services
  • Need advice regarding best business practices
  • Want recruiting advice 
  • Need marketing solutions
  • Interested in brainstorming and idea generation sessions
  • Packages can be purchased in 10 or 20 hour increments. 

Please call 727-458-8333 for details. The first 40 minute consultation is free.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Updating Website Design and Content with LaMothe Services, LLC

Doing business in the 21st century requires every company to have a website in one form or another. Whether your site is interactive or simply informational, there are steps you can take to ensure you're on the right track to creating a successful web presence.

Overall, LaMothe Services will be reminding you that your website is not just a marketing tool, it's a business tool, and it should be generating a revenue stream for your business.

Call LaMothe Services today at 727-458-8333 and learn all the details with a free 40 minute consultation. With this package your business can take advantage of a free banner ad placed on one of the many sub-pages of www.InfertilityAnswers.net. 
 
This package includes:
 
Total overview of your current website including content review, design, testing links, key words and meta tags.
 
Rewriting (with client approval) problem or stale content
 
Adding or consolidating pages
 
Adding photos, group boxes or other design elements
 
Updating client bios
 
Evaluating visitor statistics and making suggestions to better market your website

Friday, October 13, 2017

LaMothe Services, LLC Social Networking Special



Social Networking is the fastest and easiest way to stay in touch with colleagues, co-workers,industry professionals,family,and friends. But learning how to navigate a site by yourself can be frustrating especially if you would rather be spending time doing other things. Networking in any form is a great way to keep your business in the forefront of everyone's mind and lead you to a better position in your industry.

Mention this blog post and with any social networking package LaMothe Services, LLC will include a banner ad featured on www.InfertilityAnswers.net Call for details!
Package #1 includes:
(one time set up fee)
Facebook~LinkedIN~Twitter~etc.
Setting up your social networking site with your e-mail and contact information
Posting your bio and other relevant information
Feed your blog to your networking site if possible
Showing you how to invite friends from your address book to your site
Teaching you how to navigate the site easily and quickly
Package #2 includes:
(paid monthly and can be combined with your blogging maintenance package)
Everything in Package #1 and
Maintenance of your social networking sites
Posting on your sites
Networking with other relevant groups on your site
Keeping you informed of events posted on your sites

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Own Your Own Surrogacy Agency Special!

Are you interested in owning and operating your own Surrogacy Agency but don't know where to start? Do you live in a surrogacy friendly state? Have you been entertaining the idea of becoming your own boss? Are you a 'people person' and have knowledge of the third party family building field? (Past Surrogate, Intended Parent or other A.R.T Professional) Do you believe that NOW is YOUR your time to take control of your own career path? If the answers are a resounding YES to all these questions then LaMothe Services, LLC can help you formulate a plan and assist you in building your business to it's full potential. E-mail LaMotheServices@aol.com to set up your free 40 minute consult and learn more about our Own Your Own Surrogacy Agency SPECIAL!                                                                                                                                                           
This SPECIAL for NEW SURROGACY AGENCY Owners includes the following!                                                                                                                   
20 Hours of Consultation:
This includes mainly phone and some e-mail communication. Discussing the viability of a surrogacy program, what it might take to begin, what issues and road blocks maybe in your path, etc. This package is based on what issues you want to explore.  Below are just a few of the topics we will discuss. As you can see, often more time is needed to have your business up and running smoothly: 
  •    Website    
  •     Marketing Materials    
  •     Forms (Intake, Applications, Retainers etc)
  •     Packet Information
  •     Recruiting Protocol
  •     Program Flow and Procedures
    •     Matching Procedures
    •     Clinic, Psychologist, and Attorney Relationships
    •     Hospital Risk Management Relationships
  •     Financial Tracking
  •     Surrogate Education and Support
  •     Intended Parent Education and Support
  •     Customer Service
  •     Networking with other professionals
  •     Staff development
Marketing Materials and  Agreements:                                                                                                                                                                
35-40+  ”samples". These  include a retainer  agreement, sample contracts, reimbursements for surrogates, anticipated fees and  costs, check lists, agency forms and documents, educational information for IPs and Surrogates etc. Some of this information can also be used in the website, social media, and marketing materials                                                                                                                                                                
Website Development:   
Total overview of what you would like on your website including content, design (colors), links (resources), key words
Client provides all content for the website including Logo.
Designing your website and adding content provided by client  (Home Page, Services, About Us, For Surrogates, For IPs,  Testimonials, Q&A for example) plus adding photos, group boxes or other design elements
Setting up a e-mail address to go from the site to the address of your choice
Teaching you how to take control of your site once it is completed so that you can add, remove and update your site as needed on your own
(Your credit card will be charged directly from the hosting company $19.99 per month once the site is activated.)
                                                                                                                                                                                          
Business Card and Brochure Design-Client pays for all printing and shipping directly to their office/home. Client provides logo and content (Content can be found and used from the website)
                                                                                                                                                  
Banner Ad Assistance
1 banner ad ready to post on Internet sites for visibility of your new company
Your Banner Ads on InfertilityAnswers.org for 12 months FREE   
                                                                                                                                                         
The cost of this package is $6,000.00 and is offered in 2 instalments of $3,000.00 each-30 days apart. If you choose to pay in full, you will receive 10% off the entire package! (That's a $600.00 savings!)
                                                                                                                                         
Contact LaMothe Services today to get all the details! LaMotheServices@aol.com or call 727-458-8333. (Please note that our main office is located in Seattle, WA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Extra hourly add-on packages are available for an additional charge.
**No Refunds

Monday, July 17, 2017

Branding Your Surrogacy Agency

Once again I go to the Internet to say what I want to say to you without the writers cramp. My brother, Derrick, is in the branding and marketing business and he quotes this topic over and over to big and small businesses alike. I found this article on www.MoreBusiness.com. It's all true especially with a surrogacy agency. Please use the word 'services' wherever it says products...you will see that it reads the same way!

http://lamotheservices.com/

How Can Branding Help Small Businesses?
An effective branding strategy creates a ‘pull’ for your products. (Services) This eventually is very rewarding financially since you save a lot of time and money that would otherwise be spent trying to ‘push’ your products.(Services) Read on to realize the effectiveness of branding for your small business.

Branding your products, your business - and even you - basically means that you are assuring people that whenever they buy any of your products and services, they are assured good quality and great service.

It means that they not only are buying your product (and Services), but also getting peace of mind for years to come.

Branding the Right Way

Proper branding will ensure that people want to be associated with your company. They will feel proud and happy after buying your products and will also want others to know that they have purchased your products. Simply printing your logo in every place possible does not ensure branding.

Following up with other marketing strategies and delivering quality products to match your branding strategy will ensure that your name is on customers’ minds when they set out to purchase a product.

Building up a brand name takes time, effort, and a great deal of patience. You must know what products your customers want and need. You must also be able to deliver them consistently. Your strategy will depend on the type of product you are manufacturing or marketing.

Once you start marketing your product and get some market feedback, then the next step is to analyze the information (negative or positive) that you have received. Conducting surveys is a great way to get the most unbiased information.

Surveys can also give you insight as to what your customers really want and expect. Once you have that information, don’t just sit on it – follow up with a concrete plan of action.



Be Aggressive – And Smart

Develop and promote your company logo and slogan aggressively. Price your products competitively and increase your market presence by advertising in any medium that fits in your budget. Some inexpensive forms of advertising are print media, such as flyers and brochures, and the Internet.

You should print your logos, slogans or any other punch line wherever possible including business cards, letterheads, invoices - and even on the emails you send out.

Along with great marketing, your sales should also increase. Increased sales are necessary if you want your brand name to become well known. Your customers must be happy with the quality of your products and services. If they are, they will slowly link your product with your logo. This is how you will know that your branding efforts are working.

Once your target audience is made aware that they are at an advantage when they buy your products rather than those of the competition, then they will prefer to purchase from you.

Be Consistent

Your branding efforts should be consistent - and once your brand name is embossed in the subconscious minds of your target audience, then you will have succeeded in branding your business. You will then be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Branding is not easy, especially for small businesses with limited budgets. However, persistence backed up by good quality, great customer service, effective advertising will yield results.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Your Web Site: Your Largest Marketing Tool


The computer age is here and with it is a great vehicle for marketing your services. Because you are not selling a packaged product, you don't need to store inventory but what you do need is a great web site. Here are a few things, in Q&A form, to think about before you dive in:

Q: What is my market target for my site?
A: People who have a computer and researching Surrogacy and ART. Assume that they Know Nothing!

Q: Do I need a High Tech site?
A: No, you need something that is memorable, easy to understand, and easy to navigate.

Q: Do I need to spend a lot of money on my site?
A: I don't think so. There are several places on the net that will let you design your site using their templates and host it besides. It is pretty easy to use one of these sites...Or you can hire LaMothe Services to teach you how to make and maintain your own site. http://lamotheservices.com/

Q. How do I market my site?
A. This goes hand in hand with marketing your business. I will get into more detail later but the most common ways are using the search engines, link and banner exchanges, and placement of your site address on your other marketing materials.

Q. Should I have a banner ad made up the same time I have my site made?
A. It's a good idea and be sure to link it color and design-wise with your site. Think about what you actually need to have on the banner...your logo? your phone number? your web site? your motto? You have limited space so really think of what you want to put on your banner ad.

Look around at some of your competition out there and what they have on their sites. What do you see? What "feeling" do you want your visitors to have regarding your agency the minute they see your home page? Do you want to have photos of the women who have signed on with you to be surrogates? Do you just want to have descriptions of who is looking to be matched or do you want to "pitch" your business personally and have people call you directly? What about your fees? Is it better to list them along with your services and "weed out" people that can't afford to pay what you are asking or would you rather entice your prospective clients to call so you can talk to them personally and tell them exactly what you are willing to do for them.

I will be touching on these topics frequently. A great web site is one step closer to showing the world how responsible, organized, and dependable you are. Remember, YOU are the agency!


http://lamotheservices.com

Monday, June 19, 2017

Starting Your Surrogacy Agency, Do You Need a Partner?

When starting any business the thought of a partnership may cross your mind, if even for a minute . Would it be a relief to have someone by your side to share the responsibilities or a burden to have to ask someone else what they think should be done?

When Surrogacy Consultants of Florida, LLC was first started in 2003 I was leaving the employment of an attorney's office and was thinking that I could offer a better service than what I had previously experienced both in the workplace and as a past surrogate. Everywhere I turned people said that I should open a surrogacy agency. I had worked on the "inside" and had met Intended Parent's and surrogates who believed that I had what it took to walk someone through an entire surrogacy program. I was affiliated with professionals who said that they would support a surrogacy agency. As a matter of fact, SCF was the first agency in Florida that was not connected to an attorney's office. Purely independent of Clinics and Psychologists as well, meaning that we were open to working with all ART professionals nationwide. Any IP who had a favorite Clinic could come to us and be matched with a surrogate and return to their own Doctor for treatment.

I decided that operating a Surrogacy Agency the way I envisioned it should be run would take more then just one person and I asked one of my friends, a surrogate and strongest supporters, Sita, to be my partner. She said yes and we were off and running.

What YOU need to do is decide what your vision for your business is and what you are willing to devote to it. Are you basically wanting to control every aspect of the business including start-up finances, book keeping, marketing, advertising, recruiting, management, materials, media, invoicing, all phone calls, filing, Internet web sites, e-mailing, interfacing with professionals, attending conferences, printing, attending meetings and follow up, etc.? I sure didn't! Having someone else to share the burden can be invaluable. Do you want to work 24/7? You will if you are alone. What if a family member is sick and needs your undivided attention? What will happen to your clients then? Family vacations might be a thing of the past if you don't have someone to cover for you. I think you can see which side of the fence I sit on here. I know wonderful small agency's run by a single person but they have to outsource (hire an answering service, a book keeper etc.) and limit their services and the number of clients they can take on so that they can give quality time to their customers.

Before you think that you can start up on your own and then add someone I would think again...that is HARD. Adding a new partner after start up, one who didn't go through the growing pains with you and did not risk any financial investment, may not have the commitment to the company that you have.

This is your ultimate decision...GOOD LUCK!
http://lamotheservices.com/

Monday, June 5, 2017

5 Tips for Writing Comments that Build Your Blogging Brand in part by Ryan Biddulph


Whether you have a skillfully-branded blog, stellar online reputation or are a green blogging newbie you can build your blogging brand through commenting.

The secret is no secret. Move your attention from getting backlinks to adding value to posts. Move your focus from driving traffic to building friendships with authority bloggers.

1. Be Present
Take a deep breath. Your mind likely races to outcomes before you post a comment. You want traffic, or links, or any other self-serving outcome. Kick those thoughts out of your head.
Brand-building commentators are present. Being in the moment focuses your thoughts, feelings and actions on the process of building valuable comments instead of focusing on some outcome. Breathe deeply. Relax. Proceed to the next tip.
2. Write 5 to 6 Paragraphs
Treat comments like content. Publish mini guest post sized comments to make an impact. Length does not equal impact necessarily so create value along with depth.
Bloggers notice thorough, helpful comments because such comments add immense value/content to their posts.
Readers note such comments too. Expect to receive interview requests and guest post opportunities as well as increased traffic by posting thorough comments.
3. Be Nice and Personalize
Never troll. If you disagree share your thoughts kindly while acknowledging the points made by the blogger. Be nice.
In most cases you’ll agree with the post. Pick 1 or 2 points made – proving that you read the post – and expound on the ideas with your personal experience.
Address bloggers by name. Thank them for sharing their insight. Sign off with your name. The tiniest personalizing details make you stand out from the hurried, less than mindful crowd.
If you want to make influential blogging friends quickly address people by their first name. My first name is the best sounding word in my native tongue. You likely feel the same way.
4. Comment Only on Relevant Authority Blogs
Build your brand by associating with authority bloggers. Blogs like Daily Blog Tips are the perfect spot for publishing thoughtful, in-depth comments.
Follow the leader and comment on their blog. Impressed leading bloggers will form bonds with you and impressed readers will click your link to learn more.
Successful bloggers associate with other successful bloggers. Build your brand by being seen alongside authority folks from your niche.
Look at it this way; reaching a big audience requires you to hang with the big dogs.
Comment only on relevant blogs. Target incoming traffic and build mutually beneficial friendships with relevant pros. If your blog theme relates to blogging tips it makes sense to form a friendship with Daniel Scocco through blog commenting.
6. Comment on Every Post
Or comment on almost every new post. Program readers and bloggers with your valuable commenting message.
Persistent commentators appear to be all over the place. In truth they simply condition readers on a subconscious level.
Think of a TV commercial. Commercial advertisements tend to grow on you after repeated exposures. The same idea rings true for blog commenting.
Comment as much as humanly possible on authority, relevant blogs. Make an impact. Be thorough.
Your blog and brand will thank you.


Ryan Biddulph is an internet lifestyle junkie, freelance writer and blogger. He owns Blogging from Paradise.