The doula industry is rapidly growing worldwide and there is greater demand than ever for doula support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. This is wonderful for two reasons. It means that families are getting more and more support, which is shifting birth and postpartum outcomes AND demand means that doulas are more capable than ever to have a thriving practice. But even with all of the buzz around having doula support it still can be really challenging to get clients.
Here are three reasons you may not be getting the clients you want:
Not enough people know who you are. To be a successful doula with a full client load, you need to become a household name in your area. Word of mouth referrals can take a while to build up, so expect it take some time (up to two years even). How do you make this happen? Get out in the community and meet as many professionals as possible who work with pregnant families.
You aren’t following up. So you’ve dropped your cards off at an OBs office. Now what? Odds are your cards will sit there in a corner and be forgotten. The secret is to follow up with all of the providers and professionals you reach out to. You are building a professional relationship and that can take a while. Shoot them an email, ask them to be on your mailing list or follow you on social media, ask them out to coffee or to a birth event - bonding with practitioners socially and professionally is a wonderful way to create an amazing referral buddy.
Your marketing materials aren’t convincing. Is your website a fountain of knowledge and reflection of who you are? Do your brochures inspire confidence and a deep desire to reach out to you for doula support? Is your social media a place that brings people information, connection and a reason to seriously crave your services? If you answered “no” to these questions, then you should be seriously thinking about your marketing plan and coming up with ways to grab potential clients with your marketing materials.
I also want to acknowledge that not all cities know or understand what doula support is and how it can help. So it can be extra hard to get clients when a huge part of the work is just educating people on what doulas do. In that case, getting out there and letting people know we exist is going to be part of the process. When I lived in San Francisco, I had to do very little work to educate anyone about doulas because it was very popular to have a doula. But when I moved to a different city, it was totally different. People had never even heard of doulas so part of my marketing was letting people know I existed and convincing them that I was a necessary and important part of the birth team.
If doing all the things to get more clients sounds totally overwhelming, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Many, many doulas feel this way. You can create a successful and profitable doula business if you put your mind to it - I’ve done it and I’ve supported lots of other doula in earning their dream income. But the first question you have to answer yes to is:
Am I ready to profit BIG from my doula business?
I created a FREE checklist just for you - if you can answer a confident YES to all the things on this checklist - you are ready to dive in and create the career of your dreams. You can earn the income to do all the things you dream of: live in a beautiful home, cover all of your bills, save money, take wonderful vacations...whatever life you dream of living, most doulas can achieve it if they work hard and smart.
Download your free checklist here.