Written by Marissa Bolaños
Being your own boss is hard!
Having your own business is a wild journey full of ups and downs.
When thinking about being self-employed, many people focus only on gaining the new skills that will match their passions and voilà! A profitable, happy business is born! If only…
And if you’re reading this you probably know there is a lot more to find clients and creating sustainability in your practice.
I remember almost a decade ago when I launched my doula business and truly had no idea how to get clients as a doula. I remember at some point hand-drawing a brochure and focusing on the wrong things, such as business cards that eventually ended up in the recycling bin because I hadn’t even taken the time to think about branding before spending money I didn’t have on things that weren’t going to work anyways.
I was lucky to find bebo mia’s Birth Worker Business School in one of its first versions and that was amazing. It provided me with the guidance, inspiration, and step-by-step approach that I needed.
But… even though I was doing a lot of things right, I was still getting very few clients.
I often felt embarrassed and frustrated and more than that, I had a deep sense of shame wondering if there was something wrong with me because everyone else seemed to be getting clients except me. Maybe I was too weird, I was too different, and I didn’t have enough experience or the right kind of experience.
I didn’t know what else to do.
Thank goodness I was still part of the bebo mia community because having like-minded individuals to talk to in those moments of doubt is key to continue pushing forward in the ups and downs of business. I did a lot of trial and fail and today I want to share with you some of the most helpful things that helped me lift my business up and create real sustainability and abundance for me and my family!
Get more Doula clients and build your Doula business:
Here are great tips to help you get more doula clients:
1. Attract more clients by message clarity
Words are a very powerful way to connect with other humans and having the right words to communicate the value of your work to potential clients makes a huge difference. Working on your messaging can take a bit of time and dedication but really, it doesn’t have to be perfect because with time you will continue to refine it and it will become more and more clear. Some people talk about this as your elevator pitch. The goal here is to make sure that if someone casually asks you what you do for a living you have an answer that is very clear and emotionally packed. No room for robotic answers or ambiguous responses!
2. Grow your business with supportive network
Now that you have a good draft of your elevator pitch, it’s time to take it out for a test drive. One of the best ways I got to perfect my messaging was through attending networking events.
At first it was a bit terrifying, but eventually I found an all-women networking group where I felt much more at ease and I got to connect with other female entrepreneurs, hear about the work they did, and practice my own messaging. It doesn’t matter if the people you’re talking to are in vastly different industries than you are, putting yourself out there and communicating clearly the work you love doing and the difference you make in people’s lives often has unimaginable ripple effects. Unexpected collaborations can be born, great opportunities can arise, and if nothing else, you at least get to practice, practice, practice that elevator pitch.
Networking groups are very valuable, and don’t forget to nourish relationships with people in your industry who might not have the time or space to attend such events. In my case, being a doula, a lot of my business growth came from deep and mutually beneficial relationships with other doulas, with midwives, acupuncturists and more. Follow your heart on this one!
3. Potential clients can easily find and contact you
Alright, you might have a very clear message and you might be getting referrals from all the wonderful networking you have been doing, but if it’s not easy for potential clients to find you and contact you they will very likely move on rather quickly because people are busy.
Most people want to get a deeper sense of who you are before picking up the phone (and in fact the majority would rather never pick up the phone at all and would rather email you!) and you want to make that process as easy and enjoyable as possible.
That’s where your website and social media channels come in!
Whichever way you choose to present yourself online, make sure that it is clear and authentic. Include noticeable buttons with calls to action in your website, add your email in your social media and invite people to send you a message, make it obvious what areas you serve, and don’t be afraid to show people exactly who you are and what you have to offer.
4. Build relationships with your clients
The last step to tie it all together is to get out there and show your potential clients who you are. They want to see your face and hear your voice and get a sense of who you are. Look for the places your potential clients are already hanging out at (for example, for me that was prenatal yoga!) and bring something of value to them. Building strong relationships with your clients is key to the long-term success of your doula business and get more doula clients.
This can be a free talk, a quick in-person invite to an event or a class, a demonstration of one of your many offers, etc. Fairs and conferences are also a great place to be! Pitch a podcast (podcasters are always looking for great guests). Be brave!
A very important thing to remember as you dive into this process is that all these steps work together. If you skip the clear messaging the people you network with will have trouble understanding what you do. If you don’t have a website or social media the potential clients you met at an event won’t trust your professionalism as much. When people are clear about what you do and want to work with you but they don’t know how to contact you, you will lose them. As you work on strengthening each one of the points above you will see your business grow and you will continue to harvest the fruit of your hard work for years to come in the form of a full calendar working with the people you love working with.
One of the biggest challenges for heart-centered entrepreneurs is making the commitment to work on their businesses and not know exactly what to do when they do set the time aside.
That’s why we created the “Get More Clients Challenge” for those of you who are ready to take the next step and go from feeling lost and exhausted into growing abundance in your life and your business. Sign up for the challenge today and join a community of like-minded business owners who are ready to make a difference with their gifts! This small investment will pay for itself in the week.
We are not supposed to do business alone. Led by experts, fueled with peers, you will get your roadmap to grow your roster week after week. We cannot wait to support you with growing a thriving business!
Grab your spot today!
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