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The doula business struggles (there is a happy ending)…

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Doula business

My launch into the doula business world was less than stellar, I have to admit. It was clumsy, riddled with mistakes, and lonely. Why?

I’ve got two reasons:

  1. Lack of training
  2. Lack of support

And I minored in business, I could only imagine how other doulas felt!

Don’t worry though, this story has a happy ending.

All keen and trained

After my weekend training I was excited, I bought every birth and parenting book that my local bookstore had on the shelf – every.last.one. I ordered 500 business cards and made a one-page website – at the time this put me way ahead of the curve .

Facebook was fairly new (ok I have been in the field for a while) and I posted that I was a new doula and that I was ready to take clients as one of my statuses. The next day my phone rang and I was over the moon. I went to my first consult and I got hired on the spot. I thought that this being a doula thing was going to be easy, but that streak did not continue with the same level of ease.

Having previously studied business, I know I had a leg up. I knew I needed to start with great branding and focus on customer experience from the first time they called me, all the way to their contract wrapping up with me. The part that IS challenging for all doulas, myself included, was getting the phone to ring. More specifically, getting the phone to ring at the rate that makes being a doula sustainable.  

Taking your cards and flyers to all of the local businesses that share a target market with you is simply not enough. You can flyer (and re-flyer) until the cows come home and you probably will not get very much client action. A doula business is extremely unique and in itself very niche-y (that’s a good thing).

Would you make a big decision based on a market flyer?

Doulas build very special and sometime intimate relationships with her clients. Our clients trust us and need us and lean on us. It is a carefully considered relationship in the part of your potential client and  you need to click. Most of us do not get into intimate relationships based on a flyer we picked up at the market. Most of the time, our potential clients are not even sure that they need us so they probably won’t even pick up that flyer. Understanding this is an important step when you are starting or growing your doula practice.

Getting enough clients is the number one issue we are asked about. Actually running an efficient business is the number two issue and juggling a business and the rest of your life is a close third. We understand all of these concerns. We have been there! We have laid in bed wondering why it is not working. Where are all these women and families and babies? Why are they not calling us? We relied heavily on word of mouth but as your practice grows this model just isn’t enough.

We got some answers for you!

So how do you connect with your clients in a way that make them pick up the phone and call you (or, let’s be real, email you) and set up a consultation?

We got the answers for you right here in Doula Business PREP school, and it’s free! Yup, a completely FREE video series that will help you get your message out there AND it will get you more clients. The series is created by doulas for doulas! We get it, we want to see you thrive and support you in doing what you love to do… doula!

We are so excited to have you in our Doula Business PREP School! Register here.

Please comment below if you have any questions for us.

B&NBianca Sprague is a birth doula, lactation educator, childbirth educator and business consultant. She and her partner Alana are the moms to their 8 year old daughter, Gray. Bianca is the co-owner of bebo mia and Baby & Me Fitness.

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