How hard is it to get clients/Market your doula business????greenspun.com : LUSENET : Doula.Com General Discussion : One Thread
I have this thing where I tend to want to really do something but let my fears of starting out talk me out of it. I refuse to allow that to happen this time so that I can become a doula and work from home. My biggest fear (now that I read that insurance usually does not pay for a doula...there goes a lot of clients!) is that it is going to be hard to obtain clients.
Any marketing tools or advice? I have a few that I've come up with but I would like to hear from Doulas who have a clientel (as well as from the starting doula who may have a few clever ideas).
-- Joani (email@example.com), February 02, 2002
Hi Joani! Depending on where you are located it can be very hard to obtain clients. I work in a pretty small area so I had to spend 8 months just getting the word out on doulas before I got my first client. It also depends on how much you charge. I have chosen to not charge at all for my services because I want the experience since I am continuing on to become a midwife. Even though I'm not charging, I still do not have a lot of clients. Even the busiest doulas that I have met still have to have another job to make enough money for a living. Even many homebirth midwives have to do this! My best advice would be to get some business cards and make little flyers explaining what doulas are and their benefits and hang them anywhere you can. I also sat through the childbirth prep classes at all of the area hospitals to get to know their policies, etc. and got my name out a little bit that way. If you are a member of DONA they send out a newsletter called the "International Doula" and there are always good tips in there for new doulas!
-- Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 03, 2002.
Hello, I am in the process of setting up a doula business and am finding it to be very slow going. I only plan on doula-ing until the summer of 2003 when I try to get pregnant. My biggest fear is that all the hard marketing I am doing now will start to pay off right when I don't need it. I think here in the Baltimore area the hospitals have a corner on a lot of doula clients. In particular, Union and Harbor offer FREE doulas for moms-how are we supposed to compete with that! Others like GBMC charge but folks too busy to search around can just sign up with the hospital program and get a doula without any additional effort. Only the most educated client is going to understand the benefit of an independent doula. One of my frustrations in being ALACE trained is that everywhere you look people are listing DONA for doula info. DONE doulas must get way more referrals than us ALACE folks. -Barbara
-- Barbara (WomanCareDoula@aol.com), March 23, 2002.