How I Grew My Doula Practice When No One Yet Heard about Doulas

I am not an expert in marketing. To be honest, as an introvert, I am very challenged in this field. However, as a pioneer doula in my homeland, I had no choice but to spread the concept of a doula and endlessly share the doula benefit statistics. But that was in the old days (LOL). Nowadays, ‘doula’ is a dictionary term, and all you need to do is put yourself out there as a doula. I sat down and gathered a few ideas that served me well over the years.

  1. Storytelling: Since there is no need for you to promote the profession of a doula, I feel that you’d better avoid the “doula benefits statistics” talk. Instead, try to connect with your listeners on a personal level and build rapport.
    People are more likely to remember you and to refer to you when they feel comfortable with you. Have you ever met a new person and after 10 minutes felt like you just found your long lost pal? That’s rapport! Share your story of what inspired you to become a doula and how you were moved and changed for the rest of your life by this new career path. While sharing statistics sounds very knowledgeable, it doesn’t move your listeners or inspire them as much as your story. So this holiday season, take the time to reflect on your path and write your story in a manner that moves you. If you find yourself laughing or tearing up, you can be sure it will move your community.

2. Marketing materials: While you keep writing and editing your story, start designing and making simple business cards or a one-sheet bio with your photo. I advise my students to launch their business using simple homemade marketing materials. It’s better to invest in the more expensive and professional ones only once your professional identity, meaning what makes you unique as a birth worker, becomes clear to you. When both your story and your homemade business cards are ready, you can begin the holiday networking adventure. Recite your story before every holiday gathering in order to feel ready and confident to share.

3. Reconnect with your past clients: If you have already been practicing for a while, and you want to attract more clients, the holidays are a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with past clients and express your gratitude for the privilege of supporting them in the most profound and intimate experience in their lives. Here, again, you can use your story and share how being a birth worker inspired and influenced you. End the holiday card, or email, writing something like this: “I cherish you, and our joined experience and I look forward to serving and supporting your friends, relatives and community members. Your referrals and support would be the most beautiful Holiday gifts ever!”. (The advantage of investing in a greeting card is that you can insert some of your business cards in the envelope). You may also consider asking clients to write you a supportive review to share on your site if you already have one. 

I am going to walk the talk myself and ask you to gift me this Holiday Season with your referrals. Please post the link below on social media groups, or email it to your colleagues, describe my contribution to your practice and encourage birth workers to join our Birth Coaches’ tribe.

4. Throw a holiday gathering for birth pros: The holidays are awesome for networking events. My friend Patricia, a seasoned doula, already sent out an invite to our community, for which I’m so grateful. Create a one-page invitation to hang at birth resource centers, yoga centers, holistic centers of all types. In addition, post the electronic version of the brochure on social media. Search for professionals who provide services for expectant couples on a wide spectrum like acupuncture, massage, behavioral therapy, midwives, and more. Another idea is to search for birth workers in your area in the members’ lists of the certifying organizations. Gather the community of birth workers in your area for a holiday potluck and become a community leader. You may prepare some ice-breaking games or some childbirth jokes and humor. Prepare white posters and markers, and brainstorm with the participants on how the local community can continue to grow together. Explore the following ideas:

  •  A monthly peer review.
  • A monthly Meet the Doula Night, where couples get to learn about doulas and meet them.
  • Throwing a yearly event for the community of local expectant parents.
  • Establishing a non-profit organization and thinking about possible fundraising events.

There are so many more creative ways to expand your community and attract clients. My friend Darlene MacAuley of Inspired Birth Pros. is a real expert in establishing and expanding your practice, and she offers a Holiday promo, so hurry up and visit her site. 

I hope that my ideas inspire you and you will explore additional ways to enjoy the holidays while gearing up your business. 

Celebrate the Holidays and Grow Your Business!

Neri Life-Choma

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