I'm new to this and looking for creative ways to "get my name out there" as a doula. I have considered advertising through my own prenatal yoga instructor, and adding myself to the low-cost/student doula list that my midwifery clinic keeps.
Doulas, how and where do you advertise your services?
I have a website but it doesn't get many hits. I am switching soon to a free blog. My clients I have, I have gotten through refs, and one was a woman who came to our local doula meeting and then asked would I be her doula.
Seeing if you can advertise thru your yoga instructor sounds like a good idea. You can do doulamatch.com and findadoula.com for free I *think*? Health food stores usually have free for all bulletin boards. I don't know how that'd go but I'm thinking of doing that soon, making some flyers and putting a few up.
local ICAN chapter
local birth networks
cards or flyers in the offices of local chiropractors, health food stores, vitamin/herb stores, places that do prenatal massage, baby stores (if they will let you - the bigger ones like BRU/BBB depend on the store manager), local ob/mw offices of providers that you think would be receptive to that
I think that participating in your local birthy circles - ICAN chapter, birth networks, any meetup groups, etc - will help just as much if not more as actual advertising though.
You MUST have a good website. I have gotten probably 98% of my business from my website. The rest has come from social networks and by chance. You can contact the local doctor's offices, they often want to be able to give references for doulas but don't know we're there. WIC is also a good place for making contacts and any childbirth educators in your area...often they have a class totally dedicated to doula care.
Networking! I went today with two doulas from our group to a local OB's office on their lunch break to talk to them, and give them our materials and dessert. Call the offices in your area and ask if you can come give a 10-15 minute presentation. Also, make sure that every childbirth educator in town knows your name and has seen your face (and tried your cookies).
I have a blog (in my signature), which some people have told me they read.
I admin a facebook page for our doula group and for my own doula business.
Carry business cards with you. Get comfortable handing them out.