So thankful for this thread. I have never posted here before - actually, this is the first time exploring the "doula" portion of the site. I didn't even know it existed. So here is a little background information and my questions at the end.
I am entering my third year as a doula. The clients that I have had have been very happy and have given me great reviews. I am in an area where hiring a doula is becoming more popular, but is not the norm. For example, out of ten couples in a recent childbirth class at a local hospital, only two couples were wanting a natural childbirth and were considering having a doula. I feel that I am friendly, confident and available to my clients. The problem is not when I have the clients, it is getting them and having a good interview. I feel that something is lacking in my interviewing skills, and I don't know what it is. I interview with several families, but do not hear back. I send follow up emails and the interviews always seem to go very well. This may be pre-mature, but I had an interview last night with a couple who is 37wks pregnant. They have been very busy, and this is the first opportunity they have had to contact a doula. I was recommended to them by another well known, very good doula in our area. When I got to their home, I felt comfortable. I was told that they had already been on my website, had a good reference from the other doula and when put out of FB that they were looking for a doula, several people mentioned me, not necessarily through personal experience, but through a friend of a friend. They seemed satisfied with everything I said and told me that I answered all of their questions. They were not interviewing with anyone else. When I went to leave, they showed me the nursery and thanked me very much for coming to their home. It was basically left at "I'll need to know within a few days what you have decided because of the time constraints." They seemed fine with that. It is now almost 1pm and I have been thinking all night and morning about a few things that I quite possibly could have done differently. One was that I asked them if they were meeting with any other doulas and the other thing was that I left it in their hands rather than saying that I would get back to them in a day or two. I haven't heard anything yet and am just afraid that I blew it.
I have several interviews, but nothing usually comes of it. I don't know how to turn this around. I try to get out there. I have written articles, gone to mom events, given talks about what a doula does, am part of a BirthNework, talk with other doulas in my area, left cards and brochures at various places, talked to the manager of a maternity store about doing some sort of presentation, etc. I guess my problem is two fold. I have a website that I need to completely change, but I am not able to do that at this particular time. I have a personal and business FB page. I put informative articles on the business page. I put things out there in hopes of starting a conversation and yet, for the most part, I feel like I am just sending things into the abyss. One - how do I get more people interested in what I am doing and Two - How do I have better interviews?
I feel without a doubt that I am supposed to be a doula. I want things to turn around and will accept any constructive comments. PLEASE, PLEASE help me to figure this out.
Thank you so much.