Hello! I am a doula serving Santa Cruz, Monterey and Santa Clara County. I am a newer doula, just attended birth #16 this Friday (It was AWESOME! Hospital Birth, All-Natural, 2 hour labor, baby came out in 4 pushes, no tearing, No I.V.) and I no longer have a doula client on the books. I am wondering if any of you have tips for me on how to get more doula clients.
1) I am currently listed on Doulamatch.net, findadoula.com, (soon to be on DONA! Just became certified), pending on alldoulas.com, and have posted an ad on babycenter.com, as well as naturalbabypros.com. I also put a listing up on a local churches web group called The Vintage Post.
2) I am a member of my local Birth Network, The Birth Network of Santa Cruz and am posted on their website. I attended the Birth Expo this fall (The next one is in Feb.). Had to miss the Meet the Doulas Night, but am planning to attend the next one, also in Feburary.
3) I work at The Pregnancy Resource Center of Santa Cruz as a secretary and volunteer as a doula. I have attended 3-4 births that way. I do not charge for those births
4) I have a website: www.atyourservicedoula.com (I haven't paid extra for it to go on the search engines, but I have checked it at least once a day everyday and it's moved to the the fifth position on google in searches). I also have business cards, although I am running low!
5) I am filling out the paperwork for becoming an Operation Special Delivery volunteer. (There are two bases in my area for people in the armed forces, one in Mountain View and one in Monterey)
6) The three hospitals in Santa Cruz County each have my card posted on their wall as a person to call if a woman comes in alone to the L&D floor. I've been called once so far.
I have friends who are older doulas who always have 3-4 clients a month and I'm lucky if I have one! If you're an older doula, how did you do it? And for those who are becoming more and more successful, how are you doing it?
Honestly it takes time and word of mouth is your best way of getting clients. That only happens with time. I would say continue doing what you are doing as long as it is free (anytime I paid for something I never got any clients from it). Make sure your past clients know that you are still looking for new clients and make sure they have business cards to hand out.
Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09
(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)
I've gotten clients:
- attending a breastfeeding class at a local hospital. I asked to sit in on the class and a couple who I chatted with afterwards asked me to be their doula
- working out at the YMCA reading The Doula Book (when I had to read it for certification)
- here at MDC, when I answered someone's question about something birthy and they asked me to be their doula
- from my craigslist ad
- through the childbirth educator at a local hospital, who I keep supplied with my cards and fliers
- from one of the local OB offices where I dropped off business cards
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds 10yo dd 8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds
It can take time to get your name out there. But, you could connect with a local childbirth educator and see if she would recommend you. You could also work with your back up... I know I send a TON of people her way because I only do one birth a month (if that).