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#1 of 15 Old 06-09-2011, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies!

 

I feel like I'm not alone in this boat so I am hoping to reach out to you.

 

I love what I do as a doula and I have lots of feedback from parents, healthcare providers and others that I am wonderful at what I do. Sadly, doula training didn't quite leave me with marketing skills. I live in a big metropolis where there are tons of doulas so I need to stand out and be specific to attract my target market. I am taking some webinars on marketing but having a hard time making it work for me as a doula.

 

I would love to grow my business.

 

What do you do that works for you in your demographic?

Have you identified a target market? How do you reach out to them?

What marketing strategies have provided the best return for you?

 

If you have a few moments to answer these, I appreciate it - if you have a few more, I would love some other birth professionals to look at my website to help me edit the language to possibly help a few more people really get what we do. I don't remember if I can put it up here but would be happy to PM it to you.

 

In the birthing spirit,

 

Nicole


Nicole: mama to DD and DS, childbirth educator and doula. Dancing the spiral dance of life bellycast.gif

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#2 of 15 Old 06-11-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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Hi Nicole,

 

I am not experienced enough yet as a doula to know what might "pay off" in terms of marketing, but here are things that I have done to start getting my name out there as a doula:

- I approached prenatal yoga instructors (some I knew, some I simply cold-called) and offered to come in and speak at the end of the class. This has been really well received, as the teachers are offering an extra bonus at class (for free) I'm getting my name out there as well as educating people about doulas and hopefully the moms-to-be are becoming more open to having a doula.

-Made flyers, gave them to these teachers, as well as posted them wherever I thought pregnant ladies might go.

-I have a twitter account as well as a website that I try to promote on facebook to get people talking about it. I make sure I tell everyone I know about my doula business so that they tell anyone they know who might need me.

 

I don't have a specific demographic that I am targeting (other than pregnant ladies! ) But I think the price you set as well as where you are marketing yourself will dictate that.

More experiences doulas have told me that word of mouth is generally the best way to get more clients and that paying for ads typically doesn't pay off. Maybe you could ask past clients to supply a testimonial you could post for future clients?

 

I'd be interested in hearing more from my experienced doulas as well.

 

Cheers,

Megan

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#3 of 15 Old 06-13-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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For me it was all word of mouth - having lots of happy and satisfied clients who would then refer me to their friends was priceless.  Also having a website so friends could have a place to refer their friends to - the website was less intimidating to someone who "might" want a doula versus doing a cold call.


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)

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#4 of 15 Old 06-13-2011, 08:57 AM
 
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Some things that I have learned along the way regarding marketing are:

  • A website is essential - also sign up to be listed in google places, yelp, yahoo business listings, etc. so that you have a web presence. 
  • Set up social networking sites for your business including a facebook page, twitter, joining communities like mothering and cafemom, etc.
  • Start a blog, write posts that clients and other professionals may want to read, and share these posts on above mentioned networking sites
  • Get SUPER involved in your community. Go to as many community events as you can! Introduce yourself to all the baby boutiques, yoga places, chiropractors, massage places, etc. Sign up to have a table maybe 1x or more per month at local farmers markets or special events like marathons, festivals, etc. Join meetups in your area via meetup.com of mothering groups or holistic type groups. Go to breastfeeding meetings or mom support groups. Ask local hospitals if you can sit in on childbirth education classes and leave cards there. 
  • Most of all, be passionate and love what you do. It will be obvious to people and they will want to share what you do with the people they know who may need your services.

 

I am right there with you trying to build up my business so I know how it is!! Hang in there and best of luck. joy.gif

 

Elyse

Mamatoto Doula Services

www.mamatotodoula.com

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#5 of 15 Old 06-13-2011, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone!

 

My current marketing is something like this:

 

- have a website, along with a twitter and facebook page. I have a blog on the website and talk about what is going on and other topics people may find interesting.

- I have flyers and stuff but don't use them too much

- I network with other doulas and health care providers whenever I can (including conferences, rallies, meetings, anything really)

- word of mouth, I know my past clients talk happily about the support or classes

- I do some presentations at yoga studios and other classes to help spread the word

 

Guess I am doing the usual :)

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Nicole: mama to DD and DS, childbirth educator and doula. Dancing the spiral dance of life bellycast.gif

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#6 of 15 Old 06-13-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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One non-conventional way I've found a few clients is by writing an article for a local magazine (such as the Pennysaver, or any small town-distributed paper).  It's informative and basically amounts to free advertising.

 

You could write about doulas in general (What is a doula? What are the benefits of having a doula?, etc), write to say you recently completed your training, or write to mention that your services are now being offered in Yourtown, USA/CA.  Be sure to include your contact information in the article or the magazine may allow you to have a short bio at the end of the story.  Include website and phone number.

 

These magazines are often looking for local news or interest fillers, and often will gladly publish your article as long as it is well written and not overly promotional.  If writing is not one of your best skills, talk to friends who may be able to pen something for you.

 

You may want to pitch your idea to the paper before you actually write the article.  This way, if they're not interested, you can save your time/energy.


Kelly, mama (12yoDS), doula, RN, and writer.
There's no where you can be that isn't where you were meant to be, its easy
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#7 of 15 Old 06-14-2011, 04:07 AM
 
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I'm in the same boat :)

 

Has anyone had much luck getting clients off of flyers/leaving business cards out? There are a number of community bulletin boards in the area where I live, but I'm not sure if anyone really peruses them.


Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator serving Northern VA and the Metro DC area.

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#8 of 15 Old 06-16-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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I put a specific amount of flyers (10 for ex) and after 2 weeks or so, go back and see how many are still there. Then, you know either nobody is looking/interested at that venue OR a few are missing and somehow you haven't been contacted.

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#9 of 15 Old 06-17-2011, 07:10 AM
 
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I think that might be community based or regionally based, so you could try it.  I never had success where I live, but again that could be based on where I live.  I even paid a ton (and I mean a ton) - like over $1000 to have a really nice advertisement in a YMCA and got NOTHING.  Sadly I have found if I have to pay for it I don't get clients from it, but free or close to it is where I find the clients.  

 

I would also say get involved in the community.  Offer a free class or seminar - that can help too.   
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanmaBirth View Post

I'm in the same boat :)

 

Has anyone had much luck getting clients off of flyers/leaving business cards out? There are a number of community bulletin boards in the area where I live, but I'm not sure if anyone really peruses them.



 


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)

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#10 of 15 Old 09-16-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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Have you optimized your website so that when people search "doula" and "anywhere, MA" your site shows up? You could also optimize for other words like "pregnancy" and your town so that women who aren't even aware they are looking for a doula find your site and can learn more.

 

I live in a small community and find word of mouth is really important. The more I'm out talking to people at "hubspots" of pregnant ladies (ap store in town/prenatal yoga) the more ppl are likely to refer to me. Also, my friend invited the midwives and other pregnancy related practitioners in town to coffee to introduce herself and give a bit of her philosophy. That has worked out really great for her.

 

It's really different community to community because I think in some communities in order to build doula business you need to educate first. So holding monthly information nights at the library or something like that and spreading the word with smart messaging could get you clients. In other communities it's just about being found.

 

Has anyone ever used facebook ads? I've used them for my husband's business and we used it for a midwifery political push. You can specify area, gender, age and even things they "like". You can create a landing page on your website so when they click on your ad you funnel them to a page you created just for them.

 

 

Good luck!

 

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#11 of 15 Old 09-18-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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I have found one of the best ways to get your name out there, besides a website, is to have lots of doula friends!! If they can't take a client, then can forward your information to them or suggest you as back up. Having doulas you trust is awesome!!

 

I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex & there are literally at least 75-100 doulas in the area. Having this many doulas is amazing too! We have great yahoo & FB support groups, have get-togethers to share ideas, tips/tricks and just have a chance to meet face to face.

 

Maybe you can start a network of doulas in your area if you don't have one already.

 

 


A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#12 of 15 Old 09-19-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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Quote:
"Have you optimized your website so that when people search "doula" and "anywhere, MA" your site shows up? You could also optimize for other words like "pregnancy" and your town so that women who aren't even aware they are looking for a doula find your site and can learn more."

 

How do you do this??? :-) 

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#13 of 15 Old 09-20-2011, 08:48 PM
 
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Well, the best way to do this is to choose your keywords ahead of time. Usually about 5 keywords is a great amount. For example, my keywords are Ithaca, pregnancy, doula, photography, birth. You can do some simple keyword research using Google Adwords. You can type in keywords and see how many ppl are searching them and how much "competition" there is for those keywords. Make sure you are searching on your area because "birth" on an international level wouldn't be appropriate for you, kwim?

 

Then make sure your website copy is keyword rich. Without overdoing it, be strategic and use those keywords in your copy. Especially in page and post titles (higher rank in search engines). I use wordpress.org to build websites and have an all-in-one SEO plug-in that let's me directly enter my keywords on the back end as well custom descriptions of your pages for google.

 

Anything that is a page title or headline has more weight.

 

Another thing that will help your website is getting links from other websites. So for example, in our community our local credit union features local businesses on their website. Getting them to feature us not only gets us some visibility, but more importantly it gets me a link from a website that probably shares a keyword (our hometown). The more incoming links to your website and keyword rich copy, the easier for moms to find you!

 

Hope that helps!

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#14 of 15 Old 09-22-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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I just wanted to thank all of you ladies in advance! I have written down almost all of the ideas you have shared! My DONA training workshop is in 2 weeks and I am so excited and can't wait to get started! Thank you MomatoDoula for sharing your website as an example!

 

Hope to see you all around these threads often.


Married to my love stillheart.gif, Mommy to W ('09) homebirth.jpg and Doula.

 brokenheart.gifbrokenheart.gif God has answered our prayers & we welcomed our baby girl earth side 11/24/13 h20homebirth.gif

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#15 of 15 Old 12-09-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowers View Post

Well, the best way to do this is to choose your keywords ahead of time. Usually about 5 keywords is a great amount. For example, my keywords are Ithaca, pregnancy, doula, photography, birth. You can do some simple keyword research using Google Adwords. You can type in keywords and see how many ppl are searching them and how much "competition" there is for those keywords. Make sure you are searching on your area because "birth" on an international level wouldn't be appropriate for you, kwim?

 

Then make sure your website copy is keyword rich. Without overdoing it, be strategic and use those keywords in your copy. Especially in page and post titles (higher rank in search engines). I use wordpress.org to build websites and have an all-in-one SEO plug-in that let's me directly enter my keywords on the back end as well custom descriptions of your pages for google.

 

Anything that is a page title or headline has more weight.

 

Another thing that will help your website is getting links from other websites. So for example, in our community our local credit union features local businesses on their website. Getting them to feature us not only gets us some visibility, but more importantly it gets me a link from a website that probably shares a keyword (our hometown). The more incoming links to your website and keyword rich copy, the easier for moms to find you!

 

Hope that helps!


I know this was months ago, but can you tell me the name of your Wordpress SEO plug in and if you like it? Thanks!

http://www.Facebook.com/BellyfullBirth
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