Many doulas have a hard time with running a successful business. This can be due to a combination of many factors such as the inability to find new clients, not offering enough services, and not have enough training or experience. Being a doula is a competitive field, so it is important to find an edge so that prospective clients will be enticed to hire you instead of your competition.
Receive More Training
Getting more training as a doula is an excellent way of gaining more experience, sharpening relevant skills, and become more competitive as a doula. Many doulas choose to enroll in an accredited certification program such as DONA or CAPPA in order to receive more doula training through classes and workshops. However, not these programs are expensive and can take up to 2 years in order to become a certified doula. An alternative is to volunteer as a birth or postpartum doula at birth centers or hospitals. By volunteering, you are gaining hands on experience by training alongside of experienced doulas and midwives.
Network to Find More Clients
Networking is a critical part of running any business which relies on finding new clients. It’s no surprise that the more clients you have, the more money you will earn. One of the limiting factors to earning enough money is to ability to find new clients that will hire you. Here are a few ideas to look for clients:
- Women who are pregnant visit birth centers and hospital delivery wards to prepare for their birth. This is a great opportunity to network with those women and turn them into future clients.
- Many doula certification programs offer a listing for your business in their database after you have received your certification from them. These databases are searchable by women looking for doula services.
- Local resources and events that are catering towards pregnant women are another good place to meet and recruit clients. For example, a prenatal yoga event will be filled with women who are along with their pregnancies.
Offer More Services
Traditional doulas offer only birth or postpartum support services. However, some doulas are branching out and offering other services which provide non-conventional sources of emotional and physical support. These services include belly casting, placental encapsulation, and newborn photography. You can train in any of these skills through reading literature and practicing by yourself. For example, you can practice taking newborn photographs with your own newborn or a friend’s child. Not only will these services make you more attractive as a doula, they will also add to your income because you can charge a fee.