We know no two women are alike in their birth preferences or how their birth happens. Choices, biology, and desires all come together to make a unique experience. In the same way, each doula or doula group comes with their own unique set of skills, talents, organization, and ideals. Just as no two women will experience birth the same, no two doulas will provide the same doula care, which allows us to market beyond simple price wars (which is not an effective way of marketing anyways), market to our strengths, and allow other doulas to market to their strengths. Market economics then determines the price. If price is not what drives the value of a doula, then what are things you can market that are unique to you.
Below are ideas of what women may want and what you may market as unique to you.
- The size of your doula group. Different sizes of groups may appeal to different women. As a single doula, or partnership, you get to know your client’s preferences well, and you guarantee your client she will get the doula she wants and knows. A larger group, though, offers the ability to provide many services which may appeal to a larger number of women. It also provides the reassurance your client will not have to worry about a doula being there for her birth, and that she will always have a doula that gets rest and is ready to help.
- The experience of the doula. There are several ways you can market experience. You may be a very experienced doula with either a lot of births and/or a lot of years under your belt. This may be what your clients want. You may also have experience in certain kinds of births or working with specific doctors or midwives. You may also be new to the doula field, which could appeal to a potential client.
- Specialization. You may have another healing modality you have trained in. This can include things like massage, aromatherapy, or reiki.
- Location. You may know and understand the needs of the women in your location well. This allows you to market to their unique needs.
- Unique mission. One of the first steps in building a doula business involves defining your values. By defining your values, you can make sure your business aligns with those values. You can also better articulate to your customers what it is you stand for, why, and how that fits into your own doula business and your associations with them. I, personally, have found that I value a sense of community by helping others feel loved and grow in knowledge. Thus, community, education, and support have become a foundation for my business, and I market to doulas who have similar values. You may attract clients that share similar values as you. An example would include a desire to help teens in your area, desire to help others with homebirths, or you may be more “crunchy”.
- Customer service. You may market your ability to provide 24/7 service throughout the pregnancy. You can offer educational classes to your clients, or have a large lending library for your clients.
- Reputation. You may be well known in the area, have a specific educational background, have a good relationship with the local hospital, or be more supportive of controversial birth choices (ie. unassisted childbirth).
All of these things can help you say goodbye to placing your value on the price you charge, and help others see your value, too.
Wasserman, Elizabeth. (2009). How to price business services. Inc.com: Retrieved online: December 17, 2016