No two clients are alike in their birth preferences or how their birth unfolds. Choices, biology, and personal 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 people will experience birth the same, no two doulas will provide the same doula care. This allows us to look beyond simple price wars (which is not an effective way of marketing anyway), market to our strengths, and allow other doulas to market to their strengths. Market economics then determine the price. If price is not what drives the value of a doula, then it is time to brainstorm features you can market which are unique to you.
Below are ideas of what clients may want and what you may market as unique to you.
#1: The size of the doula group.
Different sizes of groups may appeal to different people. As a single doula, or partnership, you get to know your client’s preferences well, and you guarantee your client will get the doula they want and know. However, a larger group offers the ability to provide many services. This may appeal to a larger number of clientele. It also provides the assurance that there will always be a doula available for the birth who is rested and ready to help.
#2: The experience of the doula.
There are several ways you can market experience. You may be a very knowledgeable doula with a lot of births and/or a lot of years under your belt. This experience may be what your client wants. 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 client who is more concerned about costs.
#3: The specialization of the doula.
You may have another healing modality you have trained in. This can include things like massage, aromatherapy, or reiki.
#4: The location of the doula.
You may know and understand the needs of the women in your location well. This allows you to market to their unique needs.
#5: The unique mission of the doula.
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”.
#6: The customer service of the doula.
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.
#7: The reputation of the doula.
You may be well known in the area, hold a specific educational background, maintain a good relationship with the local hospital, or be uniquely 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