Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
Many birth and postpartum doulas spend a lot of energy and financial resources to grow and market their birth business. Print ads, online ads on various social media sites, vendor booths at local expos, blogging, and more. Some of these avenues may be very successful and others may fall flat. Today, I would like to suggest a few ideas that can passively promote your doula business long after your interaction with a client has finished. Putting your business name on a useful product that will be seen over and over again can be a very effective way to have clients (and others) see and remember your services.
Clothing for the baby
A local colleague, Laurie Levy, provides adorable onesies that say “I love my doula” for all her clients. She receives many pictures of babies adorned with them that she can use on her website and for future marketing. Additionally, the clothing (could be a hat, onsie, sleep gown) is a discussion point whenever another person sees the baby in it. Marketing that lives on and on.
Reusable water bottles or cups
Another local doula, Melinda Ferguson, gives every client, (birth and/or postpartum) a nice big cup with a straw for clients to use during labor and then at home while breastfeeding. This cup serves a dual purpose. It reminds the laboring or postpartum person to stay hydrated and keeps Melinda’s business front and center for a constant reminder of her services.
Custom imprinted bracelet
Another item that keeps Melinda’s business in her clients’ mind and helps to remind them of their strength is a smart looking bracelet that tells them “I can do this!” and has her business name on the others side. This is a very inexpensive but effective way to share a product that markets for you after the relationship is over.
Branded rice sock
California doula and educator Stacie Bingham gives every client a handmade rice sock with her business info on it. She makes them herself by filling fun-patterned socks with approximately two cups of rice, sewing them up and attaching her customized labels on it. These rice socks are great for labor and during postpartum as well as for breastfeeding heated up in the microwave or even frozen in the freezer. Buy both the socks and the rice in bulk and make it easy for yourself.
Cooler for placenta encapsulation
Emily Fontes and her team provide a soft-sided cooler for clients to store their double-bagged placenta in (with ice) prior to being picked up by the encapsulator. With the catchy logo and word “life” on the outside, clients can continue to use the cooler for other purposes, such as storing pumped breastmilk as it is a perfect size. A product that lives on for additional uses after the birth is over keeps your name and business in the front of former clients’ minds, long after they have stopped using your services.
Do you have a branded product that you share with clients that keeps on marketing your business after the relationship is over? Have you found something that has been an effective tool for expanding your reach? Investing in similar products as discussed here may help you to grow your doula business. Share your ideas and even some pictures in the comments below. For most of us, having a doula business means marketing and constantly building our client base. Some simple branded labor, birth or postpartum tools help to make that task just a little bit easier and can help us grow our business. There are many places to purchase such items and even the custom labels for the rice socks. A quick google search will help identify some sources.