You're doing what you love. You're loving what you do.
But the finances can get tricky sometimes when you work for yourself.
Believe me when I say, you can create a career out of maternity support and support yourself and your family if necessary. I've done it. Even as a single parent. You gotta believe in your own hustle and it takes work and dedication, but it can be done!
People are giving birth all the time, all over the place. You may have to work a little on educating the public, but once you get started, if you're good, the word of mouth that follows you will help supplement all your other efforts. :)
Here are some simple tips on ways to increase your earning potential:
1) Get additional certifications and training
- so that you’re offering better care and able to provide more services to the target market you’re already working with. The more you know, the better care you will bring to your families. I recently had a student submit her work to us and one of the comments on her evaluation was that she should get more connected to the network of providers in her community. That is important, YES! But also, she was only offering one service. She was only offering postpartum care and that's it! What her client needed was postpartum care AS WELL AS breastfeeding support. This student had to tell her that she couldn't help her with that. How sad! She could have gone through additional doula training and increased her earning potential!
From a provider standpoint, this is sad because the mother was already familiar with her doula, she would have rather gotten advice and support from her doula, but what was needed, was outside of the doula's scope of practice.
From a business owner standpoint, this is sad because this doula was missing out on additional income earning opportunities - she was right there! She would have been able to add to the care being provided and increase the amount she earned by working with this family.
The more you know, the better your care. If you don't understand birth and how birth decisions go, you may not be able to adequately support a mom who needs to process her birth. Sometimes a listening ear is not enough to empower a mother who suffered during her birth experience. Even if you don't "do birth", being trained as a birth doula will increase your effectiveness as a kick-ass postpartum doula, because you're really gonna have more empathy and knowledgable compassion when working with freshly birthed mamas. And how about those doulas who think everything begins and ends with birth? Pssst! It doesn't. :) and you need to have a circumspect vision about the maternity experience if you're going to help any mother beyond that big day - and by the way, she will turn to you with questions and bids for support. Will you have to turn her away? Or will you do more damage than not because you're providing care outside your scope of practice and maybe telling her things that cause greater confusion or are based on ideals and not practicality? Trust me when I tell you, that happens all the time. Labor doulas who think they know everything and cause a mess. Sad. Just get the training you need to be awesome - it's not difficult! You can do this!
But also!!! The more you know, the more marketable you are. The greater your sales pitch. The higher your recommendations will come. The more trustworthy you are to your referral sources. A person with only 1 credential, vs a person with 3? Who do you think families are more likely to choose?
What else can you provide? What else can you get certified in?
Doula training and doula certification online or in person:
How about some extras?
2) Increase your website traffic with SEO
Getting found by your ideal clientele sounds good and it will definitely increase your doula income. However, it doesn’t just happen. You might have all the right doula certifications, a gorgeous website with lots of beautiful photos and stories and it could be very informative and helpful and have all the perfect sales pitches but if nobody ever goes to your site, it may as well not exist.
Sure, you might have it listed on your business card. It should also be in the signature of every email you send out and linked from every one of your social media accounts. Maybe it’s on your bumper sticker or in pamphlets or on a sign on your door. But what do all of those have in common? Someone coming across your website on any of those access points means that THEY ALREADY KNOW YOU EXIST! They have already had some form of contact with you, no matter how remote it may be – they’ve had the opportunity to connect with you directly already.
Search engine results are there to steer people toward you that have never heard about you or met you before. People whose sole connection to you is through their search for what you offer. These people are not just coming across your name casually. They are ACTIVELY seeking out what you offer and they are probably 3 steps into the sales process already.
They have decided they have a need to fill.
They have decided they want to fill that need now, or soon.
They have begun to search for the fulfillment of that need.
They are ready to meet you and begin the fulfillment process, with you.
Problem is, they haven’t met you yet. And if you’re not ranking high enough in the search engines when they go looking for what you offer, they never will, either.
This is where SEO comes in!
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization
You optimize your website for the best possible ranking on the search engines.
This is a complicated process, but it's completely achievable DIY if you know the tools!
Check out this blog post to learn more:
3) Offer help with getting insurance reimbursement
This seems like a no-brainer, but assisting your clients with utilizing Flex Spending Accounts, Health Spending Accounts and their health insurance coverages, will definitely put you heads and shoulders above other providers. Don't ever lower your prices to accept insurance, but definitely support your clients with navigating the reimbursement process.
Does this seem daunting? It is not easy and it's a process that is ever changing. However, we have someone to help you through this labyrinth. Check out this class to learn more about how to help your clients make the investment of hiring a doula with the peace of mind that reimbursement will come later.
Getting the skills that make you a super amazing doula isn't always enough and so learning how to market yourself well on social media and other free or low cost methods is something we love to teach all of our students. If you have taken a workshop with us, you know what we mean. We actually take time each day to DO some marketing - even during the class. Most students who follow through have an average of 3-5 new clients before the weekend is over. We would love to help you with this too. We love love love to see birthy businesses and female entrepreneurs succeed!!
One factor that we didn't list above, but definitely has everything to do with increasing your earning potential, is becoming a magnet for families. How attractive are you to your ideal clientele? Are you focusing on lack and scarcity? Or are you believing in yourself, in your ability to bring abundance into your life and your business? Consider a mentality change. Maybe you need a Mindset Shift - work through this simple, introspective workbook. Take your time. Let your mindset shift, transform and change your future. You can do this!
If you'd like a birth business mentor, please let us know. We offer that too!
Here's to abundance and making ourselves a magnet to families who need us!
When they come calling, we will be ready!
Go get em, Sistars!