Why Being a Good Doula isn't Good Enough

The desire to do better creates problem solvers and success.

I know a lot of doulas. In fact, I know a lot of really good doulas. These are individuals (women and men) who know their job description, know how important the role of a doula is in improving maternity care and in some cases they have a regular flow of clients and income. Unfortunately, good doulas are sometimes the ones who never find the success they deserve. Maybe you're new to the childbirth profession and you want to know how to be a good doula. Maybe you're a good doula but not experiencing the kind of success you desire. Well, I'm here to tell you that being a good doula is flat out not good enough.

Good doulas don't get referrals. Great doulas do.

Most of us learn in our doula training what a good doula does. But it's not enough to be a good doula. In the face of competition, you have to rise above the good and be great. While many doulas these days are learning stellar business and marketing techniques and are learning to treat their doula work like professionals, good ole word of mouth will always be the highest form of advertising. And if your clever business and marketing tactics aren't backed up by a clearly outlined strategy and a system for success, you're going to be spinning your wheels.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, you should be acutely aware of and focused on gaining referrals from satisfied customers. These should happen organically as your present and former clients rave about your phenomenal service, but you should also have a defined strategy to get and convert those referals! Besides the fact that it will help you be more successful in your business and more financially secure, pursuing excellence in your work is what your clients deserve.

Your clients deserve better.

As a birth or postpartum doula, you offer prospective clients something better, right? That's why they seek out support, isn't it? Mothers and their families want something more or better than what they see currently available to them, whether it's because of a previous poor experience, a horror story of a friend, or the recognition that they are facing an unknown situation and they want resources and knowledge.

If you're reading this blog post, there's a good chance you have experienced many of the same road blocks other doulas encounter and you're wondering if there's any way to overcome them. Maybe you're asking yourself:

  • How do I conduct effective prenatal appointments?
  • How do I get information to my doula clients about their options?
  • How do I get to know my clients and find out what they really want from their birth?
  • How do I help my doula clients write a birth plan that works?
  • How do I help postpartum clients who don't know how tell me what they want?
  • How do I help my clients feel positive about their birth when things don't go as planned?

Every doula asks these questions. Some doulas find answers to them, but many don't. If you want to find the right answers, you have to start asking the right questions.

The right questions begin with "How?" and "Why?"

If you look at the list above, you'll notice they all begin with the same word: "how." As doulas, we know we are supposed to get to know our clients, find out what they want, and then support them with education, emotional and physical support. That's the "what," but is anyone giving you the "how" of that job description?

Something my husband, Marc said recently hit this nail right on its head. He said,

"Everyone seems to have the what, "what you need to do is _____". "What" people are great at giving advice, but are nowhere to be found when you need real help. "What" people are great at selling you on something, but leave you feeling like you are left hanging. You are left with the "what do I do now?" syndrome. I don't ever buy from or take advice from "what" people. It's a waste of time and energy. Your Birth Experience is not a group for "what" people; it's a group for "how" people. YBE is a HOW system. How to differentiate yourself in a crowded space, how to create value with each client engagement, how to diversify your product offerings, how to give more and get more from every client, how to generate multiple streams of income, how to increase client conversion, and how to create raving freakin' fans!!! Be somebody's how every damn day and you will change your world."

Quit doing things that don't work!

It was Albert Einstein who said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." The good doulas all ask the right questions, but many times when they can't find the answers, they shrug their shoulders and say, "I guess some clients are easier to connect with than others. I guess sometimes things don't go as planned and some people have a good experience and others don't. Oh well!"

That's not good enough for me.

I think we can do better.

I know we can.

How to Be a Great Doula

I've got a secret for you: I can't make you a great doula. I created Your Birth Experience to show professionals HOW to go from good to great but I can't do it for you. You have to choose every day to commit yourself to excellence and do better than you did yesterday. If you're committed to that, all you need is a system to support you, and one that gives you the "how" and the "why" so you can stop doing things that don't work and start seeing success in the lives of your clients and in your childbirth business. 

Here's how to stop being a good doula and be a great one:

  • LEARN - Commit to reading and learning day in and day out to perfect your craft.
  • ASK - Seek out a variety of advice from experts inside and outside the childbirth field and ask for constructive criticism.
  • BE A PROBLEM SOLVER - Pay attention to the things that work and don't work with your clients and find out the WHY and show them the HOW..
  • CONNECT WITH SUCCESS - Call people you admire and do anything and everything necessary to learn from them.
  • HAVE A PLAN THAT WORKS AND STICK WITH IT - Don't muck up your time doing things that don't work. Support your hard work with a system that promises the results you want and work it over and over.

Never stop pursuing excellence. If you are great at what you do, your work will speak for itself. There isn't a credential or sales tactic that can beat the power of a personal referral from a satisfied client or care provider.

Your Birth Experience Instructors choose to do better.

Read how Certified Your Birth Experience Instructors are raising the bar and doing better in their communities:

Join Certified Your Birth Experience Instructors in the commitment to do better with the hashtag #WeCanDoBetter. Comment on this blog post with how you think #WeCanDoBetter!