If you are an aspiring doula, and haven't been told or haven't figured it out yet, I'm going to say it again: Starting a doula business and getting clients takes a long time and is slow to start.
But after months of disappointments as far as hiring goes, things are looking up! In one week I got two potential client interests. One came from the boyfriend, who gave my card to his noticeably pregnant law school classmate. She had had a doula with her first birth and was thrilled to hear that I was offering free services since I'm in training! We met the other day and it went well, and now I have a client! The second found an ad I posted on craigslist. She went to my website and e-mailed me from there. Turns out she loves my website, and said she had the hardest time finding doulas and childbirth classes because so few people have websites. We met today and it also went well! This is her first baby and she is very sweet. Both moms are due in May.
Both moms have been really nice and understanding of my still being in training, even offering to do anything they can for me and inviting me to their hospital tours or ultrasound visits. I feel so lucky! I also talked to another mom who is having a home birth in April. She received my name from another doula in the area - one I haven't even met yet! I don't know yet if she will hire me (I am kind of far drive from her and that seemed to concern her), but I'm keeping my fingers crossed because attending a home birth would be SO COOL!
I can't believe they all happened within one week of one another. I'm so excited that I have two clients and one more potential one! I think having the experience of shadowing my first birth, plus offering my services for free, plus having a sweet website, business cards and professional paperwork have all really helped kick things into high gear. Hooray!