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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started as a Sleep Consultant

Updated: Jan 13

If you’ve been considering becoming a certified sleep consultant, you might be wondering a few things:

  • What does working as a sleep consultant look like?

  • How do you get your first clients?

  • How do you continue to get clients consistently?

  • When and how should you adjust your offerings?

First Step to Getting Started as a Sleep Consultant: Get a Certification

First things first, get certified! Sleep consulting is an unregulated field, and it’s been our desire to create the most comprehensive sleep consultant certification course on the market. We want parents everywhere to have access to high-quality sleep consultants trained in evidence-based practices.

Katelyn’s Story

When I first got certified I was a member of some Facebook moms groups that I had been a member of for a long time as just a mom. I had been active in these groups and formed relationships. I think it’s really good to use Facebook groups, not just to sell. You want to be there to provide information and be helpful, and build relationships. So, after I was officially certified, I offered everyone in one of the groups my 2-week package for only $25. I told them I wanted to get some experience, wanted to help them, wanted to start my client base, and I got 20 people that wanted to take me up on it!

I had 20 clients, and it wasn’t a big money-maker, it was only like $500, but to this day, half a decade later, those women still refer clients to me. It really was the catalyst and jumpstart to my business where I started learning how I liked to work with clients, the different things I needed for working with clients, my favorite methods, and my favorite ages to work with. They were lovely and many of them were willing to give me reviews which helped jump-start my Google reviews.

From that came a lot of referrals. That’s how I started out, and when I talk to people now about starting out, I don’t necessarily recommend starting at $25 but I do think having a little humility (you don’t have experience yet) and saying “I just want to help people” - I do not think you should do it for free because people do need to be invested in the experience. But, offering discounted pricing at the beginning can definitely help you get that experience and get your feet wet when working with clients.

I probably worked for two years with less than $75 per month in overhead costs. You don’t need all the bells and whistles that go along with running a professional business right away. Have the mindset that you can help people and go from there. Then, when you have the money to invest in some of those fancier things, like professional branding, a CRM system, etc. you can do it then. You don’t need those things to serve your clients well at the beginning. Are they nice to have? Sure. But again, not totally necessary.

Ashley’s story

I did something fairly similar, where I let people that I was close to and in a Facebook group that I had recently become certified and that I was going to be taking on some clients at a really discounted price so that I could figure things out. I was confident with sleep training but I wanted to get more confident working one-on-one with families and learn the systems that would work well for me. I had people share that post and I got a handful of clients starting that way.

I also did an event or two to make some local connections. This wasn’t really for clients but for networking with like-minded professionals in my area. I still get professional referrals from those contacts, and there is one chiropractor in particular that sends referrals my way all the time.

I think, as you’re getting started, it’s important to focus on one thing and do it really well.

I did not, after that, put much energy into local connections, so I do not have a ton of local connections at this point. Most of my clients come from social media because that’s where I’ve focused my energy. Now that we have that established we can spend our time doing more local outreach again. It’s not necessarily something you can take on all at once.

For overhead, make sure things are manageable. Do things manually until it’s not justifiable anymore. I then got CRM software so I could free up my time again. You have to be in that space for it to happen though.

Get Certified in Sleep Consulting

So, if you’re here because you’ve decided to become a sleep consultant, it’s our goal to help add to the field of quality sleep consultants through our evidence-based sleep consultant course. Our course might be for you if

  • you want to create a fulfilling business or side hustle that runs on your terms without sacrificing your family life or your current job

  • you’re looking for an all-inclusive sleep consultant course that includes on-the-job training and high-touch support as you start out in the industry

  • you’re committed to putting in the work to learn evidence-based practices and methods for helping babies (and their parents!) get better sleep

And, because we’re obsessed with research, we want you to do your diligence and look at other programs that are out there. Here’s what to look for (and watch out for) when it comes to choosing a sleep consultant certification program as you do your research.

Next Steps to Getting Started as a Sleep Consultant: Build Your Business and Get Clients

Before you even graduate from our program, you get the opportunity to get real-life sleep consulting experience in our paid internship. You don’t even need to have one-on-one clients as you get started. We also have a whole module in our course that focuses on business building so that you can hit the group running and start working with one-on-one clients right away, including an expert training from Sleep Consultant Business Coach Becca Campbell with a lesson on how to get your first client.

Other topics in the business building module include:

  • Legal aspects

  • Finances

  • Choosing a business name and logo

  • Setting up packages and pricing

  • And tons more!

One other thing you may want to focus on right away, that you saw right away from both of our experiences, is that referrals can go a long way. Start with a referral strategy immediately to keep the clients coming in the doors!

A client referral program is a great way to grow your business by leveraging your existing customer base. Referral programs incentivize your current customers to refer their friends and family to your business, helping you to reach new potential customers.

Here are five ideas for client referral programs that you can implement:

1. Offer a discount or reward for referrals

One of the most common ways to incentivize referrals is to offer a discount or reward. For example, you can offer a 10% discount on the next purchase for both the referrer and the new customer. Alternatively, you can offer a gift card, free product, or other rewards for referrals.

2. Create a tiered reward system

To encourage your customers to refer even more people, you can create a tiered reward system. For example, you can offer a small reward for the first referral, a larger reward for the second referral, and an even bigger reward for the third referral.

3. Host a referral contest

Another way to incentivize referrals is to host a referral contest. For example, you can offer a grand prize to the customer who refers the most new customers within a certain time frame. This can be a great way to generate excitement and engagement around your referral program.

4. Provide exclusive access or benefits

You can also incentivize referrals by providing exclusive access or benefits to your customers. For example, you can offer early access to new products or services, or exclusive discounts or promotions that are only available to customers who refer new business.

5. Give back to a charitable cause

Since your business has a social mission, you can incentivize referrals by giving back to a related charitable cause. For example, you can donate a portion of your sales to a specific charity for every new customer that is referred.

Overall, a client referral program can be a great way to grow your business and reach new potential customers. By incentivizing your existing customers to refer their friends and family, you can tap into new networks and expand your reach. Try implementing some of these ideas for client referral programs to see what works best for your business.

Not only do we help teach you how to get clients right away, but we have tips and tricks for how to get clients when you’re in a lull. It happens, especially in a service-based business like sleep consulting, but the trick is to be proactive.

We truly want to set you up for success when it comes to getting started as a sleep consultant, while also prioritizing your time at home with your family…after all, isn’t that one of the big reasons you want to start this kind of a business?? Read more about our tips for working from home - we’re both currently in stints where we’re working from home with kiddos around. We’ve been around the block and can offer you our best advice.

Here are some quick tips for working from home with young children:

1. Set up a designated workspace

Create a designated workspace for yourself where you can focus on work when needed. This could be a separate room, a corner of the living room, or even just a desk in your bedroom. Make sure to set clear boundaries with your children and let them know that when you are in your workspace, you need to focus on work. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn some independent play - even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time!

2. Create a schedule

Create a schedule for yourself and your children that includes designated work hours and playtime. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you have time for both work and parenting. Make sure to include breaks in your schedule to give yourself and your children time to recharge. For many sleep consultants, nap time = work time.

3. Plan activities for your children

Plan activities for your children that they can do independently while you work. This could include setting up a craft station, reading corner, or puzzle area. Make sure to rotate activities throughout the day to keep your children engaged and entertained.

4. Involve your children in your work

Involve your children in your work by giving them simple tasks or projects to work on. This will not only keep them occupied but also help them learn and develop new skills. As a sleep consultant, you’re working with parents…most parents get it and won’t mind if your own child is around.

5. Be flexible

Be flexible and adjust your schedule as needed. Parenting and work responsibilities can be unpredictable, so it's important to be prepared for changes and adjust your schedule accordingly.

6. Take care of yourself

Finally, make sure to take care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating healthy, and taking breaks throughout the day. Remember that it's okay to ask for help and take time for yourself when needed.

By following these tips and creating a routine that works for you and your family, you can successfully work from home with young children. Remember to be patient with yourself and your children, and don't be afraid to adjust your approach as needed.

Finally: Continuing Education is Important

As you move forward with your business, it’s important to stay up to date with pediatric sleep research, for several reasons:

1. Stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices

Continuing education allows sleep consultants to stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in the field of sleep consulting. This ensures that they are providing their clients with the most effective and evidence-based recommendations.

2. Learn new techniques and strategies

Continuing education provides sleep consultants with the opportunity to learn new techniques and strategies for helping their clients improve their sleep. This can include new approaches to sleep training, new tools and resources, and new ways of working with clients.

3. Expand knowledge and skills

Continuing education allows sleep consultants to expand their knowledge and skills in areas related to sleep. This can include topics such as sleep disorders, infant and child development, and psychology. By expanding their knowledge and skills, sleep consultants can provide more comprehensive and effective support to their clients.

4. Maintain professional standards

Continuing education is often required for sleep consultants to maintain their professional standards and certifications. This ensures that sleep consultants are providing high-quality services to their clients and that they are meeting the standards set by their professional organizations.

5. Build a professional network

Continuing education provides sleep consultants with the opportunity to build a professional network of colleagues and experts in the field of sleep consulting. This network can be a valuable source of support, advice, and collaboration.

There are a few ways we help you do this at The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness:

  • If you’re a student or graduate of our Sleep Consultant Academy, we offer quarterly continuing education presentations that you’ll always have access to

  • We’re constantly adding updated research to all of our courses:

Whenever you log into your student portal, you can be sure the information in all the courses are totally up to date with the latest information, research, and best practices.

We also recommend - if you’ve certified with another program before ours - that if you don’t feel confident in your ability with a certain age group, or you want to niche to just working with a certain age group, you take our Newborn or Toddler course. These courses are truly all-encompassing for these age groups, and we’ve had a ton of positive feedback from other sleep consultants who are now dual-certified after adding on either, or both, of these courses to their previous credentials.

Curious about what’s included in the Newborn course?

  • Foundations of sleep and sleep science, including why we sleep, circadian rhythm, stages of sleep, hormonal and sensory regulation of sleep, sleep environment, hygiene, routines, and more.

  • Setting the stage for healthy sleep habits in the early days- how to develop circadian rhythm, set a flexible schedule for the day, and create bedtime routines.

  • Trainings from experts on subjects like temperament, feeding, sensory regulation, infant massage, and working with families with PMADs.

  • Troubleshooting common sleep disrupters like gas, colic, reflux and growth spurts, and how to soothe and support baby through these instances.

  • How to address common newborn sleep struggles like helping baby become accustomed to sleeping on back, finding the right swaddle, and gentle practice with independent crib sleep.

  • How to work with clients, components of a sleep plan, your client workflow, parenting styles, and how to encourage and support families.

  • And more!!

Curious about what’s included in the Toddler and Preschooler course?

  • Foundations of sleep and sleep science, including why we sleep, circadian rhythm, stages of sleep, hormonal and sensory regulation of sleep, sleep environment, hygiene, routines, and more.

  • Sleep modification with toddlers and preschoolers- how to identify sleep issues, choose the right approach to independent sleep for unique situations, and support emotion.

  • Toddler-specific trainings from experts on subjects like melatonin usage in children, using reward charts and positive reinforcement, child temperament, and potty training and sleep.

  • Troubleshooting common sleep disrupters like regressions, illnesses, daycare, screen time, separation anxiety, and nighttime fears.

  • Common toddler sleep situations like crib-to-bed transition, weaning the pacifier, and using an Okay to Wake Clock.

  • How to work with clients, components of a sleep plan, your client workflow, parenting styles, and how to encourage and support families.

  • And more!!

We hope that if you found this post helpful, you might be ready to dive into our Sleep Consultant Academy. starting a business doesn’t have to feel intimidating and all-consuming.

We speak from experience: You can run a successful sleep consultant business while still enjoying time with your family.

This self-paced program is built on evidence-based methods and designed to ensure you graduate ready to hit the ground running and work with paying clients (without all the overwhelm and confusion that typically comes along with building a business!).

When you become a Certified Sleep Consultant with The Sleep Consultant Academy, you will:

  • Become confident in recognizing and solving baby sleep issues using holistic, evidence-based practices

  • Boost your knowledge with invaluable real-world experience by working with actual paying clients

  • Earn back a portion of your investment before you even finish the program, thanks to our paid internship

  • Gain the knowledge and experience you need to hit the ground running with your own sleep consultant business

  • Learn all the skills you need to run a successful business, from social media marketing to taxes

We can’t wait to see you in the Academy!


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