What happens once I finish the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management’s (CPSM) Sleep Consultant Certification program? How will I find clients? Will there be continued support? These are just a few of the questions I hear from students who are interested in becoming certified sleep consultants through CPSM’s program. I met with Steffi Edwins, a CPSM graduate and owner of Jolie Sleep Consulting and asked her some of your most pressing questions from how long it might take to complete the course, to how to find clients and what happens when you need advice troubleshooting a tricky sleep situation.
Jayne: Steffi, thanks so much for meeting with me today. Can you share a little bit about yourself and your business?
Steffi: Sure! am the owner and founder of Jolie Sleep Consulting and live in New York City with my husband and our two children. I signed up for the program in March of 2020, just when the pandemic hit and we were served with the stay at home order. Becoming a certified sleep consultant through CPSM is the best decision I’ve ever made!
Jayne: Why did you decide to get your sleep consultant certification?
Steffi: I had previously been working with families as a career nanny, and when the pandemic hit, I was not able to do that in the same capacity. I knew that I wanted to continue working with families, supporting parents and helping them raise their kids, but I also felt that I couldn’t safely work in their homes anymore for the time being. I started searching online for an opportunity that would allow me to continue to support parents virtually. I found a few different companies that offer sleep consulting certifications, but I did not like the fact that I would have to renew the certification every year or so. I could also tell that there was no sense of community in those programs. As I was searching for a certification course, one of the most important aspects for me was support and I found just what I was looking for in CPSM.
Jayne: So would you say that the community played an integral part in finding your footing and becoming successful?
Steffi: Definitely! I love that we are able to troubleshoot tricky situations together, and we’re not left confused or trying to do it on our own. As students, we’re all learning and trying to gain the knowledge and experience needed to support our clients. Working through the business alone is hard, so it’s nice having like-minded business women in the community to help each other out.
Jayne: For sure! Do you remember how long it took you to complete the course?
Steffi: It took me less than a month. I remember signing up at the end of March and was able to register my business in April.
Jayne: That’s a pretty common question, and the truth is, it varies for everyone. Three to six weeks is a good, solid range for most students, but I’ve also had some people finish in as little as twelve days and others take six months or a year. It really depends on what level of time commitment you want to make and how ready you are to get up and running.
Steffi: Right, I agree! The content is so good that you want to keep reading and learning. I remember sitting at my kitchen table at midnight and my husband would ask, “are you coming to bed at all?”
Jayne: I love that, because for me it has to be something that’s enjoyable and that you find interesting, because otherwise you’re never going to do it. I love hearing that feedback.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you landed your first client? This is something that people really worry about when they are thinking of signing up for the course.
Steffi: I provided a few free consultations at first which I found through Facebook groups, but my first client was referred to me by my previous employer. My previous employers were like my biggest cheerleaders. That’s how I started with my first few clients, and from there I started getting more and more business through referrals.
Jayne: Word of mouth definitely goes a long way! I think it’s really important you mentioned this, because a lot of people may think that they don’t know someone that would be their cheerleader, and other people might be able to think of the exact person in their life who would help make those connections. I’ve always thought that as entrepreneurs, it’s our job to find those people who will act as our cheerleaders. Since I’ve been in business for several years, I have a solid handful of people who share my information with those around them and help to spread the word. When you’re first getting started, you might have one of those people right away, or it may take you a few months to find that person or those people, but once you do then it really starts to snowball.
Speaking of snowballing, how many families do you feel like you’re able to support at once?
Steffi: When I started as a sleep consultant, I knew that I wanted to work part-time. However, last year, around the holidays, I bit off a little more than I could chew! I had way too many clients. After trying it out, I realized that five clients is a good number for me to take on each month. When clients reach out to me and I’ve hit my limit for the month, they will wait until the following month.
Jayne: That’s absolutely amazing because I feel like when it comes to sleep, people need support right now. So if they’re willing to wait a couple weeks to work with you, then you’ve done a really solid job of showing your value and proving why you’re worth the wait, which is fantastic!
Where do you see your business six months to a year from now? Do you have any big goals set for the year?
Steffi: By the end of this year, I plan to launch my first baby sleep support course.
Jayne: Awesome, I love hearing that my students are thinking outside the box. When people think of sleep consultants, working one-on-one with parents comes to mind, but sleep consulting can be so much more than that. It can be done virtually, in person, through an online course, a support group, or you could even write a book. There’s so many ways we can support families and I love to see my students thinking outside of the narrow scope that comes to mind for most people when they think of sleep consulting.
Steffi: I agree, and having that community makes it even better. We are able to support each other and push each other to achieve our goals.
Jayne: I’m so proud of you! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. It makes me so proud when I see my students meeting their own goals, which can look different for everyone. Maybe at some point you’ll start to feel like five or six clients is really manageable, and then maybe you’ll take on seven or eight. It sounds like you already have the pipeline for that, so your business will grow with you when you’re ready for it to become something bigger.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see what business is like for one of CPSM’s recent graduates, could you see yourself becoming a certified sleep consultant? I’m always happy to chat and help you determine if it’s the right fit. I’ve been a certified sleep consultant for several years now, and love the flexibility that comes along with this rewarding work. You can join our Facebook group for more information, live Q&As and the opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals. Ready to get started on your journey? You can register here and begin receiving your course materials right away.