One thing I often tell people who are hesitant to get started as a sleep consultant is that if you can land your first client, you can land a second one, and so on until you have a thriving business. While I wholeheartedly believe this, some aspiring sleep consultants are still nervous about how to land that first client. The truth is, you don’t have to have a perfect marketing plan and hope that person finds you. The Center for Pediatric Sleep Management’s sleep consultant certification program will teach you how to attract clients organically as you grow. If you want to make sure you have someone lined up once you complete the course, here are some ideas to get you started.
Do you have a friend or family member who is constantly telling you their child sleeps poorly? Or if you work with parents in another capacity, could they use a little help or refer you to their clients? These are great networks to mine for your first client. Some people are hesitant to ask people they know for a business arrangement, but don’t be! Networking is the key to growing a successful business. If your first connections are personal, consider offering a discount in exchange for a testimonial and good word of mouth. If all goes well, they will be singing your name from the rooftops!
One of the benefits of being a sleep consultant is that you can work virtually without limiting yourself to your geographic area. That said, a good way to build your business can be to start locally. Something as simple as reaching out to local doulas, nannies, or even pediatricians can get you on referral lists. Family photographers, preschool directors and occupational therapists also make great referral sources for sleep consultants.
One great example from a CPSM graduate actually involved a charity auction in their community. This sleep consultant donated her services as an item to be bid on, with the winner receiving a full two week sleep consulting package. Not only did simply being there make her services seem exclusive, but the parents who won raved about her work and recommended many friends use her as well. Creative opportunities like this can help you become part of local communities and gain traction quickly!
While SEO and social media may not be how you land your first client, we always recommend having some sort of online presence before you get started. Center for Pediatric Sleep Management’s sleep consultant certification course will walk you through what a website and social media presence should look like. Appearing well established even as you are just getting started will go a long way. When you do land that first client, whether it’s someone you know or a stranger, you don’t want them to think of themselves as a guinea pig client. They should value your services and know they are in good hands with a trained professional. Try to avoid offering freebies (unless it’s for charity, like the grad above!) or appearing like you need the favor- let the client know that this is a legitimate business, and believe that yourself.
As I said above: I believe that when you get your first client, you can get a second, and a third, and it gets easier every time. I believe that because I see it often in CPSM grads who go on to be successful immediately.
For more success stories on growing a sleep consulting business, and more details on how to land that first client, head over to our Facebook group to learn more.