Camila Martelo is the owner and founder of Camila Sleep. Originally from Colombia, she completed her certification with Center for Pediatric Sleep Management and now helps Spanish-speaking families around the world improve sleep at home. Camila is also the director of Academia Consultoría de Sueño which is CPSM’s sleep consultant certification program in Spanish! course
On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.
Camila Martelo is the owner and founder of Camila Sleep. Originally from Colombia, she completed her certification with Center for Pediatric Sleep Management and now helps Spanish-speaking families around the world improve sleep at home. Camila is also the director of Academia Consultoría de Sueño which is CPSM’s sleep consultant certification program in Spanish!
Camila, welcome to the becoming a sleep consultant podcast.
Camila Martelo: Hi, Jayne. Thank you for having me again.
Jayne Havens: So, the inspiration for this podcast episode is something that you actually shared on our Winning Wednesday thread inside of our CPSM community. For those listening who are not enrolled in the program, Winning Wednesday is just a weekly opportunity for all of us to share some of the great things that are happening inside of our businesses and in our lives.
Last week, you said — I’m going to embarrass you because I wrote it down. I’m going to read it. Last week, you said, “My Wednesday win is realizing that at 38 weeks pregnant, I’ve worked hard to grow my business. I’m extremely proud of growing my family, and being able to decide what I want to do with my business when my baby is born. These past months, I’ve had the freedom to choose how much to work, plan when to stop working, build online courses for passive income. And now, as I impatiently wait for baby to arrive at any time, I only have to answer to myself. My business, my time my rules. It feels so good.”
I loved that. I know I’m totally embarrassing. But I wanted to show that off, because I think you’ve come a really long way in your business, from supporting families just one on one to building out this whole infrastructure, where you’re really able to continue to help families but be a little bit less hands on, right?
Camila Martelo: Yes, for sure. I mean, I love supporting families one on one, but I definitely saw opportunities as to where I could just like — how would you say that? Just put the information in a platform, in a program, just like some information that applies to all babies, right? And take the time off from those one-on-one video calls or those one-on-one emails. I just wanted to make sure that I was using my time efficiently.
I am someone that, you know, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s not one of my strengths to hire people. I still have like, I’m still doubting if it was the right moment in my business to hire someone to help me out. Instead, I rather focus on other ways of saving time. Online courses were just like more of an option for me, for my temperament, and how I still wanted to just keep being the only face — to put it that way — of Camila Sleep.
I was like, okay, you know what? I’m not ready to expand my team. I am ready to just manage my content and the knowledge I give families in a different way first.
Jayne Havens: So, let’s take a quick step backwards before we get into all the online course stuff that you have going on. Can you explain to everybody listening what it looked like for you to first grow a successful sleep consulting business? Then how did you actually work to pivot so that you could generate this passive income via online course sales?
Camila Martelo: Yeah, for sure. At the beginning, I was just like putting my name out there, just word of mouth, a lot of my friends and family members just sharing things. My background is in PR and marketing, so I feel really comfortable with social media. That’s basically what I’ve always used. Just using social media and in sharing contact, et cetera, that’s how I started. I definitely started hustling. I did one on ones all the time with babies, all ages.
Personally, my story with sleep training and my passion for sleep started early with my son. So, I was able to basically get him 12 hours of sleep by 12 weeks, which sounds cliche. But I did manage that just like with newborn shaping and making sure I was doing all the right things day and night. I am really passionate about that age. Well, as we all sleep consultants know, there’s not a lot of strict plans you can do with a newborn. You have to play by day based on their needs, et cetera.
I started doing this newborn workshop, live Zoom workshop. I think I started the first time with five families. Then the second time, with seven families. Then I consistently started getting 10 families every month, where I just gave them the basics, newborn sleep shaping information. That’s how it started. At some point, people were asking for — it was once a month. Then people started asking for more frequent dates. I was like, “Well, I don’t know if I could pull off two workshops per month.” Then it started happening.
I like to provide good information. I don’t put a low price point. I put a good price point for me and a good price point for the families. My workshop was not one hour. It was four hours, just fully packed of information. So, people were happy. But at the same time, it was hard for everyone to be available for two two-hour sessions of just information. It was getting just exhausting for me just to talk for two hours straight.
Jayne Havens: Then what did you do? Did you decide to record one of your newborn sleep shaping trainings? Did you just like get on to Zoom and record it by yourself? What did that look like for you to turn it from a live presentation into something that was what we call in the course world evergreen, where you can just sort of buy it at any time?
Camila Martelo: First, I started with just recording the sessions that I did with the families, and selling those to families who couldn’t attend live. Then I did move forward with just recording it myself. It was still my same presentation on Canva. This is one tip that I have to say right now just because it’s there, before I forget.
If you’re going to do a course with presentation style, it’s fine. But you have to make sure that your visuals are appealing, in the sense that it’s minimal, don’t overdo it, and make it easy on the eye. I think that’s something that, at least, my clients have always noticed. I get feedback from that. So, it’s a nice presentation. It’s simple. It’s easy to understand.
Use a lot of visuals. Don’t just pack it with text. I think that’s something to always have. It’s good to have there your contract. Then I said, you know what? I feel like it’s good, but I could do it even better. Because I don’t want to be — I was at a point where people paid me. Then I had to send the email. I wanted to automate the process. So, I started looking into online platforms.
I started with Thinkific. That’s where I just started outlining the program. I said, okay, if I were to just put this into a book or a guide, what would that look like? So, I outlined my whole program, divided it by chapters. That’s how I got my framework.
Jayne Havens: Are you still on Thinkific now?
Camila Martelo: I moved over to Kajabi. I started with Thinkific. That’s like the first thing. I wasn’t going to start — Kajabi is way more expensive. I wasn’t going to start just spending a lot of money on something that wasn’t — I mean, I knew it was going to work, but I wasn’t sure how the numbers were going to turn out specifically.
I didn’t want a $200 business expense right off the fence with a program that were just brand new. So, I started with Thinkific. Then I did eventually move to Kajabi after maybe like six months. The growth was steady. The reason I moved to was just because I use Kajabi for other features. I like the email marketing capability. It has just other things that I feel that if you take advantage of, then the price is worth it.
Jayne Havens: I love it. Everything that you’re saying is what I tell people all the time, which is that it doesn’t need to be perfect for you to put it out to the universe, and offer it to prospective families. I love that you just started by recording something that you already had. And you sold that.
Then once you realized like, okay, people are actually asking for this, people are actually wanting to buy it, okay, maybe I should create something that’s specifically for this. I’m creating a Canva presentation or a PowerPoint, whatever you want to call it. Really, it sounds like it evolved and became even better over time. I think so many people never even get started with stuff like this because they’re so worried about it being perfect from the start. It doesn’t have to be.
Camila Martelo: Yeah, and I’m not going to lie. That’s something that I’ve worked on in every aspect of my business. I am a perfectionist 1,000%. So, a lot of times, I have not done things or taking a long time to publish something because I want it to be perfect. But with the newborn program, maybe it’s because of the demand. I had to force myself to just push through and say, you know what? It’s not what I would think perfect.
The funny thing is, if someone is ever thinking about doing an online course, I think that one of the pieces of information I would like to share is that your course is never going to be 100% perfect. You’re always going to find something—
Jayne Havens: Totally.
Camila Martelo: Before I hopped onto this podcast, I was finishing, I was updating mine. At 31 weeks, I’m like, okay, I’m just going to update a little bit. This little piece of information, I’m going to switch this here. Because it’s just never going to be 100%. There’s always a frequently asked question you could ask, you could add to the text. There’s always a new article that you could update. The AAP is always updating the Safe Sleep Guidelines. So, I like to make sure that that’s updated on my course. It’s something that you always have. It’s like a baby that always needs a little bit of attention.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I feel the same way. Even with the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, if I think back to what the course looked like when it launched in 2019 versus what it looks like now, it’s entirely different. Had I been afraid to launch because I didn’t have everything in there that’s in there now, how much time would have been wasted? That’s so sad.
I think that for many coaches, course creation, obviously, it can feel totally daunting. You and I both been through this, so we know that it’s true. First, you have to get over the imposter syndrome that comes along with being a course instructor. Then you actually need to create the curriculum. I’m wondering which part of it for you was harder? Was it the mental hurdle of admitting that you are qualified to teach a course like this, or was it actually getting the course together and putting it out into the universe?
Camila Martelo: For me, it was putting the course together and getting it out. At least with, of course, you always feel impostor syndrome at some point with little things. But for me, it hasn’t been a main issue. For me, it’s always been more of like that perfectionism side of it. Coming from a PR, marketing, journalism background, I’m very, very, very, very aware of the logos, the visuals, how it looks. If it’s a video, does the video have good lighting? It’s just something I can’t avoid.
It’s just making sure that everything was perfect in that sense was kind of overwhelming. At some point, what I decided was, in one of my trips to Colombia, I said, you know what? I’m going to just hire a videographer. I’m going to hand over my son to his grandma, and I’m just going to take two full days to record this.
I made a script for every single chapter. That took a lot dedication just to sit down and write the script. Of course, you end up improvising some parts, but I wanted to have a script. Then I had this videographer just record me. Then he did the editing, too. So, that was an investment, money-wise. But it definitely paid off. I knew that it was going to pay off of it.
That’s the thing with passive income. Once you’re done with the work, yes, you did the investment, but at some point, it’s going to pay off. Be it two months from now, three months from now, six months from now, at some point, it’s going to pay off. Thank God. Mine pay off really quickly. That’s just also not luck.
Once you have a passive course you have to market it constantly. People don’t know that it’s there all the time, especially, at least with social media, you get new people all the time. So, you always have to keep saying, “Oh, and by the way, here’s the course. Yeah, I covered this in my course.” So, I tried to mention it a couple times per week.
Jayne Havens: Which is going to be my next. That was going to be my next question. Can you sort of more specifically walk us through what it looks like for you to market your online programs? I know you said you’re comfortable on social media. I know that you’re hanging out on Instagram primarily. What does that look like? Are you going live? Are you doing posts on the main grid? Are you doing stories? Is it all of it? Walk us through your strategy there.
Camila Martelo: My strategy with Instagram is always adapting to Instagram. At the beginning, I did post, just highlighting the course. This is what it looks like. Also, using educational information about newborn sleep. So, I share a little bit about newborn sleep. I say, “If you want to go in-depth, if you want to use this time, here’s my program. Kind of giving out information, valuable content. So, people trust you as an expert, instead of just saying like, “Oh, no, I’m not going to share anything about my course. It’s secret. You have to pay for it to get it.”
I always share just things here and there, information that honestly anyone can Google. Then I just direct them to my program. One thing that’s like super important is, I know my audience really well. I know their pain points, and I know what stops them from starting sleep training or sleep shaping early. I started addressing that.
My audience didn’t know that newborn sleep shaping was even a thing, and that you can start that early. So, I made sure that I made lives about that and reels about that saying, “Hey, you can start early. You can have a routine from day one.” That does not mean cry it out. Because that’s another pain point. My clients don’t feel comfortable with a lot of crying at all. I was like, okay, if you don’t want to sleep training — eventually that involves some sort of crying — then start early. You’re probably not going to have a lot of tears because it’s a newborn baby, and you’re just starting from zero. So, I touched on all those pain points.
Instagram has changed a lot since I started. I haven’t been doing a lot of lives lately. I’ve been focusing more on reels. That has helped my growth tremendously, I think, at least in the past six months. That has helped a lot. I’m not going to say they’re easy to do. It just takes practice. Even for me, I’m comfortable in front of the camera, and it takes practicing. Then the editing and figuring out what to say and hopping on the trends, it can be very overwhelming.
That’s the platform that I’ve stuck to and that I feel comfortable with. I don’t do anything else. I don’t do Facebook mom groups. I use email marketing. I nurture a lot of people from my Instagram to email marketing. I like email marketing. But I’m not on TikTok. I’m not on any other platform. Instagram is my thing. That’s where I feel comfortable, so that’s where I stuck it out.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think it is important. I say this all the time. To reiterate that, I think the key to successful marketing is to show up where you’re comfortable and consistently talk about what you do. It really is that simple. For you, it is Instagram. For me, it’s not.
You can have a successful business marketing yourself on social media. You can have a successful business never being on social media. You just have to be comfortable talking about what you do and how you can support families. I shouldn’t even say you have to be comfortable, because none of us are entirely comfortable all the time, right? So, you don’t have to be comfortable, but you have to do it.
Camila Martelo: Exactly. I don’t feel comfortable. Like, when the reel started, I was like, I’m not dancing. I’m not going to dance. I’m not going to change 50 times, you know, how they do the transitions. I stuck to that part. I was like, I’m not going to do it that way. So, I just do things that I feel comfortable. Some of my most popular reels are just me talking to the camera with some captions. That’s it.
Definitely, you’re never going to be 100% comfortable. But for sure, just find one thing that you’re good at, and just stick in that route. Social selling, social proof. When people tag me on the story saying, “Oh, I’m taking the Camila Sleep Course. I’m doing that,” I repost it. Sometimes moms that take my course share their baby slept in 10 hours straight, 8 hours straight. When you see two adults sleeping 8 to 10 hours, people are like, “Wow. I want that too.” I’m like, “Okay. Here’s the link.”
Basically. I’m making sure that I get some social proof. At this point, I’m not asking for it. But before, I used to be like, “Oh, amazing. You’re doing great. Well, if you could share a video, I would really appreciate it.” So, I did ask.
Jayne Havens: I think it’s important to be willing to ask, especially in the beginning. I’m sort of where you are at this point. I don’t really ask for that. But it happens because people like to show off when they’re feeling good about how their kids are sleeping. They do want to spread the good word. But I do think it’s important in the beginning to be willing to ask for that testimonial, that social proof, that word of mouth. Because it makes such a big difference when your friends are out there saying like, “You got to talk to this person. She knows what she’s doing.” I mean, that makes all the difference, that vote of confidence.
Camila Martelo: Exactly. Two things that have helped me are all of the monitors now, they kind of have insight. It says like, “Congratulations. Your baby slept 10 hours.” It says share on social. So, people will share on social. They will say, “Thank you, Camila.” That helps.
One thing is, for example, back in December, now that I’m going to create this new update to my course, I will say “Okay. I need new testimonials. I need fresh for my landing page.” What I did is, I emailed the people who have taken my course. I said, “Hey, win a $50 amazon gift card. Just fill out. Let me know your experience with my course. I’ll put your name in the raffle.” That got me, I think not a lot of people actually did the survey. But at least 20, 25. That’s 25 testimonials. For me, that’s a lot.
Jayne Havens: It’s more than you need, right?
Camila Martelo: Yeah, way more than I need.
Jayne Havens: It’s more than you need for your landing page.
Camila Martelo: Way more than I need for my landing page, exactly. I was extremely happy with that even if it wasn’t like — it was nothing compared to the amount of people that have actually taken the course. So, I was happy with that. I get creative in the way of how I incentivize people to write testimonials. I know, sometimes I don’t write testimonials for things I really don’t like. You’re just busy, and you forget about it. So, I got creative on that side. I just keep reminding people that it’s out there. Because people are not going to have a present all the time.
Jayne Havens: What do you wish that you knew then that you know now about online course creation and course sales? What do you wish that somebody had told you? Is there anything that was sort of frustrating to have to figure out along the way?
Camila Martelo: Like what we touched on, it’s not going to be 100% perfect. It’s always a work in progress, and you’re always going to have to work on it. I’m not going to say that I open my course every month. But every now and then, you definitely open it and make sure that everything is working.
Another thing is, I don’t know if this is just my audience, to be honest. But sometimes people don’t read. They don’t read, and they don’t want to read the loving instructions. They don’t want to figure things out. There’s going to be an aspect of customer support that you’re going to have to be technically savvy with. For example, sometimes people are like, “Hey, I bought the course. I can’t get into my account.” So, I have to go into Kajabi and send them a reset password link. That doesn’t take any time, but it’s a technical thing, right?
Jayne Havens: And it’s so frustrating. Because they can get in, they just didn’t figure out how.
Camila Martelo: And they could just click Reset Password, right? But there’s also going to be a customer service aspect to it. At least, yeah, these platforms require some knowledge of technicalities. You have to upload a graphic to make sure that the class has a graphic. You have to upload links and texts. If you’re doing a video form, you have to make sure that your video has good audio. It’s not just like the sleep consulting part of it. It’s also the, is this a good customer experience aspect of it? So, that’s something to consider.
Jayne Havens: I really actually identify with that. Because when I was creating CPSM, when I think back to what the course looked like in the earliest days, when you go to watch a new video, if it was me talking on the video, it would be me with like my eyes half-closed. There was no thumbnail picture. For the longest time, I just left it that way because I was so not tech-savvy, that I didn’t even know how to add a thumbnail picture or whatever. Is that even what it’s called, or am I making that up?
Camila Martelo: In Kajabi, it’s called a cover. It could be a cover or thumbnail.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, like a cover photo, whatever. I don’t even know what it’s called. And so, for the longest time, my course, just all the videos looked like that. It was bothering me, but I also didn’t know how to fix it. I guess I could have asked it. I think I eventually did get a VA to help me, or you helped me. I don’t know.
In my eyes, that shouldn’t be a reason for keeping yourself from putting something out there. Because honestly, I was more bothered by it than any of my students who went through the program. Nobody gave me any negative feedback on it. Maybe they thought something in their minds like, “Oh, this is a little unprofessional that this looks this way.” But nobody ever complained to me or said anything about it.
Over time, as I became more comfortable with the platform that the course is on, and as I became more comfortable with making edits and adding to the material, I just fixed it all. There are still things that I want to change. It’s like a constant — I call it, it’s like a living, breathing organism. It’s always changing. You’re always working on it. None of that should stop you from getting started, if you ask me.
Camila Martelo: Not at all. For example, these platforms, they want your business. They want your course to be in their platform. So, they have an amazing customer support and amazing blogs, like guides on how to start. Everything is figure out-able. Everything, you can just Google. Every time I have an issue with Kajabi which is just random things, like how to edit this in Kajabi. Boom, the answer appears. How to do this in Kajabi?
It is a learning process if you don’t want to hire anyone else. But you could also just hire someone to help you with that part. So, really, it’s up to you. Definitely, just play to your strengths. In the part, like I mentioned, I hired a videographer, I felt comfortable doing that. Because I had to do that in college. I was in front of the camera when I was doing journalism. But you don’t have to do it that way. You could just record yourself.
If you feel more comfortable with visual tools, with texts, just create a nice presentation. Use Loom or Zoom to record yourself. Even Canva itself allows you to record yourself. That’s it. You’re just like in a little bubble. I would recommend showing your face on the course even if it’s in those little bubbles instead of just like reading over a slide, just because I feel like people do want to see you. It feels a little bit more personal.
You could just start also with a PDF, just like a video, audio PDF. Then just start roll from there. But it doesn’t have to be this professional video at all. If you don’t have — for example, I used a baby model when I recorded. I asked my uncle. He’s an OBGYN. I said, “Hey, do you have any clients that you would think would be comfortable with me swaddling their baby on camera?” He’s like, “Yeah, I have. I have this girl.” The girl who didn’t know me just showed up in my house with a swaddle. Her mother-in-law knew me. She’s just like, “Okay, here’s my baby, I’ll just go have some coffee while you swaddle her on camera.”
The baby was a great model. But I could only get away with showing the velcro swaddle. I was like, okay, I really want to show the traditional way of swaddling a baby with a regular swaddle blanket. I couldn’t do it. I just found a link on YouTube to this video — I think it’s John Hopkins Hospital — where a nurse is showing how to do the traditional swaddle. That’s in the course.
There are so many resources online that you can use. You don’t need to have it all. Not everything has to be done by you. It’s never going to be 1,000% perfect.
Jayne Havens: It’s never ending.
Camila Martelo: Yeah, and one thing I do is, for example, when I see people that take my course and they come up with similar questions, I write them down. I was like, okay, I have to address this in the course. I talked about naps, newborn naps. I explained that they’re short. But people were like getting very anxious that they were short. They’re like, “No, but that’s really short. How long should I extend the nap, try to extend the nap for?”
I made sure to write that down, and then just include in the course. So, now I have a little FAQ section on short naps. So, you’re always just making sure that the more you’ll work on it, the less questions you will eventually get.
Jayne Havens: Exactly. I know that you’re about to have a baby any minute. You’re 38 weeks pregnant.
Camila Martelo: 39.
Jayne Havens: 39, okay. What is your plan for maternity leave? Are you taking any one-on-one clients, or are you simply going to rely on core sales for income while you’re adjusting to life with two kids?
Camila Martelo: Yeah, so I definitely stopped one on ones because — I always say that. I just wanted to make sure. I don’t know how long I’m going to be off. That, I don’t have a plan for. I’m a very active person. In a month, I might say like, “Oh, I’m ready.” Or it might take me two months, or it might take me three weeks. I’m not wanting to sit still.
I don’t have a plan on when. I just know that whenever I plan to open one on ones again. I’ve also worked on creating a program for that. So, it’s not 1,000% passive, but I have known my clients. 99% of the people that want to work with me want a parent present method. So, I’ve developed this course, this baby sleep program for babies from 5 months to 18 months, where 99% of the information on how to sleep train and all the wake windows information, like the theory and the actual plan, is written out.
Families can just purchase a program. They fill out a questionnaire. They get just like a little recommendation sheet from me on what wake windows to use, some sample schedules. But then, they already have all the information and the step-by-step right? So, they don’t need me explaining, “Here’s the process. Here’s how you put them down. Here’s the routine.” I’ve created a program where they just have to keep their communication with me at a minimum. That’s nice, because I don’t have to be full on calls, full on chat. I can just start with that, take some families at a time until I’m feel comfortable to roll over.
For now, since I can’t stay still, I’m going to use this new baby to be my model for this new content in the program. I feel like an online course, more than just like selling the information, you also need to have an additional body. Because, at the same time, someone could just like buy a book or buy a guide. Why would they buy mine, right? What’s the added plus, what’s the added value of buying it from me instead of just having a friend send you the link with the program?
With this program, I’m going to increase the price, and I’m going to add a private Instagram channel through it. So, people are going to get access to me showing what I’m going to do with my baby’s sleep for the first four months.
Jayne Havens: Love that.
Camila Martelo: Yeah, that’s going to be probably a lot of work just uploading all the videos and stuff. But at the same time, it’s what I do. It’s a new baby. So, why not?
Jayne Havens: Absolutely. If everybody listening wants to follow you on Instagram, or maybe check out your website, where can they find you and see more of what you’re all about?
Jayne Havens: Perfect. Camila, thank you so much for having this conversation with me today. I can’t wait to hear about the new baby.
Camila Martelo: Okay. Thank you, Jayne.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support.
If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode.