Interested in becoming a sleep consultant? 

Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.

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Growing a Sleep Consulting Business without Social Media, with Erin Metheny

Growing a Sleep Consulting Business without Social Media with Erin Metheny

Erin is a wife, mom to young boys, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. Erin is the founder of The Well Rested, a pediatric sleep consulting business that helps family become well rested by providing tools for independent sleep while maintaining healthy attachment.

From an early age, Erin developed a passion for helping families, couples and relationships which led her to a career as a marriage and family therapist. While working as a therapist, she quickly noticed that poor sleep was at the core of many of her client’s challenges.

When she became a mom and recovered from postpartum depression with sleep deprivation, she knew she wanted to help more families become rested, healthy, and happy. Erin became a sleep consultant in order to change the lives of more families by providing them with the right tools and compassion needed to become well rested. business without social media

On this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, Erin shared: business without social media

  • How she is growing her sleep consulting business without the use of social media by leveraging meaningful connections, her personal network and former clients
  • Her mindset shift that positioned her to enjoy marketing her services
  • Her goals for this year and beyond! 

Links: business without social media

Website: The Well Rested
Instagram: @thewellrestedbyerinmetheny

If you would like to learn more about Becoming a Sleep Consultant, please join our free Facebook Group or check out our CPSM Website.


Transcript: Business without social media

Intro: Welcome to Becoming a Sleep Consultant! I’m your host Jayne Havens, a certified sleep consultant and founder of both Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management.

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.

Erin is a wife, mom to young boys, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. Erin is the founder of The Well Rested, a pediatric sleep consulting business that helps family become well rested by providing tools for independent sleep while maintaining healthy attachment.

From an early age, Erin developed a passion for helping families, couples and relationships which led her to a career as a marriage and family therapist. While working as a therapist, she quickly noticed that poor sleep was at the core of many of her client’s challenges.

When she became a mom and recovered from postpartum depression with sleep deprivation, she knew she wanted to help more families become rested, healthy, and happy. Erin became a sleep consultant in order to change the lives of more families by providing them with the right tools and compassion needed to become well rested.

Jayne Havens: Erin, welcome to the podcast. I am so excited to be chatting with you today.

Erin Metheny: Thank you so much, Jayne. I’m super happy to be here today.

Jayne Havens: So, the reason I wanted to have you on the show today is because I get asked all the time if it’s possible to grow a sleep consulting business without social media. And I think you’re really a great example of how this is totally possible. I know that you use social media a little bit, but you’re not using it to drive your message entirely. Before we get started, though, I would love for you to share a little bit about you and why you decided to become a sleep consultant.

Erin Metheny: Great. Okay. So, as you mentioned in my bio, I’ve been a therapist, primarily working with couples for many years. In this work, I have been discussing with couples these sleep challenges that continue to come up. I would guide and research as best as I could to help couples in their relationships, address the sleep challenges. But I had a desire to be more of an expert in that area with these clients. And so, I wanted to help more families in this way. That led me to the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management to actually become certified so that I could really help families in this way.

Jayne Havens: I love that. So, let’s talk growing a business without social media. I think that, for whatever reason, people think that if you’re going to become a sleep consultant, you need to have a big social media presence, especially on Instagram or TikTok.

Obviously, you’re not doing those things. I’m not really doing them either. So, what is growing a business look like for you? How are you finding clients if it’s not dancing on reels all day long?

Erin Metheny: For me, growing my business looks like taking the time to really make meaningful, strategic, purposeful connections with professionals and other people in the family health and wellness space. I also get a lot of clients from former and new colleagues who also want to collaborate.

Honestly, most of my clients really come from referrals, recommendations from former clients. I think one of your former podcast guests has talked about letting her excellent service to her clients speak for itself. And it’s so true, at least for me. Also, sleep consultants are literally changing lives, right? We’re changing marriages. We’re changing family dynamics.

Happy clients want to refer you. They want to recommend you. They want to scream from the rooftops of how happy they are that the sleep challenges are no longer a challenge. They want all of their friends and family to experience what it’s like on the other side. So, I find that, yeah, most of my clients come from the referrals from happy clients.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I find that to be true in my business as well. I think that a lot of people worry about, when you’re first getting started in business, how you make those first meaningful connections and land those first clients so that then you can have a snowball effect of referrals. I think that that is a valid concern.

Getting anything started from the ground up, starting from zero, from scratch can be overwhelming, and dare I say even a little bit daunting. But I really do believe that if you support families — those first few families that you help, if you support them at a really high level, they will share your name with their friends and their family and their extended network.

That has always been the case for me. All of my clients, most all, come from former clients and friends of friends who I’ve either helped professionally or informally, just shared advice. I love that that has been true for you.

Do you find that when you do get those referrals from former clients or friends of friends that that’s also like an ideal client because you’re working with people? I would imagine, if you work with families and you have a good experience, their friends are going to be a similar experience. Right?

Erin Metheny: Absolutely. Yeah, I feel like I can align with them. They are a bit more committed having that recommendation from a best friend, or a neighbor, or whoever it is. They come to you really ready to make those changes. And so, yeah, I feel like I align with them. It just seems to click a little bit easier than maybe some other client that comes from a referral from a psychiatrist, or a pediatrician, or some other professional that I’ve connected with.

Jayne Havens: How are you going about connecting with those you mentioned meaningful and strategic connections? How are you going about making those connections? I think, for some people, that feels overwhelming. How do you meet others that are supporting parents in a similar capacity so that you can refer business back and forth?

Erin Metheny: That’s a great question. I spend time researching and searching for other like-minded professionals. Being a therapist, I certainly have colleagues, and I have other connections I’ve made to build that practice. So, I can go back to some of them and let them know, “Hey, this is sort of a new addition to my practice to my career. If you have any clients, let’s connect. Let’s just connect, anyway.” That’s part of it. It’s like, for me, I want to find other like-minded professionals simply because I want to connect to them. I want to meet them, and I’m excited to learn about them. That, for me, is a big difference than when I have built a therapy practice.

Formerly, building a therapy practice, I would take lunches to an OBGYN practice and drop off my business cards, or I would go to a psychiatrist and meet with them and bring my business cards. The mindset was, “I have to connect with them to build my business. I have to get clients from them to pay my bills.”

This time, it had to be different. I had to do it differently because I needed to make a career change, that still supported families but didn’t feel as daunting as the selling myself. It felt like when I was building a therapy practice, I don’t like marketing. I don’t like selling myself. So, it had to feel different. And so, for me, the mindset has changed.

I come to meeting other professionals because I truly want to connect with them. I’m excited to learn from them. I think that comes across when I do a Zoom or a call with them. I’m not looking to get clients from them. I’m simply looking to connect, because I genuinely want to learn from them. I want to be friends. I want to work together, collaborate if there’s a future for that. But the primary goal is not to get clients from them.

Jayne Havens: I love that mindset shift that you’ve had. I think it’s something that maybe doesn’t get discussed super often. We’re always, when we talk about how to grow a business, we’re talking about making these strategic connections that are for the sake of landing clients and building your business. But I love how you’ve had this mindset shift where you’re really just looking to build the relationship first. I think that that’s so smart.

I probably do a lot of that. I think I definitely do a lot of that myself without even thinking about it. I often talk about sales. People are so uncomfortable with sales. It feels really icky and uncomfortable. I always talk about sales as more being like about serving other people. It’s not that you’re selling them. It’s like, how can you help them?

When you go into these conversations with these meaningful connections, and you show up at a place where you’re like, “How can I help you. What is your business look like? How can I learn more about what you’re doing? How can I support you and your business,” then all of a sudden, the conversation takes a more comfortable tone, I think. Then all of a sudden, everybody wants to help each other. I love it. It sounds like that’s what you’re doing.

Erin Metheny: Yes, exactly right. And I’ve heard you talk before about connections and how important that is — getting on those calls, sending out those emails, making those connections. You absolutely do it, even though it may not be worded in that same way. I think you absolutely do that and inspired me to really make that mindset shift.

It seems to be paying off. I love it, and I’m enjoying this marketing this time, which is exactly what I needed when I made this career shift. I needed something to be different. It helps me with my confidence. It helps me lead with my passion versus leading with “I need the sale,” or, “I need the clients” kind of thing, which to me just resonates better for me.

Jayne Havens: I know that you’re really working towards shifting and doing primarily all sleep consulting. But I wonder if you had this mindset before about your therapy practice, if you would feel better about what you were doing as a therapist and maybe wouldn’t have felt this need to jump ship?

Erin Metheny: Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. I find myself wanting to get back to the therapy work. I still see a few clients, but it’s very, very, very tiny. Just to keep my foot in the door and still use my strength and helping people. I love to help people. But yeah, I find myself wanting to get back there. That’s part of a goal I have. It’s to find a way to do both — offering a program that supports families with sleep, and then we get back to the couple.

Now that children are out of the bed, or now that the parent is no longer falling asleep in their child’s bed, they have their evenings. Now, how do they reconnect? That would be my goal for my business. It’s to bring that back. Because I am feeling more confident. I am feeling better with marketing and connecting. It seems like it’s just clicking now for me.

Jayne Havens: I’m wondering if your therapy clients come to you with the feelings of inadequacy and imposter syndrome, and the idea of how challenging it is to juggle work and parenting. These are all sorts of things that you’re probably helping them through as a professional. But then, I’m also wondering if you struggle with these feelings yourself? If so, how are you coaching yourself out of these feelings so that you can move past them in your own business and in your own life?

Erin Metheny: I definitely have helped a lot of clients in my practice, with this self-doubt, this imposter syndrome feeling like they’re not good enough. I worked with a lot of women — in particular, moms as well — through this process. Even with my own mindset shift, I still have days where I have some self-doubt, or I feel a little bit like an imposter.

It can be hard to coach myself. Being on the inside, it’s harder to coach myself than it is to coach other people who are clients. But there’s a few things that I do to help me get through these feelings. One thing in particular is, I view these feelings as clouds, like they are there. I acknowledge them, and I acknowledge that they’re there. And it’s okay to feel these feelings. I let them be. Like clouds, they come and they will pass.

I used to fight these feelings and tried to push them away and do everything I could to get rid of them. It just made them stronger. It made them linger longer. So, I just acknowledged and let them be. They will pass. Something else that I do, which has helped in my connecting with people is focusing on my experience, my expertise, what I specifically bring to the table as a sleep consultant.

I’ve worked hard to get where I am. I’ve earned my place. I’ve worked hard. I didn’t come from nowhere. I’ve worked to get to where I am. And so, I focus on that. I also stopped comparing myself to other people. That’s a hard one for me. That’s often one that comes up. I’d say more often than the other sort of feelings, it’s like in comparison to other sleep consultants, I couldn’t should on myself, like I should be here. I should be having this many clients a month. Or I should be adding someone into my practice to build and go bigger. It doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t have to compare myself. So, I work to stop myself in my tracks from continuing down that path.

Jayne Havens: I think you’re doing a lot of things that a lot of sleep consultants end up like they don’t even realize until years down the road or until they go out and maybe get some further coaching, they hire a business strategist.

One thing that I learned from a business strategist that I worked with a couple of years ago is how important it is really to set yourself apart from what other people are doing. And yes, we are all asleep consultants, but we all have an interesting angle. We all have a certain way of talking about things. We all have a certain philosophy around sleep or whatever it may be.

When you can really hone in on what makes you unique and what makes you special, then all of a sudden, you’re not really going up against competitors. It’s just a matter of whether or not people are choosing to work with you or not. Because they either connect with you or they don’t. I think that that’s really special.

I didn’t figure that out in my business until several years down the road, when I really figured out that like, who cares what everybody else is doing? That is totally irrelevant. I’m out here doing what works for me. I’m speaking my truth. I’m speaking to my target audience in a way that feels really comfortable for me and feels really authentic. People are either going to connect with that or they’re not. And that’s it.

It sounds like you figure that out. As I’m thinking about this, you’re a therapist. That’s your expertise. That’s your secret sauce knowledge that you have in the back of your head, like, “I don’t have that.” But then, for somebody else who is thinking about becoming a sleep consultant, maybe they’re a teacher, maybe they have organizational skills, maybe they have skills with supporting through tough behaviors if they’re a preschool teacher or a kindergarten teacher. These are skills that — again, I don’t have the skills the way that they would. Maybe I’ve developed some of them over time with experience. But taking those strengths and really positioning them, putting them on a platform so that everybody can see, “This is what I bring to the table. This is what’s unique about me,” I don’t know. I just think that’s so brilliant that you figure that out in such a short period of time.

The idea that you’re not comparing yourself to others is, I think, just really important from a mindset perspective. Because we all get really bogged down in what other people are doing. I don’t know. What’s that saying? That, comparison is the thief of joy. I think that that’s a good one.

Erin Metheny: Exactly.

Jayne Havens: I’ve always said that I’m just in a big fat competition with myself. I’m not up against anybody else. I’m just trying to grow myself, and I’m trying to do better than I did in years past. Better doesn’t necessarily mean financially better. It just means I’m trying to put out better work. I’m trying to support families at a higher level. I’m trying to develop my own unique language, and voice, and vibe. And that’s all better. I don’t know. It sounds like you have that figured out in a very short period of time, which is super impressive. It took me a while to get there. So, I love that.

Erin Metheny: Thank you. I will say it did take me time, even though I haven’t really been in this business too long. So, it may seem like a short amount of time. I was talking to a lot of people. I think, a lot of sleep consultants, once you sort of start this journey, you’re excited to share. “This is what I’m doing,” or, “I just got certified.” You spread the news on Facebook, Instagram. All of that helped to spread the news. But I had a lot of people saying to me like that sounds such like a great combination. Having the couple’s therapy experience and then combining that with sleep. Like, “You’re going to really set yourself apart. That’s going to be a really great combination.” I didn’t believe them. I was like, “Really? Are you sure?”

I couldn’t quite see how it would be such an asset or something that set me apart. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It took time of, I think, people continuing to remind me of that. And then myself too, to remind myself like this is something that really does set me apart. Or like you said, this is something I can serve on a platter or lead with in terms of, “This is really what I offer.” It sort of started to click. So, it does take time, that repetition, of changing that mindset like I do have something to offer, and this is what it is.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, and I think that what you’re highlighting is what I say all the time inside of our CPSM community. I’m always trying to drive home the point that all of these conversations — not every single conversation that we have is intended to land a sale or book a client. It’s all to grow.

I get on the phone every single day with prospective clients who need help with sleep, with prospective students who are interested in becoming sleep consultants, with therapists who I’m just networking with, with preschool directors, daycare owners, whatever it is. In every single conversation, something comes off of it. I learned something. If I’m paying attention, I learned something to better my own business, to get better at talking about what I do, to master my own craft. The more conversations I have, the better I get at having these conversations.

I think what you saw is so true, that along the way, these conversations are not for nothing. The more and more you spoke about what you do and why you’re getting into this — people told you what you were doing. You didn’t even realize what you were doing. It sounds like your friends, your family, these meaningful connections that you were making were sort of pointing you in the direction of how to place a highlight on your expertise and your value. It’s so cool.

Erin Metheny: Yeah, exactly. Thank you. That’s sort of the message there for those listening. I would say it’s like continue to talk about it. Fine tune what you want to present in terms of what you bring them, what you offer to your potential clients down the road. That is incredibly valuable. Like you said, it’s learning. It’s growth along the way. It’s incredibly valuable.

Jayne Havens: I have to share one of my favorite memories of you, the moment when I got super excited about you. I don’t know if you know what I’m going to say. But I put out an assignment to our CPSM students and grads, just sort of a challenge one day. The challenge was, for anybody inside of our community, to send me either a video or a voice recording of them sharing their story, their why. Why did you become a sleep consultant? Why are you doing this work?

The reason I put out that challenge is because I think that, when you get asked to be on podcasts or when you get asked to go speak with an audience or whatever it may be, you want to be able to concisely explain why you’re doing this, who you help, your value. A lot of people don’t take the time to figure that out. And so, I put the challenge out there for people to do it.

Literally, I think only two people did it. Maybe three. But I can remember two off the top of my head who did it. You were one of them. And yours, you nailed it. You’re totally about it. First try, you sent it to me. There was no babbling. There was no stuttering. There was no teetering back and forth. There was no insecurity. You literally just showed up, and you gave it to me straight. It was like A plus. You nailed it.

I think I don’t know how much work you put into that or if that just came to you somewhat naturally. Because your why really is your truth. It’s your story. It’s nothing to finagle. When you really own it and it really is your story, I think it rolls off the tongue a little bit easier for most. But some people really do have to work on that. Some people, it doesn’t come naturally. You have to hone in and practice. The more you talk and the more you share, the easier it is to tell those stories.

I don’t know. I just had to share that, because I don’t know if you still have it. But it’s so good. It’s so good. And everybody should work on that. For all of the CPSM students and grads that are listening to this podcast, if you didn’t take me up on the first challenge, this is my second offer on the podcast for anybody to turn in a little why, your why. You killed it. It was great.

Erin Metheny: Thank you. Yeah, I remember that. I highly recommend to everyone listening to do that challenge. Because it was a bit of a turning point for me even in my mindset. It was a challenge, and I showed up. I’m typically one that is more shy or quiet. I tend not to show up all the time. So, it really helped push me in that direction of really owning my story and fine tuning it.

I love my story. When you talk about how I nailed it and that is my story, it gives me chills. It makes my hairs stand up on my arms because I love the story. I’ve come to own it, and I love it. I want to share it. Again, not to the point of getting clients, but because I’m proud of it. I want other people to know about it. Then that leads to clients. It’s been great to have that shift, and showing up, and finding my way.

Jayne Havens: You’re coming up on one year in business. I think this April, you said, is your one year anniversary? Do you feel like you have a rhythm? Do you have a steady flow of clients? What does your business look like currently?

Jayne Havens: I’m very excited to be coming up on a year. It’s been a fast year. My business right now is still part time. That is a choice that I’ve made for my family. I have two young children. So, just managing everything and trying to figure all of that out is still something I’m working on.

I would say I have about three to five clients I support a month. So, it’s been a pretty steady flow. I’m always surprised when there’s a little bit of a lull, and then there’s emails popping up with consultations scheduled, or a therapist or a colleague reaches out and says, “I have this couple. Would you like to help them with sleep?” And so, it just sort of it picks back up again. So, yeah, I do feel like I’m in a really great rhythm. It’s pretty exciting to see.

Jayne Havens: I love that. I love that you’re doing exactly what I always talk about, which is that you can be present for your kids, and you can put your family first. Then you can also have a business that generates income and gives you a sense of purpose and passion and something to be excited about. I don’t know. I feel like you’re such a model for that, I think, because of the way that you show up, which is truly just 100% authentic. “This is who I am. I’m here to help you. If I’m not the right person to help you, here’s who can.”

When you show up with that attitude, I think people are drawn to you. It’s just magnetic. I know because I’ve been doing this for longer than a year. That even if you just keep doing what you’re doing, and you don’t try to ramp it up, it will ramp up. Because the more people that you’ve worked with, they’re out there now to refer back to you.

Every single time you have a happy client that you’ve worked with, that’s another chance for a referral down the road. I would imagine, if you change nothing, you’ll still grow. Where do you see this going in the next year, with that being said? As I’m sitting here, telling you that your business is going to grow, do you have specific goals? Are you happy with just coasting the way things are? Or do you plan to ramp up as your kids get a little bit older? What are your plans? Do you have any?

Erin Metheny: Yeah, right now, I really like the way things are. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to figure out how to balance everything. For me, this smaller client caseload really works. Also, something that’s really important to me is my accessibility and my responsiveness to my clients. Maybe that’s part of being a therapist and sitting with people for an hour at a time for sessions. But I like to be responsive. I love it when clients text me in the moment, and I text them right back. Of course, I have boundaries. So, it’s not all hours of the night.

But yeah, if I’m putting my kids to bed and they text me, and my son is still getting ready, I can text right back. I love that accessibility. I love that responsiveness. That’s really important to me for my business. So, for this next year, I see myself maintaining this part time practice, business. But over the years, as my children get older, yeah, I would love to continue to grow. I’d love to make this full time. I’d love to, like I said earlier, really find that bridge between the couple’s counseling and the sleep consulting. So, some sort of program course, training classes for couples may be, as I said, to rebuild that relationship after they’re sleeping better.

Jayne Havens: Love it. For someone who’s interested in becoming a sleep consultant but perhaps scared of the business building piece, what would you tell them? Any words of wisdom to share there?

Erin Metheny: Yeah, I would say if you have a passion to support families in this way, I would say do not let the fear stop you. I would say make those connections. Reach out. Lead with your passion. I think it’s also important to really focus on having your business your way. It doesn’t have to be like someone else’s.

It can look and feel however you want it to. That’s really the beauty of this type of work. It’s that, you can do it however it works for you and your family, which is really great. Yeah, I think that’s kind of it. I think, really, just leading with your passion, and I think the business will grow from there.

Jayne Havens: Yeah, I agree. Before we wrap up, where can everybody find you? Do you want to share your website? Any social media accounts, whatever you got?

Erin Metheny: Yeah, sure. So, as you know, my social media accounts are small. But I have my website. It’s thewellrested.com. My social media Instagram is @thewellrestedbyerinmetheny.

Jayne Havens: Thank you so much for chatting with me today. This was awesome. I can’t wait for everybody to hear your story.

Erin Metheny: Great. Thank you so much, Jayne. It’s been a lot of fun.

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.

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