Danielle is a wife, mama to four little ones, restful sleep enthusiast and Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant. She graduated from CPSM in early 2022 and recently completed her Special Needs Sleep Certification. Having four kiddos close in age, she knew good sleep was going to be crucial for both herself and her husband to be the best versions of themselves for their kids. Networking as a Newbie
Once they had their last child in 2021, Danielle knew that she wanted to start her journey to help other parents and caregivers! Danielle is passionate about empowering exhausted families who are ready to prioritize sleep by giving them the support that they deserve and the rest that they need to be the best version of themselves for their children, partners and themselves! She helps families with newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers have restful nights. Because every sleep journey is different, she works with families to meet them where they are to help their littles one sleep in an impactful way. Networking as a Newbie
Networking as a New
Book a free discovery call to learn how you can become a Certified Sleep Consultant here.
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.
Danielle is a wife, mama to four little ones, restful sleep enthusiast and a certified pediatric sleep consultant. She graduated from CPSM in early 2022 and recently completed her Special Needs Sleep Certification. Having four kiddos close in age, she knew good sleep was going to be crucial for both herself and her husband to be the best versions of themselves for their kids.
Once they had their last child in 2021, Danielle knew that she wanted to start her journey to help other parents and caregivers. Danielle is passionate about empowering exhausted families who are ready to prioritize sleep by giving them the support that they deserve and the rest that they need to be the best version of themselves for their children, partners and themselves.
She helps families with newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers have restful nights. Because every sleep journey is different, she works with families to meet them where they are to help their littles one sleep in an impactful way.
Jayne Havens: Danielle, I’m so excited for you to be on the podcast today. Thanks for being here. I’m excited to get started.
Danielle Ubhaus: Thank you for having me.
Jayne Havens: Before we do, would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself, and why you decided to get certified to work as a sleep consultant?
Danielle Ubhaus: Absolutely. I’m a mom of four littles. My kids currently are 7, 5, 3, and 2. So with my second, she was a terror. I always knew sleep was important. With my first, she was amazing. Then my second came along and completely rocked my world. So from the moment that she was born and then once I decided to sleep train her at four months — because I slept on the couch for four months — I started exploring my options of what I wanted to do. I realized that it was something in the postpartum world.
So when I had my third, we had moved to Colorado. I decided to start newborn sleep shaping because I couldn’t go through another four months on the couch with two toddlers in tow now. So it completely changed my world. Then after our fourth was born, about 18 months later, I decided to look into programs to get certified. I found your program, and I signed on right away. Then the rest is kind of history over the last 18 months of what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been helping families and just also helping my community.
Jayne Havens: I think that one thing that really trips people up when deciding whether or not to become a sleep consultant is their fear of trying to navigate the business-building piece. Would you be willing to share how you have approached this? I know that you network a lot. I’m wondering if this is happening online or in-person or maybe a little bit of both.
Danielle Ubhaus: Yes, so as I was going through the certification program, I was starting to build the business in my mind. Networking was one thing I absolutely wanted to do. It just seemed natural to me to want to network. But at the same time, it also was not natural to me because I had never done anything like this before. Me and my husband were prior restaurant owners. And networking, that is completely different than networking yourself as a sole business owner. So I just started researching people in my area in the postpartum world: doulas, and chiropractors, and OTs, and PTs. I was like everybody can benefit from having their clients sleep better.
When I first started, I probably sent out 50 messages to people. Then I had no idea what to do next. I made all these connections when I first launched my business, and it was great. People were super receptive. But then, I didn’t actually do anything about it for a little while because I didn’t know what to do. So I kind of dug deep. I was like, okay. So how can I make this more beneficial to me and these people, these other professionals I was reaching out to? I then kind of circled back. I was like, who did I have a good strong conversation with, and how can I make that turn into a better relationship?
I then started doing events with some of these people. I am strongly tied to the special needs community from family connections and how I grew up. And so I went to this one event. That was a first-time event for this OT who was running it. I met probably 15 more professionals. They were like, “Oh my gosh. We need to connect.” So it was a combination of connecting with people on social media and maybe just sending some emails and then starting to meet people in real life.
Jayne Havens: Let’s dig deeper into this. This conversation is so relevant to what I’m doing right now with a few CPSM grads. Literally, I just got off of a Zoom strategy call with a graduate who just finished the course. She literally asked me this question. Like, “Okay. So I reach out to people and I start a conversation. How would you suggest that I do that? What do I say?” That initial conversation, I think, is the easy part. Then what you were talking about, the follow-up and the maintaining of that relationship, is the part that’s maybe not harder but it’s just more to think about and more to do. So I would love to hear what you said in those initial emails, if you’re willing to share, if you remember.
Danielle Ubhaus: Yeah.
Jayne Havens: If you’re approaching a postpartum doula, what would you say in an email?
Danielle Ubhaus: If I connect with them on social media, which I’m heavily Instagram-focused, I just start with a short little “Hey, thanks so much for reaching out, or thanks for following me,” if they happen to follow me. Or if I’m following them, it’ll be like, “Hey, I’m a sleep consultant. I would love to connect and learn more about what you do.”
Jayne Havens: Yes, exactly.
Danielle Ubhaus: I know what they do. You know what a postpartum doula does. You know what an OT does. You know what a PT does. But how do they serve their community and their clients? I’m starting the conversation that way, of just asking them about them. I’m not trying to send them this email of like, “Hey, here’s a list of all my services. This is who I help. This is my I help statement. I love working with these types of clients.”
How do they serve their community? Most of the time, when you’re connecting with these people, they’re local to you or local enough. They’re usually within an hour drive, so you are still part of the same community. When you’re first starting out, I think starting local is a great way. I’ve made great connections, since we’re originally from New Jersey, with some people in New Jersey as well and professionals in New Jersey. Actually, my most recent client came from a postpartum therapist in New Jersey.
You have to start local. When you start local, you just ask them about them and then you see what they have to say. Sometimes people are like, “I’d love to hear what you do.” Then you explain and you try to tie it into being a postpartum doula. Like, “I’m sure that you’ve experienced lots of sleep-deprived moms. You can help them in the moment. But then, how do you help them in the next step and the next phase when you’re done?”
Or if it’s an OT, “How do you help your clients, and how can I benefit your clients as well? Do you feel that if some of your clients were sleeping better, that they may progress a little bit faster or a little bit more in OT, or not need as much time in the long run of it?” It’s just trying to figure out how you can benefit them first without saying, “Hey, I want to connect with you now. Can you refer all your clients to me?”
Jayne Havens: Yeah, exactly.
Danielle Ubhaus: That’s a really fine line, because it’s hard. Because sometimes, also depending on where you live, it can drag out and it can take time to build these relationships. It’s not an instantaneous thing. One of the connections that I’ve actually made is with my pediatrician. I know that you say this over and over again. You’re like, “Start with your pediatrician.” I was terrified to go to my pediatrician. I don’t know why. But to me, it was super intimidating.
Finally, back in February, I think, I got the nerve. I was like, I’m just going to DM him. He has a huge TikTok following and a huge Instagram following. I’m like, what is he going to want from my little business? He was like, “Oh, actually, I’m just starting this. It’s called Baby University, which is local. I would love for you to be our sleep specialist. So it’s once a month for new moms.” Now I go, and I talk to all these new parents. I have yet to have any clients, because they’re all super proactive pregnant women who are taking this. So a lot of them are going to be due in July and August. But it’s a great way to just build a connection. It’s a couple hours of my time once a month.
Jayne Havens: I love that. I was going to ask you about reaching out. I was totally planning. You sort of put the gun on me.
Danielle Ubhaus: Sorry.
Jayne Havens: That’s okay. You and I are on the same page. One of the things I was wanting to discuss with you is “how you reach out to someone who’s out of your league.” I put that in air quotes. The pediatrician, I think, is the perfect example of that. I think sometimes sleep consultants are a little bit overwhelmed or nervous that the pediatrician that they reach out to is not going to want anything to do with this conversation. If that happens, I think that’s okay. That’s just part of networking. It’s that sometimes people accept the reach out, and sometimes people don’t. It’s just part of doing business.
But in my experience, I have found that if you approach these professionals — whether they be pediatricians, occupational therapists, therapists who are supporting mom’s postpartum — if you approach it from the aspect of what is it that you do so well, and how can I help you be even better at your job via what I can offer to your clients or your patients, I think is exactly what needs to happen.
Danielle Ubhaus: I think that’s exactly it. As my pediatrician says, he goes, “We have 10 minutes with you. I can’t talk for 45 minutes with you about your newborn’s sleep or about your toddler’s sleep. We don’t have the time for that. So I have this resource now for you. You can go contact Danielle and talk to her about all this stuff because that’s what she’s there for.”
Getting over that hump and that fear was huge for me, especially with my pediatrician. Now, currently on the docket, I’m going to reach out to more pediatricians that are local to me that I don’t use obviously, but just to see what they say. I kind of approach it of, “Hey, do you have a sleep consultant that you refer patients out to?”
Because 9 times out of 10, pediatricians don’t have the training or the experience, unless they’re a parent of multiples. Mine is a dad of seven. So he has lots of experience personally with it. But he also knows that each kid is so different, and that what worked for one of his kids did not work for the next kid. And so he understands that, which is great to have that foundation.
Reaching out to these professionals, specifically doctors, I think, we just are like, “Oh, well, they have so much experience with just medical and life. What can we offer them?” But in reality, we can offer them the world because they can have somebody to refer out to. They’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, absolutely. I totally understand your struggles. This is who you should contact. She’s going to really help you and get you through this tough time right now.”
Jayne Havens: Let’s talk about maintaining the relationship when you’re networking. Because you touched on that, and I think we should spend a little bit more time on it. I think that this is something that a lot of new business owners missed the mark on. They make one reach out. It goes kind of well. You have a nice conversation back and forth, and then it fizzles. That’s it. That’s the end of it.
Danielle Ubhaus: And maybe it’s that you drop off some business cards, or brochures, or flyers, whatever you have and then they have them in the office. But you need to also stay in their minds. So you just send a reminder email. It’d be like, “Hey, thanks so much.” I mean, whether you know or not that somebody handed out your card, you can just say, “Hey, thanks so much for handing out my cards and my brochures these past couple months. I’d love to know if there’s any updates to your offerings or to your business or anything that’s changed recently for you.”
Because most of the time, there’s probably a little something that’s changed for me in my offerings or programs that I’m currently running. I can just remind them of how I’m changing. Whether that’s with a doctor’s office, or a postpartum doula, or parenting groups — I’m connected with a couple parenting groups, too — they update me on their offerings when I update them on my offerings. It’s just nice to be like, “Oh, hey. Oh, yeah, I forgot about it the past month or so. Maybe I should send some more emails to my clients.” Then there’s always the option to ask them for something, so it’s more than just a conversation.
Eventually, you have to get to a point where you can do something together that’s going to serve both your communities. And if you keep that in mind that it’s serving your community, both of you together, it can be really helpful on how you approach the conversations and how you stay in contact. It’d be like, “Hey, we haven’t done anything in a while. Do you want to jump on an Instagram Live? Hey, we haven’t done anything in a while. Are you doing this upcoming event that’s local to us?” Maybe they aren’t, but it just keeps the conversation going.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think that that’s all great. I often with my, I call them meaningful or strategic connections or business partnerships, I often reach out whenever. If I see a news article that I think they might enjoy, I share it with them. If I see they post something on their social media that I really resonate with, I share it with my audience. It just reminds them that I exist. Then they slide into my DMs, and they say “Thank you so much for sharing.” Then I say, of course, I loved… Why did I share it? Then it re-ignites a conversation that was maybe a little quiet for a month or two.
I love your suggestions of offering to hop on an Instagram Live together or to do an event together. One thing that I often will suggest to the people who I reach out to is, just as you said, how can we collaborate together? How can we serve our mutual shared audience? If you’re reaching out to a postpartum doula that’s local to you, one thing that I will scope out is, I’ll check out their website. I’ll see.
Do they already offer classes? Maybe they offer classes on babywearing, or maybe they offer classes on feeding. But I don’t see anything on sleep. I’ll say to them, “I’ve noticed that you offer these classes on babywearing or feeding classes. Would you like to do something together on sleep? I’m happy to act as your resident expert on this topic, and share what I know with your audience and your clientele.” It’s just a way to collaborate and join forces and become business colleagues and friends, which I think always leads to something great.
Danielle Ubhaus: Absolutely. I think a lot of times, it can be really intimidating because people don’t think of it as serving both communities. People are like, “Oh, well, I can’t offer them anything.” Let’s say that you connect with a doula on Instagram. Let’s say it’s a social connection, like a social media connection. They have 100,000 followers, and you have 500 to 1,000. You’re like, well, what are they going to want with me as just this little itty bitty business?
But in reality, it takes pressure off of them. Because maybe then you take over their Instagram or you do some shared post, and that takes a little bit of pressure off of them for a post a day, a week, or whatever it is, of how you work together. You’re serving yourself because you’re going to get these new followers or clients or just be in their world. Well, it’s still serving our communities because what they do is crucial to the children that are being born.
Sometimes the connections fizzle out. And that’s okay, too. That can be hard in the beginning the first couple times that it happens. You realize that you’re not aligned in your mindset and your philosophy and how you serve a community or what you believe in. That can be kind of hard. The first time it happened to me, I distinctly remember it. I was bummed. I was like, I thought this was a really good relationship we had going.
She basically posted that sleep training was wrong. I was like, okay. Well, I guess we need to have a conversation about this. It just fizzled out. And that’s okay, too, because there’s always more. There’s always enough people to connect with. Some work out, and some don’t. I have a running tally of everybody I’ve contacted with. And if it’s not a good fit, it’s just not a good fit, so I don’t reach out to them again. And that’s okay.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think that you brought up a really good point. Let’s go back to that person who was sort of anti-sleep training. There are some people who we reach out to in the birth and postpartum space or just parenting universe who are personally against sleep training. That’s fine. It’s completely within their right to have those thoughts and opinions.
Within that subset group of people, I think that there are two categories: the person who is not into sleep training for themselves but still shows up for her community as the type of person that would acknowledge that even if it’s not for her personally or for them personally, maybe they have clients or people within their community that would want that type of support. They are not the right person to support this family, and then they would refer somebody like you. Then there are other people who are like, “I don’t support it. I don’t recommend it. I won’t even give you a name.”
Danielle Ubhaus: Exactly.
Jayne Havens: Sometimes there are people who are in that anti-sleep training camp, but they still understand or they still believe that every family deserves to be supported in the way that they wish to be supported, and they’re willing to make a referral. I, personally, am not the coach for parents who wish to bed share.
Danielle Ubhaus: Same.
Jayne Havens: On a personal level, I have no judgment towards parents who do wish to bed share. I understand that every single family is just making what they think is the best decision for their family and their child. So I really try to show up to these conversations without any judgment. That being said, that person who wants to sleep better but continue to have their baby in their bed is not the right family for me.
I have a small handful of sleep consultants that I have met in my business travels and just connecting with online who do support those families. And so when somebody comes to me and they say, “I would love to improve sleep in my home, but I also want to keep my four-month-old in my bed with me,” I’ll say, “I’m not the right coach for you, but here are two or three names.” And so we can still actually be really good referral partners even if we don’t align with our philosophy on sleep or parenting.
Danielle Ubhaus: Right, and I think that’s important to keep in mind when you’re starting these conversations. Because some people might respond and just be like, “I don’t believe in what you do.” You can either choose to take the high road and be like, “That’s great. I’d love to explain a little bit about what I do,” or you can be bitter about it. I think you need to just sometimes explaining it. Because some of these professionals might not fully know what a sleep consultant does. They might not have a solid idea of what sleep training actually is, and how we support families in their journey.
Just like they support families during their struggles as going through OT, or PT, or feeding, I don’t know all about that. I don’t know every detail about it. I think I know enough, but I would love to be more informed about them. I like informing people that, “Hey, maybe it’s not what you think it is. So this is how I support families, and this is what I do. Is that what you had in mind when you said that you don’t support sleep training?” Sometimes they’re like, “Yes.” I’m like, “Okay. Cool. Thanks. Thanks for chatting.”
Sometimes they’re like, “Oh, wow. I didn’t realize that there are so many options within sleep training.” That it’s not just closing the door and seeing them in the morning. Oh, you support the parent along with this, and you support the parents through them supporting their children. It’s not that you go into their home, and a stranger comes in with a four-year-old. You come into their home, and you have a four-year-old. That four-year-old might not be responsive to a stranger, but you’re supporting the parents and the child along the way.
And so it can be scary because it’s the fear of rejection, I think. And if you can get over that and understand that, probably 9 times out of 10, you’re going to have a positive conversation. Once you start having those positive conversations, you’re like, “Oh, this actually isn’t that hard.” The hardest part is making sure you stay in touch and that you stay in their mind, and trying to constantly do offers. I have probably a solid five people that I talk to all the time in this. Then other people, I just reach out every couple of months.
Like I said, sometimes they fizzle out because they’ve moved on or whatever it may be. They don’t feel a strong connection anymore. Sometimes then that becomes the next person that I talk to all the time, and it becomes a great connection. I think the biggest thing is, well, oh, it’s not so easy just to message somebody. It is because it’s a message, right? You don’t have to hurl and go into a pharmaceutical sale, go into all these doctor’s offices, and try to sell yourself right there. It’s just an email. That can be done at any time of day. So it really can be at times when you’re around with your kids or at night, just sending a couple emails a week.
Jayne Havens: And then really, I think, also, it’s important to recognize that you don’t need to have 100 of these meaningful and strategic connections in order to be successful in your business. You said you have about five people that you speak with regularly. I honestly think I have four. I was just thinking about it. I was like, I do have four really great connections that I would say are true business friends and referral partners at this point. We truly do keep in touch on a regular basis and support each other however possible. We make sure a couple of times a year to collaborate on some sort of event, whether in-person or virtual. You don’t need to have 100 million connections in order to be successful.
Danielle Ubhaus: When I first started out, like I said, I reached out to probably 50 people. I have the list. Over time, a lot of people have dropped off that list. I’ve added some people who have proven that we work really well together, and we can collaborate, and we can do things. And so it can seem intimidating when you’re like, “Oh, well, I have a list of 10 chiropractors in the area.” Okay. So maybe one of them works out. That’s all you need. You just need that one person to make that connection so that you have that referral partner.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, we have a CPSM grad who is entirely booked, has a waitlist to work with her. She’s incredible. She has two strategic partnerships: one with a pediatrician, and one with a chiropractor. These two referrals keep her busy week over week, over week, month over month. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Danielle Ubhaus: Exactly. It might take a couple months to find your tribe of it. That’s okay. Nothing happens overnight, right? You don’t do the course overnight. You’re not going to make an instant connection with people, especially depending on the country where you live. In New Jersey, it’s really easy to have a conversation. It’d be like, “Oh, this is great,” and then it just clicks. I find people in Colorado move it a little bit slower pace, so you have to nurture that relationship a little bit longer to get there. But it’s okay because nothing happens overnight. It’s not even a lot of hours per week. But if you take a little bit of time to do it, it actually really pays off.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I totally agree. Where do you want to be a year from now, two years from now, in your business? Have you set any goals for yourself, or are you just sort of enjoying the ride and taking it day by day?
Danielle Ubhaus: I think right now, I’m enjoying the ride, taking it day by day. We are probably looking to move in the next year, so I have started making connections where we want to move. I’m reaching out to network already there. So when I’m there, I can have this solid foundation of referrals, both what I’ve already created and in our new home. So it’s just kind of enjoying the ride. I just enjoy where I’m at right now.
Come the fall, all of my kids will be in school for the first time ever. So I think once they’re in school for about two months, I’m going to re-evaluate and see, now that I have this new time for 10 hours a week or whatever it is, how I want to scale and grow my business. But my long-term goal was to eventually open up some sort of full postpartum house, if you will, that not only serves for sleep but lactation and postpartum and just a place for parents to come and hang out with their kids. So they have an outlet to either just get out of the house or just to meet parents who are in a similar situation as them in the real world.
Jayne Havens: I love that. Well, congrats on your initial success. Thank you for sharing your expertise in this area. This conversation was so timely because it’s a conversation that we’re having regularly inside of our CPSM community. I’m confident that sleep consultants all over the country and the globe are curious about this and wanting to learn how to make these connections. So I think this conversation is perfect. I can’t wait for it to be released out into the universe, and I can’t wait to see all that you do in your business. So thank you for taking the time to have this conversation with me today.
Danielle Ubhaus: Thank you for having me. I enjoyed talking about it.
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. Networking as a Newbie