The idea for this podcast came about because someone slid into my DMs on Facebook the other day – and it just didn’t feel great. Her message was not well planned and her outreach was unwelcomed. Instead of focusing on the negative, I decided that I could take this experience and spin it in a more positive direction! So, today’s episode is all about how to use Facebook to effectively grow your Sleep Consulting business in a way that feels good and also generates results! How to Use Facebook to Effectively Grow Your Sleep Consulting Business
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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.
Jayne Havens: When I first came up with the topic for today’s podcast episode, I thought I was going to call it Why Cold DMs Don’t Work? And so I got on Zoom. I was trying to record this podcast episode, and it just was coming across as so negative. Like, “Don’t do this. Don’t do that. This is what you shouldn’t do. This is why this doesn’t work.”
As I was trying to record, I just kept stopping and kept re-recording. What I realized is that this is just not how I like to teach. I don’t want to tell you what not to do. I think it’s so much more helpful to tell you what to do instead. So instead of saying to you, don’t send cold DMs on Facebook — which is sort of what I’m saying, but that’s not really the point of this — instead of saying that, I’m going to say to you, let’s learn together how to use Facebook to effectively grow your sleep consulting business. I think that sounds a lot nicer. I’m actually really excited to walk you guys through what that looks like for me in my business.
Before we get started in talking about how you can use Facebook to effectively grow a sleep consulting business, I want to be completely transparent and say that at this point in my career, most of my clients are coming to me by way of referral. I’ve been supporting families for long enough. I’ve had enough happy clients. I’ve sleep trained enough babies and toddlers. That there are hundreds, if not thousands, of families that have had a positive experience in working with me. And they are more than happy to share my name, my phone number, my email, address, my website with their friends who might be struggling with their child’s sleep. Most of my business at this point in my career comes to me just because I’ve helped enough families. That is what I would wish for all sleep consultants.
If you’re already a certified sleep consultant and you’re just working on growing your business, I hope for you that in the very near future, that will click and you’ll really start to get it, start to get more referrals. And for those of you who are not yet sleep consultants, I hope that that happens for you very, very quickly. If this is a field that you’re looking to get into, I can imagine, probably, your number one fear and apprehension about getting started is, like, how am I going to find clients? How am I going to grow a successful business?
What I would say to someone who’s worried about that is that, first of all, this is why you choose Center for Pediatric Sleep Management — because we place a really, really heavy emphasis on business building and entrepreneurship. We’re actually going to teach you how to launch, grow, and scale a really successful sleep consulting business. That’s first and foremost. Second of all, yes, you’re going to have to put in the hard work in the beginning. You’re going to have to do some outreach. You’re going to have to make those meaningful connections and strategic connections with people who are also supporting families in other interesting capacities.
But at some point, there’s going to be this turning point where you can sit back and relax a little bit, and the leads do start coming to you. That is a really magical moment, and I hope it happens for you. If you’re listening, I hope that happens for you very, very quickly.
Today’s episode is all about the beginning, laying the foundation, how to find those clients before clients are finding you. So in the beginning of my career, I used to spend a lot of time on Facebook. I still do, not as much as in the beginning, but I still do it from time to time. And I thought I’d walk you through what that looks like.
For me, I hang out in a lot of Facebook groups. Some of them are local. Some of them are interest-based. There are Facebook groups that I didn’t join because now I’m a sleep consultant, and I think I should be in these groups. These are groups that I’ve always been in for the most part: local communities, again, groups that have to do with other personal interests of mine. I’ve been in these communities for years and contributed to them in varying levels over time.
What I noticed is that if you’re in these Facebook groups with moms, no doubt, the topic of conversation often leads back to sleep. There are so many parents out there struggling, and they want the answer to their problems. “My eight-month-old is up every single hour in the middle of the night, and I don’t know what’s going on. He’s not hungry, but he just won’t go to sleep. He won’t go back to sleep. He won’t stop crying. He won’t keep his pacifier in his mouth.” These are the conversations that are happening inside of Facebook groups.
So what I like to do, instead of sending that cold DM — let’s say somebody posts, “My eight-month-old is up every hour. It’s not about hunger. He just won’t go back to sleep. He wants to be rocked. He wants to be in my arms” — instead of sending a cold DM to that person, which I don’t think is appropriate or necessary, the way that I would handle that is, I would respond to that mom’s post. I would start by saying, “I’m really sorry that you’re struggling. That sounds really hard.”
Then I would follow that up with the answer to their question. So if it’s, “Why is my baby doing this,” I might say to her, “Susie, I’m really, really sorry that you’re struggling. That sounds really hard. My guess is that your little nine-month-old doesn’t know how to fall asleep independently. And if your baby doesn’t know how to fall asleep independently and you’re helping them to sleep at bedtime, then it’s very likely that they’re going to rouse an hour later just because that’s what humans do. And if your little baby doesn’t have the confidence or the ability to fall asleep independently at seven or eight o’clock at night, they’re also not going to be well-positioned to do it at midnight, or 3 AM, or 4, or 5 AM, et cetera.”
Really, the way that you would resolve this is by teaching your baby how to fall asleep independently. There are so many different ways that you can do this. And if you’d like some guidance and support, I’d be more than happy to help you. Here’s the link to schedule a call with me, or feel free to send me a message if you’d like to talk further. Or, would it be okay if I send you a message to carry on this conversation in private?”
That would be seeking permission before sending a message. I think that is more than appropriate. What I love about commenting on a Facebook post in this way is that, legitimately, you’re being helpful. I just gave this mom, who’s tired and exhausted and can’t think straight or see straight, I gave her the answer to her question. I actually told her exactly what to do. I’m not withholding information. I’m not being guarded with my expertise. I am being fully transparent and giving her all the goods.
You know what ends up happening when you’re really helpful to someone? They reach out to you. Because they’re like, “Wow. That was really helpful. I want to learn more from this person.” Then all of a sudden, you have permission to have a private conversation with that person. What also ends up happening a lot of the time is when you make a really helpful comment in a Facebook group.
Perhaps the person who’s originally posting their question in a Facebook group is not interested in hiring a sleep consultant. They’re in a Facebook group. They’re looking for free advice. That’s why I really firmly believe you should give them that free advice. But it’s not the person who posted the question who is likely to begin working with you. What happens is, if you’re in a Facebook group with 6,000 moms, Susie posts that question but Laurie is scrolling through and reading through all the responses because she also has a nine-month-old up every hour. And Laurie is the one who sees your response and thinks, “Well, that was the most helpful response on this entire thread. She sounds really helpful. She sounds like she knows what she’s talking about. I’m going to reach out to her.”
And so it’s Laurie who slides into your DMs and says, “Hi. I saw that you were really helpful in this group X, Y, and Z. I’m also struggling with my baby’s sleep. Would you be able to tell me a little bit more about how you can help me?” Then there you go. You have an inquiry, and you didn’t even reach out to that person. They reached out to you.
In Facebook, I think it’s just really helpful to be helpful. It’s really beneficial to be helpful. The more that you can come across as the smartest person in the room or the most helpful person in the Facebook group, the more likely you are to become the expert in that community. What I’ve noticed is, Facebook communities where I’m really active not just on sleep-related posts, but I chime in on all things — parenting-related, or if somebody has a question about yoga pants, and I have yoga pants that I am obsessed with and I love them, I chime in with helpful comments with a link to my favorite yoga pants.
Because when you communicate often in these groups, you become a familiar name, a familiar face even, a trusted resource. Then when somebody has a question about sleep, you might even notice that people who don’t even know you are tagging you in these posts. Because they see how helpful you are all the time, so they say, “Oh, I know that Jayne is the expert in this community on sleep-related conversations, topics. I’m going to tag her right here.” That’s really when the magic starts to happen.
When I was thinking about this episode for today, the reason that it came up is because actually somebody cold DMed me yesterday, and it didn’t feel good. I didn’t like it. It was actually a really poorly done cold DM. The person who was messaging me didn’t even take the time to take a look at who I was and whether or not I would be a good fit for what they were offering. It just came across as really pushy, salesy, sleazy, whatever you want to call it, not nice words.
Again, I don’t want to focus on the negative, but it really prompted me to think Facebook is such an amazing place where you can grow your business successfully without being pushy and salesy and sleazy. You can be helpful. You can serve communities. You can serve moms and dads. When you’re that helpful person, people come to you looking for that help and support. That’s the vibe that we want to create.
I want to give you another example of how you can successfully grow a business on Facebook in a way that I think feels really great. That is to create your own Facebook group. This is something that I’ve done for Center for Pediatric Sleep Management, but I haven’t done it for my consulting business which is called Snooze Fest. When I walk you through my process, I’m going to explain it to you through the eyes of CPSM just because that’s the way I’ve done it. But this is something that you can do for your sleep consulting business as well.
For me, I have a Facebook group that’s all about learning more about becoming a sleep consultant. So let’s say I’m in a Facebook group, and somebody says they are a stay-at-home mom. They’re looking for a side hustle. They don’t want to participate in the MLM stuff going on. They’re not in the position to go back to work in the traditional sense and go to the office, but they really would love to contribute financially to their family, maybe do something related to helping families. Does anybody have any ideas for what that might look like?
So I would chime in on that thread and say, “Hi. I’m a sleep consultant. I support parents through the process of establishing healthy and independent sleep hygiene. I help these families to get their children to sleep through the night. I’d be happy to chat with you about that if you’d like to learn more. Feel free to send me a message.” So I’m not cold DM-ing them. I’m giving them permission to send me a message and connect.
“I have this free Facebook group. It’s called Becoming a Sleep Consultant. It’s a great place to just, no pressure, learn more about the field.” Then somebody joins the Facebook group, and then they can spend as much or as little time as they want getting to know me, getting to know my style, how I operate my business, how I support my students who are enrolled in CPSM. This can be done for your sleep consulting business. So if somebody is a tired mom of a three-year-old, let’s say, who’s up all night, and you’re a sleep consultant that primarily supports parents of toddlers, preschoolers, early elementary-age children, perhaps you create a Facebook group all about this.
When somebody says, “My three-year-old is up 30 times in the middle of the night,” you can offer them advice on how to resolve that. But you could also invite them to join your free Facebook group. “Come join my free Facebook group. You can learn tips and tricks to make bedtime a more enjoyable experience. I’d walk you through those steps to teach your child to sleep independently and through the night. And if you decide that you’d like more support from me, we could always work together one on one.” Then all of a sudden, they’re in your community. When they join your free Facebook group, when you join a Facebook group, there are certain questions that you have to answer. Like, do you agree to the rules? You can customize these questions.
One of the questions that you might ask somebody who’s coming into your free Facebook group would be, would it be okay if I message you to learn more about whatever it is that you’re struggling with with regard to your child’s sleep? And you know what? I bet 9 people out of 10 would say yes to that. So if you just simply ask permission, would it be okay if I send you a message to learn more about what you’re up against, and somebody says yes, then all of a sudden, you have permission to reach out. It’s not sleazy. It’s not salesy. You are given permission to have a conversation with them to see what they’re struggling with, and how you can provide value and help them to improve their current circumstances. It’s as easy as that. It just can be so great. It doesn’t have to feel so hard.
I think back to that DM that I got yesterday that really didn’t feel great, it really made me uncomfortable. It felt like desperate energy coming from the person who was trying to sell to me. Then I think about how I approach building my business using Facebook, and it’s just sort of night and day. I really truly believe, I know that most people who are listening to this podcast, either you’re already sleep consultants and you’re working on trying to build your business, or maybe you already have a successful sleep consulting business and you’re just looking for interesting ways to grow, and you’re always trying to learn more new strategies. I think that’s awesome.
Or, perhaps you’re interested in becoming a sleep consultant and you’re worried, like, how am I going to grow my business? Am I going to be able to find clients? I really, truly believe that when you show up with the mindset that you are there to help people, you are there to serve rather than to sell, that sort of energy is what leads to a successful sleep consulting business.
So when I hang out in Facebook groups all day, which I don’t really do all day anymore but I used to, when I hang out in Facebook groups, I am there to serve. I am there to be helpful. I’m there to be an expert. I’m there to be a resource for people who have less knowledge and less experience in this topic than I do. I want to make their lives easier if I can give them a tip or a trick that helps them with their own child. Even if they never need to hire me, if I can answer their question and I can solve their problem on the Internet for free, they are going to recommend me to their friends down the line, or maybe they’re going to be the one that tags me the next time.
That actually happened recently. I was in a Facebook group. I just want to tell this story because it’s so relevant. I was in a Facebook group a couple of months ago. Somebody was on vacation with their, I think it was like six- or seven-month-old who is sleep trained and fully an independent sleeper. They were on vacation, and he was having a hard time because he wasn’t in his usual environment. And so this mom came into a Facebook group, and she was totally beside herself. “I’m on vacation. My six-month-old is not sleeping. I’m desperate for help.” And I helped her. I just I helped her on the thread. I gave her some advice. I spoke to her about how I would handle it if it were my own child, and if I were on vacation with my six-month-old.
She messaged me the next night and she was like, “You literally saved my vacation. Your advice that you gave to me on that thread made it so that the next five days can be enjoyable and bearable with my other kids.” She had other children. It wasn’t just this little baby. She’s like, “I’m so grateful. Really, I can’t thank you enough.” I was like, it’s my pleasure. I’m happy to help.
Well, ever since she did that or ever since she messaged me after having success from the tiny little bits of advice that I gave her, she now tags me. Whenever she sees somebody struggling with sleep, she tags me. She says, “You need to speak with Jayne. She knows her stuff.” That is just magical, right? Because I know that I always have her recommendation. She’s always going to be there to chime in to say, like, “You need to talk to Jayne. She knows her stuff. She can help you.” That was worth the 30 seconds of free advice that I gave her in the Facebook group.
Anyway, I think I’ll wrap it up with that nice story to end on. I hope you learned from this. Cold DM is bad. Building relationship is good. I can’t wait to speak with you and teach you guys all something new next week.
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. How to Use Facebook to Effectively Grow Your Sleep Consulting Business