WARNING! 5 mistakes Sleep Consultants Make When Setting Up Their Business (And How To Overcome them)

Hey there, it’s Emma here!

Do you feel like you are trying everything to grow your sleep consultancy business but nothing is working?

Let’s dive into the common mistakes sleep consultants make when setting up a business and how you can overcome them to propel your business forward.

From honing your focus to mastering essential business skills and building a client base that sees you as a trusted expert, I’ve got you covered.

One of our graduates Claire Fair, struggled for an entire year, shared in a recent interview:

“For a whole year, I went through a rollercoaster of frustration, completing course after course to gain the knowledge needed so I could give my clients the level of support I knew they deserved. However, those one-size-fits-all strategies I learned didn’t cut it, leaving me feeling unconfident, as if I was merely fluking my way through sleep consultations.”

The Sleep Consultancy Business Flywheel

First up, let’s set the stage for what your sleep consultancy business needs to gain momentum—where clients consistently flow in, results are life-changing, and running your business feels not just successful but truly joyful.

Inspired by Jeff Bezos’ approach at Amazon, the Business Flywheel model is about creating a self-sustaining cycle that keeps your business growing.

The Sleep Consultancy Business Flywheel Components:

  1. Have an Amazing Service Offer: It all starts with what you offer. No amount of marketing can compensate for a service that doesn’t deliver great results. If your service isn’t up to par, the entire flywheel slows down.
  2. Documenting and Sharing Success: Once your clients see the transformation, capture and share these successes. People trust and buy from those they admire and believe in. Your documented successes will attract more clients looking for proven results.
  3. Becoming a Recognized Expert: Carve out your niche in the sleep consulting world. When someone mentions your name, they should know who you serve and how. This builds credibility and client trust.
  4. Effective Client Engagement Techniques: Use both inbound and outbound marketing tailored to your ideal clients’ needs. Actively engaging and drawing in clients gives you more control over your business growth.
  5. Optimization and Growth: Continually optimize your business by understanding your metrics. This helps you make informed decisions to grow and refine your strategies.

Now you know the 5 steps needed to create a sleep coaching business that brings consistent clients to you and feels joyful let’s dive into the four critical mistakes you might be making and, more importantly, how to overcome them

Mistake 1: Focusing Solely on Sleep Training Without a Holistic Approach

Having worked with hundreds of sleep consultants at this point, a recurring challenge we see is sleep consultants hitting a creative wall. They start strong, eager to make a difference, but soon find themselves stuck, needing help to advance their clients to the desired outcomes. This frustration stems from a lack of deep understanding of sleep biology and a shortage of creative, responsive solutions tailored to the individual needs of a family.

The root of the issue often lies in not fully grasping the fundamentals of sleep science. Without a comprehensive understanding of what affects sleep at a biological level, it’s challenging to diagnose and address the underlying problems effectively. Moreover, many consultants lack a toolkit for delivering truly responsive and flexible sleep solutions that cater to the varied demands of families today.

So what’s the solution?

It’s about filling those knowledge gaps and developing new, gentler methods of support that are grounded in scientific evidence. Integrating principles from attachment theory for example can dramatically improve how you connect with and support your clients. This holistic approach does more than just solve sleep issues—it builds trust and credibility, which in turn are key components that attract the right clients. By embracing a comprehensive, empathetic approach to sleep consulting, you can effectively handle both straightforward and complex cases, ensuring that the family’s needs are met without compromising their parenting style or the child’s well-being.

Adopting this holistic method not only boosts your confidence but also significantly enhances your business’s potential for growth. You’ll differentiate yourself as a sleep consultant who goes beyond the basics, offering solutions that respect and support the whole family dynamic.

If you are interested in deepening your understanding and skill set to include a holistic approach to sleep consulting then you’ll definitely want to check out this video with Lyndsey where she explores what it truly means to support families in a responsive and evidence-based manner.

Mistake Two: You Don’t Promote Client Results

Okay, let’s talk about a common discomfort—promoting your results. You might feel that highlighting your successes is a bit boastful, but remember, if we only buy from those people we see as an authority in what they do, then it’s essential to firmly establish yourself as an authority figure.

Think about it like this: Imagine you’re choosing a restaurant to go to. You’re not just going to pick one at random, right? You’re going to do your homework. You’ll look at the menu options, read reviews—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and you’ll probably check out some photos.

You’re doing this because you’re investing your money and you want to ensure you have a great experience. These steps help you determine if you trust and like the restaurant enough to dine there. If you’re choosing between a restaurant with zero feedback and another with glowing reviews, you’d likely go for the latter, especially if it aligns with your taste preferences.

Taking that a step further If a friend recommends that restaurant, you might skip the deep dive. But without that direct recommendation –  comprehensive, visible success stories are what are likely to sway your decision.

And it’s the same with your sleep consultancy business.

You need to start collecting feedback and sharing these results effectively. This does more than just show off your wins—it speaks directly to your potential clients, addressing their goals and desires.

Now you might be wondering, “but what if you’re just starting out and you don’t have any clients yet? – ‘How do I get testimonials if I don’t have clients?’ It seems like a chicken-and-egg situation, right?

I explore how to navigate this in detail in this video, so be sure to check that out.

Now, how do you share these results? Let me walk you through what works for us:

  1. Video testimonials:

We love to have a Zoom call with our graduates where we talk about their journey. We then edit these videos to highlight just the client, making it a personal and engaging story that shoes their transformation.  And you can find tons of affordable video editors on platforms like Fiverr, or use a tool like Canva. We’ve started adding these testimonials to our YouTube review page, giving them long-term visibility and boosting our SEO.

  1. Ask your sleep clients to record a video of themselves using the phone:

Guide your sleep clients on what points to cover, such as why they sought out your service and the transformation they’ve experienced. As pretty much everyone has a mobile phone that a pretty easy way to get feedback.

  1. Go live with your sleep clients

Interview parents and share that on your social media channels. What I love about live case studies is that these real-time interactions add authenticity and engagement, drawing in your audience.

  1. Social media shares:

Post your sleep client wins on social media posts and stories. We share our  ‘Weekly Wednesday Wins,’ on our Holistic Instagram account sharing screenshots of client messages and discussing the strategies that led to those successes.

  1. Integrate Stories in Your Content:

When you create educational posts, you want to weave in how your clients have successfully applied your teachings. Demonstrating real-world applications of your advice underscores its value.

The key takeaway here is simple: don’t expect people to know what you do and how good you are unless you tell them. Showcasing your client results isn’t just about promoting your business—it’s about building trust and proving your expertise in a world where seeing is believing.

Mistake 3: Not narrowing your focus when working as a sleep consultant

One of the most common pitfalls for sleep consultants is trying to be everything to everyone. If you’re talking to all parents without a specific focus, you end up blending into the background.

So why does specialization matter?

Let’s circle back to our restaurant analogy.

Think about it—if you’re craving a pizza, are you going to choose a restaurant that serves every dish under the sun, or are you heading straight to that pizzeria that’s known for its stone-baked slices?

You’re going for the pizza place, right?

Because they specialize in pizza. 

They do pizza day in and day out, so they should be pretty good at it. That specialization makes them stand out as the go-to place for pizza lovers.

Now, apply that logic to your sleep consultancy business.

You want people to immediately associate your name with a specific sleep challenge or demographic. Specialization not only helps you stand out but also makes you the obvious choice for clients who need exactly what you offer.

So how do you figure out your niche? It’s about connecting with what you know and what you love. Here are some key questions to ask yourself to help you identify your specialty:

  • What is a problem or obstacle you’ve personally overcome?
  • What is your career expertise?
  • What’s a skill you’ve mastered, personally or professionally?
  • What do people consistently ask you for help with?
  • What do you get most excited about?

Consider the example of one of our graduates, Kathryn Stagg , a sleep consultant and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Kathryn, also a mother to multiples, has honed her niche by specializing in supporting parents with multiples, addressing their unique feeding and sleep challenges.

Kathryn’s deep personal experience, combined with her extensive professional background, allows her to provide responsive and evidence-based support. As a result, she has become the go-to expert for families with multiples seeking specialized sleep consultant guidance.

The Power of Niching Down in a Sleep Consultant Business

When you narrow your focus as a sleep consultant, your business operations become more streamlined. Your marketing content becomes more targeted and impactful, addressing the specific issues your audience faces, such as sleep consulting for multiples. Furthermore, it becomes easier to optimize your online presence with a clear and focused message about who you help and how you do it. This clarity attracts the right clients, making your sleep consultant business more successful.

Specialization isn’t about limiting your potential; it’s about enhancing your impact and making your services indispensable to a specific group. By focusing on a niche, you can provide deeper, more meaningful assistance that sets you apart in the competitive field of sleep consulting.

MISTAKE 4 – Lack of Effective Client Acquisition Strategies

Many sleep consultants rely heavily on just posting on their social media channels and waiting for clients to come to them. This is primarily inbound marketing, and while it’s essential, it’s not enough on its own.

Think back to the days before social media. Did businesses just sit around waiting for customers to walk through the door? Absolutely not! They got out there, networked, advertised—they made it happen if they wanted to survive. And that’s what I call outbound marketing.

In today’s digital age, you need a blend of both inbound and outbound marketing to make your sleep consultant business thrive. So, what can you do to consistently acquire clients beyond just posting on social media?

Effective Client Acquisition Strategies for Sleep Consultants

Leverage Professional Networks:

Connect with other professionals serving a similar audience. Offer to guest blog on their sites, go live together, or find other ways to serve their audience. This not only puts you in front of their audience but also positions you as an authority in your field.

Engage in Relevant Forums and Groups:

Identify where your ideal clients hang out online. Join these forums and groups to add value by answering questions, providing tips, and sharing your expertise freely. The more helpful you are, the more you stand out, and the more likely people are to remember your name when they need sleep consultancy services.

Find Offline Opportunities:

Think about where your ideal clients might be offline. For example, if you’re targeting corporate moms, reach out to companies about speaking at their keeping-in-touch days or hosting workshops for women returning to work. Attend networking events to connect with potential clients in person.

Integrating these strategies means that you’re not just passively hoping for clients to find you; you’re actively putting your services where they can see them. It’s about making sure your voice is heard above the noise and that your valuable services are showcased across multiple platforms and touchpoints.

So, if you’re already working as a sleep consultant, take a moment to reflect on your current marketing efforts. Are you balancing inbound with outbound? Are you engaging with potential clients both online and offline? If not, now’s the time to start. Expand your reach, engage actively, and watch as your client base begins to grow.

Mistake 5: Not Knowing Your Numbers

Diving into our fifth and super crucial mistake—Not Knowing Your Numbers. I know, I know, numbers might not be your thing. I used to say that too! But when I really started digging into the metrics, everything changed. It was like I was given a secret map to treasure—the treasure being the growth of my sleep consultant business.

So, what do I mean by ‘knowing your numbers’? It’s not just about glancing at your bank account at the end of the month or checking how many sales you made. It’s about truly understanding every aspect of your business’s performance:

Key Metrics to Track

Client Sources: Do you actually know where your sleep consultant clients are coming from? Which of your marketing efforts are paying off? Knowing this helps you focus more on what works and ditch what doesn’t, maximizing your marketing budget and efforts.

Social Media Insights:

Look beyond the likes. Which of your posts are truly engaging your audience? What type of content is resonating and why? Understanding this can help you tweak your strategy to better engage potential clients and drive conversions.

Outreach Effectiveness: If you’re reaching out or networking, do you know which activities yield the best results? Are certain emails or events leading to more client engagements than others? Tracking these outcomes can fine-tune your outreach strategies effectively.

Business Health:

Your financial runway

How long can you keep operating at your current spending levels without new income? This is crucial for understanding the sustainability of your sleep consultant business.

Profit Margins and Expenses:

Understanding where your money is going each month is fundamental. Are you spending too much on certain services? Are some activities more cost-effective than others? For instance, you might run workshops, but the return on investment in terms of time and money might not be as beneficial as other services you offer.

How to Start Tracking

You don’t need to be an accountant to manage this. Start with something manageable, perhaps tracking the sources of new clients, and expand from there. It’s all about knowing what to track and how to interpret that data effectively.

Tracking your numbers might seem daunting, especially if you’ve been steering clear of them. But trust me, once you start, it’s not just enlightening—it’s empowering. You’ll be able to make informed decisions that can push your sleep consultant business forward. It takes the guesswork out of everything, which means less feeling like things aren’t working. You can literally see what you need to do because you are basing decisions on data, not feelings—something I did for longer than I care to admit.

Embrace your numbers, and watch your sleep consultant business thrive

That wraps up the five big mistakes that can keep your sleep consultancy from truly flourishing. I hope this blog sparked some ‘aha!’ moments for you.

If this resonated with you and you would like support in gaining the skills and knowledge to deeply support families and receive ongoing assistance in growing your business, we’d love to help you.

The first step is to book a call and see if we are a good fit.

Have a great day

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