Michelle found peace when she found Yoga and left her advertising career to become a health coach. Now, she teaches readers how to find a balance in physical and mental health through healthy, whole foods.
All right, hello health coaches! Thank you so much for joining me today. A few weeks ago I asked you guys, what do you hate most about being a health coach? I know it was not the most positive question in the world. I didn’t mean to inspire negativity, but I wanted to get into what’s really bothering you. Right? So the first biggest number one answer we got was getting clients, which is why two episodes ago we did episode 47 on that exact topic and now today I want to dive into these second most popular response which was asking for money. Not Surprising, right? It’s like get the heebie jeebies when you have to tell someone how much your health coaching package costs or you have to ask somebody for their credit card number. All the money stuff can get really weird. I get it.
My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I am a certified health coach with my own private practice. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches. Now, if you’re watching live, and I know that some of you are because I can see you, you have a question you’d like to for me to answer today, you have something that comes up for you as we go along, please go ahead type away in the comments and I will always try to respond to you in real time.
Oh, here’s Amanda telling me that she likes my new video background. Thank you. If you’re listening to your podcast, you can’t see my video background, but it is evolving. It is always getting better. It will be improving over the next few weeks. Anyway. I also want to remind you all of our five day challenge to create your signature program because this is starting very soon and we have over 700 coaches registered as of this recording, so to join us and create your very own signature program, you can go to findyourbalancehealth.com/signature.
Now let’s get into this idea of asking for money. I was really moved to address this topic because of an Instagram comment that I got this week. And do you guys know that health coach power community is on Instagram by the way? That’s the handle, healthcoachpowercommunity, all one word go on Instagram and you’ll find us. Anyway. Somebody left a comment and I don’t even think she’s a health coach, so I’m not really sure what perspective she was coming from, but she was throwing some shade saying healthcare is expensive as it is. Raising your prices doesn’t make it accessible to people.
[Unintelligible] just want to cater to people who can afford it to feel validated in their pricing system and in their knowledge worthiness. I’m not saying you’re not worthy of charging higher prices. I’m saying it’s a shame. It’s inaccessible to others. Capitalism at its best. She said. Ouch! All right, well point taken first of all, and I think that this idea is why so many of us struggle to ask for money because we’re trying to do a good thing in the world. Like health coaches are the nicest, most down to earth, most reliable people. I know we’re not doing this because we want to get rich quick, so asking for money, especially a significant amount of money can feel somewhat at odds with our values or what we’re really trying to do here. So is this just capitalism and are we being greedy? Just makes my skin crawl thinking of it that way, but I do understand why the commenter wrote that.
Here’s what typically happens. First of all, health coaches tend to charge way, way too little for their services, like way too little. I am shocked. I’ve been in this business 10 years and coaches are charging less now than I was charging back then 10 years, don’t you think? But just inflation. Everybody should be charging a little bit more. Anyway. The reason I say that they’re charging too little is even if their calendar was absolutely booked with clients like all day, everyday client, client, client, client, they still wouldn’t be able to make enough to survive as a business or to survive as a human being. Right? They can’t sustain the business because they can’t afford to keep in business, so they quit. They go back to working in corporate America or they get a job at whole foods like that is what happens. That means that you’re not making enough money, right?
That’s just, that’s life. So, the way I see it is that if we’re not charging enough, it’s a lose-lose situation. Nobody gets health coaching in that case that health coaches are not actively working. Right? And we have to go back to working in a job that we don’t love. So lose, lose situation. Now, as for making things accessible, most health coaches, myself included, we put out a whole lot of free and low cost content that is accessible to everybody. So we write articles, we have podcasts, we hold workshops that usually are free or they cost like $20, right? We run short and inexpensive programs all the time, but ultimately we’ve got to pay the bills, right? And we got to pay ourselves in order to stay in business. Most health coaches, like I said, we are like, you guys are down to Earth. You guys are.
Some of my best friends are health coaches. It’s true, but we have to pay ourselves or we’re going to be out of a job. Right? So asking for money or planning to make money or thinking about making money or wanting to make money. Is that a greedy thing? Is that a greed driven idea? Because I see it as a way to make sure that we can continue doing this work that people desperately need by the way, and when I think of it that way, I don’t know about you but it doesn’t feel greedy to me at all. Now if one day I am making billions of dollars like some of the top dogs and like big Pharma or you know, heads of big hospitals, you know, when we really talk about the cost of healthcare, if I’m ever in that and I’m selling a questionable products, please, I am relying on you call me out on that.
Okay. If I’m charging $2,000 to help somebody avoid sickness, avoid pharmaceuticals, increase their quality of life. This is what we’re all doing. If I can pay my mortgage and continue doing good work, yeah, I’m not going to feel guilty about that. Not For one second. So we have to shift with. This is all about right. If you own a business you have to ask for money period. Like let’s say that you’re shopping at the mall and I say this, although I have not actually show up in a mall and like I don’t even know how long. So let’s say instead you’re shopping online. You’re going to buy some sneakers. So I buy everything from Zappos. All right. There’s a little plug for Zappos. Sponsor of this podcast is Zappos? No it’s not, but I do shop at Zappos and when I go shopping is Zappos and I buy my $120 sneakers.
Does Zappos feel bad about that? Do they feel guilty? Like Oh, maybe $120 is too much. Oh, should she? She does probably doesn’t have that much money. Like of course not. They don’t feel anything about it. They just know that people are going to buy their sneakers at $120, therefore they’re going to sell them at that price and no one is calling them out. Like, Hey Zappos, that’s not cool. You know, you’re not making these sneakers accessible to everybody. Super uncool. Everybody needs shoes. Zappos, and that’s how we kind of have to think about asking for money because it’s a business. We’re not asking a friend to borrow $100 because we’re short on rent money and like feeling guilty and feeling shame. We aren’t asking money to like take advantage of someone. In fact, I would even argue that the clients who pay the most, they actually get the best results because they’re that much more invested in the process.
Have you ever noticed that with clients? Have you ever worked for someone with somebody for free and they kind of blow you off and they don’t take it seriously, but then somebody else who pays you full price, like they show up, they do the work and they see progress. So asking for money as a coach is not personal, does not need to be riddled with guilt and shame and all the rest. It is a business transaction. This is the price, and if you’ve done a good job demonstrating why your coaching package can solve a person’s big problem, they’re going to see the value. If they can afford it, they’re going to go for it. If they can’t afford it, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong. Doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. They can read your blog, they can listen to your podcast, they can attend your workshops, all the things that you’re able to keep doing as part of a business because you have a business because somebody is paying you.
Okay? So we had another related question and I’m curious if any of you watching live had any related questions. Go ahead and pop those in the comments.
We had one come in earlier from Ariel and Lisa, both of them sort of said that they worried about this. So, the question is, I keep wondering if I’m really qualified to do this, what makes me qualified to do this? Will I be able to offer a true transformative experience to my clients? Will they come away a better person for working with me? I’m not a doctor, what am I really offering to them?
I hear you, Ariel, Lisa. This is one of those big challenges that I think we all face at some point, especially when we’re first starting out, especially when we have to ask for money. We don’t really believe that we’re worth it and like, yeah, I could tell you all these reasons that you are worth it and you should like practices, affirmations and all these, you know, you know so much more than the average person and doctors aren’t even that good at helping people even though they have so much school behind them, but I’m not going to go that route.
I think you’ve probably heard all of that. Listen, next Thursday I’m going to be holding a free live training. Ariel, Lisa, I want you there. It’s called Fill your health coaching program in the next 90 days, and I’m planning – this is part of the presentation and I know because I’ve been working on it for a while now. This is the exact thing that I put into the presentation. I’m planning to give a solid practical answer to this exact problem of I don’t know enough or I don’t have enough qualifications. Can I even be an effective coach? Am I worth it? So Ariel and Lisa or anyone who’s feeling like, do I know enough and anyone who’s ready to just ask for money, fill your practice, help people get healthy and not feel a lick of guilt about it because I told you that it’s allowed. Please join me again. It’s fill your health coaching program in the next 90 days and you can sign up at findyourbalancehealth.com/fill. And this training is going to be held on. What is it? It’s Thursday, February seventh. If you can’t make it live, although I hope you will too. You can’t make the live sign up anyway because I will send you the recording afterwards and again, that is findyourbalancehealth.com/fill. And if that URL doesn’t work right now, I will fix it and it will work later. Let’s move on to some of your other questions.
So, here’s one that came from Amanda and Amanda said, how do you handle this situation? I have a new client that hasn’t returned any of the intake paperwork, including the food journal. She said, do you take time to get the info during the first session or have them reschedule?
You know, Amanda, I see practitioners who work different ways. Some practitioners are like, no BS. You get that paperwork in or we’re not having a session, you know, and that’s just like the way that they work personally. The way I would approach this as is fodder it’s fodder for your conversation. Was it difficult for you to complete the paperwork? Why do you think that is? What was it like for you to think about doing a food diary?
What came up for you? What stood in your way and in this way you may learn an awful lot about this client. Maybe she’s not doing the food journal because she is so scarred from years of doing Weight Watchers or whatever diets and the idea of doing the food journal just freaks her out. So you want to know that. So I would definitely not let her get away with not completing them necessarily, but I would use it as talking points in that first session I would go through the paperwork with her to whatever degree you can on the phone and I would create some sort of compromise on the food journal. Like for some people it’s not the right exercise, so maybe it’s something else. Maybe she’s going to like summarize what she ate for the day or she’s going to take a picture of some of her meals and send them to you. You still want to get the information, but maybe you could do it in a way that works for her a bit better and that’s how I would probably approach it.
All right. What other questions do we have today? I’m looking over here to see if anybody who’s watching has shouted out any ideas of what they want to talk about because I do have one in the queue from Shannon and Shannon says, I am super discouraged and trying to figure out how to get clients. Shannon, go listen to episode 47. She said, I know this question is what so many coaches ask. Not one doctor who I have approached has responded with anything. I’m trying to not stay discouraged, but I’m just reaching out for some more ideas. My sweet husband innocently asked tonight, what’s different about you from the other coaches? Why do you think it’s not working? I know I can put more time and money into marketing and stuff. I don’t expect clients to just drop in my lap, but I feel like our IIN training made it seem like this was something that they skipped over it. I’m sorry, I’m paraphrasing, but she said they made it sound like, oh, and then I would meet with clients, but how do you get the clients and where do you find them and how did they find you?
Shannon, I think it’s a great question and I think you’re probably right when you’re learning how to coach, you kind of have to assume you have someone to coach, right? So it’s like, okay, you have a client, here’s what you say to them, but yeah, the question is how do you get that client in the first place? So I just want to sort of offer that. I’ve had a similar experience with doctors now. Some coaches do great. I’m getting referrals from doctors so I don’t want to minimize that. It’s a definite way to go. But there are some challenges there and I’m actually. There’s a lot of challenges there but I’ll just tell you my experience has been.
I have found that when I have a relationship with a doctor or some sort of licensed practitioner and I have several and including some of the top functional medicine doctors in the world, right? Like it’s pretty amazing to me because what happens is they will refer me to their client. They will just not even giving me a gift to the client like my website or anything where you could say, oh, they checked you out, but they didn’t like you, Michelle. No, they’ll just say like, oh, I want you to call this health coach that I trust Michelle phone number. Here you go. They don’t call, they don’t call or they call, we talk and they’re shocked at, um, at the price because maybe the doctor that they go to, they’re using insurance and so to have to pay out of pocket for me, I have never felt a flow there for varying reasons and I’ve also heard of coaches who do get tons of referrals from a doctor [unintelligible] and then they lose all their clients and their kind of left scrambling. So anyway, don’t worry if that’s not working out. You’re not doing anything wrong necessarily. And again, we’re going to talk about this very problem with getting clients in the training next week. And again, you can sign up at findyourbalancehealth.com/fill.
Let’s see. Amanda’s asking, I’m struggling to market to my target market. Why? I don’t know why Amanda tell us, she said, every time I write an email or a blog post or change something on my website to speak to this audience, I start breaking out in a sweat. I know this is the right step for my business. Is everyone have this hesitation in the beginning.
I think what you’re saying is it scary to go narrow, right? Like if your website says like, when was the last time you talked to someone about your health that feel safe, that speaks to everyone, but if you’re like, I can help you cure your endometriosis or whatever, now you’re really narrowing in and that can feel scary, so we could talk about that for like a million years about why you need to do it anyway, but the short answer is yes.
Everybody gets scared. I get scared, we all get scared, but what’s even more scary is having that broad message and nobody cares about it. Nobody is coming to you for anything because when you try to serve, everybody tried to talk to everybody. Of course you’ve reached nobody, so I’ll give you a little bit of cushion here even though it really will behoove you to narrow in on your target market like you’re starting to do and Kudos for figuring this out by the way, who you want to target, what you might want to say to them. Think of it as something that’s a little bit flexible. So think of it like for the next six months I’m going to focus on X, Y, Z and I’m going to give it my all and then at the end of six months I’m going to evaluate is this working?
Is this not working? Do I want to stick with this group? Is the universe bringing something else to me that I really should be paying attention to? You know, you can re-evaluate, but for a period of time, go for it so that you can see what a difference it makes. I’ve noticed in my own business that it’s way easier to come up with content when I know exactly who I’m talking to because otherwise it’s like, oh no, what should I post to Instagram about? Should I post about what I made for dinner? Should I post about exercise? And I posted about high blood pressure. I mean, it really could be anything, but when you know who you’re talking to, it’s like you kind of know exactly what that person needs to hear and suddenly the message is so much easier to create an I find I’m getting way more engagement from the right people when I’m speaking their language, so I’m also thinking about it, doing it first on social media and in less big ways.
You know, if you just dedicate your Facebook and your Instagram or whatever to this new target mark, get maybe at first you can judge how that goes before you make big sweeping changes to your homepage, which can feel like a much bigger change. Anyway, I hope that we can talk more about that during the events next week.
I have a question here from Lorraina who says a friend of mine and I are doing a photo shoot tomorrow. Yay. Fun. She’s a professional photographer, but we need ideas for locations. We were thinking a supermarket, but I need more ideas.
Okay. Lorena, so I’ve done that. I’ve done the supermarket, I’ve done farmer’s market, I’ve done the kitchen photo shoot where you know, you’re chopping the vegetables on the cutting board, your beautiful produce out in front of you, like every health coach has that picture. So when I realized that, I’m like, oh wait a minute, like if I want to stand out, why am I doing that same picture of like chopping vegetables on the cutting board or like in the supermarket, picking out that apple on the shelf, smiling with a head of Kale, you know, and I’m making fun of it because I did all of this stuff and it’s just, you know, you see it, you see it, everybody does it.
So I really encourage you to think about who’s your target market? Who Do you want to appeal to? Like if it’s a woman who doesn’t cook and hates to cook, and the idea of cooking is scary. Maybe that picture of you chopping vegetables is not the right picture because it creates a divide between you. You know, maybe if you put herself, put yourself more in her world, you would become more relatable, right? So that’s a way of thinking about your locations for your shoots and I thought it’d be fun to also just tell you where I did my latest photo shoot, which now my God was like a year ago, but time flies. Okay. So we did my photo shoot in New York City. I mean, part of the location is always going to be where’s your photographer located? Where are you located? So anyway, for me it was going to be New York City and we shot up on the high line, which I loved the idea of being up and out of the crowd.
So we have some sky behind my head. Also some buildings, you know, it still looks like a city atmosphere, um, but we’re not like down at street level. So those are really fun to do. You feel like such a movie star too and you’re getting your photos taken in the middle of New York City and everybody’s watching a little bit. Nerve wracking, but ultimately fun. Um, we also shot down below the high line, so right at street level, uh, right on the line in the middle of the street. So every time there was a red light, I kind of run out into the middle of the street, we’d get some shots and then I’d run back and try not to get hit by a car. So, um, that was fun. And the other location that we did was just a glass building it. And it had nothing to do with the, Oh, this is the right building, or Oh, this is the right location because it was just that the lighting was so good.
The light was coming through right around 4:00 in the afternoon. You get that great like Golden Hour. And this, uh, this nice glass building had a reflection on it. You may have seen some of these pictures where I’m sort of leaning against the reflection of the building. And those came out really nicely because the lighting was so good. And then finally we shot some photos behind a hotel and they had this beautiful staircase with lots of plants growing. And the light was not so good, but it was still like a really cool shot. So we shot some back there as well. Anyway, I think photo shoots are so much fun but can be such a pain to plan and actually get my butt to do it that I don’t do them as often as I should. That’s on the...
Hello, health coaches! How are you doing? We are here today to talk about very, very important topic. I’ve been thinking about it for days, so I’m thrilled that we can actually get down to business. So here’s the scenario you are speaking with a potential client. Seems like they might be interested. Seems like you can help them and then you talk about your health coaching package or program and the price and it’s like crickets. They’re like, oh hmm, I’m going to have to think about it or like, oh, I got to ask my husband or whatever. They disappear. It happens. It happens to all of us, but today we’re going to talk about why clients do not sign up for health coaching and what you should be selling instead. My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I am a certified health coach. I have my own private practice as well as acting as a mentor for my fellow health coaches.
That’s you and I appear in the curriculum at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. You may have seen me there. Okay. If you’re here and you’re watching live and you have a question for me today, go ahead and put that in the comments right now. I will be able to see them and I’ll get to you in just a few minutes.
Today’s big topic was inspired by Em who asked inside of our Facebook group. She said, does it make sense to sell shorter programs for a cheaper price? I’m thinking to do things to reach more people now, but I have doubts about doing shorter programs.
Well Em, I got to tell you that generally I find the health coaches always really want to sell these smaller, shorter, less expensive programs because it’s less scary. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to ask for like $99 and to ask for $2,999. Right?
So it feels it feels safe. It feels good. And also whenever a prospective client that we may be speaking with tells us that they can’t afford our package. Oh, that’s too much money. Oh, that’s more than I was expecting. Whatever they, um, they’re not sure about signing up for our coaching. Our first thought is, oh, I need to make this cheaper, right? Like it, it’s logical. Like I know how we arrive at that conclusion and you know what I wanted to say, but it’s a bad idea. It’s not entirely a bad idea. It’s kind of an awesome business idea and it’s such a good business idea that in the past like five, six, seven years, things like whole 30 things like beach bodies, 21 day fix have sort of swooped in and scooped up that entire market. You know, anyone who sort of wants to clean up their diet now has a very inexpensive way to do so and it is readily available.
So good job to beach body and Whole 30 because there is a need in the market and they met it in a very big way. If someone is coming to you however, to talk about private coaching and they see the price tag and then they disappear. You do not have a pricing problem. You have a positioning problem. Okay, here’s what I mean. Let’s, let’s do some pretending. Let’s pretend I’m 35 years old. I’m going to shave off a couple of years just because we’re just pretending. Let’s pretend I’m 35 years old and I would like to lose five or 10 pounds and maybe I’m feeling kind of tired. Do I have a problem? Yeah, I got. I got a problem, but do I have a big problem? No. Right. Five pounds. It’s not a big problem. That’s a little problem. Unless… Really I can’t think of a situation where five pounds is a big problem.
So let’s say I got a pretty small problem. So if that’s the case, what am I going to spend to solve my problem? Like am I going to hire a coach for $2,000 to help me lose five or 10 pounds and feel a little bit more energetic? Probably not. Nope. I’m going to sign up for Whole 30 next time that my friend is doing it, you know, I’m going to do that. At least I’m going to do that first and see what it gets me and that makes sense. I can’t really fault people for thinking that way. So I think this is where we’re getting stuck. Okay, now let’s shift and let’s say that I do have a big problem. I’m 35 years old, and I need to lose 60 pounds because I’ve been struggling with infertility for the past five years. My fertility window is closing and the IVF treatments are not working.
Now, do I think Whole 30 or Beach Body or anything like that is going to help me? Probably not. Maybe I’ve even done those before, but now I hook up with a health coach who offers me six months of health coaching for $2,000. Okay. What will we cover? That’s going to be the first question that I ask and I’m told, well, it’s different for everyone because everyone is unique. I’m like, okay, and then I asked, are you a nutritionist? And I’m told, no, this person’s not a nutritionist. And then I’m like, I’m just kind of starting to worry about the credentials here and I’m not sure that I want to spend a couple thousand dollars on this. Yikes. How many times have you been in a situation like that where you’re like, oh yeah, it’s unique for every person and no, I’m not a nutritionist, but I am a certified health coach and you could just see that they’re like already just turning off their mind to the whole idea of working with you because if I’m in that position I’m thinking, is this person going to help me solve my big problem?
And the answer is kind of a resounding maybe just to maybe, but I’m not sure as a consumer, so I’m not going to sign up. You with me so far? Okay, so now let’s pretend again. I’m 35 years old. I need to lose 60 pounds. I’ve been struggling with infertility and I come across a 90 day fabulous fertility program and it covers nutrition specifically for fertility, ovulation tracking strategies, scrips for asking my doctor all the tough questions and I can see all of these success stories from women exactly like me. Now this program also costs $2,000, but man, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for. This is like my last hope, so I don’t think twice about spending the money. Now, that right there is the power of a signature program, it solves a big problem for a very specific type of person. I want you to notice too that in that last scenario, it was only 90 days long.
The previous scenario was a whole six months for the same price. So I’m willing to spend the same amount of money for half of the coaching or half the period of time. Right? I don’t care how long it is, I just want my result and I also want you to notice that in that second scenario, I didn’t think twice about who was running the program, their credentials. Can I see your diploma? What exactly does that mean? You know, I wasn’t even thinking about that. I just saw myself in the success stories and they knew it was for me. That’s what we want. That is the kind of reaction that you want someone to have because they’re just going to say, Yup, and they’re going to hand you a check. So if you’ve been having a hard time getting people to pay for health coaching, what I want to say to you is that number one, either they’re problem is not big enough, very common, very common, that’s the case, or they do have a really big problem, but you do not have a signature program that addresses that specific problem.
So if this is making sense, I want to invite you guys to join me for a free create your signature program in just five days challenge. It’s a five day event I’ve created to help you sign more clients more easily and make a bigger impact. And you can sign up for free right now at findyourbalancehealth.com/signature. And we’re going to get started on February third. I can’t wait. Let me tell you that URL again in case you missed it. It’s findyourbalancehealth.com/signature. I can’t tell you the difference that it’s made for me. The reason I really wanted to bring you guys this information as well. First of all, I had asked months ago, what do you guys want to learn about? And that so many responses saying, I want to learn more about creating a signature program. I heard you loud and clear, but also in my own practice when I developed my own signature health coaching program, it, it just opens like opening the doors, you know, I used to stumble through consultations a lot more saying things like, well, it’s different for everybody.
And I always felt like there was a little bit. I’m an element of distrust between me and the person that I was speaking to because nobody really knows what a health coach is and part of their mind is always like, is this for real? And now I feel like I haven’t a signature program. I am better able to talk about the results that I get from my clients. And the consultations are going so much more easily and my closing rate is like through the roof with just a few small changes. So please, even if you’re listening to this, like months or years after this five day challenge has gone by, stop worrying about your prices and start thinking about your positioning. Great. And by the way, to fully answer your question, the only reason that I see to offer a shorter, less expensive program is as a marketing move. So you would be hoping for participants to sign up for that smaller program. Maybe they’re only paying you $100, $200, and then step up into your higher priced program.
All right, so we’re going to move on now to a couple of other questions that came in this week. And if you’re here live, please go ahead and tell me what your questions are in the comments.
One came in earlier today when I announced this topic, I don’t know why, but it sparked a question from Michelle, not me, a different Michelle, and she said that she would like to talk about how to deal with clients that want you to just tell them what to eat. Isn’t that more of a nutritionist or dietician thing? And since we as health coaches have a broader focus to bring all aspects of their life into balance.
Yeah, Michelle, that is our job. And yet people will consistently say things like, oh, just tell me what to eat. I hear ya, so for starters, I think this is somewhat solved or partially solved when you’re selling a signature program because they know that they have signed up to solve a problem that goes beyond.
Tell me what to eat. You know, unless your signature program is something like I’m going to tell you what to eat, but they’re signing up for something bigger and they’re not comparing you in their mind one to one with like what they would get from hiring a nutritionist or if they saw the Dietitian at the hospital, there’s going to be thinking about you in a whole different way. So I think that partially solves the issue. But of course anytime you start talking with someone about food, they’re going to default into what they have been accustomed to their whole life. And to be honest, most people have become accustomed to like, here’s a list of foods that I can eat. Here’s a list of foods that I can’t eat or some math equation to figure out what they can and can’t eat. And if you’re not going to tell them the rules to follow, they’re going to potentially get cranky with you.
And I want to let you know that I have absolutely fired clients who wanted to play that game, you know, because not like in a bad way, like, oh, they’re wrong and I’m right, but if that’s what they need right now, like that’s not the way that I work as a coach. So you can feel free to let someone know that this is not what you do as a health coach, not because you can’t, you don’t want to frame it as like, well, I’m not a dietician, so I really can’t tell you what to eat because that makes you look bad. And that’s not even the reason. The reason is because that’s stupid. It’s stupid to give someone a list of foods and tell them what they can and can’t that doesn’t last. It doesn’t work. And we all know it. That’s why we became health coaches, right?
So anyway, I can just let them know that this is not the way that I work with clients. They can’t expect for me a meal plan for them to follow. Exactly. That’s not what this is about. And if it continues to be an issue then they should find somebody else to work with who can give them what they need and you could just make it sound like, you know, maybe I’m just not the right fit for you and just cut them. Cut them and go and work with clients who are open to really looking at the holistic picture of their life and their relationship with food and don’t just want another set of rules.
Okay, here’s another question from Jen. Jen says, I’m a current student and I’m wondering what is your elevator pitch? How do you articulate what you do in a few sentences when making contact with someone? Likely a stranger who knows nothing about you.
Okay. I hear elevator pitches all the time and it’s so funny because like when I was in school long time ago, uh, we, yeah, you thought of the elevator pitches, something you might actually say in an elevator or like at a networking event and that’s still true. But you know, when it really like the rubber hits the road on your elevator pitch these days, it’s when you are writing your bio that has to be 150 characters and fit on your Instagram profile page. See how little that is. You can’t, you can’t give a whole long spiel about what you do and how you do it. One hundred and 50 characters. So I feel like that is the modern day equivalent to the elevator pitch. And I think that the best way that you can possibly introduce yourself, either in person or in your profile, is to say, I help blank get blank.
And it’s as simple as that. I help moms of twins get their sanity back. I don’t know. You know what it would be something that follows that format. I help CEOs lose weight, right? So just fill in the blanks. I’m giving you. I’m giving you the formula for this one. And it is that simple because if you get it into like, oh, I’m a health coach, I’m a certified bla, bla, bla, people’s brains just kind of turn off like they don’t care. They really don’t care, but if you say, I help moms have autistic kids recover from physical and emotional exhaustion and I know a mom who has a child with autism and I know how exhausted she is, like my mind goes directly to her, you know, or if I’m that mom, I’m like, tell me more. All right, so you want to say something that doesn’t give away like this whole list of all of your credentials because it’s boring and instead tell someone what you do in, in a way that it applies to them and their lives.
Okay. I help blank get blank and I promise you this is going to make it easier to talk about what you do as well as introduce yourself over social media. We’ve been working a lot on this inside healthy profit university lately and it’s just amazing how hard it can be to boil what you do down to this one sentence, but I feel like if you can’t then you really don’t know who your target market is. You really don’t know what you do. So and that and that’s okay, but you know, don’t walk out there. I’m just talking about health coaching that will get you nowhere.
All right. What other questions do we have today? You guys have one here from Rene. Rene says, I am three weeks in with a new client. She has a goal to lose 75 pounds yesterday. She signed up for a diet program to use in conjunction with coaching as she wants faster results. It’s a prepackaged, highly processed product, full of artificial sweeteners, sodium and cheap protein. Obviously, I’m being supportive and nonjudgmental and continuing to coach, but worried that she’s undermining long-term results. Has anyone else dealt with this and how can I handle it?
Renee girl, I hear you. That is like nails on a blackboard. I think for all of us to hear that somebody would hire you as a coach and then go and sign up for Jenny Craig or whatever it is, so I feel your pain on that and yeah, I think I have definitely been in similar situations.
If it’s not signing up for the prepackaged food, it might be like they just decided to go rogue and you speak with them and they’re like, oh yeah. I started the Keto Diet and you’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa. What? Okay. And you want to be supportive and you want to maintain the relationship. But again, if they don’t reach their goals, you don’t want them to blame you. Oh, well I worked with this coach and it didn’t help. Meanwhile they’re doing all this stuff that you never even remotely suggested. So I think the best thing you can do is let your clients come to their own conclusions. Like, I’m not going to tell my client like, no, you really shouldn’t be doing Keto and here’s the four reasons why it would be better to her for her to kind of figure it out herself. But you can aid in that process.
So you know she’s in your case, she’s eating these prepackaged meals. So you could do a label reading exercise just in general. You could say, you know, it’s really helpful to help you reach your goals is to learn how to read labels and maybe you can have her read like a jar of peanut butter and a salad dressing bottle. And then you could say something like, oh, what’d you have for lunch? Do you have the package handy? And you could go through that list as well. So she could in her own mind, she could be like, oh yeah, there was a lot of sugar in that. And, oh goodness, there’s a lot of preservatives and oh, what is this? And what is that. You don’t have to say a word, you just answer her questions. Now she’s going to start to go, hmm, maybe this isn’t the right decision.
Okay? So that’s one thing. Let them come to their own conclusions and you know, you can kind of lead them there, but don’t be so overbearing that they feel like you’re being unsupportive. On that note, the other thing that you can say, instead of like spouting about what you think she should be eating, just ask, okay, you’ve signed up with Jenny Craig. How are you feeling? Uh, what’s going on with you today? How can I best support you? Because unlike that other person, we were just talking about the one that’s like, just telling me what to eat. Clearly this client doesn’t want you to tell her what to eat, so my question as a coach would be like, what do you want from me? How can I best support you in this journey? And listen, you know, they’re going to tell you what they need. Maybe it’s just someone to talk to and that is perfectly legitimate.
The other thing that I might do in this scenario, Renee, is I might offer alternatives if and when it made sense, so again, wait for your client to realize the problems, like maybe she’s going to mention that the breakfast are too expensive. She’s buying the prepackaged stuff, but the breakfast are too expensive. She doesn’t want to buy them anymore and you’re like, oh, well maybe I can offer you some alternatives. Maybe we can come up with some things that you can make or you could buy that would be cheaper and very similar, but of course it would be real food, right? So just meet her where she is. That’s the best you can really do with anybody.
I’ve got a few more minutes here. You guys, what do you want to talk about? Maybe you’re wondering like Susan, who asked how important are headshots?
Simple question, Susan. I’m going to go ahead and say pretty darn important. I wanted to say they weren’t important because I hate telling you guys like, Oh, you need this, this, this, and this. Before you can get your business off the ground, you really don’t need very much. My very first headshot that was on my website was a picture of me holding my son and I had cropped his head out the best I could and did a little bit of retouching to the photo and that was it. Now did it look great? No, it really didn’t it, but it was fine. You know, so do the best you can, but I feel like professional headshots make a world of difference.
You know, we all see each other’s headshots on social media. We know what it looks like to have that photo where you cropped out your kid or that photo where you’re done up just a little too much and you have like flowers in your hair and you just know that it was actually from a wedding. So I think you can hire somebody for not that much money to get a headshot done. Headshots of course really vary from very stiff and you know, some adult to come and like move your shoulders and tilt your head and then they tell you to smile and act natural and you’re like, you don’t look natural at all. I had some terrible headshots from photographers who tried to do that and some of my best shots have come as sort of outtakes or like the pictures in between the pictures when I was doing a photo shoot when I was actually laughing or saying something or you know, just being actually being normal, but the lighting was good.
The lighting is so, so, so key. So anyway, I would definitely look for someone who does headshots or who does photography to help you out, but maybe not use the word headshot. A headshot just really implies like you’re a government employee and you need that boring headshot. Whereas if you get a photographer who’s going to do more shots of you, you can always crop in on your face. But I would totally do that. Susan. I think it lends a more professional air, makes you feel more confident putting yourself out there and you’re going to need pictures. You’re going to need pictures beyond just a headshot for posting on social media. You can need pictures to put on sales pages. I need so many pictures of myself all the time. I feel like a narcissist because I’m always looking through folders and folders and folders of pictures of my own face, but you need them.
So book the photo shoots you guys. I think I need a new one myself. It’s been about a year already. I don’t see any other questions coming in today. So two things before we wrap up. So the first is a reminder of course to join us for the five days signature program challenge and you can register for free at findyourbalancehealth.com/signature. Secondly, I want to say thank you to Keeparoo7909. Who left this review on iTunes for us? It says, I found this podcast by mistake and I’m so glad. I’m definitely learning so much..
Well hello there health coaches! Hi. How are you? I’m Michelle. I’m here with you today to talk about getting clients, how to get clients, how to get more clients, and how to get a steady stream of clients. These are the questions you guys are asking me. Have you ever think it was going to be this hard when you were just starting out in school? You knew you wanted to become a health coach. Did you know that the client thing was going to be such a struggle? Don’t worry, you’re not alone at all. I have been there and I think everyone has been there at some point and today I’ve got some answers for you, so let’s do it again. My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I’m a certified health coach. I have my own private practice and I also act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches and that appeared the curriculum or in the curriculum at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I talk about marketing.
So last week I sent out an email to my list of health coaches and I asked them, what is your least favorite part about being a health coach? Maybe you got that email. Tell me now, if you didn’t already tell me. Tell me, um, into the comments if you are watching the video, what is your least favorite part of health coaching? It was interesting to see all of the different answers to this question, but I found myself reading hundreds and hundreds of emails and many of them were saying the same thing. Out of all the responses that I got, the most common one was basically saying I hate looking for clients or I hate that I don’t have enough clients, which is why I knew it was going to be a perfect topic to talk about today if you think so too, give me a, like, tell me your thoughts in the comments area as we get rolling.
So what I found by asking this question and getting all this feedback, by the way, I was digging myself out of my inbox for like eight days just trying to respond to everybody’s. So hopefully I got to all of you and what I learned was that either you don’t have enough clients or you hate not knowing where your clients are going to come from or you’re frustrated that you’ve sunk big bucks into getting certified and haven’t made that money back yet. And then sure enough I went into the health coach power community Facebook group and yeah, tons of questions in there too, coming from all different angles but essentially saying the same thing.
So here are the, some of the questions that I, that I plucked out to cover today specifically. The first one comes from Mary. Mary said, online coaching are any of you doing it, how did you get into it and how do you find clients? Where does one start?
So, Mary, what I want to say to you is that finding clients for online or virtual coaching, which basically just means that you’re talking to them over the phone or skype or zoom, right? It’s pretty darn similar to finding clients that you would work with in person. The only difference is that you’re not limited to your local area, but how you actually find the clients. Well, we’re going to get to that.
Here’s another question that came from Hope. She said, I attend IIN and I’m going to graduate in April. I can take clients now, but I’m struggling to find people who are interested. How long did it take before you had consistent clients and how did you reach them?
Hope I’m thinking that you might be interested to go back and listen to episode number 38, which is how to get your first clients, so check that out, but essentially, you’re asking the same question as everybody else, which is why I included it here.
How do we reach potential clients? When you’re first starting out, you have a tighter circle. You know you have a smaller audience and so you’re going to start with them, but yeah, this question is going to continue as you grow and as like all of your best friends and family members have either already worked with you or aren’t interested. I can’t tell you how many coaches will start off really strong and everyone will think they’re so fabulous because like their five best friends signed up to be their clients right away and they’re like, Ooh, I’ve got a full client roster, but then those people will finish up and they got nothing. So it’s really important that even if you’re getting your first clients, you listen up today because, you need to continue getting clients.
And then this question came from Andrea. She said, do you have Facebook groups? I only have one client, but I’m working towards growing to 16 clients. Should I set up a Facebook group now?
And I thought, okay, this might be the wrong question. I think again, Andrea, what you’re really asking is how do I get more clients? And I would say that a Facebook group does not create a quick path between you and the new clients that you want. It can be a useful marketing tool. I love me a good Facebook group, but it’s definitely not where I would put my energy right now. If I were you, if I had one client and I needed to get to 16, so where do we get clients from? And to answer this question, I did some digging back into my own private client list because I want it to be honest. I didn’t want to just talk about in theory how one might get clients.
I wanted to share the real deal. So I looked back, you know, my little notebook, my little client records to figure out, hey, where did this person come from? How did I acquire this client? You know, what was the path they took to find me? And I narrowed it down to three primary sources that we’re going to talk about today. So this way you can see at least how one real health coach gets real clients. Plus I’m going to share my best tips for optimizing each of these potential avenues. Are you ready? Tell me yes. Say Yes. I am ready, Michelle. I’ve never been more ready. Let’s do it.
Okay. First up, our client referrals and I put this one first because they are my favorite. Yes. Happy clients. Tell their friends about you and boom, like that’s all the marketing you need and it is definitely, I feel the shortest line between you and making money so we love this, but I’m sure you’re like, thanks Michelle. That’s great, but no one’s referring me. What am I supposed to do? It’s true. There’s only happens when you’re able to get someone like really fabulous results. And I had a client recently who started attracting attention from her friends, like she would just go out. She went to her dentist and his hygienist is not my client. Another one of her friends to sign up to work with me and it’s because she was just out living her life and her friends were like, “Whoa, you look amazing. What have you been doing?” She’s lost weight. Her skin looks really good, and she told them and she gave them my phone number and boom, new clients came my way and I’m like, Hallelujah. This is the best. In fact, one, just this week signed up for my most expensive package I have ever offered with no questions asked, no hemming, no hawing. Credit card on the spot.
Love, love this way of getting new clients. However, if I’m honest, this doesn’t happen all the time, so don’t feel bad. Don’t feel like you’re the only coach who’s not getting client referrals. I don’t get them all that often myself. I mean I get them, but I wouldn’t say that it’s my main source of new clients because sometimes you have a client and let’s face it, they don’t get great results for whatever reason, often because they are not committed to the process. Sometimes they do get great results, but those results are more internal. They’re less visible to other people and that means they’re not generating as many conversations with their friends. They’re not running into their friend and their friend says, wow, you look fabulous. You know, they might be running into their friend and their friend just doesn’t know to say, wow, your digestion is really smooth today.
So that can be another reason. You know, just depending on the kind of results that your clients get. So one thing that I liked to do, and I think you should just do this anyway, I like to have clients quantify their progress as we go along. It makes them just like a little more aware of how far they’ve come. It brings all the positive thoughts to their mind. So what we do is during the initial intake, I have my clients rate themselves on a scale of one to 10 in several different areas. So you could ask about digestion, their sleep quality, their skin, their weight or how their clothes are fitting them, you know, whatever variables that you feel are most important to your clients. And then each time that we meet for a follow-up session, they fill out a revisit form that has the exact same one to 10 scales so that they rate themselves in the same areas again.
So about every two weeks, right? We’re meeting approximately every two weeks. They are giving themselves a number in each of these areas. And if they start with a two, let’s say they initially said that the, uh, really not sleeping well to give themselves a two. And then halfway through the program, they rate themselves at a six. They might not even remember that they had marked themselves as a two in the beginning and you as a coach can bring that to their attention and celebrate that win and sort of form that idea in their mind that they are making some really great progress. It makes it, makes it more tangible when you can quantify things like this and of course that way they’re not taking their progress for granted and they are more likely to talk about it. Yes, it’s like win, win, win all the way around.
Another way that you can optimize the number of client referrals that you’re getting is to, how do I put this, um, know what you’re doing and do a really good job. I mean, this probably sounds kind of obvious, but hear me out. It’s not just like I’m saying, do a good job. That’s not very good advice. What I’m saying is that if you have a solid target market or like a specialty area, you can become the expert in that area. You can become super, super helpful because you have done it again and again and again and again. You’d seen the same scenario. You’ve helped somebody get results like you know that one thing really, really well. For an example, I know an awful lot about helping women recover from burnout and chronic stress and all the symptoms that go with it, but I know very, very, very little about helping men build muscle.
So if I am working with a woman who falls within my target market, I’m going to very likely get her excellent results simply because I have some expertise in that area. If I’m building myself as a general health coach and I work with anybody, it’s okay, but I may have a harder time getting clients results. People may come to me with different issues that I’m not exactly sure how to solve if I’m honest. So it’s just something to think about and if you’re here live and if you have any questions, go ahead and ask in the comment area. I’d love to hear what you think.
Susan’s saying, so excited to hear you cover this topic. Yeah, so it’s like the big topic that we all need, right? I can’t believe I haven’t covered it more in previous episodes. Anyway, that’s referrals from your current clients.
Now let’s move on. Let’s say you don’t even have any current clients. What are you going to do? So my second source of clients. Now these are also referrals, but the referrals from my network and like your network sounds really fancy, but your network can include your family, your friends, your neighbors, your chiropractor, anybody who knows what you do, which is why you cannot be shy about talking about what you do and a lot of us are because we feel insecure and people say, oh, how’s your little business going? And you’re like, oh, I don’t know. I don’t have any clients, but I need you to fake it until you make it. Because if you can tell your neighbor, your friend, one really awesome thing you’re doing with your business and express to them the type of people that you’re working with or the kind of work that you’re doing or this big project that you have coming up.
That’s all you need. They’re not going to come home and look in your client files and make sure that you actually have a full roster of clients like they’re not. They don’t need that kind of proof. They just need to hear you sound enthusiastic and know what you’re talking about. So, post to your personal Facebook page. I hear people say that, am I allowed to post about my business to my personal page? Yeah, yeah, of course you can. Now are you going to spam people on it? Maybe don’t do that. Right? But you can post your latest blog posts for sure, or a program that you have coming up. Share the links. Make sure that your friends and family, are seeing these things. Even better, talk to your friends and family about the projects that you’re working on. Tell your hairdresser, tell your chiropractor right, and of course you like straight up. Go to networking events. That falls into this category too, but in all of these cases, I think the mistake that I always made in the beginning is that I would be approaching these people as if they were going to become a client of mine.
So I would be speaking to my neighbor like kind of with an eye to like, oh, maybe you should work with me, you know, and that can be awkward just for everybody. So I want to invite you to not think about your network as prospective clients. They may be, but more likely they’re going to be excellent pathways towards your perfect clients. So my neighbor may or may not be the right client for me. Do I really even want to get into a coaching relationship with somebody who’s property abuts mine? Like, no, let’s not even go there. But she has friends, she has family, right?
So you can use your network to really great effect. And I’m not the best at this. I’m just going to put it out there. So if you’re like an introvert and you’re like, I’m not like to be doing a lot of networking, I don’t like to talk about myself. I don’t really love to do this part either. However, there’s so many different ways to do it and I’m thinking of a client who recently found me through her daughter and I went to college with her daughter like a long, long time ago. We’re Facebook friends, so I did not know that she was paying any attention when I post a podcast episode or when I post an article that I’ve written or whatever. She has never left a comment. I don’t think she has ever showed any interest in what I do. However, when her mom needed help, she was like, mom, I know someone, and then she contacted me and said, hey, my mom really needs some help.
How can she go about contacting you? Great client, great, great, great way to use your network without actually having to go to all those scary networking events, but you can do those two. Now, some health coaches find most of their clients this way through a referral network, through a doctor who’s referring patients to them, whatever it is. Like I said, it’s never been my personal strong suit, but if it’s yours, if you are a natural born connector, a natural born socialite, like work that network. Maybe that can be your whole business right there.
Aisha’s saying, Hi Michelle. What do you do when you feel entrepreneur, exhaustion, frustration or burnout?
Oh, I hear ya. That is so, so real. And it has absolutely happened to me often it means that I need to not do something. I often will have like a project that in my heart I really don’t want to be doing. Like maybe I agreed to do something but I don’t really want to. So it’s stressing me out or maybe I’m taking on too much, too much more than I can chew. That’s what I’m trying to say. So often has to do with like cutting things out and taking a little time off. And I also feel like it is super refreshing to talk with others in the field. Um, especially if we can talk one on one. You know, I have worked with different coaches, I have a health coach, friends, anytime that you can really get on the phone and talk with someone in real time, I can. That really helps because you realize that you’re not alone. Everybody goes through this stuff. Really good question though. Not going to get any clients if you yourself are burnt out and having your own meltdown, right? So we have to, we have to take care of us first. We are our own first client, first, last and always client.
Okay. So finally, let’s talk about the third avenue that I find brings me my clients. And by and large, this is where most of my clients come from. This is where you are actually directly marketing your services and making offers for exactly what somebody needs. So how do you do that? Marketing is like a gigantic topic and we’ve done so many episodes on different aspects of marketing in the past, so I’m not going to get like super into the nitty gritty of any one particular method, but overall, marketing starts by knowing who you serve and what big problem you help them solve. So let’s say you help retired men, lose the beer belly. That’s who you help, that’s the problem you help them solve. I don’t care how you do it, that’s actually not so relevant right now. You might do it through exercise, you might do it through nutrition, you might do it through magic.
I don’t care, but it’s this type of person and you sell this type of problem for them. Maybe it’s women with PCOS and you help them increase their chances of having a baby. I helped chronically stressed women recover from burnout. That’s mine. So the way I go about this is to first create free content. You can do this so many different ways. It could be a live, in-person workshop, which I highly recommend you do a lot of those, especially in the beginning. It might be a free downloadable cookbook or guide of some sort. It could be my blog posts, it could be a free webinar that I host, and by the way, last week’s episode was number 46. We talked all about blogging and the one before that number 45. We talked about holding webinars to get more clients. Okay, so maybe go back and listen to those if you missed them.
So all the free content that I create is aimed at my target market. Very specifically. It’s designed to help her and not so coincidentally. It’s designed to collect her email address at the same time for my mailing list. And if you want to learn more about how to do that, go to my free training at healthcoachpower.com/double. The training is called how to double your mailing list in the next 90 days. And that’s going to go into a lot more detail about these techniques for building this really, really important asset of your business. So again, that URL is health coach power.com/double.
Now, once you have a mailing list and it’s filled with your perfect prospective clients, this weirdly is where I see a lot of coaches just drop the ball like you have everything that you need and you got the people right in front of you or at least on your mailing list and you think, now I’m going to get the clients, but it doesn’t happen, and here’s why.
To make money to sign clients, you have to make offers. You have to make offers. You can not just sit there and wait for your clients to fall in your lap or for somebody to take it upon themselves to realize that they want to work with you and give you a call. I mean that sometimes happens, but it’s rare. Usually these folks need to push a gentle loving little push and that’s you offering your services in an email. Or maybe it’s you offering a webinar where you’re going to pitch your services at the end with a very special bonus. So if you take nothing else away from this episode today, I want you to remember this. I want you to write it down. The more offers you make, the more money you will earn, period. It’s as simple as that, and I’m going to challenge you to count like next week for the next three weeks.
Keep track of how many offers you make. It’s a very useful practice. So for example, if you offer your services to 5,000 people in week one, 5,000 people in week two and five, that I’m just using that number as an example of 5,000 people in week three, it’s very likely that you will get more clients and earn more money than somebody who has made zero offers. That makes sense. Right? So it’s. These kind of offers, the direct marketing to my perfect prospective clients that brings in the vast majority of my clients. So they may read my blog, they may hang out on my mailing list and think, oh, Michelle is really cool. That’s nice, but it doesn’t put any money in my pocket. It’s not until I present them with an offer that they step up to the plate and they buy and that’s ultimately what we want to happen.
Unless you’re happy just putting content out there and letting everybody think you’re really neat. I’m assuming you want us to put some money into your bank account as well. So Kim saying, I love this, Michelle. Good, Kim, I’m glad you’re here. Everybody needs to hear more of this. It’s so easy to get stuck in hobby mode where we’re like creating content and we’re posting stuff to Facebook, but we’re not actually making that connection between, uh, you know, the content we’re putting out and the money that’s coming in.
So we’re going to kind of wrap up this portion of today’s episode by saying if you do not have enough clients, I want you to think about three things. The first, how can you increase the likelihood of your current clients referring you to others? Lots of ways you can get creative with that. Second piece is how can you increase the likelihood of your network referring you to others?
It could be that you need to build a bigger network. It could sound like Verizon, right? Like the biggest network, yes. Be like Verizon or maybe you have a network, but you need to reconnect with them. Maybe it’s shooting off some emails or some text messages, giving a call just to say hi, what’s up? Making sure your top of mind for the people in your network, right? How can you increase the likelihood that they will be thinking of you and refer you to the right people in their lives? And then number three is how can you attract more of your target market to your mailing list and make some type of..
Hello health coaches! Thank you so much for joining me today. This is our first broadcast of 2019, so if you’re here with me, happy new year. If you are listening to this later, don’t worry. Our topic today will apply no matter what time of year you’re listening or what year it is today. We’re talking about blogging, which made me kind of go down memory lane and I started looking back at some of my very, very early blog posts, my first of which was actually written in October of 2007 if you can believe it. Oh my goodness. That is a long, long time ago. Like a lifetime ago. So in this episode we’re going to tackle the questions of whether you should start a blog and if so how you should go about it. My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I’m a certified health coach with my own private practice, I’m also a mentor for my fellow health coaches and I appear in the curriculum at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and apparently I’ve been blogging for 12 years.
So if you’re watching online, go ahead and hit the like button. Show me some love and tell me in the comments, what are some of your favorite blogs? I think some of my favorites are definitely food blogs. I’m thinking of Gimme Some Oven, always great recipes there, or Smitten Kitchen. That’s a classic or blogs that teach me something about health and wellness. So, I read a lot on Aviva Romm’s blog as some of you know, I studied with Aviva last year and she’s one of my go-to resources. So anyway, we’d love to hear what blogs you’re into and if you have any questions as we go along, go ahead and put those in the comments as well. I like to work them into the conversation as we go along. So even though there’s a lot of great blogs out there, so there’s a lot of role models.
If you want to start a blog, it’s also kind of intimidating, right? Because yeah, there’s these big successful, complicated blogs. There are people who make their entire living as a blogger, right? You think you’re a health coach or maybe you’re actually going to be a health and food blog or full time, who knows? Who knows what will spark today, but for the most part you and me we’re health coaches. We don’t want to spend our whole day on our blog, but it could be part of our business. So, how can it fit into a health coaching business? One of the members of Healthy Profit University, which is my online course that helps health coaches create profitable business, asked this really great question inside of our private group and I wanted to share it here. I don’t think she’s going to mind.
Corey said, I want to start a blog, but I’m feeling a bit stuck with the layout, the length of content, etc. Just wondering when you all started out, how often you posted and if you have any general insight about how to not have blogging eat up too much time.
Yeah, that’s important. Right? So the very first thing that I asked Corey and the very first thing that I would ask you right now is what is your goal with your blog? And the reason I asked her that is because depending on the goal, the answers to her questions are going to be a little bit different. So, Corey said, when I asked her that very tough question of what is the goal with your blog, it’s like, ugh, I don’t know what my goal is Michelle. I know, I know, but it’s an important question. So do think about it. And Corey did. And she said that she wants to create content to guide people to. So for example, someone who might want to book her for a podcast or some sort of speaking engagement, she wants to have a way to prove that she knows what she’s talking about without sending a boring resume that nobody wants to read. Ps, Corey has her PhD, like I think she knows what she’s talking about. But anyway, in this case, Corey wants to use a blog as a way to build her authority and position herself as an expert.
It’s almost like saying that you have a published book because immediately people take you more seriously when you have something published that they can read. So, if your blog is going to be like Corey’s, then I have some good news for you. You don’t have to worry about how often you post and you don’t have to worry about how long your posts are and you don’t have to worry about, oh God, all kinds of things. This blog will just be your living, breathing document. It’s a cross between your boring resume and the book you haven’t written yet and you can write those blog posts however the heck you want with an eye towards is this the kind of content that you want to represent yourself with? Think about like who’s going to be reading this and then you want to write for them. And in this case we’re really talking about writing for a warm audience, which is very different than how other people blog.
So let’s say that you have a totally different goal for your blog. For me, starting about four years ago, I began looking at my blog, not just as a way to provide new content to my warm audience and kind of do what Corey was talking about, but as a way to attract a brand new audience through search engines and not only that, but I wanted to convert anybody who landed on my blog to my mailing list and then ultimately to become paying clients. Bingo. Right. I know a lot of you are like, yes, that’s what I want to do too Michelle, so if you want to go this route, it’s. It’s a lot more strategic and it becomes important to think about all of the little details that affect search results, which is like it’s whole other topic. We could talk about that for hours.
I’m probably not even qualified to talk about it. There are experts in this, but I know the basics because I have been doing it for so long, so one thing that I know for sure is that google likes when you publish consistently and when you publish often some bloggers posts every single day. No thank you. But yes, that is something that happens. So with my own blog, my goal has always been to publish a new piece of content once a week. Does that always happen? No, no, of course not, but that is the rhythm that I have tried to stick to and I will go stretches where I’m really on top of it, posting once a week, posting once a week, and then I’ll take a break for awhile. Life happens and then I’ll get back into it. However, that’s where I like to be and when I’m posting once a week, not only does google like to see that that you are an active publisher of content, but it allows me to send a fresh article, fresh recipe, a fresh piece of content to my own mailing list each week or to post it to social media.
So one thing I’ve always loved about blogging is that you’re creating a piece of content one time and then you get to reuse it so you can post it all over the place. You send it to your list. It’s not like you then have to also create an email for your list. You basically have the content already written. Very nice. Anyway, that’s the first thing. Frequency and consistency. The other thing that google really likes, you know, and the reason it’s important if google likes what you’re doing is because that means it will favor you. It will favor Your blog post over another. You will rank higher. Now, will I ever be ranked number one for like a certain search term? I don’t know, but it’s every blogger’s goal to be on the first page of search results if at all possible. One of my most successful blog posts actually in this area is a how to make coconut yogurt.
I don’t know what will happen if you google right now, how to make homemade coconut yogurt or something like that. I don’t know if you’ll get my blog post, but anyway, I do get a lot of organic search to that blog post, so I know people are finding it. So the other thing google likes is when your blog posts are a little bit lengthy, I mean they don’t have to write a whole, but there is a number, I think it’s 700 words or more and the reason google likes that is because it shows that you’re writing a more in depth article and therefore it’s more likely to show authority on a subject. Google always looking out for the user wants to send a user to really good solid content versus a summary or like a really brief two paragraph blog post about the topic. It would rather send someone to something that’s well researched and has some meat to it.
So again, are all of my blog posts 700 words or more? No, no, they’re not, but many of them are. So that’s just something to keep in mind and you can definitely mix it up. But if you’re going to write a really important blog post, like an epic blog post about a topic that’s really important to you and your practice and to your target market, you might want to consider making that one of your longer more in depth articles. Okay, another huge consideration is the title and the topic of your blog post. Obviously if you want to show up in search results, it makes sense to write about what people are searching for. That’s like a big duh moment, but I never thought of it that way. for the longest time. The opposite would be writing about whatever you feel like and then hoping that somebody searches for it.
Right? So you can actually reverse engineer this. You can use google ad words, they have a keyword tool to help you figure out what exactly people are searching for and I’ll put a link to a really useful set of directions in the show notes. I got this from a food blogger one in time and I have used these directions time and time again to help me figure out what I’m going to blog about. I usually have a vague idea of what it should be about or i have a recipe, but finding the exact keywords to use is very helpful and there’s so, so much more that could be said about this, but I’m just going to drop one more like boom. Big tip right here about converting your blog, visitors to your mailing list, you’re going to want to have a place for them to opt in on every blog page.
So, if right now I go to your website and your homepage has a place for me to join your mailing list, but your individual blog pages do not. You want to fix that. We call it entering through a side door. So like in my house right now, like some people come to the front door, but most of our visitors will come through the sliding doors over here on the back and then some people will come through the other side and doors on the other side of the house, just depending how they’re entering. It’s kind of like that with your website. Some people are going to go directly to your home page and from there they going to navigate your blog post. But most visitors, if you’re a blogger, are going to come through those side doors. They’re going to get linked to a specific blog post and that may be the only page they see.
So it’s important to have your opt-in available there. Now, beyond that, I have had huge conversions and that means something like 70 percent, 80 percent of visitors to my blog posts will opt into my list when I offer not just a generic like here, join my newsletter, opt in, but a very specific gated content upgrade I know fancy, right? What that means is you create a very special freebie that goes along with the blog post. They like go hand in hand and to upgrade to the content that you’re already writing about or that this person is already reading about. I’ll give you an example. Last year I wrote sort of like an epic blog post about women’s digestion. I explained why women are more likely to have digestive issues and then I offered a free upgrade to help women fix their digestion problems. That’s like a no brainer, right?
Like, anyone reading the original article is probably going to want that upgrade, so they give an email address, they get my free download and now they’re on my mailing list from there. Of course, if you’re savvy, you will follow up with them in subsequent emails and invite them to a free consultation call. I know it’s a lot of moving parts and I go over all of this in depth inside healthy profit university, but do you see how this strategy can move somebody from googling something to landing on your blog to now they’re on your mailing list and now they’re becoming a paying client? It happens, so that’s been the goal with my blog for the past several years and we are going to move along now to some other blog related questions. By the way, anybody watching, if you have a question, go ahead and drop it into the comments please, and I’ll get to those in just a moment.
I just said, I’ve been looking for ways to build up and expand my business. How many of you have a blog? Do you find it helpful or necessary to your success? Is it lifestyle, recipes? Any feedback would be appreciated. Okay, so I’m just going to answer this from my own experience. My blog has definitely been helpful. Pivotal even in my success as a health coach, absolutely, but you’ve got to remember I’ve been writing for a really long time. I’ve been blogging since several years before I even started my health business, so I have quite a foundation and I think that’s why it worked for me so well, especially in the beginning because I already had a bit of an audience reading this blog when I said, oh hey, by the way, now I’m accepting clients as a health coach, so it helps that I’ve been consistently writing for years and it helps that I take advantage of techniques like the one that I just told you about with the gated content upgrades, a blog by itself is not going to contribute to your success.
Like just because you have a blog and doesn’t mean anything. What you do with that blog has the potential to catapult a business- true story. As for what kind of content to create, like should you post recipes, should you post articles? This really goes back to who your target market is and what that person is looking for, because for the most part, people are not just browsing blogs, they might be, but for the most part they are searching for an answer to a question and they’re searching for a solution to a problem. So we really had to think about your target market and if you’re not clear on who you serve and what the big one big problem that you solve for them. AS I have something for you, I have a free workbook that Can help walk you through this process. It’s really pretty simple, not easy, often not easy but simple.
And I’m going to put the link to that workbook in the show notes so that you can grab it if it will help you nail down your target market. So for example, um, let’s say that you decide your target market are busy corporate women and you, the number one problem you help them solve Is whatever. You would not post a recipe on your blog for lamb stew that simmers for 12 hours on the stove. You’re busy. Corporate woman is not looking for that. You’re not speaking her language, so you would want to create content for your exact target market so that you attract the right readers and PS, I do like to put recipes on my blog, partially because I love to cook. I have recipes, it’s just who I am, but also partially because recipes do so well on Pinterest, which is a whole other topic, but I do get a lot of blog traffic from Pinterest and people go to Pinterest for all sorts of things, but recipes or you know, one of the top reasons anyone’s there.
So anyway, just something to consider. I do think recipes can be helpful, but now the big question, the question is, do you need a blog to be successful? Because I know some of you out there are like, Michelle, I don’t want to blog. I hate writing, so I don’t want to make you feel like you’re screwed. You are not screwed. You do not need a blog in order to succeed. No way. There’s so many different ways to become successful as a health coach. If I think of the health coaches I know who have made it big in any sense, uh, you know, they don’t all follow the same formula. Some of them work locally, some of them, you know, do a podcast, some of them blog. There’s all different ways to put yourself out there and get clients and make a difference in the world and a blog is not a necessary piece of that puzzle.
And like I said, it’s not for everyone. Like if you don’t like to write, don’t sweat it. It’s only one form of content creation. So you could start a podcast instead. You could start a YouTube channel where you’re posting videos, you could write a book. There’s definitely something to be said for creating content. That’s true. And I encourage – especially if you are marketing yourself online, I would encourage you to create content in whatever medium suits you best. But no, no, you do not have to have a blog.
Now, Mary, asked some questions about this. She said, are there any resources for improving your copywriting skills as well as the format?
Yes, probably Mary. I don’t know of any offhand. I’m sure there are plenty of resources online for improving your copywriting skills, but I find that practice has really helped me more than anything.
She also said, what about the rules of grammar format and punctuation?
Mary girlfriend. Relax. You’re fine. Blog writing is actually fairly casual. Maybe not as casual as like texting your best friend with a bunch of emojis, but it’s pretty casual. If you read blogs, sometimes they’re written in a really formal way with footnotes and all the rest, but sometimes they’re written in a real stream of consciousness fashion so you can write in whatever style works for you and having proper grammar. Having perfect punctuation is not that important. I mean, you don’t want glaring typos, but I think everyone’s going to forgive you. If your quotation mark comes before your period. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s really the content that matters most.
Now, Laurie said one of my intentions is for 2019 is to be consistent about blogging on my website. Anyone else? Anyone else has that goal?
It’s so interesting because when we’re not doing something, I mean, my question would be like Laurie, why don’t you want a blog? Because if you’re not doing it, it’s probably because you don’t want to. And that’s okay. It’s just like a little thing that you want to question. Well, why don’t I want to. What’s standing in the way? Is it because, you know, Laurie says I’m drawing a blank for topics. Does anyone care to share? So my ideas. So yes. Laurie, I would love to share some ideas and I would encourage you to not look at what other health coaches or writing because if you looked at My blog to see what topics I write about, that’s what I choose to write about for my target market. What you choose to write about should really, really come out of what your target market needs. So again, I’m going to refer you to the free workbook to help you figure out your target market. I put the link into the show notes for you.
And then. So the comments here, um, because once you talk to people inside your target market, you hear what they’re struggling with. That’s the greatest. That’s what you want. That’s what you need to know in order to write great blog content. The other place where I often get inspiration for my blog posts are inside my client notes. I mean, obviously I’m not going to write a blog post and be like, my client, Betsy has IBS, you know, that’s not cool. We’re going to like maintain privacy and I don’t even necessarily write about the people, but I just noticed themes that come up over and over again, you know, it’s um, my clients don’t know what to eat for breakfast or my clients are always hangry at 3:00 in the afternoon or, you know, whatever problems they come to me with lately. A lot of my clients have been coming to me and as we do the deep work together, we’re talking about childhood trauma.
Aces, if you’re familiar with that term. And I’ve been thinking this is something I really want to either write about or do a podcast episode about because it’s such an important topic and it comes up so frequently, so mine, your client notes, your current clients or past clients for great topics because ultimately you want more people like that. So if you have this individual talking to you about specific topic, that’s a great topic for you to write about. If you want more clients just like her or just like him. Okay. So we’re going to move off the blog topic now, but if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them because there’s two other really great questions recently that I wanted to get into this episode. It’s been a while since we did one of these over the holidays. It took a little break.
So I wanted to answer this question from Shannon. Shannon said, I wrote an eBook about fertility wellness and I want to sell it online. Which would you recommend Instagram or Pinterest?
I’m going to answer this question not the way you want me to answer it. Shannon, I’m really sorry about that. My answer is neither Instagram or Pinterest and I will go a step further and say it is not very useful to sell an eBook. Truth. How big is your Audience? Got 100 people on your list, a thousand people on your list, 5,000 people on your list. Great. Whatever it is, how many of them are going to buy the book? How many Facebook followers do you have? Most health coaches, you know, we have a couple thousand, maybe tens of thousands, but we don’t have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of followers of people on our list, right? Most of us, myself included.
So, if you’re selling an eBook, how much can you possibly sell it for 10 bucks maybe. So you sell 10 copies, that’s $100 in your pocket. Maybe you sell 100 copies, that’s a thousand dollars in your pocket. Here’s what I really would prefer that you do. Take that eBook and turn it into a high-end program. Something that costs $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, $3,000, whatever it is. I got great advice. One time somebody told me it takes just as much time and effort and energy to sell a $10 product as it takes to sell a $10,000 product if something like that, which is so true because you have to market it, you have to find your target market, you have to go through all the steps of marketing something and then in the end if someone only pays you like 10 bucks for eBook, imagine if just one person signed up for your $2,000 program, $2000, you would have had to sell 200 eBooks in order to make 2000 bucks and it would have been much harder.
Trust me. So that is my opinion. Take it or leave it. The only other way that I would use an eBook is to give it out for free. If it’s a short, short, maybe,..
The Crock Pot has long been hailed as a savior to working women. (And men. Hello. Men can prepare dinner too. Hrrrumph.) While it does require 20 minutes in the morning…just imagine walking in the door to this tender pork at night.
Especially on a chilly winter night. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
One word I like to talk to my clients about is “soothe.” So many of us have nervous systems on high alert…we’re stressed about a client meeting, worried about house repairs, chronically on edge over family issues…and often suffering with significant health consequences.
Soothing might mean putting on fuzzy slippers. Doing some gentle yoga. Anything to calm down a hyperactive stress response.
What’s soothing at 7pm when it’s 27 degrees outside and you’ve just got home?
Not salad. Salad ain’t soothing.
But soup is. Or stew. And anything that’s been slow cooked while you were at work? That’s pretty darn soothing too.
Don’t forget the fuzzy slippers. This dish is best served cozy.
In a medium pan, warm the olive oil and sauté the onions, fresh thyme, and apples until the onions are translucent.
While the onions are cooking, trim the big pieces of fat from the pork shoulder. Place the sauerkraut* in the bottom of the slow cooker and the pork shoulder on top of the sauerkraut. Rub the pork shoulder with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the apple onion mixture around the outside of the pork. Pour the white wine into the pan and scrape off any of the browned bits that are stuck at the bottom of the pan. Pour the wine into the slow cooker along with the maple syrup. Cover and let cook for 8-10 hours on low-medium, or until you can shred the pork easily with a fork. Serve as is, or over your choice of potatoes.
The 5 Best Business Decisions I Made In 2018 - YouTube
Michelle gets personal in this episode, sharing exactly what she did in 2018 to make it the best year ever in her business. From how she outsources to how she sits (or doesn’t) at her desk…you’ll get tips to incorporate into your own profitable New Year.
Hello everybody, it is the end of the year and I very much hope that you’re taking some time off. I’ve got to say I was not intending to do any episodes at all during this break. However, I have been really doing some reflecting on 2018 and everything that has gone on in my business during this whole wonderful year and I thought that I just really needed to share with you so much of what I’ve learned; why my business is in its most stable, most profitable and really most manageable place than it has ever been ever in 10 years. I’m getting so much done in the world. I’m helping so many people and I’m working less at the same time. I’m stressing less and it just feels so good to have finally made it to this place. I wanted to share some lessons that I’ve learned and hopefully give you some ideas that you can bring into your new year as well.
So by the way, in case we haven’t met, I’m Michelle Pfennighaus. I’ve been a certified health coach with my own private practice for 10 years and I act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches. I’m sorry, my voice is a little scratchy today. My boys gave me one heck of a cold for Christmas, which I am now getting over, but it was a doozy. Anyway, if you’re watching this via video, if you’re watching live or you’re watching the replay later, go ahead and give a like say hello and tell me how ugly is this sweater that my husband gave me for Christmas. Like really on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the ugliest, go ahead and rate it. I know, I know. He said it’s what all the kids are wearing and I’m like, I highly doubt anyone is wearing this, but here I am anyway.
Trying to pull it off. Trying to be a trooper. Anyway, bad Christmas presents aside. We are here to talk business and I’m happy to take your questions as we go along. So if I’m not being clear about something or if what I say reminds you of something else that you want to ask, you can go right ahead. That’s why I do these live. So after giving it a lot of thought, had to go through my calendar and remind myself of all the different things that I did this year. And I encourage you to do the same. Do a recap, do a post game. You know what actually happened between January and December of this year. I did that for myself and I made a short list of exactly five very important decisions that I made this year that made it the best year ever in my business. So we’ll start with the fact that I’m niching down, niching down.
I love that as a verb niching, but I’m doing this more than ever before. I’m going to explain because I have had a somewhat complicated relationship with my target market for many years and I know that many of you are in the same boat and actually I’m going to share a way for you to get help with that in just a few minutes. But here’s the deal, for many, many years of my health coaching business, I’ve worked with different types of women, have helped them lose weight, de-stress, solve digestive issues, and more. It’s been a bit broad and that was fine. Five years ago. It was totally fine 10 years ago, but these days, as you’ve heard me talk about, if you’ve listened to any other episodes of this show, it is harder than ever to stand out in the health and wellness industry. Truth. We are so very saturated. Now. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it means that I have seriously committed to this niching down.
So I’ve started to do it already in small ways. And in 2019 I will be launching an entirely new brand new URL, new everything for my health coaching business. It will be called. ‘She’s Got Power’ and I will serve type A go getter women whose number one problem is burnout caused by chronic stress. Now, part of niching down for me has also met truly separating the work that I do as a health coach and the work that I do as a mentor for health coaches. Because up until this year, my whole business has been kind of under one umbrella, so on one hand I’m helping a woman solve her digestive problems and then on another hand, like five minutes later, I’m teaching about marketing and it made for really confusing a business model for me. So for example, what should I post about on social media?
What should I send emails about? Who am I really talking to? And if you’ve ever found yourself trying to serve more than one group of people at once, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You get to these moments where you’re like, ah, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know. It makes it really confusing. So this year, in addition to really niching down on my health coaching side of the business, I decided I’m going to actually completely separate the two. So I basically have two businesses and each one has its own target market. Its own business plan. I’m so happy about this. On one side we’ve got my type A burned out woman like I was telling you about. And on the other. Well, we have you. If you are listening to, if you’re watching this episode, then chances are I have niched down to help you a Certified Health Coach, build a profitable business, and I even started a brand-new separate Instagram account for Health Coach Power Community, so if you’re on Instagram, follow us.
We’re on @HealthCoachPowerCommunity. Love to see you there and I’ve got to tell you all ready, it is so much easier to figure out what content goes where, because I know exactly who I’m serving in each of my businesses. So just as an example of how you can make marketing easier for yourself, you have to niche down. You have to know your target. I feel much, much more clear about what content to put out. I know exactly who I’m talking to and when and it’s just making marketing a breeze compared to before. However, it’s still one of the hardest, biggest decisions I made in 2018. So all I have to say is if you’re struggling with your marketing at all, if you’re not knowing what to write in your emails, what to blog about, what kind of workshops to run, how to talk about yourself, who to attract, you’re not getting enough clients, period.
You have got to first look at your target market and a couple years ago, definitely five or 10 years ago, you could have skated by without one, but where something really vague you could say, I help busy women get healthy, but it’s not going to cut it anymore. So if you’re kind of spinning your wheels, this is where you want to focus. And actually, I recently asked inside of our Facebook group who would like more help in this area, like who would want some sort of resource that walks you through the steps of choosing a great target market. And if enough coaches respond, I’m going to go ahead and make that free resource for you. So what you can do is head on over to healthcoachpowercommunity.com. And look for the post that has a big bullseye photograph. It’s a target, right? Get it target market and that’s where you can vote and just let me know that this is of interest to you and I’ll make sure that you get a copy when it’s done.
Okay, So first great decision in 2018 was niching down and separating my businesses so that I’m not trying to serve several groups of people at once. The next great decision I made was this. I built a team and I never thought I was going to use the word team to describe my business because for years I haven’t really wanted to feel like a manager of other people. I don’t know. It wasn’t something I saw myself doing and I was always afraid to spend the money on too much help in my business. I’ve had a virtual assistant, but this year for the first time I really started leaning on her more heavily and hiring and several other people to help run my business and it feels so, so good, but I want to just put it out there. These are not, these are not full time staff members.
Like when entrepreneurs would talk about their team. I always imagined that that meant full time employees and paying benefits and all that jazz. It sounded like way big and scary, so I just want to lower your expectations in a way like you can have a team in a much smaller sense and still so very helpful. A team can mean that you have a couple of people that work for you and they do so on an ongoing basis. They’re not just dropping in. I have that kind of people in my team to where they just drop in for a particular project, but what the people who are really would consider my core team are a continuous part of the business and that’s what makes them so valuable because they know what you did last month. They know what you did six months ago. They know what you’re planning to do six months from now.
So now I have people, all women by the way, who know the ins and the outs of my business and they can make really smart recommendations. They can call me on my mistakes and let me know what I’m doing wrong, where we’re were making bad decisions and that is so, so valuable and they’re not full time and they’re not here in my house with me or anything like that, you know, it’s, everybody is remote and part-time and paid as a, I forget what it’s called, just as a consultant or as a professional service. They’re not an employee of the company, so this is something anybody can do a little bit more of in 2019 and I encourage you to do so. You’re probably wondering who, who’s on the team, like who are these people and I don’t want to spare you any details because again, this is the stuff I was always wondering about and always felt like a little behind the curtains that, well that’s what other people do, but it’s not, it’s not that weird.
It’s not that scary to start scaling up your business bit by bit. So like I said, I have an all women team and they’re scattered around the US and Canada. They’re all working remotely. Number one, I have my assistant Kelly. Hi Kelly, and she’s going to be editing this episode so she’ll be reading this or seeing this at some point. I’ve talked about her in other episodes, so you may already have heard my spiel on assistance, but basically I lean on Kelly for repetitive tasks, things like setting up recurring webinars, accepting people into a Facebook group. She also handles anything like super technology related that I don’t know how to do or she’ll set up like a new URL for me or a new email accounts or even when I bought some done for you legal documents, you know, you just have to like fill in the blanks and kind of go through the process of customizing them.
Kelly helped me do that and then pop them onto my website. So, she, like I said, will be taking the recording of this podcast by the way, adding the intro adding the outro, uploading it to iTunes and YouTube and she does it every week, so thank you so much Kelly. Virtual assistance, can’t say enough about it. If you want to, by the way, hear a little bit more about virtual assistants, there’s an episode, Oh, if you go a few back was called like tips, tricks and tools, something like that, and in that episode I talked more about hiring assistants. I also have Jessica on my team now handling my bookkeeping and this falls squarely in the category of if you hate doing it, outsource because I found myself dreading having to look at and deal with, reconcile my books. It was the kind of thing I would have to like get a bag of chocolate chips out of the pantry and like bribe myself by mowing down on some chocolate chips or whatever while I was doing the work because I hated it so much.
So if there’s any work that makes you have to bribe yourself with something like chocolate chips, I mean that’s so backwards for a health coach, right? You got to recognize that in yourself and say, okay, this is not aligned with who I am. This is not making me happy. How else can I solve this problem? And so for me, Yay. I’m so beyond thrilled to have Jessica handling the stuff for me now and the bonus is that she’s a health coach too. Just trained as a health coach. Now she’s not health coaching anymore, but she knows exactly what my business is all about, which is like two thumbs up for me and she’s going to be making a guest appearance inside the Health Coach Power Community in 2019 to share her financial wizardry, that’s a weird word, wizardry, with us so you can stay tuned for that and learn how to get a handle on your finances when we speak to Jessica.
Okay. Another addition to my team this year was hiring what Wahida. I just spoke with her this morning Wahida is fabulous and I first hired her to do my Facebook ads, but it turns out she is very, very smart, very strategic, and really went quickly went beyond above and beyond just doing the Facebook ads. She helps me look at hard numbers instead of making decisions based on my intuition alone. So she’s become a lot more of an all around resource for me, helping with my launches. She’s actually doing some Copywriting for me as well, so that’s been really important hire and a new part of my business this year.
Sharon’s saying she wants a manager that book speaking gigs for her. Yes, you can absolutely hire somebody to do that. Yes, and I think that’s really it. You got to figure out like where are your weak spots, where could you be making more money, doing more with your time and you know the things that are kind of holding you back and that’s where you find someone to fill in those gaps.
And often I haven’t known who to hire. I wasn’t like, oh I need a person who does this exact thing and I’m going to go to this exact place to find that person, but instead I sort of define for myself what kind of help I needed and it’s pretty funny the way the universe will send the right person to you. I would just ask around my network, get a couple of recommendations and boom, I have found the perfect people. So I’m sorry that there is no one website. I can point you that’s like, boom, here’s where you go hire your assistant, or here’s where you go hire your manager, but you start asking around and putting your intention out there at clearly it works because that’s how all of these people have found their way onto my team. I also had a couple of team members this year, um, to assist me with our Facebook group.
The Health Coach Power Community Group has over 6,000 members as of today, which means we get far more questions than I could ever answer. And then beyond answering questions, we work very, very hard to keep this group’s spam-free. So my team members helped me catch anybody who is promoting themselves, soliciting our members. We just want to really keep this a focused safe space for certified health coaches only. So funny how many people try to sneak into the group or not health coaches. They’re just here to market themselves or to do market research for their own business and make money off of you guys. I mean, we’re all here in business to make money, but there’s good ways to do it and that they’re slimy ways to do it, and so I try to keep all the slime out of our group anyway. I can’t do it alone.
I’m very, very grateful for these ladies, Julie and Aleen. Thank you so much for your help. And the last team member that I want to mention is the newest addition to the family. A couple of months ago I was noticing that I had some projects that were just perpetually falling through the cracks. For whatever reason they weren’t getting done. They’re getting pushed to the back burner and some of them are pretty important, so I didn’t want them to be lost in the shuffle anymore. I desperately needed somebody to keep it all together for me and can I just say, I really want a t shirt that says I love project management. It has been a total lifesaver. Investing in a project manager. It’s helping me take on larger scale projects. It’s helping me worry a whole lot less. I cannot say enough about it. So big shout out to Stephanie for rocking my project management world again, came to me through a recommendation from someone in my network, had a few conversations with a few different people and it was pretty easy for me to be like, no, that’s not what I need.
That’s not what I need. And when I spoke to Stephanie I was like, yes, she gets it. That’s what I need, and all of this was scary. Really scary because when you’re hiring help, you’re wondering, can I afford this or will I be wasting my time training somebody who’s unreliable? However, looking back on it now, I can see that investing in these ladies is helping me earn more. It’s helping me enjoy my business more so it’s been really, really worth taking the lead. So that’s the first one or no, not the first one. The second one. First Niche down. That was number one. Second I built a team. What a year. The next thing that I want to share is a little more down and dirty. It’s something that anybody can start doing tomorrow and just see how it works for you. No investing required.
Nothing too crazy, it’s just a way of managing your time. So up until a year ago really because it was the end of last year that I thought to myself, I need to make the leap because I’d still been using a paper calendar, which I love. I love writing things down. It looks seeing things on paper, but I made the decision to switch over to Google calendar because I wanted it to sync with my client booking system. I wanted it to sync with my phone, you know, it is somewhat limiting to have things on paper and the time zones were always getting me because if I made an appointment with somebody for 3:00, it’s like, is that my time zone or their time zone? The online calendar solves all of that, but what I didn’t realize was how granular and online calendar was going to help me get with my daily schedule.
And when I mean by that is I started to block off time for all of my tasks. So the day would just be like visually on the calendar. If any of you use google, it would just literally look like a bunch of blocks, so instead of just putting client meetings or true appointments on the calendar, I put everything on the calendar. If I have to write a blog post, I block off two hours, three hours, boom. Takes up that amount of time on the calendar. In fact to send out a weekly email to my list, boom, 30 minutes, whatever it’s going to take, and little by little I started blocking off everything I have to do each day. Even things like take a shower, eat lunch. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to do these things when you’re working for yourself and for me at least I have limited time to work when my kids are at school so when they’re gone, how did the house.
I’m like right down the list anyway. Got to put in their a time to shower occasionally, but what I found was that by time blocking in this way, I could realistically see exactly how much fits into a day and when it was full, it was full. Before that. I don’t know how you guys do it, but I would estimate that, oh yeah, I can get that done, you know, x, y, and Z. I’m going to get it all done and if I got extra time I’m going to do something else too, and then I couldn’t get it all done. I’d be stressed out. I’d be disappointed in myself and scrambling. So this was not a good way to run a business. It’s really not. Again, not treating myself like a business. If you’ve ever worked in the corporate world, usually you have time sheets and there’s a reason for that.
The company wants to know how you’re spending your day, how many of your hours are billable, how many are not, and that’s how they make business decisions. Like who would hire? Same thing here. So time blocking has been super important. I don’t even have a to do list anymore. Rather than having a running list of stuff that has to get done sometime I just take that task and I plop a time block into my calendar. Maybe it’s today, maybe it’s next week, but this way there is somewhere, a time and a space held for it and this way it actually gets done. So hey ho, for Google calendar. Do you like this idea? Some of you I know some of you may love it, especially if you’re a planner like me and some of you might be a little more hesitant. You might be like, well that sounds really strict.
Sounds really inflexible. Know I liked more flexibility in my days. I just want to say don’t worry because I don’t work like a robot either. I mean things happen. I’ll have a kid home sick or be sick or if something takes longer than I thought it was going to, so even though I have my days blocked off like this, there’s often something that needs to be moved around or changed and it’s so easy. You just literally drag that block to a different day and if that day is full you can move it around from there. It’s almost like playing Tetris or something, but you can just visually see all the time blocks that need to be accounted for. Now more often than not, the other way that I keep it flexible within the system is I overestimate how long everything’s going to take. So I’m almost always able to complete a task in less time than I had allowed for it.
Um, so like if I finish early, I can take a break, I can go get a cup of tea, I can lie down on the couch and close my eyes for a bit knowing full well that I’m not behind schedule at all. I have time for this break and I can enjoy it without guilt. And let me tell you that never ever happened before because I always assumed that something else that has to get done, there’s something I’m forgetting right? So now to relax and it feels so good anyway. You got to try it. Highly recommend even if you just do it for one day to test it out. It has increased my productivity by like a million and it helps me plan for the future as well. Like I’m right now. So we’re at the end of 2018. We’re looking into 2019 and I already knew know exactly what I’m doing pretty much for the whole month of January.
It’s already blocked out, so if some new opportunity were to come my way, I already know I don’t realistically have time for that. I guess it depends on what it is. I could always do some major rescheduling, but it helps me know my boundaries and stick to what is usually for me, a 35 hour work week instead of constantly feeling like I’m on the clock. All right, next up, one of the top five decisions that I made in 2018. This one might sound silly, but I invested in a standing desk. I’m using it right now. I love it and I have a walking treadmill underneath you guys. I cannot even tell you how much happier I am with this desk. First of all, I’m. I’m walking, walking more obviously two, three, four extra miles a day while I work, so that’s just obviously good exercise.
Hello there health coaches! Have you ever tried selling your products or your services on a live Webinar? Oh, I know it sounds a little bit scary sometimes. This is called a one to many approach as opposed to a one to one sales conversation that you may be doing with your clients. Now this would be one too many. And as you can imagine, that’s very efficient. And when done well, I have found it to be really quite effective. So today we’re going to be talking about when the right time is to run a Webinar, for example, when you’re first starting out in your business, when you’re a few years along, like when in your business is it appropriate and how do you know? And then once you run a Webinar, how are you going to make it fabulous? How are you going to make it work for your bottom line?
My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I am a certified health coach. I have my own private practice and I act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches. And you may have seen me if you’re a student or a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as I am part of the curriculum there. Okay. If you’re here with me live, go ahead and give a like if you are interested in or if you’re already running webinars, I would love to hear what your experience has been around these. And I’m happy to take your questions in just a moment. So go ahead and put those in the comments now and I’ll have time at the end to go over those.
So, our big question for today came from Shannon. She posted in our group and she said, I am considering hosting webinars and wondering how many of my fellow coaches are hosting them. And if so, has it really helped you close the sale and grow your business?
Good Question Shannon. Because webinars, let’s face it, they are lots of work to put together and they can be a technology headache. So if they didn’t work. I would absolutely tell you do not bother. You know, honest to goodness, it wouldn’t be worth your time. But like I said, I have found webinars to actually work really well for selling, so I’ll tell you a story. A couple of years ago I held a Webinar because I wanted to fill my practice with more one on one clients and that’s not always the case. Sometimes I’ll hold a Webinar to sell like a five day program or to sell like some sort of group program. But in this case my goal was to get more private clients. So I put together a Webinar and I believe it was called, ‘How my clients lose weight and keep it off.’
So that must’ve been pretty compelling because people signed up for it, you know, I wouldn’t even say I really knew what I was doing now in terms of like picking the best title or the best topic, I just picked a topic that I knew my target market, my audience was interested in. So I held this Webinar and I directed those who are watching to go to a URL where they could apply. This was at the end. I said, you can go here to apply to work with me. The webinar itself gave away all really gave away the special sauce. I’m like exactly what I do with my clients and you would think you shouldn’t do that. You shouldn’t give away all your information, but people do not pay you for the what, you know, for the bullet points, for the information. Information is free. Anybody can go online and get information. They’re watching your webinar or they’re getting free information. That’s fine.
They’re going to pay you for the how for the implementation. So the Webinar taught them basically what I do with clients and then it was like if you would like to do this with me and get the results that my clients get, go here and fill out this application. And I got a lot of people headed over to the application. Um, it was great. I actually gave them a general idea of how much the price was going to be. I didn’t give an exact dollar figure but I wanted them to know it was going to be a significant investment. So don’t bother applying. If you think this is going to be, you know, $50 or $100. I think the packages were like $1500, so those who applied knew that, so they were pre-qualified in that way. I went through and chose the applicants that I thought would make a really good client and got on the phone with them at that point, um, you know, scheduled like a 15 minute call to connect one on one and closed nearly 100 percent of the calls that I had and just bum, bum bum and filled up my client roster.
So that’s just one example of how I’ve used webinars successfully. But I thought that’s one that you could all kind of relate to because not everybody is running a group program, but almost all of us are selling one on one coaching packages. So that’s one way of how I’ve had really good success. Now in general, it seems, what I have learned through the years is that if you’re selling something at a low price point, like $99 or $25 or whatever it is you’re selling like an eBook or a five day something or other, you don’t have to do a Webinar. You may be able to just send a series of emails to your list, you may be able to do something like a five day challenge and at the end of that you could sell something that’s at a lower price point, so in that case a webinar wouldn’t be essential.
However, if you’re selling a higher priced item, higher ticket item like private coaching or even a group program that’s like $2,000 to join or whatever it is, anything above that $1,000 dollar mark seems to sell best using either a private one on one sales call and I know we don’t like to talk about it that way, a sales call, but that’s what it is. You guys, if you’re doing a health history or if you’re doing a consultation, I mean what you’re really doing is having a sales conversation. So anyway, let’s just call a spade a spade. You’re going to sell your high-ticket items either with a sales conversation that’s one on one or a sales conversation. That is one too many via Webinar and that seems to hold true kind of across the board with online marketing. I’m sort of depending on the price point of what you’re selling is how you determine the method for selling. It makes sense, right?
So is this the right thing for you? We have a lot of new coaches in our group and what I don’t like to see someone who’s just starting out, maybe they have a list of like 60 of their friends, family members and 10 people that they met at the farmer’s market last week or whatever and then they’ll go through the process of putting together a Webinar or getting people to sign up for the Webinar and it’s like two people signed up and only one of them came. And it feels like such a bummer. We don’t want that to happen to you. It’s really, it’s not effective. It’s just not going to be effective for you. It’s going to feel bad. So what I think is that if you’re mailing list is, let’s say in that 100, maybe even 200, 300, like on that smaller size, I wouldn’t do webinars yet.
Like I said, there’s a lot of work that goes into them. There’s a lot of technology, a lot of bits and bots that you have to put together. It is worth it if you are reaching a large audience, but just like off the top of my head, uh, don’t hold me to these statistics, but anything that I offer to my list, and I think this is true pretty much across the board for anybody I offer a Webinar, I offer some free download, whatever it is, you know, only a certain percentage are going to take me up on it. So let’s say that your list is a thousand people and let’s say I want to do easy math here. Let’s say 10 percent signed up for your Webinar, which would be crazy, like 10 percent signing up for your webinar would be a very, very high number.
So that would be 100 people signed up for the Webinar. Usually only a third of them actually show up. So that would be like 30 people actually attend your Webinar, which is fine. And then again, only a percentage of those who show up or watch the replay, which of course not everybody’s going to watch the replay. If they miss the live event, but some will, so let’s say 10 percent of those who actually watched or were there for the Webinar take you up on the offer that you’re making. That would be three people I hit, so it’s a little bit of a numbers game and I encourage you to wait to do the big webinars until you have a larger audience. Okay. Um, however, if you’re already there, then what are you waiting for? Because this is a really great tool. Here’s a mistake. I have a lot of things to say about this but me just saying this right now, a mistake that people make is also holding a Webinar and then waiting maybe three months and then like holding a completely different Webinar and then waiting three months, four months and doing it again, like picking a new topic, doing whole new Webinar for their audience and that is so much work and not advised.
I did that for many years. I was always trying to reinvent the wheel for the same group of people. Essentially the same group of people. Right? My mailing list changes a little bit, but more or less it’s the same group that would be seeing what I was putting out there, so what I have now learned and I can’t believe what a difference it makes is it’s more beneficial to take one Webinar, offer it to a group of people, then learn from what worked, make it better and do it again to a different for a different group of people or you know, maybe there’ll be some of the same people. So one way that you could do that is to segment your list. Maybe the first time around. You only do your Webinar for like a half of your list and then you make it better and then you offer it to the second half of your list.
So that’s one way to do it. Another way to do it would be like if you’re running Facebook ads, you could run Facebook ads and get a whole new audience to sign up for your webinar. But by doing the same thing again and again and iterating on it, you will have better results. You’ll come up with a webinar that converts as opposed to all of these different webinars that may or may not convert very well, so we talked about where you need to be in your business. If a Webinar is viable for you. Now what if you’re thinking, yeah, fat chance, Michelle, I did not have a thousand people on my mailing list. I don’t even have 500 people. Don’t sweat it because I have something for you. If your list is on the small side, I want you to go to healthcoachpower.com/double because I have a free training there that will teach you how to double and eventually triple and quadruple your mailing list very quickly.
So again, that URL is healthcoachpower.com/double. Okay. I want to go through some of the details now for what you actually need to do in order to host an effective webinar and we’re not going to be able to go through all of it right now. I do go through this in detail and provide like the whole technology setup for using zoom to host your Webinar, all of that stuff, plus the done for you email templates inside my course, Healthy profit university. Okay, so it’s like a whole thing. We’re not going to get into all of it right now, but these are the most important bits and let me know if you have any questions if you’re here with me live. Okay. So the first thing that a lot of people don’t realize that they need to do is that once somebody signs up for your Webinar, it’s really, really easy for them to forget or to not prioritize it.
So it’s important to send lots of reminders and not just reminders that are like, hey remember webinar on Tuesday, but engaging emails beforehand so you might send a funny story or you might ask a question and you want to do something ahead of time to keep people engaged with you and remembering who you are and why they signed up for your event. So you keep them engaged beforehand. You definitely want to remind them like an hour before the Webinar, 15 minutes before the Webinar and sending them the link to join you, and then once you’re on your live Webinar and you’re broadcasting and you’re probably a little sweaty, blotting your forehead like this, what you want to do is first of all, be very well prepared. You know you’ll have your slides. You’ll either be facing the camera like I’m doing now or it’ll be going through a slide show or you can do both at the same time.
I’m. I always have a script next to a next to my slideshow that I can refer to because I don’t read it like a script word for word, but sometimes you get lost. Sometimes somebody asks you a question and you just forget where you were. So I like having everything mapped out for me right there. And what you want to be doing is giving your viewers a ton of value. Like I shared with you earlier, I told my webinar participants exactly how I help my clients lose weight, but you don’t want to just say, okay, here’s everything you need to know. Um, and also I offer private coaching. There’s a real disconnect there. You want to give viewers value in a way that leads naturally into your offer. So it’s almost like I’m going to tell you x, y, Z, and then you’re going to be wondering which is what my offer is going to solve.
Do you know what I mean? So, it’s almost like you want to create your content to leave, uh, a hanging, you know, of like a hook at the end, you know, a big cliff-hanger like, oh, well, what comes next? Or how do I actually do that? This all sounds really good. But, and then you make your offer that solves that problem for them. So for example, let’s say that your target market is women who have Hashimoto’s. You could do a webinar about, um, how to know if you have Hashimoto’s, right? Going over signs and symptoms and the test that you should have done and whatever. And you’re giving out this information and then it would be, wouldn’t it be like the question, everybody’s mind, they’d be thinking, Oh yeah, I think I, I do have Hashimoto’s, or I know I have Hashimoto’s. Now what? What do I do about it?
So then you would offer your private coaching for women with Hashimoto’s, right? Like it just makes too much sense. So, do you want to really combine your content with your offer in a way that they just don’t hand in hand? The other thing that’s really helpful to do with a Webinar is to have a deadline of some kind to encourage people to act because if they know they can sign up for your private coaching any time, then they’ll be like, cool, I will do that someday. And you don’t want them to wait and do it some day. You want them to do it now before they forget who you are. So having a deadline is really important. One thing that I did when I held the Webinar and then I just told you about is I said I’m only accepting, I forget how many but like x number of clients this fall, so if you want in, you know, I won’t be accepting any new clients until next year apply now.
So that was sort of like the Oh, like motivation, I need to go ahead and do this right now. I can’t wait and I give a date for when they had to have their application in by. So you could do something like that. Another way that you can impose a deadline, even though truly like any day of the week, if someone walks up to you on the street and says, Hey, I want to be a client, like you’re going to sign them. Right? But you have to create some urgency. So another thing you can do is you can create a bonus. We’re going to talk more about bonuses in just a second, but you can create what they call a disappearing bonus. So you could say, yes, you can sign up for my coaching package 365 days a year. However, if you sign up in the next seven days, you’ll get up, up, up, and it should be a bonus that is massively valuable or appears very valuable because someone’s going to go, oh, I don’t want to miss that.
So that’s a great way to get people to actually take action for you. Another deadline that you could play with is like a price, something where you’re playing with your price. I don’t love discounting. I really would encourage you to not go here first, but it’s something that you’ll see done all the time. So I just want to mention that you could say, you know, this package is usually $2,500 sign up by Friday for, you know, $2100 or something like that. You know, you’ll save $200. But again, be careful with discounting yourself. It tends to have the Walmart effect. People tend to undervalue you overall if you lower your prices. And then the last thing that a lot of people miss out on, there’s this, there’s a huge opportunity after the webinar. So yes, you have somebody who’s attention. Hopefully you have their attention for that 45 minutes, hour, 90 minutes sometimes that you’ll be on your live webinar with them, but very few people are going to like go to your website and sign up for the thing right there, and then they’re going to think about it or they’re going to have to hop off early.
You know, it’s very easy for them to just go on with her life and forget about everything that you shared with them. So well. Some people may sign up right away. You want to catch all the others. I always send a series of follow up emails after an event like that. So you would send something that same day with the replay and then every day for the next say five days, seven days, and you can do it different ways. But that would lead up to the deadline. And then on the day of the deadline, that’s like today’s your last day to get the bonus. Or today’s your last day to get your application, whatever it is you might send out sometimes up to four or five emails on that last day. I know it sounds like way too much, but it works. It works because people are busy and it’s very easy for them to overlook these things and just hit delete and forget that they actually really did want to sign up, but there’s other things going on in their life, so it’s really important to stay in communication with them. Oh, okay. That was a lot of information on webinars. Again, I’m happy to answer any questions. Little water for my dry throat there.
I want to talk more about bonuses. I thought these two questions went really well together. So, this is a question that Lorraina asked and she said, I’m planning on running my first cleanse next month. What kind of incentives do you suggest? I offered to get people signed up. I was thinking of doing something along the lines of invite two friends and get 25 percent off or something like that. Any suggestions when it comes to that?
So Lorraina, I don’t know. Maybe you’re doing a Webinar to sell your cleanse, you don’t have to. Cleanses are usually in the category of less expensive, but again, you’re selling one to many and usually want to have a big group for our cleanses and detoxes and these types of things.
So anyway, you might want to think about it, but in terms of what kind of bonus you can offer. So one thing that you see a lot of isn’t early bird incentive. It’s nice from a business point of view because if you’re putting together a group program, there’s a lot of work that goes into that. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you have a group instead of waiting until the very last moment to find out that only one person signed up. I mean I hope that doesn’t happen to you, but these things do happen. So I always like knowing, yes, I have a group like 10 people signed up today, so I know I have a group running who I can just put it out of my mind that I may have to cancel or reschedule or whatever. So when early bird can work really beautifully for that, and sometimes that’s done with pricing.
So if your cleanse is like $99, maybe they sign up today and they get it for like $79, that’s very common. You can also do an early bird with a bonus. So sign up today, sign up by whatever date and you’ll get such and such bonus. You just have to remember that this is a bonus that not everybody in your group is going to have. So it can’t be something that is part and parcel to your program. If everybody needs recipes, then you can’t make the recipes a bonus for the early bird. Makes Sense? Now let’s talk about that because you could also have a bonus that everybody gets and a way to create that bonus is to take something you’re already giving them and call it a bonus. You don’t have to come up with this whole other thing for them. You could say like, I’m doing this cleanse.
Here’s what your. You know how you’re going to feel. This is the problem. It’s going to solve for you. You’re going to do x, Y, Z, and as a bonus you’ll get this cookbook with a set of suggested meals for the week. I mean really you were going to give that to everybody anyway, but everyone loves to get a bonus. It increases the perceived value of what they’re getting. EU bonus. Oh, that’s exciting. So there’s a little bit of psychology behind this. It’s why you see bonuses offered the way that they are. So take something you’re already doing. Call it a bonus. Everybody gets it. And just in general when you’re trying to come up with what these bonuses should be, particularly if you are adding something extra, they usually come in three flavors. One would be more access or more personal support to a bonus that I’ve seen coaches do.
In fact I have done this myself is offer a bonus of a one on one session with you if it’s like a group program and that can be really nice because you can use it as a sales conversation potentially to turn someone into a private client. But anyway, they are proceeding it as a one on one session with you to review what’s gone on in this group program and decide what their next steps should be. So I’ve seen a lot of coaches do that with some great success there. So that would be an example of giving somebody more access or more access to you or more support as a bonus. Another type of bonus flavor is get it done faster. So trying to think of an example here, something that you can get done faster. Let’s say that it’s a group that you’re running that’s going to help moms feed their family on a budget, you know, maybe get it done faster is a bonus that has like a bunch of meal plans already created for them.
Okay. Actually that starts to fall into the other category which is done for you. But anyway, something that you can give them that would make their progress go faster. It could be a bonus and then the category or a flavor of bonus would be done for you. Something that is literally like, here I’m giving you this thing that..
This Pomegranate & Kale Christmas Salad is a gorgeous, healthy addition to any holiday table. Obviously.
But it has a couple other key advantages…
1. This can be a meal.
If you are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan or just don’t like your mother-in-law’s cooking…bring Christmas salad. It’s got protein and plenty of vegetables to count as a meal on its own, if necessary.
2. You just may get your Uncle Harold to eat kale.
All dressed up like this, even picky relatives may have a bite. You can high five yourself over this victory, even if political conversations with Uncle Harold are still a nightmare.
3. You actually have time for this.
Yeah, I know. You’re off to the office party and hoping those last minute Amazon-primed gifts actually arrive before Christmas. Luckily, this is a no-cook dish that you can make in two shakes of a reindeer’s tale.
If a project or a venture is not flowing in your business…it likely means that in some way you’ve put the cart before the horse. That’s why you’re not getting anywhere! In this episode Michelle shares:
– How to “back out” of your stuck places and rearrange your action items to achieve your goals.
– How and where to share testimonials.
– Why it may be counterproductive to look at other health coaches’ websites.
Hey there health coaches! Today we are going to talk about one of the biggest mistakes that health coaches are always making. It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can possibly make. This is putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, in your business. I’m going to share how to figure out if this is actually happening to you and what to do about it in just a moment. My name is Michelle Pfennighaus. I am a certified health coach with my own private practice. I also act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches and I appear in the curriculum at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. So what do I mean by putting the cart before the horse? It might look like this. Let’s say that you’re doing a big launch to sell your program online before you have an online audience. That’s an example. That could definitely be a case of the cart before the horse or what about spending, and I see this a lot.
What about spending a lot of time dollars, energy on a website before you’re clear on your target market? That’s like cart – horse. So my advice to you is if you are sort of banging your head against the wall, because a project is just not working, a venture is just not flowing, the energy is just not flowing and whatever you’re doing with your business, it likely often means that in some way you’ve put the cart before the horse and that’s why you’re not getting anywhere. Makes Sense. Right? So what do you do? I say that the best thing that you can do, honestly, this is something you should do every day that you sit down to work on your business. Instead of immediately getting down into the nitty gritty details of, Oh, I’m going to post this thing on Instagram, or Oh, I’m going to update my profile picture like all these small details backup.
Especially if you’re getting stuck in your business, back up the truck. Take a wider view like yes, today you might be banging your head against the wall trying to figure out how to put an email signup thingamajig on your webpage, but take a step back here. What are you actually trying to achieve? And when you look at that bigger picture, you might just realize that you know what, no one’s even going to your website today or tomorrow because it’s brand new and it’s not getting any traffic, it’s not coming up in any search results yet. It’s just a brand new site. So, who cares if there’s an opt-in form there or not? And if what you’re really trying to do with your business and build your list, instead of worrying about the dumb form, you could put together a workshop in your town. You could make highly, highly valuable face to face connections.
Build your list, save the website problems for another day when it actually matters, when it’s really going to, move the needle on your big goal. Okay? So that’s sort of the flow. Notice when you’re stuck, the Kart ain’t moving, take huge step back to reassess what you’re trying to achieve. Get that big picture and then rearrange your action steps. And we’re going to go through a few examples now. If you are here and watching online, go ahead and give me a like if you have ever felt sucks that stuck in your business. And in fact, I’d love if you would tell me in the comments, where are you getting stuck right now? Stuck in a big way, stuck in a small way. If you’re your here as we’re live streaming. I’m also happy to take your questions in just a moment. So anything that you’d like to discuss today, go ahead and pop those into the comments as well.
So, let’s see. Our very first question and our first a cart before the horse situation comes from Melissa and she posted, I need help. I’m frozen in place. It seems. I’m being told I need to have a blog to get a website started up. Writing is definitely not my niche. I watched one video that stated no blog was needed, but what needs to be on the website? Could I get away with just a landing page? I created a lead magnet, but I’m stumped when trying to create a landing page. I think I’ve narrowed down my target market to those who had been given Doctor ordered diet restrictions. They want to eat healthier, but they’re overwhelmed. My tagline that keeps coming to mind is eating healthy doesn’t have to mean bland and boring. I just can’t figure out how to start.
Alright Melissa. Let’s break it down. There was a lot there. What I hear is that you are worrying about your website and you’re worrying about your lead magnet and I’m going to suggest very gently that that may be putting the cart before the horse, so let’s just put the brakes on both of those issues just for now. Just set those to the side and instead I think the place to get started, you know, my humble opinion is really to work on that target market piece. Like what you got right now is a little bit vague. You’re saying that you help people and like any people, any age, any location, you know what people you help people who’ve been given, been given a diagnosis and a diet plan from their doctor and again, any kind of diagnosis, any sort of diet plan, and then it’s like that dot and what result are they going to get working with you?
Like do they learn how to cook? Is that the big result that they want to see? Do they heal themselves from whatever the illness is? What do they get off some sort of medication? Do they lose 30 pounds? What is the specific big result that they want to achieve? What is the reason they’re going to sign up to work with you? So that’s sort of my questions around your target market and I’m going to direct you and anybody else who’s listening to two of our past episode that we did specifically all about target markets. There’s episode 10 which is nailing your target market and episode 27 is your target market narrow enough and you can find both of these on iTunes or Stitcher or sooner. We’re going to have all of our episodes up on YouTube. Actually. That’s going to make them really easy to find there as well.
So start with that. And then in terms of marketing yourself, why not wait on the online marketing bits, like if you’re getting hung up on creating a landing page and things like that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge, huge fan of online marketing for sure, but why not get started with something that’s a bit more simple? You could do a presentation or a workshop in your local community like I was thinking maybe you know, figure out exactly what kind of client or you’re looking for here and you find the doctor’s office where that exact target market is going. That would be an ideal place to hold some type of workshop. So let’s say that you’re doing work with people who have, I don’t know off the top of my head, Melanoma. Okay. So you go into an office where they’re treating people specifically with melanoma.
Perfect, right. Got It. When I connect the dots really tight and you could get started that way, I think that will give you a clear path. You can get rid of the things that are kind of holding you back and challenging you and move right into what’s going to bring money into your business the most quickly. Alright, Melissa, I hope that helps. Let’s do another one. What’s another case of possibly maybe putting the cart before the horse?
Here’s one that came from Lisa. She says, I just graduated from IIN and I’m ready to get started with my own business. I’m in the process of obtaining my LLC and wanted others’ opinions if this is the correct step and if others did it themselves or hired professionals, for example, a company, lawyers, tax advisors, etc. to file for them, and then part two, if I’m a web based company, do I have to file in the state that I live and does it matter what state my clients are in who?
Okay, so just like real surface level, I’m going to answer your question on a couple of different levels, Lisa. So a surface answer for me is that you’re asking about if this is the correct step, and I want to say that if you were just graduating and you’re just getting started, really the correct first step is for you to start working with your first clients. That’s it, sole proprietor, if you just start working with your friend or your next door neighbor or whatever, you’re just operating as a sole proprietor, which means basically nothing. And on your tax return you can just claim income. You don’t have to file anything separate. Um, it’s just you as an individual earning some side cash like a babysitter, right? Like nothing. What we do is like babysitting, but it’s just a simple exchange of money for a very, very, very simple business.
And you can do that with no paperwork, no filing, no nothing. It’s much more important that you get experience because we can all get really dragged down by like the, the paperwork, the red tape, the oh, you got to file this there and the other place you got to hire this person, drains the life right out of you. And then you forget why you got into health coaching in the first place. So it’s super, super important to keep your fire fueled by helping people, having breakthroughs with clients. And yeah, in the meantime you can work on all this legal stuff as well. Okay, so that’s what I want to just put out there. That is your first step. Now I also want to direct you to episode number five and we talked about LLCs and tax ids. You can find that again on iTunes or Stitcher.
And here’s the big important thing. You can join us this Thursday for an event that we’re doing with Lisa Fraley. She is an attorney and a legal coach. She works with health coaches. She is a health coach. She’s a phenomenal resource and she would really be the right person to ask these types of questions too because, you know, I’m not a lawyer and any health coach In this group is probably not a lawyer, so I don’t want to be giving bad information and spreading this information, you know, from person to person, like a game of telephone. So I invited Lisa to join us. So we’re going to be talking about these types of questions. What do you have to do to get set up? What do you have to do to be practicing legally in different states across the country? So please sign up for that.
Um, if you’re listening, you can go to findyourbalancehealth.com/legalevent and um, this is happening on Thursday, December 13th, 2018. So Lisa definitely make it for that event. We’re going to want to talk about this question and then finally, why don’t I just answer, you know, what you really are asking is what did you guys do in your real lives and how did you really go about this? So Lisa, people do this all different ways, right? I know coaches who have an S.corp setup from the get go. I know people who, you know, it’s, it’s all different. There’s no one right way to do it, but I’ll just share with you quickly what my process was. I operated as a sole proprietor for many years. I just never got official with my business and I mean don’t tell anyone, but I lived in Massachusetts.
I lived in Virginia, I lived in New Jersey. I think Virginia is a red state. I was practicing all over the place. I never registered diddly squat with anybody until very recently. Now I’m all on the up and up, but no one was ever banging down my door, you know, the police never came and cuffed me because I hadn’t set up my business perfectly. I advise you to always pay your taxes and of course, of course set up your LLC, but don’t stress about it too much. And then when I finally did get set up as an LLC, I did hire a lawyer, a lawyer who works I didn’t hire Lisa because I didn’t know about Lisa at the time, but I did work with a lawyer who specifically worked with solopreneurs like myself. So she really understood my situation. Um, and it, it was just one of those things that I don’t have a head for and paying someone some money to get that taken care of. For me it was totally worth it. So that would be my advice.
Alright. Lisa’s saying, I did a summit before I ever worked with a client, maybe the cart before the horse. Now I don’t know how to get clients. My business is all online.
Well, you know, doing some sort of, I think like an online summit where you contribute to an event and you collect email addresses is a good. Well it is a way to grow your mailing list, Lisa, so I don’t think that’s necessarily cart before the horse. That’s just saying, hey, I have great information to share. I’m going to put it out to the world for free in exchange for email addresses, you know, then really your job is to sell to your mailing list and nurture your mailing list and those relationships and sell to them, which is like a whole other topic. But, uh, I don’t think you were putting the cart before the horse by participating in an online summit first, so don’t worry about that.
Okay. I have another one here. This will be our, uh, our third cart before the horse potential situation. And this one came from Francesca and she said, I’m considering sharing testimonials on my Facebook social media page to build my credibility as a health coach. I’ve just started working with clients and it may take months before I have enough testimonials to create a dedicated page. On my website, I only have two at the moment I have almost 400 followers on Facebook, but only 40 subscribers to my newsletter. Do you ever share testimonials on your social media or do you think it’s inappropriate and ineffective?
Alright, so a couple of things happening here. For starters, you don’t need a dedicated page on your website for testimonials. I don’t have one of those. A lot of people don’t. Most people don’t have something like that, so don’t stress about gathering enough testimonials to create this page that you’re envisioning in your mind.
It’s just not necessary. And in the meantime, whether you have one or two or three, however many testimonials you have, you can use them on your homepage. You can use them on your work with me page, you can use them on a sales page. You can even use them within a blog post, you know, anywhere that it makes sense in context is a nice place to drop in a testimonial. And as far as social media, yeah, totally. You can share testimonials on social media. I see a lot of times people will create like a square graphic for Instagram, for example, with a quote from a client and you might not want to post one of those every single day. Your followers might get tired of that, but once a week, once every other week, whatever it is, especially if you’re building up to some kind of launch, that would be an appropriate time to start dropping testimonials into your social media pages and so you could have a graphic and then in the text you can write up a mini case study essentially about what that client came to you with and the results that they got.
And that can be really powerful. However, I kind of want to steer you away from the testimonial stuff for just a second because I heard you say that you have 400 followers on Facebook but only 40 people on your email list. So to me that was like bap, bap, bap, you know, jumping off the page, important, important. This is where your attention is most needed is in growing that email list. And of course it sounds like you have an opportunity right in front of you with your Facebook following, you have 10 times as many people on Facebook, so why not tap into that following. Now, of course are lots of different avenues for building your mailing list, not just Facebook, but you definitely want to start concentrating on moving names from social media, from your audience in general onto your list. So what I’d like to recommend for you is that you check out my free training on how to double your mailing list and I would put the bulk of your energy there for now.
And so it might include showcasing testimonials, but not necessarily. You can sign up for that free training. And this goes for everybody. It’s called how to double your mailing list in the next 90 days by going to healthcoachpower.com/double. I’ll say that again. It’s healthcoachpower.com/double.
Alrighty. So if you guys who were here live have any questions for me, feel free to pop those into the comment area. We have some time for me to take some extra questions today and I intend to do so.
So, I have one here from Jamie. She says, has anyone ever offered in home group meal prep class? If so, how do you charge and do you have them buy their own ingredients or do you shop and add the price into what you charge?
So, Jamie, I read this in like 100 different thoughts went through my mind at once. You know like, if I was just to answer your specific question, I guess my answer would be do it however it works for you. So if it’s easier, send them a shopping list, tell them what to buy. Just be aware that they might buy the wrong thing. You say by swiss chard they’re going to buy spinach, whatever that might be. Good. Maybe that’s a learning experience for everybody and you can teach them. so anyway, I would just set it up the way that works best for you. I would also be very careful about any issues with preparing food, like not in a commercial kitchen. I think if you go to their house, that might be your safest bet. Again, I’m no lawyer, but if somebody gets sick from the food that you made, you know, you just want to have your bases covered with that.
I used to do cooking classes so it wasn’t a meal prep class, but it was sort of a small group cooking class and made some simple recipes together. Yes. In my kitchen because no one told me that that was a bad idea at the time. so I risked it I suppose. Nothing bad happened, but what I’ve found doing this type of work is that it is so much work, like the preparation I’ll get in all the ingredients, you know, planning the recipes and an actually while the people are there, it’s a lot of work and then cleaning up afterwards and blah blah blah. I mean, how much can you really charge for something like this and how many people can you really have in one kitchen? So, you have to carefully do the math to see if this is going to work for you. I thought it was a whole lot of fun.
It was kind of nice because it gave me confidence in those early months of my business, but financially, no way. It was not a good move at all and just energetically after a while it was just like, okay, you know, this isn’t doing anything for me. I’m going to let it go. But Jamie, what I want to suggest to you, first of all, go ahead and do it and see how it goes for you, but this is something that you could definitely, definitely run in an online format and that would eliminate any problems with whose kitchen you’re working in and having to clean the kitchen and having to clean up afterwards. And um, it also would eliminate the problem of only like six or seven people fitting in the room. You could have potentially hundreds of people that you meal prep with if you do it all online.
So, just imagine that for a second for everybody. Like, this is something I’ve never done this, but just occurred to me that you could send out a meal plan, a shopping list, all that stuff in advance. You can have, of course, in this case, everybody would buy their own ingredients, you would buy ingredients and then he would just set up your camera, kind of like I’m doing right now in front of you in the kitchen, you know, with the cutting board, with containers, whatever it is that you need and go through the process together. You could stream it live into a Facebook group or onto your Facebook page. People might have to pay to get access to it, so then you’d of course want to do It inside, inside a closed Facebook group, but I think it could be a really nice interactive experience. You could do it for free as a list builder. I mean, there’s so many ways that you could go with this, but I just feel like you would eliminate a lot of potential issues by turning this into an online experience. So just my two cents. I hope that is helpful, Jamie, and let us know how it goes.
Okay. Moving right along here. Monica says, you look so beautiful, michelle. Oh, flattery will get you everywhere. I want to tell you guys a trick. Actually, I’m on zoom right now and I use zoom constantly by the way, like I use webinars, I use it for meeting with clients. I use it for live streaming into Facebook like I’m doing right now. Zoom is just the bomb. Anyway, there’s a really cool little checkbox under the settings. I forget exactly where it is. If you go to like your preferences video, there’s something that you can check that says touch up your appearance and I got to say it just smooth things out a little bit. It’s kind of like a filter on Instagram. There’s not like 30 different filters. It’s just this one checkbox, but you got to try it. I’m hooked because it makes me look like I just put on makeup even though I didn’t.
Yvette has a question for us. She says, do you find that when you do free five-day challenges and spend some time nurturing people, respond more to a low-price tripwire or to a high-ticket signature program? If my goal is to fill my group program, what is the frequency and length of time that is realistic for successfully enrolling clients?
Um, you bet. I don’t totally understand enough about what you’re doing to be able to answer the second part of that question. I don’t think because I don’t know enough about your group program or who you’re working with or anything like that. I mean, one part of this in general is really thinking about what type of person you’re reaching. So here’s a fun example. In my own life, I love shopping on a budget. It’s like supermarket sweep every time I go to the grocery store.
Do you guys remember that game show? It’s like, I’m going to come in under $100 this week. I know and I know, I know. Take the eggs off. They’re going to make me go over. Okay. You know, I love, I just, it’s like a game for me, especially when you’re buying a lot of organic stuff to keep the budget in check. So I’m at one point in my business I thought, oh, you know, I’m really good at shopping on a budget. I should create like a five day challenge or some sort of program around helping people shop on a budget. But I quickly realized that the type of person who’s going to sign up to learn..
This may sound too simple to be true, but baked sweet potatoes taste GREAT with nut butter. (Use peanut butter, almond butter, whatever you like.)
I recently gave this a shot for breakfast because I was feeling hungry and busy and there wasn’t much in the fridge. Come on, you know how it goes.
I’d seen this combination floating around the internet and, hey…there’s fiber. There’s protein. There’s fat. There’s even a vegetable.
Breakfast GOLD. It’ll keep you full for hours and hours.
But also think: Snack. Lunch. Quickie dinner.
Let’s talk about baking those potatoes. Usually this is done for dinner in my house, where I stick 4 or 5 sweet potatoes into a covered casserole dish and pop ’em in the oven at 375F for about an hour. That’s it. Done.
(If they’re really big potatoes, cut them in half. You want them all to be about the same size so they cook evenly.)
Anything you don’t eat right away can be refrigerated for about a week. To reheat, I slice the potato in half and warm in the toaster oven.
Then plop some nut butter on top, and if it’s a fancy day, a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Want to take it a step further?
– Add banana or apple slices
– Add hemp or chia seeds
– Sprinkle some coconut flakes
– Top with cacao nibs