We spend a lot of time here at Health Coach Weekly talking about marketing and different things you need to work on to market your business.
All the marketing tips and tricks in the world are great, but at the end of the day the best gift you can give to your clients is the ability to be completely present with them. This is something that is sorely lacking in most people’s lives.
Being completely present has become even more challenging in our always connected ADD world, where everyone is buried in their mobile devices and continually distracted.
We have all met those people that when we are talking to them we feel like we are the only person in the room. For the rest of us that weren’t naturally born with this ability, being fully present is a skill we can learn.
Some of the most important aspects of being present are what you are not doing instead of what you are doing.
When talking with another person, what lots of people do is to listen just enough so they can formulate a response or have a running dialog in their head either agreeing or disagreeing with the other person. Neither of these are remotely related to being present.
When you are BEING with someone and are totally present you focus all your attention on them and actively LISTEN without any agenda. Not doing anything other than listening, not waiting for your chance to talk, not formulating your reply, just BEING with another person.
This may sound very simplistic but give it a try.
It is likely that any coaching client you are working with has either nobody or very few people in their life who truly know how to be present with them. There are some good practices to make this easier for you to be able to do. These apply whether you are live in person with someone or talking with them on the phone,
Put away all your devices. If you are in person, put away your phone and turn off the ringer; if you are on the phone with someone just be on the phone, turn off your computer and don’t go checking facebook while you are talking with someone.
Take 2 minutes to ground yourself before talking with your client. This can be as simple as putting away all distractions, rooting your feet into the ground and taking 10 deep breaths.
Ask yourself how you can be of service. Instead of thinking what you want out of the conversation (a new client, a product sale, etc.), think of how you can be of benefit to this person. If your product or service is the thing that will benefit them, fantastic; if not, don’t make the mistake of trying to force your agenda.
Listen way more than you talk. Learning to ask open ended, high mileage questions is a great skill whether you are talking with your clients, your kids, or anyone else in your life.
When you are completely present, it is easier to dig deeper instead of taking the first short answer someone gives you at face value. We are all basically the same in wanting to feel an authentic connection with another human being. I have found that for lots of people that have tons of “problems” in their life, the biggest problem is that no one has taken the time to truly listen to them and care.
This will actually help your clients infinitely more than you knowing the latest diet fad or super supplement. Once they can feel and know that you truly care about them, all of that other stuff becomes infinitely easier.
Many of my clients have been asking me whether they should add group programs to their coaching practices. As I dig deeper with them, this question is almost always a variation of the most common question I get, which is: “how can I find more clients?” Finding new clients is the biggest stumbling block I see coaches facing, and mastering this skill is the biggest predictor of success for your business.
Let me tell you what happened to me when I first started my coaching practice. I was lucky enough to have a fairly solid network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, so I didn’t have a tough time filling my client roster the first time around. The problem came when the first group of people completed their programs with me. I had assumed that I could just keep promoting my private coaching program to my list of contacts and continue to enroll people.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
What really happened was that all the people I knew who wanted private coaching had ALREADY signed up for private coaching. I hadn’t filled my network to include more potential private coaching clients. This was a huge mistake.
I realized I need to offer something different, and I knew if something didn’t change my business wasn’t going to make it. Around the same time, a handful of my clients had specifically asked me about cleanse programs. On a hunch, I sent a message to my newsletter list asking if anyone would be interested in joining a short cleanse program with me. The response was tremendous – 37 people enrolled the very first time I offered my cleanse program!
After my initial success, I continued to offer the program. What I realized was that there was a large group of people who wanted to hear what I had to say, but they didn’t want to commit to a full private coaching program. Offering a short group coaching program gave them the chance to work with me, and many of them signed up for this program every single time I offered it. I’ve worked with over a thousand clients in my short cleanse program since I began running it – and it’s something that always fills whenever I offer it.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be teaching a class on How to Run a Cleanse. This is one of the most popular classes I teach, and coaches tell me all the time that it’s a game changer for them.
In this class, I’ll share exactly what I did to create my cleanse program, and what I did to make it a cornerstone of my business. This class is completely free, but you do need to register to get all the details.
I hope you’ll be able to join us live, but if not I’ll send out a recording of the class after it’s ended. And, as always, I’m happy to answer your questions about this topic – just reply to this email.
I have a confession to make, I used to hold some serious misconceptions about network marketing. It was about 10 years ago, I found an organic skin care company that I thought was going to be “the thing” that finally allowed me to quit working in the pharmaceutical industry and work for myself.
I fell for the network marketing myth. I signed up (under someone who really didn’t understand the business), learned all I could about the products and the company and started doing what the company told me to do. Basically, it was the same story, go approach every person you have ever met and tell them how awesome this business is and how they can make a good income by just sharing the business with a couple of people.
If you have ever joined a network marketing (sometimes referred to as MLM, or multi-level marketing) you may have run into some of the same stumbling blocks I did. I hated “selling”, I got a knot in my stomach whenever I would go tell a friend of mine about the business, and after about 5 months, I became one of the huge numbers of people that were happy to tell everyone that network marketing doesn’t work.
So fast forward quite a few years. When I started Health Coach Weekly a few years ago, I brought this baggage with me. I said I will “never” promote anything in the network marketing industry. Then a funny thing happened. I met person after person that had made it work for them. Sure, many of them were promoting products that there was no way I would put my seal of approval on, but I started to pay attention. Then I met someone that had built some enormous organizations without ever approaching her warm market (now I’ve met quite a few more). I even have a friend that almost never calls someone to get them to join her business. Either they call her or just show up, and she is more successful than all the “old school” marketers in her organization.
I had seen enough to know that my judgment of the business model was wrong but I still was hard pressed to find a company that I could really get behind.
I basically found 3 kinds of companies when I started really doing my research.
The products were not something I could be passionate about without “apologizing” for some of the ingredients. Either they were not organic, had GMO ingredients, were full of fillers, binders or they were just some “wonder” juice, pill, or potion, no thanks.
The products were good but the company had been around so long that I already knew hundreds of independent representatives from the business. As you can imagine, with a site like mine, I get approached pretty much on a weekly basis with the next “big opportunity”. Some of these companies are great but I have an obligation to help others be successful which is harder when everyone you know is already involved or has heard of your company.
The products seemed good but they were so expensive, no one would be buying them unless they were a distributor and making money.
I’m sure you have sat in on some of these “opportunity” calls or webinars. They all sound great, just get a few customers and sign up 3 more “business builders”, help them do what you did and you will be all set. Like most things in marketing, there is a kernel of truth to this. In theory, at least…in reality, it is a lot of hard work, just like every other kind of business. I do think, however, for health coaches, there is a good place for network marketing for many coaches. At the least, you are probably wanting to be able to give your clients access to some really excellent products, and if you find a company that has managed to keep the pricing competitive, this can be a nice extra income source. Most coaches I talk to already recommend certain products from the health food store. If you can find similar products that are valuable for your client and you make money on, I look at that as a win-win.
Of course, the big thing that seduces people into looking at network marketing is the promise of “residual income”, basically earning money tomorrow for work you have done today. Anyone I have talked to that has actually built up a substantial residual income did not do it by signing up 3 people into their business and then helping them. I know some people that have done it in an amazingly short amount of times by working incredibly hard and following some very good systems and training. But even the friends I’ve met who took 3 to 5 years to build up a $10,000 – $20,000 + / month “residual income” still worked very hard.
So basically, what I am saying, is don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater like I did. Network marketing is a perfectly fine business model as long as it is done right. Just like there are slimy internet marketers and used car salesman, you can find the same thing in network marketing. There are also lots of heart-centered network marketers full of integrity just like in any other field. They are just not always the ones that are speaking the loudest. Just don’t fall for all the low-work, get-rich hype that still exists in the industry and fuels this whole network marketing myth.
The industry is evolving again, and in next week’s article I will talk a little about this evolution and how this will be a very good thing for anyone who is involved or wants to be involved in one of the companies that makes this crucial shift and matures.
What do we do in today’s world, where our food is so denatured and contaminated?
When I began coaching my aim was pretty simply to help my clients make better choices more often. Help them understand how to cook once and eat often, crowd out less healthy foods with healthier options, get more sleep and exercise, try quinoa and kale and eat more greens etc.
Nowadays though, I see people getting less results, finding it harder to follow through on their good intentions. They’re still bloated, not losing weight, have brain fog and low energy. I’m seeing people settle for less, they’re just kind of assuming this lackluster health is the new normal, and are afraid to part with their money to try and remedy the situation because they have tried before and nothing has worked. Or something worked for a while and then it all went back to ‘normal’. They don’t want to pay for yet more information that probably conflicts with the last lot of information, they’re confused and frustrated and tired and low energy and not in great health to be making good decisions in the first place.
Not good for business. Not good for clients.
So what do we do when we recommend people eat more greens, consume more whole foods, real foods, only to find those foods sprayed with Glyphosate or genetically modified? When that leads to just about everyone’s digestive system being compromised with flattened villi, a permeable gut, and an imbalanced microbiome? Once upon a time, there were coaches who specialized in “digestive disorders”, now it seems we all need to.
There are so many voices out there telling consumers what to think, what to do, what’s right and wrong. And they’re all saying something different.
How do we, as coaches, not become just another voice?
How do we not get sucked into the void of negativity that just fosters apathy and overwhelm, and instead be a beacon of hope and positivity?
How do we shine a light on what IS possible and remind people they DO have power, and there ARE good choices and we CAN change the world?
I believe health coaches need to become the change bringers. We need to inspire and motivate people to give a damn, about themselves, each other and this planet. I believe that change can begin with reconnecting people to their food.
We can’t just recommend dietary changes anymore – we need to give them TOOLS so they can actually follow through on those recommendations in a world that has them stressed and working long hours, surrounded by low quality food in a busy, toxic, information overloaded world.
And actually I say information overload because there’s so much conflicting information, but in many ways, there’s not enough information in the right places. It’s not on our labels, for example, we are being told half-truths and marketing sleights of hand on our labels.
So how do we become change bringers?First of all WE must become informed.
Deeply informed. I think we need to look at both sides of issues, not just the bits that support what we want to believe. If we are to help our clients’ negotiate the quagmire we need to be able to communicate both sides so they can see clearly. Rather than telling your client what to think, help them find enough sensible information from both sides so they can draw their own intelligent conclusions.
Second, We need to question everything.
We seem to be on an ever-changing playing field, the rules keep changing, we discover new info, food changes, we change, our interrelationship with food changes – everything is moving. So surely, my learning, my opinion, the openness of my mind must also be nimble footed and constantly updated and re-informed?
Plus, there are mistruths and downright lies out there, we can’t take things at face value, we need to find the people we trust, the voices we know speak the truth. And even then, we should question and trust only ourselves. And we should be teaching our clients to do the same. Help them find the truth speakers – that’s one of the TOOLS we can give our clients – point them in the direction of people who speak more truth than not, and places they can find them.
And thirdly we need to be guides, not dictators.
Certainly, we can lean heavily in one direction in terms of our values and what we believe to be true, and we can lend weight to those voices that seem to us to speak more truth. But if we are not to become just another part of the problem, another voice with yet more conflicting information, then our job must be to shine a light, DEmystify, unravel the crazy, so that average, normal, slightly brain fogged people can understand what’s what and make those better choices.
People are busy, overwhelmed and stressed already. Poor health isn’t helping the problem and the state of our confusing, malnourished, toxic food supply is just amping everything up to 9 gazillion.
The final thing we need to do is unravel everything we know, and come back to where our client is: just starting out on this giant food vs. health quest, slightly intimidated, frustrated and confused.
They’re busy, they’re not going to make perfect choices all the time. How do they make a good choice if they don’t know how to read a label? Why would they bother reading a label if they don’t understand that they can’t necessarily trust the pretty picture on the front that says it’s “All natural” and therefore good for you?
We need to explain the situation, help them see and understand the terrain they are dealing with, then we can coach them to find some better habits. We need to give them tools and skills so that they can make those better habits more often in their busy lives. And we need to connect them to resources where they can find those better choices more easily.
I personally believe coaches should be earning from connecting clients to healthy resources, whether they be other practitioners, stores, books, movies, online tools or products. We all have places, people and products we trust. How often do you make recommendations to your clients? Shouldn’t you earn from that referral in some way?
Become a connector – connecting your clients to things and people and places that will open their mind, continue their education, inspire their belief, motivate their desire and help them actually DO what they want to do in a world that is otherwise confusing and cluttered. Try things for yourself, find the good ones and you’ve done half the work for your client. That’s VALUABLE to your client. They’re not going to do that for themselves, but if you’ve done it and they trust you, you can help them hugely.
That trust is crucial though, and it is to be respected. Don’t take advantage of that trust. Make sure you are informed and making the best choices you can with what you’ve got, make sure your client understands that that’s all you can do – make the best choice you can with what you’ve got. Things change, people change, information shifts and moves all over the place, we may make new and better choices later. We can only do our best.
We can be change bringers, we can help open people’s eyes, we can give them tools, teach them skills, give them hope and belief so that they will not give up on their quest for a brighter future. Knowing what to do isn’t enough these days, your clients need to know HOW to do it in their busy lives. And we can’t just get them eating whole foods, real foods, crowding out and sleeping and exercising more without giving them an understanding of the playing field.
We need to know about Glyphosate and GMO, we need to consider the vaccination issue, we need to know how to read labels, we need to understand our food is malnourished, (by poor soils, glyphosate, shipping, irradiation, early harvesting) we need to understand how the gut is compromised by all of this and how that affects everything. “All disease begins in the gut” said Hippocrates wisely 2000 something years ago, and here we are, in the future with imbalanced microbiomes, permeable guts, flattened villi and immune systems crying out for help.
If you are to get RESULTS for your clients, you need to help them in today’s world, it’s not the same world that existed even 30 years ago (first RoundUp Ready crops). We can’t just blindly assume our food will make us healthy and is safe anymore. You need to give them tools as well as info, you need to show them the world they are operating in and then help them negotiate that world. Only results will get you referrals and retention of clients.
If we can start to get those results, maybe we can change the world.
Please join me for this webinar I did with my colleague and fellow Health Coach Mandi Elmore called “Having the Guts to Get Healthy”. In it we will discuss the microbiome and why it is crucial for you to understand this for both your own health as well as your clients.
We will empower you with lots of new information you will want to know and some amazing tools you can use to improve your microbiome.
I typically keep my articles on Health Coach Weekly focused on business building tools and strategies but there has been something happening over the past couple of years that I think really needs to be addressed and isn’t talked about much in the GMO debate.
With the publishing in The New England Journal of Medicine “GMO’s, Herbicides, and Public Health”, I am hoping we can reverse this trend of accepting this notion that GMO safety is “settled” science. Just because someone questions the safety of GMO foods does not really make them anti-science, a point I hope to drive home in this rant, I mean article.
I have seen a shift in strategy in the media over how to frame the question of GMO safety. This new strategy involves making it sound that the overwhelming majority of science points to the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms.
This takes on several disguises.
“We have been genetically modifying foods for millennia.” Modern GMO technology cannot be compared to historical genetic crossbreeding where two somewhat similar plants were cross breeded. Things like inserting fish genes into tomatoes and strawberries is a little different than crossing 2 apples to make them a little sweeter, or redder, or more drought resistant.
“The majority of scientists agree on the safety of GMO’s”. I hate to say this, but just because a body like the American Medical Association says something is safe, I am not going to automatically take that as gospel. Especially in the USA, many of the scientific institutions that our government relies on in setting policy are funded by and/or headed by industry insiders. There is a well known “revolving door between industry and political appointments. If there were true scientific consensus, why do around 64 other countries in the world require labeling of GM foods?
“There may be some safety issues with herbicides, but this is not the same as GMO’s”. This is, in my opinion, the crux of the problem right here. This is both brilliant as a marketing strategy and ridiculous as a matter of practicality.
In this country at least, the vast majority of GM crops are genetically modified for basically 2 purposes, either to withstand the spraying of large amounts of herbicides such as Monsanto’s Roundup, or to actually engineer a pesticide to be contained within the seed or plant itself, such as Bt corn.
The reality is that in most of the developed world, the separation of GMO’s and pesticides is not a realistic argument. The vast majority of GM crops grown and consumed in the USA are either designed to be herbicide resistant or to contain internal pesticides.
The first of the two developments that raise fresh concerns about the safety of GM crops is a 2014 decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve Enlist Duo, a new combination herbicide comprising glyphosate plus 2,4-D. Enlist Duo was formulated to combat herbicide resistance. It will be marketed in tandem with newly approved seeds genetically engineered to resist glyphosate, 2,4-D, and multiple other herbicides. The EPA anticipates that a 3-to-7-fold increase in 2,4-D use will result.
In our view, the science and the risk assessment supporting the Enlist Duo decision are flawed. The science consisted solely of toxicologic studies commissioned by the herbicide manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s and never published, not an uncommon practice in U.S. pesticide regulation. These studies predated current knowledge of low-dose, endocrine-mediated, and epigenetic effects and were not designed to detect them. The risk assessment gave little consideration to potential health effects in infants and children, thus contravening federal pesticide law. It failed to consider ecologic impact, such as effects on the monarch butterfly and other pollinators. It considered only pure glyphosate, despite studies showing that formulated glyphosate that contains surfactants and adjuvants is more toxic than the pure compound.
The second new development is the determination by the IARC in 2015 that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen”1 and 2,4-D a “possible human carcinogen.”2 These classifications were based on comprehensive assessments of the toxicologic and epidemiologic literature that linked both herbicides to dose-related increases in malignant tumors at multiple anatomical sites in animals and linked glyphosate to an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans.
These developments suggest that GM foods and the herbicides applied to them may pose hazards to human health that were not examined in previous assessments. We believe that the time has therefore come to thoroughly reconsider all aspects of the safety of plant biotechnology. The National Academy of Sciences has convened a new committee to reassess the social, economic, environmental, and human health effects of GM crops. This development is welcome, but the committee’s report is not expected until at least 2016.
In the meantime, we offer two recommendations. First, we believe the EPA should delay implementation of its decision to permit use of Enlist Duo. This decision was made in haste. It was based on poorly designed and outdated studies and on an incomplete assessment of human exposure and environmental effects. It would have benefited from deeper consideration of independently funded studies published in the peer-reviewed literature. And it preceded the recent IARC determinations on glyphosate and 2,4-D. Second, the National Toxicology Program should urgently assess the toxicology of pure glyphosate, formulated glyphosate, and mixtures of glyphosate and other herbicides.
Finally, we believe the time has come to revisit the United States’ reluctance to label GM foods.
“GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health.”
Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., and Charles Benbrook, Ph.D.
N Engl J Med 2015; 373:693-695 August 20, 2015
I think the next year or 2 will be the deciding factor of the future of GM foods in the US. It has finally reached the mainstream and if we can all get well educated so we are not painted into an “anti-science” corner as the food industry would like, we have a real shot at getting GM labeling laws passed in the near future. Of course, it could easily go the other way, similar to the vaccine debate, the choice is up to us.
I recently received an email from one of our Wellness Business Academy students sharing the wonderful news that she’s made the decision to quit her corporate job and commit to her business full-time.
Then she dropped a bomb.
“I’ve given myself two months to replace my income before I start looking for another job.” Oy!
That got me thinking… if I had two months to replace a full-time income, what would I do, where would I start, and can it be done?
So I decided to write out a step-by-step guide walking my WBA student through her first 60 days of entrepreneurial freedom. This guide is for you too if…
You want to replace your full-time income but don’t know how
You aren’t yet making the kind of money you need or desire to be making
The little free time you do have is being wasted on Facebook because you don’t know what steps to take first
You’ve committed to growing your business but can’t seem to get it together
DISCLAIMER: Starting a business is hard work and not for the faint of heart. It takes dedication and self-discipline to grow a purpose-based business, especially when you are learning new skills (sales and technology) for the first time.
Yet, DO NOT EVER THINK FOR ONE MINUTE THAT YOU CAN’T DO IT, BECAUSE YOU CAN IF YOU CHOOSE TO. Success is a choice, not an accident. Are you ready to be successful?
Choose the Right Mindset
When I first took my business online I developed a NO PLAN B mindset. For me, for my WBA student and for you, there cannot be a backup plan — “If this doesn’t work out, I’ll go find a job.” Get rid of that option. It simply just doesn’t exist for you anymore.
Appreciate that almost everything you do from here on out will be unknown. You are creating something from nothing, so feeling extremely vulnerable (most of the time) comes with the territory.
Acknowledge the voice in your head — “Who do you think you are?” “Can I really do this?” “Will this work out?” — as a benchmark for creativity. The voices are only there when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. No voice = you are playing it safe and not pushing your boundaries.
Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, says that before you achieve confidence you have to commit to the project. Commitment ignites feelings of courage. Then you start to feel capable of achieving the task. When you feel capable, you feel confident. You don’t start out feeling confident but you’ll get there by simply committing to a NO PLAN B mindset. Remember, success is not a given, it’s a choice.
Set the Entrepreneurial Stage
Setting the entrepreneurial stage happens before you quit your job. It’s important to set yourself up for success before you hand in the last letter of resignation letter you will ever write.
There is some information you need to gather so you can best determine where to spend your time and money starting up your business.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Answer these questions:
How much money do you NEED to earn to replace your income?
How much money do you WANT to earn in the first 60 days?
Do you need to cut back or create a tighter personal budget for the first 60 days?
How much money do you have to invest in your business?
It’s important for you to know your numbers. Numbers don’t lie and they will become your guideposts as you build your business.
Once you know how much money you need to earn, use that number to help you price your programs and set client attraction and conversion goals.
You would need two 1:1 clients and five people in your group to replace one month of income.
The following month you’d need four 1:1 clients to replace the next month of income.
When you know your numbers, you can break the big goal down into little chunks so it doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
PLAN YOUR TIME
Ah, time freedom! Doesn’t it feel good to work on your own schedule? Of course it does. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that I must manage my time or it will manage me.
Lunches with friends, afternoon coffee breaks, doing personal stuff in the middle of the day just because I can, procrastinating because I am only accountable to myself… then the end of the day comes and I’m miserable because I don’t feel like I’ve gotten anything accomplished.
I’ve been there. It’s not a good feeling.
Create tight boundaries around personal time, social time, focus time and admin time.
Identify your magic time and fiercely protect it. (This is the time where you can focus and get more done than you could all day)
Inform loved ones that you will be tied up for the next 60 days as you start up your private practice and that you appreciate any additional support they can offer.
Do you have a family or are you responsible for anyone else aside from yourself?
Sit down with your spouse or partner and communicate the big reason why you are starting up your own business. As Simon Sinek says, “Start with why.” Ask for support, more support than usual for the next 60 days.
Write out a list of all household responsibilities
Write out a list of all child responsibilities
Write out a list of all personal duties and responsibilities
Review your calendar for the next 60 days to identify important dates and things that can be rescheduled
What tasks and responsibilities can you delegate? Who in your family or immediate community can take some of the responsibility off your shoulders for a short time?
Write the name of the person down beside the task so it’s clear whose responsibility it is. Remove as much responsibility from your plate as possible… and don’t feel guilty about it!
Who does the laundry, the grocery shopping, paying the bills, scheduling appointments, getting the mail, walking the dog, packing school lunches, reading the school agenda, cleaning the house, scheduling play dates, buying birthday party presents, and organizing family dinners? (Can you tell I’m also a mom?)
Set and communicate your expectations with your family members and friends — otherwise, you are going to get very annoyed. They don’t know you need a clear headspace and time to focus… all they know is that you are now available to go for coffee in the middle of the afternoon because you now work from home.
It’s perfectly OK to say, “I’m going off the grid for a while so that I can deeply focus on building my dream business. Spending time with you is important to me and please be patient if I don’t get back to you right away.”
PRO TIP: I replace the BUT in that sentence with AND. Read it again with BUT and it doesn’t feel good… use AND/YET whenever you can instead of BUT.
Create the Game Plan
Let’s avoid sitting down at the computer and not knowing where to start or what to focus on each day, OK? Pinky promise?
First, do a brain dump. Get everything swirling around in your head onto paper. It doesn’t need to be organized or neat and it sure won’t be pretty. Get everything out, including your worries and limiting beliefs.
Feel better? Put the paper aside.
Before you dive into creating anything — a website, logo, social media platforms, programs, etc. — you are going to spend time brainstorming and planning. Too many health coaches, nutritionists, energy healers and fitness pros go right into program-creation mode before creating a strategic plan for their business.
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, HOW
Who are you going to be a hero to? What kind of clients do you want to work with?
There is NO need to reinvent the wheel. Someone else has already created a “good enough” program for you to use to get started. Since you likely don’t know how to create a turn-key program or have time to spend on creating one, your best solution is to invest in one that’s already done and tweak it as necessary.
Instead of investing money into building a website, use your Facebook page as a website. Don’t worry about any other social media. It’s a distraction right now.
TIME TO GET STRATEGIC
Let’s face it — there is a lot to do each day in order to start up and grow your holistic health business. And most of us have issues with self-discipline, follow-through, and strategically setting goals and a game plan to achieve them.
Revisit the revenue goal = $3,000/month.
We’ve already established how many clients that would take in the first and second month. Now let’s get strategic about it and create a game plan.
How many free talks do you need to give each month?
How many transformational conversion conversations do you need to hold to get the number of clients you need each month?
In your free seminar there are 20 people and you convert 10 percent of the room into clients = 2 new clients. So you would need to get in front of 60–80 people every month to secure 6–8 new clients/month, which is more than what you need.
Of course, over time, your conversion rate will improve so you will need to get in front of fewer people.
So your focus should be on booking speaking gigs with a minimum of 20 people in the room for the first 60 days.
In addition, here’s a list of must-do actions:
CREATE A CLIENT ATTRACTION LEAD MAGNET – Create a lead magnet that ties in to your program so that you can attract the right kind of client who is interested in that topic/has that pain point (you will use this lead magnet as a free gift in each of your talks to grow your list)
PLAN YOUR CONTENT IN ADVANCE – Brainstorm weekly blog topics that will double as newsletter content. Think of all of the questions you are asked about the topic you are an expert in, and each one becomes a blog (don’t want to blog? Film a video)
CREATE A MARKETING CALENDAR TO PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT – What content are you putting out each day?
SCHEDULE SPEAKING GIGS – Create a pitch email that you can further personalize to introduce yourself and offer free seminars to the 100 businesses and people you’ve already identified. Commit to sending out a minimum of 20 pitches per week
INVITE PROSPECTS INTO TRANSFORMATION – Email friends, family and colleagues with a description of your business and a share a “family and friends discount” offer to work with you
Now you have a plan to make you $3,000 as a health coach.
Get the right mindset.
Know your numbers.
Who, what, where, how.
Handle the administration.
Get strategic with your time.
Focus on the action tasks that drive your business forward and forget about everything else.
Take the path of least resistance. There is no need to make this journey harder than it needs to be by overthinking, overanalyzing and second-guessing yourself.
Do you want to fill your programs, but not sure how?
If you are considering launching an in-person or virtual program in the next few months, you might be wondering how you can reach a wider audience than your current list.
While my team and I focus our work on online marketing strategies, I think it’s very important that you don’t miss out on offline marketing strategies.
If you have a larger list, you may want to focus promoting your programs via promotional emails to your list and through affiliate or Joint Venture partners.
If you don’t have a list or have a smaller list, you will want to focus on offline marketing strategies to promote your programs.
Today I am going to share 3 powerful ways to market your program – even if you don’t have a list and are just starting out.
Strategy #1: The “preview” workshop
A preview workshop is similar to a preview call, where you speak about a topic related to the program you are planning to offer.
For example, if you are going to offer a detox that is focused on food sensitivities, you could offer a preview workshop called “Food Sensitivities & How They Are Affecting Your Weight, Mood, & Digestion.”
During the workshop, you will make an invitation for participants to take it further in your upcoming program.
Start by contacting people you have a connection with. Here are some ideas of places you might want to speak: gyms, yoga or pilates studios, personal training studios, acupuncture clinics, chiropractor offices, mom’s groups, women’s groups, corporations, and health food stores.
HOT TIP: Find places where your ideal clients hang out and places that have the foot traffic to draw a crowd. You don’t simply want a space. You want a space that has a large audience and is willing to promote your workshop and fill your programs.
Schedule at least 3 live speaking engagements, 1-2 weeks before your program starts.
Strategy #2: Offer a “preview” teleseminar with a promotional partner
The idea behind this strategy is to reach beyond your current list. You can do this by hosting a joint teleseminar with a colleague.
The teleseminar content will be the same as the preview workshop described above.
Your colleague or promotional partner will market the teleseminar to their list, giving you more exposure.
Who makes a good potential partner?
Identify someone who reaches a similar audience but offers something complimentary to you and does not compete with you.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues who have been in business longer than you or have a bigger list than you.
Then, set up squeeze page (also known as a registration, opt-in, or landing page), where people will go to register for the teleseminar. When people register for the teleseminar they will automatically be added to your list.
HOT TIP:Make it very easy for your partner to promote the teleseminar. Provide your partner with copy for 2 emails and several social media posts that they can simply copy and paste and use to promote the teleseminar.
Strategy #3: Partner with an existing brick and mortar business
If you want to enroll a large number of people into your program, find a partner that offers complementary services.
Several of our clients have had success marketing a detox or cleanse through fitness-related businesses that have a brick and mortar business.
One of our clients had over 100 people in the first launch of her detox, and another client had over 300 people in the first launch of her detox using this strategy.
Examples of fitness-related businesses:
· yoga studios
· Pilates studios
· ballet bar studios
· personal training studios
· Cross Fit gyms
There are likely opportunities for partnerships all around you.
Start with personal connections. This doesn’t have to be a close friend, but think about places you frequent, people you have met, or friends of friends.
As in Strategy #2, above, make it easy for your partner to market. Your partner is busy, just like you and me. Make it super easy for them to promote your program. Provide them with pre-written emails and social media posts they can simply copy and paste.
You know what time it is. And so do your ideal clients!
No matter how old you get, September always feels like Back-to-School time. Whether or not you’re busy shopping for school supplies, you feel the start to something new.
In many ways, this time of year is similar to New Year’s. Like they do in January, your prospective clients are reflecting on where they are and where they want to be, in their lives, in their health, etc.
And, not coincidentally, you’re having the same thoughts except they include where you are and where you want to be in your health coaching business.
This makes for the perfect synergy to offer exactly what your ideal health coaching clients are looking for, and get exactly the results you’re looking for in your business!
There are lots of different ways to inject new energy into your business to attract new clients or build your list. The key is to take action based on your specific business needs, and your personal style, and not just rush off to try what you think you should do, or what you see other health coaches doing.
Depending on where you are in your business growth, here are some ideas you could implement – or at least get started – quickly over the next couple of weeks.
Start Building or Boosting Your List
List building systems should be incorporated into your online presence to grow your leads consistently.
Additionally, you can commit to focusing on boosting your list for the next 30 days. Whether your list is new, or you want to plump it up in advance of a product launch you have planned, now is a good time for it.
One of the easiest and best ways to build your list is to offer an incentive in exchange for an email address. The incentive can be in the form of a gift, such as a free ebook, video or email series. It can also be in the form of an event, such as a free teleseminar that requires RSVP with an email address.
The key to offering the right incentive to attract new health coaching prospects to your list, is to be clear who your Ideal Client is and what their top 3 challenges are. Your incentive gift or event would be designed as a simple solution to one or all of those problems.
For example, if your Ideal Client is stuck on losing those last 10 pounds, your free gift could be “Seasonal Secrets to Losing the Last 10” in the form of an ebook with recipes or a live teleseminar promoted on Facebook and Twitter.
If your list is new, you’ll want to promote your free gift or event on social media, at networking events and speaking engagements. If you have referral or joint venture partners, let them know about your free gift and ask if they’ll spread the word.
If you already have an active list, you can also promote your new offer or event to your tribe encouraging them to share it with friends.
Announce a Group Event
Cleanses do well before Summer, and around New Year’s, but did you know that the start of the Fall season is also an excellent time for a detox group? Your tribe is feeling a little guilty about the extra beers, ice cream cones and grilled burgers they enjoyed this Summer, and will welcome your Cleanse/Detox offer now.
Consider putting a Back-to-School or Autumnal spin on it to make it extra timely, and begin marketing your group right away. Offer a discount if they enroll early, but avoid using dates around Labor Day weekend as limiters, as most people won’t pay much attention until after the holiday.
You can plant the seed before Labor Day and followup with a post-holiday reminder with a limited time discount. Set the startdate of your group enough weeks away to give you adequate time to market your group.
Groups are easiest to fill if you have a large active list and/or social media presence. If your list is small and/or inactive, focus on a list-building strategy for now instead.
Offer a Discount on Services
Rather than creating something new, you could promote your current programs and products with a Back-to-School sale. If you have a shopping cart system in place, create coupon codes with an expiration date and share those coupon codes with your list, on social media and offer them to your referral and joint venture partners.
A limited-time discount on your Health Coaching Program can be just the kickstart your prospective client needs to get herself into action.
Offer a link to your Breakthrough Session, which you can also offer free or at a discount, on all of your marketing platforms.
Another way to use the Back-to-School energy is to offer a special themed Breakthrough Session. For example, your usual Healthy Life Breakthrough Session temporarily becomes the Back-to-SelfCare Session for Moms and you market it specifically to those moms on your list who suddenly have more time for self-care after school opens.
Consider also an End-of-Summer Sale, a Fall theme, seasonal eating tips, a No White after Labor Day teleseminar about eating colorful foods, etc. There are lots of ways to play with this, so have fun with it and see what you come up with.
Commit to Blogging
Your blog is your very best SEO tool. Keep it updated with fresh articles, use keywords, categories and tags, and be sure to share the link to your new posts in social media and your email marketing campaigns. If you haven’t been posting consistently, you could challenge yourself to take it up a notch over the next few months.
Begin by posting at least twice each month, then increase to a weekly schedule and if it works for you, try posting more than once a week.
Don’t worry if you don’t like writing. Your blog posts can be a combination of brief articles, audio recordings, video embeds, recipes, lists, how-to’s, links and photos. And I’ve found, the more you write, the easier it gets.
If you’re in need of post topics, try this quick written exercise:
What are the top 10 questions clients or friends ask you about how to eat healthy [insert your specialty here]? Don’t think about it too long, write the first 10 things that pop into your mind.
Depending on how specific or broad these questions are, you now have at least 10 blog post topics to use and most likely, far more than that, from just this list. See how you could break up some of these questions into 2-3 blog posts.
Launch a New Website
If you’ve been working on a new website this Summer, now’s the time to prepare for a late September launch. Start creating a buzz by planting seeds in your newsletters and on social media. Plan a virtual Website Launch Party and offer a special discount or free gift as a party favor.
If you’re a Newbie ready for a health coaching business website of your own, you can have a semi-custom WordPress site launched in less than two weeks, or get to work this Fall on content for a new custom branded website.
You want to offer your holistic coaching services online and attract clients from around the world. But your website isn’t getting as many inquiries from prospective clients as you would like – or had hoped. You’re wondering what’s wrong.
Or maybe you haven’t yet created your website because you’re just getting started as a coach. Everyone is telling you that you NEED to have a website, but the process seems overwhelming – where do you start? And to make matters more complicated, you know that most other coach’s websites aren’t bringing them clients, and you don’t want to make the same mistakes.
In this article, I’ll reveal what to focus on step-by-step in order to attract ideal clients with your holistic practice website. And these steps can be used on an existing website or as the foundation for a new website. It works either way.
I’ll get into those steps in just a moment, but first let’s bust through some of the myths about what really makes a client attracting website. Why is it that one site attracts ideal clients like crazy and another sits like a billboard in the dessert?
Is it the colors or the graphics used? Do you need great web copy? Does it matter what font type you use or whether you include videos? Do you need to use WordPress? Or do you offer amazing programs?
While all of those website features can play a big part in attracting clients, none of these are what actually makes a website a client attracting magnet.
Here’s what I mean. I’ve seen plain looking websites that successfully sold four and five-figure coaching programs. I’ve also seen websites with cutting-edge online technology and great graphics that attracted no clients.
So while having an attractive website with videos and great graphics can definitely help you get clients, it’s not the first thing you need to be focusing on.
Think of it like this: Those website features mentioned above are not the cake; they are the icing on the cake. Most websites fail at attracting clients because they are like a well decorated rock – lots of icing, but no cake. Before you think about the decorating, you need a good (or great) cake recipe.
In the same way, before you hire a graphic artist, copywriter, web designer, and/or videographer, you want your website content to clearly answer the following 3 questions for your website visitors:
What’s in it for them?
Why should they listen to you?
What should they do next?
When I create a Mother Lode Website™ for my coaching clients, everything on the site will address one of those questions. (This is how we get website conversion rates of 42% and 52% on coaching websites!)
Here is a 10 point checklist to help you, too, create a client attracting website for your holistic coaching practice. And many of these can be done in just 1 day or less!
Step #1 – What’s in it for them?
When someone visits your site, you need to clearly communicate what you do and what’s in it for them. I call this your branding message. The content on your site needs to convey this in 15 seconds or less.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Are you solving a specific problem for a specific group of people? This is the easiest way to attract clients with your website. Be clear on this first before doing anything else.
2. Are you solving a problem that people are desperate to have solved? If you attract a lot of traffic to your site but no one is hiring you, this may be the reason. You may be offering a fabulous solution to a specific problem. But if people aren’t desperate for help, they won’t invest in hiring you.
3. Do you have a captivating headline? Your headline should speak directly to your ideal client and identify a) WHO this is for, b) the PROBLEM SOLVED, and 3) the RESULT they get. The best headlines will be short and include all three.
4. Are you offering a transformation? It’s not enough to offer a practical solution, like losing weight. You want to combine the solution with the emotions of why this is so important to them. For instance, women don’t want to just lose weight, they want to drop 2 dress sizes in 30 days, or look great in their swimsuit this summer, or look and feel 10 years younger.
People buy from people they know, like, and trust. This is where your credibility comes in, and it’s vital that you do this correctly. Here’s a checklist for doing this on your website:
5. Did you introduce yourself as a specialist or expert? People want to work with a coach or consultant who knows how to help them get fast results. They value expertise and will choose to work with a specialist over a generalist. You can give yourself a title or say you work with people just like them to get specific results. Either or both of those will work.
6. Did you include testimonials? The best testimonials include specific results your ideal clients got from working with you. For most coaching websites, testimonials will have a much bigger impact for attracting clients than credentials of where the coach went to school.
7. Did you tell your story? Even if you don’t have an About Page on your website, you should include content that shares your heart and passion about why you do what you do.
8. Can you describe your ideal client’s problem better than they can? If there is a shortcut (or secret) to creating irresistible marketing, this is it. People want to work with someone who really understands them. When you use words and phrases to describe your ideal client’s situation better than they can themselves, they immediately see you as the perfect coach for them.
Step #3 – What should they do next?
In marketing, this is called the “Call to Action.” The key to success is to ask website visitors to take ONE specific action. Each time you ask them to take another specific action; you will dilute your efforts and attract less clients.
9. Do you have a call to action on every page? For your landing page, your call to action will probably be a web form to get your free irresistible offer. You want site visitors to fill that out so you can follow up with them. But on a services page, your call to action might be instructions to call or email to learn how they can work with you.
10. Is your call to action prominent and clear? Have you ever wondered why people use big yellow buttons on their website? It’s because it stands out and you know exactly what to do – click on the button. While you don’t have to use a big, tacky button on your website, you do want your call to action to be very clear. Keep it simple, use larger font sizes, and use colors like red, orange, and yellow that attract attention.
Understand that your website is only one part of your marketing system where you attract potential clients, offer them the transformation they desperately want, generate leads, and sign them up for your coaching program.
For the typical health coach or holistic practitioner, the purpose of your main website is NOT to sell high-ticket programs directly from the website itself. Instead, you want to capture the attention of ideal clients and have them contact you to learn more about working with you. This is where the actual client enrollment happens. And if you’re just starting your coaching practice, client enrollment in private programs is the fastest track to cash and success.
Look at your current website and go through the 10 point checklist above. Then start implementing the steps one at a time, in the order that you see them. And if you’re like my existing clients, you’ll notice that you begin attracting clients more easily as soon as you get started.
Please leave a reply and share which checklist item you found most helpful – or which one you plan on implementing first on your site. We’d love to hear from you.
Every health coach I talk to is interested in getting a website for their business. Of course. Why wouldn’t you? It’s an essential tool for your health coaching business. However, it’s not the MOST important tool for your business and I recommend looking at the whole picture of a successful health coaching business before investing in a website.
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
I’ll contact the local yoga studio to offer a free talk as soon as my website is done.
I’ll post on Facebook about my health coaching business as soon as my website is done.
I’ll email my friends and family about my free consultation offer as soon as my website is done.
I’ll talk to my doctor friends about a referral partnership as soon as my website is done.
I’ll respond to the people who expressed interest in working with me as soon as my website is done.
I’m sorry if this hits you like bad news, but a website is not the solution to your business woes. You are. You are the most important tool in your health coaching business. Even the best, most beautiful, most customized, most expensive website in the world can’t bring you success if you’re not doing the work of putting yourself out there and sharing your unique message with the right people.
Some of my most successful clients came to me with no website (or something crappy, free and not up-to-date). But they had something more important: clients! How did they do it? They got out of their own way and put themselves in front of their target market. They were vulnerable, took chances, found their voice and told people what they’re up to.
A professional, customized website is absolutely important for your business. But it’s just one of many tools. It’s not a shortcut. You need to be creating content, sharing it with new people on a consistent basis, keeping in touch with your list and talking with your ideal clients. Your website should provide a solid foundation to support these efforts, along with an email marketing system and a social media presence, but it can’t take the place of effort.
Do it in Baby Steps
You know more than you think. I guarantee it. And it’s natural to feel afraid when you start sharing your passion, it’s normal to want to stay in your comfort zone and not be too visible. It’s perfectly natural to be unsure what steps to take when you’re trying to do it all yourself, without a coach showing you the way. If you stay safe though, you’ll remain unseen, you won’t be doing the work of transforming lives and you may regret it.
I’m not a fan of the advice that insists you must jump headfirst out of your comfort zone and face your greatest fears in the name of success. I find it works much better and feels more kind towards yourself, to take baby steps. There are plenty of ways to start moving out of the shadows and into the spotlight (even a small spotlight will do!) and as long as you keep taking steps forward, even slowly, you can create the health coaching business you want.
A lot of new coaches get stuck because they’re afraid of the big leaps everyone tells you to make. Some people are born to leap. Most of us are not. And that’s OK. Find your own way. Get the support you need. Just don’t keep hiding.
Start with a List
Make a list of people you know who might be interested in the work you’re doing (or would like to start doing) as a health coach. They may be potential clients or referral partners, or just loving friends and family who will cheer you on and help spread the word.
Write a heartfelt email to that list, sharing what you’re up, why you’re passionate about it and how it can benefit them. Be sure to make this note primarily about how your health coaching program benefits your clients, not just all about your school, your story, your hopes and dreams. You might find it feels good to write directly to some of the people on your list and make the note really specific to them.
Plan to write more than once. One email to one list of people one time will likely result in little to nothing. But it’s a starting place. You’re planting a seed. You’re letting your circle know what you’re up to. Next time you write, it will mean more to them. And so on. Keep your emails short and sweet. Maybe you share a favorite recipe you just cooked up for your family last night, with a nice pic. Share on social media as well.
Add an invitation to these emails. Let them know if they or someone they know, could use support improving their energy, or upgrading family dinners, or dropping a few pounds (whatever results you’re most passionate about: be specific!) to email or call you to schedule a conversation. Keep it simple. Keep it focused on the benefits to them.
Continue adding names to this list and reaching out and letting people know what you’re up to and inviting them to have a conversation.
Tell people you meet in person. Ask for their email address.
These are the small building blocks that lead to a business. It takes time and consistent effort, but one of these people will become a paying client. Another will introduce you to a great referral partner. And another will invite you to come speak to their group, leading to more paying clients, etc.
Through writing and sharing your message by email, in conversation and on social media, your voice will develop and you will become increasingly clear on what your business is about. That’s the time to build a website. Now you’ll be able to use it well and make it an effective platform to advance your business.
If you’re tech savvy and decisive, then by all means, choose a free template website and get it done in a night or two. It will serve as a good starting place until you’re ready to invest in something more custom. If you’re not tech savvy or not a decisive person, you can easily get lost in working on your website for weeks or even months with nothing to show for it. I’ve seen it a hundred times… in fact, I’ve been guilty of it myself.
It feels so safe messing around with colors and photos of beautiful vegetables. But that gets you nowhere. You will benefit from hiring an expert to build a website for you, and coach you through the mindset, marketing and strategies you need to use it effectively.