#103: Making Money: Every Little Bit Counts

Worried about a slow economy and the success of your business? Today we’ll talk about the odds and ends of your income/expenses that are worth paying attention to…or not. Every little bit adds up UNLESS it’s not worth your time or energy to worry about.

Download Michelle’s guide to affiliate programs for health coaches at HealthCoachPower.com/affiliate

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Hello there, health coaches. How's everybody doing today? I am broadcasting live here from my home or I just returned from a wild and wacky trip to the grocery store with my two boys. They were upstairs screaming at each other and well this is just the way it goes these days isn't it? But nonetheless, I'm here with you for our weekly Q & A. So if you're here with me live and you have any questions for me as we go through today's episode, feel free to put them in the chat area and I'll be keeping an eye on that. I thought that today we should start talking about, you know, the elephant in the room. The economy is certainly taking a hit right now, the health coaches. But really everyone in every profession is a little bit concerned about what's going on right now. All I have to say is I love being self employed because I don't have to worry about getting laid off or furloughed like so many of my friends that have corporate jobs.

So, even though you might feel like, wow, now it's like not a good time to be starting my business, or now's not a great time to be a health coach. Actually you're in a much better position than you would be in if you thought you had all the job security in the world and then boom, got let go. So I love being in control of my destiny in that way. And while we may need to get a little creative and do things a little differently during this time, we can still proceed to earn money. And that's a wonderful thing. So I noticed a lot of questions in our group over the past week related to bits and bots, odds and ends, all these little pieces that have to do with the money that we are either spending or earning in our business. So, I thought, let's kind of put all of those together and today we'll just talk about all different ways to make sure that you're not spending too much or making sure that you can bring in income here and there.

Like all the like little amounts that add up. It's like the piggy bank approach. And then I think next week we're going to get into like talking about the bigger bucks. But for anyone who's ever done a budget for yourself, just for your, you know, your personal budget or for your business, you know, how much money can sort of leak through the cracks or how like little bit of savings every week can really add up. So that's what I want to concentrate on today. So let's see here. We have a question from Jenna and Jenna said I'm going to be launching my first paid program next week and I'm wondering if anyone has used the e-commerce tool in Wix and did it work well? And does anyone have any other recommendations for accepting payment? So, Jenna, I've never used the e-commerce tool within Wix from anything I've ever heard.

I think it would be fine. I haven't heard any complaints about it, but I wanted to just answer the second part of your question about recommendations for accepting payment. Because what I've noticed is that because we live in like a pretty advanced world, I guess what I'm saying is when you buy something online, you think it has to have all the bells and whistles. Like you're going to get an automatic email and immediate access to whatever you've purchased and it's going to be somewhere where you have to log in and you will have lifetime access to it. Like it can get really quite complicated, but we don't have to operate that way. As health coaches, we can do things a little more down and dirty as they say. And that may actually be more appropriate when you're first starting out. Like for example, my friend who is a yoga teacher, like so many, and I have another friend who teaches dance classes.

They've just recently brought their services online and they are just saying, here's my PayPal link. And you were just supposed to PayPal them the amount that they're asking for or here's my Venmo. And so actually right now people are doing a lot more like sort of down and dirty online selling. So what I'm trying to say is don't get wrapped around the axle making it all like shiny and perfect cause there's just no reason to do that when you're first starting out and really ever. The only reason that you want to make your technology more complicated however is cause it's actually going to save you time on the back end. So for example, my very first group program that I ever ran, I definitely just had people pay me through PayPal. I had a PayPal button somewhere on my website and when I saw that the money came in, I would then manually email them the information that they needed for the group program.

So if somebody signed up at 11 o'clock at night and I was asleep and I didn't see it until nine o'clock the next morning, that's when they got their email. Now the world moves a little more quickly these days, but I want you to consider these more low tech alternatives because we'll save you a lot of effort and even money and certainly time figuring things out. If you could just do it like the easy way. So my recommendation is typically to use PayPal for your transactions online. And here's why. Number one, it's just easy, right? They have what you need. You can send an invoice, you can get a PayPal button, whatever. It's just, it's there, it's done. And, and this is the clincher. I have found that most of my clients are most comfortable with PayPal. So, if they, if I say here's a PayPal link, or here's a PayPal button, they're used to that because PayPal is sort of like industry standard.

Even like websites, like if you're going to, I don't know, buy clothes online and stuff like that, oftentimes there's a PayPal option these days. So PayPal puts people at ease, they know what it is, they've heard of it, and it's not scary to them. Depending on your target market, you may find people are more or less worried paying for things online, right? An older crowd is probably going to be more conservative. A younger crowd will just Venmo you something right there from their app. But I find that PayPal is just the most accessible to most people. And when I do get any pushback on PayPal, it's usually someone saying, I don't have a PayPal account. To which I say, you don't need a PayPal account, just any major credit card, which is true and that's a wonderful thing. So, all in all I find it to solve the problem just the easiest, fastest way.

Now I know the next thing everybody gets into it was like the fees like are the, what are the fees, what are the fees? If you are using something like Wix, I'm not sure about Wix in particular, but if you were using a shopping cart service and a payment processor like PayPal or add a payment processor like Stripe, sometimes you get hit with two fees. You'll get hit with a fee from the shopping cart service itself, whatever that costs you every month or per transaction and there is a payment process or fee, but if you just use a PayPal button, you're only going to get the one fee. So like for my time and effort and money, I think that PayPal is overall the way to go. That is my recommendation to you. There are lots of other ways that you can do this. You could use Stripe, you can use square, you can use Venmo and, and lots of different online tools like shopping cart tools.

But like I said, you really want to make sure that you're just not getting hit with double fees cause that is a good way to leak money through the cracks. Anyway, I hope that helps. Jenna. If you do go with Wix and it works out well for you, great. If you go with PayPal and that works out well for you, awesome. The point is just get her done. All right. What other questions do you guys have for me today on this idea of every little bit counts when it comes to taking, earning money, collecting money, saving money, and spending money in our business? Here's a question that I thought was interesting. This came from Emma and she says, has anyone successfully used a Facebook group as a paid membership where folks pay a monthly access fee? So, this is interesting on a couple of levels.

Number one, just this idea of like, would people pay to be part of a Facebook group? I'm not sure, Emma. I'm not sure. You would have to be offering something in that Facebook group that I could not get anywhere else because Facebook groups are a free, freely available thing, right? Like 99.9% of the time. So it would be very hard to justify like why I'm going to sign up for your, let's say healthy living Facebook group when there are 5 million others. So it would have to be something that's so very specific to who I am and what I need. I can't get it in a different group. For someone to pay to be part of your group. You can run a membership where people pay a monthly fee to be part of whatever you're giving them Facebook group. It could be, you do some sort of like you do a class once a month, you release new content once a month, whatever it is that you're doing for a membership.

So that's one thing. Yes. You can run a membership. Yes. A Facebook group could be part of it. But if it's just a Facebook group, I'm a little leery about whether or not that would work, but as always, prove me wrong. What else did I want to say about this? Memberships are difficult in general. So I think the statistic that I have read and that I've experienced is that when somebody signs up for a membership, meaning it's just an ongoing thing, it's not like six payments. It's like they're going to sign up and they're just going to continue paying you every month until they cancel. People typically stay part of your membership for two to three months, which means either you need to do something very right in order for them to stay longer or you need to constantly be generating new members.

So that means you are always, always, always in the selling mode and trying to get people into your membership and then you lose them after a couple of months, but you have new ones coming in. So it can be a lot of hustle for not a lot of money if you don't have a very large audience to draw from. Now, of course, like I said, the other thing is maybe you're doing something really right inside your face, inside your membership. And what that usually entails is taking people on a journey. So, if it's just kind of like, Hey, belong to my fruit of the month club and every month I'm going to send you some fruit, people will do that one month, two months, three months. You know, maybe they really like your fruit, they do it a couple more months and then they, yeah, that's enough.

I don't need to spend money on this anymore. And it can be the same way. Maybe you're like, Oh, month one we're going to talk about cooking with kids and month two we're going to talk about, you know, something else. Or maybe every, it's just a random assortment of what comes up every day in your membership. That tends to not work as well as if there is a defined goal. So people are going to be working through a process with you until they reach that goal over the course of however many months. And then maybe, maybe there's like a new arc to your group. So it keeps people from kind of reconsidering their payment every month if they know they're doing something over like a longer span of time with you. I hope that makes sense. But if it's just random information, random content being generated on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, expect a lot of drop off.

Sun, thank you for asking a question. I see here that you're saying, does it cost money to take money on practice better? So that is an exact example of what I was just talking about. Where if for those of you using practice better and practice better is a tool that many of us are using to both schedule our clients, collect money from our clients, even like run group programs, all kinds of stuff. That's great. Practice is, I'm going to call it the shopping cart service. It's so much more than that, but that is where the money, where the transaction happens, whereas you need to connect. Practice better. Like my practice better is connected to Stripe. So Stripe is the payment processor. There's a fee. Their practice better does not to my knowledge unless things have changed, but I believe they do not take a fee on top of the Stripe processing fee.

So, and that's just one of many reasons that we heart practice better. So if anyone wants to check that out, by the way, you can go to health coach, power.com/practice it is a phenomenal tool and not that expensive every month for what you get, which is a lot. Great question. Okay, I got another one here from Anna Marie. She said, I am putting together a workshop via zoom. I would like to offer an outline to those who sign up. What venue do I have them sign up? Facebook, MailChimp. She wants to collect emails, work and I have the outline for attendees to download from. So a lot of moving parts here. I'm going to try to streamline this whole question for you, Anne Marie. So first is are you charging, if you're holding the workshop and you're charging for it, then you're going to have to have people sign up.

Like we were just talking about, like with a PayPal button or with some kind of shopping cart or whatever, you know, you need to be able to collect the money and when you collect the money, you would be collecting email address at the same time typically. So if that's the case referred to everything that we just talked about otherwise, yeah, I think your question is how do you get people to sign up for a workshop? Like if it's, it's free. So anything that you're doing for free as a list builder, you need to create an opt in page. An opt in page is typically going to be created within MailChimp if you're using MailChimp because they have the ability to allow, yeah, you can write within MailChimp, create those landing pages. So that's great. Convert kit, same thing. You can create a landing page within the service that you're already signed up for.

So that's awesome. In my case, I use lead pages for my opt-ins. So anytime you sign up for something, you know you have to type in your first name and your email address and then you hit the button. Like that's the opt-in page. So you have different options there. But like if you're using MailChimp, I would just go ahead and use MailChimp for your opt in page. That way you can collect the email address and then regardless of which of these systems you're using, what will happen, you'll have to set this up is that once the email is collected, it triggers an automated response. And that automated response would have the information, like the zoom link for example, or in your case you want to give them an outline. I would just attach it to that automated email. So as soon as they sign up, boom, they receive an email with link to download whatever it is that you want to give them.

And it's a nice idea when you're holding a workshop online. You could also sometimes offer like a workbook or like a place where people can take notes but it's formatted, it matches your presentation just to keep them engaged with you. Anything like that. You could just include in that first welcome email. Okay. However, if you're charging money, you will have to do this in a slightly different way. You would not be able to use MailChimp for that. I hope that helps. I know there's a lot of moving parts when you start putting together online programs, but you will, you will do it once. It will feel like madness, then you will do it again. You'll have a better idea of how it goes down. You will make mistakes and after a while like I can just crank these out like nothing cause we've done it so many times, but I know in the beginning it feels like a lot of moving parts.

You got this, you got this Anna Marie, what other questions do we have about money? Money. Gene said, I occasionally get requests from clients who live in other countries like Ireland, Italy, India, et cetera. It's not enough to invest in an international calling plan. Does anyone have alternative suggestions? Yeah, there's so many different ways to do it these days. Gene, it's awesome. I remember, Oh one was that early, early in my career had to be 10 years ago I had a client in Israel and I was like, Oh my God. So one thing to consider cause it just felt so crazy. Now I have clients all over the world on the regular and I'm very used to the whole idea. But I remember this first client Israel. And so two things. One would be the call, like how are you going to connect with them?

So I would just do Skype or you could use zoom, right? I actually have a, let's see, what do I do with Skype? I have a Skype phone number that I actually use for all of my clients because it just keeps it separated from my regular phone number, my personal line. And also because the cell service in my house is not really great. So, I'd rather call over WIFI. So I use Skype calling. So anyway, I already have a package for that. But if it's outside and it's international then we will just use straight up Skype video calling or a zoom link. And I personally, I've probably talked about this before. I don't like using video chat for my sessions. I find it distracting. I feel like we're just looking at each other's nostrils the whole time. So, I just use either Skype or zoom audio only.

But the other thing to consider when you have international clients is that there's going to be additional fees on their payments. Right? So if like you have a client within the U S and you use PayPal, I don't know what the fee is, whatever percentage we're going to, however it works. But it is definitely more when you have a client overseas and I just to say this in general, you guys payment processor fees, it's just the cost of doing business do not get wrapped around the axle over how you're losing 1% here or $5 there on this fee. It's just the cost of doing business, trying to avoid the fees is not worth it. It's not a scalable solution. So if someone sends you money, you're just like, yes, they paid, that's awesome. And yes, a slice of that is always going to go to the payment processor for the convenience.

Don't worry about it, don't worry about it. Even if it's an overseas client. No. If you were working with overseas clients all the time and you were losing thousands and thousands of dollars that way, then you might consider increasing your fee. You know, just build it into the price of your program cause you know you're going to be paying that. But if it's one here, one there, just let it go. It's not worth your time and effort. Let it go. Same thing happens sometimes when you get paid. Like let's say, and we're going to talk about affiliates in just a second. Let's say you're an affiliate for a brand and then the payout comes from them. So they're, they're paying you, I don't know, a couple hundred dollars at the end of the month that you've earned from your affiliate. There's going to be a PayPal fee taken off the top of that.

And that's just life. That's just like when I pay even members of my staff through PayPal, there's a percentage taken off the top. It's just the cost of doing business. Don't worry about it. Son says, can you write off fees for accepting money? Okay, so if you, let's say, Oh gosh, I'm trying to keep the math easy for myself. Like let's say you earned a hundred dollars in affiliate fees or whatever, anybody is paying you $100, but PayPal takes, where do they take a dollar or two out of that? So then you only get like $98. So yes, you won't, you won't pay tax on a hundred. You'll pay tax on the amount you actually collected. How that all works in the accounting land. I'm not sure. But yes. So don't worry about it. Don't worry about it. It all comes out in the wash.

I know. It's the kind of thing that will drive you batty. If you think about it too much. Get on with your life, get on with your business. You've got bigger things to worry about than those $2. Okay. So I mentioned affiliate and that's a great lead in to this next question from Julie. She says, I'm looking into some good affiliate programs. Like health and beauty, something all natural, no chemicals, maybe good quality bioavailable supplements. So affiliate marketing, something I talk about fairly often cause I love it. I think it really serves a purpose in health coach's repertoire of income streams without overtaking your whole business. So I first want to draw a distinction between MLM and an affiliate. And then there are lots of companies that kind of want to be in between. They don't want to be considered an MLM, but they are, or they're really close to it.

Cause because they're not, because they're not affiliate programs. So an affiliate program is super simple. You're saying I'm going to refer people to your product or in the case of like Amazon, I'm going to refer people to Amazon to buy whatever product, whatever brand and I'm going to earn a percentage off of any sales that get made. Great. And then that's it. If you promote it once, cool. If somebody buys once, awesome. If you never do it at all, nobody cares. If you do it all the time and you make a ton of money, good for you. Also, nobody really cares. It's totally up to you. It's on your terms. Zero obligations. That is what I love about affiliate marketing, marketing because sometimes I will promote a product pretty heavily for a while and then I don't or I decide I actually don't like it anymore for whatever reason and I let it go.

You know, easy come, easy go. When it comes to affiliate marketing and it's always on your terms because it's your business and that's how I like to operate. Now other companies that you can sign up to be a, I don't know what they call a partner or rep a whatever. But basically the MLMs is when you are like, sometimes you have to buy product upfront, sometimes you have to make a certain number of sales to stay like part of the system. So you often have to build a team underneath you and you are part of a team, right? Your upline and your downline and all this kind of stuff. And that's all part of how you're making money. It's much more complicated and there's a lot more pressure on you. Like you're, I hear this all the time, like my upline was pressuring me to make more sales and these are the types of situations I, nine times out of 10 see it take over a health coaches’ business where they're not even doing health coaching anymore.

They're just selling essential oils or whatever it is. So it's not that you shouldn't do it, but you should be aware of the difference and the commitment involved with each. So Julie's asking about affiliate programs here. I actually have a freebie for you and I'm going to put a link to it in the show notes for this episode so that you can download it if you want. It's all different brands that offer a true affiliate program that either I'm a part of or I have, you know, read through it and I feel like it would make a very good fit for a health coaching business. So like natural skin care, food delivery services, you know, different things like that. So, I'm going to put that in the show notes as soon as I'm done recording so that you guys can check that out if you like.

But whenever you use a brand, get in the habit of checking out their website to see if they have an affiliate program. And I've done this so many times, like there's a brand of makeup that I really love, so I'll go. Oftentimes it's in the footer. Sometimes there will be a link that says sometimes it's under FAQ, sometimes you just have to email the company and ask, Hey, do you have an affiliate program? And then they'll kind of hook you up with the information. The reason this whole affiliate question works into today's episode is because you're not going to make thousands and thousands of dollars through affiliate sales, particularly when your business is small, when your mailing list is small, when your audience is small. But you could make $10 here, $30 there, a hundred dollars there, and over the course of the year these things do add up.

The way that I think about it is this, if I'm going to recommend the product anyway because I am, because I love the products that I'm an affiliate for, I use them. My clients are going to ask me about them anyway. I might as well make a percentage, even if it is a very small percentage or even if you're only one out of a hundred people actually buys the thing from my affiliate link, it's still worth it to me. So just get in that habit of like, like go through like your, your makeup bag or your kitchen. Often it's the smaller to midsize companies that are going to offer an affiliate program. You know, you can't be an affiliate for like whole foods or I don't know, you know like a really big company. But for all these like sort of smaller, more independent brands you often, often can be.

So having a bunch of those as part of your repertoire is an amazing way to supplement your income. And as your business grows, I can attest to the fact that I make tens of, I've made hundreds of thousands of dollars through affiliate sales through the year. So it's not something to scoff at even though in the beginning it can be funny cause you'll be like, awesome, I made 30 cents but play the long game, play the long game and you will see it pay off. All right, I'm going to answer one more question. This one is this one is just kind of like from a, from a different area of health coaching. Cause every now and then I like to insert a little bit of like, what would you do working with a client and get away from the businessy talks. So, sometimes in these episodes I'd like to just choose ones that we can noodle on it a little bit and I'd like to hear what you would do in this situation.

Lots of different answers to the question that this health coach pose, and this was from Christie, she said, have any of you worked with clients with joint pain? What type of holistic treatment, remedy or solutions were helpful for them and would food allergy testing help in this case? So Christie, I don't know what level of training you've, you've got them through, right? So depending on who you are and what your certifications are and what training you're done, you know there's all different ways to approach when we have a client in this sort of situation. So I just want to reiterate that for everybody, the basics are going to take care of most problems and it is amazing and it is true time and time again, if you can get this person to eat less sugar, for example, they're going to have less inflammation in their body.

It's very possible that the joint pain is going to lessen all on its own. If you can get somebody to drink less coffee and drink more water, I mean amazing things will happen. So don't discount the basics. I don't know if you've gone through that with your client yet, but absolutely start there. Sometimes you can reduce somebody's symptoms immediately. Sometimes maybe the pain goes down by like 50% or something like that. Just with the basics. However, this question reminded me of a particular client I had who had a very big problems with joint pain. She was going to get, you know, the what does that call the cortisone injections as she was taking tons and tons of painkillers every day just to get through. And by the time we were done working together, a few months later, she was taking like maybe an Advil once a week.

Like her pain diminished dramatically. And the biggest change that we made, because she was already gluten-free, she was already dairy free, she already didn't eat very much sugar is we took out Nate shared vegetables. And I'm not saying that that is like a panacea for all joint pain for all people, but that made a major, major difference for her so it was just a matter of educating her about what the nightshade vegetables are, helping her sort through like, Oh my gosh, what am I going to eat at Thanksgiving dinner if I'm not going to have mashed potatoes? And once she got past that, it was like smooth sailing from there. So there's my little health coaching tip of the day. I hope that's helpful for anybody. Maybe you can make good use of that or maybe just do a little more research into nightshade vegetables yourself, but there's little anecdotal evidence that it can work in some situations. All right you guys, we're going to wrap up for today because I can hear my boys wrestling upstairs on the couch a little too close to the lamp. That's just like my, the mother in me. I can sense that even from a floor away. They're too close to the lamp. I hope that you are all having a great week and I'll be back next week to talk more about making money. Take care of everybody.