#122: When It Just Doesn’t Seem To Be Working

It seems like no matter what you do with your business, it’s just not working. You need more clients, you need to build your mailing list, but it’s just…crickets. (We’ve all had moments like this!) So, what’s going on in these situations? And how can you shift out of neutral and start moving forward? Check out this episode to find out.

👉 Need help structuring a profitable health coaching business? Register for Michelle’s free training at: HealthCoachPower.com/earn

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Hello, health coaches! As you know, the Health Coach Power Community, we are all about starting and growing your health coaching practice. Yes. Are you in the right place? Good, but I never ever want to give the impression that this is like so easy or that we all have it figured out, or it's so simple. And what's the matter with you. If you haven't been able to make a zillion dollars as a health coach yet, that's never the message because I know, and you know, that building a business takes work. Right. And I don't just mean like put your nose to the grindstone and work. I mean, sometimes it takes a getting really confused. Sometimes building my business has included, crying a lot of tears out of that confusion and sometimes frustration. It's true. This, this is how it goes. Sometimes it feels like you're failing when actually you're really learning, but it feels like failure at the time.

And I just want you to know for all of you coaches out there, whether you're brand new or you've been at it for a while, all of this is normal and we have all been there. So I just want to normalize that this is not something any of us are just born knowing how to do without any hiccups, without any bumps in the road. That's why I'm here for you to just make the journey a bit easier. And I know that sometimes you might get to a point in your business where you're like, why isn't this working? Right. So frustrating. The 10,000 health coaches in our Facebook group, by the way, like, I would be surprised if like one of them could say they hadn't had that feeling. Please raise your hand. If you're that one person, we have gone through moments in time that we question ourselves months, perhaps, maybe years, or just feels like, okay, things are going nowhere.

And what often happens is then sometimes coaches give up, right? And they go back to their corporate job or they say, Oh, screw it. I'm just going to go sell Mary Kay or I don't know, whatever. Probably not Mary Kay. But you know, we jumped ship is my point. And I don't like to see that happen because health coaches are needed. Like I need your help. I am not going to be able to help the whole world reverse the nonsense that's going on by myself. Like health coaches are so, so needed for the health and happiness of the world. So we're all in this together today. I want to talk about why this happens, like why we get to that point where it's like nothing's working and then what to do when you're feeling that way. And you're like, no matter what I do, it's just not happening for me, Michelle.

We're going to talk about that. So if you're here with me live and I know a bunch of you are, go ahead and just tell me in the comments, like how this is showing up for you in your business. And what's your experience been with feeling stuck or maybe like your business isn't working. Where are you at right now? And I want to remind all of you of my free training on how to turn health coaching into a full time salary. That's available at healthcoachpower.com/earn. And it's a training that goes over the steps that you need to take to turn a fledgling business into a profitable one. And that's available again at healthcoachpower.com/earn E A R N.

But what if, cause I know someone's going to say this. What if, what if you've watched all the trainings? What have you taken all the advice out there? You've listened to every podcast episode, and yet you're still stuck. Today's topic came from some comments left in our Facebook group last week from Bronwyn and Roslyn. And here's what they said. Bronwyn said, I've been stuck on this two years. How will people learn about me? Especially since I can no longer do in person talks or workshops. I have a Facebook group. I Facebook business page, a website, a blog and email list and Instagram account. I've advertised in the regional newspaper. I live in a remote area, so I really need to expand my reach. I've asked my email list to refer friends, to share my blog. I've offered them prizes for doing so and nothing. I'm active. I ask questions on every single social media post I make. And it's just yawns from the audience. And she says, seriously help. Okay. We're here for you today.

That's why we're here. And then Roslyn said, growing an audience has been nearly impossible. I've used all the guides that you and others have provided. So she's having trouble too. Here's what I've learned, because believe me, I've put plenty of offerings out there and they've fallen flat. I mean, you've not necessarily witnessed that. And when you look around at what other people are doing, you're not going to know, Oh, they offered this 5-day challenge and 10 people signed up. You know, you may not know they offered this program and nobody bought it. You might think everybody else is succeeding like crazy. And you're the only one, but that's not always the case because you don't see what's going on behind the scenes. So it's easy to get down about it obviously, but I want to encourage you to use these opportunities for your own growth and learning.

So for example, if you put together a free webinar and you know, you're advertising the webinar and you know the people on your mailing list, I've heard about the webinar, your social media, friends, family, whomever, they've heard about your webinar for sure. And yet no one signed up. Well, first you're going to want to just go check like the page where they're supposed to go sign up. Does the page work? You know, is it broken? There's always questions like that. But assuming everything is on the up and up yet, nobody signed up for your free thing. That feels like a failure, but it's a huge opportunity because what do you learn? Like, what's the takeaway there? You can't blame the price because it was free in the first place. Cause we love to blame the price and try to make things cheaper. In this case, it's free, right?

How many times have you tried to give away something for free? And it just didn't catch. So what I'm going to say is that nine times out of 10, the reason is this. And it's so simple. It's so straightforward. You're not offering something that people want. If they're not signing up for it, if it's free and they're not signing up for it, they don't want it. That sounds terrible. But no, no. It's awesome. It's really good information. Oh, they don't want this. Okay. All right. Well, let's think about that. It doesn't mean that you don't have anything valuable to offer. You should just go crawl under a rock and give up on health coaching, not at all, but it means that the way that you're communicating your value or the value of this webinar, in our example, it's not resonating with the audience that you've intended it for.

It's just not the way they are thinking about how they want to invest their time, how they want to invest their energy. We do this all the time as health coaches. I'm going to give you an example. So let's say that I hosted two identical webinars. Like the content is exactly the same in both webinars. Let's say that they're both about eating real food, cutting back on sugar and eating more protein. Like those are the big topics or whatever. Then I'm going to talk about during this presentation. And the first time that I market it, you know, with the first webinar, I call it balance your blood sugar naturally. Okay. That's the message that I put out there. The second time that I market the same exact webinar, the same exact content, but I call it how to lose weight without cutting calories. I'm just making this up, right?

I haven't run this test before, but in this like imaginary example, here's what I think could happen. The first webinar could have like zero signups. The second people actually sign up for, do we have any guesses on what the difference is? That would be the question to think about here. What's the difference between those two webinars? Why would one get signups? And one be completely ignored. Here's what I think. If I'm out there or if you're out there with a message like balance your blood sugar, the audience may think, you know, your intended audience, the people who you're, you're putting this out to may think, okay, that's kind of interesting, but not necessarily worth an hour of their time to sign up for it. Like they're not going to sit through that webinar because they're only mildly interested in balancing their blood sugar, or they may not think it even applies to them because they may not realize they have a blood sugar issue going on.

So if they don't have a clue that they should be worried about blood sugar, if they're not worried about blood sugar, or if they think that they do have this problem, but it's under control with, you know, some prescription from their doctor, no big deal. They're not going to sign up for it. They just don't care about that. Okay, fine. As coaches part of our job is to meet our clients where they are and to meet our potential clients where they are. So the second webinar about how to lose weight without cutting calories, if that one got signups, it would show that I did a better job of communicating the value of this content. That this is extremely important information that I'm going to provide to my audience, balanced blood sugar turns out they don't care, weight loss. Now this is a problem that this audience actually worries about that they don't think is solved. That they're not like, Oh, I'll just pop a pill or whatever that they're actually struggling with and worried about probably every day. So, does that make sense?

Here's what happens time and time again, I see health coaches. We're trying to sell something. We're trying to offer something and it's not working. And I know this sounds harsh, you guys, but it is not. It's just not what people want. People want to solve their big problems. Also people want chocolate. So that whole idea of build it and they will come. That is entirely false. And we never want to go that way with our business. So we never want to build the webinar, build the online course, build the website, and then assume that we're going to be able to sell it first. You have to know that they want it. And then you will have a much, much easier time marketing yourself. If you are sort of, spoon-feeding what you have to offer to your audience in a way that they want to consume it. I think that made sense, right?

Like you have to give it to them in the format, in the words with the spirit that that's going to resonate with them. So whenever I offer something that falls flat again, it sounds really harsh. But if it's just like no signups, it did not work. It's just very helpful for me to say that to myself real clearly, this is not what my audience wants. And they're telling me that, Oh my gosh, how helpful am I? God, thank you for that information. And this way, I don't have to say terrible things to myself. I'm no good. I'm a bad coach. I don't have anything to offer the world. No, no, no, no. None of that negative self talk is necessary. If you can just say, this is not what they want right now. So what do they want? Let me listen for what they do want.

And that's where the growth happens. And to find out what they want. You can ask them, you can listen to what they complain about. You can even going to other groups. Amazon, you can look at reviews for books that are about similar topics to see what people are actually complaining about and what problem they want to solve. And the words that use to describe that you can learn. So, so much from that I'm inside my course, healthy profit university. We do an exercise entirely designed to help our members figure out what their target market is actually interested in. And like nine times out of 10, it's not what they thought it was going to be. So illuminating. You want to find that out first, before you waste time with like anything else? Lisa says, yes, people want chocolate for sure. Dark chocolate and lots of it.

This is true. I mean, I'm just going to make this up off the top of my head. But even if you offered some sort of like weight loss webinar or free cookbook or a free anything. Yeah, it might get signups. But imagine if you offered like something around chocolate, right? Like healthy chocolate treats to help you going to know, treat yourself after work. That's going to get a lot of signups. Go ahead, steal that. Everybody can steal that. Now once you get someone into that event or they download your thing, that's all about chocolate. Yes. You're going to give them some chocolate recipes. Cool. They're going to love that. And now you have an opening to talk about the topic that they really need to hear. So a lot of times it's this like given what they want, give them what they need. So, if you can package it like that, almost like a sandwich, right.

Where you put the bread and the bread is what they want, but the meat in the middle, like that's like the meat of the topic. You got to get that to them too. You can really succeed. That's the kind of marketing that I think health coaching often requires because people generally don't want to just talk about boring health issues. We like to talk about that because we're a bunch of health nerds. Like you want to just sit here and discuss celiac disease for an hour I'm game, but nobody else wants to do that. They want to eat chocolate or they want whatever it is that they want. Okay. So when you're offering something for free and it's not going over, well, just think to yourself, what do these people really want? I want to give you a second scenario. Here's another scenario that it comes up a lot because, because we don't test upfront because we don't do market research upfront because we don't listen.

When our audience tries to tell us they're not interested in our blog posts in the social media posts that nobody liked in the webinar that nobody signed up for, for some reason, we go, Oh, I know I'll build an online course. Don't do that. Don't do that. Why are you going to do that? But anyway, if you did you put together a program, even though he hadn't tested and vetted that this, you know, you would know that it's going to sell upfront. If you did your, your work sort of in a strategic way, but let's say you put together a program, you put it out there and nobody buys it. That's also a terrible feeling. I know it I've been there. You guys, so back up, back up, it's not about like, Oh, can I post it one more time to Facebook? Or like, Oh, what if I added this or made it cheaper?

Like those are all real superficial fixes. And that's not what you need. If your program isn't selling, what you need to do is back the truck up, my friends, who is your target market? Are you communicating the value? Like we just, like we just talked about with the webinar topics, are you communicating the value of what you have to provide? Or are you just making people feel like this is going to be boring or this is going to be too much work. Right? You also want to think about things when you're selling. You want to think about, well, what's the size of my audience, because what if I told you that only about two or 3% of your list is likely to buy the thing that you are offering and what if you only have a list of like 20 people? Oh, no one bought, well, that's why it doesn't mean it's a bad program.

Does it mean you need a different program? It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong. Maybe it's just, the numbers are too small. Okay. So there's lots of questions to ask. Another would be, how are you selling it? Are you shooting off an email with a one, one link and then nobody bought it? Well, that doesn't surprise me at all. So maybe your selling mechanism needs help. Maybe you need to learn how to sell more effectively. And these are all great problems to have because you can fix all of these problems. And again, it doesn't mean I suck my program sucks. I don't have anything to offer the world. I should just go back to being an accountant. You know, it just means that you need to package it differently. You need to communicate about it differently. You need a larger audience to sell to don't throw out the baby with the bath water. That's really my message for you today. Okay. All right. Let's do another scenario. Cause this seems to be coming up for several of you. What if you're just not gaining any momentum? You've been at it for a while. And like Bronwyn said, she post something to social media. She writes a blog post, like nothing seems to catch fire. I remember being like that early in my business where it's just kind of like putting stuff out and it would just sort of float away and it didn't seem to make an impact anywhere.

One thing to consider is, Is your tar... A) Do you have a target market? B) is it too broad? C) Is it viable? These are all difficult questions to answer. I'm not going to go through this. All right. Now I do have a free resource that you can download. If you want to sort of go through a really super helpful exercise around your target market. You can go to healthcoachpower.com/targetmarket and download that resource that will kind of help you go through the steps to at least starting to figure out am I going after a crowd that is ready, willing, and able to work with the health coach? Are they people who have a big problem to solve? You know, if you're, if you're going after the wrong market, like nothing's going to work. So, if you're not getting any momentum that may be either you don't have a target market at all, which doesn't surprise, then that your messaging is just kind of floating out or it's just not a viable target market.

So the second thing would be if you have a target market, are you putting out a message that really resonates with them? An example would be in my health coaching practice right now, I work with women in their forties, early fifties. A lot of them have hypothyroidism. A lot of them are very high achieving women. And a lot of them are single or if not single, they don't have kids. So if I'm putting out, maybe on social media, a lot of pictures of my kids maybe pictures of the family meals that I'm making or lunchboxes, that's not going to resonate with my target market. They might think it's cute, right? But it's not going to resonate with them. It's very different. If I put out a message that is tailored to the people that I'm trying to reach, it's their brand of humor, or it's talking about a topic that is really relevant for them.

You know, that's going to get much more engagement. So are you putting out a message that really resonates with them and something that they want to talk about? Maybe you're targeting people who have IBS. And so you're putting out information about gas and bloating and diarrhea. And you're asking the question, tell me about your diarrhea. Well, guess what very few people are going to do that because it's embarrassing. So sometimes without coaching, we've run into areas of things that people just don't want to talk about. So then you have to think, well, how can I approach these topics in a different way so that it resonates and makes them want to engage with me, not run away and cry and go. I don't want to talk about my IPS. So that's something to think about too. Here would be some other questions for you. If you're in this situation, are you showing up consistently?

So if you have a blog, are you blogging on a weekly basis or are you blogging? Like once every three to six months. Okay. That would be a reason why maybe you're not gaining that blog, following that you've envisioned for yourself. Is that the only reason, but it's one reason, same with like your mailing list. Are you mailing them on a consistent basis or are you mailing them kind of like when you feel like it every now and then when you realize you haven't sent anything in a long time, because here's the thing, even if you're like, yes, Michelle, I have sent a email to my list every week for the last three months. Great. That doesn't mean that doesn't necessarily really translate to, like, you're going to have a roster full of paying clients. However, if you're do something consistently, anything that you do consistently, you're going to get better at it.

So my early blog posts didn't do a ton for my business. Gosh, even a year or two or three into writing a blog, I'm not sure I was necessarily so strategic about it, but then I got smarter and smarter and smarter. And same with my emails. I used to kind of write them, like, what do I feel like writing about today? And these days when I sit down to write an email, I'm so much more strategic about it. That's the word I wanted to use. So even a part of it is showing up consistently for your audience. And part of it is showing up consistently for yourself and saying, okay, this worked, how can I double down on that? This didn't work. How can I do it differently next time, trying new things, continuing to evolve on all these different efforts that you're putting forth and not just, what do they say, like doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

It's like the definition of insanity yet. That's what we often do as health coaches. We put out like the same thing over and over and go, I don't know. Well, I don't have any clients. Okay. So showing up consistently and improving upon what you're putting out there. And another thing I wanted to talk about is this idea of establishing yourself as an expert and not just a hobbyist. So I kind of use that example that I just used about posting pictures of like what I feed my kids for dinner, if I want to become known for something in the health and wellness world. But I'm sort of posting on social media about like, yeah, what I fed my kids for dinner last night. My something cute that my dog is doing. Oh, and then maybe I talk about, you know health-related topic.

If I have typos, if my graphics are kind of janky looking, I kind of just look like just another health person or just another health blogger. When you establish yourself as an expert, there is a level of Polish to your work, right? There's a there's proofreading that takes place before you send anything or post anything, either. It might be a little extra finesse to your graphic design. There might be a, you know, having a third party, whether it's someone that you pay or like your sister, you know, just reading over your stuff to see, like, does this make sense? When I'm putting out a message, I'm making sure that I'm saying something people haven't heard before. If I just say like, remember to drink a lot of water today, no, one's going to think I'm a real expert in the health and wellness space.

But if I, occasionally I'm putting out content where they're like, wow, like this is gold. I have never heard this before. That starts to position you as an expert. If I am sharing with people that I'm a guest on a podcast and Hey, you can listen to the episode here or, Hey, I was featured on the morning, you know, the local news channel and you can watch the clip here. That's another way to establish yourself as an expert and not just be, you know, yet another mommy blogger or yet another whatever, very enthusiastic cross fitter, you know what I'm saying? So make sure that in whatever you're producing, the content that you're putting out there, you are establishing yourself in an, as an expert. However, you have to go about doing that. Okay. More questions to help you build momentum. If you're feeling stuck, are you fully utilizing all available opportunities?

So for example, let's say that you are a podcast guest, which is awesome. Make sure you're giving away a freebie on that episode, right? To all listeners, you're giving away something. Cause that is an opportunity to build your mailing list. Sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to about these things in your business, because if you're like, Oh, I'm going to be a guest on the podcast. Oh my God, I'm so nervous. And Oh, what should I wear? Oh, it doesn't matter. It's a podcast. You know, you could be thinking about it, but you might forget to go, wait a minute. How can I make the most use out of this opportunity? Could I promote that new thing that I have coming out? Could I use it to build my mailing list? Could I drive people to my Facebook group? Okay. So sometimes we have opportunities, but we, we don't make best use of them.

Here's another example. If you have a mailing list, great, love it. When someone signs up for your mailing list, are they getting a sequence of emails? So all your new subscribers get some sort of sequence that helps them get to know you, see your best work, understand about the results you get for your clients and invite them to a consultation with you. This is sort of low hanging fruit, but so many of us don't do it. I just finished up with a client of mine. I've been in business for 11 years. I've got some more what do I want to say? Complicated, complex structures now for, you know, building my business and bringing in clients. But I just finished with a client of mine. And that's how she became a client. She joined my mailing list. She got a welcome sequence, automatically sent to her.

She booked a consultation and she signed up easy as that. So it's a missed opportunity if you're not sending the right welcome sequence after somebody joins your mailing list. What else, if you're offering a five day challenge, I know lots of you are interested in doing that. Are you overwhelming the people in your five day challenge by giving them like all the information you could ever tell them about health or the opportunity would be to whet their appetite, whet their appetite so that they want to work with you further. So they want to sign up and become a client afterwards and they feel like they got something and they can get so much more, which would be better than, Oh my God. I've just got so much. And I failed and I couldn't keep up. And I couldn't even read all the materials that Michelle sent me during that five day challenge. I'm a failure I'm going to disappear now. So that would be like a way of sort of killing the opportunity with these people. So, every time that you have an opportunity to market yourself an opportunity to impress potential clients,

How can you make the most of it? And there are like a million other reasons why you may not be seeing momentum, but the point is not to say, okay, I suck. I give up the point is you don't suck. You're awesome. And you do have something to share with the world. And there are a bunch of reasons why that may not be happening, but those are fixable. It's not because you're just not meant to be a health coach.

Do you know what I mean? So here's what I think you can do First. This is tricky, but I want to tell you that when I see coaches who have a lot of pressure to make money and do it now, and like support themselves fully on a business that is just starting out, that's difficult because you start coming from a place of fear. I have to make money. I have to make money. I have to make money. That's never a great way to make money in the health and wellness space. It's better. If we can show up coming from a place of service, we are giving freely. We are actually concerned about helping people. Cause I know we are, but when you're bogged down with the mindset of, Oh my God, I have to pay my rent this month that can get lost. And you can, it's easy. It's easy to go to a place that you don't want to go to.

And the sales will just not happen because it's coming. You know what I mean? It's coming from the wrong intention. So it always helps. When I see health coaches take that pressure off, get that second job or free up funds, however they need to do it so that they're not stressing out about every single dollar they make or they spend in that first year or two of their business. Most businesses are going to be in the red for years. Like any new business, like if you started a shoe store or something like, Oh gosh, especially a shoe store. That's tough. But any new business is going to be in the red for awhile. So if you come into it with this mindset of like, Oh my God, I have to make a lot of money and I have to make it right away. That's going to work against you.

Do what you need to do to take that pressure off yourself. I promise that's going to help. The next thing that's going to help is, and I mentioned this a minute ago, if something isn't working, don't add to it. Don't add more bells and whistles. Don't say, well, maybe it's maybe I need a Facebook group. Maybe I need to start using Instagram. Or, you know, maybe let's try this other small tactics, small tactic, don't do that. You need to re-evaluate your strategy, go back to the basics. And that's something that we do cover in depth inside my course, healthy profit university. And we do that with good reason because if you don't have a strategy and haven't tested it, it's very hard to be successful. Okay. So, don't waste time adding a, you know, putting sprinkles and a cherry on top to something that fundamentally is not working.

It makes sense. Right? Something else to do is check in, check in with your, your fears. Sometimes I see coaches who are acting skittish around their marketing and what I come to realize, you know, by working with them is that they are afraid just inside. They are afraid that they actually don't know enough, whether they actually can not do this work. They're not going to help anybody. They're, they're selling something, but they're, they're a fraud, you know, this whole like imposter syndrome thing. So if, if you're afraid that don't have a valuable service to provide, you can be sure that your audience is going to get the same impression and they're not going to buy from you. If you're not exuding confidence. If you're not able to stand in your power and say, no, this is the kind of result I'm able to help people achieve.

This is kind of different. I'm able to create with my clients. No one's else is going to feel that. So if you need help with your coaching skills, get that help. If you need a mentor, if you need a group to bounce ideas off of, to sort of work through this stuff, do it working alone can be so daunting. And I feel like we just talk ourselves out of stuff before we even get going. So we talked about working a little bit, actually in last week's episode. So check in with your fears around health coaching and use your support system to move through because you're never going to market yourself effectively. If inside, you're scared to work with clients and not do a good job. So you want to fix that first and then you'll feel really confident putting your message out there. And finally, what I want to say is go where the energy is flowing.

So often we think about where it's not working or what program didn't sell, but what did sell or what blog posts did you write that people jumped all over? Or what email did you send that got a lot of responses in the beginning years of my business. I remember really looking at that. What were people clicking on and my emails and what were they not? And then use that to figure out what your next message should be. Or if you think you're out there and you're trying to work with one type of person, but somebody else, another group of people just keep coming to you on the side, pay attention to that. Like, where is the universe trying to lead you? And sometimes you just want to go with the tide, go with the flow instead of trying to fight it. So, pay attention to what the universe has for you.

I have a question here from Emily. She says for social media, Instagram specifically, how do you balance expert with relatable? I've been sharing my fun pictures, but putting a spin on it to include my niche, like posting a picture of my yummy dinner, but then including how it's part of a strategy I use to manage my chronic condition. Am I on the right track with this? Yes. The difference would be posting a picture of, like I said, your dog or the new pair of shoes you just bought or your cute little niece that has nothing to do with your message as a health coach. And again, it's okay to do that sometimes. Cause people want to know you as a person too. But if like nine times out of 10, you're posting something that is unrelated to helping your viewers, your social media audience solve the problem that they want to solve.

You know, you're going to lose people. You're just going to come off as like just another woman, just another mom or just another whoever in their feed. And I'm sorry, I keep saying mom also dads also men, but you know, you're just going to come off as I'm a layman, who's posting things like that. So, you want to make sure that you're regularly doing exactly what you here, Emily, whatever you're posting, relate it back to the problem that you're helping somebody solve in your coaching practice. Relate it back to the viewer and how it can be helpful for them. Like, remember your role as a coach. It doesn't mean that you just have to post like nutrition facts all day. Cause that can get super boring. Even if you're posting memes. It's helpful. If you can say something about it that makes that positions again, you as an expert and not just as yet another person on Instagram. Great question. Thank you.

And that's it for today. You guys, thanks so much for joining me and take heart because if you've been struggling, this is, it's not, it's not a struggle. It's not a challenge. It's just a step on the path to success. You've got this. I will see you next week.