#141: When & How To Invest In Your Business

In this episode Michelle shares how sometimes the investments she’s made in her business have REALLY paid off. Other times, not so much. So how do you know when it’s time to invest…and WHAT to invest in? Listen and learn what investments are wise at each level of business so that you can avoid costly mistakes while growing your health coaching practice…and your income.

Learn more about Healthy Profit University in Michelle’s free training – https://healthcoachpower.com/earn

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Hello there health coaches. You know, through the years I've had to invest in growing my business, of course. Right. And sometimes those investments have really paid off big time. And other times, not at all, like I'm left thinking, well, that was kind of a waste. So how do you know when it's time to invest and what you should be investing in today? I want to share a little bit about what I've learned at different stages of my business, so that you can avoid some of the mistakes that I've made and be smarter about how you grow your health coaching practice and your income. So, if you're here with me live, please say, hello, ask any questions that you have as we go along, chances are I've experienced something similar to what you're going through in my 12 years of practice, or I've mentored a health coach or two or a 50 or 500 who've had the same situation.

Now, listen, speaking of advancing your business, the wait list for Healthy Profit University's fast-track semester. Yeah, it's back. It's going to be available next week. Now, why should you bother joining the waitlist next week? Where are you going to get first crack at the fast track semester, obviously, but you're also going to get the best possible bonus package that we've put together. So keep your eyes open and your ears open for that announcement next week. But before you even think about joining fast-track, before you think about spending any money, or you got to think, is this the right thing for me? Is this the right thing for me right now at this stage of my business? So let's go through each stage of business and discuss where it makes the most sense to invest or not. And I do want to let you know that my Facebook live thing is not showing me any comments right now.

So, I'm just going to very quickly refresh my page and hopefully be able to see you guys in a different window. Sometimes the Facebook live thing is amazing and sometimes it is very troublesome. I don't know what they're doing over there, but I need them to get their act together. All right, here we go. Okay. This is much better. Now I'm going to be able to see your comments as they come in. Like, I can see that Dee is here. Hi Dee. Okay, so here we go. Um, I know a lot of coaches in our group are brand new and that's where I want to start out talking right now. If you are still in school, if you have just graduated, right, you're just starting your health coaching business, you've had to pay for your certification, right? So that's, um, money that you might be down, but hopefully you can recoup that very quickly.

Other than that, I don't want you to spend a lot of money on extraneous stuff when you're first starting out. The thing is you're not going to get the clients in order to repay yourself from the tuition costs that you've had or an order to build up your business income to get to that next level. If you don't know the first thing about marketing yourself, if you're kind of just out there, like I was, which was like this high, the health coach and just people are going to come to you. And I did think that people were just going to come to me in the beginning, because I was promised as maybe you were in health coaching school that I could make a living as a health coach. And I believed that because when I looked around me, I was like, oh yeah, a lot of people are really unhealthy and suffering.

This is going to be a breeze. Okay. You can laugh. Now. I laugh now in retrospect, but the point is that it's not as easy as just hanging your shingle or just saying, Hey, I'm a health coach. So one thing that is worth investing in when you're brand new is some type of business and marketing training. Um, I don't think that it is the right time, however, to hire a private business coach. It just doesn't make sense. And I can tell you that from experience on the other side, as the coach, because since I can remember health coach, this happened asking for my help and building their business. And in the beginning, I was like, Oh, okay. Uh, sure. And I didn't really know how to handle it. So, I would just kind of charge hourly or charge the way that I was charging for private sessions with my other clients.

And I realized that with brand new coaches, I was repeating myself over and over and over the same basic things over and over and over. And oftentimes what they needed was a little bit of guidance on how to do the setup with their MailChimp or how to do something on the computer. And I was describing it to them over the phone. And I'm like, this is so dumb. I should just record this, have a tutorial available. You know, it would be a fraction of the cost for this brand. New coach really doesn't have the money to spend and it would free up a whole lot of my time. So anyway, that is eventually what I ended up doing when I created Healthy Profit University. But my point is, I hear this again. And again, and again, from new health coaches, I hired a private business coach.

I spent $5,000. I spent $7,000. I spent $10,000 and it didn't get me anywhere. And I think that is a function of hiring that private coach too soon. When you just need the basics, you need to like build a basic house before you can build a big fancy house, right? So everybody needs the same foundation. Don't spend the big bucks on the private coach yet get a training that is going to help you nail down the basics such as who are you serving? What are you selling to them? How are you selling it? Just those very important questions and something that you should learn either through this course, or you should be doing on your own. This is the other thing that I would put in the worth it category is an email service provider. You should be getting yourself set up with an email service provider.

Now, listen, I'm saying that you shouldn't invest in that because those things do cost money, but if you're starting out, honestly, and you have a list of like a thousand people, you can set up an email service provider for free. Just know that if there's anything that I ever suggest to health coaches to actually spend some money on it is the email service provider. So like, let's say you have the free version of convert kit, which I totally recommend by the way. And you want that next level or your mailing list has grown to the point that you're going to have to start paying for it. That's okay. Like it's a really important tool. It's not that terribly expensive. I say, go for it.

Now, on the other hand, we said no to private coaching in the beginning, I'm going to say no to virtual assistants in the very beginning. I mean maybe, but hiring a virtual assistant is totally amazing, but I think at least in my own business, I've always wanted to know how to do things first myself before I pass it on to somebody else. Right? So I have an amazing assistant Kelly who helps me with this podcast, but let's say that something happens and Kelly is not available. She takes a last minute vacation to the Caribbean, like she deserves next week, but I still got to get this podcast out, right? So I still need to know the steps behind what's happening in my business, just in case that person ups and disappears. I have hired people in the past who have just disappeared on me. So in the very beginning, I encourage you to learn how to do things yourself before you hire out. Other things I would not spend money on when you were starting out our Facebook ads. Don't do it please don't. Just don't trust me on this. I know I've mentioned this before, but there are so many reasons not to. Um, and the other thing to not spend money on in the beginning are advanced health trainings. It's tempting, especially when you want to kind of say, Oh, well maybe what? I just become a little bit more of an expert in hormone health, then I'll launch my business.

It's a thing to kind of hide behind. That's what I see happening. So not only is that an awful lot of money to spend when you're just getting started, it's not necessary. You can absolutely work with clients straight out of your very first health coach certification. There's no need to add another. And you guys, you know what? You learn so much just by working with your clients, they are going to teach you things. Topics are going to come up, that you are going to have to Google and learn about, you know, you are going to just be the process of coaching, get such an education that you may not need that advanced health training for a little while. Cause you're already going to be learning a lot and they're going to be paying you.

So, to me, that's kind of where you should be in that, just starting out stage and maybe that's the first year or two years of your business, depending on how things are moving for you. Okay. I see Christie is here. Hi Christie. She says, she's excited for this topic. Good. Let me know if you have any specific questions. And also if you guys want to let me know, first of all, what your questions are, but also what stage of business are you in so that we can better determine, you know, is this the right thing for you right now? So the next stage that I want to talk about. Oh, and Oh, Nellie saying, yes, I'm guilty of getting more certifications because I think I'm not knowledgeable enough.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I like learning about health too. I was just listening to that SAFM course on constipation. We just talked about this in a recent episode. Um, I was watching that the other night and I'm taking notes and, you know, I love to learn too, but often it becomes a huge amount of money to put forth when you don't need to and just something else to hide behind. Okay. Moving right along here, let's say that you were in a stage of your business where you have some private clients. You'd feel good about that, but you're not earning like nearly enough money. It's not even close to what you would consider a salary, right? It's just kind of hobby income at this point. So, I think at that stage of your business, as in the previous stage, it makes a lot of sense to get some sort of business and marketing training course, some sort of fundamental course, you don't want to jump into some advanced course, like, oh, teach me all about like advanced marketing funnels or like, I want to take a course, all that Facebook ads.

Like those are very specific topics. You, again, you need to get your, your foundation in order. And this is where Healthy Profit University might be appropriate for you. And I know coaches, who've done lots of other different business and marketing trainings, but that would be ideal for you at this point. The next tool that may be helpful for you to invest in. Once you have, you know, you've got more than one or two clients, you've got a couple of clients going on. It may be time for you to invest in a client management tool. Like Practice Better Practice Better is not very expensive. They even have a free plan if you only have a couple of clients, but I highly encourage everybody to check that out. I was like a late adopter on all of this tech stuff. I always managed all my client's stuff for free, with like a notebook and, you know, sending some PayPal invoices.

But I can't tell you what a better experience it has been using a service like Practice Better. So once you have the client base for it, I would suggest putting some money there. However, let's say again, you have like four or five clients at a time, something like that. I still don't think it's worth hiring a private business coach. I still think you are in that early stage where if you're, you know, you're only working with four or five clients at a time, that's your only income stream. You have so much to learn. You could really be optimizing what you're doing with just some more business basics and marketing basics. So hold off on the super high-end business coach. Um, but I also think it may not quite be worth it to hire a virtual assistant yet, because again, you're not earning that much money and you might be outsourcing things that you actually have the time to do.

Depends on who you are and your life. Of course. Um, I also wouldn't say that it's time for Facebook ads yet. That's not going to be for a while. My friend, so stop wasting money, boosting your posts. And once again, you're at the stage of your business where you have a couple of clients, but you're not earning that much money yet. Working with clients, don't invest in another health training yet. You don't need it. That's not going to be the thing that moves the needle in your business, right? You could become a great big expert in gut health. And that doesn't mean that you're going to suddenly have twice as many clients. It just means you're going to be in the hole another bunch of thousands of dollars. You hear me? Okay.

Monica says, can you explain the differences between all of your programs? So, I know if I chose the right one, I'm going to, I'm going to hang on that until the end, but that's a great question. And Oh, Nellie is saying that she loves Practice Better. Yes. I think we all do. I have yet to hear somebody say, like, that's a useless tool. Okay. So we talked about when you're first starting out and when you're kind of getting in there with a couple of clients now, let's say that you're earning a decent income with private and group clients. And by decent income, I mean, you could almost live on it. You know what I mean? But maybe not quite, but it's something it's getting there now. I think it would be time for you to number one, if this has all happened sort of by, but what's that phrase by luck and by crop. But that's not the phrase, something like that. If this has kind of fallen in your lap and you're not sure how you got there, I still want to recommend that you do that business, basic training, something.

That's going to set the foundation for what you're doing, systematize, what you've kind of been doing in a messy way. I'm saying that you might not be messy, but I was, I got to the stage of my business and it was just sort of like, I don't know, it's kind of working. I'm not really sure why, but I got this group and I got this money coming in and it's all just kind of all over the place. It's okay to exist like that. But not if you want to grow, if you want to grow, you really need to clean up your systems, know what you're doing and why you're doing it. And by this point, you're going to be able to make a lot out. If you haven't already done some sort of business training, you're going to get a lot out of it because you have a lot of experience to pull from.

You're not just starting out fresh. So absolutely make sure that you get some marketing training at this point. It may even be time for you to do some sort of specialized training. Like I said, some special training, like in a, how to use a particular tool or how to do something very specific in your marketing. Um, it might be time if you've done those things already to hire the private business coach, it might be time for that. I'm going to put that in the maybe category. And they do think it is likely the time for you to hire some assistance, um, to help you with things like customer service, some tech stuff on the backend of your website tasks that you can easily give to others so that you can stay in what we call, right, your zone of genius. And that way you are actually be earning more per hour because you will be earning while you pay them likely a fraction of what you would be charging a client.

So those things are worth it. When you start earning a somewhat decent salary, I still, at this point would not be spending a lot of money in Facebook ads, not yet to do Facebook ads, right. And really see a return on that investment. In my experience requires hiring a Facebook ads agency with the monthly retainer of thousands of dollars plus thousands and thousands of dollars of an ad spend. So I would hold off on that. I don't think you need to be hiring someone for PR yet copywriters project managers. I think you're still in a stage where you need to clean up your systems and then you will be ready to scale to the next So, level. Okay. And we'll talk, how about that next level in just a second, but I'm seeing some questions come in here. So, Bruce is saying how much training do I need in order to get started?

I'm still in a coaching class at primal health, but want to get going as soon as possible. That's all you need, Bruce. Like, I don't know exactly what the, what primal health coach Institute says. But when I was in the Institute for integrative Nutrition at the halfway point of the program, they said, okay, go out and get your first clients. And I did. And I'm so glad that I did. So whenever they give you the go ahead, go ahead. Like the secret is honestly, anybody can be a health coach even without a certification. So just think about that. There's no need to wait for this certification and that certification. And the next one you ha you probably can start right now. Christy says, do you teach how to create landing pages and HPU? Oh my goodness. Such a specific question. The answer is yes.

Okay. Uh, let's move on here. Let's say that you're more advanced in your business. Not only are you earning a good income, but you're earning it in a predictable way. Like you can pretty much bet that next year you're going to earn as much as you did this year and then some, okay. And it's a solid income where you're able to live on it and there's extra to play with and by play with, I mean, invest wisely. Okay. So at that point, I expect that you would have private clients, potentially group clients. And what you would want at the stage of your business is something scalable, a scalable course, a product of some kind, something that you can be selling a lot of people without your personal workload, increasing that much. Or maybe you have a very specific system for bringing in VIP clients that are paying top, top, top dollar.

I'm talking like five figures up and up from there. Okay. So that again, it's not like you're spending hours and hours and hours and hours, hours seeing private clients all day long, because that is just not sustainable and you will burn out. So if you're running a really good income and you have a way of doing it, that's not burning you the heck out. In which case you should take your money and go on vacation at this point, I think it would be useful for you to hire a private business coach to help you see where are the opportunities in your specific business? What is worth further investment? Is it worth now running a funnel, a Facebook ad funnel to your scalable product, right? That's so specific to you and what you're doing, and it would be different from that other coach that's selling the VIP high-end coaching package.

You know, maybe for that person, that's all about speaking events and getting booked and traveling and writing a book publishing, right? So as your business grows, what I have noticed as health coaches get not just more specialized in the topic that they're an expert in, but they get more specialized in how they do what they do. The kind of marketing that works for them. If they're very good on a stage, they should be on a stage. If they're very good on TV, they should be on TV. You know, everyone has something that they really shine at. So that's when you having a private business coach can really be helpful to help you identify those areas and make the most of what's really working for you specifically. But you won't know this earlier in your career at that stage of your business, just to also help you guys look ahead if you're not there yet, but that's the point at which you're going to be relying on your assistants, not one, probably multiple assistants helping you out with different areas of your business.

It's going to be the time of your career, where you're like, okay, I need all of these emails written, or I need this sales page written, or I need whatever my website ran. And you're going to hire a copywriter to do that. You're going to hire a graphic designer to design it. You're going to hire a project manager to come in and make sure that everybody is working together and all your projects are on time. And again, this would be the point where you might start investing heavily in something like Facebook ads. So as you can see, a lot of this stuff that you can spend on in the beginning can, I don't think it's a total waste of money, but it's not the most efficient use of your funds until you get to the point where you have... You have a way of creating predictable income that is scalable.

Let's say, let's just say that you were independently wealthy at cause you know, I know so many of us are, and you hired a business coach and you hired copywriters, a project manager and designers, and you had Facebook ads running right now. And like your, one of your business, let's say, and then you started having like all of these inquiries and all these people wanting to book with you because all your marketing team did such a great job. You're a brand new health coach. You're not really sure what you're doing yet. After each client call you kind of, if you're like me kind of huddle in the corner and like decompress, you know, it took me a long time to get comfortable doing the work. So, you personally will not be able to scale as quickly as a team like that would be trying to get you to, so your skills need to build your sense of who you are and the industry needs to build over time.

And then the team and the tools that you use around you kind of grow with you. So I hope that makes sense. So just to recap, I know most people inside of our health coach power community are in the earlier stages of business, which is why I'm often talking to you about things like, you know, what's your target market. Do you have your email address set up? Like I know where you guys are at, and at this stage of the game, I want you to hold off, investing in the ads, hold off, investing in the advanced health certifications, hold off on the private business coach. There's so many other ways that you can more efficiently use your funds. Okay. What other questions do we have here? Niecy was asking, what are your thoughts on done for you programs or products?

Great question. For example, should I buy say 10% done for you programs initially just to jumpstart my practice or should I create them all from scratch? Okay. I'm not exactly sure what the 10% meant Niecy, but on done for you programs and products. I feel that you should have a very basic coaching program that you offer based on your personal experience, who you are as a coach. And that's something that you can be offering immediately while you're in school, or as soon as you graduate, like we talked about earlier, if you're going to buy something done for you. For example, I really like Detox Done from Julia Sarver. That's something that I see coaches do well with as a second step. Right? But if they start there, it can, it can work. You know, it can work either way, but I really like coaches to have a better sense of who they are and some experience doing coaching on their own first. Cause I think that will better inform how you customize a done for you product.

The risk you've run with done for you stuff is looking generic and feeling generic and just kind of plateauing in your business because of that. So I would, I would put that out there as a caution, but yes, done for you. Programs and products can be helpful in the earlier stages of your business. Good question. Let me circle back to Monica's question about the differences between my programs. So I really only offer two different. They're not even different, two variations of the same program. You often hear me mention Healthy Profit University. That is an evergreen program that you can join at any time during the year, if you're listening to this and you're like, yes, I've been wanting to join Healthy Profit University, go to health, coach power.com/earn. And there's a training there during that you'll learn about HPU and how to get started right now.

Then what happens is you, you know, you start on your own timeline, you go work through the material. However you want again on your own timeline, take as long as you want, you have lifetime access. So it's really cool. And we have members joining us all year long. However, two times a year, I do the program live. Instead of you working on your own timeline, you're going to start on a start date. You're going to start with me. We're going to have weekly live meetings every week. And the whole group moves together through the curriculum. Not only that, but I throw in a bunch of extras, which I can't tell you about yet. What's happening this spring, but we have some really cool extras in the curriculum for everybody who joins fast-track this spring. So we, we fly. Like we go through it fast. The difference is that when you do fast track, it's more, it's more work.

You have to have the time and the space for it, right? And you have to have the willingness to do it. And the, the readiness to like jump in with both feet. So it's for coaches who are ready to do that. And again, it only happens two times a year. It's going to be happening in the spring. So if you are an HPU member already, who's been going slower and you want to move more quickly, then you'll want to upgrade to fast track when that comes around. And I give you like a big old bonus discounts. Don't worry about it. If you have not joined either program, yet you can still join us for fast track. And the wait list will be announced next week. It's very exciting. It's very fun. Anyway, I'm not going to talk anymore about that right now, but I hope that helps.

Okay. Um, let me hit any other, the questions that we have. I have a few here that I pulled out of our group earlier today. Monica is saying that she joined HPU last week and she's loving it, but maybe, maybe she wants to join fast track. Yes. Maybe we'll see. Can you tell, I'm excited about it? Cause I've been like doing a lot of planning behind the scenes, so it's very top of mind for me. Okay. Let me answer some other questions. Before we run out of time here, Nelly says I've neglected my mailing list and I switched my niche. I switched my niche. Do you recommend to start over? Okay. You know what I do recommend that you start over in a sense, you know, you never totally start from the beginning if you've already started. Cause you have some experience in like, okay, if I'm starting over with a new target market, first, I have to validate that target market.

Next I have to, you know, you kind of know the steps, so it's going to be easier the second time around. But yeah, if you're changing things up or if you kind of walked away from your business for a while and then you're going back to it, I would think about it as starting over. And I would think about what did I do last time that worked what'd I do last time that didn't, you know, learn from your own experience and maybe your own habits and what's going on in your life that caused you to walk away from the business in the first place. And you're going to do it smarter the next time around for sure. Okay. Here's a question from Sasha. Sasha says who, who uses Google ads or an ad manager. And what do you pay per lead? I'm moving my practice to online and I have no idea what to pay for a lead.

Okay. So Sasha, here we go. I don't know what stage of business you're in, but if you are in state, as I laid out four of them today, if you were in stage one, two or three, I would say don't worry about ads, right? I don't know. There's a lot of people out there that would argue with that. But again, unless you have a lot of startup capital, I would say there are other ways to promote yourself and promote your business. That costs $0. In fact, I'm remembering now that I have a resource about this and it's a little bit dated, so forgive me on that. But it's still very, very relevant. If you go to health coach power.com/promos, I have a list of ways that you can promote your lead magnets, your webinars, your five day challenges. You know, anything that you might be wanting to sign people up for, grow your mailing list and do it with $0 all organically.

This is what I teach inside HPU, by the way, because I know when you're starting out, especially if you just invested in a program to help build your business, you probably don't have another bunch of thousands of dollars just sitting around, waiting to invest in ads. And if you do ads incorrectly, that can be a gigantic waste. So in terms of what to pay per lead, if you are in that fourth category where you really are in a position where you have the extra income, you have a way to scale your business and do something with all of those leads. Um, I can share that when I run Facebook ads and I don't do it very much and I'm not doing them at all right now, but in the past when I've run Facebook ads, I believe my Facebook ad agency is always trying to get leads that are like under $5 each.

So what we mean by leads is somebody who's joining my mailing list and the cost of getting them. There was under $5. It can go up to $10. I mean it changes, depending on what industry you're in, but as you can see, that can be really expensive. On the other hand, I can add someone to my Facebook group for free. I'm not in my Facebook group to my mailing list for free. If let's say they're in my Facebook group, or if let's say they're following me on Instagram, or if I do a presentation at their office and they love everything that I have to say, I can add them to my mailing list for free. So you have to kind of weigh like the different, um, tactics for how to build a mailing list. And do you need to be spending so much on ads?

It's not the only way to do it. And my entire is online. So I'm just letting you know, you don't have to do ads, even if you're moving your practice online. Okay. One more question. Before we go today, this is from hope. Hope says, does anybody have a successful holistic health coaching business without the need to create a program? If so, I'd love to chat about your success. I really want to start getting clients, but I would wonder if I need to put a program together. I know working with a client needs structure, but is a program really necessary. I don't know what all these health coaching schools have been doing like in the past, like three or four years. But I see you guys stressing out so much about your program.

You can work with anybody and you can work with them right now. I can put literally anybody on the planet in front of you. And I'm convinced that any health coach could make a positive difference in that person's life by what? By coaching them. And how do you coach someone? You listen to them, you repeat back what they're saying to you and you let them come to their own conclusions. How's that for a program? So the thing is that's hard to sell. It's hard to tell someone who has never been part of a coaching relationship to say, Oh, here's the thing I'm going to listen to you. I'll never repeat it back. And then I'm going to let you come to your own conclusions. That's not going to sell very well. People want to know that you have the answers for them, that you have solutions for them, right?

That's what they're going to buy. So you don't need a program in order to work with clients. And you can often get quite a few clients simply by saying, I'm a health coach and I specialize in X, Y, Z, and I can help you solve this problem that will get you there, but it will help you sign more clients. And that will help you again, create a system as you advance your practice, to sign more clients more easily and create something scalable. If you do have a program that is easy to communicate the value of, and that doesn't mean it's 12 weeks long and we meet every other week for 35 minutes. No, nobody cares. I mean, I've done, I've done episodes about this in the past, but it's all about letting people know that you understand exactly who they are and the problem that they have and you're going to help them solve it. If you can create a program around that, that's how you start selling more. Anyway, hope I hope that helps answer your question, but the point is don't wait to get started. Start now with what you have. You're great. The way you are.

All right, everybody. That was a lot. My computer battery is about to run out. Oh my goodness. Thank you for joining me. I'll be back next week with an announcement of our HPU fast track waitlist. I will see you then. Take care.