#155: Jumpstarting Your Business After Covid

Whether it was an unexpected layoff, sickness, family emergency or having to suddenly play full-time babysitter and homeschool teacher, Covid knocked down more than a few fledgling health coaching businesses. Now that things are returning to normal, let’s talk about how to jumpstart your coaching practice. And don’t miss Michelle’s upcoming, free event to Multiply Your Mailing List – https://healthcoachpower.com/multiply

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Hey there health coaches. I was looking back in the archives and on March 20th, 2020, I released a podcast episode. It was called COVID and your business, what to do. We were all kind of freaking out. If you recall. I don't know if you remember that episode, but I have to tell you that even while I was recording it, I was thinking, gosh, what are we going to do? Because we had no idea what was going on. Right. We didn't know how long quarantine was going to last, how it would affect schools. I mean, whoever thought what was going to happen, right? Our job jobs, finances, uh, everyone's mental health, physical health, right? W we just, we thought we were looking at maybe a couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months of clarity and who knew how long right now, here we are on the other side, and many, many health coaches who not always, but tend to be women.

Women definitely bore the brunt of this quarantine in terms of being the shock absorbers of society, right? Being the ones who I know so many women, even just in my community who quit their jobs or took that lay off voluntarily to be the ones home with the kids. Right? So there's that whole thing going on. And I find that now, after whatever happened, maybe your partner was furloughed. Maybe there were layoffs, maybe whatever there was sickness. And here we are starting to creep out on the other side and get back to our coaching practice after being knocked off track. So let's talk about how to do that. Like, where are you at, first of all, if you're here live, and I know a bunch of you are tell me in the comments, how did COVID affect your business? Like what stage of business were you in when COVID hit? And did you stop entirely? Did you kind of bring your work hours down to a bare minimum?

I'm curious for me, it was a little bit different than maybe for some of you who are just getting started because I've had this online business for over a decade. So I was very well positioned to continue what I have been doing. Right? Like it wasn't like I needed to change anything. Think about all the yoga teachers out there, personal trainers who had to pivot overnight and bring their stuff online. I was so grateful to already be in this space and have like the ultimate flexibility to kind of take care of my kids and continue working. So it wasn't that kind of blow to my business personally, but it affected my business in other ways, like, for example, um, I didn't know what the heck was going on in life in general.
And I needed like many, a mental health day of my own, you know? So even just that kind of threw me off track. Jonlyn's here. Jonlyn's saying hi from San Francisco, Melissa is here. Hey, you guys, how did COVID affect you in business in the past year plus? Okay. And we'll talk about it.

I also want to celebrate that we are now at a point where more coaches are ready to start working again, and perhaps more clients are also more ready to start thinking about themselves. Again, maybe they too were extremely bogged down during quarantine. And the last thing they had the energy for was self-improvement working on their health, et cetera. So maybe it's a great time for everybody to be getting back at it. So today's episode was inspired by two of our Facebook group members. The first is Chloe. So, Chloe, if you're listening, hello and thank you for posting.

She wrote, so I'm just getting back into the idea of starting my business. I was almost there when COVID hit and my seven year old daughter was homeschooling. So I put it on hold. Now I'm ready to go again. But before I start taking on clients, aside from marketing, what are the most important things to have lined up? And Chloe, I think that on one hand, it's so terrible to just be at the starting line and then get knocked off by something like COVID on the other hand, Hey, you were just starting anyway. So now you're just starting. Okay. So maybe it didn't really do much damage hopefully to your business, but just changed the start date. So we're going to talk about what are the most important things that you can be focusing on for sure. Jonlyn's here live and she said I was doing regular in-person workshops and teaching groups in person.

Yeah. So Jonlyn, you would be more like the personal trainers and the yoga teachers out there who would have had to pivot. And how did that go? You know, my favorite yoga teacher, like all time yoga teacher, I will forever be a fan of my favorite teacher, David Vendetti. He had a big studio in Boston that closed during quarantine, like caput it's over, moved everything online. And I think that's where he's staying. You know, like some people really found success in the online space. So hopefully it was something like that for you, Jonlyn.

Here's another one of our Facebook community members who posted about the same topic. This is Christie and Christie said after getting certified, I honestly had no idea how to start a coaching business. You're not alone Christie. She said I had planned on getting out in my community, but then COVID hit and everything was shut down due to lock down and my kiddos never went back to school. I set everything aside to help them get through the remainder of the school year. Then we decided to homeschool this last school year. And again, I had no idea what I was doing. I was trying to figure out all of the homeschooling stuff. So I just put my business aside. Is this sounding familiar to anybody?

I know that there are tons of coaches out there who went through something similar. Anyway, Christie says I planned on using social for networking and marketing, but I just feel so bombarded with negativity on social media lately it's affecting my mental wellbeing. So with all of that, our question is what are other ways to grow and promote your business without social media? She says, I feel like the idea of getting to know people in my community. She likes that, but she feels like it would seem unprofessional to take the kids with her. And she just feels discouraged and feels like she's spinning her wheels.

I'm paraphrasing what Christie wrote because it was quite long. But anyway, again, I think so many coaches can relate to this. First big inhale and exhale. It has been a lot. No doubt about it. So we're going to talk about what you can be doing. Christie, Chloe, Jonlyn, all of you. One of the things I want to say first and foremost, is that the most important ways to jumpstart your health coaching practice, whether you're starting out for the first time restarting because of COVID or you've been in practice the whole time, but things have just slowed down or feel stagnant. You want to focus on your mailing list. I am always beating that mailing list drum and it is for good reason. So, I have something for you to help jumpstart your mailing list.

We are going to be doing something together a few weeks from now. It's called multiply your mailing list without any paid advertising. Hello, it's awesome. This is a free event and you can sign up at healthcoachpower.com/multiply. I'm going to put that link right over here in our comments. You can head over there and sign up because I think that's going to be a perfect way to re-ignite what you may have had to walk away from a year, year and a half ago. I also want to give a shout out to MissyRLF who left a review on apple podcasts. She wrote amazing podcasts for health coaches. Michelle has invaluable information for health coaches in her podcast. I'm so grateful that I found her. Missy. I am grateful that you found us too, and that you've been listening. Thank you for being here and thank you so much for the review.

Can you send your mailing address to us at support@healthcoachpower.com and just reference episode number 1 55. We have a little thank you gift for you. And for anyone who's been listening to the podcast, especially those of you that are like, I binge this podcast, leave a review. I would be so grateful. And maybe I'll give you a little shout out on the air next time.

Okay. So let's say that we are getting back into business. COVID is over-ish. I'm going to say 'ish' for now. What do we do first? Okay. Here's what I would suggest. First things first; check in with your target market. And by that, I mean, check in with yourself. Who is your target market? Is that something that you had figured out prior to COVID? If not now is the time if you had, okay, it's been a big year, year and a half for you, for me, for everybody.

Think about this person. Think about this target market. Has it changed at all? Has anything changed for you? What's changed for them? Let's say that your target market was, you know, the busy mom of three kids, who's packing lunches and going to soccer practice. And that type of woman, her life has changed quite a bit. Hasn't it? So maybe what you were doing and thinking about her a year or a year and a half ago prior to COVID maybe right now she needs something slightly different, right? Like what is she struggling with herself during this re-entry period? Because it would be really useful if you could speak to that in your materials, move starting now, you know, rather than trying to pick up exactly where you left off, cause her life may have changed or again, maybe your life has changed and you want to revisit the whole target market thing in general.

Okay. So start there because as I always say, it's really impossible for your marketing to be effective. If you don't know who you're speaking to and you don't know what the big problem is that they want to solve. So we'll start there. Okay. Now let's say you're very clear on your target market. You've done this exercise like a hundred times, cause you heard you hear me talk about it, like on the regular. The next thing that I think is really super important right now. And by the way, this goes for your personal life and your professional life is let's reconnect. Like it's time to reconnect. I just texted a friend of mine who I feel like I know what's going on in her life because I see her on Instagram all the time. But realize I have not seen her in person in over two years, we live in the same town.

It's ridiculous. Right? Like now's the time to reach out and reconnect. I feel like in some ways social skills have been stunted or we've just gotten used to this world where we don't really see people and it's like, oh yeah, we could hang out what a concept. So I would encourage you to do that because number one, your friends are your best sources of referrals. Sometimes they're the ones that are your big fans, connect with them professionally. Who can you reconnect with? I, for example, was going to yoga class at a yoga studio and they had to shut down during quarantine, but they've reopened and now it would be a perfect time for me to reconnect with the owner there. Cause I, again, I haven't talked to her in nearly two years. Oh my God. How time has just gone by so online in real life now is the time to strike up that conversation again.

Oh yeah. Remember me? Oh yeah. I remember that thing that we were doing before. Oh yeah. Remember how I liked to go wherever. It sounds so obvious, but I think there's going to be this ramping up period or we're in it right now. We going to need to go out of our way and figure it we're out. How to reconnect with these people and what, from my experience, I don't know what it's been like for you so far. People are thrilled to do it and especially business owners because they're having the same problems that we're having and they too want to reconnect. So I feel like whether you're starting hang out for the first time we're starting over. Okay. There's never been a better time to reach out to people even just cold calling because everybody is very much in this similar place of like, huh, how do I do this? How do I get started again? So, it's a little bit of a fresh slate and that's a really nice thing.

Okay. Let's talk about the next thing. Oh, I already mentioned a little bit about your mailing list. Yes. Your mailing list. Let's talk more about that. If you don't have one again, if you're starting for the first time now is the time to start your mailing list. You want to get it set up from scratch. I have a tutorial for you on how to do that. It's at health coach power.com/mailing list. You can get all set up in like 10 minutes. If you already have a list, what are you even doing with it for the past year or two chances are, I don't want to put any words in your mouth, but chances are that maybe your list has just been sitting there while you took care of life, right?

Or maybe you were very inconsistent with emailing your list throughout COVID. So you want to reconnect there as well. Well, and some people are not going to engage with you, right? Like they were on your list, but they have all but forgotten about you by now, you're going to email them. They're going to go, who the heck is this? And they're going to unsubscribe and they're going to delete and that's okay. Right. That's just going to happen because there was a big break in your communications or maybe their life has changed. Right? Everyone's been through this huge, weird transition. So maybe they were interested in what you did, uh, you know, prior to COVID and maybe their life has changed and their priorities have shifted. That's okay. If you see unsubscribes right now, do not take it personally. Everyone is just figuring out life again.

So in any case, I think that right now is the perfect time to start bringing new names onto your mailing list. People that we know are interested now in solving a problem that you can help themselves. Don't worry about everything. That's just been sitting there on the shelf, collecting dust, right? If you're a mailing list has like an inch of dust on it, just wipe it off and begin again. Start with who you have, but start putting new names onto your mailing list. And again, I'm going to be going to be teaching you the best ways to do that during our multiply your mailing list event. Coming up in a few weeks, sign up at healthcoachpower.com/multiply. This cannot be overemphasized. I don't care if it's post COVID. I don't care if it's the year 3000, we are going to be list-building you guys that is just part of running your own business, especially when you've kind of fallen off the face of the earth for a while.

So much more important to reconnect with your list and let them know that you're alive. And by the way, you don't have to apologize, right? Like any time in life, if you haven't emailed your list in a while, that's not the best, right? That's not your best business move ever. But when you come, when you show up again, when you come back, you don't need to apologize. You don't need to send an email and explain everybody understands. They have their own set of things that they let go of during COVID don't feel like you have to provide an explanation, just show up with value, show up with something that's going to be relevant and useful for them today. And that's how you're going to keep them on your list. Okay. All right. Good. So right now, as I'm recording its July, which means we have a couple of months until the fall.

And if I were you, if I were someone whose business kind of took a snooze during COVID and is waking up again, you know what I would do any guesses. If you hear that, if you could tell me in the comment, what you think I'm going to say, and this is something we're going to talk about during multiplier mailing list as well. But I wanted to call it out today because I think it would be helpful if you started planning now or at least forming an idea in your mind of an event that you can hold this fall. What is an event that you could create that you could host, that you could put out into the world? This could be something that you're doing like completely just to reintroduce yourself. You just want people talking to you again. They may have forgotten that you were even the health coach because you were just getting started, right?

Or even if you've been doing this for a while, what can you do to generate some excitement? I would think about doing workshops in person in real life. Yes. They can still happen. Find the places that people are going again. Right? If the yoga studio still is not having in-person classes, don't go there. Don't try to be the one thing that they're doing, where people are going to show up live. But a lot of gyms, a lot of places are having a lot of people show up again. And that's where you want to be. So you could be holding something like a workshop that's live. And in person for corporations that are back in the office, no longer working from home, great time to be doing something in person there as well. But then of course you can also be promoting yourself online webinars, online workshops, five-day challenges, plan something for the fall.

This is going to give you something to talk about all summer long, to get people interested in, get them signed up for, and then when the fall hits and everyone's like back from vacation and they're done with the barbecues and the ice cream, you're going to be very, very well positioned to sign new clients. So that is probably the one thing that I would say you want to get on your calendar, ASAP. Do that. I think that it's always scary to hold events. And I mean, I don't just think that cause I've been there, but I think that because I hear it from you guys all the time, but consider this COVID was the pits a lot of reasons, but it did some positive things for us. And I think it leveled the playing field when it comes to our work lives, like all day businesses took a hit; big ones, small ones, long time businesses, whatever.

So we don't have to be embarrassed about showing up and being new or being out of practice because everybody's out of practice. We don't have to worry about showing up perfectly. Everything was so imperfect for so long. I feel like, yeah, but the playing field got leveled. Like you have kids, you have kids it's running around in the background or I can hear your child, you know, oh, through the bedroom door that you have closed. So what do you remember? Like how over quarantine, there were a news anchor, unlike national TV, prime time who had kids running around in the backyard or interrupting them while they were on the air. You know, celebrities were playing music from their living rooms. It was like, we're all just people. And everybody got to see that. And I think it's particularly a boom for, for women who are working at home because so often we feel like we have to hide our children and we go to great lengths, I know that I have, to sort of pretend like the kids aren't there. Which is absurd. Don't worry about being imperfect.

Don't worry about having the kids in the house. Don't worry about taking the kids along with you. Like Christie was asking about when I read her question at the start of this episode now is a wonderful time to try new things and break new ground with your business. Because like I said, everybody is starting over. If you're going to call an HR, the HR department at a corporation and say, Hey, what kind of workshops do you have lined up for the fall? Usually it would be kind of late in the year to be doing that. Potentially you would do very well to ask that question right now, because they probably just decided yesterday that they are going back to the office. Do you know what I mean?

So there's this chance to do things that we may not always be able to do. We may not always be able to just halfway through the year, get ourselves onto the calendar and show up and do that workshop. But I want to really encourage you to take advantage of this, this transitional time, right? It's just like an odd time for everybody. And it's a great time for you to sneak back in. So let's say that you are building your list. Do you know exactly who you want on your list? Let's say that you're going to hold an event in the fall. Like I was just encouraging you to do that's another way to bring people onto your mailing list. Of course, we're going to be talking about all that during your mailing list, because events can be so effective. I mean, it's like a one-time thing.

So when it's over, it's over, but they can be so effective for getting names on your mailing list. Whereas if you have like a download a free download, those are good too, but they kind of serve a different purpose. So I like for you to have both, anyway, you put in your names onto your list or you have a list that's sitting there collecting dust for the last year. You got to start nurturing this list. Again, you have to reconnect with your mailing list. So we talked about one thing to put on your calendar would be an event. I'm going to give you a second thing to put on your calendar. I want you to put on your calendar, plug it into that Google Cal right now, a block of time for you to write an email to your list on either a weekly, every other week or monthly basis, pick a day, pick a time and get it on there.

Because if you're not regularly communicating, you were going to lose these people. And if you're adding new names to your list, but then you're not doing anything with it. It's kind of like why bother? Why bother doing any of the list building in the first place? Your list is your most valuable asset. So today notice I'm not talking about updating your website. Don't even look at your website. I don't care what your website has on. It will not help you. We're not talking about, um, getting back on social media in a big way. I mean, you can, the reason to do that would be to find people and get them on your mailing list though. So I want you to start with what is really at the heart of your marketing and how you, you can make money as a health coach. That is your list. So, you want to nurture that list with content every week, every other week, or once a month, whatever your schedule is going to be.

If you can do that much, you will be miles and miles ahead of where you've been for the past year. That's like what I consider baseline. Even when I have gone on maternity leaves, when we know when I had my babies, which is a while ago now, but I am telling you, I took that laptop to the hospital with me. Cause I was going to get that email out, which may have been overkill. However, especially, you know, with my first was a C-section. I was glad to have it with me. You want to get your emails out? Like it is your job because it is your job. And finally, as we were talking about re-introducing ourselves as health coaches, after this pandemic go easy on yourself. Oh my God, yesterday I was working. It was beautiful out. The little town beach that we have is finally open again.

And I was like, you know what? I really need to be doing that. Not this for, for the past year or two, I've been staring at a screen, we've all been staring at screens non-stop. I can go do the thing in person and see the people and touch the sand and get it between my toes and go in the water. I need to do that very much right now. And that I think was the best decision that I could have made. So be gentle with yourself and be gentle with your clients. They too are experiencing this, this re-entry phase. Maybe they are going back to the office for the first time. I know my next door neighbor. I just met her yesterday, my new neighbor. And she said, starting next week, she has to go back to the office one day a week, but it's kind of freaking her out because, oh, what am I going to wear?

And I got to leave early and catch the train. And she hasn't done that for so long. So we want to be super accommodating, maybe a little more lenient with your policies for both yourself and for your clients. But listen, you can build your business back up you or get it started for the first time, regardless of what happened during COVID now is like fertile soil for planting seeds. And the easiest way to do that, like we've been talking about is focusing on your mailing list and I promise you, you can do it all. You don't even need to run ads. All you need to do is start getting yourself out there in front of people, reconnecting, hosting, some events, being visible. That's the name of the game. I'll be teaching you how to add new names to your mailing list using evergreen methods, using events, borrowing audiences. Oh my God, we're going to cover so much during multiply your mailing list. And it's all going to be done without paying a cent towards Facebook ads or any kind of paid advertising. So, if you haven't already, now is the time to go run over to healthcoachpower.com/multiply, sign up and I'll see you there.

And I'll see you all inside of our Facebook group. And I'll be back next week with more, oh, wait a minute. I'm lying. I will be on vacation next week. There will be no episode next week, but the following. I'll see you there have a great time you guys.