#221: Likability – The X Factor For Client Attraction

Feel like you’ve done all the things and yet clients are hard to come by? Consider the secret sauce behind most successful coaches’ careers – it’s all about that know, like, trust factor. Michelle breaks it down into 7 components so you can honestly assess your public persona. And join our free 2023 planning workshop at HealthCoachPower.com/2023

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7 Ways to Boost Client Attraction

You’re the heart and soul of your health coaching business – but you’re also the face. 

And that means you have to be likable if you’re going to have a thriving business.

It really doesn’t  matter what certifications you have, or how long your signature program is, or even what it costs. For someone to hire you, they need to know you, like you, and trust you.

So, how on earth do you get perfect strangers to like you? It has nothing to do with your inherent worth as a person – it’s more about the type of impression you make. 

#1 Be who you are

Are you using pre-fab, generic pictures in your marketing or on social media? Maybe you have done-for-you materials that you got from school, or bought somewhere. You’re putting stuff out there that sounds like what a health coach should say…

But how will anyone get to know you? Don’t play the part of a health coach. Say what feels authentic. 

Share a few personal experiences – some little details from your life. Maybe even some of your vices (we all have a few…for example, I can put away a crazy amount of Trader Joe’s cookies by myself!) 

Yes, you’re an expert– but you’re also a human being. And that attracts people to you.

#2 Show up

Bet you never thought that marketing yourself would help earn trust! But when you show up consistently, that’s exactly what happens.

Do your emails get sent every Wednesday?

Do your blog posts publish like clockwork?

If someone leaves a comment on social, do you reply?

These are hints that say “I’m a reliable person” even when someone hasn’t met you yet.

#3 Be easy to talk to

People need to feel comfortable with you if they’re going to hire you to coach them. Because coaching is talking, right?

And this is a skill you can learn – even if you’re a natural introvert like me.

The best way to get comfortable talking to people? Practice. I know, it can be hard. But try talking to strangers in the Whole Foods produce section. Chat someone up at the holiday party. 

Keep at it – it gets easier!

#4 Be positive

We’ve all met people who judge others for not being healthy enough. And people who complain about everything, including the fact that this salmon isn’t organic. Don’t be that person. 

People care about how you make them feel. So when you’re representing your business in public, lead with positivity. Encouragement. Engagement.

That doesn’t mean you have to be all sunshine all the time (no thanks, toxic positivity). But remember that first impressions matter. A lot. If you make someone feel like a million bucks, they’ll want to be around you.

#5 Express your opinions 

If you’re going to be magnetic, you’ll attract people– and you’ll also repel some people. You’re not for everyone. That’s okay!

Don’t be scared of a little controversy. The people who get you? They’ll really get you. They’ll feel like they know you. Because you’re not cookie-cutter. You piqued their interest. They want to hear more.

So if you have something to say, say it. And do so with kindness and a positive bent (refer back to #4.)

#6 Be relatable

Ever worry that you can’t coach other people until you’ve got your own health issues totally solved? For example, you can’t help people lose weight if you’re still working on it yourself?

Totally not true. You’ll actually be more relatable – and likable – if you’re not little miss perfect. Because they’ll know you understand them and where they are. That’s powerful.

#7 Be aspirational

Again, you don’t have to be perfect. But you do want potential clients to think, “I want to be like her when I grow up.” 

Maybe it’s not cool to say this, but appearance does matter. It’s not about having the “right” body type or looking like an instagram model. Maybe it’s your attitude, or your laugh, or your cooking skills. They want what you’ve got, and that’s why they’ll hire you.

So give a little thought to how you present yourself. Do your hair. Clean up your zoom background. Make sure your lighting is good. If you appear to have your act at least somewhat together, that’ll help people like and trust you.

Get ready to shine

Your public persona determines your likability – and your success. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and to stand out. Focus on things that you care about, and you’ll shine. 

What are you excited about? Let’s get that positive energy going in 2023.  Join me for a free workshop on how to Make 2023 Your Most Profitable Year Yet. Register free here

Full transcript:

Hello there, health coaches. You know what? My voice is a little eh today cuz I've been real sick for the past week. I think I had the flu, so please excuse this frogginess in my throat. Slowly getting better. And don't worry, I have all the home remedies and essential oils and herbs and you name it, it's in my pantry. . Not only have I been sick, but both my boys are home sick again for the second day. So, here we are. That's just is what it is. And I gotta tell you, my dishwasher has died. All signs seem to be pointing to slow down except for the part where I'm gonna have to very quickly be washing all the dishes in the house.

If we're gonna have anything to eat on, that's gonna have to speed up a little bit. But you can see where the universe is saying, slow it down, Michelle. Stay home. Take care of yourself. That is sort of what this time of year has always been about for me in my health coaching business. And maybe you're finding this too, that it gets a little slow this time of year. If you're working with clients, they're going to be all wrapped up in wrapping up their gifts and going to Christmas parties. If you're not working with clients, this can be a somewhat difficult time of year to find new ones. Cause everyone's like, let me wait until January. Maybe for you, it's also a situation of it's time to slow down. So if you know what I'm talking about, let me know in the comments and hopefully it doesn't take the flu to knock you out for over a week to give you this lesson.

Now, since it is sort of this slower time of year, I actually love December because I use it every year to kind of almost like become a hermit at my desk in my home to think about what do I want my business to be like next year. And I actually have a free workshop coming up to help you with exactly that. I want to invite you to join me for free at healthcoachpower.com/2023. We are gonna be talking about how to make 2023 your most profitable year ever. I'm gonna lead you through the same exact exercise that I use in my own business in planning for the new year each and every year. And we're gonna have a lot of fun. And that's going down at the end of the month right after Christmas. So sign up now before you forget cuz it is a crazy time. Healthcoachpower.com/2023. Oh my goodness, it really is gonna be 2023.

For today, sorry, , I really do sound groggy in my throat, don't I? For today, I wanna talk about something that's going to make or break you in the new year. It's gonna make or break your business period. And I don't think we talk about it very much and I'm almost positive I'm gonna say something today that's going to offend someone and that just seems to be my way. But bear with me cuz I think you're gonna understand that the X factor for client attraction, as I'm calling it truly is your likeability. Now, I love you all. I've had the pleasure of knowing thousands and thousands of health coaches through the years. I'm always telling people I'm so blessed to work with and be among health coaches because we are, dare I say, some of the most lovely people on the planet.

Now that being said, you can love someone and still sometimes the likability factor isn't there. You can love what someone's about and yet they can still be a bit standoffish. You can love someone and yet still go, Ooh, why'd you do that? Right? So today I want you to look at not your inherent value as a human being because yes, all health coaches have so much of that, right? Just huge hearts and a willingness to serve. But how likable are you? Likable? Are you to a perfect stranger that is coming across you for the very first time? What sort of impression do they get? This is huge because we are marketing ourselves. We are the face of our business as well as the heart of our business. And we do all the work in our business. We are the face of our business. And when it gets right down to it, you can think of any industry you've ever worked in.

People hire people they like. I bet you can even think of an example where someone, or maybe it was you got hired for a job even though there was somebody who was more qualified, but you got hired because you were liked known. And a lot of times in this industry you'll hear or referred to as the no trust factor. Does somebody know you? Do they like you? Do they trust you? If those three things are there, it doesn't really matter what your certifications are, or if you're poaching package is four months or five months, or if it's $2,000 or $3,000 when the no trust factor is there, I think it supersedes everything else and that's why it's so powerful. But I also think it's hard to wrap our heads around cuz how do we get that no and trust factor? So I've broken it down into seven components.

I wanna go through them today. These are not scientific or proven through research. This is just kind of what I've noticed from being in my own coaching practice for the last 13 years. And from watching all of you, some people succeed very quickly. I'm not surprised because they just have that magnetism of struggle because they're not as easy to know or to, not because they're not likable and love a bull, but because it's just harder to get to know them. And then how do we establish trust when we're talking about ourselves as a business? So let's go through these seven components now and I'd love to hear what you think. So the first thing is that it's really important that you allow yourself to be known. And an example of this not happening is when coaches use pre-made done for you, I don't know, maybe you get them from your school or whatever graphics and post them to Instagram and they're super generic and you write things that sound like what a health coach is supposed to say, right?

That's you playing the part of a health coach. That's not you allowing yourself to be known as a human being. So by doing too much of that, it can halt this. The ability for anybody to know you or you or eventually trust you. So that's one example of doing it kind of working against yourself. Do you allow yourself to be known? Do you show up? Yes, as a health coach, as a health expert, 1000%. But do you also show up as you know, a person who had the flu last week? Do you show up maybe not quite at a hundred percent and willing to talk about why are you able to be who you truly are when you're sending emails to your list, when you're writing blog posts, when you're appearing as a guest in a podcast, does it sound like you are reading from a script what a perfect health coach would say at all times?

Or do you allow yourself to make mistakes to speak off the top of your head and to be known? It can help to share a little bit from your personal life. I'm not saying you need to be out in the public eye airing all your dirty laundry. No thank you, nobody needs that. But occasionally talking about your family, talking about your hobbies, things that you like to do outside of health coaching, talking about your vices. That's one of my favorite things to do as a health coach is talk about how many jojo's, those Oreos from Trader Joe's, how many jojo's I can consume in a sitting. You know people, they think that you are never gonna say something like that. So if you allow yourself to be known on a personal level, it goes a long, long way for people feeling like they could ever trust you, ever write you a check for a couple thousand dollars?

Do you allow yourself to be known? Just go through your week even. What'd you do this week that might allow your audience or an audience to get to know you as a human being, huh? We don't think about that too often. Okay, let's move on to the next component I came up with here, which is about being trustworthy. Now of course, trustworthy in if somebody pays you show up in coach, then of course, I don't think anyone is running the risk of not being trustworthy on that level. But what tells someone that you're trustworthy before they even get to that point? Let's say you send out an email and you send out an email every week. You send out an email every Wednesday and every Wednesday, whether I open it or not, I see an email from you in my inbox and it makes me smile.

That lets me know that you are trustworthy, you show up and you do it consistently. Even if I'm too busy to open your stuff, you're there. You're in my inbox. So the more consistent you are in your marketing, people are gonna get the impression this is a person who shows up. This is a person that I can rely on. Probably never thought about it that way before, but if you send your list an email like once, and then they hear from you again three months later, and then they hear from you two weeks in a row and then not again for another several weeks, that shows them that you are sporadic, you are perhaps unreliable. So that's just one way that we can prove that we are trustworthy is by showing up and showing up and showing up. And I'm using email as an example, but it could be in your social posting, it could be in releasing those new podcast episodes or your new blog posts.

Are they coming out consistently? Are you showing up that way? I know I can trust you. Okay, now here's one that I think might be a little hard for you to gauge yourself with or maybe not. You tell me. Are you easy to talk to? If I'm in a room with you, can we shoot the shit part of the expression pretty easily for 20, 30 minutes? Are you comfortable talking with people or is it awkward? Is it pulling teeth? Is it second guessing everything that comes out of your mouth, feeling a little bit stilted? Not sure what to say? Oh my God, right? People feel that. They feel that energy. And if we're hiring you as a coach, you gotta be so easy to talk to. I gotta wanna sit down and pour my heart out to you and tell you all the crazy things that I've been thinking and all the problems that I've been having, and I want you to be the most comforting, safe space.

So this is a skill, and sometimes I share this story that when I started my business, I was such a strong introvert. If you took a Myers Briggs test and the scoring goes, you can have an E or an I, extroverted or introverted, I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. On the far side of I, so far off the charts I, I've always been more introverted, so I had to practice talking to people because coaching is talking to people. The act of coaching is talking to somebody, not to mention the marketing that you're going to do ahead of actually signing the client that you will talk to. The marketing is a lot of talking too. Can you do this without being awkward? I practiced in the beginning by going to Whole Foods, and when I was standing in front of that wall of vegetables, if I saw somebody come up looking confused, looking at a shopping list or a recipe and looking up and looking down and looking up and looking down and looking up, I would kind of lean in and say, what are you looking for?

And they would say, Bok Choi. And I'm like, there it is. There's baby Bak Choi too. And like, oh my God, thank you so much. This was a huge step for me as an introvert. You don't have to do exactly this, but you do have to find ways to practice talking, especially to strangers, because you're gonna be doing it a lot as you market yourself, whether you're in a workshop setting, you're on stage and you're speaking or you're staring at yourself on a screen and recording for a podcast episode or a video, it needs to be easy to talk. So this is something everybody can get better at, and I encourage you to think about doing this purposely. Maybe there's holiday parties coming up this month. Try to talk to people you don't know. Not to be nice. I mean, yes, to be nice, but to help you hone this skill.

Can you make it really easy and comfortable to carry on a conversation for at least 20 or 30 minutes? Okay? The next piece that I think is really important for this likability factor is being positive and being engaging. So we could all imagine someone who's super into health and fitness and whatnot, but they think they're the best. They have it all figured out. They're gonna kind of scoff at you if you say anything about the wrong number of macros to eat or whatever doesn't fit with their view of what is healthy. We don't wanna be that. We also don't wanna be negative, Nancy. You don't wanna be the one who arrives at the party and you're complaining about this, that, and the other thing, even as it relates to healthy stuff, oh, nothing was organic. The store was all out of my favorite nutritional yeast, yada da da, da.

They didn't have anything. Oh, you sound like a drag . Nobody wants to hang out with that person. So we have to make sure that we are coming across as positive and encouraging. And again, you can practice this in your personal life. I'm not saying you always have to be positive about everything, like toxic positivity, not a fan, but first impressions. When you are in the public eye, your public persona, you definitely wanna show up being as positive, as engaging as possible. Because again, someone on the other end is like, huh, I wanna hire someone to help me with my health, but this person kind of feels like they're gonna make me feel bad, or this person kind of already is making me feel bad. Of course, they're never gonna hire you. They have to feel again, you were gonna be a safe space for them and they can come to you and you're just gonna either actually give them a hug or virtually give them a hug and make them feel like a million bucks.

So positive, engaging, keep the complaining and the negative stuff for your own time, for your own therapy sessions, maybe within the walls of your own home. But when you are in public, it is our role to be in uplifting force in society, I think. All right, now speaking of what you're gonna say, when you're in front of people, and this may feel like it's a little counter to my last point, but it's not. It's very important. If you wanna be likable, if you want to be magnetic, and this is in your writing, this is also when you are speaking, you need to have some opinions. You need to have something to say. You need to sometimes have such strong opinions that you are actively attracting people to you while repelling others. If we think about a magnet, and I talk about this a lot when I teach copywriting, we want to so strongly attract people to us that we are actively repelling others.

So, when I just said to be positive and engaging, I'm talking about to your people, for the people that you are trying to attract. So if you have a controversial opinion, you wanna talk about it. Again, not in a demeaning way. We never wanna be blasting another group of people, but we wanna talk about it in such a way that certain folks are gonna go, what? Yeah, I, I was just thinking that I need to hear more about that. Boom, they get strongly attracted to you when you put the two sides of a magnet together and other people are like, get me outta here. This is not my scene. That's how you're doing it, right? Because otherwise you're just a cookie cutter, generic health coach who says, drink more water.

There's nothing to that. There's nothing for people to glom onto. So when you have opinions, don't be afraid to share them. You can do that even in a positive way, in a positive spin, when you have something to say, you wanna say it, and this way you're not just another health and wellness person. That's always my fear when people are like, oh, you're a health coach. They probably think I work for Beach Body or something like, oh, I'm just another whatever. They think I'm somebody else who's trying to sell them a powder that they, they're to spend a lot of money on. And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. That's not what I'm about. I love talking with people, having conversations, asking questions, and not being afraid. Again, this goes back to somebody knowing you to share an opinion when it's appropriate. So think about attracting and repelling as a great way of knowing.

Do I have something to say? Do I deserve to be standing on this stage? Whatever that stage is, even if it's just you're in front of a couple of people chit chatting or you're talking with a prospective client am I saying something they haven't heard before? Am I saying something of interest? Right? Don't make this bigger than it needs to be. You don't have to say the most interesting thing in the world, but again, staying away from the generic cookie cutter stuff will go a long, long way to being memorable and for someone to wanna speak with you again. And of course, we want them to hire you and speak with you again and again and again and again. That's the goal. Here's the other thing about being a health coach, and I hear this a lot, so just let me know if this is you.

People think I can't health coach yet. I can't take on clients yet because I still have my own health issues because I'm still however many pounds overweight because I am still working towards my health goals. And that is patently untrue, like 1000%. You do not have to be perfect to be a health coach, and you can be much more relatable when you're not little miss perfect. Do you know what I mean? If you're still going through your own weight loss journey, that's cool because then you're gonna totally understand someone who is going through theirs. So that can be really powerful. However, I do think to be successful as a health coach, it helps a lot. If when people look at you, you are aspirational in some way, there's something about you that people are like, I wanna be like that. I wanna be like that when I grow up.

And it could be the shape and size of your body that is a possibility. It could be your attitude, your energy, your infectious laugh. People are like, yes, I wanna be like that. I wanna show up in the world like that. How can I get more of this person? That's why they wanna hire you to be their coach. Maybe your aspirational in your baking and your cooking and the things that you produce and people are like, wow, I wanna cook like that. I mean, we all have different skill sets. Use them, you know, wanna show up and have people go, yes, give me more. Yes, how can I model myself after you? But it doesn't have to be about your shape and your size. Now, appearance does matter to a degree. My mother always said to me when I was a kid, she said, you can wear whatever you want.

And I remember that I wanted to wear, gosh, I must have been about eight years old, and I wanted to wear purple leggings with red flats. I thought this was the coolest outfit. I can still see it in my mind, and she disagreed, but she said, you can wear anything you want as long as you are neat and clean. And she would say that to me over and over. You could use that with your kids too, if you like. I say it to mine sometimes, you need to be neat and clean. I don't care if your hair is long, your hair is short. I don't care if your clothes match necessarily, as long as you are neat and clean. And so I'm gonna just offer her that to all of us as well. But we don't have to be models. We don't have to be a certain size or a certain shape, but my goodness, when you show up, you two want to be both neat and clean.

And my point is, you want to look again in a way aspirational. Maybe it's just a matter of doing your hair a little bit. Maybe it's a matter of putting on a touch of makeup. I mean, it's gonna be different for everybody, but when people see you, they're going to get an impression again, are they like, oh, I wanna be like you? Or are they like, oh, that person looks like they're having a bad day, . We don't want them thinking that we don't want them. Look, even today, I'm recovering from the flu and I don't want anybody to look at me and be like, oh boy, she should have stayed in bed today. I am all for the authenticity. I'm all for showing up and saying that you're sick and you don't feel well, or whatever the case is. You don't always have to be 100%, but try, if your background is in your video frame, clean up the background.

If you're wearing something, make sure what you're wearing looks good on camera. These are just basic things. If you're going to be, again, on camera, you wanna have some good lighting, you wanna look again in a way that people will say, give, I want more of this. This makes me feel good. This makes me feel like this person has their act together. And that's huge. We don't always have our act together, but we don't want to portray that. We don't want people to see hot mess when they look at us that way. When you do talk about the fact that your two I did earlier, my two boys have been home, they're on the couch, we've watching TV all day, it comes more as a surprise and they're like, oh, she's just like me. Instead of me walking onto the screen right now looking like I just rolled out of bed and telling you the same thing, and you're like, yeah, maybe you should go back to bed, Michelle.

So, I'm putting this out there to say, appearance does and also doesn't matter. Careful with your public persona because it will mean everything to your likability and to your success as a health coach, especially when you're marketing yourself online, where your face is just kind of always seen. We're always having to write, we're always having to talk and move on people to stick around and hear what we have to say, right? It sounds like so obvious, but sometimes health coaches, we're too boring, we're too bland, we don't shine, and people will respond when you start to shine. So if you're not shining, I want you to think about why not? What's holding me back if right now I had to give a lecture on I don't know women's hormones that would bore me to tears personally, so that wouldn't be something that I would wanna be doing in my business.

Think about what you're doing in your business and does it bring out your pep because that is that magnetism that your potential clients are going to be drawn to. So this is the quality that I want you to think about bringing into the new year, and we're gonna get very, very specific about the activities that you're gonna need to do in the new year to make 2023 your most profitable year. Yet I am a big fan of health coaches making a profit because our profit is a measure of our impact. If we make no money, it's very likely that means that we've been working with no clients. As you see money come in, that's a life I'm impacting. That's a life I'm impacting. It's very motivating and allows you to do more and more. So if you haven't already, make sure to join us for free for make 2023, your most profitable year yet, you can go to healthcoachpower.com/2023 and I will see you there and I'll see you back here next week hopefully with less of a frog in my voice. Have a great week everybody. Bye-bye.