You want to sell your health coaching program – but how? In this live Q&A session Michelle shares which strategies she’s found to work best so you don’t end up chasing shiny objects and wasting time. Register for our FREE Create Your Signature Program bootcamp at HealthCoachPower.com/signature
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Top Marketing Strategies for Health Coaches
Most health coaches start small and go at it alone. I know I did! We don’t have a big budget, unlimited time, or a marketing team.
We need to start simple, and be smart. Here are two marketing strategies you can use right now to sell your coaching program – no fancy technology or startup capital required.
Strategy #1: Sell to a warm audience
A warm audience is a group of people who already know you, like you, and trust you. Focus on marketing yourself to these folks, rather than a “cold” audience of strangers, and you’ll be far more successful.
(My health coaching practice started as a blog in 2006. Readers became fans, and fans became paying clients. True story! That’s an example of how a warmed-up audience makes all the difference!)
But if your warm audience basically consists of your sister, your dog and the mailman…
You’ll need to build that up. Here’s how:
The long game: Create valuable content
One killer way to build a warm audience is to focus on a long-term content creation strategy. (Like my blog, way back when!)
You’ll want to publish consistent, high-value content. In this way, you’ll build a readership for your blog, podcast, YouTube channel or whatever platform works for you.
Keep people coming back to hear what you have to say. Over time, they’ll become an eager warm audience, excited when you have something to offer them – no pushy sales techniques needed.
Takes some time: Host free events
Another great way to get people to know, like, and trust you is with free events – either online or in person. Both work well!
Think about holding a webinar, workshop, or 5-day challenge. Maybe it’s a cooking class or a book club at your house.
The point is, give people a chance to interact with you and see your expertise up close and personal. Then, when you have an offer for them, they’ll know you’re the real deal.
The fastest way? Partner up
If you want a warm audience fast, partner with another business or practitioner.
Do you know a massage therapist, yoga teacher, chiropractor, or wellness brand that’s been in business for a while? If they introduce you to their established audience, you’ve got a huge head start – they’re essentially vouching for you.
Here’s how to make it happen:
You could do a workshop together. Or an Instagram live. Maybe they publish your article in their blog or newsletter. Any kind of joint venture you can think of will help you leverage a partner’s existing reach to build your own.
Strategy #2: Sell them what they want
Now that you have a warm audience, remember that you’re there to serve.
Trying to convince people to be interested in your product or service is a losing game. Instead, listen to what your warm audience actually wants. Then, create your programs and offers around what your audience is asking for – even if it isn’t what you initially intended.
For example, you may LOVE the idea of teaching fermentation classes. But if your audience wants you to show them how to lose weight with the keto diet, you’ll be far more successful offering that instead.
Common sense, right? But there’s a strong tendency to want to offer something that WE, the practitioner, are interested in. Don’t make that mistake. Meet your clients where they are and speak their language.
Of course, you have to find the right balance for your business – do something that feels good to you, while you’re also giving your audience what they need and want.
And whatever you do…
Don’t try to sell your “6 month health coaching program.” No one wants a 6 month health coaching problem. They want a solution to a problem.
Need more help?
If you’re still figuring out what program you’re going to sell, join my upcoming free event: Create Your Signature Program 5-Day Bootcamp. You’ll have a program ready for clients to enroll in by Day 5!
And if you want my most robust business training, the 2023 Fast Track Semester is for you – and it only happens once per year. Join the no-obligation waitlist to get the best pricing and bonuses.
All righty. Hello there Health coaches. It's so nice to be here with you today. We are talking about top marketing strategies for health coaches. What are those things that you need to be doing if you want to be selling your program? If you're here with me live, first of all, go ahead and tell me in the comments, in the chat area, what is the program that you are currently selling? Do you have a 12 week one-on-one kind of program? Do you have a six week online course? Are you absolutely clueless and don't know what the heck your program is that you're selling? Whatever it is, that's fine too. If you say, I don't know yet, Michelle, but go ahead and tell me in the chat because we're, today we're talking about marketing strategies to sell the program and I want to make sure that first we know what is that, what is that program?
And we'll talk a little bit more about that in a second. I can see a whole bunch of you here, Jenny's here, and Jennifer and Lynn, and so many of you joining live over on Instagram and some of you over here on Facebook. It is nice to see you Kayla's saying, cutting way back on sugar or quitting. Okay, so Kayla, you're thinking about, or you have a program already that helps people, women who cut back on sugar or quit sugar, is that right? Okay, very good. Jenny says, I look refreshed from my vacation. That has nothing to do with anything today, but thank you, Jenny. I am freshly back from St. Lucia and wasn't it nice to come home to New York and get hit immediately with a snowstorm, our only storm of the entire winter, and it comes two days after I get back from vacation.
So that was a big pow
So go to healthcoachpower.com/waitlist. Okay, who else has a program? Nobody has a program. Kayla talks about her sugar program. I'm not seeing, let me just scroll through here. I'm not seeing anybody else talking about their program. So am I to assume that we don't know what we're selling? Oh, that is a whole other problem you guys, but don't worry if that's you. I have just announced, and I mean just announced in our Facebook group the return of my most popular training. We do this for free once a year and it's called Create Your Signature Program in our five day bootcamp. This event is going to help you put together that program that you can sell in five days, as in by day five, if you want to enroll a client into the program, it will be ready to go. So if you don't know what you're selling or you don't feel totally comfortable in what you're selling or you just feel like, ah, I need a little guidance in this area, I want you to go ahead and sign up for free for our Create your Signature program, five Day Bootcamp.
It's at health coach power.com/signature. So much exciting stuff going on right now. Antoinette is saying that she is considering a program for women's health after 50. Okay, that's a good start. Women after 50 have very different concerns and needs and desires and problems than women who are in that earlier phases of life. Jenny says, I have my signature program, A Simple Approach to Weight Loss for women in their forties. Yes, you do, Jenny
She said she's trying to sell a program, and what marketing strategies have you found? She was crowd sourcing from everyone. What marketing strategies have you found are best when trying to sell a program? Now, she was specifically trying to sell a group program, but regardless, what are some things that come to mind when you hear marketing strategy? What does that even mean? Just from what I see with all the health coaches in our group and all the health coaches that listen to the podcast, I think we start jumping to, well, I'm going to run Facebook ads. I'm going to run ads. That's how I'm going to market my program. Or I'm going to create a bunch of Instagram reels and I'm going to sell my programmed people who are watching my Instagram reels. So what are these marketing strategies that pop into your head when you think those terms?
Sometimes it feels very overwhelming. And if you're out there in the crazy land of the worldwide web, you'll hear about marketing funnels and you'll hear about all kinds of complicated tricks that you got to hoops that you have to jump through if you want to sell your services. And there's a time and a place for all of that, don't get me wrong, but as health coaches, typically we're starting from a place where we're kind of bootstrapping it, right? Does anyone here have startup capital? Do you have any investors? Just raise a hand if you have investors. If you were in Silicon Valley starting your tech startup, that would be different. That's a different kind of business. If you have that kind of money when you're starting your business, you might run ads, you might invest in complex tools and funnels and software and people to help you with all of this.
But if you're like me, when I started my business in 2009, it was like me and a whole lot of nothing else. Not a lot of money to invest, not all the time in the world, and no one else to help me. So I want to encourage you all to think more simply about what can be complex marketing strategies. So let's put all thoughts just to the side. You can always revisit it later, but all thoughts of running Facebook ads or building any complicated things. I mean, my goodness, you don't even need a website. You don't even need to have your stuff up on any kind of member portal in order to start making money. And I think that's the most beautiful thing about health coaching, very little overhead. The first strategy that I want to tell you about is very important. It is hugely important when you are trying to not spend millions and millions of dollars on advertising.
Here it is. You want to sell to a warm audience. So what does a warm audience? A warm audience is a group of people who already know you. Hopefully they like you and hopefully they trust you. They already have a lot of familiarity with you as opposed to a cold audience of people who have never heard of you before. So if you have, let's just say program X, whatever it is, and you offer it to a warm audience versus a cold audience, and you can track, you know, can do this. I've done this in my health coaching business, you can actually track how many people click, how many people get so far as to consider buying. How many people actually buy it is wildly different. We're going from maybe 80% of your warm audience might be interested in something that you do to like 5% of a cold audience gives a damn what you're putting out there because they just don't know you, doesn't mean anything to them.
So tell me in the chat, do you have a warm audience of any kind? What is that? That could be your mailing list. And I smile a little extra as I say, mailing list, because you guys know how I feel about mailing list, right? Real important. Okay, how about your social media? Following that would be a warm audience, people who already have some familiarity with you. Think off the screen as well. What groups are you involved with in your life? Again, get out. So social media and anything online is fine, but also just think in your life, what people who are familiar with you we're never really wanting to try to sell to close friends, close family. That gets a little bit awkward and weird, but just thinking about people you're involved with.
So example, in my town my kids are in the school district, so I know a lot of the parents. So that is a group of people that are familiar with me even though they are not my closest friends or family members. Let's see, Jennifer says, Instagram following, Jenny says email list and ladies who joined my detox group on Facebook. Yes, past clients are absolutely a warm audience. I love that for sure. If you have any kind of content, the people who are listening to your content, reading your content, viewing your content, that's all your warm audience. So if you're like, gosh, Michelle, I really don't have people that are in my warm audience think about a long-term strategy of content creation. That's worked really, really well in my health coaching business. Very early on I started creating content. So people would read, at first it was a blog. They'd read my blog post every week. They'd read my blog posts, they would, if it was a particularly good one, they might share it with their friends.
I have groups of friends who have been following me for years and years and years and years. It's amazing because you know what happens, you share what somebody's stuff with your best friend and they share it with someone else, and you kind of all follow that person. This happens. So creating content can work really well to build that no and trust factor. So like I said, my whole health coaching business started with a blog. I started blogging in like 2006. Isn't that crazy? And then over the years it evolved and I started a podcast and I'm really into podcasting these days. So the content took on that form. You could also have a YouTube video channel where you're putting out content on a regular basis. Your content platform could be on social media like an Instagram or a Facebook. It could be a Facebook group.
Anywhere that you are consistently showing up with valuable content related to a particular target market even better. And then over time you build a warm audience. It's like you build a pool of people that when you have something to sell, you go to that pool and they're like jumping. They're like, yes,
I mean, that sound nice to just have a group of people that are raising their hand ready to do the thing with you whenever you offer it. Feels pretty good. We like it, right? Like that a lot. Okay, so we want to sell to a warm audience, which we can cultivate in the form of content. How else can we create a warm audience? Here's something to think about. Free events. Free events of any kind, you guys. It can be an online event such as a five day challenge. It can be you're going to hold a webinar. We have one of our fast track members from last year, Susie, she's been running a monthly support group that makes a lot of sense for her target market.
Anyway, this is all free and it's a chance for people to interact with you and build there. No and trust factor. So think free events, but also think free events in real life. When I started my health coaching business, I was like, I don't know what to do. I'll have some people over and kind of teach them how to cook. It was a very casual cooking class set up, but that's what I did. I invited people over to my house, friends and coworkers for my old job and we, we'd make some stuff, we'd hang out, we'd talk. It became a small party, healthy party held on a Sunday morning, and that was another way to build that. No and trust factor. You could be doing a free event, something as simple as a book club. Women do book clubs all the time. So what if you start a book club?
Maybe the books are vaguely in the health sphere, or every now and then you're reading something by Mark Hyman, whatever, or maybe it's very, very health focused. That's up to you. But bringing women together, bringing people together for anything, a walking group, a hiking group, doing something in town, volunteering anywhere where people are getting to know you and you have a chance to display your expertise here and there in your health and wellness areas. These are all excellent ways to get people warmed up so they're no longer a cold audience. And Susie's here and she's given thumbs up because she knows I've been talking about her and her support groups. Kayla says it's five day challenge for free, or would you charge a small fee? So typically free events are going to get you the most traction, the most quickly with the most people. Now, as your business matures, you'll find that there can be a time and a place for charging for something like that, but I would suggest starting for free mean, especially if it's your first one.
But even now in my business, I do free events all the time. This is a way also for so many of you that are concerned, what about people? They can't afford my services. I want to help everyone. I want to undercharge like crazy so that everybody can afford my services. That's a quick way to put yourself out of business, but you can feel really good if you offer free high value events during the year because then you're putting out content that's reaching people even if they can't afford to hire you. And then in addition to people who can and will. All right, I'm going to give you one more idea for warming up an audience and then we'll move on to my next point. But first, Tina's saying, how do you wrap up a free challenge? Okay, I love that question. Thank you for asking that, Tina.
I actually teach five day challenges very specifically inside our fast track program, like I mentioned at the start of this episode. So again, if you want to join the wait list for that, it's healthcoachpower.com/waitlist. And one thing that I teach is exactly this at the end of a five day challenge. Well, what do you do? And there's different ways to go about it. One option is you do nothing
There's more that they can do. There are more results that they can get, obviously, because you can only accomplish so much in five days. So you establish a gap between what you've done in those five days and where your participants really want to go, what their ultimate goals are, that's establishing the reason for why they would want to work with you. And then you offer them to book that free call
What I'm getting at is this is how you build a warm audience. And if you're not doing activities like this, I would get on it right away because they can be fun, they can be low pressure. You don't have to do any salesy stuff. And then later, when you're ready to sell something, you have that pool of people who are ready and they're just raising their hand and ready to go. Okay, I'm seeing other questions about five day challenges. I love it. We will talk more about that inside fast track. Put your name on the wait list. That is a very cool topic and I have a lot to say about it, but I want to get back to my final point about selling to a warm audience. So another way to quickly warm people up to you, right? Because somebody might have to listen to your podcast for several episodes before they feel like they know you.
Sometimes people will read your blog for 10 years before they take action, whatever. What if we want it to speed up a little bit. We want people to become trusting of us and have a good impression of us and our services from the get go. Your fastest path to doing that is partnering with another business or practitioner. So think about this. Let's say that there is a massage therapist in town or a chiropractor or a yoga studio or fill in the blank, whatever it is. And they already have an audience. They already have a client base, they already have an email list. They've been in business for a while. Maybe they have a lot of people that already know and trust them. Well, guess what? If they introduce you to their people, there's this inherent trust built in. They are. It's getting a referral, right?
I need to get the windows replaced in my house. So what did I do? I went on to our community Facebook group and I'm like, Hey, to people in my town who have you used for Windows? And I got a bunch of referrals. We trust referrals. So you want to tap into the people in your community, or of course this could be done online as well. And if you can be introduced to their audience in the form of a workshop, in the form of an Instagram live together or a Facebook live together or a webinar that you're going to do together, any joint venture that you can negotiate, this will go very far because everyone that already likes them is now going to trust you. Isn't that great? So you can really leverage your contacts and quickly build that audience by working with the right partners.
Okay, so there were three things we talked about when it came to a warm audience. One was creating content, which is a long game holding free events, which is I would say a mid-range game. Those take a little while, and the fastest one of all is finding the right partner and being introduced to their audience directly. So great. Now you have a warm audience. What is the next most important strategy to market your program to get those signups? Why does it feel so hard? Sometimes it's because we're not doing this. We're trying to sell to cold audience. We haven't put in the work to build the warm audience. And then very often health coaches make this mistake of selling, trying to sell a service or a product or a thing that nobody really wants. And I know that sounds so crazy and just obvious, but we do it all the time because let's say that, and I'm just using this as an example.
Let's say that you love to ferment vegetables. I do. I make kimchi in my kitchen. I make ginger carrots. I make this really cool apple cinnamon chutney. But anyway, if you like fermentation, then you're like, I am going to offer a whatever, six week fermentation class, and I'm going to teach people how to ferment food. That's what you like. But do they like it? Do they want that? The people in this warm audience that you've built, are they like, oh gosh, I just really want to learn how to ferment some food. I really hope somebody offers me a way to learn how to make kimchi and sauerkraut this week. Maybe, but
So we have to listen. We got to listen so hard to our warm audience, and it's this beautiful symbiotic relationship these days. When I create a program, I'm not creating it because it came from inside of me where I'm like, oh, this is a thing I really like, or This is the thing I'm really good at. Let me teach people what I love. Not at all. You have success when you create programs and offers around what your audience is asking for. Hear me on this, because it will at times feel like it's at odds with what you want to offer. Let's say 90% of the people in this warm audience that you've built are talking about weight loss, and you're like, I'm not a weight loss coach. I'm not going to sell weight loss. I refuse to be a weight loss coach. This is a little bit of a business problem because if they want weight loss and you're trying to sell 'em a fermentation class, do you see how that's not going to work?
Or it's going to work very little? You're going to make very, very few sales. But what if you put something together around weight loss, something that of course still feels good to you, but you help them with the thing that they want help with. They're signing up. You want to meet them where they are, and that is a tenant of good coaching. Anyway. We don't walk into a session with a client and be like, you know what? Today I want to talk about counting macros. No, of course not. We let our client tell us what is the thing that they want to work on? Let the client, the client's going to say to us, Hey, what about counting macros? There is your signal to go into that topic and you can do the same thing before they're even your client. Where are they? What do they need right now?
And then meet them there. Sell them what they want. And to that end, I will just clear this up. Nobody wants a six month health coaching program. They just don't. Nobody's like, geez, it's been a while since I had a health coaching program. I need a health coaching program. So if you're out there and you're offering a health coaching program, you're going to get a lot of like, Hmm, I'm not sure. That feels like a lot of money. Let me think about it. They're gone. Have you been there? Yeah, we have. We graduate. When I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, that's what I was selling. Six month health coaching program. And that's kind of rough. Instead, what do they want? They want to result. So they want to lose that weight or they want the pain that they've been experiencing in their joints to go away.
They have a problem that they want solved, so sell them a solution that's really specific to that. Boom, you're making sales. That is a marketing strategy. Instead of, I have generic again, like X program and now I'm going to pay for advertising. And why don't you, you know, could put up a billboard on the side of the highway and you're still just trying to sell this generic thing to a group of people who barely know you. Highly ineffective, highly ineffective. Instead, get real specific about who you're serving. Create that warm audience that's like ready to go and listen to them. They're going to tell you. If you're not sure, just ask some questions. What are you struggling with? This is something we do inside Fast track too. Any of my H P U members can tell you. We ask questions. We interview, what are you struggling with?
What have you spent money on so far to try to solve this problem? We want to get into how their mind works and also how their wallet works. Because if they're not spending money to try to solve a problem, it's probably not that big of a problem.
And that is the marketing strategy that I have found to work best again and again and again, whether I'm selling one-on-one coaching, a group program, an online course, or just about anything else. All right, let me see if we have any questions. Pop them into the chat. Now I am looking, because I know a lot of you are watching live. Does this spark any ideas for you? Anything I've said today that you need some clarification on? I also want to remind you that if you're like, what should my program be? What should I be selling? We're going to figure that all out together. My five day bootcamp create your signature program starts on March 19th. Yes, March 19th, and by five days later, March 23rd, you'll have a program to sell. Isn't that great? You should go sign up for that now cause it's completely free. Very, very popular event.
It's at healthcoachpower.com/signature. Cause by the end, you're going to have that signature program. Rashida says, how long should the program be? Well, that's something we're going to cover during the challenge, but I'll give you a little sneak peek right now because I think we about this a lot. And a lot of coaches make the mistake of saying, oh, if I want to charge more for my program, then I have to make it longer. And that is not true. That is the opposite. If I can get results with you in six weeks, why would I want it to take six months? It's actually more valuable if it's shorter if I'm still going to get the result. So never think about the length of time in term of PR terms of pricing. Think about the length of your program in terms of results. If I'm promising to help women with autoimmune disease reduce their pain, joint pain, or your symptoms in their body, well, how long do I reasonably need to make that happen?
Maybe I can do it in six weeks, maybe I can do it in 12 weeks. Maybe I do need six months. But think about who you're serving, the problem that they want to solve. You're selling them a solution to that problem. And then how long does it take on average, right? It's not going to be the same for everybody, but that's a good way to start the process of figuring out how long your program should be. Jamie. Hi, Jamie. Jamie says, thank you for the reminder that it can be simple. It doesn't have to be complicated. It is simple. It's not always easy, especially for me. I was such an introvert when I started my business. I still am. My boyfriend and I were just talking about that when we were in St. Lucia last week. I don't want to talk to people. I don't really want to chit chat
I'm really not like the chatty type, but I have to overcome some of that. And so allowing people to get to know me. And so I said I started a blog in 2006. That was an awesome way. If we have any introverts in the crowd, I just want to put that out there. Creating content is a great way for an introvert to build a warm audience because you know, create your content quietly by yourself behind the scenes. You publish it. It's very different than standing up in front of a room and delivering a workshop, which I encourage you to do also, but maybe you do less of those if it's not your thing. And more content creation. If you're introverted like I was. Antoinette says, how do you survey the community and ask what they need? Well, there's various ways to do it. So let's just say that you have big Facebook group that you've been running, which is kind of where I found myself at a certain point inside that Facebook group.
You're going to get all kinds of insights into your audience. And in fact, you can go into Facebook groups that aren't even yours. Don't try to sell anything there. Cause that's really sketch. But you can just read what people are saying, what problems they're having, the words they use when they describe their problems. That can be a very light touch way of gathering this kind of market research. And I was mentioning inside Fast Track, we actually have an exercise that helps you go out, find the right people, and ask them the right questions. It doesn't take very long, but if you ask the right questions, then you know exactly what their biggest struggles are and what they're most likely to pay for, because that's really what it comes down to. I mean, I know we want to do the work that's in our heart and we want to be of service, but if we are trying to sell something that people won't buy, we never get to be of service, right?
We, you don't want to be convincing someone like, no, really, let me help you with all these pressing health problems. You probably know someone like that in your life. They need it so badly, and yet they won't accept the health, the help, rather. So instead, we need to learn how to market ourselves to them so that it's their idea and they're like, oh yeah, I want that. And it's just a matter of reframing our services. Stop trying to sell that six month health coaching program. All right, so I'm going to say it one more time. If you need to figure out what the heck you're selling in the first place and who you're selling it to be sure to sign up for hour free, create your signature program, five Day Bootcamp. It's going to be a lot of fun, you guys. It starts March 19th, and you can register for free at healthcoachpower.com/signature. It's been fun today. Thank you all for joining, and I'll see you next week. Take care, everybody.
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