#235: How a Signature Program Changed My Health Coaching Business

Like most health coaches, Michelle struggled in the beginning to find her footing as a business owner. Listen as she shares THE most important move she made and how it improved her health coaching practice (and confidence!) by leaps and bounds. Register for our FREE Create Your Signature Program bootcamp at – HealthCoachPower.com/signature

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How a Signature Program Changed My Health Coaching Business

“I have to think about it”. Have you had clients say this at the end of a consultation?  Ugh.

What they’re really saying is “I don’t think I need this”, or “I don’t think it’s worth it”. And it’s not what you want to hear.

Here’s how to fix it (and a lot of other issues, too!)

What I did wrong in my health coaching business

Travel back to 2009. No one knew what health coaching was (this actually hasn’t changed much!) And I was trying to sell “getting healthier” to prospective clients.

It didn’t work particularly well.

I was asking people to make a substantial investment – and the vague idea of “getting healthier” wasn’t worth it to people who saw themselves as generally healthy already.

I struggled in consultations with people who were sick, too. I remember meeting with one woman who was dealing with colitis. She was looking for answers but had no reason to think I was the one who’d finally be able to help her. Fair enough.

And some people thought health coaching would be too hard. They assumed they’d have to go vegan or workout several hours per day.

So they said “I have to think about it” and I never heard from them again. I was closing only about 40-50% of consultations in these early days. Not where I wanted to be!

The magic of a signature program

When I created a signature program, I stopped hearing “I have to think about it”. My closing rate skyrocketed to 90-100%.  “I have to think about it” turned into “When can we start?” Things were falling into place.

Success like this makes you more confident. And confidence makes you more successful. Magic.

Once you’re routinely hearing “yes,” you know you’re communicating your value well. And that means you can raise your prices, too.

When I reached this point, I doubled my prices. It was scary at first – but my closing rate stayed the same. I was making more money and was able to stop offering lower-tier packages. I had more time. I had more energy for the rest of my life. And I could try more new things in my business.

Sell a solution, not a service

Solve someone’s biggest problem, and they’ll pay a premium price. That’s the key idea of a signature program.

And if they’ve invested their hard earned cash, they’re more likely to invest their time and energy, too. They’re more likely to do the work and get results.

Running your business gets smoother, too – marketing is easier when you’re focusing on a clear target market. Your actual coaching work is easier when you’re addressing the same issues with everyone.

Focus on one thing, and you master it.

Let’s do this!

Ready to get your signature program off the ground?

Register for my free upcoming Create Your Signature Program 5-day Bootcamp here – we start 3/19/23.

You’ll come away with a ready-to-go program and start experiencing the magic for yourself!


Full transcript:

Well, hello there Health coaches. We're back for another one of our Tuesday episodes. I was thinking about when I first started my health coaching business, which was 14 years ago now. 14 , that's a very long time ago. And it was a little bit painful at times. Not going to lie. I used to get a whole lot of the, "I have to think about it" from prospective clients. Has this happened to you? Do you get the, I have to think about it. I think it's the worst thing to hear when you're at the end of a consultation because nine times out of 10 what's happening is this person is as kindly as they can. They're really trying to do the right thing. They're saying, no, thank you. Yeah, we don't want to hear that. I want to help you fix this problem. If you're encountering a similar situation in your client consultations, I want to help you fix that.

I want to help you fix lot, lots of other problems in your health coaching business as well by developing a signature program. So today I want to share how creating that signature program helped me in my own health coaching business. And I want you to register for our upcoming Create your Signature program, five Day Bootcamp, so that the same can happen for you. Go to health coach power.com/signature and you can sign up there for free. I'm just going to drop that over here in our Facebook comments. And if somebody over on Instagram land can type in the comments for me, health coach power.com/signature. Thank you very much. Okay, so we've got people saying, I have to think about it or I love this one. I have to talk to my husband. That's a classic. And many times what they're also saying is, I don't think I need this.

It's true though. It's true. That's what they're saying. And that's okay. This is really good feedback. Not because we don't have value to offer as health coaches, but because nine times out of 10 we are not communicating that value. The other thing they might be saying is, I don't think what you're offering is worth the money. I don't understand the value. That's what that means. So in my case, when I was starting out, I mean, who could blame these people? First of all, it was 2009. Nobody had ever heard of a health coach before. I'm not sure that's changed too much in the general population, but definitely back then nobody knew what a health coach was. It's not like going to the dentist where everybody knows why they have to go to the dentist and they know what to expect when they get there. Health coaching is totally different.

And the second thing is that way back when I was basically selling the idea of getting healthier, let me help you get healthier and that's nice. But for those of you live with me, can you think of any reasons why somebody might not jump at a chance to get healthier? Tell me in the comments, are there any reasons why maybe they would be like, yeah, yeah, no, they might pass by this opportunity when somebody is promising them better health. Because I can imagine a couple scenarios where that makes an awful lot of sense. Some people are going to think, you know what? I'm good. I'm already healthy. And maybe they are, or at least to their own standards, they're like, I'm healthy enough and maybe they're interested in health and wellness and they wanted to have that conversation with me. And if my program was $25, they might have bought it because it's just like, oh sure, whatever, 25 bucks.

But when we're talking about a substantial investment, they're like, nah, I don't need that. I'm good. So healthy. But how is saying they might not think they're unhealthy? Exactly right. People might not consider themselves unhealthy, even though we look at them and we're like, wow, we could do so much to help you feel better. They think they're healthy enough. So that's number one. Now, on the other hand, I can remember a consultation I had with a woman who had colitis. I'm curious if you've ever had a consultation like this. She was pretty sick. She knew that she needed help, but she had no reason to believe that I knew anything about colitis or that I could help her particular situation. She wasn't wrong. All right, what else? Well-balanced free spirit says they don't want to change what's comfortable. True, true. I heard something really interesting about that the other day.

Person was saying that people think about, let's say, changing their diet or exercising whatever, and it sounds uncomfortable for them, but the reason that they're considering that change is because they're already uncomfortable. And I was like, man, that is profound. So part of selling part of any good sales process helps somebody understand how uncomfortable they are right now. So just pocket that idea. Cause I think it's really powerful. Okay, why else would somebody say no thank you? Or I have to ask my husband , when they heard about my coaching program, what some people, it sounds terrible, they don't want to sign up to get healthier because in their mind they automatically assume that means that they're going to have to eat bird food. I've heard that so many times. Oh, I thought you were going to make me eat bird food.

I have been known to cook millet. So there's that, but they think I'm going to force them to go vegan. Or somebody might think you're going to put them on an exercise regimen and they really don't want an exercise regimen. It sounds like a drag, right? These are things they don't want. So even though they might be thinking about a change, it just sounds like when you start describing it or the way they're hearing it in their head, again, this goes back to communicating your value. Any other reasons that somebody, I'm just scrolling through my Instagram feed right here. Any other reason somebody might say no? Have you ever said no to somebody that offered you something? I just had a guy here trying to sell me windows here at my house and he was measuring all the windows and showing me the windows and explaining all the mechanisms of the windows, et cetera, et cetera.

But I was kind of thinking, I don't think I'm going to live in this house long enough to make the cost of these windows worth it bud. And that has nothing to do with him. It really doesn't. It has more, has everything to do with me and where I am in my life. So we got to remember that. We got to meet people where they are. So anyway, I was having a hard time. I was closing about 40% to 50% of the consultations that I was having back in the early days of my business, which isn't terrible, but you know how deflating it is when you're finally talking to someone who's interested in working with you and then they just blow you off.

It definitely sucks all the air out of the room. So that felt terrible. And when I created my signature program, you you're years down the line, I stopped hearing. I have to think about it truly hand over my heart. I swear to you, I stopped hearing those words and my closing rate went to a 90 to 100% fascinating. Every woman I spoke to said, yes, I need this. When can we start? Here is my credit card. Can you imagine? And can you imagine the confidence that comes with that? Meaning once you start getting that sort of feedback, you're strutting into your consultations with a whole different energy about you. You are feeling extraordinarily confident in yourself and what you have to offer, it is unwavering. And that then feeds into the cycle of success and more clients saying yes. Now of course, once you're easily selling a program, people are saying yes, yes, yes. Your're communicating your value, there's a demand and that people are willing to pay for this because they are right. They want this solution to their big problem. That is when you can raise your price. Oh yeah, and I definitely did that. Having a signature program allowed me to stop offering lower tier packages. How many of you have three tiers to your packages? And you know that if someone can't afford this big one, well maybe they can afford this little one down here. I was no longer looking for lower tier clients to pay me the bare minimum. I was marketing a program meant to help a very specific type of woman with her biggest problem and she was willing to pay. So I doubled my rates and then a little while later I doubled them again. And it was very, very scary. I'd be lying to you if I said that this wasn't scary. It was. But even with the price changes, my closing rates stayed the same. Isn't that crazy? You would think that you start raising your prices and now more and more people are saying no, and that actually did not happen.

And three things happen when you're charging premium prices. I found no, not everybody can charge premium prices. So I'm not saying that you should all just turn around tomorrow and raise your rates if you're still selling sort of the vague idea of health coaching. It is. I will give you that. It is very difficult to raise your rates, but when you learn how, and I'm going to teach you how inside our bootcamp to create your signature program, and I want you to make sure to sign up for that. By the way, it's at help coach power.com/signature. Well, this is what happens first, you're going to free up your time because instead of needing 30 to 40 client meetings a week to pay your bills, which is just crazy pants, that's just way too many client meetings for anybody, anybody to be having. Instead of that, you only need five 10.

Or instead of needing the part-time job or your primary full-time career, you know, just don't need it anymore. Freeze up your time because you are earning enough. The other thing that gets freed up is your energy, which allows you to do different things with your life outside of work. Have a hobby, enjoy yourself. Take care of your own health. These things are really, really important as a health coach. And with that freed up energy then comes the creativity and the ability to try new things in your business. Adding income streams, scaling your practice, and serving others. Helen saying, so you would be selling the outcome. I need to get way more specific on the problem and outcome. Exactly. Who wants a health coaching program? Nobody wakes up in the morning and they write in their diary today, I hope I find a health coaching program. Never.

But if they did sit up and write something in their diary, it might be like, I really need to get rid of this eczema problem I've been having. I'm miserable or I really need to lose weight in time for my daughter's wedding or whatever it is. You want to sell the solution to their big problem. That's how your signature program has magic . Now listen back to this idea that once, okay, if I'm solving a big problem for someone, they're more likely to pay for that and they're more likely to pay a premium price. Many times health coaches worry that higher prices are going to exclude clients who can't afford your services. Have you ever worried about that? If I raise my prices too high, then I'm being too much of an elitist, right? It feels unethical in a way. I get that. But hear me on this.

It's only when you are earning enough and you are comfortable and you have the time and you have the energy that you can afford financially, energetically, and otherwise to then offer your services for free on a sliding scale, additive reduced rate offer scholarships or put out free content in the form of a podcast or a video channel. So by creating your signature program, being able to raise your rates, you're actually able to serve more people in the world rather than making that bare minimum just scraping by and feeling exhausted. Does that make sense? So this is all very exciting. And the third thing that you can expect to happen is that clients who have invested substantially in your signature program have also invested substantially in themselves. There's an energy there, which means they are more likely to show up and do the work every darn time.

They are more likely to get results because they've got more skin in the game. And I didn't believe that that was true. I'd like to think that people show up and do the work and put the effort in for themselves because they want to solve their problem, et cetera, et cetera. And that's true, but they do it way more. When they have invested more heavily, you'll see, you'll see this is going to happen and you're going to say, Michelle was right. So creating a signature program allowed me to raise my rates, which gave me the freedom I'd been looking for, and suddenly my clients were having much better results. But I have to tell you the weirdest thing, when I started offering my signature program, I didn't expect this. I didn't, wasn't thinking about it this way, but I want to let you know that everything got easier, all my marketing efforts.

Think of how much work you put into various marketing efforts. Now I knew exactly what I was selling. No doubt about it. It became much easier to market myself, to talk about my value, what I had to offer. And it's not just me. This happens all the time to the coaches that I mentor. I want to tell you what else became easier though. But first, actually, let me share an example from outside my own health coaching practice. Cause I'm just kind of telling you about my own personal experience over the past ump teen years, but Alice was one of our fast track members last year, and she had been in the situation of selling that vague health coaching package. She was struggling to capture interest in that. Maybe you can relate. But once she developed a signature program meant for a particular type of person, and in her case it's veterinarians in the uk, it was like boom.

She's putting together marketing materials with ease. She knows exactly what this group needs. When she puts herself out there, she's getting a big response. People are sharing her stuff with other veterinarians like wildfire. It's wonderful. Like a total 180 degrees from where she was previously because she figured out what she could sell to a specific group of people and help solve their big problems. Now by the way, 2023's fast track is coming up soon. The wait list is open, enrollment is not open yet, but the wait list is open and you can add your name at healthcoachpower.com/waitlist. I think it's a really great idea because you're going to get access to best pricing, best bonuses, and there's no obligation at all. So why not, right? Go to healthcoachpower.com/waitlist. We're going to help you do everything that we're talking about today and so much more.

But my point was marketing gets easier. What else gets easier? The actual coaching gets remarkably easier because once I streamlined the type of client that I was working with, their situations were all pretty similar. I didn't have to research this and research that and oh, now I got a client with this issue and lemme go figure out what that's all about. You're Googling, oh my gosh, I never heard of this thing before. No more. I already basically knew what all my clients were going through in the signature program and what worked for one client would often work for another. So there were a lot of efficiencies. It's kind of like I'm really good at making scrambled eggs. What's your best egg? Tell me in the chat, what's the egg that you make the best? Maybe for some of you it's like a tofu scramble, but I'm really good at making scrambled eggs. It's like that you get really good at one thing. You could be a short order chef, you could make eggs all different ways at the same time. But with that, you know never really getting good. You're not never perfecting your scramble or perfecting your poached eggs, and then you got over Easys and they're always a little bit overdone because you're doing too many things at once, . But when you focus, and that's what is about, when you focus on doing one thing very, very well, well now you are a specialist. You become an expert.

So in essence, what I want you to know today is that creating a signature program allowed my health coaching practice to finally fall into place. Like I feel, and I see this with a lot of you, it can feel like an uphill battle and suddenly it became so much more smooth for all the various reasons that I've mentioned today. I want you to experience that because health coaching, I don't think any of us got into this because it was supposed to be hard, stressful, high powered career. It's not like you go to law school and you kind of know what you're in for or you going to medical school and you're going to have to do those rotations at some point in your training.

It just sounds terrible. You're going to work 12 hours shifts and whatnot. No health coaching's not supposed to be about that at all. It should be fulfilling, it should be rewarding, and it shouldn't be full of this uphill battle stuff. You deserve that. So I want you to be sure to join us to create your signature program. I'm going to walk you through it step by step so we can cover all the aspects of putting this program together. It runs March 19th to the 23rd, 2003 by the way, in case you're listening to this episode later. And you can sign up for free at healthcoachpower.com/signature. I will see you there and I'll see you back here next week. Thank you so much for joining me.