#236: How Does a New Coach Get Clients?

Last week Janice commented “I’ve spent a small fortune already, how does a new coach get clients?” We love that kind of cut-to-the-chase attitude, so in this episode Michelle shares 3 ways to think about how and why clients hire health coaches. Remember to join our free Create Your Signature Program bootcamp at HealthCoachPower.com/signature

Subscribe to these episodes on YouTube, or:
Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2sOjwVA
Stitcher – http://bit.ly/2K3UaN6
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2Y0Eu1r
Google Podcasts – https://bit.ly/3E1yMAq

How Does a New Health Coach Get Clients?

Why do clients hire health coaches? Understand this, and you can shape your business accordingly. Here are three questions to get started:

#1. What does your offer look like?

When I first started my health coaching business, I’d say something like “my 6 month health coaching package includes meetings every other week and email support in between sessions for $1200”.

I had some clients, but more often than not, people said “maybe later,” and I never heard from them again.

To fix this problem, think about how your offer sounds to your potential client. They probably don’t want “health coaching” (or even know what that means). But they do want to solve a problem they have with their health.

Rather than offering a service (like six months of meetings and support), offer to solve their biggest problem (like a thyroid solution program). Make it obvious. Think about what your potential clients want, and offer it to them – loud and clear.

#2. Who are you making your offer to?

In the beginning, I was really involved in the yoga community – a group that’s already very focused on their health. I was offering them something they were interested in, sure, but they didn’t really need it. So it was hard to get traction.

Here’s a better idea: make your offer to a hungry crowd. A food truck does bang-up business at, say, the finish line of a marathon. When people are hungry, they’ll pay whatever you’re charging for those french fries.

So: who’s got a problem that they’d pay anything to solve? Who’s already taking action (and spending money) to get better? Those people are motivated, and they’re willing to do (and pay) what it takes.

Those people are your hungriest crowd. Focus there.

#3. How are you making that offer?

As a new coach, I dreaded pitching myself. I wasn’t confident as a coach, and this came through in my consultations.

But when I started offering a signature program I knew exactly what I could do and how I could help. My offer became well-defined and much easier to describe.

See, a signature program gives you confidence. You don’t have to sell yourself as a person – you can sell this program that solves a problem. When you’re clear on this, your potential clients will feel clear and confident about working with you, too.

Ready to sign more clients?

For help fine-tuning your offer, join the upcoming Create Your Signature Program Bootcamp. Go to healthcoachpower.com/signature to sign up for the free 5-day program, running March 19-23, 2023.

If you want even more business help, join the waitlist for our spring Fast Track Semester. You’ll get hands-on business support, personal attention, and the motivation and camaraderie of working with a group. Waitlisters get preferential pricing and exclusive bonuses, so sign up now at healthcoachpower.com/waitlist.


Full transcript:

All right, here we go. Hello, health coaches. You know what? I think today's episode is going to be a very, very popular one. And whenever you're creating content, the best thing you can do, I'm just sharing this with you because I think it will be helpful, the best thing you can do is pay attention to what people are asking you for. So, maybe just pause for a moment and think about in your own business, what are people asking me for? What's come up lately in your conversations with clients, with friends, with whomever, might be on your email list and your social media audience, et cetera. What are people asking about? And just jot that stuff down. Because what I've found is that if one or two people are voicing what they need, just imagine how many other people are thinking the same darn thing, even if they're not saying it.

Just think about that. So this is a bonus tip for this episode that you can use in your own business. Cause on my end, this is how today's episode came about this week. I heard loud and clear from Janice and Janice, I don't know if you're joining us today, but if you are, do say hello. And not just Janice, but then several others who echoed her question when she posted in our group, and she said, I've spent a small fortune already. How does a new coach get clients? Can you hear the emphasis in her voice? Just tell me already.

It's a pointed question. It's a big question. And you know what? I really like it. And today I'm going to share three ways to think about signing clients. Like why and how clients hire health coaches so that you can shape your business accordingly. If you're happy that Janice asked that question, by the way, cause it's one that's been sitting on your mind and you're here with me live, just type in the comments. Say, thank you, Janice. Janice, you rock. I appreciate you, Janice, because when someone else maybe even puts words to that thing that we've been struggling with, sometimes it feels like a huge relief, doesn't it? We're like, oh, I'm so glad they asked. Can't wait to see what the answer's going to be. So we're going to talk about all of that today, and I want to say hello to everybody who is here to Keisha's here, and Jennifer and Jan and Amna and Julie saying this is such an important question. Thanks, Janice. Yes.

Before we get into today's topic, I do have two big opportunities coming up for you guys. The first is our spring fast track semester, which is not open for enrollment yet, so don't get too excited, but do get excited because if you've been looking for hands-on business support, personal attention, and the motivation.

And that comes from working with a group, instead of working by yourself all the time, put your name on the wait list for our fast track semester. I'm going to be showing you how to build a strong foundation for your business and find those clients. I mean, that is the whole point. Now, the wait list does get preferential pricing and exclusive bonuses. So I want you to add your name now at healthcoachpower.com/waitlist, and I'm going to just drop that in the comments over here on Facebook for anybody who needs it. If you're over on Instagram, it's healthcoachpower.com/waitlist. Now, we also have our free Create Your Signature Program bootcamp starting up. This is one of my most popular trainings, and a lot of what I talk about or what I'm going to talk about in today's episode, it has to do with the way that you package your services or your program.

So, if you think you could do some fine tuning in this area, I want you to join me. This is completely free for five days of creating your signature program, and that's at healthcoachpower.com/signature. Easy to remember, isn't it? Healthcoachpower.com/signature. Okay, so you're a new coach or even a more experienced coach, and you need to sign some clients. Yes, I've got three questions for you, and here they are. We're going to talk about each one individually, but the three questions are, number one, what does your offer look like? Number two, who are you making your offer? Two and number three, how are you making that offer? Now, when I say your offer in this context, I mean, what is the package? What is the program? What's the price? What's the thing that you are selling? Who are you offering it to and how are you going about making that offer?

So let's break it down. When I started my health coaching business and we're talking eons ago, I was making an offer that sounded like this. I would say my six month health coaching program includes meetings every other week and email support in between sessions for $1,200. That's what I was selling. And this was back in 2009, maybe 2010, and I had clients. So that's the good news. But just as often as somebody saying, yes, I want to sign up and work with you, if not more often, people were saying, oh, maybe I'll do that later. Or Let me talk to my husband or Wait, so what exactly is health coaching? And whenever you hear these words, these are not the conversations that we want to be having.

So, when you think about your offer, I want you to think about how it sounds to your potential client. Is it something that they inherently want? Now, if you're here with me live, tell me in the comments, what is your offer right now? Remember what mine was, and if it yours sounds like this, it is totally understandable. This is typically what we're taught in health coaching school. I would say my six month health coaching program includes meetings every other week, email support in between, and it costs $1,200. All right, let's see. Kimberly's saying great questions. So these three questions for today, good. We're going to go through all three, but I am looking to see what your offers are looking like right now. Remember, you're not doing anything wrong. If you're saying, I'm selling health coaching and it's this many sessions, or it's this many months and this is the price, you're not doing anything wrong.

It's just that it can be working for you so much more efficiently. We all want to work smarter, not harder. Here you go. I want you to feel the difference for yourself. So let's pretend that I'm the health coach. You are a potential client. We are in a consultation right now, and I am inviting you to sign up for my six month health coaching program. And you're like, okay, maybe. And instead, let's say I said to you at the end of our consultation, I'd like to invite you to sign up for my thyroid solution program. Now, if you are struggling with your thyroid, I'm betting dollars, two donuts, you're going to choose the thyroid solutions program, or that's the one that you are more likely to say yes to if I phrased it that way, of course, because that's what you want. You came to me because you were looking for a solution to your thyroid problem.

And that's what I mean by how does your offer sound or what does your offer look like? Six months of health coaching could, don't get me wrong, could very well deliver the same results as that thyroid solution program, but it doesn't appear that way to the client who's trying to make a decision right now, does it? Especially if somewhere in their mind they're still kind of like, what's a health coach? Let's see. Am says, for me, I'm so tired of being exploited for free coaching sessions in spite of having very reasonable charges. It is so important at the start of your consultation that you set the stage for what you will and will not be doing during that session. And I teach this very, very specifically inside Fast Track, but as with anything, we have to draw boundaries for ourselves. Kimberly's saying, I say that I'm a health coach and I give them a three month invitation ripe, and then whatever price point is associated with that.

So, that's very similar to what I was doing in the beginning of my own health coaching business. So I think I can feel the difference so strongly when I have the option presented, and I hope you feel the same way. Would you like my health coaching package, my health coaching program? Would you like to do health coaching with me? Which really does assume that people are well versed in what that is. Or when I say sign up for my thyroid solution program after you just spent the last 30 minutes telling me about all the problems you're having with your thyroid. All right? Got it. You want an offer that is 100% and very obviously aligned with solving your client's big problem, not obvious to you, obvious to them. And we have to always remember that our client is in a different place than we are.

So, think about what they want. And that is how you get more clients to say yes on the spot and actually do the thing to help themselves rather than hemming and hawing and doing basically nothing. And their health continues to decline. I think especially as health coaches, we got into this business to do good in the world, and sometimes we think of marketing techniques as, oh, that's slimy, or, oh, that's manipulative. But when it comes to selling health coaching, it's like it's a matter of life and death. In many ways, that might be a little bit dramatic, but with health coaching, it's about getting someone to commit to their health or else they're not going to. We want to get them to a place where they feel comfortable. They are buying into the idea of starting now rather than waiting and continuing to fall into disease.

So, it's coming from a place of service when we can appeal to what our clients need and want and are going to say yes to so that they can get better. Now, if you want my help to put together a program like this, be sure to join our free bootcamp. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, create your signature program. It's at health coach power.com/signature. The bootcamp runs from March 19th to March 23rd. So if you're hearing this a little bit later on and you're signing up day or two late, that's okay. You will get access to all materials, everybody will, who signs up at healthcoachpower.com/signature.

Okay. Amma is asking, is it possible to launch your health coaching business without a website? Yes, 1000%, yes. And that's a little bit of a tangent, so I'm not going to go into it right now. But yes, and thank you for asking. I don't want you to get hung up building a website. I want you to do the things that are going to move the needle the fastest and the most, especially when you're first getting started. All right, moving on.

And by the way, I just realized I forgot to put up my noise absorbing shields, so that recording for this episode doesn't sound so echoy, and I'm wondering if I should try to do it right now, but I'm afraid that all my cords will get yanked out if I reach down. So, if I sound a little echoy today, my apologies, my immense staffed must have not set up my recording studio properly. All right, we're going to move on. The second question that I want you to think about when it comes to signing clients is this one. Who are you making your offer to? Seems like a silly question from the outset, but tell me in the comments, who are you making the offer to? What type of person? And I'll tell you what I did wrong, and this is in the early years of my business, maybe for more years than I want to admit. Back then, I was really heavily involved with yoga, which means I was surrounded by a lot of people who cared about their health and were at least to some degree, interested in health coaching.

But ultimately, the people that I was in the yoga studio with every day, you know what? They were pretty healthy. They weren't like the ones who showed up once, twice a week. They were the ones that I knew. Well, we were there every day. We were doing all the workshops and trainings. So these people had tools, they had knowledge, and they were pretty well-versed in how to keep themselves healthy. So ultimately, they didn't really need a health coach. I mean, they thought it was very interesting, and many of them went on to become health coaches. You know what I'm talking about? It's like preaching to the choir. And everyone, of course, could benefit from a coach, including all of us. If you've never had a health coach, you might think about it. But my point is, for people who are already pretty healthy, it's not pressing, and you're going to do much better when you make your offer.

And I love this metaphor when you make your offer to a hungry crowd. So if you are selling hamburgers, no matter the quality or the price you're going to sell out of hamburgers every damn time, if you're selling to a hungry crowd, that is so key. So I'm thinking about, it wasn't hamburgers, but when I took my kids' apple picking last fall, and now of course you're eating apples as you're going through the orchard, but you're also walking and walking and it's a long day. And then at the end, they had food trucks that were selling like $20 chicken fingers and french fries, and everyone was buying these $20 chicken fingers and french fries because they were starving. And that's what I mean about a hungry crowd. Who is your hungry crowd. Now, it's definitely people, first of all, who have a big problem. That crowd at the apple orchard, they weren't like a little bit hungry. They were starving. They had a big problem they want, and when someone has a big problem, they want to solve it. They are hungry for answers, they're... You think of it like they're hungry for relief.

And then second of all, the people who are already taking action to help themselves with whatever the problem is, they are the hungriest. They aren't just sitting back and letting illness overrun their body. You probably know people like this, hopefully not. But maybe somebody in your family, somebody that you wish would do something, they would do something, but they don't, right? So there's that type. But the hungry ones, they're trying, they are demonstrating a willingness to make change. They are hungry for that change. Remember, not everybody is, even if they have a problem, some people will get a diagnosis or they'll be having this big issue, but they'll shrug their shoulders, they'll pop a pill. Now, to you or to me, we're like, what are you doing? You have to do something about this issue. But it's like, do they care?

That's going to make all the difference. That is defining how hungry they are, how much do they care? So you want to make your offers to people who have a big problem that they care deeply about solving. I know this all sounds very theoretical, but it's also practical. I'm going to show you, right? It's the difference between, let's say I'm going to hold a workshop about diabetes, and I could either hold a workshop at the library or at the gym. Which one should I do? In fact, if you're here with me live, tell me in the chat, where should I hold my workshop or my talk about diabetes at the local library or at the local gym? Here's the thing, people who have diabetes and go to a gym, they are far more likely to, in the end, sign up for your, let's say it's your diabetes solution program.

They're far for far more likely to become a paying client than the library folks, because just by virtue of being at the gym, those folks are demonstrating that they are actively trying to change. They are willing to change. They are willing to spend money to help that change. So that's a more hungry audience. And let's see what you guys are saying. Beauty and balance. That said, Jims, Amy said Jim, good. Tina said library. And now I want to know why you said library, Tina, maybe you have another good reason. I would like to hear that. But my point is right, you want to assess, am I getting in front of people who are so starving they would pay $20 for the chicken fingers, metaphorically, metaphorically. Now, here's a real world example, right? Cause that was something I made up. I want to tell you about Judy, who's one of last year's fast track members now, right now this week, she's pitching corporate programs, but she's not walking into annual business and saying, Hey, buy my corporate wellness program. She's pitching to companies that have expressed an interest in corporate wellness, companies that are worried about employee productivity and absentee rates. That is their problem. They have this problem that they want to solve and therefore they are hungry for what she has to offer. So keep that hamburger analogy in mind or the chicken finger analogy in mind, because I find that is extremely helpful to know, will it fly? I can create this program, but will it fly? Are people hungry for it? Oh, Tina said, because if they're at the gym, chances are they probably aren't diabetic. Correct? Not everybody at the gym is diabetic. But for those that are, and those that are trying to make a change, they're the ones that are most likely to sign up for health coaching as opposed to the ones that are just sitting around and maybe they go to the library, and by the way, the library is free and the gym is not.

So, people who go to a library are like, I like free things. I do things when they are free for me. But people who go to the gym are like, I'm willing to spend money for something that I want. I'm willing to spend money on my health. Okay, finally, our last question is, how are you making your offer? And by that I mean as a newer coach, oh my goodness, way back in the day, I dreaded I would wake up in the morning with a pit in my stomach if I knew I had a consultation that day because I dreaded the moment that I had to pitch myself. That time when you have to ask for money, you have to describe, I had to describe what I did as a health coach, and I dreaded it because I think I wasn't really sure. I wasn't really sure what I did as a health coach, and I wasn't confident in what I did as a health coach.

I don't even think it's because I doubted my abilities. I, I probably did doubt my abilities, but it was more like all my clients had very different results. They were all very different. And if what I did as a coach varied tremendously, depending on who I was working with, if you're here with me again, I would love to know if when you have to make an offer, you feel a sense of, ugh, dread. I don't want to do this. I don't want to name my price, I don't want to have to describe what I do. Or do you walk into it and you feel like, I am confident, I am solid. I'm not getting sweaty thinking about this at all. Which one are you? I was completely in the dread camp. I would need to change my shirt cause I would sweat right through the armpits. That might be a little TMI, right? Thank goodness I was doing all my coaching via phone and not on video the way that everybody is today. I think I was really nervous about it because when I was selling health coaching, that's a verb. I'm selling my time. I'm saying, I'm going to health coach you for this allotted period of time. And I think it's really easy to doubt yourself in that setup because it feels so personal.

If they say no, that's a personal rejection. But when I started offering a signature program, I knew exactly what it was. It was very defined. I knew exactly who it was for, and I knew exactly what it helped with. And it felt more like I was selling a product. You guys remember qvc? Well, I bet QVC is still around, but I haven't seen it in probably decades. And the model would stand there and kind of touch the product and turn it around. Anyway, I felt when I had a signature program, it was much more like selling a product.

It was a tangible thing that, yes, it includes health coaching sessions, but it was distinctly separate. It was different from selling myself. Does that resonate at all? Do you ever feel that way? It felt so much easier to sell a thing that I could point at rather than selling, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to show up on these days and times and I'm going to health coach you. My point is it's so important that we feel confident in what we're selling and that our offer is 100% crystal clear to us because that comes through in how we talk about it. Now I'm just asking how do you get someone to book discovery calls? Because I'd hate to feel, I hate to appear desperate or pushy. That's a, that's going to be a different episode on how we get people into the calls.

That's the next, and I like to think of it backwards. I like to think of the process of signing clients. We want to start at the heart of it where you're making your offer and everything that we've been talking about today. Once that's really solid, then you can back up and think about how you get people there. But it's a step-by-step process. So we'll save that for another episode. Who knows? Maybe our very next episode, because I'm always listening to what you guys are asking for and turning that into what we do each week here on the podcast. I hope that you're able to take these three questions that we've talked about today, put some thought against them and think, okay, what do I need to get very clear in knowing what my offer is, who I'm making it to, and arriving to that time when I'm making my offer confidently, I am so clear.

I am so without question that my new client, cause they are my new client, because they are going to say yes very likely. They are not feeling the doubt, they are not feeling the energy of questioning, they are feeling the energy of knowing. It's very, very different. And just that energy that you bring to your sessions are going to make all the difference. And it is just one more reason why I think you should definitely sign up and create your signature program with us during our bootcamp running March 19th to the 23rd. Again, you can register at healthcoachpower.com/signature. Beauty and balance is saying is a product, for example, creating a program for weight loss? Yes. I would say you're halfway there with that because weight loss is such a gigantic industry that it's, it's better. I think that isn't far better than just saying I'm selling health coaching, but you could be even more effective, like weight loss for whom is going to get you further than just weight loss, right?

Because there are so many different people or different motivations behind their weight loss and have different problems that are keeping them from weight loss. We know this. So if you have a program that is specifically going to help with let's say weight loss for Hashimoto's disease, like that woman is sold. That woman is in, she is not even going to go ask her husband. Trust me. That's how well this stuff works.

So, listen you guys, next week, we are going to be in the middle of bootcamp and I'm going to be working with over a thousand coaches each day. We are going to have live Zoom calls together every single night. So we are not going to have our usual weekly podcast episode like this one next week. Instead, I hope to see you inside bootcamp and we'll be back on our usual podcast schedule the week after that. I will see you all soon. Take care everybody.