#257: How Writing Fueled My Health Coaching Business (and can do the same for you!)

How Writing Fueled My Health Coaching Business - Michelle Leotta wearing a wide brimmed hat

Finding clients doesn’t always come easily to health coaches. But you don’t need expensive tools, funnels or ads to be successful. Check out this episode and learn how to attract clients using your most powerful marketing tool…your words. And join the waitlist for Copywriting For Health Coaches at HealthCoachPower.com/writing.

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How Writing Fueled My Health Coaching Business (and can do the same for you!)

Health coaches learn lots of skills in our training – functional medicine, motivational interviewing, nutrition – but one skill we use every single day in business is rarely taught or talked about.

I’m talking about writing. Does that sound scary?

In this post, I’ll tell you why writing matters so much – and help you level up your writing skills.

Copywriting: a key business skill for health coaches

I wasn’t an English major. I’m not 100% sure what a past participle is. That doesn’t matter. The skill you need as a health coach isn’t perfect grammar. It’s effective copywriting.

Copywriting is a specific type of writing used in business to encourage action: Engage with me. Click my link. Open my email. Buy my program.

When I started my business in 2009, I was coming from a previous career in advertising. That gave me a huge advantage right out of the gate. I already knew how to use the right words to get people to take action – and how to talk about health and nutrition so that people were interested. 

You need that in your business, too.

Words have power

When I still worked at the ad agency, I started a health and wellness blog. I’d shut my office door for an hour and write posts 2-3 times per week (that’s a lot of writing!). Over time, my audience grew. 

And guess what happened? People who read my blog were emailing me saying “I want to work with you.” My readers turned into my first clients. Clearly, my words were resonating. That’s the power of effective writing.

This can work for you, too (but it might look a little different these days). Maybe it’s still a blog. It could be your social media, or website copy, or emails. Podcasts involve a lot of writing too– outlines, show notes, promoting it on social. Whatever the format, words matter.

You can learn effective writing

Think about what it feels like when you need to write something like an email, an instagram caption, or something for your website. Are you dreading it, avoiding it, and procrastinating because it’s hard? Thought so.

Imagine facing the same task, but now you sit down, write a draft, and hit publish. The difference comes down to having the right skills and knowing how to execute. And you can learn that (yes, really).

This fall, I’ll be opening my live course Copywriting for Health Coaches. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity for health coaches to learn the specific writing skills you need. If this is exactly what you need, go ahead and join the no-obligation waitlist now (psst: there’ll be bonuses and discounts!) at HealthCoachPower.com/writing.

Can AI do copywriting for you?

I’ve been asked a lot about using AI in your writing recently. Here’s my take: it can be a great springboard for your ideas, but nothing can replace your unique voice. 

This is super important for coaches in particular. Potential clients need to connect with you, and that means having a clear voice in everything you put out there. I’ll talk more about this inside the Copywriting for Health Coaches course.

Use words to connect

Who do you follow online? Think of your favorite coaches or marketing gurus or health experts. There’s someone whose emails you always open and whose posts you always read, right?

One of those folks for me is Karin Norden, a behavior change expert. I love her because she’s down to earth and practical and I feel like I know her. Who’s like that for you?

Now think about your inbox – what do you do with emails from people who you just don’t vibe with? Delete, right? 

You want to be the one that gets opened. You want their eyes to light up. You want them thinking “oh good, where can I get more of this?”

Make health interesting

Your mission is to make health interesting. Deliver your message in a package that your audience wants to open. Find and use your authentic voice.

I can help you learn how to do this. Now’s the time to join the waitlist for Copywriting for Health Coaches (and get those sweet bonuses). See you there.

Full transcript:

Hello there, health coaches. You know what? When this episode gets released, I will be in Mexico. I'll be enjoying some child-free end of summer relaxation, probably wearing this hat. So God bless the pre-record because that's what we're doing today. We are pre-recording. Lemme tell you, I'm very happy for being able to do that. Sometimes you do need a break, and I hope that you got one this summer. I hope you've had an amazing summer. If you're like me, you are starting to think about the fall though. I'm definitely thinking about what's happening in September and October. I mean, my kids are going back to school. I have lots of things planned in my business, and there's that feeling in the air that it's time to do something new. It's time to learn something, it's time to improve ourselves. Get those number two, pencils sharpened and ready to go.

It's a great time to acquire some new skills. So I was thinking that today I'll talk a little bit about a skill that is rarely mentioned among health coaches. I mean, we hear all about functional medicine and we hear all about motivational interviewing, but this is one that I guarantee impacts you and your business, right, every single day, whether you realize it or not. And the skill I'm talking about is writing, writing skills. I want you to know I was not an English major in college. I'm not entirely sure what a partisan is, but that's okay because that's not the kind of writing that I'm talking about when I say writing skills for health coaches. I mean copywriting, and there's a subtle difference here. Copywriting is the kind of writing that we do in our business to encourage action, to get somebody to engage with us, to click our link, to read our thing, to open our email.

Please open the email, right? You have to write a great subject line for that. It's copy rewrite so that somebody will book a call or buy our program. So you're doing it whether you realize it or not, and it's absolutely essential. But like I said, you're doing it whether you realize it or not. But are the things that you're writing working? Is your copywriting as it stands today, is it effective? Are people responding? Are you putting things out and you're getting people showing interest? Are they opening? Are they clicking? Are they booking calls? Are they buying? So maybe, and for some of you, maybe not so much. This is okay. They do not teach copywriting in health coach school. I think they probably should because it's that important. I had a leg up here because when I started my business in 2009, I was coming from a previous career in advertising, so I worked in the creative department at the big ad agencies, and this is what we did all day.

The visuals and the words. It was the ideas that created paying customers for all of our clients, and we worked on things like Volkswagen and Royal Caribbean and all the big brands. So when I left advertising the biggest skill, the most important skill that I brought with me was copywriting. I brought that right into my health coaching practice so that I could make talking about health and nutrition less boring for people, making it something that they actually wanted to pay attention to, and it works because most people, when they hear nutrition, they just imagine that food pyramid from 1989 when they were in elementary school, and it's just boring. But if you can make it interesting, you can make them perk up their ears and think, huh, now your writing is working for you. So I wanted to let you know that this fall I will be opening the doors to copywriting for health coaches.

We did it last year for the first time. This will be the second run of the course. It is a live course. It is the only copywriting course that is designed specifically for health coaches because I know what you guys need. This is an interactive experience with me and we have so much fun, so you don't have to make any kind of decision right now. I'm just letting you know that that's coming, and if you are at all interested in joining us, I want you to get on the wait list. Do that because this way you will get a special discount and a big bonus just for being on the list, and you can do that at healthcoachpower.com/writing. Here's why it's important. I want you to just imagine for a minute, you probably know this scenario. I think we've all been there. Imagine the difference between knowing that you need to write something, you need to write an email, or you need to post something to social media today, or you're trying to work on your website and there's all this procrastination.

You're feeling that resistance. You're trying to sit in front of the screen, it's just blank in front of you and you're walking away to get a snack or you're writing something and then you're deleting it and you're giving up and there's just all this wasted time and wasted energy and you're not getting the thing done. Okay? Imagine that versus, okay, you have something you have to write today. You sit down, you get a draft on paper pretty easily. I guess it's not on paper, it's on screen showing my age, right? You do a little light editing and you hit publish and it's done right? Which sounds better, which feels better energetically, the first, there's such a dragging feeling to that in the second, it's just like, oh, I needed to do it and I did it, and it's done, and there's this freedom involved. Of course, no matter how you get the words on the page, whether it's easy or it's painful, whatever, you get those words written.

Then you have that hurdle of is it interesting? Is it something that people actually want to read and does it work? For my health coaching business? When I was working in the ad agency still, I was in school to become a health coach before I officially made the leap, and I was very, very lucky because I had a nice cushy window office and I had a door which I would shut, and two or three times a week I would publish a blog post to my then health and wellness blog, and that's a lot, right? Two or three times a week, I was writing entirely new content and publishing it, but I really enjoyed it, and by doing that, I grew a readership that turned into my first paying clients. No joke, my readers, those were my first clients. I actually had women from all over the country mailing me checks because again, this was a long time ago, and they were saying things like, I feel like I know you.

I've been reading your blog for so many months, and they wanted to hire me as their health coach. When they find out that I had just graduated or I guess when I was halfway through health coaching school and I was ready to accept clients, that's when people started approaching me email me and saying, I want to work with you. I've been reading your words. That is the power of writing. So these days, fast forward from 2009, here we are, oh my gosh, many, many years later, it might be a blog. Health coaches are blogging, health coaches are writing articles. It might be your social media posts (those are like mini blogs in a way). It might be emails that you're sending your list. It might be articles that you're writing for other publications. It might be the words on your website or your landing pages.

It might be your videos and your podcasts because you're writing a script for those, but whatever it is, words, I think words are king, no words are queen words still matter big time. Now, in the past, I don't know, year or so, we've been hearing a lot about ai. Have you used it? Have you tried doing some of your writing using ChatGPT? I had my son show me a couple months ago how to do it. He's 12 years old. He knows everything, and I found that it was a very cool springboard, but absolutely nothing is going to replace your authentic voice. I'm not saying don't use those things. I'm just saying you have to learn how to use those things. I am going to be talking about this inside the course this year because it's so relevant, especially you're coach and as a health coach, we're selling a relationship ultimately with us, a coaching relationship, so our potential clients really do need to hear our voice.

That's why it matters so much In marketing yourself. You're going to hear lots of things out there. You're going to hear about fancy funnels and tools that you got to buy and expensive advertising, all these complicated ways to find clients, and some of that can be helpful at times, but I believe that you really need to find your voice and learn how to use it. That's number one. Even within the funnels and the ads and all the marketing tools that exist, all of them require copywriting. So think of the people that you follow. If you picked up your phone right now and you were scrolling through Instagram or whatever your inbox, who would be there? What practitioners, maybe coaches or anyone in the wellness field, anyone in the online marketing space who are your favorites, who do you always stop and you read their stuff, you look forward to their stuff, you stop scrolling.

You're like, oh, this is going to be good. Or you open up those emails because they're a delight to read. I'm thinking of Karen Norton; she's a behavior change expert that I follow, and she's just so down to earth and practical. I feel like I know her just through the stuff that she puts out there. I've never met her, but I always stop and I read what she's posted, so she's on my list interested in who's on your list. Another I can think of is my friend Matthew, who is a sales expert, a sales coach, and he always makes me laugh when I read his emails, so I always stop to read those, and then you know what we do with the rest? Delete, delete, delete, delete, or we scroll by without stopping. We all do this, so you want to be the person that others are paying attention to.

You want to be the person who can easily put thoughts into words, and then it's just no big deal to get those emails out or to post to social media today. It just happens quite effortlessly, and you want to be the voice that potential clients here perk up their ears and they actually want to keep listening because it's interesting to them, and then they're like, yes, I'm also interested in working with you. That's where you want to be. Melissa, I'm thinking about Melissa who took our copywriting course back in 2022. Melissa had been a coach for a while, a number of years, and she tried lots of different things with her marketing, but it wasn't until this course that she really honed in on her voice and her purpose, which turns out is talking about type one diabetes in midlife, and she was so excited because she finally found her home in the coaching world.

Now she's got so much to say. She started a podcast for all midlife women with type one diabetes. She's just took this giant step forward in using her voice, and again, I know a podcast is not the written word, but think of it. There's an outline or a script for each show. Trust me, there are show notes that have to be written, and then you're going to be promoting each episode on social media and to your email list. That's a lot of writing that Melissa has taken on so proud of her because now she's comfortable, right? She's able to write all that stuff. It just opens doors when you're able to use your words like this. I'm also thinking about Susie who wrote and submitted her very first article to a third party publication, and she did that after taking copywriting for health coaches last year.

She said, I never would've done this before, but what I saw from my perspective was that week after week, we do have live meetings, right? And we have specific homework assignments. Susie was bringing great work to the table, and she was learning how to tell stories and edit her words so that they could be the most powerful, and she uncovered this talent that nobody knew she had before. I remember she was writing something about bringing her son to college for the first time as a divorced parent, and she shared this really interesting and vulnerable story, and of course it related to her target market. Loved it. So this is what you're going to learn to do in the course. You're going to make health interesting, right? We're going to make it so much less boring for people. I mean, I think nutrition is fascinating. I know you think it's fascinating, but the average person does not care about micronutrients.

I'm just going to let you know that right now. So you have to learn how to deliver your message in a package that they actually want to open. That's the key. So listen, by the time you hear this, I will be in an infinity pool overlooking the ocean in Mexico. This big floppy hat is going to be on my head. There's going to be a cocktail involved, and the wait list for copywriting for health coaches will be waiting for you along with that sweet discount and bonus just for putting your name on the wait list. There's no obligation, so you might as well just get it on there. So really, we all win. We really do. Head over there and add yourself to the list right now. Do it before you forget. It's at healthcoachpower.com/writing And here I am lifting my cocktail, cheers to the end of summer and getting ready for fall. I'll see you soon.