#91: Build Your Audience

In this episode Michelle explores the idea of building an audience full of your perfect, prospective clients – and her 2 favorite methods for accomplishing this task.
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Hey there, health coaches! We are continuing with our series today on making 2020 your best year yet in your business. So thank you so much for joining me. We got a lot of good stuff to cover today. So if you are here with me live as we are recording into the health coach power community Facebook group, first of all just say hello and second of all please, please do ask questions as we go along or make comments. You know, I'm here for you. That's why I do this live. So last week, if you were here or if you listened on iTunes or Spotify or YouTube or wherever you're consuming this content, we talked about knowing who you serve, like very specifically who you serve and why it matters so, so, so, so very much, right? So if you didn't hear that episode, I'm just going to encourage you to go back to last week's.

You can check it out again in whatever platform you are listening, if you're here on Facebook, you can go into the video archive. If you're on YouTube, you know, just go back to last week and check that one out because when it comes to marketing yourself, you need to know your target audience. I know you've heard this before, but I'm here to tell it to you again with a fresh perspective. So let's assume that we're all there. Let's assume that we all have a target market in mind. Even if you don't just pretend like you do and say a little prayer and go with me today. Because what I want to do today is explore with you the next very, very important piece of building your business in 2020 which is creating and maintaining and growing an audience. And in case it's not already crystal clear, the kind of audience I'm talking about is not just anybody.

It's not just like people you could round up on the street right now. You don't want them. You want an audience that's full of your perfect prospective clients. So if you already know what kind of person that is, go ahead and throw that into the chat so I can see who we're targeting and I can share with you that in my health coaching business, I target women who are around 40 years old, chronically stressed out, burnt out and seeing the effects on their health, weight, anxiety, insomnia, thyroid conditions, that sort of thing. So if you know who your target market is, great. If not, we're going to just roll with it. But the idea is that you have this picture in your head of who you want to reach. Okay, cool. How do you do that? So let's get into it. I work with a ton of health coaches.

I've been doing this for a long time. You guys, I mean obviously in my own health coaching practice, but mentoring other health coaches now for like going on, I don't know, I guess about nine years now. And I know that when we're starting out and you're just starting your mailing list and you might even be kind of scratching your head and like, Michelle, what do you even mean by a mailing list? But anyway, in the beginning you've got like what? Like 16 people that you can put on your mailing list and like two of them are like your sisters, right? Like this is how we all start and that is totally okay. But you also have to realize that you cannot make sales. You can't expect too much of yourself and expect too much of your business in 2020 like if you don't have anybody to sell to, like it's just not going to work.

It's just simple, simple math. You need to build an audience and you might even imagine, you know, a store like let's say I'm the grocery store, like whole foods is like, okay, how many gallons of like grass fed milk are we going to sell this week or can we anticipate selling this week? They don't just say like, well we have a goal to sell 5 million gallons of milk. That would be dumb. They have to start with like, well what's our traffic like how many people do we even have coming into our store in the first place? And then like how many of them are shopping in the dairy aisle and then how many of them buy milk and then how many of them can we sell this milk to? Right? So, it just kind of becomes a math game at a certain point. I don't think I ever realized that when I was just starting out.

I just thought if I like, hoped and wished and prayed enough that I would get the clients that I was after. But no, there's really math to this, so we need to build an audience. We need to like get people into our store, quote unquote. But when I'm talking about an audience like for you or for me and the kind of businesses that we have, I am not really talking about like people who are coming into your store and walking around in the aisles. I'm talking about your mailing list. Most of all, like yes, you might have website traffic, people who are finding your website through your blog or whatever and that's awesome. I don't want to say that that's not good, that's very, very good. Or you may have an Instagram following or like a Facebook group or something like that, but ultimately you want to funnel everybody from every area of your life and every part of social media to your mailing list.

Like that's the goal of all of all of these different activities that you're doing is to get names onto your mailing list. And if you don't believe me, believe me, this is your businesses greatest asset, your mailing list, just like hear me out. If you do not have a mailing list right now, I want you to go and start one today. At least pick an email marketing service for yourself or make a very simple spreadsheet of all of your current contacts. It's easy. You're just going to upload the spreadsheet to your email marketing service. Now, most of our coaches inside the health coach power community I notice are using MailChimp, which is free and you can, you can do quite a bit with it without having to pay a dime. So that's very popular or another very popular service, and a very, useful, more robust service that I often recommend is called convert kit, which you can get a free month of if you go to convertkit.com/powerlive in case anybody is interested in that.

But anyway, point is you need a mailing list in 2020. Okay. Are we all on the same page about this now? And you need to be adding people to it continuously. It's not like a one and done situation. Even for me, been in business over a decade, always, always, always growing my mailing list. Okay. So this is just like, it's like breathing. And so you don't just, you're not just born and you take your first breath and then you're like, okay, I'm good. No, you breathe your whole life. Your mailing list needs to live and breathe throughout the life of your business. So, I just want to make sure we're super clear on that. Cause I can't tell you how many times I feel like I have said this enough and then I actually speak with a health coach, any random health coach and they will be like, no, I still haven't started my mailing list. And I'm like, ah, so let's do that. Okay? If you want to make some money and do all the things and succeed in this wild world of health coach entrepreneurial life. So what I want to share with you, I'm just going to take a sip of tea. Hold please.

I'm going to share two big ways, like my favorite ways to do exactly that, you know, build that mailing list and keep building it. And in fact these are the two main areas that we're going to be working on in my next fast track semester for healthy profit university that is coming up. So if you already know, like you've heard me talk about it a little bit throughout the year and you know, you want to join us for this hands on business training, you can't join yet. It's not open, but you can join the wait list. If you go to healthcoachpower.com/waitlist and just go ahead and pop yourself on the list. You'll be getting exclusive bonuses and some behind the scenes sneak peaks. So it's totally worth just plopping yourself on the list now. It's free. Go ahead and do that again at healthcoachpower.com/waitlist.

Okay, so the two main areas that I like to focus on for building an audience are these. First, holding workshops, hands down in person workshops, online workshops, anything and please listen to this part. Anything where you are partnering with an existing establishment or a practitioner and you are cross pollinating with their audience. So sometimes I say go out and hold a workshop and health coach will say, great, I rented a space, I'm, I'm paying whatever amount of money for this space. I can have as many people as I want. I'm going to go do my workshop there. And I'm like little tiny bit missing the point when it comes to growing your mailing list because if you are inviting people, then you are only going to be inviting people you already have contact with, right? The goal of these things is to get yourself in front of a new audience and that's why I want you to find an existing venue or establishment, business practitioner, somebody who has an audience and they're going to help you fill the room or hopefully fill that whole room for you.

So for example, I used to do so many of these. Um, I used to do a lot of workshops at yoga studios and that was easy for me because I am a Yogi. I, at the time, you know, I lived in Boston, I knew all the yoga studios, I was teaching at all the yoga studios. So I encourage you to use whatever connections you already have to get started. And then of course you will go out and create connections so that you have even more opportunities. But let's say you partner with the yoga studio like I used to do and you're going to host some sort of workshop on meal planning for moms or on sugar cravings for diabetics or whatever the topic is and how do you choose, you choose a topic that's going to draw in your perfect prospective client. And this is what the word target is all about.

We don't just say target market meaning like your ideal client avatar that you're going to like write down on this piece of paper and then leave on your desk. No, the reason you have a target market is it's a tool. It's like, Oh, okay, my target market are um, moms of small kids. Great. The best workshop I can probably offer something that they're going to come to would be about meal planning. And that's how you decide on your topic. Makes sense. Are you there with me? Okay. So, what happens from there is that the yoga studio or the gym or the Pilates studio, wherever you are, they are going to announce this workshop to their students and hopefully they're going to do a good job of it. Try to pick a studio that does a good job of this. They're going to put you on their website.

They're going to hang flyers, they're going to send emails, they're going to announce the upcoming workshops at the end of every class, at the beginning of every class, right? So they're doing all that work for you. People are registering, you don't have to do anything. All you have to do is show up on the day of your event and meet these people face to face and make an actual human connection, which is tremendous, right? Like we get so much more out of an in person interaction. Then online, like sometimes I say, um, you know, meeting one person in real life, I R L is worth like a hundred people that you meet online. You know, it just obviously, right? So that's why I love workshops so much. Um, these people that you meet are going to become your fans for life. They are going to tell people about you.

They are just going to like evangelize on your behalf. So that's an amazing thing. And of course you are going to collect their email addresses for your list. Hurray! You are building an audience, so who is thinking, yeah Michelle, that sounds pretty good but I don't know how to hold a workshop or that absolutely terrifies me. I just peed a little bit in my pants. Thinking about holding a workshop. I promise you can figure that part out. Like that part you are definitely going to be able to figure out. The hard part is setting up the workshop is like getting off your butt, stepping out of your comfort zone, having the conversation, putting a date on the calendar. Once the dates on your calendar you're going to follow through, you're going to show up for those people. Just get the date on the calendar and we also have an episode in our archives.

If you want to go back, if this is something you're interested in all about partnering with gyms and yoga studios, so that was way back in episode number eight if anyone is interested in that. The other thing about right now I'm thinking is it's January as I record this and this is a great time to be reaching out to set up workshops, not just for like January, February. In fact, if you are only going to make contact with somebody today, you're probably going to be setting something up for like, I don't know, March or the spring, but you can start now and kind of book your whole year out so that maybe you're doing one workshop a month or two workshops a month or whatever it's going to be. And you can keep repeating, reusing the same content because you're going to be in a different location every time.

So think about that better to have one great workshop that you bring to 12 different locations cause that's just like you creating the workshop one time and then repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat versus don't do this. People do this all the time. I'm going to do five workshops with the same exact group at the same exact place. I mean you can, but can you see how that's much less efficient? You would meet so many more people if you went to more places and you would have so much less work if you just redid the same workshop over and over and over. So I'm suggesting that now if you don't already have these set up for 2020 do it. Set up your workshops for this year and get them on the calendar and then you can start planning around them. You can start, you know, any sort of marketing that you're going to do ahead of time, you'll have time to do that.

So that's homework number one for everybody is the in person or online workshop. Remember with some sort of partner, cross pollinate. The other big way to build an audience is to offer something for free in exchange for an email address. You see this all the time online, right? Like I'm not telling you something that you've never heard before, but what is it that you typically see? Cause I know when we sit down to do this ourselves, we're like, I don't know what to create. What should I make? So it's kind of the same as what we were just talking about with the workshops. Like don't sit down and be like, I like to make shopping lists, so I'm going to make a shopping list and say, free healthy shopping list.

You begin with your target market in mind. Okay, I am targeting, uh, you know, uh, men who are diabetic and they're in their 50s okay, what does this man need? And then with that thought in mind, maybe you're coming up with some sort of free guide, a free checklist, a free resource of some kind of free this or that. Again, the trick is always to offer something that's very, very specific to that target market so that only that man in his 50s with diabetes is opting in and putting themselves on your mailing list and nobody else. If your message is too broad, everyone's going to ignore it. If you're like, hi, healthy shopping list, nobody wants it. It's just too vague. But if you do something very specific, the right people will opt in and you'll know exactly who you're talking to on your mailing list.

I want to repeat that about a hundred times but I'm just going to keep going. So when you use what you know about that type of person, you'll be able to develop a resource that they really need. Trust me, this is, this is the best way to go about it and it helps if you have a group to bounce ideas off of when you're in your own head. Even me in my own head doing this for my own business really, really hard, easier when you are kind of hive minding a little bit about these things. I want to give you some examples. So first I'm going to give you a good example and then after I take this sip of tea, I'm going to give you a not so good example of a freebie and how this would work in your business. So good example right now and feel free to do this.

You can go over to my website, it's, shesgotpower.com that's my health coaching website and you will see right away that there is a stress assessment quiz that's available for download. Why? Because I target women who are chronically stressed out and on the brink of are already in burnout mode. Okay? So that is speaking to them. And you will notice even just by the design of my website and the words that I use, very likely the only women with certain symptoms or conditions are going to be opting in to get this quiz. Okay? So this is working out very well for me. I'm getting the right women, they're taking the quiz, they're letting me know their score. They are following up to book a consultation and it leads easily into clients because the freebie is helping them better understand their problem, helping them sort of become more aware of what's happening in their bodies and it opens their eyes and they're like, yes, I need to talk to Michelle about this.

Very good idea for a freebie if I do say so myself. But again, I had so much help and coming up with this, I did not do it all in my own head. Let me give you an example of a terrible freebie. Terrible. Not in the sense that people didn't opt into it, but that it wasn't useful for my business. So, oh man, I don't know how long ago, I want to say five years ago, maybe four years ago, I had an idea around the holidays. I was going to offer all I best like holiday recipes. I don't know, maybe some of you remember this, maybe you were there. And um, and I compiled all of these into a cookbook, like clean holidays cookbook. And I was offering this as a freebie all season long. In fact, I would do it every year. I would offer it around holiday time and did really well in the sense that people did opt into it.

But then nothing, I mean, people who want healthy holiday recipes, what are the chances that they also want to hire a health coach? Maybe. Right? But like everybody kind of wants clean holiday recipes or a lot of people, maybe not everybody. And if they want it, chances are, huh, chances are they're probably already kind of into health, which means they may not even need a health coach. So actually it was the dumbest idea ever. I say this, I poke fun at myself, but it's, it's just all a learning curve really. That was something I knew how to make at the time. It was something I had available to me. You know, it served a purpose, but did it lead to paying clients? No, not so much. Not so much.

So when I talk about the part where everybody falls down, regardless of what kind of freebie you are offering, cause this is what happens. I see health coaches do this. They spend hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours developing their freebie. You know, they're figuring out a way to get it up on the internet so that people can opt in for it. And they'd post it maybe to their website or to their Facebook page and then they go, ah, only one person signed up for my free thing. Hmm. Well this doesn't work. Show was wrong. I don't know what Michelle smoking, but this is a terrible idea. And they get all upset and feel like, you know, life is meaningless and this is never going to work. And there are tears involved. And I just want to let you know that. The thing is once you have that freebie, you have got to promote the heck out of it and you have to continuously offer it to new and different audiences.

Attracting the attention of just the right people who are perfect potential clients. You can't just post it one time or two times to your Facebook page that is not going to cut it at all. If you want to hear more about that, different ways to promote your freebie. And by the way, not using Facebook ads, you definitely do not need to use Facebook ads or spend any money at all to do this. Well I want you to go back and check out episode number 13 cause that's where we kind of focused on this idea of all the different ways to promote your freebie. If you are, by the way, one of those people who's just kind of like flushing money down the toilet on Facebook ads, please stop. Please stop. There are better ways. I know some of you are going to say, but Michelle, you are on Facebook ads and yes that is true, but I run Facebook ads for a pretty penny and I hire professionals to do it for me. I would very much recommend trying to do it yourself. You can get yourself into a whole boatload of problems with Facebook, especially in the health space, so there are better ways. Go back to episode number 13 if you want to hear more about them and why does all this matter?

Why do we even care about building this audience? Sounds like an awful lot of work. The reason that you want to continue building an audience year-round is because only a small percentage of your lists is ever going to pay you any money. Like just to put it in very plain terms. That's just how it works. So like let's be generous and do the math and say like 5% of your list are ever going to pay you any money and let's say they're, you know, 5% of your listing and sign up to become private clients. Or like a group client of some kind. Go ahead. How many people on your mailing list? I'm telling you 5% is generous. How many of them, how much money are they going to pay?

You add it up not a lot of money. If your list is like 20 people, right? So if you want to sell your health coaching services or hopefully you had a signature program, you need a growing list of people to market yourself to. We're going to recap first and this was last week's episode. You have to know who you serve and define a target market. I can help you with this. I am very good at it just because of practice, practice, practice. Secondly, what we talked about today is building a growing list of these people and then third, I'm going to talk about this a little bit more next week is actually signing clients to a signature program or your coaching package and if you're like, Hey, Oh, I don't have a signature program, what does that just like listen up right here because we are going to open the doors for a free five day challenge all about creating your very own signature program.

So, it's going to be perfect for any of you that are kind of like, ah, I don't even know what I'm selling, which is why I'm not really marketing myself because I really feel uncomfortable about selling health coaching. I'm going to fix that for you. That is coming. I'm very excited about it. So just keep your eyes open because that's going to be an entirely free event coming up in a couple of weeks and I'll let you know when registration is open for that. Okay, but in the meantime, don't forget to add your name to the waitlist if you are already interested in joining my fast track semester starting this February and for that you can go to healthcoachpower.com/waitlist and that's it for this week. You guys, I'm going to be back next week talking more about what you sell, how to sell it, and your signature program, and that's how we're going to make 2020 your best year yet. Just kind of following that three step formula I just laid out for you, knowing your target and building an audience and figuring out how the heck to sell to them. We're going to do it. I'll see you next time.