#98: Setting Up an Online Store

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a website where people could buy your recommended health and wellness products and YOU would earn passive income in the process? It’s a common thought…and today I’ll share my experience with the “online store” idea.

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Hey there health coaches. How's everybody doing today? I am so thrilled to be here with you and today we are going to talk about setting up an online store. Now, before we do any of that, I just want to let you know that I am broadcasting from an unusual location. I've been experimenting with coworking spaces and that's where I am right now and I'm realizing it's rather echoey in here, so I apologize if the sound quality is a little bit different than usual, but I thought it was great because it had this nice backdrop behind me, this painting, and actually get to gab my house and after 11 years of working from home, working for myself as a health coach, it's kind of interesting, but I'm working out the kinks. Anyway, maybe we'll do an episode about coworking spaces and the pros and cons of working from home another time.

Let me know if you're interested in that. But for today, a little echoey and we're just going to move ahead. Anyway, so with this topic of setting up an online store, I just want to make sure that you know what I'm talking about when I say this. So an online store to me typically means that somewhere on your website you might have a tab or a page that says shop or a store or whatever. My favorite things, and you'll see a lot of people doing this. In fact, I have something like this on my own website where I kind of list all the different products and tools that I love and it's an opportunity for people to purchase them and be directed to all of these wonderful things, typically with some sort of affiliate arrangement with each of these products or services. So, if you have an online store on your site, ideally, you're going to make some money from that.

Right? And I think it's a really interesting idea. It's one that I have tried myself in different ways through the years and today I just want to talk about is it worth doing, what can you expect from it? And just sort of set expectations around the whole idea of an online store. Now, if you're here with me live, and I know some of you are, Oh, and Lisa says that my audio sounds fine. That's very nice of you. I just feel like it's echoing in my own brain for some reason. I need more cushions in this room. If you're here with me live and you have any questions about setting up an online store, if you've tried something like this in the past, let me know your thoughts. If you have no idea what I'm talking about and you need some clarification, let me know that as well and I'll be taking other questions in the second half of today's show. So if you have questions about anything that's going on in your business or things that you would like to implement, just throw that in the comments now and I will get to your questions in just a little bit. I love answering your questions on the fly. I love when I don't have a chance to prepare for them because you always know you're getting a very honest answer.

It's so funny. That's just my personality, right? It's something that has to do with being like an Italian from Jersey and I'm a Scorpio and just like blah. Sometimes things just come out of my mouth and it's always better if I don't have time to prepare. You will always get the most honest off the cuff answer, so take advantage. That's what I'm here for today.

Now before we get into the whole online store topic, I just wanted to remind you that these episodes are available to you every week. There's free content that I'm pumping out to help you with your health coaching business and what I would ask in return is nothing more than a simple rating and review on iTunes. I would appreciate that so very, very much.

And here's one from Michelle, not me, a different Michelle. She wrote this on iTunes about the show. She said, I love, love, love listening to Michelle. She is down to earth, seems to relate with her audience and knows her stuff. She always has good advice without making things seem difficult to achieve. So glad I can now listen to her show on iTunes in my car at my home or really anywhere. I am true that thank you so much for that Michelle. You leave a review. I will likely read it on the air and if I ever read your review on the air, you can email us@supportathealthcoachpower.com and reference the episode that we shared your review on. We like to send out a little thank you gift for you. So thank you so much in advance for that. These reviews help us reach more health coaches and in turn you know it feeds, it feeds my business. So it's like super valuable and I want to keep showing up for you. You do something for me. I'll be back next week. All right, how's that sound? Sweet.

So here's a question that actually came in, right? This whole idea of an online store is not something I dreamed up this week. I like to pull from what you guys are asking inside the Facebook group and, and this week we got a question from Jessica. This is what she said. She said, I've been toying with the idea in the back of my head of having a side store on my website of all things holistic that I use and recommend that could be affiliates or network marketing companies like my favorite shakes, my favorite household cleaners, my favorite clean makeup, et cetera. Does anyone do this and are you successful? That's the very important question there at the end. Are you successful? So, I'm going to answer this as I often do in sort of a roundabout way.

I know everyone thinks that there's just like one clean answer to a question like this, but I think there's some nuance. So first let me tell you a little bit about my experience with setting up online stores. I think the first thing I ever did when I had my very first website, so going back like 11 years ago, I was all excited cause I got signed up to be an affiliate with Amazon. And you can do that. Literally anybody can become an Amazon affiliate and you can do that. So don't hesitate if that's interesting to you, you can just Google it. Amazon affiliates, and this is available around the world as well. I'm not sure if it's in every single country, but I know that it goes beyond the U S so that way anytime you refer somebody to a product on Amazon, you make a small percentage, and I do mean a very small percentage.

It's kind of cool though because if you refer someone to like let's say a book on Amazon and they don't buy it, but they, once they're there, they buy a bunch of other stuff. You get credit for anything they buy, so it's not a bad idea. Right. It's just another way to make some passive income and we're always making recommendations anyway as health coaches, right? Just like Jessica said, I'm my favorite clean makeup, my favorite cleaning products. Do you know all this sort of things. We're always telling our clients about this stuff. So why not email them a link or send them to a page on your website where there are links that are going to be tracked to you as an affiliate. So you can earn a little something on the backend. I never recommend that you're out there just pushing affiliate products for the sake of pushing affiliate products.

But if you're going to make the recommendation anyway, it's a win-win. So when I found my very first website, I went on to Amazon and at the time, and they may still do this, I honestly don't know. They allowed you to create an entire Amazon store, so you could even have sections, books cooking appliances, beauty products, whatever. And it was like a little mini website that you could create and they give you the code and you can either link to people to it or you could like embed it on your own website. And woo, I went to town setting that whole thing up. I spent like days doing that, finding all my favorite things, writing up a little description, organizing them into categories. And then I had one of these stores on my website. So you can do the same thing, right? And if you're not just using Amazon affiliates, maybe you're an affiliate like I am for Berkey water filters for example, or for Annemarie skincare or whatever companies you are affiliated with.

And frankly, even if you're not affiliated with them, maybe you just want to showcase their stuff on your website. As in this, these are my favorite things, these are my recommendations. And then have a little store set up. So again, you could spend days, weeks, hopefully not months, but you could spend a lot of time setting something like this up with little graphics and descriptions and links. And now I want to ask you a question. How much money will you earn from each of these sales? Assuming that the person who lands on this page actually buys something, how much money are you willing to make? If it's an Amazon book, you're going to make about half a cent. If it's a Berkey water filter, I probably make like $40, right? That's a big sale. And then I make a certain percentage of that sale. So, let's say it's like $30 or $40.

If you are referring people to some like sun basket or butcher box or some of these like meal or food delivery services, again, maybe you're going to make like $20 or $25. So that's great. Now you'd have to think how many people are going to that page in the first place. Ah, and to think about that, you might have to think about how many people are going to your website in the first place. Now if you know the answer to that, you're awesome. That means you probably have some sort of Google analytics set up. You could actually go in and you how many people are visiting your website at any given day just visiting the site at all and not necessarily making it to your store page, but even just landing on the homepage or reading one of your blog posts. Does anybody know? Like for anyone who's here live, just tell me if you know how many visitors you get to your website in any given month.

Right? Like, I think the last time I checked my Google analytics, I was getting like 20,000 visitors a month to my website, which is not ground-breaking. That's not crazy, but it's something, right? So like let's say you have, maybe you're starting out, maybe you don't have 20,000 visitors a month, maybe you have 200 visitors a month. How many of those people that are going to go to your store page? I got news for you, very few. Most people on your website, they're going to look at your home page, they're going to look at your about page, and that's about where they're going to tap out. Or they're going to come in because they're looking at like a blog post that you wrote and maybe from there they're going to go to your homepage. But again, for most visitors that's it. So, I would say it is a small, small, small percentage of visitors that are ever going to make it to your store page.

I'm going to say something like 2% right? So you do the math. That's very few people who are ever going to end up on the store page. And then of the people who do arrive there, how many of them actually make a purchase? Again, a very small percent. So if you want to set up an online store, there's no harm, but I just want to set your expectations. This is not the way you're going to make your millions, you guys, it's just not. You would have to have such a huge flow of traffic through your website and then you would have to really, really, really be offering specific problems that are so specific to your target market's needs that it's not just like, Oh like another person telling me that I should get a neti pot. Cause that's what healthy people have. But like if you had such a specific niche and you had such a specific problem that was going to help that type of person solve their problem and you positioned it in just the right way, yeah, then maybe you're going to make some sales and yet still those sales $10 here, 2 cents there, 5 cents here, maybe a $30 a paycheck here and there.

It doesn't really add up. So my overall recommendation is that you have about 1000 things to do that are more important than setting up an online store. I promise you this promise and if you don't know what those things are, you can check out my free online training. It's called how to make a full time salary as a health coach. Setting up an online store is not one of them. And you can register for free for that at health coach power. Nope, sorry. At healthcoachpower.com/earn okay. That will detail for you the steps you need to take if you're interested in making money as a health coach, setting up the online store, I promise is not one of them. I will, however, caveat this by saying that if you go to my website right now, I do have a page somewhere buried in there that's called like my favorite tools, something like that.

And it can be nice to have a simple page that lists out all the different products or services that you are affiliated with because it's a good reference page. Not because I'm going to make money from this page, it is not paying my rep. But if somebody says, Hey Michelle, I'm interested in the products you use. Instead of me having to like copy and paste a thousand links to them, I can just send them to one page. Right? It's just easy. Or even for myself, if someone's like, Oh Michelle, what kind of skincare products do you use? And I'm like, Oh yeah, what's that link? I can just go to my own website and find it really easily. So I, I use it more as like a reference page. I don't consider it an online store and I don't anticipate that a lot of people are landing on it or shopping from it.

But if there's like an actual conversation that I'm having with someone and I want to refer them to my page, it's very easy to find. So that is helpful. So I just want to put that out there for you. If you are thinking of going this way and wondering is it worthwhile, why do people do it? You know, it's not that it's a bad thing to do, but it just isn't going to pan out in the dollars that I think you're hoping for. And I hope I'm not being too blunt and they always encourage you to prove me wrong, but from what I have seen in the field, this is the truth of the matter. So I don't like you guys to be wasting your time on things that are not going to pan out. I'd rather you invest your time, investor resources into things that you're going to see a return on because I want your businesses to be sustainable so you can continue doing this good work and we can collectively improve the health of the world.

Yeah. Okay, cool. Let's see here. Do you guys have any questions about this? Unless it says great timing, I'm working on creating my resources page where I list my affiliate links. Very good Melissa. Keep it simple, right? Mine's just text. It's just text. I'm not trying to like get fancy with little thumbnail photos or anything like that. Just keep it super simple. Think of it as a resource page. Think of it as a reference like I said, and don't spend too much time on it. That's my best advice to you. I know that's not what you guys thought. I was going to say today. You thought I was going to extol all the benefits of having an online store. Sorry. You can always count on me to just give it to you straight though. So let's move on to some other questions. What else is going on in your business this week?

Oh my goodness. We're in March, everybody. That means we are gearing up for high season, high seasons. You know what I mean by that? Health coaching high season means it's when people start caring about their bodies and their health. Like right when the sun starts coming out and the flowers start to bloom. You can expect people to be showing a lot more interest in what you do. So if you're not already planning something for the spring, I encourage you to do so. Now is a perfect time to be putting pieces in place to make sales over the course of the spring time. Because if you miss the spring, then like everyone kind of disappears for the summer. They're on vacation, they're drinking is and nobody cares again until the fall. So let's all try to make the most out of the spring season. Okay. I have a question here from Alicia and she said, I hosted my first ever workshop today, which was such a success.

Yay. One of the ladies who attended and a friend of mine mentioned me to her mom. Her mom now wants to hire me to give a workshop at her house for her and her family members. What should I charge for something like this? My event was free as it was my first, but to be hired to do an in home workshop. Any ideas? So Alicia, typically we do workshops for free because the value that you get out of them is growing your mailing list, expanding your audience, right? So the idea being that if you could get every person's email address onto your mailing list that's worth much more than the couple of hundred dollars or I don't know what you were thinking of charging that you might get from that event. So anytime I do an event, I'm always thinking about how am I building my mailing list? Your mailing list is your businesses greatest asset.

So I would much prefer that you went in there and you gave those people a very good reason to put their name down on your mailing list versus a one-time fee of whatever that you might charge this woman. The other thing that kind of comes to mind is like if you're presenting for like family members and a household, that's one thing. If you were presenting in a corporate setting where they literally have a budget, like a work life budget or some sort of like healthy employee program like, those are occasions where you are definitely going to charge. I've also held workshops in places like a yoga studio where they hold a lot of workshops and they'll say like, hey, we charge for all of our workshops so they're going to charge for, you know, your workshop as well, $20 a head, something like that.

And you will make a percentage of that and they will keep the other percentage. So it has a lot to do with the venue. Like the pricing for workshops in my mind has an awful lot to do with where the workshop is being held and if it's being held in this woman's home, to me, like that's not an opportunity to charge money for the workshop. As much as it's an opportunity to really create like raving fans, they're inviting you into their home. It's very personal, it's great. You know, you can bring food, you can cozy up with everyone on the couch, you know, it's not going to be one of these formal events where you're like behind a podium. So it's actually a really nice opportunity to connect with people in a very familiar way. And I promise you these will become fans forever. If they meet you in person and enjoy their time with you.

So get in there, make sure that they put their name on your mailing list and make sure you're using that mailing list because they could become paying clients of yours down the line. They can be referring their friends and family who become paying clients of yours down the line. And instead of making a couple hundred dollars, now you could be making thousands and thousands and thousands over time because of these close connections that you've made. So that's how I would approach this sort of in home workshop idea, which I think is really sweet. What other questions do you guys have for me today? I have one here from Kristy, common question. I'm sure we have talked about this many times before, but I'm not afraid to hit it again. This is what Kristy had to say. She said, I'm working on a business name, which I've been stuck on for months and I would like to ask for some input.

Here's some brainstorming ideas I've had so far. Transform your health, journey to better health, holistic wellness. What are your thoughts on these or variations of them? I will probably add health coaching before or after the words. Christie, every time this question is asked, it's kind of hilarious because your thoughts on what you might name your business are pretty much identical to what everybody else thinks they might name their business. And I'm never afraid to poke fun at myself and just share that. When I started my business 11 years ago, I named my business Find Your Balance. I thought that was so clever. And there are about 400,000 wellness practitioners out there with some variation on Find Your Balance. Just like there's not 400,000 practitioners out there with some variation of transform your health journey or blahbity blah like all white noise at this point. So, unless you have a name for your business that really truly is unique and it's going to stand out and for some reason is valuable, add some sort of value.

I can't even imagine what it might be something that is disruptive in the wellness space. I would not for anybody would not even bother coming up with another cute, clever health and wellness name for your business. It's not going to help you. It's all white noise. In addition to that, having just gone through the process of changing my URL, changing my brand, I can tell you that it would be so, so much easier. It would have been so much easier from the get go if I had just used my name, and I recommend this for everybody because when you start your health coaching business, you think you're going to do one thing and then almost invariably couple of years past two, three, four or five years pass, you end up doing something totally different like you don't even know what is ahead for you. So, if you're a name is your business name is your URL, then Hey, it's always going to be applicable no matter what kind of path your entrepreneurial journey takes.

And the second thing is that then people don't have to remember both your name and business name. It's just one in the same. And we can do this because we are solopreneurs like I am my business. You are your business. It's not like you are you and then you own a shoe store over there and the shoe store needs a name. You know as coaches we're really selling ourselves so it makes the most sense to just use your name. If you have a name that is at all pronounceable easy to spell, like if you have some really gobbledygook last name, you might want to think about some variation of it or do something slightly different. But Kristy, from what I can see from your name, it would make a perfectly fine URL and you should definitely buy that URL and do not waste another minute with this. Again, just like setting up an online store, there are zillions of more important things you could be doing with your time if your intent is to create a successful sustainable health coaching business. Oh, I'll say it again. You guys will have that question again in a couple of weeks and I will say it again.

All right. What else do we have here? Julie says, if you follow the large groups, now she's talking about Instagram. If you follow the large groups using a hashtag search that are related to your target market, do they see your stuff too? So Julie, the way I'm reading this question is like if you're on Instagram and you know maybe I'm following the hashtag of like adrenal fatigue and you go to that hashtag and you can see all of the posts under adrenal fatigue. I think you're asking can they then see your posts? The answer is no unless you are using that hashtag on your posts. So this is one kind of, very specific kind of specialized marketing technique that if you're heavy into Instagram you might want to employ, if there is a hashtag that your potential clients are following, you would want to put that hashtag into your posts because then your posts will appear when somebody searches for that hashtag.

And then the goal is always to be one of the top posts within that hashtag. Like if you go on Instagram right now, I think I should probably look on my phone just to make sure. But last time I checked, if you go to the hashtag for burnout, you will see some of my posts come up in like the most popular under that hashtag. And that's a nice way to be found. If there's like 500,000 or millions of posts underneath a certain hashtag, it's unlikely that people are going to find you. They might. But if you could end up as one of the most popular posts in that category, it really does drive up engagement and drives new people to your Instagram profile. Again, this is one of those things that's like, if you don't have the basis of your business built, I wouldn't worry about Instagram hashtags quite yet.

You know, that's sort of like a very specific advanced form of marketing. Let's not put the cart before the horse, but if you're at that stage of your business, yeah, hashtags are kind of interesting and I have seen my posts blow up when they become popular within a particular hashtag. So, one of you will have to go check Instagram and see if you can find my posts under hashtag burnout and see if what I just said is true. These things are always changing. But the last time I checked it was two Sonia has chiming in here on the idea of naming your business. She said her business was first called custom wellness and she changed too because she started a non-profit. Yeah, like it's very exciting because as a solopreneur like you can keep changing, you can keep evolving and that's a wonderful thing to be flexible.

But I have found it to be a bummer for so many people who start out under one name and then have to change later. So thanks for chiming in about that. Sonia. I think I have time for one more question. Let's see what we have here. Dina says she's in search of online platforms that will allow me to do group coaching, meaning they see me and can all see each other and I'm able to share slides and courses content with them at the same time. Easy, easy question. Thank you for the softball, Dina. Sometimes it's nice to get an easy one. The answer for you is zoom. That's the answer. Done. Do you want to use zoom? It's like the industry standard right now. Everybody uses it. It's very easy for your clients to use. Even if they're not used to being online like this all the time.

They can access it from their phone. It just works really easily. It's much easier than other platforms out there and it can do all the things that you just said. You know, you set up a zoom account and then you're going to be able to see people when you're talking to them, you can put it into I think it's called gallery mode, like the peanut gallery. And then you can see everybody who's on the call at the same time and you can always share your screen and if you need them to, your participants can share their screen as well. And zoom is really inexpensive. I forget, it's like $15 a month or something like that. And there's a free version. So depending how long your meetings are, you might need to pay the $15 a month. But it's so inexpensive. It is a tool that I use constantly.

In fact, I'm using it right now. So if someone asked me this recently, she's like, how do you, how do you do video? Like how do you get your videos out in so many places at once? Do you have like eight cameras on you at the same time? And the answer is no. When I do these videos, I, I'm directly live streaming to Facebook right now. So it's going, you know, this video will live inside of our Facebook group, but while that's happening, I also have zoom running in the background and I'm recording to zoom so that we have a local file. We'll take that recording and then we publish it to YouTube and then we publish it as a podcast, you know, even to Instagram, you know, we'll take that actual recording and broadcast at many different ways. But a Zoom is so powerful.

I feel like I'm on zoom like 20 of the 24 hours of the day. Like that's how much I use it. So no matter what they charged, don't tell them this, but no matter what they charge, I would probably pay it because it's just that essential of a tool in this age where we're doing so much work marketing wise via video, but also with our clients. So go ahead and get yourself an account over there and you'll be happy that you did. Oh, okay. You guys, thank you so much for joining me for another session about health coach power community podcast. I will be back next week answering your questions. So keep asking all that good stuff inside our Facebook group and I will be back to help you out in a, in seven days. I'll see you then. Take care.