#62: Holding Corporate Workshops

Have you ever thought about holding a corporate workshop as a way to get more clients? It’s a smart idea – but can be challenging. So how do you go about it? In this episode Michelle shares her experience.

Download Michelle’s free workshop blueprint for health coaches at:

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Hey there health coaches. Have you ever thought about holding a corporate workshop, you know like a lunch and learn kind of thing. And Are you wondering if this might be a successful route for you to take in order to get more clients? Well, you know what, it definitely absolutely could be. So today I want to share my experience with corporate workshops because I see questions about this all the time inside of our group. It’s about time we addressed it here. Now if we haven’t met, my name is Michelle, I’ve been a health coach with my own private practice for about 10 years and I act as a mentor for my fellow health coaches, which is why I’m here right now. And if you are a student or if you’ve been a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, you will see me as part of the curriculum there.

So, our main question today came from Ivvy or Ivy, I’m not sure how to pronounce your name, I apologize. And she asked, has anyone here done successfully lunch and learns at companies?

And I’m like, yeah, I have. But it was so interesting to me is because everybody who answered was like following, following, following, you know on Facebook when you want to follow a thread, you’ll type in like f for following? Well, everybody wanted to hear about this and very few people actually had any experiences to share. So here we are. When I started out 10 years ago, I tried everything you guys, I tried, I mean you name it, I have probably done it. I can say that with confidence, including going into companies and doing presentations for their employees. And I thought it would be great because I came from Corporate America. So I felt like, okay, I understand these people.

And I also remember as an employee, and you might remember this too, if you’ve ever worked in a big corporate setting or maybe you still do, I remembered attending lots of these types of events. As an employee it was great because there would always be like free food and it was something to do during the day. So I had fond memories of that. So honestly holding a workshop inside a corporation. Here’s the big secret, it’s not that much different than holding a workshop anywhere else. So if it’s the actual presentation that you’re worried about, I want you to download something that I have for you for free. It’s my workshop blueprint for health coaches and you can get that at healthcoachpower.com/workshop and this is going to just spell it out for you like exactly how to go about giving a presentation. A lot of coaches telling me afterwards that they followed this blueprint, sorry, and they successfully held their first workshop or their first several workshops and it was so much easier because they have something to follow like they weren’t just starting from a blank page.

So again, get my workshop blueprint at healthcoachpower.com/workshop I’ll let you in on a little secret. The key is that you do not want to be standing in front of people in any setting and just yap, yap, yap, yap, yap. Never. Boring. Everybody’s going to go to sleep and leave the room. It’s always going to be a lot less of you talking and a lot more of you facilitating a discussion way more interesting for everybody involved and less pressure on you. Okay, so once you download that, and I used to see her and she just said she loves that blueprint. Yeah. You know what? It comes straight out of healthy profit university, my course for health coaches. So that is just one little piece of what you’ll find inside of healthy profit university. I’d pulled it out and wanted to offer it as a free gift for you and then you’re going to have a pretty good idea of how to structure your presentation in a corporate setting or remember in any setting.

Now, however, the biggest difference with corporate events is the process that you go through in order to set them up and if any of you have had experiences, if you’re here live, I would love to hear what it’s been like for you. I would say it is significantly more difficult to book a corporate workshop then booking something at the library or the gym or your local Yoga Studio and yes I’ve done all of those so I can compare them and contrast them for you. Let’s say that you want to do a workshop at the Yoga Studio. All right? Go to the website, figure out who the owner is or the studio manager. These people usually also teach at the studio. Go take their class, get to know them. Or maybe you already know the owner cause you already take our class. Great. It’s really easy to find that point person and strike up a conversation with them, right?

Cause you could just show up. If it’s the gym, Hey just walk into the gym and ask, Hey can I speak to the manager? Right. There’s not a lot of separation between you and the person who makes decisions, but when you are talking about going into a company, you’re going to need to connect with someone inside their human resource department who handles wellness or work-life balance programming. You know, not every person inside HR is going to be doing that. They probably have one dedicated person and who is that person? This information is probably not going to be readily available on the company website. Right. And you can’t just walk into an office building and talk to this person either. So it’s making that connection with the right person. That I think is the hardest part. And in my experience, the best way to do it is by starting with companies where you already know somebody who works there.

So for example, I once did a workshop at the advertising agency that I used to work for that was really easy. I already knew everybody and they knew me, so I knew exactly who to contact and I didn’t even have to introduce myself another time somebody actually was on my mailing list and I didn’t know her, but she knew me and she emailed and asked if I would come to her office. It was like this whole big swanky affair. So apparently I had a connection to this woman even though I didn’t know it. She had just been on my mailing list. That was our connection. So that was really easy. So you need to start where you have connections. And if you don’t already know somebody who’s in HR at a great company, okay, maybe you don’t know someone in HR, but maybe you know someone in a different department and they could connect you to the right person in the right department.

If you don’t have any friends like that, cause I know somebody, one of you is raising your hands going, I don’t have any friends who work in companies. And I’m like, really? Really? Don’t you know somebody who works in some company? I bet you do. But let’s say you don’t, then you’re going to want to start networking. You’re a little buns off and linked in would be a very good social platform for you. But once you get some experience inside these settings, as with anything, right, it’s going to become easier and easier. Let’s say that the HR person, your contact at this company, uh, they get to know you. You come in and you do an event or two, they think you’re great and then they leave their position and they go work across town at this other company. Awesome. Because now you have an in over there and you know how it is, especially within like a particular industry.

Like with me coming from advertising, I worked at like three or four different ad agencies. Everybody would sort of hop around. So once you get to know people over the course of a couple of months, and particularly over a couple of years, it’s just going to automatically pollinate to other companies. So it does get easier and you’ll just keep having contacts appear at new places. So if this is going to be your business model, like you’re really going to be in the business of networking with corporations and as described, that can be challenging, but there’s a much bigger payoff. So first of all, most companies do have a budget for these types of things. So there is a decent chance that they will expect and they will be happy to pay you for your time. It could be a little, it could be a lot, but getting paid is very likely going to be part of the deal.

Kind of looking over in the comments, waiting for somebody to say, ‘how much?’ I know somebody is going to ask me how much, so I’ll tell you. It varies obviously varies on the type of company. How big is the company, what kind of budget do they have? How experienced are you, what are you bringing to them? But I would say, I don’t know, roughly a decent starting point would be something like $350-$400 for an hour of your time. Now of course it’s more than an hour of your time. You’re going to have to travel there and back. You’re going to have to prepare your materials, etc. But I would say something in that range would probably fly at most companies that I can think of. But you can always ask, what is your budget for something like this? Once you’ve made a connection, you can bring that up and they usually will be able to tell you what they normally pay for a presenter at a lunch and learn or whatever it is that they’re asking you to do.

Now, if you’re just starting out, I don’t want you to get all wrapped around the axle about a certain workshop fee because the workshop fee itself is like a nice to have. It’s not the point. You’re not going to pay your mortgage with the $300 or $400 that you get from doing this workshop. It is way better that you just get in there, meet their employees, do your thing, get everybody’s name onto your mailing list thing. Can I say that again? Get everybody’s name onto your mailing list, and even if you do it for free, it will be worth it. Trust me. So worth it, and you would always want to do it at whatever they’re going to pay you versus losing the opportunity. Okay, so don’t, I wouldn’t haggle too much over the price. I would just make it happen. However you can make it happen.

Now, the reason it’s such a huge opportunity inside of these settings is because the employees that you’re presenting to our, like by definition employed, so they are more likely to have that disposable income available. Then if you were to like hold a workshop at the library two o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon cause who’s going to show up for that? Like probably not people who are gainfully employed, I mean maybe, but less likely. So doing something in a corporate setting is a very nice setup for finding paying clients for sure. So is that that swanky office that I mentioned earlier, and I have to tell you, it was like in the first six months of my business, I had no idea what I was doing, not, but I did bring snacks. Hence I always suggest bringing snacks because food has a way of sort of breaking the ice as you know.

So there was, and I’m in this room full of women, all, you know, dressed business casual and I had this intense feeling of being less than like I remembered how I used to dress business casual and be in my office, walk around like I was all important working for the company and now it was like the first day in many months that I wasn’t, you know, wearing yoga pants that actually had done my hair and I just had this feeling like, oh gosh, these women all have their lives figured out and here I am. I’m just desperate for clients. So I’m sharing that with you because if you’re feeling that kind of fear, you’re not alone, there’s a little element of just fake it till you make it. You know, if you’re there in front of them, they kind of assume that you are an expert and they’re looking up to you and they’re looking at you and clothes that look kind of comfortable and you look relatively relaxed because you’re not in a corporate setting every day and they’re thinking, oh, I wish I could be like this person anyway.

I must’ve done something right because I did sign two clients from that event who are still fans. I think they’re still on my mailing list like today, so I know that I could have pursued the corporate route. There’s a lot of opportunity there and a lot of health coaches do this very successfully, so I want to encourage you to go after it if it’s of interest to you. But for me, I noticed something, right? I noticed that kind of weird feeling I got being back in the corporate setting, like just being inside the building with like the fluorescent lights and everything, I felt kind of weird. It gave me a certain anxiety and I think it’s because it was putting me back into this place, the setting that I had been so desperate to leave. I’m much more comfortable, even now years later in my existence working from home, like in Yoga Pants, I’m in yoga pants right now, you guys, I like marketing myself online.

It feels more comfortable for me, so that’s the path that I have decided to take and I stopped going after the corporate stuff pretty early on, but I don’t want that to mean that like that’s what you need to do or that has to be your story. You just have to decide what feels good for you and follow that energy. Like think, ‘am I going to have an online based business? Do I like hanging out on Facebook all day? How do I feel about showing up on video and doing YouTube stuff?’ or whatever. Like how does that feel for you? And then am I going to do the corporate circuit? Do I like to wear a suit? How do I feel about fluorescent lights? You know, you just have to decide which way to go. It is nearly impossible to do everything and do it well.

I always advise that you kind of pick your strategy and then do it to the nth degree. Like if I was doing corporate work, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. I would be traveling, I’d probably be in the city, I’d be networking, I’d be on LinkedIn or whatever. Um, my life would be totally different and we probably wouldn’t know each other. So anyway, I decided not to, but coaches do find it to be an excellent source of clients. And you can have maybe just one or two workshops that you just repeat, repeat, repeat. You go to that company, you do it again, you do over there and do it again. You can even travel like maybe you have family who lives in a different part of the country and you’re going to go travel there any way for somebody’s birthday party. Great. While you’re there, you could set up a workshop for a company in that area, so suddenly you’re like known across the country.

There’s a lot you can do with this. So again, if there’s something here that you would like to try and you need to get comfortable understanding how to structure that workshop. One more hit no PowerPoint. Okay, just don’t do it. You don’t want them looking at a screen. You want them looking at you. Download my free blueprint at healthcoachpower.com/workshop and if you guys are here live and you have any questions about this, go ahead and put that into the comments. Or if you want to talk about something else, just let me know what’s going on for you today.

I have a question here from Amy. She said, what did you name Your Health coaching business? I can’t decide which direction to go.

And then there were like a zillion people answering her. I was just kind of reading through it and giggling to myself. Amy, your name is Amy Martin. What I wouldn’t give for your name, Girl. You know you can do what is the easiest, quickest, simplest, I think the 100% best way to go, and that is to just use your name as the name of your business. Use it as your URL. I want to give you some examples of very successful health entrepreneurs who do this. Now, these are people who very likely hire marketing teams. They get advice from experts all the time, right? They’re not just doing this on their own and they are using their names, so there has to be a reason why. Right? Here’s an example, Aviva Romm her website of avivaromm.com, Dr. Axe, draxe.com Sara Gottfried is SaraGottfriedmd.com, Elizabeth Rider, you may know her. She’s a health coach. elizabethrider.com, Andrea Beaman. My girl Andreabeaman.com.

And here’s why I think you should use your name versus choosing some sort of healthy, wellness-y sounding name for your business. They all start to sound the same. Oh my goodness, I, I mean I obviously I know a zillion health coaches so I already am aware of this, but just reading down the list of comments, everybody saying what they named their business, dude, they all sound exactly like it’s like radiant health for you. Simply health nourished and well coaching. Find your balance. Ha Ha, that’s mine. Or it was past tense. A mistake I made. I’m in the painful process of changing it now. So if you are going to choose a name because maybe you’re like me, maybe your last name is so ridiculous. No sane person could ever come close to spelling it. If you are going to choose a name other than your own, make it count. All right. This isn’t just an opportunity for you to sound generic and just like the next health coach or the next person who’s selling essential oils or yoga teacher or blah, blah, blah.

They all just blend together. So here’s a few examples of health businesses, like small businesses, small holistic entrepreneur type businesses who do not use their name, but I think it works for them from what I can tell, because these are memorable and uh, maybe you’ll know some of them. So the first one that came to mind is the Bettyrocker.com, theBettyRocker.com. Now her name’s not Betty Rocker. That’s the funny part, right? But it’s like her, that’s how everybody thinks about her as this character. She’s really cool. She’s like, got this rockin’ let a vibe going on and she does all sorts of fitness stuff. Anyway, theBettyRocker.com I think that’s a very cool name and URL for her. And I certainly have remembered it even though right now I can’t remember her actual name. Okay. Another one that came to mind is parsleyhealth.com this is a functional medicine group in New York City and it’s just so different.

Parsley that it sticks in my head and no, I don’t know that it means anything in particular, aside from the fact that parsley probably has some healing qualities but parsley health. And I also want to give a shout out to Julie who many of you know, if you’re in our Facebook group, Julie’s business name is healthy on Hudson, right? HealthyonHudson.com and guess what? She works a locally in an area near the Hudson river where lots of the towns are called like such and such on Hudson. And a lot of the businesses are called such and such on Hudson, like you know, chiropractor on Hudson or whatever. So even though it’s not her first and last name, healthy on Hudson is pretty cool because it’s very specific to who she is and where she is and where she does her work. So that’s really helpful and it’s easy to remember. So those are my 2 cents on choosing a name for your business. Honestly, nine times out of 10 I say go with your name or some variation of your name. Like if Amy Morton’s is taken, you could be theAmyMartin.com or Amy dash Martin or something like that. You’ll figure it out.

All right. What else do we have here? Oh, Rebecca saying about the workshop blueprint. Yes. It was extremely helpful at the workshop I just did last weekend. Yay. Good job, Rebecca. Again, everybody that’s healthcoachpower.com/workshop.

I got a question here from Alexis. She says, I would love to hear health coach feedback on how you respond to your clients not fully investing in their own program. I have one client who just constantly wants to change or cancel her appointments last minute. Today, she no-showed and then she understood she would lose her appointment. I’ve laid down the law. I’ve created boundaries, but obviously no health coach wants a client to lose an appointment because it’s precious time. They could be healing, but I can’t want it more than her obviously.

Well, that’s the truth, Alexis. We can’t strong arm our clients and to doing anything. We can just be there and hold space for them. And it sounds like you’ve held space today where you could’ve been doing something else. The no shows are killer. I’m going to tell you if somebody reschedules an appointment, fine. If they’re very communicative with me and it’s like, oh, you know, I might apply to do this thing and if I get accepted I’m going to have to miss this appointment. Like I’m okay with that. But if it’s sort of the thing where you don’t hear from them at all and then they just cancel last minute or they do that all the time, they’re always late and you just get the sense like Alexis is saying that they’re just not fully invested. I think that not only is it fair of you to bring it up, but you have an obligation to bring it up with them. Part of coaching somebody is calling them out. So I would absolutely say to this person, the next time that I had them on the phone, if I ever get myself in front of them, I would say, here’s what I’m noticing.

What are, what do you think about this? Or what are you noticing about your schedule? And use it as a talking point for them to shake it out because it could be something going on in their lives that is really important. You know, like a sickness in the family. There’s something going on that they really do need to be dealing with and maybe turns out health coaching has become a last priority for them, in which case, my goodness part ways on good terms refund money that hasn’t been used. I mean even if you don’t normally give refunds, do it anyway. Keep the relationship open and understanding they will come back to in the future. Right? That’s always a possibility as opposed to being like, you know, you can’t miss meetings and you’ve missed three meetings and if you miss one more, you know you don’t want it to end like that.

The other thing that might happen is you’re going to bring it up with them and then they’re going to, it’s not about their schedule, but it’s about something else or it’s about you, which nobody to hear, but whatever they have to say. I think that it is your duty as a coach to bring it up and let the issue get aired out and then decide how you want to move forward. I honestly would probably let this person go and you can just make that decision and you can take it on for yourself. You can say, you know what? I’m just having a hard time managing my own schedule. Last minute changes are not something that works in my world, so I’m going to refund you the rest of your payments and you know when your schedule clears up, please give me a call and we can pick it back up.

Something to that effect again. Part ways in the nicest way possible. I don’t have time for that. No shows – I’m not dealing with that and it really is a sign that they’re not ready for whatever reason. It’s not necessarily their fault, but there’s no reason for your business to be sitting around waiting, losing an hour and having to spend all the admin time going back and forth, rescheduling, moving things around. It gets complicated. Remembering what happened, what sessions were done, what about paid for? What didn’t get paid for? You don’t need that. Neither do I. All righty. What are the questions? Do you guys have for me today? Have like five minutes left. Here’s one that came up in the group.

This was asked, she said, does anyone ever read, analyze or suggest that blood work be done for a client? And if so, where did you learn to understand the results?

Oh boy. I know all the scope of practice police like got on their high horse about this one. No, never. You can never look at blood work. Don’t even talk about blood work out of your scope, out of your scope. I don’t think that’s true. I really don’t. There’s a huge difference between like get this blood work and then bring it back to me and I’m going to interpret it for you, which is not within scope for a health coach. And like I said to my client yesterday, I said, Hey, do you have any recent blood work? Have you had anything done like in the past six months or so? When she said, yeah, I said, oh, that’s interesting. You know, if you’re able to share it with me, if you’d like to, I’d be happy to look it over with you. And when we look it over, it’s not that I’m going to look at it and be like diagnosing her with anything.

But what I could do is I could say, Oh hey, that’s interesting. It’s showing that your t s h is within normal range on this lab test. However, did you know that according to this resource from the functional medicine community, this is the optimal range. And they’re going to say, oh, that’s really interesting. So I’m not diagnosing, but I can certainly share information and I can certainly help somebody even take the time to look at their own blood work. I could say, oh, it looks like your iron was low according to the range on this lab. You know, have you been doing anything about that? And that could open up a whole conversation that we may not have had otherwise. So again, never going to diagnose anything. Always going to say bring this to your doctor. Like if I did see something that I honestly did think was troublesome, I would say look at that.

I’m not sure, but I would love for you to talk to your doctor about such and such. Ask him or her about this. So you’re empowering your client. Now the question here is how and where did you learn to understand the results? I would never have been doing any of this a couple of years ago cause I, I didn’t even know what to do with my own blood work. I had no clue. And then I studied with Aviva Romm, I mentioned her earlier. Right? Cause she uses her name as her URL anyway, if you don’t know of Aviva, check her out of avivaromm.com and I did her professional training course a year or two ago now. And she definitely helped me understand some of the basics of what to look for. I would never consider myself as well versed as an MD. No Way, no. How the, particularly in the areas that I help women with most often, um, I know that there are numbers that I want to look for and I can pinpoint when something is maybe being shown as normal and it’s really not. So that’s just a flag that I could help my client raise for her doctor. So anyway, if you are interested in learning more about going deeper on this stuff, I do recommend Aviva’s functional medicine training course for professionals. You can check that out on her website.

Rebecca said when contact (oh, going back to our first, our first topic), when contacting corporate HR letter first, then a follow-up phone call?

Yeah. What’s the suggestion there? You know, I would definitely do both. I don’t have a strong opinion about what should come first in which could come second. Everybody seems to have their preferred communication method. Somebody might be like super into responding to you over social media, but their inbox might be so full that they never get to your email. So yeah, reach out, make contact however you can and follow up for sure.

I used to said what are some good resources or journals for what studies are showing about holistic health or wellness? You know, any show, I will say this is one area I don’t really touch. I mean you can go online to like pub med.com and you can find the study about anything but I leave it to people who are more highly trained than I am to determine which are good studies cause there’s a lot of studies out there that are not for one reason or another based on who they were funded by or based on how they went about the experiment that they did and I don’t feel qualified to determine that. I don’t have a great answer for you on that, sorry. But I do often refer again to Aviva, like taking her course, hearing about the studies that she has looked at that she trusts, that she is interpreted and I’ll take my cue from her and from other leaders in the field who I respect.

All righty. Before we go. I’ve got to give a shout out to Deb 6552 who left this very helpful review on iTunes. Deb, you are a rock star. Thank you. She said, I started watching Michelle on her Facebook live events and follow her and love her page and amazes me at how much information she’s willing to share about not only how to start your coaching business but how to succeed in keeping it moving forward and keeping it active. I’ve learned so much by putting her advice into action. By the time I’m done with my health coaching classes I will be able to start off running. Thank you Michelle. Deb, it sounds like you’re still in school. I’m so glad you found us when you did and please send your mailing address to support@healthcoachpower.com so we can mail you a little thank you gift and for everybody. Please head over to iTunes and leave a star rating and written review. I would love to send you a thank you gift as well. I hope you have a great week. Keep asking great questions and I’ll be back next week to answer them. Take care of everybody.